|Wednesday, 19 December 2012 14:26|
The day of the Newtown massacre, another lunatic attacked a group of helpless school children, in the Henan province of China. There, because the assailant wielded a knife and not a gun, the result was 23 children and an adult with nasty injuries, but no deaths. This follows an established pattern. China, like the United States, has experienced a spate of mentally disturbed men attacking school children. But without easy access to guns, Chinese maniacs seldom succeed in killing many.
America’s inability to protect the public from gun violence is a case study in several kinds of democratic failure: the single-issue minority that overrides the weaker preference of the majority; the in-built rural bias of our politics; the entrenched power of a well-endowed lobbying organization; and the runaway interpretation of certain politically congenial rights by a conservative Supreme Court majority. Because of the scale of these systemic obstacles, liberals like Barack Obama, who are naturally inclined to support sensible gun-control laws, have in recent years shied away from taking on the issue at all.
- Slate.com (link)