The Times carried on its muted drumbeat in favor of gun control in the wake of the murders at Virginia Tech in Thursday 's editorial, "Silence on Guns ." The upshot: Intheeventof a future VT-style massacre, don't blame the killer, blame the GOP, the gun lobby, and "legal gaffes."
"Truly responsible lawmakers would put political survival on hold and shut two of the most lethal loopholes in gun control created by the Republican-controlled Congress, with the Bush administration's eager blessing. The first barred state and local police forces from getting access to information on illegal gun sales regularly collected by federal inspectors. Police forces in the past have used that data to help trace and stop gun trafficking. Now they have been blinded by lawmakers in service to the gun lobby."
Next, the same paper that's spent years lecturing us about the danger to civil liberties inherent in Bush's war against terror wishes that one aspect of Bush's homeland security was even stronger - at least when it comes to targeting those evil guns.
"The second abuse has made a mockery of homeland security by tolerating the sale of firearms to people on federal watch lists of terrorism suspects. This outrage was laid bare two years ago by two Democratic senators, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Joseph Biden Jr. of Delaware. In a six-month period, agents uncovered gun sales to 44 individuals on the federal watch lists."
"After two years of pleas by Senator Lautenberg, the White House finally endorsed a proposal that would give the attorney general authority to stop people on the watch lists from buying guns. This, of course, was only after Virginia Tech stirred public anxiety - hardly much Capitol concern - about what legal gaffe will next drive up the toll of victims."
So it's not actually evil people like the Virginia Tech killer that drive up the toll of victims, but "legal gaffes" resulting from "lawmakers in service to the gun lobby." Glad we got that straight.