There’s a bit of chicken-egg stuff in your assessment I can’t quite get past.
Why do you assume that Clinton would want to get rid of guns as an end in itself? I’m sure there’s a sound bite or some obscure quote from somewhere (out of context) where she said something to that effect, but do we really think that’s the end goal?
Maybe I’m naive, but I believe that politicians are generally naive too, and just want to do what’s best for everyone when they get to Washington… then the reality of how impossible that is sets in and they either wash out or go on to be lifers who don’t expect to make everyone happy. Those are the ones with the agendas that think they know better than everyone else. (And, incidentally, that’s why ‘bipartisan’ is a dirty word, compromise is dead because of the egos of the lifers.)
But let’s face it, Clinton was barely a legislator. She got in and got out of the Capitol. I’d like to think that she (or any presidential candidate, for that matter) would recognize the fact that if a goal (reduced crime) can be reached through multiple means (gun ban, drug reform, harsher punishments, etc.), and one proves easier to enact than the others while also yielding positive results, the others aren’t really necessary anymore because of diminishing returns.
Also, as we’ve agreed, these issues need to examine on a cause-effect basis, and the cause of much street violence is the illicit drug trade. Take the drugs away from the black market, they lose their finances. Without finances, they can’t be so heavily armed. Fewer illegal guns on the street, fewer shootings. Fewer shootings, fewer victims of gun violence.
What I’m trying to say, is Clinton knows what she’s up against with Republicans and pro-gun everyone else… of course she’d try the same bad ideas that have been in Washington for 30 years, but hypothetically if drug reform (even just downgrading/legalizing pot) were easier to make happen than gun stuff, do you think guns would still be a legislative priority if violence and crime began declining as a result? The outcry for gun control is always loudest when there are a string of high profile shootings. Less violence=less outcry.
And politicians know just how difficult that fight would be.
But please note, that my concern isn’t necessarily on gun violence as you jumped to point out the relevance of those stats. I’m talking all crime, regardless of guns. Burglaries perpetrated by junkies to pay for their next fix. Mugging. Drug deals gone bad. Gang wars for drug distribution territory. All of it.
I make this distinction because criminal gun violence is so low it barely registers. (If you remove accidents and suicides and focus on deliberate criminal acts done to someone else.)
Carry out drug reform and that will curb a huge percentage of that crime. I’m really glad we agree there.
And, to circle all the way back around, there are gun reforms that could/should be done that would help out too… even if it just means giving the anti-gun crowd some illusion of safety, like universal background checks. (I’m really trying to not use conservative/liberal labels too much, since this is clearly not nearly as partisan as they’d have people believe.) But the trick there is to take sensible and effective ideas and implement in sensible and effective ways.
And unfortunately, our elected officials are too fucking stupid to do anything of the sort. They can’t even figure out that subsidizing private health insurance companies will ALWAYS be more expensive than offering a national single payer option… because private companies want profits so they charge more. That’s the bottom line. When we’re faced with that kind of stupidity, it’s really hard to hold out hope.