Gun control is a moral issue, Vice President Joe Biden said at a news conference Wednesday.
This was more nonsense from the premier dunce in American politics. The evidence is massive gun control measures do not restrict gun violence. They may contribute to it. (All but one mass shooting in the last half century has taken place in "gun free" zones.)
But liberals don't care much whether their nostrums work or not. They judge programs on their declared intent, not results. That's all it takes to massage their egos, and it spares them the trouble of having to learn a lot of pesky facts.
The emotionally healthy can feel good about themselves without putting others down. Liberal preening apparently requires feeling superior to those who disagree with them.
If you don't agree with us about gun control, you can't be as horrified as liberals are by mass shootings, the vice president implied. We're good. You're bad.
Making themselves feel good is more important to most liberals than solving problems, and they tend to be intellectually lazy. So this attitude pervades most of the positions they take. If you note:
• Our kids aren't being taught in school what they need to know to prosper in the world economy -- liberals say you're against education.
• The trillions spent on the War on Poverty haven't reduced poverty much -- you hate the poor.
• Global warming's dangers have been grossly exaggerated -- you don't care about the environment.
And so on. But liberals attack with special venom those who disagree with them about gun control. Why?
University of Hawaii professor Rudy Rummel used to be a liberal, as most college professors are. Then he studied genocide. He was horrified to discover that in the 20th century -- despite the fact that World Wars I and II took place during it -- nearly three times as many people were murdered by their own governments as were killed in war.
It wasn't just totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Mao's China that committed mass murder, Mr. Rummel found. More than 830,000 people have been killed by democratic governments, he estimated in 1986.
"Concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth," he concluded. "Nobody can be trusted with unlimited power."
President Barack Obama evidently thinks he can. Congress is unlikely to pass new gun control laws because a large majority of Americans oppose them. So the president may impose new restrictions by executive order, Mr. Biden said. It troubles him not at all that the president lacks legal authority.
Our Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in the Constitution so that, if need be, the people could defend themselves against the government. But the Bill of Rights is scant protection if our leaders ignore it.
Before they committed mass murder, Hitler and Stalin confiscated privately owned firearms.
"Do not be fooled by a belief that leftists hate guns," wrote Stanislav Mishin in Pravda last month. "What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology."
Once guns were confiscated in Russia, "mass repression, mass arrests, mass deportations, mass murder, mass starvation were all a safe game for the powers that were," he said.
Gun control also preceded government genocide in Turkey, China, Guatemala, Uganda and Cambodia.
That can't happen here, you say. It already has. The first gun control laws in the U.S. were enacted in the post-Reconstruction South, so blacks couldn't defend themselves from the Ku Klux Klan.
"The defeated Southern states aimed to preserve slavery in fact if not in law," wrote historian Clayton Cramer. "Mississippi's provision was typical: No freedman 'shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition.'"
In a sense, Mr. Biden is right. Gun control is a moral issue. Liberals are on the wrong side of it.
Jack Kelly is a columnist for The Press and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio. email@example.com, 412-263-1476. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/