We now have a view of the new gun control proposal that some have labeled Diane Feinstein’s Grand Plan. Grand? Feasible? Passible? That remains to be seen. What is plain and predictable is that Feinstein’s proposal illustrates the structural inadequacy of supply control policies that attempt a purely public response to an intensely private crisis.
The impulse here is the horror in Connecticut. A moment’s reflection shows that Feinstein’s plan is basically non-responsive. The main worry from Connecticut is not that an incomprehensively mad, damaged (one searches for something more here) young man, killed with an AR-15. At one level we all know that virtually any sort of firearm and a variety of other deadly weapons are easy substitutes against the helpless.
But that is a difficult thing to say in this climate and it does not satisfy people who are hurting. And that hurt is very much a driver here. The pain from Newtown is intense. Many people desperately seek something to ease that pain and affirm that our society, our culture, are not irretrievably off the rails. For those under the delusion that the state can stop imminent violent threats, Feinstein’s supply side gun control proposal will have appeal.