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April 24, 2008

STEVE CHAPMAN: Murder and reactions in Chicago:

When a rash of gun murders takes place, it makes sense for the police to do one of two things: renew tactics that have been effective in the past at curbing homicides, or embrace ideas that have not been tried before. But those options don't appeal to Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis. What he proposes instead is a crackdown on assault weapons.

I'm tempted to say this is the moral equivalent of a placebo—a sugar pill that is irrelevant to the malady at hand. But that would be unfair. Placebos, after all, sometimes have a positive effect. Assault weapons bans, not so much.

Indeed. Gun control proposals are, however, a useful marker for politicians who aren't serious about crime. Chapman asks: 'Gun control hasn't worked as a remedy for crime. So what makes anyone think the answer is more gun control?"

I don't think they do think that. I think they just want to disarm people, and hope you'll buy the excuse that it's for crime fighting.

UPDATE: Or there's always sackcloth and ashes. I double-checked the date on this story to make sure it wasn't an April Fool. Alas, no.