My new column at The Daily Beast is about quick calls for new gun legislation in the wake of Monday's horrific mass shooting at D.C.'s Navy Yard.
Here's a snippet:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a longtime proponent of assault-weapons bans whose effectiveness is questionable at best, announced that the killer was armed with a "military-style assault weapon" and asked, "When will enough be enough?" She argued for restricting sales of AR-15 rifles even though the shooter was not armed with that weapon.
Joining Feinstein in specifically denouncing the AR-15 was CNN host Piers Morgan, who said on his show that the Navy Yard installation had been "infiltrated by a man with a legally purchased AR-15, who just committed the same kind of atrocity as we saw at Sandy Hook and Aurora." After learning that Aaron Alexis had in fact been unable to purchase such a weapon due to existing laws, Morgan tweeted, "Lots of confusion over exactly what guns Wash Navy Yard shooter used. But do you think it matters to the victims? #GunControlNow"
Feinstein's and Morgan's imprecise reactions suggest exactly why legislation shouldn't be crafted, much less passed, in the heat of a crisis. Whether it's truly awful drug laws pushed in the wake of high-profile celebrity deaths, national-security measures rushed unread through Congress after the 9/11 attacks, or transformative bailouts to the banking and auto industries essentially cobbled together over a long weekend, laws should be the product of serious and dispassionate deliberation. We feel with our hearts, yes, but we should govern with our minds.