"'I don't have the words to describe the cowardice of Congress or the depravity of the gun lobby, which conspired to kill the assault-weapons ban,' writes Ron Fournier of National Journal. ... 'I can't explain the apparent impotence of President Obama who vowed to "use whatever power this office holds" to convert the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School into commonsense common good,' Fournier continues. ... As Fournier puts it, Obama and his allies wished 'to convert the tragedy ... into commonsense common good.' We disagree on the merits and would put it this way: They cynically sought to exploit a horrific crime in order to promote dubious policies that they had long wished to impose but had refrained from pushing for fear of the political consequences. There was never very much to the argument other than demagogic appeals to emotion. ... Not only did the effort fail, it wasn't even close. ... Politico.com quoted Majority Leader Harry Reid as saying that 'her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes.' ... Demagogy is a hazard of democracy; one reason we have a bill of rights is to protect individuals against the political temptation to offer up scapegoats to satisfy their constituents' emotions. ... But this effort failed notwithstanding the undeniable emotional pull of a horrific crime against children. Americans should be proud whenever our political system proves this resistant to unreason." --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto



Amateurs: Built the Ark

Professionals: Built the Titanic