My guess is that we're going to get a law anyway, and my hope is that it will consist of small measures that might have some tiny actual effect, like restrictions on magazine capacity. I'd also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.
The above quoted comes courtesy of Megan McArdle's lengthy essay on the futility of stopping the Adam Lanzas of the world from dealing death to innocents. You can just visualize poor Megan sighing in despair over a mocha latte while typing out another paean to the overall uselessness of gun control on her Macbook Air.
Meanwhile, others are visualizing the spectacle of young schoolchildren being trained to zerg rush gunmen in utter disregard of their otherwise natural inclination to run away from the bad guy with the gun:
Are you kidding me? You think gun control is impractical, so your plan is to turn the entire national population, including young children, into a standby suicide squad? Through private initiative, of course. It's way more feasible than gun control!
Unless I am missing a very subtle parody of libertarianism, McArdle's plan to teach children to launch banzai charges against mass murderers is the single worst solution to any problem I have ever seen offered in a major publication. Newsweek, I award this essay no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Actually, the single worst solution to this particular problem is allowing teachers and janitors to carry guns inside schools, but this ranks a close second.
Even the Department of Homeland Security would call a "time out" on this. Zerg rushing a gunman is perhaps one of the worst things you could do - not only are you putting your life at risk for little gain, there's no guarantee that people will break out of "bystander mode" and reconcile numerical strength in numbers with a lowered chance of dying. That's hard for even grown men and women to do and yet we expect it from our children.
Sandy Hook did a hell of a number on the overall psyche of rabid gun owners and supporters. The NRA took a moment, but they eventually managed to find a narrative that would allow them to support gun ownership with a straight face. Now you have rank assholes convincing themselves that Sandy Hook was actually an elaborate hoax designed just so President Obama could declare those nasty-looking AR-15s illegal and send the spiritual successors of the Waffen-Schutzstaffel into the homes of patriotic Americans everywhere to destroy their ability to defend themselves, their country and the idea of Freedom™ (which, oddly enough, is encapsulated in the ability to own lots and lots of guns). A lone bald eagle sheds a solitary tear in front of a strategically placed American flag.
Well, at least you have the youngsters doing their part to protect their fellow students from future Sandy Hooks. Sorry, kid - only the adults get to pack heat in the schoolhouse.