Unlike Sandy Hook and gun control, the Tsarnaev case teaches real lessons about immigration.
Barack Obama has a habit of trying to energize his legislative agenda by stoking the fires of emotionally charged current events — and in ways usually illogical and incoherent. The shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords and the horrible mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School were cited as reasons for rapid enactment of new gun-control laws — even though the proposed tougher registration rules would not have prevented either mayhem.
Tightening up the process for legal acquisition of firearms would not much hinder the mentally ill from getting their hands on guns. And the various measures needed to stop a crazy Adam Lanza or Jared Lee Loughner would be mostly intolerable for liberal or conservative civil libertarians — incarcerating far more of the mentally unhinged, censoring the depiction of gratuitous and violent use of guns in video games and films, confiscating the vast pools of semi-automatic rifles and handguns owned by private citizens. No matter. Sandy Hook and the shooting of Gabby Giffords were still arguments to shame opponents — in the president’s words, “lying” opponents — into accepting the administration’s proposals.
Furthermore, the politically driven distortion of recent gun violence was aimed not just at passing gun-control legislation, but also at demonizing opponents for the 2014 elections. That is why President Obama’s political guru, David Axelrod, almost immediately floated the idea that the catalyst for the Boston violence was “tax day,” in a not-so-subtle insinuation that just maybe some right-wing tea-party types had set off the bombs. That theme soon metamorphosed among the Left into charges that right-wing-inspired sequestration had curbed law-enforcement vigilance and that right-wing opposition to laws against acquiring explosives had enabled the bombers.