I'm on the Brady Campaign's mailing list. It's a long story, but nobody there has figured out that Pynchon Voltaire isn't my real name yet. Anyhow, they sent this out today in response to the Senate hearings:
We support President Obama's comprehensive plan to prevent gun violence. His legislative plan — which includes measures such as universal criminal background checks for all gun buyers — can immediately reduce gun injuries and deaths across America.
That's a pretty big promise to make, and it's an impossible one to keep. Of course, they really don't have to worry about it, since the general public tends to forget such things quickly.
But I'm not the general public. That sounded very familiar, but I couldn't place it. I'm grateful to Robb Allen for finding it:
The Brady bill will make the streets of America so safe that our nation's police will not even need to carry guns anymore. [President Clinton, on TV, while signing the Brady bill in 1993]
Does anybody ever hold them to that promise, or demand an explanation when it's broken? Nope, because it's too late to roll things back at that point. After all, the logic goes, it just proves we need to regulate/restrict/ban even more. It's a sneaky form of incrementalism, and one that needs to be stopped before it can begin.