We spent a trillion dollars and almost 5,000 American lives trying to root out non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We fret about Iran getting a WMD, and we worry that North Korea already has one. Nuclear nonproliferation has been a key part of US foreign policy since the end of World War II.
Nobody says that we should stop trying to control WMDs because a crazy ruler of a rogue state could declare war on someone else anyway. Nobody says that "nuclear bombs don't kill people, people kill people." Everyone agrees that there's a difference between conventional weapons, which are bad, and WMDs, which are horrific.
So why can't we make the same distinction with guns?
Seriously: I'm not saying that an assault rifle is a nuke, but in the world of domestic murder, it's somewhat equivalent.
If Adam Lanza had entered the elementary school in Newtown, CT, with a run-of-the-mill rilfe or handgun, he might have shot half a dozen people. Maybe more if he could reload really fast. Some of them might have survived.
Instead, the 20 kids, six-year-old kids, were all shot multiple times, from a semiautomatic rifle that carried special deadly ammunition. None of them had a chance. In all, he killed 28 people before the cops could get there. That required a 30-shot clip and a gun that fired really fast. A gun that belongs on a battlefied. A gun his mother bought, legally, to fend off the apocalypse and the collapse of civil society.
There's a difference between the guns Sen. Manchen uses for hunting (which carry at most three rounds) and these weapons of mass destruction. There's no good use for a military-style assault rifle; you can't hunt with it and if you think it's really going to protect you against the end of civil society (or the black helicopters of the United Nations Army Of One World Government), you're too looney to have a gun anyway.
I'm not big on guns anyway, as all of you who hate me know. But can we please at least agree: Standing armies and conventional warfare, which we're not about to abolish soon, can do serious damage. Weapons of mass destruction do horrific damage. That's why we treat them differently. Can't we do the same for guns?