cost-benefit and gun control

This comment from Conn Carroll in the Washington Examiner caught my attention:

Obama made a powerful emotional case for stricter anti-gun legislation yesterday, a case that few Americans heard unless their minds were already made up on the issue. And if some undecided American had happened to hear Obama’s speech, odds are they would have come away thinking, “Absolutely. I would do anything to keep my kid from getting shot.”

And that is why Obama’s speech will fail. It has no limiting principle.

People generally understand that there are limits to what can be accomplished, and that there has to be some meaningful connection between a proposal and what will be accomplished. No matter how important the goal to be accomplished is, people realize that where there is no significant connection between the two, the likely cost of taking the action exceeds the likely benefit.

The unlimited nature of the President’s appeal combined with the practically non-existent benefit of his proposal has undermined his goal for expanded gun-control legislation. Too many people know that the likely cost to their freedom will far exceed any public benefit.

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