Robert J. Spitzer is distinguished service professor and chairman of the political science department at the State University of New York College at Cortland. He is the author of four books on gun policy, including “The Politics of Gun Control.”
After the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, a nation long resistant to gun control seems ready to act — or at least talk about acting. President Obama has said he will make firearm legislation a “central issue” of his second term, and National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for Congress “to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school in this nation.” But before America tackles gun control, let’s tackle a few misunderstandings about how dangerous our weapons are, what they’re used for and what the Constitution says about them.
1. Gun control is a losing battle for Democrats.