The big news on Capitol Hill today is the Toomey-Manchin “deal” on background checks for gun purchases. Whether or not this “deal” will actually become law is anyone’s guess. Personally I believe the “deal” will follow the Shakespearian path in that it will be full of sound and fury but end up signifying a bit less than nothing at all.

You see, Dear Reader, the debate fueled by the Sandy Hook tragedy has very little to do with firearms or how many bullets can be jammed into a magazine. No legislation – pending or otherwise – will or can do anything to prevent similar violent acts from being visited upon similar people in similar places. The fact of the matter is the condition which drove Adam Lanza to commit 26 murders won’t show up on any background check contained in any gun-control legislation – pending or enacted.

Simply put,  Adam Lanza was crazy. James Holmes lives in Looneyville. So does Seung-Hui Cho. Ditto Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The type and scope of the various strains of mental illnesses which afflicted the aforementioned individuals can be argued. The fact they were insane is not in question.

We’ve come a long way as a society in the way we treat the mentally ill. Great strides have been in medical science which enables people previously remanded to institutions to live productive lives in society – as long as they take their medications and refill them as required. There is no mechanism in place to force these people to remain medicated. Advocates of mainstreaming would object to such a mechanism and they would be right to do so. Never the less, the fact is that mentally ill people with violent tendencies pose a danger to themselves and those around them. No amount of gun control or ammunition limits is going to change that.

I do not put myself out as one having an answer to these questions. That said, the current debate is focusing on the wrong issues. I’m tired of a President using recently buried children as a platform from which to launch an anti-firearm agenda which he and his party have been pursing for years. His shameless use of a tragedy for political gain borders on the obscene.

Above all else I wish my President would tackle the underlying cause of the Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Colorado shootings and show some actual leadership rather than falling back to his default setting. Gun-control is a safe issue for him to campaign on. Mental health issues? Not so much. Does anyone know if crazy is covered under Obamacare? I doubt it.

Here’s the bottom line: Obama and Company can pass all the gun control legislation they want. They can ban all the “assault weapons” on their list. They can limit ammunition to single shot magazines. All this won’t do a damn thing to prevent the next Lanza from shooting up a school full of kids. Unless and until the crazy is dealt with, dealing with guns won’t matter at all.

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