The Weekly Standard marked the first anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings with an excellent essay by David B. Kopel, the research director at the Independence Institute of Colorado, entitled: “What If We Had Taken Columbine Seriously?” His point, expressed with a savage, almost Swiftian sense of indignation, was, first, that the police response to the emergency had been cowardly and ill-judged and, second, that none of those footling “gun control” measures—safety locks, background checks, the gun-show “loophole,” etc.—questions of whose enactment or non- enactment had dominated public debate in America over the previous twelve months, would have done anything to have prevented the killings. Meanwhile, any discussion of either of the two measures which might have done so was studiously avoided.

Gun control advocates, that is, might have argued for a virtual...


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