The gun bill is dead, but for the shouting. That will come now, thick and fast. “Shame on you, political cowards!” its crestfallen supporters will say, and then they will lash out at the NRA, the Republican party, and, very probably, the Senate itself. This will no doubt be cathartic. But those who indulge such temptations will have drawn the wrong conclusion. With a toxic combination of wishful thinking and mistaken reading of polls, the advocates of stricter control had managed to convince themselves that America was changing in their favor. As recently as last week, Eleanor Clift prophesied on The McLaughlin Group that “the culture of guns is beginning to go through a transformation in this country.” Clift, who appears to be stuck in a bubble, had not yet caught up to reality.

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