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Palin on gun rules: 'Bad guys don't follow laws'

Our friend Sarah Palin may have topped herself in the verbal gaffe department, and that’s saying a lot.

In an interview with The Wrap yesterday, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee essentially threw the entire concept of law and order under the bus. 

Palin dismissed calls for stricter gun control in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre because “bad guys don’t follow laws.”

"The bad guys, the criminals, don’t follow laws and restricting more of America’s freedoms when it comes to self-defense isn’t the answer,” Palin told the entertainment website. “Not when you consider what the reality is. Bad guys don’t follow laws.”

OK, here's some reality right back at ya.  The suspected “bad guy” in this case, James Holmes, did LEGALLY obtain all of the firearms used in the massacre. 

Holmes broke no laws when he purchased an assault-style rifle, a shotgun and Glock handgun, and he passed the required background checks, according to The Associated Press.

Still, gun proponents argue no amount of gun laws would have stopped Holmes from getting firearms.  

True, the government cannot prevent every single mass shooting incident.  But why make access to these weapons so easy?  Why not do something like ban assault weapons (as we did before), regulate ammunition sales and/or restrict mail-order sales?

And if you follow Palin's "bad guys don't follow laws" belief to its logical conclusion, then why even bother?  After all, the crime rate is determined by how many "bad" guys and "good" guys happen to be walking around on a given day, not by laws, right? 

We bother, Mrs. Palin, because laws inhibit conduct that is considered harmful to the social order.  Laws are by no means foolproof, but are clearly an essential tool for creating and maintaining a civilized society.