Perhaps you missed it, but this week the House of Representatives held its first hearing on gun violence in eight years.

I know, I know. You’ve had a lot to keep track of, what with everything from the meltdown in Virginia to Jeff Bezos’ selfies.

But about the hearing. Testimony centered on a bill that would make it harder for people to buy guns without thorough background checks. Supporters pointed out that right now it’s ridiculously easy to get lethal weapons from an unlicensed seller who is not going to check to see if said purchaser might have a record of violence, stalking or involuntary commitment for mental illness.

Amazing, right?

Opponents hugged the Second Amendment and argued that the real reason we have so many deaths by gunfire is … Well, guess:

A) Guns

B) Bullets

C) Immigrants

Yes! Are we living in the age of Trump or what?

“I hope we do not forget the pain and anguish and sense of loss felt by those all over the country who have been the victims of violence at the hands of illegal aliens,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who read a short list of people who had been shot by undocumented immigrants. Better background checks, he contended, “would not have stopped many of the circumstances I raised, but a wall, a barrier on the southern border may have, and that’s what we’re fighting for.”

Oh, wait. In 2017 the House and Senate got together and revoked an Obama-era regulation that had made it harder for mentally ill people to purchase a gun.

It’s highly unlikely the background check bill will make it into law. “Color me unclear as to how we get Mitch McConnell to bring it up in the Senate,” said Chris Murphy of Connecticut, one of the Senate sponsors.

Sigh. All you can do is keep on trying. It may not make the laws any better, but at least it’ll remind the public that some people in power are worried.

We have terrible gun problems in this country not just because firearms are all over the place, but also because of the careless, stupid attitude so many people have toward them.

Partly, I blame Congress. (Hey, it’s better than blaming a shortage of steel slat barriers.) Senator Murphy believes the endless rejection of any gun legislation looks like a kind of “moral green light” to potential killers: “I truly believe these young men who have something very dark happening in their minds watch our silence and interpret it as an endorsement.”

It certainly helps perpetuate the attitude that guns are a casual part of everyday life, like your wallet or socks — something you wear when you go out to buy a loaf of bread, leave lying around the house and treat in general with less care and discretion than a light bulb.

Last year safety inspectors at American airports found 4,239 firearms in passengers’ carry-on bags — almost all of them loaded and a third with a bullet already in the chamber. While a few of those people may have been plotting a crime, it’s pretty clear the vast majority were just incredibly careless with lethal weapons.