American politics is a lot like professional wrestling — the dork in the diaper loses again and again to the masked bodybuilder, until finally the tables are turned and the dork wins on a technicality, setting up November’s big grudge match.
Three months ago the press was full of speculation that what passes for America’s smaller-government party was on the ropes, a bunch of tired old white men who could never win again, since they’re not well liked by a bunch of illegal immigrants who can’t vote. (It’s the mainstream press; it doesn’t have to make any SENSE.)
Then, in their exuberance, the Democrats figured “We’re on a roll — it’s time to try more gun control!”
It’s never pretty.
Barack Hussein Obama, guarded every minute by more than a dozen professional gunmen, has announced he wants to ban civilian possession of semi-automatic “assault weapons” and future production of full-sized ammunition magazines exceeding 10 rounds. He also wants universal background checks for gun purchases and “tougher federal laws against gun trafficking,” the AP explains.
Most of this stuff will fail. The problem is that even if 90 percent of the gun-grabbers’ bright ideas fail, the remaining 10 percent that manage to get through will be permanent.
The real goal this time, it appears, is “universal background checks,” which in this electronic age will easily lead to a national registry of every gun in the country by serial number.
(If you doubt this, ask anyone who says “We’ll never have a national gun registry” to prove it. All they have to do is enact a law banning serial numbers of firearms.)
As of early March, Greg Sargent at the Washington Post was reporting under the headline “Nearing a Deal on Expanded Background Checks”:
“The sticking point in Senate negotiations over expanding the background-check system has to do with whether to keep records on gun sales. The bipartisan group of senators negotiating this deal — Tom Coburn, Joe Manchin, Chuck Schumer and Mark Kirk — are 95 percent of the way there. The senators have agreed … on how background checks would be expanded to most private sales.”
In most cases, the Post reports, private gun sellers and prospective buyers would go to a federally licensed dealer, who would run the check for a fee. A record of the sale — linking the recipient’s name to the serial number of the self-defense implement — would be kept by that dealer.
“Coburn, I’m told, wants private buyers and sellers in ‘remote’ or rural areas to be able to get federal dealers to run the background check via an Internet portal, and in these cases he says no record of the sale should be kept,” Sargent of the Post reports. But “This point, on which negotiations are hung, is not insurmountable.” Even if Sen. Coburn wins some minor exceptions, “the background-check system would still be dramatically expanded,” the always objective Post reports.
“I am also told Manchin is signaling privately that he is okay with expanding the background-check system and letting gun stores keep records of the sales. … Because Manchin is a red-state Democrat with an “A” rating from the NRA, that’s big…
But “To repeat an important point: In no way, shape or form would this record-keeping by gun stores create a national gun registry, as some Republicans keep insisting,” the Post itself insists. “The law explicitly forbids the creation of any such registry. … But irrationality is badly coloring this debate.”
Oh, “irrationality,” I see.
Every AP report about this stampede toward background checks for private sales — linking the new owner’s name to the serial number before grandpa can leave his hunting rifle to Junior — mentions the “irrational fear” of a national registry, then automatically adding, “something the Obama administration has not called for.”
Imagine a German had protested, in the early 1940s, “Wait a minute: Herr Hitler wants all Jews required to live in the ghetto; they must wear a yellow star on their clothing, and they can be shot if they’re outside the ghetto after sunset. Don’t you see where this is leading? This is going to make it very easy to load them all on trains and ship them to extermination camps.” To which the state-controlled press would have added what? Why, the fact that “This is something the Hitler administration has not called for,” of course.
As though totalitarians never conceal their long-term goals.
Why, “Last month,” The AP reports, “White House spokesman Jay Carney said none of Obama’s proposals would take away a gun from a single law-abiding American.”
This may be the best, yet. Read it gain. If they ban semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, you refuse to turn yours in, and they come and grab it, they still “won’t have taken a gun from a single law-abiding American,” will they? Because at that point you’ll no longer be “law-abiding,” will you?
And you can keep your own doctor and your health insurance plan if you like them, and your premiums will only go down!
On the bright side, Mr. Sargent of the Post may have figured they were “95 percent there” before the National Rifle Association came up with a most interesting internal Justice Department memo, composed by one Greg Ridgeway, Ph.D. statistician, on Jan. 4, his first day as acting director of the National Institute of Justice.
“The NRA has posted the memo on one of its web sites and cites it in advertising aimed at whipping up opposition to Obama’s efforts to contain gun violence,” The Associated Press reported on Feb. 23.
On Feb. 23 The Associated Press reported “The National Rifle Association is using a Justice Department memo it obtained to argue in ads that the Obama administration believes its gun control plans won’t work unless the government seizes firearms and requires national gun registration — ideas the White House has not proposed and does not support.”
The document is titled “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies.” In the memo, Ridgeway — no one at Justice actually denies he wrote the thing, though he’s not talking — admits “On average there are about 11,000 firearm homicides every year,” yet “Fatalities from mass shootings (those with 4 or more victims in a particular place and time) account on average for 35 fatalities per year. Policies that address the larger firearm homicide issue will have a far greater impact even if they do not address the particular issues of mass shootings. …”
In other words, none of these “responses to the little kids killed at that school in Newtown, Conn.” would actually stop such an event. But so what? Here’s a chance to advance our pre-existing goals.
Mr. Ridgeway then further acknowledges “Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented,” because they’re too small and “The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime.”
The 1997 Australia gun buyback was an exception, he says, because “1. It was large, buying back 20 percent of the firearm stock. 2. It targeted semi-automatic weapons, (and) 3. It coupled the buyback with a ban on certain weapons and a nationwide registration and licensing program.
“There is strong evidence that it reduced mass killings,” Ridgeway asserts, though he admits it “appears to have had no effect on gun homicide … (or) on crime otherwise.”
In fact, home invasions against disarmed citizens skyrocketed.
The 1994 ban on large capacity magazines here in America “had limited effectiveness,” Ridgeway admits, because 1) Large capacity clips are a durable good 2) There were an estimated 25 million guns with large capacity magazines in 1995, and 3) The 1994 law exempted magazines manufactured before 1994, allowing ongoing importation.
The solution? “In order to have an impact, large capacity magazine regulation needs to sharply curtail their availability to include restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale, and possession,” Ridgeway recommends.
Universal background checks? “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration. …”
A ban on semi-automatic so-called “assault weapons”?
“Assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime,” Ridgeway inconveniently admits. However, If the goal is to limit access to these semi-automatic carbines, it will be necessary to “Ban the manufacture, sale, transfer, or possession of assault weapons.”
The Associated Press report concludes that, although “The nine-page document says the success of universal background checks would depend in part on ‘requiring gun registration,’ and says gun buybacks would not be effective ‘unless massive and coupled with a ban,’ … The administration has not proposed gun registration, buybacks or banning all firearms.”
Are you starting to recognize a recurring theme, here? Critics find a smoking gun — a top government strategist admitting universal background checks (the main current goal of the hoplophobes) won’t help much without national gun registration — and the lapdog press, reacting as reliably as a patient kicking when the doctor hits his knee with a hammer, blurts out “The administration has not proposed gun registration, buybacks or banning all firearms.”
All perfectly true. Though surely they could have added the word “yet” … don’t you think?