Among scores of other promises, some more and some less likely than walking on water, Barack Obama devoted a paragraph in his recent State of the Union address to the age-old Democratic promise of more gun control — vowing he’ll proceed even without the cooperation of Congress.
“I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook,” the lame-duck president intoned.
“Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day,” he continued. “I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say ‘we are not afraid.’”
Could this mean federal indictments are finally to be handed down against the G-men who murdered all those innocent souls at Waco and Ruby Ridge?
Um . . . no.
Instead, Mr. Obama’s going to help them banish their fears by handing out free guns, so more parents and pastors can defend themselves and their innocent charges against lunatics wandering around doped up on psychiatric drugs, the way Jeanne Assad did at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs back in 2007?
Um . . . Don’t hold your breath.
Predictably, Republicans charged the proffered red cape on cue.
“He doesn’t have the constitutional authority to act unilaterally and pass legislation on gun control,” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann told The Daily Caller. “He just doesn’t.”
“I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers,” said Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who walked out of the chambers, at that point. “This is a wholesale violation of his oath of office and a disqualifying offense.”
As though there’s been any shortage of those.
Come on. While the rhetoric might lead a naive observer to conclude we’ve got a battle royal shaping up over more gun control this year, in fact there’s little going on here but posturing.
The State of the Union address long ago became little more than a laundry list of promised favors and applause lines for a president’s special constituencies. Polls show the public about evenly divided over “more gun control,” but even that’s misleading, since the 50 percent who say “No more” feel strongly about it, while the 49 percent who say “Give it a try” can’t even agree among themselves what might work while still sounding “reasonable” (“sounding reasonable” being their main goal.) Turning that into a movement would be like herding cats.
So it’s more about characterizing the opposition as inflexible baby-killers who “won’t be reasonable” than coming up with any workable plan.
Socialists braying for more gun control today are like conservatives vowing to banish Darwin and bring back prayer in the schools. It’s not that they wouldn’t like to, but it’s really just to keep the yokels throwing dollars in the hat.
The big push today, for instance, is for more intrusive “background checks,” though even California gun-grabber Dianne Feinstein recently admitted no such “background check” would have stopped the big shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, where the perpetrator stole his guns.
This has limited the Obama-Biden team pretty much to prosecuting and locking up gun owners and dealers for “lying” on their federal yellow forms. In some cases this has involved people who hired lawyers to “seal the record” of their younger years, at which point they’re informed they can honestly answer “No” to the “Have you ever submitted yourself to mental health treatment?” question. The federals beg to disagree, and — decades later — the prison door slams.
Note the old pattern repeating, here. The inoffensive, non-violent people who have never hurt anyone but who get jailed on a technicality are those who tried to “play by the rules” by filling out the federal forms. Meantime, you can’t very well prosecute career criminals Shabaz and Ernesto for not properly filling out their forms when they bought their firearms out of Guido’s car trunk back behind the tavern, because there WERE no forms.
(What’s that? They get prosecuted for having those illegal guns when they commit murder? Not usually. Many gang war homicides go unsolved, and when the authorities CAN prove murder they rarely bother to charge the perpetrator with such lesser offenses as failure to fill out a federal “yellow form” and jay-walking as they depart the scene of the crime.)
PROGRESS IN MISSOURI
Of course, this business of prosecuting people because they once sought psychiatric counseling threatens to kneecap another well-heeled Democratic constituency, that being the psychiatrists. That’s why we now see Joe Biden running around insisting the proposed new “psychiatric background check” rigmarole will in no way limit the gun-ownership rights of those who have sought treatment for mental health disorders, when that’s precisely what it WILL do. Result: psychiatrists sitting around as idle as Jesse White the Maytag repairman.
It’s all a pack of self-contradicting lies. But then, the State of the Union has become one big lie, anyway. Imagine Barack Obama delivering a true State of the Union: “Generally speaking we’re doing OK,” he might say. “The big problem is the economy tanked in 2008 with the collapse of the home mortgage bubble, there’s been no recovery, and since I don’t know enough economics to run a candy store I don’t have a clue what to do. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if these folks who say we’ve ruined the economy with our taxes and regulations and currency inflation don’t have a point. So I’m wondering if Senator Rand Paul would be willing to come aboard as my new Treasury Secretary. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to disband the Federal Reserve, put the country back on a gold or silver standard, close the EPA, and slash taxes in half. Are you with me?”
Sure. And the Houston Texans are going to win the next Super Bowl.
In fact, compared to Obama’s specific plans outlined in his State of the Union a year before — “background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun,” stopping straw purchasers from “buying guns for resale to criminals,” getting “weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets” (by which he meant little semi-automatic target rifles, of course -– how many of your neighbors own recoilless rifles or self-propelled artillery pieces or belt-fed machine guns, a right guaranteed them by the Constitution?) — his lip service this year was so vague and generic that Politico had to admit “The near-omission of gun control from Obama’s speech was a loss for the mainstream media.”
Meantime, those so-called congressional champions of gun rights? If all federal gun laws violate the Second Amendment (as they surely do), why haven’t they tried to repeal a single one?
The freedom fighters are a little bolder at the state level.
In Jefferson City on Jan. 28, a state Senate committee dismissed warnings from a Missouri baby doctor that nullifying federal gun laws could lead to more gun-related deaths, Fox News reported.
The Missouri Senate General Laws Committee voted 5-1 to adopt a bill that would allow federal agents to be prosecuted in state court for enforcing gun control laws considered “infringements on the right to keep and bear arms.” Agents found guilty could face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
But Robert Flood, a pediatric doctor at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, said the bill is written under the mistaken concept that more guns lead to greater safety.
“Children are more likely to die by firearms in states with lax gun laws,” he said.
In fact, murder rates are highest in cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., which have gun control laws so onerous they’ve been found unconstitutional. Meantime, “allowing” more women to go armed causes an easily predictable drop in rapes — the crime the gun-grabbers never want to include in their calculations.
Where’s the evidence that our states with virtually no gun control — Alaska and Vermont and now Arizona — have higher firearm murder rates for children under 16? Vermont actually has a lower than average number of “firearms deaths,” the misleading statistic favored by gun-grabbers, while Alaska’s rate is slightly above the national average. But that figure includes suicides, accidents (including hunting accidents), and people shot by police. John Lott has demonstrated decisively that more guns mean lower rates of violent crime, and as recently as 2010 the National Center for Policy Analysis concluded “Despite all the attacks by gun-control advocates, no one has been able to refute Lott’s simple conclusion that more guns mean less crime.”
Meantime, it would be hard for any community with a well-armed populace to rival the death rate among Jewish and other ethnically unpopular children — near 100 percent — after their parents gave up their firearms in Greater Deutschland in the decades leading up to the early 1940s. Does Dr. Flood think their parents giving up their firearms, so that only agents of the state remained armed, enhanced those kids’ chances of survival?
(What’s that, agents of the U.S. government have never killed children? Ask Randy Weaver. Ask the few surviving Branch Davidians. Ask the mothers of Vicksburg, 1863. Ask the Sioux, the Comanche and the Cheyenne. Governments kill lots of kids, lots of ways, and they do it on purpose.)
The former federal prosecutors now occupying the federal bench regularly rule that states cannot nullify federal laws. But supporters of the new Missouri gun legislation point to the federal government’s decision not to challenge new recreational marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington state as precedent for rolling back federal regulatory overreach.
The new legislation would also allow designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons, and would lower the minimum age for acquiring a concealed weapons permit from 21 to 19.
Dr. Flood warned expanded access to concealed weapons by younger people would pose a danger because adolescents are not as mentally developed as adults.
Dr. Flood’s compassion for injured children is doubtless sincere. But does the good doctor mean he would block anyone from joining the Armed Forces — whose members are expected to make responsible use of weapons far more destructive than your average pocket pistol — till they’re 21? Make it so, Dr. Flood — we’re waiting.
Sen. Brian Nieves’ bill now heads to the Senate floor, where the chamber’s Republican leaders have dubbed the legislation a priority. Missouri’s GOP-led legislature will still need to override a likely veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
Finally, on Jan. 6 a federal judge predictably ruled that Chicago’s ban on virtually all sales and transfers of firearms is unconstitutional.
“The stark reality facing the city each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun,” wrote U.S. District Judge Edmund Chang. “But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment.”
Although Chang ruled Chicago’s ordinance goes too far, he explicitly did not rule out other types of regulation, short of a complete ban, in order to “minimize the access of criminals to firearms and to track the ownership of firearms.”
In other words, in Chicago Judge Chang reads the Second Amendment to say, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms MAY be infringed, so long as they’re not banned completely.”
Another victim of the dysfunctional reading programs of the Chicago public schools, presumably.
The FBI’s latest annual crime report showed Chicago – with a level of gun control even Judge Chang admits is unconstitutional — had 500 homicides in 2012, up from 431 in 2011, and more than any other American city.
– 30 –