I had a nightmare last night. The Republicans had lived up to their somewhat-less-well-known name as The Stupid Party and actually nominated Trump in 2012. The Donald, being the mercurial walking haircut that he is, became bored with the whole campaign thing as the election got closer. As a result, The One was reelected. I know . . . it scared me, too. The worst part, though, is that with a new and final term before him, Barack was freed of the need to vote present and avoid sticky hot-button issues. With the socialization of healthcare behind him, he could do whatever he wanted and pursue issues that really got his juices flowing. Like gun control.
OK, it was just a scary dream. But an Obama reelection, no matter how improbable it may seem, is not beyond the realm of possibility. And even if BHO bites the electoral dust, the Brady campaign, Chuck Schumer and their busy little buddies never sleep. Any decent chess player will tell you it’s good to anticipate your adversary’s next move. Forewarned is forearmed. So to speak.
With the possible exception of mike302000, most people will tell you that new gun control measures aren’t exactly popular right now. Even after a tragedy like Tucson, none of the proposed restrictions (limiting magazine capacity, mental health record reporting, minimum proximity to Congresscritters) thrown against the proverbial wall has stuck.
Given the fact that a significant portion of the public seems to have tuned out the Cassandra-like predictions of blood running in the streets by the Bradys, et al., it seems safe to assume they’re fighting a losing battle.
So how would an intrepid gun banner go about advancing his agenda? If you’re, um, outgunned and a full frontal assault has failed, sound tactical theory would indicate a guerilla action. Look for targets of opportunity at the fringes.
Let’s say someone goes Loughner again. Unfortunately, it’s bound to happen at some point. Tucson, Langley, Virginia Tech. Some maladjusted wacko decides to even a lifelong record of perceived slights with a gun. Only this time, he doesn’t do it with a handgun, let alone a Glock, one of the most popular firearms in the world. No, this time, the murderous psychopath has procured a .50 caliber rifle.
A budding Lee Boyd Malvo chooses something that shoots .50 BMG. With predictably devastating effect. The result? A chorus from the usual suspects shouting from the mountain tops that NO ONE NEEDS A .50 CALIBER GUN!
The problem is, that’s an easier argument to make in the court of public opinion than, for instance, banning “assault clips.” The average citizen, even a non-gun owner, can see the potential utility of a magazine the holds more than 10 rounds. But when John and Jane Doe see a photo of a .50BMG round next to a 9mm cartridge on the cover of the New York Times, it will look like a nuclear warhead in comparison.
When they read the article or hear a sound bite quoting someone on the right like Dick Cheney saying he can’t think of a good reason for people to have .50 cal rifles, banning them will seem like – here it is – common sense gun control. From there . . .
Forget “assault rifles.” The call will go out to ban “sniper rifles.” Never mind that a good hunting rifle is a good sniper rifle is a good hunting rifle. Just as assault rifles were pretty much any rifle that looked pseudo-military, “sniper rifles” will be anything that looks . . . pseudo-military.
Alternatively or additionally, the bullets themselves face either be a ban or registration. Say Sayonara to Lapua.
And that’s how it will happen. That’s how, during an historic period of second amendment rights advancement, the gun grabbers could succeed in picking off a whole class of weapons that are currently legal. It’s enough to give you nightmares.