Because futility loves company, Representative Carolyn McCarthy was expected to introduce her version new gun control legislation today, closely mirroring Chuck Schumer’s Senate bill. Fortunately gun owners have nothing to worry about: this is just “common sense” regulation. And who could oppose common sense? But both bills are as interesting for what they exclude as they are for what they cover . . .
If you’ve followed the anti-2As’ talking points since their new opportunity arose in the form of the Tucson shootings, you won’t be surprised by what’s included in the bills. First, there’s the “fix” for their long-time bugbear, the gun-show loophole. But McCarthy’s bill wouldn’t limit restrictions to gun-shows. No, her prohibition is written to cover any “unlicensed transferor.” Want to give you son a .22 rifle for Christmas without tell Uncle Sam? You’re now a felon.
Second, the bills would put the squeeze on the 20 states that don’t participate fully in the National Instant Criminal Background Check system. Only 30 of the 50 (or is it 57?) states currently share data with the feds. The remaining 20 run their own systems to one degree or another. McCarthy and Schumer would squeeze the scofflaws by reducing the states’ federal crime-fighting funds.
But the most fun is in the bills’ provisions for identifying what they call (in shockingly politically incorrect terms) “mental defectives.” That’s right kids, it’s constitutional emanations and penumbras time.
You see, if Carolyn and Chuck have their way, the government will decide if you’re too mentally disturbed to own a firearm. Just lie back and tell them all about the humiliating hash your mother made of the toilet training process. No word yet on what standards they’ll use for that kind of analysis, but I’m sure the ATF shrinks will be more than thorough.
What’s more, federally funded colleges (virtually all of them now that the feds have nationalized the student loan business) will be required to develop plans for assessing risks posed by students who appear to need “help.”
According to the Daily Caller, “colleges must have a mental health “team” ready to assess potentially dangerous students as well as procedures in place for making voluntary and involuntary mental health referrals.” Sounds positively Soviet in its reach. College tuitions aren’t rising fast enough as it is. Now they have to develop mental SWAT teams in loco parentis.
But in an apparent bow to political reality, two prominent items aren’t in McCarthy’s bill. Neither version says anything about those dreaded high capacity magazines. Imagine the rending of clothes at the Brady Campaign offices when they hear that “assault clips” will still be available on our streets. And after all the money they spent on that video.
McCarthy also seems to have seen the idiocy and overreach of Schumer’s provision that would ban gun possession by anyone merely arrested for drug possession in the previous five years. No, instead she limits her bill to excluding only those actually, you know, convicted of such a crime. How broad-minded of her.
Given the makeup of the House, her bill seems destined for the same fate as her previous six attempts to get gun control legislation passed. Prospects in the Senate don’t look much brighter despite Democrats’ control there. And as we’ve said before, the executive branch doesn’t seem to have much interest in pressing this. Certainly not now that Obama has begun his reelection campaign.
Still the gun control theater is now open.