Yesterday, DrVino and I discussed the post-Newtown push for civilian disarmament. We agreed that, on balance, the gun rights movement has gained strength in the aftermath of that horrific crime. Gun rights themselves? Not so much. To use the parlance popularized by The People of the Gun, California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland have “gone full retard.” All four states have passed gun control measures that bring new (old?) meaning to the words “civil rights abuse.” On the other hand, the Illinois Supreme Court has extended the right to keep and bear arms outside the home (duh) and various red states have passed pro-gun legislation and/or repealed infringement. The Colorado recall is a reason to be cheerful. Yes but—the enemies of freedom are mad as hell and waiting to spread their pestilence even further. Check this from an anti-gun CNN rant . . .
While Iowa is merely highlighting the absurd laxity of gun laws in this country, the damage will be slight since most blind Iowans will have the good sense not to possess or discharge firearms. But the overheated rhetoric flowing from the NRA crowd during the Colorado recall and from Missouri (and similarly inclined states) is dangerous for at least two reasons.
First, it undermines our democracy when voters act based on false and misleading views about the actual content of state and federal laws. Second, similar hyperbolic rhetoric after the passage of the federal background check system and the (now elapsed) federal assault weapons ban galvanized the unstable gun zealot Timothy McVeigh forward with his scheme to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City.
Set aside the irony of using the term “overheated rhetoric”—ignoring the hysterical pronouncements and deliberately misleading claims the anti-gunners used to ram through Colorado’s ammunition capacity limitation and mandatory background check for private firearms sales laws—are you reading what I’m reading?
I reckon the professor of law at Stanford Law School (and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research) is just waiting for some NRA member to go postal—so the gun rights group and its members can be labelled terrorists and . . . marginalized.
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. It’s the bus you don’t see that kills you. As Newtown proved, the “debate” over gun control is driven by events as much as anything else. As commentators hereabouts like to say, keep your powder dry. The fight for gun rights will never be over. [h/t KM]