Democrats have just one obstacle when it comes to achieving their vaunted gun control utopia.
It’s you – the completely irrational, rights-demanding, unreasonable and uncompromising American. You “selfish” gun owners. You are the unbending firearm makers and gun buyers. You are what is stopping gun control in America.
That’s what the parade of Democratic lawmakers and their fawning news anchor endorsers are pitching now. They’re piling on to tell America that the problem isn’t that they can’t pass gun control. It’s those opposing them are “unreasonable” and “irrational.”
“This is not about getting rid of the Second Amendment,” Vice President Kamala Harris told CBS News. “It’s simply about saying we need reasonable gun safety laws.”
“The only gun control legislation that’s ever passed is mine,” President Biden said to CBS News of his 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. “It’s going to happen again.”
Chuck Todd hosted NBC’s Meet the Press to talk about why gun control is running into yet another brick wall. Todd quoted The Onion – a satire news site – to paint gun rights supporters as callous and uncaring of the tragedies that have occurred.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) March 17, 2021
“Republicans say enough about gun control, this is a mental health problem, and we need to protect the Second Amendment,” Todd said. “And what happens? Nothing gets done.”
Todd’s assertion that those who value rights don’t value life is absurd. His polarization of the issue is more telling of his bias than the “irrational” gun lobby.
No Gun Laws?
Vice President Harris ignores that there are an estimated 20,000 gun laws between federal, state and local governments. Critics argue there are 300 relevant gun laws, but that’s still a lot. Then-Sen. Harris voted for the Fix NICS Act, which was named for NSSF’s FixNICS initiative to ensure all disqualifying records are submitted to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Why aren’t these laws sufficient? President Biden breezes over the fact that his ban on modern sporting rifles was studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found to have no effect on crime reduction. Additionally, since then, the landmark Heller decision affirmed the individual right to own firearms in common use. With more than 20 million in circulation, the modern sporting rifle qualifies.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) spoke to Todd on Meet the Press in terms of compromise before he put the onus on stubborn Republicans to knuckle under to Democratic demands. He threatened that if they don’t, they’re proving the party in power – Democrats – must nuke the filibuster to rule by one-vote majorities. It’s all or nothing.
“Here’s their opportunity, an issue which has 90 percent support, which doesn’t require them to shift their position, their current position to a herculean level. They can pass – they can help us pass an expansion of background checks and prove to Democrats and the country that the Senate can work at a 60-vote threshold.”
That’s a helluva way to compromise. Agree to the terms or we’ll destroy the rules. Sen. Murphy tosses around the “90 percent support” talking point, but none of these gun control supporters will admit that their overly broad survey question asks about gun sales that already require and are completed with background checks.
In the spirit of rational debate, it would be more intellectually honest if they admitted that their proposal would actually require gun owners to be put on a government watch list for exercising a Constitutional right.
Compliance, Not Compromise
Gun control advocates grow apoplectic when opponents like gun owners, the firearm industry and even those like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) dare call them out for their double-speak. Sen. Murphy, Vice President Harris and President Biden don’t seek compromise. They seek compliance.
They’ve offered nothing in return. They didn’t say expanded background checks or unending waiting periods for national concealed carry reciprocity. They didn’t offer no bans on commonly-owned firearms for closing imaginary loopholes. Their definition of compromise is paving the way for stricter laws later. Sen. Murphy admitted it.
“And I think that the theory of the case is that once we convince Republicans that the sky doesn’t fall for you politically when you support a reasonable expansion of something like background checks, you can move on to other interventions,” Sen. Murphy explained.
“But yes, we should be having a broader conversation right now because, you know, in Connecticut, it’s not just universal background checks that protects our citizens. We require you to get a permit before you buy a pistol, something that had it been in effect in these states might have prevented one of the shooters from getting a gun.”
After all, more laws restricting rights is “reasonable.” Notice that? Except, you refuse.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.