On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a raft of gun control proposals, narrowly passing them all, mostly along party lines. Anyone with any knowledge of the U.S. political system knows that these bills will be effectively dead on arrival in the Senate, and have just about zero chance of becoming law. Well, most of them.
While the reasons for passing these bills are complex, the main motivation is that Democrats, who narrowly control the House, want something they can take home and use in a re-election fight this year. So, if you think about it, the whole thing was an exercise on virtue signaling meant to gather support from people who largely already agree with these policies. None of this was meant to make any real impact on “gun violence.”
Another thing Wednesday’s votes did was expose what the Democrat coalition really is. The Democrat party ostensibly stands for the social rights of women, racial minorities, the LGBT community, and other groups who historically didn’t get a fair shake. They like to tell us that they stand against things that would be harmful to those groups, and expect their votes in return. They want us to think that they’re utterly opposed to government policies and law enforcement actions that disproportionately affect marginalized groups.
But gun control doesn’t fit that narrative. We don’t have to go all the way back to Jim Crow (the origin of most U.S. gun laws) to show that gun control hurts the very people Democrats claim they stand for. We can start with modern laws that are portrayed as “fair” on the surface. Take, for instance, the NICS background check system . . .
I’m concerned the NICS background check for gun purchases produces a disproportionate number of false denials for minorities.
Fortunately Democrats accepted my amendment to require the Attorney General to provide a NICS report based on race, age, and sex. pic.twitter.com/8ozV0eegqF
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) June 3, 2022
As Rep. Massie points out, black people are three times more likely to get a false denial from the NICS system. Hispanics are twice as likely.
People with time and money can appeal these false denials that kept them from purchasing a gun, but many others who know they have no disqualifying history — but lack the time and the means to fight the denial — either give up or buy a gun privately. Outlawing private sales would cement this racial disparity and make it legally unavoidable.
Want another example of gun control disparate impact in action? Look at “may issue” concealed carry permitting. Bribery and other corruption scandals show us that only the wealthy and well-connected can get a permit in states like New York and California. Decide to carry anyway? Minorities are far more likely to get caught up in unconstitutional “stop and frisk” searches. While white liberals might be able to get a permit, others get the shaft.
Beyond government discrimination, there’s also the issue of safety. A big city-living straight white liberal (that’s most of the party) probably feels safe in their home and at work, but they don’t know what it’s like to be part of any of the marginalized groups they claim to care about and support.
They don’t know what it’s like to live in a poor part of Chicago or Baltimore, and they don’t know what it’s like to be part of the LGBT community in a time when their rights are under attack. When it gets too ugly, they can safely retreat to their ivory tower.
While most Democrats support the rights of LGBTQ adults and children, they're struggling to counter a barrage of GOP attacks on LGBTQ people. With measured responses, Democrats are aiming to avoid getting caught up even more in the culture wars. https://t.co/IBMrQK8kza
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 5, 2022
Like the kids in Uvalde who had to wait over an hour for BORTAC team to basically countermand the cowardly police chief on the scene, the people Democrats claim to stand for are on their own.
The police in big Democrat-run cities often mistreat marginalized groups, so they feel they can’t call on them. But, when they need to defend themselves, Democrats are there to make sure an 18-year-old transgender woman can’t access a decent firearm, or that a Hispanic man has double the chance of not being able to get a gun despite a clean record.
While rich white liberals live in secure buildings or gated communities complete with armed guards and other security measures, those who don’t have the benefit of hired guns get to take their chances with pepper spray (assuming that isn’t outlawed, too, some day).
Yesterday’s exercise in Congressional liberal virtue signaling might help a few Democrats keep their seats in the House and Senate, but the rest of us know that all they’ve really done is tip their hand. Again. They need us on election day, but they won’t be there for any of us when we really need them.