I almost feel sorry for the gun-control crowd.
They keep trying to convince themselves that people are on their side, but schemes to restrict the 2nd Amendment keep getting defeated on Capitol Hill.
And when a handful of state governments goagainst the trend and try to trample on constitutional rights to gun ownership, politicians get tossed out of office and gun owners engage in massive civil disobedience.
Now we get to the icing on the cake.
The New York Times just released polling data showing that a majority of Americans are against banning so-called assault weapons. Look at the bottom line and see how the numbers have dramatically moved in the right direction.
These results are especially remarkable because many non-gun owners probably think “assault weapon” refers to a machine gun.
In reality, the types of guns that some politicians want to ban operate the same as other rifles (one bullet fired when the trigger is pulled), and they’re actually less powerful than ordinary hunting rifles. I imagine if people had that information, support for these weapons would be even higher than what we see in the poll.
Another reason I almost feel sorry for our leftist friends is that they must be going crazy that terrorist attacks and mass shootings aren’t swaying public opinion in their direction.
But they’re underestimating the wisdom of the American people. Most Americans may not have strongly held philosophical views on gun issues, but they’re smart enough to realize that bad people almost certainly will be able to obtains guns, even if they have to do so illegally (as is the case in Europe).
So the net result of gun-free zones and gun control is more dangerous to the public since evil people will have greater confidence that victims will be disarmed. And that rubs people the wrong way because they’re smart enough to pass the IQ test that causes such angst for our left-wing friends.
Moreover, I think folks are getting tired of the dishonest propaganda from the White House.
Normally the establishment media is a willing co-conspirator with the Administration, but – as you can see from this footage from a White House press briefing (h/t: Michelle Malkin) – one reporter actually committed an act of journalism and the net result is that the White House’s spin doctor was forced to confess that 1) none of Obama’s proposed policies would have stopped a single mass shooter from getting weapons, and 2) not a single mass shooter is on the Administration’s no-fly list or terrorist watch list. Enjoy.
You can tell, by the way, that the White House has done some polling on how to sell its approach, referring over and over again to buzz phrases such as “common sense” and “gun safety.”
Yet if common sense actually guided policy, the Obama Administration would be trying to make it easier for law-abiding people to get guns.
Now let’s look at another video.
You may remember that I wrote last week about the White House’s attempt to deny 2nd-amendment rights to people who get unilaterally placed on the no-fly list without any due process legal rights.
Well, that topic came up at a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Congressman Trey Gowdy took the opportunity to ask one of Obama’s appointees whether they intend to preemptively infringe on other freedoms in the Bill of Rights.
On one level, this video is very amusing. The Obama official is like a deer in the headlights and eventually confesses that she doesn’t have an answer.
But if you think about the issue more deeply, it’s really worrisome that we have a president and an administration that treat the Constitution and Bill of Rights as something that can be cavalierly discarded whenever there’s a conflicting short-term political objective.
Makes me think the humorous image I shared back in 2012 wasn’t a joke after all.
So let’s make something completely clear. The 5th Amendment constitutionally guarantees that American citizens can’t be deprived of their rights in the absence of some sort of legal process.
Which is precisely the point that Congressman Gowdy was making. The Obama Administration wants to preemptively curtail 2nd Amendment freedoms based on the arbitrary whims of bureaucrats.
Here’s the relevant language.
So the bottom line is that the White House is so ideologically rigid on guns that it is willing to run roughshod over the Constitution even though it admits that its gun control proposals would not have stopped a single mass shooter.
But I guess you have to give them credit for being consistent.
Though I guess this is where I confess to once again feeling sorry for statists. Imagine having to defend this approach!
Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute. Mitchell is a strong advocate of a flat tax and international tax competition.