President Obama and the Progressive Left want to have a “common sense” discussion regarding gun rights and the Second amendment. That sounds great. Let’s do it! First, however, I think it might be a good idea for the Left to concede that we on the opposite side of this issue love children as much as they do and do not delight in carnage and broken hearts and spirits. Until the Left is ready to admit that their rhetoric professing us hateful, death mongers is unfair hyperbole, I am not sure how fruitful any conversation might be.
I also think it might be a helpful if the Left were to articulate exactly what new laws they want to implement that would have prevented the latest school shooting. In the past few months we have heard quite a bit about “common sense” regulation, but we have heard nothing about specific new laws that would have prevented the tragedy. In fact, the actual ideas have been so barren that the governor of a state that recently experienced a school shooting actually demanded laws be passed that were already on the books. See, that is a problem. Something like 85% of the alleged shooters obtained their guns legally. It is essential that the opposition Left be specific as to what laws they would implement that would have actually prevented the killing. Simply riding the moral high-horse while talking about “reasonable” and “common sense” is not enough. Further, it does absolutely nothing to move a dialogue forward.
A skeptic might begin to believe that specifics are not forthcoming because specifics would mean actually admitting that in spite of all their protestations, their goal is to make gun-ownership illegal. Actually, I am that skeptic and tend to think that all of these side discussions about making bullets illegal and which countries have the lowest rates of mass shootings, etc. are a distraction from actually talking about removing guns all together. If confiscating guns is the true end game, just say so. The sooner all the cards are on the table the sooner we can begin this conversation.
I think it also essential that in addition to discussing the latest mass shooting, we also discuss the far more prevalent shootings that occur in our urban areas. I realize that the President gets far more political mileage by appearing on television to indignantly discuss a shooting at a college, but if he is serious about “common sense” discussions about gun laws, he must also acknowledge the neighborhood shootings in places like, Chicago, for instance. Ignoring those shootings might lead us to think that he isn’t really serious about having an honest and constructive dialogue.
It also occurs to me that if this common sense conversation is actually going to be worthwhile, the Left must adhere to a consistency in the definition of terms.
For instance, disparate impact- a policy or law that is neutral or intended to be neutral, but that disproportionately affects a racial, ethnic, religious, or other protected group – has been interpreted by the Left to be discriminatory and thus illegal. How then do these new “common sense” gun laws pass muster?
The Left has begun to discuss a series of changes to federal gun laws that include, presenting a photo ID (already required in most states); background check (already required in many states); gun safety class (already required in some states); passing a gun knowledge test (already required in some states); registration of gun; and purchase and maintenance of a liability insurance policy.
(Wait a moment…present a photo ID, take a test, and pay money in order to exercise a right? That sounds awfully familiar. I think Democrats have tried this stuff before! )
The fact is that not only would these new ideas not have altered the ability of the latest mass shooter to obtain his guns, all of these ideas, if made into law, would impede the ability of poor and minority citizens to exercise their rights. These laws would have a disparate impact on black and poor people. What remains unclear is why a rule that requires a citizen to pay a fee in order to vote is bad, but a law that requires a citizen to pay a fee in order to own a gun is good. Between you and I, if it is a question of voting or owning a gun, I choose owning a gun each and every time. You see, it is the power of the gun that backs up the power of the vote. That silence you hear is the sound of the Left standing up for their poor and minority constituents. Honestly, the Left had better be careful lest some folks begin to believe that all of those brave warriors fighting for social justice are really just a bunch of hypocrites, who are really fighting to promote and advance the cause of the administrative state.
As I said, I consider myself a fairly open-minded guy and I am ready to sit down and have a common sense discussion about gun rights in America. I am not, however, prepared to sit down and be lectured to, lied to, and ultimately be stripped of my rights. THAT, it seems to me, is a different conversation all together.