In case one need be reminded of conventional progressive, anti-freedom thinking, one need look only to this article in Roll Call, by John T. Bennett:
Despite his pleas that changes could help prevent mass shootings like the one that killed 14 on Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., President Barack Obama seems resigned that he’s mostly powerless to overhaul the country’s gun laws.
Obama has urged stricter gun laws for much of his tenure, doing so during funerals and vigils for victims during his presidency. But with just 13 months remaining in office, even Obama appears resigned that the ‘common-sense gun safety laws’ for which he often has advocated are out of his reach.
Notice the tone: Barack Obama has pled with the public, so the public should comply because he’s The One, Barack Obama, god in human vesture, constitutional law professor (who never was a constitutional law professor), and smartest man to ever occupy the White House or walk the Earth. And what a shame it is. He’s pled during funerals and vigils and all he wants is “common sense gun safety laws,” for our own good, a good we’re too stupid and venal to recognize. Oh, what infamy! What tragedy! What pathos! He’s the President. Shouldn’t we do whatever he desires? Isn’t that the foremost American value? Doing whatever Barack Obama wants? It’s even more tragic than we imagine—not any actual tragedy; not doing what Barack Obama wants:
Two years ago, Obama spoke with conviction during a vigil in Newtown, Conn., for the victims — most of them children — at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
‘We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end,’ Obama said then. ‘No single law — no set of laws — can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this.
I know I’m not nearly as brilliant as Barack Obama and his advisors, sycophants and general worshippers, but this appears to suggest that no laws can eliminate evil, so let’s enact more laws that can’t eliminate evil. This is apparently what passes for logic in Progressive circles.
Poor Mr. Obama, whose hair, Bennett sadly notes, is white, presumably because we won’t give him what he wants for our own good. We’ve disappointed him so badly! At his most recent speech, he was resigned to accept the tragic ways we continually disappoint him and fail to live up to American values:
He had no executive orders-in-waiting to announce — or even threaten to implement shy of congressional action. There were no calls or hastily arranged meetings with congressional leaders about what they could do to prevent would-be gunmen from legally obtaining a firearm and using them to carry out yet another mass slaughter.
Instead, he made a pitch to state governments to tighten their laws.
‘It’s going to be important for all of us — including our legislatures — to see what we can do to make sure that when individuals decide that they want to do somebody harm, we’re making it a little harder for them to do it,’ he said.
And not only Barack Obama, but Josh Earnest is disappointed in us. How can we possibly fail to do what such morally and intellectually superior demi-gods desire?
Press Secretary Josh Earnest called on lawmakers to act, telling reporters during a sometimes-testy briefing that ‘there are things that only Congress can do.’ Specifically, he urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would close the so-called ‘gun show loophole’ and prohibit individuals on the no-fly list from legally purchasing firearms. He pointed to a possible ban on assault weapons.
Well, if Josh Earnest said it, a man who never lies–except whenever his lips are moving–and who wants only the best for the American public, who are we to deny him?
On the no-fly list proposal, Speaker Paul D. Ryan Thursday called it a violation of people’s rights. ‘Anyone can arbitrarily be placed on the no fly list,’ he said, adding: ‘We need to respect due process.’ And his No. 2, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters House Republicans are working with Democrats on a mental health overhaul bill they claim would also help stem the trend of mass shootings.
Obama, however, might have one arrow left in an otherwise empty gun-control quiver.
‘I wouldn’t put it past him to do something via executive action before he leaves,’ Trumble said.
Most Americans wouldn’t put it past Mr. Obama either. Mr. Obama is planning to drop several gun control executive fiat bombs after Christmas.
To that end, Earnest mentioned Obama has asked his advisers to ‘scrub the law’ to determine whether he possesses the authority to take actions on his own to make it harder for would-be criminals to purchase certain firearms. [skip]
The last option could be a politically perilous one if the president is thinking about his legacy: executive action. Nearly two dozen constitutional lawyers say there is ‘a powerful legal argument for executive action at a time when people are dying and gun violence goes unchecked.’
‘The president has implored Congress to act, but it is clear the leadership will instead pander to the fringe gun lobby,’ said Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. ‘He can take the steps, which are fully within his constitutional power, to fight this epidemic.
Why won’t evil Republicans, and the forever disappointing American people, do as Mr. Obama desires? The reasons are few, but extraordinarily obvious and important.
Fundamental constitutional principles are involved. The Second Amendment specifically notes that the right of the individual to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” We accept that there are limitations on rights, but that for fundamental, unalienable rights, those limitations must be justified by a compelling governmental purpose, and they must be narrowly tailored to infringe as minimally as possible. “Feel good” laws, or laws written to “make a statement” absolutely do not qualify, nor do laws that will not, in any meaningful way, hamper the criminals they are supposedly written to affect.
Therefore, any proposed law that demonstrably will not accomplish what its backers claim cannot meet this test. Consider the three suggested laws Josh Earnest made explicit:
Closing the “gun show loophole,” also known as “universal background checks.” This, like “assault weapons,” is entirely an invention of anti-liberty politicians, anti-gun activists and the media (I know: I repeat myself). There is no such thing. The progressive claim is that closing the non-existent loophole is necessary to keep criminals from buying guns at gun shows, thereby avoiding background checks. The reality is that extraordinarily few criminals obtain guns at gun shows, and licensed gun dealers participating in gun shows must conduct federal background checks wherever they do business, whether in their storefront location or in a gun show.
The only people that would be affected by these proposed laws are law abiding people selling, or even merely loaning, a gun to a family member, friend or another. The prospective laws actually written by anti-freedom forces tell the story. They commonly criminalize even handing a firearm to a family member, or failing that, merely loaning a firearm to a family member or a friend. A father that takes his son to a range would be committing a federal felony for allowing him to handle a .22 rifle. A mother would become a criminal for loaning her daughter a handgun when she found herself threatened by a jilted suitor.
Even failing to include such bizarre provisions, because such laws would have no actual effect on crime, and certainly none on terrorism—there is no known case of a terrorist obtaining a gun at a gun show and thereby avoiding a background check—they would run afoul of the Constitution. In the San Bernadino case, and virtually every other case of a mass shooting or terrorism, the killers obtained their guns entirely legally, and in most cases, passed the very background checks progressives demand.
Denying people on the “no-fly list” the ability to purchase firearms. This runs counter to yet another fundamental constitutional principle. We do not deny citizens constitutional rights based on mere suspicion and never without due process of law. One may be suspected of many felonies, but absent an actual felony conviction, they do not lose their rights. Obviously, there are some exceptions, such as a court order in a domestic violence case, but such things are done only with due process of law, and absent a conviction, are temporary matters.
Thousands of federal officials can put a name on a no fly list for any reason or no reason. Hundreds of thousands of names are on these lists, and even the federal government admits that tens of thousands and more have no discernable relation to terrorism whatever. A recent review discovered the some 70 employees of the Department of Homeland Security are currently on the lists, and a variety of US Senators, Representatives, journalists and others are on the lists or have been on them. Once on the list, getting one’s name removed is a Kafkesque nightmare. There is no consistent, binding administrative or judicial procedure one may employ to get one’s name removed.
Imagining that a terrorist planning mass murder, and planning to die in the attempt, will be in any way deterred by any lesser law or administrative mandate is the very definition of insanity.
Bans on “assault weapons.” “Assault weapons” don’t exist. This too is a progressive invention. “Assault weapons” are guns that progressives want to ban, and whose appearance can be used to mislead or frighten uninformed citizens and politicians. Commonly, progressives try to trick people into thinking common, popular semiautomatic firearms are machineguns, which have been banned and/or strictly regulated since 1934. No one can walk into a gun store and walk out minutes later with a machinegun. In fact, most gun stores aren’t licensed to sell the few machineguns actually available to the general public.
The guns which progressives pretend give them the vapors these days are common AR-15 rifles, the most popular, common modern sporting rifle in America. They are no different in function than hundreds of other semiautomatic rifle designs, and any other magazine-fed design may be reloaded just as rapidly and accept virtually any capacity magazine.
While the San Bernardino killers did use AR-15s, they were legally purchased in the state with gun control laws that give gun banners spasms of joy. In fact, rifles of all kinds are used in so few crimes as to be statistically insignificant. AR-15s are used even less often. They are not, in fact, “high powered” weapons. One of our military’s major complaints about the AR-15 family is that its intermediate powered cartridge is far more likely to merely wound rather than incapacitate and kill the enemy. The San Bernardino killers could easily have done as much damage with common .22LR caliber weapons, just as the Virginia Tech killer did.
Progressives pretend that killers like this are highly trained, and absolutely deadly because of their choice of weapon. In reality, one needs no training to shoot, at near point blank range, unarmed innocents confined to small areas without cover or ready means of escape, and it is progressives that are determined not only to keeps innocents disarmed and confined to small “gun free” zones, but to ensure that everyone but criminals, terrorists and the government are disarmed.
It’s ridiculously simple. The people, and the Congress, will not enact Mr. Obama’s demented anti-freedom wish list because they know it will do nothing to prevent crime or save lives, and will only infringe or take entirely away the fundamental, unalienable rights of the law abiding. Americans are demonstrating this sure knowledge by voting with their feet and pocketbooks, as The Gateway Pundit reports:
A poster showing Barack Obama is seen in the background as customers line up to look at firearms at a gun shop in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008. The Cheaper Than Dirt gun store recorded a record day of gun sales the day after the election of President-elect Barack Obama and is having trouble keeping up with the demand for assault riffles.
William La Jeunesse reported today on FOX News that 100 million guns have been sold in the US since Obama became president. Today’s increase in sales is nationwide not just in California.
La Jeunesse said:
‘Americans are not just putting them in their closet and waiting for a burglary. They’re taking classes on how to protect themselves. Background checks on Black Friday topped 185,000 that’s 8,000 guns sold every hour. 2,000,000 in November and almost 20 million this year.
Barack Obama has been the most successful firearm salesman in American history. The irony of that is particularly delicious, and supportive of liberty, just as Mr. Obama is not.