President Trump is going to have his border wall, he says, even if he has to declare a national emergency to build the blasted thing. Doing so would free up money that he can more or less use at his discretion. While he’d probably rather not, he’s willing to do it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warns that if he does that, a Democrat could do the same thing on guns.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said President Trump’s plan to use a national emergency declaration to unilaterally provide federal funding for a border wall would set a precedent Republicans may come to regret.
Democrats, she said, could use it later to enact their own priorities, such as increasing gun control.
“Why don’t you declare that a national emergency? I wish you would,” Pelosi during a press conference Thursday, noting it was the one-year anniversary of the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students and staff. “But a Democratic president can do that.”
Now, I’m not going to get into whether or not President Trump should declare an emergency to build the wall. It’s neither here nor there.
But there are some significant differences between building a wall and essentially dismantling a key part of the United States Constitution.
For one thing, the wall is a physical barrier. It’s a real, tangible thing. It’s something that can be constructed and then left in place. To make it go away, Congress would have to appropriate funding explicitly to tear it down, something I don’t think they’d be likely to do.
Declaring a national emergency and using it for gun control becomes a very different matter, though.
For one thing, you’re not talking about building something or appropriating money for a given project. Instead, you’re talking about creating legislation out of the ether. That is never going to hold up, and because it’s intangible, it’s going to go away when the emergency ends. Unless, of course, they keep declaring national emergencies so they can do away with things like elections.
I wouldn’t rule that out in the least.
Anyway, there’s also another fact to consider, and that’s how gun owners will react to such a move. Let me tell you, it won’t be pretty.
To be fair, gun owners have been prepared to deal with mild infringements for years. Oh, we’ll kvetch about universal background checks or magazines restrictions, but we’ll tend to work around it.
There’s no reason to believe that a Democrat declaring a national emergency and using it for gun control would stop with those measures. At a minimum, expect the semi-automatic ban many are pushing. If that happens, hold onto your hats, folks, because it’s going to get ugly.
There are a lot of people who have vowed not to give up their AR-15s or similar rifles. They have ammunition stockpiled and aren’t remotely interested in playing nice after such a ban. They’re willing to die for what they believe.
I’m right there with them.
Pelosi can talk about something like that, but no one is going to die because a wall exists, contrary to the rhetoric from the Left. Try to use a national emergency to create gun control, and it’s not that people may die, they will die.