AL's Doug Jones Doesn't Get Second Amendment

Sen. Doug Jones won in Alabama six years ago because, well, he was running against a joke of a candidate, really. Oh, his opponent had a lot going for him, but he was scandal-ridden and there just wasn’t much reason for many in the state to get excited about him.

Jones, however, was inoffensive, all things considered. Oh, he was a Democrat and had some progressive politics, but he didn’t have anything close to the same baggage. As a result, he won, thus convincing every Democrat in the country that the Deep South was really in play.

Now, he’s running for reelection, and one thing is very clear about Jones. He doesn’t understand the Second Amendment and its supporters at all.

Do Americans have a right to own a gun?

Jones: Yes, the right to bear arms is enshrined in our constitution in the Second Amendment.  But just as Justice Scalia observed in the Heller decision, which recognized the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, like all other constitutional rights it has limitations based on public safety. Many of those limitations have been law for about 50 years. I am a proud gun owner, hunter, and sportsman. While there are certain, common-sense steps we can take to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who would inflict violence in our communities, I fully support the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. I wouldn’t want someone to vote against my right to bear arms or take my guns away. I have also worked hard in the Senate to keep our hunting traditions alive, especially as it relates to stopping the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, which threatens our country’s deer population. I’ve passed bipartisan legislation to help get more resources to hunters and wildlife management agencies, and to expand research needed to stop the spread of this disease.

Pro tip: If someone asks if you support gun rights and you bring up hunting, what that means is that they don’t understand the Second Amendment at all. I mean, just look at the text, for crying out loud. There’s zero mention of hunting anywhere.

Especially if they say there are “common-sense steps we can take to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”

What restrictions, if any, do you support on gun ownership? Are you satisfied with the current federal background check system, and if not, what steps do you think should be taken to change it?

Jones: I am on-record opposing gun confiscation, mandatory buybacks or other such programs. On the other extreme, there are those in Congress who oppose even the most common-sense gun safety measures simply because they’re more interested in the campaign contributions from the NRA than they are in preserving our hunting traditions or the safety of Alabamians. I am certainly in favor of maintaining the current law that prohibits convicted felons, those convicted of a domestic violence crime, and other restrictions that have been on the books for a long time. I think background checks for gun sales serve an important purpose and should be expanded.  For instance I have been to too many gun shows where I walk past a table full of new guns in their boxes but the vendor has a little sign that says “private collection” and can sell to anyone who walks up without any check at all on the purchaser.  This is not only dangerous, but is also unfair to the licensed firearms seller at the next table that is required to run background checks on all purchasers. I believe there should be exemptions for law enforcement officers, individuals with a current state-issued concealed carry permit that has to be periodically renewed, and transfers between family members.

I’m calling BS on that one.

First, just because they’re in boxes doesn’t mean they’re brand new guns. In fact, I’d argue they’re not. Many collectors simply hold onto the boxes their guns came in. I’ve done that with my new firearm purchases.

Second, a table full of new guns? That would likely surpass the limit of gun sales the ATF is willing to accept.

Frankly, I haven’t seen those tables when I’ve been to gun shows. While they certainly happen, I’m simply going to argue that they’re nowhere near as prevalent as Jones tries to claim they are.

There have been proposals in Congress to extend the three-day waiting period to a seven-day waiting period; raising the minimum age on all gun purchases to 21, and strengthening gun storage laws. Do you support any of these measures, and why or why not?

While it’s not formatted as such, this appears to have been a question directed to Jones and not a response by Jones.

I do not support raising the minimum age on all gun purchases, but would support raising the age for purchasing certain semi-automatic weapons to 21. I say certain semi-automatic weapons because I would not include semi-automatic rifles or shotguns that have limited magazine capability or pistols that are semi-automatic. I support at least a three-day waiting period for the purchase of pistols and certain semi-automatic long guns as I do not believe that places an undue burden on law abiding citizens, but has the potential for saving lives, especially of those who are contemplating suicide.

Except semi-automatic pistols–all pistols, really–are already barred for sale to those under 21.

Instead, Jones wants to make it virtually impossible for a person under the age of 21 to have an effective means of self-defense.

I’d like for Congress to consider closing the so-called “Charleston loophole,” which currently allows gun purchasers to take possession of their firearm after a maximum of three days, regardless of whether their background check was completed or not. This loophole came to light after the senseless killing of nine people at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people attended a bible study when a young man, who we later learned had notions of inciting a ‘race war,’ walked inside the church and opened fire.

That’s not a loophole, it’s a preventative measure designed to keep anti-gun zealots from making it impossible to get a passed background check and thus effectively blocking anyone from buying a firearm.

If the NICS can’t conduct a check in three days like they’re supposed to, the answer isn’t to feed into anti-gun hysteria but to give NICS the resources to make sure the checks are done in a timely manner so people like that turdnugget don’t fall through the cracks.

I also believe Congress should close the so-called “Boyfriend loophole” which is a gap in current gun safety legislation that can give physically abusive ex-boyfriends and convicted stalkers access to firearms. Closing this loophole would help prevent domestic violence deaths.

Again, not a loophole. The currently law draws the line at people who cohabitate because at least then we can verify a relationship actually exists. Closing this so-called loophole means people can claim they were assaulted by a boyfriend when no such relationship ever took place. This can be done to try and punish someone for whatever reason.

Further, if you want to stop stalkers from getting guns, raise stalking to the level of a felony and call it a day. Don’t think it’s worth that kind of penalty? Then you don’t think they’re that big of a threat in the first place.

As we can see, Jones can claim to be pro-gun all he wants, but his positions are very much anti-gun. That tends to happen when people link the Second Amendment to hunting in their minds. By doing that, they can justify any infringements on our freedoms so long as you’re still able to go out and shoot a deer.

The problem was, the only hunting the Second Amendment was meant to protect is tyrant hunting. Jones clearly doesn’t understand that.