David Harsanyi understands the history of the Second Amendment like few others. He wrote a fantastic book called, “First Freedom: A Ride Through America’s Enduring History with the Gun.” (That’s an affiliate link. It won’t cost you a dime more, but it helps keep the lights on here.)
I highly recommend it.
Because of that knowledge of Second Amendment history, I was fascinated to see his take on the Senate gun deal.
It’s clear that the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” was written in a rush by politicians far more interested in “doing something” about guns than proposing any well-considered ideas. That’s surely the reason the Senate took a procedural vote only a few hours after releasing the text, and why they’ll probably pass the bill in a few days. It’s going to take years, however, to figure out how it all works. The bill’s numerous vague, open-ended provisions will almost surely be abused by prosecutors, cops, aggrieved family members, exes, and political opponents. And, in the meantime, the likelihood that any of its provisions will help mitigate mass shootings is very small.
That said, no one should fool themselves. Though many conservatives will be furious about the bill, it’s unlikely to be unpopular with most voters. Facing a string of horrific school shootings, voters are uninterested in hearing debates about due process or complaints from some 19-year-old who wants an AR. The media, of course, will frame the bill as a common-sense no-brainer.
In the end, though, nothing will change in our political environment. Today, the corrupt corporate media and Democrats will herald the law as breaking a “logjam,” the first gun “safety” law in 30 years. This is untrue. Congress has passed numerous gun laws. Thousands of gun laws and regulations exist in the United States. No right has ever been more regulated. And, in a few days, Democrats will return to accusing Republicans of supporting terrorism and abetting child murder. Senators like Murphy will be back to demanding bans on semi-automatic rifles and arguing for backdoor national registries. Within weeks, if not earlier, the media will tell us that the bill was a mere, tiny, first step in bringing the United States in line with other civilized countries. For one side, the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” will be a fleeting win, for the other, an incremental step in a crusade to limit national gun ownership.
Please, go read the whole thing because Harsanyi makes some excellent points all around.
But he’s especially right about how this won’t settle the debate, even for a short time. We have Sen. Dianne Feinstein already trying to alter the bill via an amendment that would further infringe on the gun rights of certain law-abiding adults.
If Feinstein is going to make this play right now, when things seem to be precariously beneficial for the gun control side of the debate, then just how do you think they’ll react if they think they’ve got the advantage?
Of course they’ll start pushing for more gun control. After all, I have yet to find a gun control fan that can tell you where their line in the sand actually is beyond some “total confiscation” bit. Even then, I don’t believe them. I’m quite sure if we got close to a total gun ban, they’d be all over supporting it.
That’s speculation, but I’d say it’s pretty safe.
For now, though, we know what’s coming and it won’t be anyone saying, “Well, we passed gun control, so we’ll focus on other stuff now.”
This will be ignored, much as Fix NICS was ignored this time around. Anti-gun lawmakers will do pretty much what Harsanyi predicts and push on through as if nothing was passed at all, saying as much, and continue their efforts to infringe on our Second Amendment rights.
Nothing will be solved except an understanding that some lawmakers cannot be trusted.