Why assault weapon ban bill won't do anything

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

On Friday, the House did it. They passed their assault weapon ban bill, something that was proving far more difficult than many imagined.

This is anything but good news.

As Cam noted on Friday:

While the bill is almost certainly doomed to defeat in the Senate, gun owners shouldn’t dismiss today’s vote too easily. There’s nothing moderate, reasonable, or common sense about the gun ban approved by the House today, but Democrats are almost uniformly behind it nonetheless. The only thing stopping this bill from being rammed through the Senate on a 51-50 vote are a couple of senators who say they won’t nuke the filibuster. If Democrats hold the House this November (unlikely, but not impossible) and pick up a couple of Senate seats (a distinct possibility, unfortunately) they could jam this bill and much worse down the throats of tens of millions of law-abiding Americans in just a few months.

These are all valid points, of course, and I agree with everything he says here, and not just because he’s my editor.

No, these are all very true points.

Yet I still maintain that, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t going to matter.

You see, for starters, that filibuster has held for a year and a half, and for good reason. Those couple of senators recognize that killing the filibuster will get Democrats some short-term gains, but remove a tool they might need when they find themselves in the minority next.

While Democrats tend to act as if every majority gained is a permanent one, some do recognize that they’re going to be the minority someday and these couple of senators likely want to make sure they have the option to use the filibuster then.

But even if that goes out the window, an assault weapon ban is likely to be very short-lived, if it even gets to go into effect.

You see, while House Democrats are proud of themselves for passing an assault weapon ban, they did so in the post-Bruen world. That’s an especially stupid move.

After all, Bruen makes a few things clear. One biggie is that you can’t pass a constitutional gun control bill unless you can show a similar bit of gun control dating back to around the time of the Founding. You have to clearly show that the same Founding Fathers who ratified the Second Amendment also favored a given kind of gun control.

They’re simply not going to be able to show a ban on the most popular rifle on the market today, even if they really push the idea that these are “weapons of war” as gun control proponents try to claim. After all, back in their day, every house had just as good a weapon as the United States Army gave its front-line troops, if not a better one.

That was kind of the point behind the Second Amendment in the first place.

So it’s unlikely an assault weapon ban will survive judicial challenges, and I suspect there would be many if such a law actually came to be.

Look, the passage of the bill in the House is troubling, but it’s more troubling to me because it signals just how little House Democrats care about the actual rule of law. They’re quite content to ignore any bit of ruling issued by the Supreme Court if it doesn’t say what they want it to say.

That’s a dangerous thing in and of itself.

Then again, the way many Democrats view our rights, in general, is just as dangerous in the grand scheme of things. It’s not difficult to see why, either.