President Joe Biden spoke from the White House on Tuesday, March 23, to demand that Congress pass more gun-control laws. On his way to look presidential in Colorado, he said, “I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour to take common-sense steps that’ll save the lives in the future.” Then Biden moved gun control to the front-burner by urging Congress to pass more laws that have failed to reduce murders. However, for gaining progressive political points and reducing Americans’ liberty and power, new gun controls are just the ticket.
Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste
Biden went off to stand over dead bodies in Colorado for his campaign to reduce Americans’ civil rights. Meanwhile, back in D.C., the very Congress he implored to pass new gun controls was hearing an inconvenient truth. It happened at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing thrown together to capitalize on the murders in the Atlanta massage parlors falsely claimed to be “hate crimes.” Chris Cheng, a champion competitive shooter of Asian ancestry, testified that gun-control laws are racist and threaten Asian-Americans instead of protecting them. “We need to defend ourselves. Not three days or 20 days from now, but today. Right now.”
Biden used his time at the podium to state, again, without evidence, that the Atlanta massage parlor murders were motivated by racial animus. Politically speaking, there is every incentive to label the massacre a hate crime. Just think, six dead people who are victims of a hate crime warrant new national legislation, a presidential visit, and headlines for days. If the victims are black residents of Chicago’s South Side dealing with the business end of leftist social policy, then six murdered is an average weekend, hardly worth a headline. Biden is simply following the long line of gun-grabbers who use sky-high sympathy, empathy, and concern following a widely felt tragedy to advance gun restrictions.
The Sandy Hook Promise
John F. Kennedy’s assassination was the impetus for one of the first major federal gun-control laws. Thomas Dodd, a Democrat senator from Connecticut, introduced legislation banning the interstate shipment of firearms. Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, you see, bought the rifle he used to kill Kennedy through a mail-order advertisement in a gun magazine. However, America wasn’t quite ready for federal gun-control laws after the death of JFK in 1963. The law was changed only after Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were murdered five years later.
The gun-control act of 1968 would have prevented Oswald’s mail-order purchase and made it only marginally more difficult for him to obtain a gun via other entirely legal means. Let’s say a murderer went on a rampage with a knife bought on Amazon. Would it make any sense to ban internet knife sales? While that would have frustrated the purchase method of our hypothetical murderer, the ban would hardly be a significant barrier to obtaining a knife worthy of the task from another source. Many big gun-control measures would not present even a speed bump to determined killers.
The Sandy Hook massacre, where 26 were killed, most of them children, motivated the intense support of the gun-control crowd for a new nationwide background check system. That murderer had stolen his mother’s gun and started his killing spree with her. She could have passed any background check, so that regulation would have had no effect on the crimes. Fortunately, the measure did not have sufficient support to pass into law. It seems like the same will be true for the new proposals. They have passed the House but will need 60 votes to make it through the Senate. If the filibuster holds, so should the resistance to this round of gun-control laws.
So Much Helping
In an ironic twist, one of the effects of increased regulation is to make it more likely that otherwise law-abiding people will commit a gun crime. And it’s the poorer communities, with greater representation of minorities, that suffer the most from the restrictions imposed on the exercise of their rights. As in other areas, firearms regulations make a gun harder to access by making it more expensive. For instance, in constitutional-carry states, no permit is needed to carry a gun – the law addresses only prohibited persons. In New York City, the non-refundable filing fee for permission to carry is $429.75. That steep compliance cost tends to make felons out of many New Yorkers.
Biden has long had an F rating from the NRA and has done quite a bit to earn it. One of the most radical statements from a politician close to power in recent years came from Beto O’Rourke: “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Biden embraced the view and is pushing for it with renewed vigor. To give some perspective to those not enmeshed in gun culture, the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the country, with an estimated 20 million in civilian hands in the United States. It is ubiquitous in the gun world. Biden’s proposal bans new production of ARs and requires existing units to be either registered like a machine gun with commensurate hyper-regulation or relegated to a so-called “buy-back” program, where they may be surrendered for payment and marked for destruction.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.
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