The news today is filled with excited reports about a wonderful outbreak of Congressional “bipartisanship,” which is what the media call it when conservatives capitulate to liberals. This time, it’s about gun control, which we must hurry up and pass in light of the Orlando shooting, where that poor Islamic extremist was dragged into a gay club by a gun, which then shot over a hundred people all by itself. This perfectly illustrates why the Founders made the process of changing the Constitution so long and cumbersome. If it were up to politicians, we’d rush from tragedy to exploiting said tragedy by pushing the left’s preexisting agenda as a solution to voting away the people’s rights in less time than it takes to get a Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s.
Another favorite cliché is “common sense.” Who could question “common sense” gun laws, like banning assault weapons and gun sales to people on the no-fly list or the terrorist watch list? Well, in two out of three of those cases, anyone with common sense would question them. We already tried an “assault weapons” ban; it wasn’t renewed after it was found to make no difference, since that type of weapon is hardly ever used in crimes.
There’s also the problem that there’s no set definition of an “assault weapon.” You can assault someone with any weapon. Monty Python did it with a banana. You often hear calls for “automatic” weapons to be banned, but they’ve already been banned from private ownership since the 1930s. The term “assault weapon” is a vague catch-all applied to guns that look like military weapons to the unschooled and that have various combinations of features that make them look more lethal, even though some are actually safety features. They’re still the same basic semi-automatic design that has been around since the 1800s. For instance, contrary to what Rep. Alan Grayson claims, an AR-15 can’t fire 700 rounds a minute unless the shooter can pull the trigger 700 separate times in a minute.
Banning gun sales to people who are on the no-fly list seems to make sense, until you realize that the no-fly list is compiled in an unorganized, secretive way that’s rife with mistakes. Should Americans be blocked from exercising a Constitutional right because some bureaucrat mistook them for someone with a similar name and put them on a secret government list without informing them? And now it’s up to them to prove they aren’t who they aren’t before they’re allowed to have their rights back?
The only proposal that is tinged with common sense is banning people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. But that’s contingent on making sure the list is accurate, and if they’re really being watched, then the government should know when they’re buying a gun. But the effectiveness of that change has already been rendered moot by the Obama Administration’s politically-correct gutting of our anti-terror policies. Even if such a ban had been in effect, it would not have stopped Orlando shooter Omar Mateen from buying a gun. That’s because despite having more red flags than a Chinese military parade, Mateen was removed from the watch list after 10 months, when he convinced the FBI that his co-workers who reported his disturbing beliefs and actions were just anti-Muslim bigots.
The current rush to pass ineffective gun laws will do nothing but disarm law-abiding citizens and make them even easier prey for radical Islamic (sorry, President Obama, but it’s the accurate term) attackers. Americans want the government to do something to increase security, but “do something even if it’s wrong” is not common sense.