After the next mass shooting, what will anti-gunners demand?


Congress is back in session and state legislatures are cranking up. And with anti-gun Democrats in charge of the U.S. House and several legislative chambers, many are raising the question that Second Amendment activists know will eventually come, possibly sooner than later.

After the next mass shooting—notice we didn’t say “if”—what are the anti-gunners going to demand that they haven’t already demanded, that hasn’t worked and won’t work, to prevent the mass shooting that happens after the next one?

Last year, there were five major mass shootings that all together claimed 55 innocent lives. The worst of the bunch was the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., with 17 victims.

News Insider

ABC video clip

It seems likely that the gun prohibition lobby will push so-called “universal background checks” and maybe national legislation amending the 1968 Gun Control Act to raise the minimum age for buying and owning rifles and shotguns to 21. (After all, the longer citizens can be kept from exercising their Second Amendment rights, the less likely they will be to show much interest in learning to shoot, compete and/or hunt.)

NPR recently published a story about an NBC/Wall Street Journal report that found more than one-third of American adults consider mass shootings the first or second most important events of last year. But does that tell the whole story about the public attitude about guns?

A Gallup survey found that when it comes to guns and gun control, they are far less important subjects than government shutdown, the economy, immigration and health care. Maybe both surveys are right.

NPR, incidentally, listed the five mass shootings, in this order:

• Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla., 17 dead;
• Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe. Tex., ten dead;
• Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., five dead
• Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 11 dead
• Borderline Bar & Grill, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 12 dead

Industry Gathers Soon In Las Vegas

There will likely be considerable speculation about what lies ahead this year when the 2019 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show unfolds in Las Vegas in less than two weeks.

Tens of thousands of industry professionals, including recognized media, will be in attendance. The Press Room is invariably a good spot to learn about industry developments and new products, and that’s where Insider Online will meet with other American Handgunner and GUNS magazine editors and writers to get the lowdown, conduct interviews and get a feel for what looms on the horizon, good and bad.

This is the largest firearms industry trade show in the world. It is not open to the general public. It runs four days at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and everybody who is anybody in the shooting and hunting industry can generally be found here.

Watch this column for inside observations and perspectives, and even details on new guns and gear.

Rights Groups On Offense

Faced with what appears to be an inevitable clash between gun control and gun rights advocates, two “sister” organizations are on the offense, not cowering behind the barricades.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, at this writing, had just petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review of a case that could cut right to the heart of the 1968 GCA. The case is known as Mance v. Whitaker, and it dates back to the Obama administration when then-Attorney General Eric Holder was the named defendant.

This is an interesting case because it raises an issue anti-gunners would rather not address. With the advent of the National Instant Background Check System (NICS), it should be possible for law-abiding American citizens who can pass a background check to purchase handguns in states other than their own. After all, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb reasons, if a person can pass a NICS check in Idaho, for example, that same person would be able to pass the same check in, say, Alabama.

Alan Gottieb

Alan Gottlieb

In this case, Andrew and Tracy Hanson of Washington, D.C. — where there are no licensed dealers — wish to purchase a handgun from Texas retailer Frederic Mance, but GCA68 won’t allow a direct purchase.

This case is getting some heavyweight attention. No less than five different groups, including law professors and legal scholars, several state attorneys general, Second Amendment groups and the firearms industry, have filed Amicus briefs. A federal district court has already ruled that the ban on interstate handgun transfers is “facially unconstitutional,” according to a CCRKBA news release. When a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel reversed that ruling, the full court denied an en banc hearing on a narrow 8-7 vote that CCRKBA described as “fractured.”

“We believe the issue in this case is ripe for Supreme Court review, and obviously so do all of those people who have submitted these amicus briefs,” Gottlieb said. “With the advent of the NICS background check system, it seems silly to continue an outdated prohibition that modern technology has essentially rendered unnecessary.”

Meanwhile, the Second Amendment Foundation has joined four other rights groups in support of a lawsuit against the State of California for preventing individuals from exercising their Second Amendment rights, even though earlier criminal convictions have either been set aside or vacated by courts in the states where the offenses occurred many years ago.

This case involves plaintiffs Paul McKinley Stewart and Chat Linton. They committed non-violent crimes that have been set aside, but California refuses to recognize the decisions of courts in those states. SAF contends that the only reason California authorities are so stubborn about this is that the state is simply trying to prevent or disqualify as many citizens as possible from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Good Guys With Guns

When two guys decided to try their hand at shoplifting out in Washington State, they picked the wrong state and the wrong store, a Coastal Farm & Ranch in Marysville, and were definitely there at the wrong time.

When the two suspects walked out of the store, they were allegedly carrying four commercial nail guns valued at more than $400 each, according to the Everett Herald. But not to worry because they didn’t get far, the newspaper noted.

Washington may be a “blue” state politically, but when it comes hardware, those who aren’t stealing it are packing it. There are more than 605,000 active concealed pistol licenses in circulation, roughly one in ten adults, and when our sticky-fingered perps attempted to drive away they got to meet six—count ‘em, six—of those armed citizens, all with guns raised, the newspaper detailed.

Then came the big “oops” in judgment, according to published reports. There were good guys with guns on the right, on the left and one in front. The suspect in the passenger seat reportedly told his wheelman, “He won’t shoot, run him over.” The driver tapped the gas pedal and the fellow in front was either struck or bumped but he landed on the hood.

At that point, having just witnessed what might be vehicular assault, one of the armed citizens shot out the front left tire of the car. A second armed citizen put two rounds into the rear tire. The incident reportedly was caught by a security video cam.

Marysville police found the car with two flat tires about three blocks away. They quickly rounded up the two hombres who were on board, and who claimed they hadn’t hit anybody.

But there was a mystery. When the cops returned to the parking lot, the armed citizens were nowhere to be found. Perhaps they were concerned that they might face charges for having fired to disable the getaway car, and when police asked the armed citizens to contact them for statements, there was a not-so-surprising failure to communicate.