More Laws, More Restrictions… But Waitaminute!
By Dave Workman
Less than 12 hours after the 32nd annual Gun Rights Policy Conference wrapped up in Dallas last Sunday, a madman opened fire on a crowd of thousands in Las Vegas, and the reaction from anti-gun politicians and lobbying groups was as predictable as Seattle rain in November.
“We need to beef up our gun control laws,” say gun control advocates. Writing in The Nation, Washington editor George Zornick declared that purchasing 33 firearms over the course of 12 months should be illegal.
According to Zornick, “the gun control movement…needs to push for action on reducing the number and kinds of weapons that Americans can possess. Creating a nationwide registry of gun owners and their firearms would be a start, along with enacting federal laws that prohibit more than one handgun purchase per month.”
The only use of a handgun in Sunday night’s horror appears to have been the shot Paddock fired through his mouth and the back of his skull with what appeared to be a J-frame Smith & Wesson, according to a gruesome image that has circulated this week. But this is a way gun control proponents slip in part of their long-standing agenda.
Is anybody up for a national gun registry?
Hillary Rodham Clinton rushed to a microphone to attack the proposed Hearing Protection Act that would make suppressors (aka “silencers”) more available to more shooters, without all the government red tape.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California’s inveterate gun control extremist, introduced legislation to ban the “bump stock,” an aftermarket device that fits semi-auto rifles enabling users to mimic the rate of fire of a full auto machine gun. She would ultimately like to ban semi-auto sport-utility (“modern sporting”) rifles, and she is no fan of concealed carry.
Killer Stephen Paddock’s monstrous crime is likely to be used as fodder to turn back concealed carry reciprocity, even though he didn’t cross a state line to commit mayhem with a concealed handgun. Published reports uniformly include references to so-called “universal background checks,” as though no such checks exist.
But Paddock passed numerous background checks when purchasing firearms at retail. That fact seems to be overlooked, probably because it doesn’t fit the narrative, say some gun rights activists.
According to John Lott, who spoke at the weekend Gun Rights conference, there are now an estimated 16.5 million Americans who are licensed to carry. One official at one state agency discussing concealed carry with Insider Online earlier this week predicted that after Las Vegas, that number is likely to go up fast.
There are now an estimated 16.5 million concealed carry permits and licenses in the United States.
Some people think that number will spike in the wake of the Las Vegas outrage.
Republicans ‘Shelve’ Hearing Act, Delay Action
Predictably, House GOP leaders announced that the Hearing Protection Act has reportedly been “shelved” for the time being.
It’s also doubtful that there will be any action on the proposed concealed carry reciprocity act. According to the Chicago Tribune, “a vote on that measure…seemed unlikely.”
At the same time, it doesn’t appear that Democrat demands for tougher gun laws will make any headway, either. Capitol Hill is at its favorite place: Deadlock.
However, Gun Rights Groups Take Initiative
Reacting to the Las Vegas massacre, three gun rights groups have taken the initiative and it just might back the prohibition lobby and Capitol Hill anti-gunners into a corner.
The National Rifle Association on Thursday called on the ATF to “review” the controversial “bump stock” device to determine if it is legal. In a statement, the NRA decried the Las Vegas attack while noting, “In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”
And then the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued a joint statement calling for “a productive dialogue concerning ‘bump stocks,’ National Concealed Carry Reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act.”
This puts the gun prohibition lobby in a tough spot. For years they have been calling for a “dialogue” that presumably involves some give and take (rather than just demand and take, then demand more). Anti-gunners have zeroed in on “bump stocks.” But if they want something they need to give ground on reciprocity and hearing protection, otherwise they’re a crowd of hypocrites.
Guns Not Necessary For Mass Murder
Back on Bastille Day (July 14) in 2016, a terrorist identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a large truck through a crowd of people in Nice, France.
When he came to a stop there was an exchange of gunfire with police. When the smoke cleared, Bouhlel was dead, but so were 86 of the people he struck with the truck. That’s more people than were killed in Las Vegas.
This is not intended to lessen the brutality and horror of the Las Vegas slaughter, but it does illustrate the fact that mass killers don’t always use guns.
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh left a truck filled with a fertilizer bomb that exploded in front of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. The blast killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others, according to an account at Wikipedia. He didn’t shoot any of them.
And One More Thing…
The District of Columbia decided this week not to appeal their concealed carry loss to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The city’s “good cause” requirement to get a carry permit was declared unconstitutional in July by a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. When the city sought a full review by an en banc panel of all judges on the court, the request was rejected.
The city had a tough choice. They could take the case to the high court, but if they lost – which seemed highly probable – a court ruling that declared “good cause” requirements unconstitutional would threaten similar laws in several states including California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
The alternative: bite the bullet and start issuing carry permits to any qualified applicant. Pressure on the city to not take their case to the Supremes was likely intense. The city essentially fell on the proverbial sword, allowing the state gun laws to remain intact, at least for the time being.
But as SAF’s Alan Gottlieb noted, “this decision opens the gate farther to an inevitable high court confrontation because there are now conflicting opinions on concealed carry from the different circuit courts. Common sense says that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause will not allow that conflict to continue.”
The case was brought by SAF. It’s known as Wrenn v. District of Columbia.
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