The Second Amendment Under Attack In 2011
America is a nation in mourning as a result of the violent tragedy in Arizona last weekend. This is an appropriate time for prayer and national healing. This is not the time to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans to defend themselves from unbalanced individuals.
The enemies of freedom will use the Arizona tragedy to push for gun control. streiff of Red State said it well when he argued that the left is using this tragedy for political advantage. This is true and we have evidence that politicians are already coming up with ideas to restrain freedom in the name of security. Expect 2011 to be a year when the opponents of the Second Amendment try to push for legislation to take away your rights to “keep and bear arms.”
Ben Keane and I wrote a piece for The Foundry, where we argued that Gun Control Is Not Proper Reaction to Arizona Tragedy. There are two new proposals on the table.
Representative Peter King (R-NY) has one idea to create gun free bubbles around elected officials.
Representative Peter King (R-NY) was one of the first to offer up a hasty legislative reaction to the Arizona tragedy, proposing a new law that would “make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of certain high-profile government officials.” While King has yet to develop specific legislative language for the bill, he asserts that such a law “would give federal, state, and local law enforcement a better chance to intercept potential gunmen before they pull the trigger.” In the abstract, this overarching goal may play well politically and receive positive media reaction in the wake of the horrible atrocity in Tucson. In reality, however, King’s provision is likely to prove impossible to enforce, raise a number of constitutional objections, and provide little in the way of additional protection for government officials.
Keane argues that this new idea would create a “roving 1,000-foot gun-free bubble around every so-called ‘high-profile government official.’” This will cause practical law enforcement problems that raise constitutional issues. How will people know when they are violating this law? What if a Congressman goes to a gun range and others are at the range engaging in target practice? All individual at the gun range will be subject to criminal liability. It will also criminalize gun shows when a Member of Congress attends one.
I wrote about Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY) idea to ban high capacity ammunition clips for guns. Any attempt to reinstate the Clinton Gun Ban would not have prevented the violence in Arizona.
According to the National Journal, Lautenberg and McCarthy “plan to introduce legislation to limit high-capacity clips that allow shooters to fire a large number of rounds without reloading.” McCarthy introduced a bill in 2007, H.R. 1022, that reinstated two provisions of the Clinton Gun Ban (Sections 7 and Section 9). These provisions banned the transfer of large capacity ammunition feeding device and the importation of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Regardless of what one thinks about this policy, it remains clear that such provisions would not have prevented the massacre at issue because the alleged weapon used was a Glock and the provisions in existence between 1994 and 2004 would not have banned the magazine used by the killer. Much like the King proposal, this bill smacks more of opportunism than common-sense policy making.
The two gun control initiatives in the public domain are no less than feel good politics. The two ideas would will do nothing to prevent a future violent act by an unbalanced individual. Yet these ideas will allow politicians to check the box and say that they did something. These two ideas on the table will do irreparably harm to freedom.
The Second Amendment should not be restricted because of the act of one madman in Arizona. Expect gun control ideas to reproduce and multiply in 2011. These two gun grabbing ideas are just the beginning of a push from the left to take away your gun rights and your freedom.