One of the members of the Democrat Presidential Nomination Clown Posse has radical gun control as a cornerstone of his platform.I’m not sure how broad his definition of “assault weapons” is, but let’s pretend there are 15 million weapons that would be covered by reenacting the 1994 ban list. Let’s also assume that the average owner has a couple such weapons. That would mean that there are around 7-1/2 million people armed with such firearms. For the purpose of this thought experiment, let’s further assume that the compliance rate with such a ban would be comparable to compliance with the Connecticut registration requirements enacted after the Newtown school shooting or the New York SAFE Act. That would leave “assault weapons” in the hands of over 7 million freshly-minted felons.
Even if Swalwell tried to use all of the federal civilian police agencies, conscripted all the state and local civilian police agencies, used the federal naval forces (Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard), and found away around the Posse Comitatus Act to use the Army and Air Force to enforce such a ban, his force would be outnumbered roughly two-to-one. And that’s probably being generous in Swalwell’s favor. It might be that when push came to shove, many in law enforcement and the military might side with the Second Amendment and refuse to enforce what they saw as an unconstitutional law. (We’re seeing such resistance to state laws by sheriffs in several states and even prosecutors in rural New York counties.) Also, many people who own guns not covered by the ban might side with the resistance, pushing the odds further against a successful ban.
Of course, Swalwell may think that he could make his ban work. Given the federal government’s track record enforcing Prohibition and its performance in the War on Drugs, I wouldn’t bet that way. OTOH, neither Elliott Ness nor the DEA was willing to use nukes.
Kamala Harris owns a handgun, so Peter Funt has written an OpEd for USA Today declaring that ownership of that gun disqualifies her for the 2020 Democrat nomination. I agree with Funt that she should be disqualified, but for a different reason. It’s not that she owns a gun, but that she’s told conflicting stories about owning a gun. She’s claimed that it was bought for personal protection when she was a prosecutor dealing with violent criminals and that she disposed of it when she left that job. But while campaigning in Iowa she said that she’s a gun owner (present tense), and a campaign aide said that the gun was bough years ago and kept locked up.
OTOH, Funt gets one thing partially correct in his OpEd.
[S]he has given voters a real choice: Back candidates who care enough about gun control to not own handguns, or support the only major Democratic contender who has one and won’t throw it away.
She’s not the only gun owner among the major Democrat contenders. Biden, O’Rourke, and Buttigieg own guns. But she does offer Democrats the choice of a candidate who believes that she is so special that the rules she would inflict on us shouldn’t apply to her. Such a politician would have much less conflict with her colleagues than one who thinks that everyone should play by the same rules.
Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris have come out in favor of allowing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to vote from prison. Jim Geraghty notes over at NRO that position might be a tough sell in some parts of the country.
One of the underappreciated aspects of the 2020 primary is how many contenders have spent their lives in very liberal communities and states and have never had to calibrate their stances and rhetoric to appeal to voters in a place like Ohio, or Florida, or Pennsylvania. Kamala Harris had to appeal to voters in San Francisco and then California as a whole; Bernie Sanders had to appeal to voters in Burlington and Vermont. I suspect “restore the Boston Marathon bomber’s voting rights” would not be a popular rallying cry in much of the country.
Harris has hedged her proposal during followup questioning, saying that we needed to have a conversation on the subject. She added, “There has to be serious consequences for the most extreme types of crimes.”
Given Harris’ views on gun control, she may want to rethink her position. After all, when Tsarnaev was on the run, he was armed with a handgun, he was under 21, and he too young to be eligible for a gun license in Massachusetts. Carrying a gun without a license a serious crime in Massachusetts which would have required a one-year mandatory minimum sentence if he’d been tried by the state rather than the feds.
The Progressives believe that they can declare their cities and counties “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants where local officials do not have to cooperate with the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The mostly Democrat politicians who run those jurisdictions presume they can nullify federal laws on their turf.
John Calhoun was unavailable for comment, but local officials in other jurisdictions were.
According to Reuters, the sheriffs in many jurisdictions (including some here in Maryland) are saying that they will refuse to enforce unconstitutional firearm laws being passed by state legislatures. Over sixty cities and counties in Illinois have declared themselves sanctuaries for gun owners should pending legislation pass. In Oregon, voters in eight counties approved Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances last November that allow sheriffs to determine which state gun laws to enforce. More such ballot measure are on the way in that state.
If the New Rule is that local officials can nullify federal laws, then other local officials should also be able to nullify state laws. If the Progressives can do it, then surely we Normals (I like Kurt Schlichter’s term for us) can as well. Alinsky’s Rule 4 states: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
They’re not going to enjoy it.
Gabriella Hoffman has a post over at The Resurgent about a bill introduced into the Washington state legislature which would require the legislators who wish to introduce bills concerning the regulation fo firearms actually demonstrate that they understand what they are doing. The bill includes training requirements for legislators.
Contained in the senator’s bill would be the following requirements for those who desire to propose gun control legislation:
Washington State lawmakers who want to draft legislation will be required to pass the state’s criminal justice firearms training for each firearm they wish to regulate.
They’d have to complete classroom instruction and live-fire requirements to pass the test .
They would be required to range safety officer training
They must pass a knowledge test for calibers and gauges of firearms.
Read the whole thing.
A New York Senate bill would, if passed into law, require that the purchaser of any firearm
consent to have his or her social media accounts reviewed and investigated pursuant to subdivision four of this section …
Such a law would clearly violate rights secured by both the First and Second Amendments. Eugene Volokh offers an analysis of the bills constitutional deficiencies here and concludes with these words—
But remember: No-one is trying to take away your guns, or your freedom of speech.
Read the whole thing.
Andrew Ross Sorkin has an article over at NYT reporting that some people who have used firearms in mass shooting bought their guns using credit cards.
Well, duh. Most firearms cost at least several hundred dollars, and most purchases for items that expensive are paid for using either credit or debit cards. Fifty years ago, such purchases would have likely been paid for with checks. Either method is more secure than cash, but whether an electronic or a paper transaction, the funds would have been routed through the buyer’s and seller’s banks.
Sorkin seems to think that banks should be monitoring transactions related to firearms in order to … well, someone has to do something to keep those people in flyover country from buying guns. And if the government won’t because of that pesky Second Amendment, the banks should step forward.
<sarc>Maybe Sorkin is right. It could be that we have a problem with high-capacity credit cards falling into the wrong hands. The Progressive states limit access to normal-capacity firearm magazines to specially-approved individuals. Perhaps most people should be prohibited from possessing high-capacity credit cards and only be allowed debit cards with a ten-dollar daily limit. Anyone with a legitimate need to spend a larger sum can plan ahead and withdraw cash from his bank account in a face-to-face transaction that can be subjected to a proper background check.</sarc>