Let’s face it — the fight for stricter gun control measure is an assault on civil liberties, just the same as laws that infringe on Americans’ right to privacy or free speech. That’s something the Left won’t admit to, but the intent is clear.
The talking point is that expanded background checks and reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban, policies for which the White House and many Senate Democrats are pushing, is consistent with “reasonable regulation” of gun rights. But these measures are a step toward the long-held policy views of gun control advocates, and they will lie and fear-monger until they get their way.
Just last week during a visit to Mexico, President Barack Obama said that many of the guns that are being used by the drug cartels wreaking havoc in the country come from the United States.
“[We] recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” said President Obama. “I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms, and as President I swore an oath to uphold that right and I always will.”
“But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people,” he continued. “That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do. So we’ll keep increasing the pressure on gun traffickers who bring illegal guns into Mexico. We’ll keep putting these criminals where they belong — behind bars.”
That’s an interesting choice of words, given the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, during which the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (also known as “BATFE” or “ATF”) knowingly allowed convicted felons and straw-purchasers to buy firearms that were later transported across the border into Mexico. Those weapons wound up in the hands of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels and have been connected to the deaths of 200 people, including at least two American citizens.
Of course, President Obama didn’t mention this inconvenient detail. Instead, he continues to trot out the same, old talking points that gun control advocates have used for years. Sure, President Obama pays lip-service to the Constitution, but he hasn’t hid his contempt for the Second Amendment, as Jacob Sullum recently explained.
“Obama’s difficulty in winning the trust of gun control skeptics, even when they agree with him on the issue at hand, goes beyond his crass and insulting rhetoric,” explained Sullum at Reason. “Although he frequently proclaims his support for Second Amendment rights, he has a very narrow concept of what they entail. He tellingly defended the constitutionality of the severe gun restrictions overturned by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, which barred law-abiding citizens from keeping handguns for self-protection even in their own homes.”
“Obama argues that state and municipal governments have wide latitude under the Second Amendment to adopt gun controls that make sense in light of local conditions, even when those laws virtually eliminate the right to keep and bear arms,” he added. The D.C. law overturned in Heller, for instance, not only banned handguns but also effectively forbade the use of rifles or shotguns for self-defense.”
It comes as no surprise that Washington is engaged in an effort to undermine the very civil liberties protected in the Bill of Rights, and it’s more bipartisan than ever. But the Second Amendment, in particular, and its supporters are singled out for derision by the anti-gun Left.
Writing at the Iowa State Daily, Barry Snell explained that the gun control crowd is trying to make supporters of the Second Amendment look crazy, which is why, he says, that we can’t have a reasonable debate on the merits of the proposals that are still being pushed in the Senate.
“There doesn’t seem to be any opportunity for any genuine, honest debate on guns, and even liberals would agree with that,” wrote Snell. “I’ve often wondered about this over the years. Is it because my side of the debate is actually loony? I don’t think so; at least, I think I’m pretty normal. Sure, we’ve got some oddballs we all wish would go away, just like any group does.”
That particular point is worth noting because it comes right out of Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. Among his rules, Alinsky notes that “[r]idicule is man’s most important weapon” and that radicals should “[p]ick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Those of us who oppose expanded background checks are told that we are out of touch since some 90% of Americans support the policy and the National Rifle Association (NRA) has become the target of the White House, Senators who support the measure, and gun control groups. It’s as if it’s straight out of Alinksy’s handbook.
“I’ve come to realize after the Sandy Hook shooting that the reason we can’t have a rational gun debate is because the anti-gun side pre-supposes that their pro-gun opponents must first accept that guns are bad in order to have a discussion about guns in the first place,” he added later in his editorial. “Before we even start the conversation, we’re the bad guys and we have to admit it. Without accepting that guns are bad and supplicating themselves to the anti-gunner, the pro-gunner can’t get a word in edgewise, and is quickly reduced to being called a murderer, or a low, immoral and horrible human being.”
By undermining the Second Amendment, the Left — and even the Republican Senators who supported the prosposed gun control measures — are paving the way for further abuses of civil liberties — and yes, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental civil liberty. As Ted Cruz said this past weekend, “The Constitution matters — all of the Constitution.” There is no picking and choosing.