By Dave Skinner, 1-16-13
With politicians and journalists jitterbugging in blood, a giant sucking sound heard at gun shows and gun shops all across America, and now word that President Barack Obama may ban guns through executive order – is new gun control likely in the wake of the Newtown slayings?
One certainty: The political fight over Evil Black Rifles (EBRs) will be even bigger than in the early 1990s.
To begin, EBRs are mainstream firearms, owned by millions more Americans than in 1994.
Furthermore, American citizens have considerably less trust in government today than in 1994. Control guns when our leaders can’t even control the budget?
More specifically, there’s history: The unprecedented 1994 “assault weapons” ban was also an unprecedented failure – mainly because the people who wrote and voted for it were, and remain, utterly clueless about the subject matter. Voters rewarded those responsible in 1994 – and the law itself expired with little notice in 2004.
Today Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who led the charge for the 1994 ban, is back. Her new, “perfected” proposal is mostly a longer list of banned firearms and “features,” along with 900 named guns our betters will allow American peasants to keep. On top is a total ban of evil “pistol grips” for 2013, along with a new prohibition on extra-deadly “thumbhole” stocks and nonexistent-in-reality “rocket launcher” attachments.
Three days after Newtown, I watched Feinstein breathlessly tell Gwen Ifill of PBS: “I gather this particular Bushmaster, you can actually sort of dial down the ease with which you pull the trigger and its frequency.”
Some guns “actually sort of” have adjustable triggers? Gadzooks!
Pardon me if I think it’s irresponsible for a U.S. senator with so little pistol grip on reality to propose “sensible gun laws.” More of the same old nonsense won’t work – even if Congress passes it.
Second, Feinstein’s bill seeks to impose a federal registration program, treating EBRs like machine guns. EBRs and magazines now in private ownership will be “grandfathered,” but not transferable, even to heirs. I guess the “reasoning” is, the government can pry our registered EBRs from our cold, dead hands after we croak.
But there will be strong resistance to registration, thanks at least in part to those great protectors of the First Amendment, America’s professional press.
New York State requires permits for handgun ownership under a tiered use system, from “target” on up to, if you are really special, “unrestricted carry.” These permits are public record.
Some newspapers have already published such lists, enraging gun owners while delighting voyeurs and criminals. But a week after the Newtown disaster, the geniuses at the Westchester Journal-News posted the name and street address of every registrant in two New York counties to an amazing Google Maps page. Anonymous users, naughty or nice, can zoom right in to each permit holder on a street map. Even better, users can switch functions and check out permittees’ homes on the Google Earth satellite image and Zillow – same as convicted sex offenders!
Now, what if the Beacon did that?
However, this press attack on privacy is trivial compared to the abuses zealous politicians could launch with registration information. In 1995, CBS 60 Minutes interviewed Sen. Feinstein about her ban, which wasn’t all she’d hoped: “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in, I would have done it.” She didn’t; the ban expired.
But Obama’s election raised hopes (and fears) he would sign a new ban into law. Feinstein made ready to pounce, telling CBS reporter Lesley Stahl in April 2009: “I’ll pick the time, and the place … there’s no question about that.”
The only question left was how big a puddle of blood Feinstein and her allies felt would float their latest scheme, and how long it would take for them to jump in and start splashing. Now we know.
As to whether a puddle big enough for swimming is also big enough for drowning – we’ll find out soon enough.
[End of article]