Saturday, September 13, 2014

Leading Liberal And Gun Control Groups Give Up On Assault Weapons Bans - Change Focus To "Dangerous People"

The iconic left wing group "Center For American Progress" has suggested that gun control advocates give up on "Assault Weapons" bans and magazine capacity limits.  In addition, according to Pro Publica, several gun control groups have also given up - largely because they have finally read a 2004 Justice Department study that found the 1994 assault weapons ban had ZERO POSITIVE EFFECT.  Both groups suggest that the focus should be on other measures more likely to save more lives - A CLEAR ADMISSION THAT THIS FIREARMS KILL VERY FEW PEOPLE.

The new priorities they suggest are:

1) Require background checks for all gun sales.  (Even some gun rights groups advocate this, making this the easiest thing on their list.)

2) Require dealers to report multiple sales of long guns (Why?  Even the Obama administration has asked for this only for specific semi-auto rifles.  Long guns are seldom used in crimes.)

3) Equalize interstate sales of long guns and handguns (Already the law, in that any firearm purchased out of state must be shipped to a local dealer who insures compliance with all federal, state and local laws.)

4) Require federal firearms licenses for individuals that manufacture guns using 3D printers (Already the law - unless the gun is a long gun made exclusively for personal use and never sold.)

5) Bar possession and use of machine guns by individuals under the age of 16  (Why?  One or two tragedies should not require a federal law.  Liability insurance companies will take care of that.  Machine guns are already very highly regulated.)

6) Require a permit for possession of assault weapons  (Given that the most popular long guns in the country fall into this category this amounts to defacto long gun registration.  If background checks are in place, such a law would be redundant.)

Although a shift from banning certain guns to preventing dangerous people from getting them is positive, developing Constitutional Law likely makes such gun bans unconstitutional - while the landmark SCOTUS Heller decision specifically allows for bans on felons and the mentally ill owning or possessing firearms.  These groups may finally be recognizing that the 2nd does limit what laws can be passed.  

Consider this quote from the Pro Publica article:  "Additionally, this report offers a new framework for regulating assault weapons and other special categories of guns that balances the desire of law-abiding gun owners to possess these guns with the need to protect public safety from their misuse in dangerous hands." (Emphasis mine.)

Clearly the writer simply could not bring him or herself to use the word "right" in reference to firearms - but since when have these group ever cared about the "desire" of gun owners?  If we substitute the word "right" for "desire", the meaning becomes clear: Any future restrictions are going to have to be balanced against the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding Americans - and that is going to severely limit what gun control laws can be passed and enforced.

In every struggle there is a turning point when the outcome becomes clear.  This may be the turning point in the struggle between gun rights advocates and those in favor of gun control. 

No comments:

Post a Comment