There is a basic misunderstanding here.
The NRA isn’t powerful because of its campaign contributions; the NRA is actually way down the list when it comes to special interest donors.
The NRA is powerful because it has millions of members, almost all of whom are voting age. The NRA also influences people that aren’t members.
When you have 80 million or so gun owners, politicians tend to take notice.
Gun owners are generally pretty comfortable with regulation. We deal with it all the time.
There are some gun owners that think all gun laws are unconstitutional. However, they happen to be wrong. The National Firearms Act of 1934, the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 are all consistent with the U.S. Constitution. The Gun-Free School Zone Act is actually a bit iffy because it may exceed Congress’ authority to regulate commerce, but since all the states have their own laws regulating firearms on the grounds of public schools. the federal law is pretty much unnecessary.
So what is it that we oppose with such vigor and vehemence? The utterly worthless raft of legislative garbage parading as gun control these days.
How good is a bill that not only doesn’t do anything about the problem of violence but actually contains language that ensures it’s unenforceable?
That’s the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019. The fact that it’s been bottled up in the Senate is actually Mitch McConnell helping Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats save face.
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2019? Anyone who actually knows anything about guns will be unable to read it with a straight face. I think Senator Feinstein and her staff did a Google search for “Guns that look like this” and just wrote down the names. Some of the selections for the banned and exempt lists are real howlers.
The truth is that all of the proposed legislative fishwrap has been enacted at the federal or state level. And none of it seems to work. Perhaps that’s why independent studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rand Corporation were unable to find conclusive evidence linking gun control laws to a reduction in violence.
Incidentally, Australia’s program hasn’t exactly been an unvarnished success. There have been more people killed (95) in mass murders since the Port Arthur Massacre than there were in the same period of time before it (92). The includes a recent shooting spree carried out with a “banned” pump shotgun.
And then there was that 90-day amnesty not too long ago. The one in which the government hoped to round up an estimated 260,000 banned firearms still in circulation. That is a drop in the bucket compared to the U.S. but in a country with Australia’s population, it’s a pretty fair number.
Jacinda Ardern’s gun ban has hit some rough waters. It seems that the guns the government outlawed weren’t registered and the people who own that aren’t rushing down to their local police station to turn them in. The police are confronted with no knowledge of who has the guns and where they are and that’s making enforcing the ban somewhat more difficult.
I have said several times that PM Ardern would have been wiser to ban Australians than to try to round up citizens’ guns. After all, it was Brenton Tarrant of Australia who doubled New Zealand’s annual homicide total in a single day.
So why hasn’t the U.S. tried any of these miracle schemes?
Because they wouldn’t work even as well as the ones in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand and only someone that is truly delusional would believe they could.
That’s because America, and Americans, are different.
For one thing, we are very protective of our rights. Rights that we have been told, almost from birth, are basic, fundamental, and not subject to the whims of monarchs and legislators.
Look at the stink that is raised whenever someone tries to muzzle or otherwise constrain the press.Part of the backlash against political correctness is that it amounts to prior censorship of free speech.
While those in certain other countries might support those objections, they are aghast when we are equally as passionate about our rights to self-defense and our access to the best means of of that defense.
Yes, people in other countries have a right to self-defense; they just don’t have the right to an effective defense against an armed attacker.
I recall reading some time ago about a British police warning to women who might be victimized by a rapist. The warning advised woman not to use pepper spray or marking paint or anything that could harm an assailant lest they be charged with an offense.
In America, women are the fastest-growing demographic in the issuance of concealed handgun permits and everyone other than the rapists is pretty much in support of this. Well, gun control advocates don’t support it but they don’t like for anyone to have a gun.
So I guess gun control advocates and rapists have something in common. (I can already hear the chorus of scorched cats.)
Attempts to impose some of the measures that have been enacted in other countries would be met with non-compliance on a massive scale in the U.S. This isn’t some fevered dream of angry citizens waving their AR-15s as they descend on the Capitol Building; this is real resistance on a huge scale.
This is real resistance in terms of state, county, and municipal governments not only refusing to enforce the laws but refusing to allow the use of public funds and personnel to enforce them.
This isn’t a prediction; this is happening now. More than half the counties in Illinois and Washington state have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions. Voters in eight Oregon counties approved new county regulations prohibiting the use of county assets to enforce laws the sheriff deems unconstitutional. The sanctuary movement is spreading to other states, as well.
The people themselves aren’t inclined to cooperate, either.
In 2013, New York passed the SAFE Act which required owners of certain types of firearms to register them with the state police by a date in 2014. At the time, estimates of the number of these guns in private hands ranged from 250,000 to a million.
In 2016, after losing a court decision in a Freedom of Information Act case, the New York State Police were compelled to release compliance data. After two years, depending on the estimate used for comparison, the compliance rate was somewhere between 5% and 18%. Even police officers weren’t registering their personally owned firearms. [In the U.S. many law enforcement agencies either permit or require officers to purchase their own duty weapons. In addition, many departments consider officers to be available at all times and require them to be armed even off duty.]
Connecticut enacted similar legislation and even though failure to register was a felony in that state, the compliance rate was still abysmal.
A couple of states, including Arizona, actually have statutes prohibiting gun registration laws.
The perception that this is all somehow attributable to the National Rifle Association is absurd. The notion that some small minority of rabid gun nuts is holding back some mythical new age of peace and non-violence, or that a new age would even mean peace and non-violence, is equally absurd. We need only to look at the shining example of Great Britain for proof of this.
Urban violence in England and Wales is a growing problem, even though homicide rates are much lower than in the U.S. What we have to do is not compare the U.K. to the U.S.; we have to compare the U.K. to itself before the new restrictions on firearms and knives were enacted. If these laws were intended to make the country safer, they have failed.
It’s only fair to note that the penny-wise, pound-foolish Parliament’s slashing of resources for law enforcement has contributed to the problem. However, it’s impossible to avoid a snicker or two when the British press reports that a police drop-box for citizens to turn in their knives was stolen.
Mr. Foster may write dandy poems but his polemics leave much to be desired.