“We have two parties here, and only two. One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party. … I’m very proud to be a member of the stupid party. … Occasionally, the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.”
M. Stanton Evans
Sunday, a bipartisan group of Senators agreed to an expanded package of ‘common sense’ gun control measures. The Vichy Republican contingent consisted of Pat Toomey (PA), Susan Collins (ME), Lindsey Graham (SC), Thom Tillis (NC) and Bill Cassidy (LA) under the leadership, if I may be so bold as to use such a word, of John Cornyn (TX). My colleague Bonchie covered the deal in Republicans Prepare to Play the Sucker After ‘Gun Safety’ Bill Is Revealed. This is how he sums it up:
Here’s the thing. There is going to be another mass shooting. No matter how many laws we pass, evil people will get their hands on the tools necessary to commit evil acts. When that mass shooting occurs, Democrats are going to scream about how the last “gun safety” bill wasn’t enough and how we must “do something.” That “do something” will include confiscation and outright bans on common weaponry. By compromising now without laying a marker down they are willing to stand by, they are simply handing Democrats the leverage to take the whole pie the next time around.
The left-wing push to ban semiautomatic weapons is not going to end here. Republicans that don’t recognize that are being suckers.
Now Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has released more detail on what is included in the deal, and “suckers” hardly does the Republican participants credit for their duplicity.
NEWS: We have a deal. Today a bipartisan group of 20 Senators (10 D and 10 R) is announcing a breakthrough agreement on gun violence – the first in 30 years – that will save lives.
2/ Major funding to help states pass and implement crisis intervention orders (red flag laws) that will allow law enforcement to temporarily take dangerous weapons away from people who pose a danger to others or themselves.
3/ Billions in new funding for mental health and school safety, including money for the national build out of community mental health clinics.
4/ Close the “boyfriend loophole”, so that no domestic abuser – a spouse OR a serious dating partner – can buy a gun if they are convicted of abuse against their partner.
5/ First ever federal law against gun trafficking and straw purchasing. This will be a difference making tool to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities.
6/ Enhanced background check for under 21 gun buyers and a short pause to conduct the check. Young buyers can get the gun only after the enhanced check is completed.
7/ Clarification of the laws regarding who needs to register as a licensed gun dealer, to make sure all truly commercial sellers are doing background checks.
8/ Will this bill do everything we need to end our nation’s gun violence epidemic? No. But it’s real, meaningful progress. And it breaks a 30 year log jam, demonstrating that Democrats and Republicans can work together in a way that truly saves lives.
9/ So grateful to @JohnCornyn @kyrstensinema @SenThomTillis @SenToomey @Sen_JoeManchin @SenBlumenthal @SenatorCollins @LindseyGrahamSC @ChrisCoons @TeamHeinrich @BillCassidy and others for their amazing work to get us this far.
10/ Drafting this law and passing it through both chambers will not be easy. We have a long way before this gets to the President’s desk. But with your help and activism, we can get this done. This time, failure cannot be an option.
I’ve already expressed my opinion about the cravenness of Republican officeholders who crawl over broken glass to appease Democrats; see Don’t Bother Me With Your ‘Common Sense’ Gun-Grabbing Ideas, I’m Not Playing the Game, and Matthew McConaughey Sold the White House’s Gun-Grabbing Agenda Today Just Like He Has for Years. In my opinion, the problem is less a case of needing more laws and more one of chickensh** prosecutors with a political agenda refusing to enforce the laws already on the books. If we passed a law making prosecutors criminally liable for future gun crimes of anyone not prosecuted for a gun offense, I’d go along with that plan.
Let’s look at the items on the list.
2/ Red Flag laws are a civil rights non-starter as far as I’m concerned. Giving a disgruntled neighbor, a deranged leftist relative, or a vindictive current or former “partner” the ability to have your weapons confiscated while you bear the burden of proving you are not dangerous is antithetical to our system of justice. Above and beyond the Kafkaesque process, the procedure is a sham. A judge will not deny a “Red Flag” order and risk that person killing someone with a firearm. They are never giving your firearms back for the same reason. This is simply a backdoor for anti-gun activists to harass and intimidate gun owners. Any Republican who votes for this is not worthy of our support.
3/ I’m not convinced “community mental health clinics” do very much other than provide sinecure purple-haired transgenders with an MSW degree. Be that as it may, linking these clinics to a bill ostensibly designed to prevent school shootings means that schools will be pressured to refer students to the clinics for evaluation and treatment. If they don’t, their reason for existence will be revealed as a fraud (SPOILER ALERT: it is). Those mental health referrals will be made by the same people who teach Critical Race Theory, make your elementary school student experiment with “pronouns,” and groom them towards transgenderism and the remainder of the alphabet soup of perversions. If we want more “community mental health clinics,” then authorize them independent of any gun control law. By the way, mental health people are pretty adamant that mental health is not a factor in the overwhelming majority of shootings. The problem is Evil, not crazy.
4/ If you want to understand what “closing the boyfriend loophole” opens the door to, check out what goes on in Title IX sexual harassment/assault hearings in colleges. Without a cohabitation requirement, you are fair game for any woman you went out with one time who wants revenge. If you feel in danger, get a restraining order and stay the hell away from the person. If you can’t qualify for a restraining order, then maybe vindictiveness, not personal safety, is your goal.
5/ Straw purchases are already illegal. Gun trafficking, unless you have a Federal Firearms License, is illegal. Without seeing an actual proposal, my best guess is that this will end the private sale of weapons, the so-called “gun show loophole” that the anti-gunners have been after for years.
6/ Other than the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), I don’t know of any other systems available for background checks that do not involve field investigators. I suspect there is no such system, and this law will try to create any additional level of surveillance of American citizens. The problem with NICS continues to be incomplete and inaccurate information entered into the system. I am at a loss of what an “enhanced” background check would include that isn’t a restraining order, a felony conviction, or a civil commitment order. Just joking, those “community mental health centers” will feature prominently here. I also don’t know how you make a juvenile record available for “young” buyers without making it available to nearly everyone and why only “young” buyers would be subject to such an “enhanced” background check
7/ What constitutes a “licensed gun dealer” is damned clear. This is aimed at shutting down the private sale or gifting of firearms.
10/ Dude, you are in Congress. Failure is always an option.
This is all eyewash. Besides funds for hardening schools, the whole plan is an exercise in “doing something.” Literally, nothing in this proposed bill would have done any good in any major shooting. It wouldn’t even have an impact on Saturday night in Chicago or LA, which is where the focus should be for anyone serious about ending firearms deaths. I'm done playing this game. As Bonchie and I have pointed out, this is not an end state but a waypoint. This is just the anti-gun left getting Republicans to buy into the concept of silly measures that can’t work so that at some point in the future, the left can say we’ve tried everything, and they know there will be quisling Republicans to help them ban firearms.