There is a crescendo in incivility, with gun owners being called everything from stone age vigilantes to tinfoil hat Bircher NRA peckerwood with a long gun. This is the social media equivalent of the posturing over guns that is occurring on the political scene, but it matters because it emboldens the politicians.
Democratic Senators are threatening a new “assault weapons” ban, something openly pursued by Senator Feinstein immediately after the election. But in addition to the known anti-firearms politicians, the movement has gained supporters from the ranks of those whom we all knew were anti-firearm, but who persuaded the electorate otherwise.
A growing number of lawmakers – including a leading pro-gun senator – called on Monday for a look at curbing assault weapons like the one used in a massacre at a Connecticut grade school, a sign that attitudes toward gun control could be shifting.
Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative West Virginia Democrat who has earned top marks from the gun industry, said Congress and weapons makers should come together on a “sensible, reasonable approach” to curbing rifles like the one used in the killings Friday of 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
A hunter and member of the National Rifle Association, Manchin said the availability of such high-powered weapons does not make sense and called on the gun lobby group to cooperate with a reform of the nation’s gun laws.
A 10-year U.S. ban on assault weapons expired in 2004.
“We’ve got to sit down. I ask all my friends at NRA – and I’m a proud NRA member and always have been – we need to sit down and move this dialogue to a sensible, reasonable approach to fixing it,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.
“Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. This never happened in America, that I can recall, ever seeing this kind of carnage,” said Manchin, an avid hunter who once ran a campaign ad showing him firing a rifle at an environmental bill. “This has changed where we go from here.”
Historical scholarship may not be his strong suit. In 1927, Andrew Kehoe used explosives to attack a local school in Bath, Michigan, apparently being disgruntled over paying higher taxes to fund that school. Thirty eight children were killed, with one family losing three. Nearly every family in the town of 300 lost a child.
The only gun Kehoe carried was used to light one of the explosive charges. The only weapon used by Timothy McVeigh was explosives. But the point is not to show that it can be worse. Those poor souls who search for answers in guns, mental illness, and societal problems will search in vain. The problem is evil, and it is one of the oldest philosophical issues known to man.
The proximate answer for those who would perpetrate violence on you or your loved ones is to respond by stopping them. Shopping malls, schools, public buildings, parades and other activities and places are often “gun free zones.” This means that only the criminals have guns, and thus they are unimpeded in their nefarious aims.
The Connecticut shooter, as I pointed out, could have perpetrated his evil acts with single action revolvers and bolt action rifles if he had desired. No one could stop him, and that’s the problem. No one could have stopped the criminals who attacked Mr. Bayezes and his wife without the use of a rifle that will be illegal under the Ms. Feinstein’s proposed ban, along with a 30-round magazine. He emptied one magazine and retreated to find another.
Mr. Bayezes did what what we all should have done, for we all have a moral duty to defend self and family. Sacrificing the best home defense weapon because someone may use it to perpetrate acts of evil is like being forced to return to horse and buggies because there are 40,000 vehicle accidents every year.
But along with the factual silliness of being worked up over fully automatic weapons (which were not used) and other misdirects, there are nonetheless very clear plans being deployed for sweeping bans. The Democratic Senators want it, Obama has said that he wants it, and communist China agrees. The voters in West Virginia who thought they were voting for a conservative or defender of the second amendment got hoodwinked. Manchin has declared that he is no defender of the second amendment, and the Democrats are getting their support lined up.
The proposed ban may not end with guns. Token conservative David Brooks has floated the idea of an ammunition ban. No doubt the Democrats have included this in their plans, but it must make them feel confident to see a “conservative” agree with them.
Don’t be deceived into thinking that you can buy them now while they’re legal and keep them. Feinstein has made it clear there will be no grandfather clause in her version of gun control. Besides, grandfather clauses are problematic anyway. The federal government may not need to enact confiscatory policies immediately.
For example, they may make all or some of our weapons illegal, along with their high capacity magazines, and then empower gun ranges, local law enforcement officers, and gunsmiths to confiscate any illegal component they find, while they also call the ATF. You may end up in a federal penitentiary if you take your firearms to the range or use them in self defense.
Make no mistake about it. There is a war on guns and ammunition. It wasn’t stated by advocates of the second amendment, but it has landed squarely in our laps. Obama will never have more power than he does now, right after the election, still controlling the Senate, and right after a horrible event such as in Connecticut.
Gird your loins and prepare for the battle if you care about the second amendment and your rights under the constitution and God. Now is not the time to be weak, weary or squeamish. In many ways the progressives and statists have been waging this war for years, while many second amendment advocates have sat on the sideline. It’s time for everyone to play in the game.
UPDATE: Thanks to David Codrea for the attention.
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