2 months, 3 weeks ago
Soon to the report – but first a little story.
Once upon a time some teenagers were racing hot rods down Ocean Drive in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Tourists were hit by one of these kids, and so the townsfolk came together and decided that something must be done to make things safer. The decided on a plan, and even had a real time, in-situ display of their new ideas for the voters before the town voted on it.
They all got together that day and after speeches about “caring for the children,” and waded into the ocean, each participant having another participant (they called him their swimming buddy) within 20 feet of him, both to the right and left. No one, according to the new ordinance, would be allowed to swim in the ocean, night or day, without buddies within 20 feet. It would all be monitored by cameras and enforced by newly hired police officers.
Some of the townsfolk objected that no one could ever swim again because the line of buddies would never end since a person would have to be flanked on both sides, and thus the stipulations could not be logically met, but the participants told the objectors to “shut up, just because.” Others objected that this all had nothing whatsoever to do with High School kids racing hot rods on Ocean Drive, but the partipants and local politicians all told them to “shut up, just because.” And besides, ”think about the children.” And then, “shut up.”
I hope that this little parable has been a useful introduction to what seems to be coming down the road.
No surprise but newsworthy insofar as I think this is the first time a Republican as prominent as McCain has talked openly about some new form of gun control passing Congress. If you’re not sure what he means when he refers to the plan Coburn and Schumer are working on, read this. They’re going to close the “gun-show loophole” but carve out exceptions for family transfers and maybe for people who’ve already been vetted for concealed carry. How many votes will there be for that? Well, they’ll start at 58: Coburn and Mark Kirk are part of the group that’s working on a compromise bill and McCain’s already hinting that he’s a yes, so add those three to the Democrats’ 55 (no Dem would dare oppose a measure that might complicate Obama’s “Republican obstructionism” message on gun control). Collins and Murkowski are always gimmes on big bipartisan initiatives too, so there you go — 60 votes for cloture, although there’s bound to be many, many more than that. Follow the last link for your reminder that expanded background checks is the one gun-control measure that polls fantastically well across party lines. Even Lindsey Graham, who needs to protect his right flank in case of a primary challenge in South Carolina next year, is open to some form of new background checks albeit not the Democratic plan. You might see a majority of House Republicans vote no, partly as a symbolic rejection of further gun-control regulations and partly to distinguish themselves from the squishy RINOs in the Senate for the benefit of red-district voters, but it’s going to pass that chamber too with bipartisan support. When push comes to shove, I think Boehner would rather violate the “Hastert Rule” and push this thing through with mostly Democratic votes than risk handing Obama a potential weapon for 2014 by rejecting something that even many Senate Republicans support.
Regular readers know my view. Universal background checks are a pretext for and necessary prerequisite to a national gun registry, and a national gun registry is a precondition for gun confiscations. Furthermore, none of this has anything to do with the shootings that have been in the news lately. And finally, we’ll see how that exception goes where they want to carve out provisions for transfer of firearms to children. Give it some time – it will turn totalitarian because that’s the way totalitarian systems work.
But remember this fact about the entire conversation. None of this is related to the antecedent events. The only clear-cut and logical legislative action I support is abolishing gun-free zones. Everything else is just a smoke screen.