Having been one level of activist on the Second Amendment or another for thirty years now, and having seen how far the issue has moved since the mid-eighties – when the Second Amendment seems to be on the ropes – it’s almost tempting to fall into a bit of complacent triumphalism. This past twenty years has been one of the most impressive grass roots political campaigns in American history. It’s also given us the class war that the left has always been predicting – in inverted form; the gun grabbers are overwhelmingly drawn from society’s lotus-eating NPR-listening Subaru-driving patricians; the bulk of the Human Rights camp is mainstreet, blue-collar and middle-class Real America.
But the temptation can’t be indulged too long; the bad guys are still out there, and they still have the media for their mouthpiece. There were two notable calls for more gun control in the big media last week, ranging from the historically ignorant to the hysterically demented.
Deva Vu: The Star Tribune editorial board, in the wake of the Louisiana theater shooting, noting how the crazy man who did the shooting had gotten his pistol:
Despite that background, Houser had not been placed in a state or federal database of people prohibited from buying guns because he had not been involuntarily committed… American law enforcement authorities, mental health providers and gun dealer databases should be better integrated. Officials must do a better job of reporting and keeping track of those who shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns.
As a broad statement, that’s true.
Now, to give credit where credit is due – in Minnesota’s case, why isn’t all of the analogous information being reported to the federal NICS database?
Because the DFL has been stonewalling on the legislation that would allow the BCA to report that information to the feds – most recently, through Governor Flint-Smith’s 2012 veto of the bipartisan “Stand Your Ground” bill.
The shooting isn’t likely to stop until there’s a nationwide commitment to enforcing existing laws and strengthening others to keep firearms away from dangerous people. A good place to start would be background checks on gun purchases.
Would it, then?
History Is Haaaaard: Now, the Strib Editorial Board is a group of people, mostly in their sixties, who were mostly working as reporters forty-odd years ago.
They were all “reporting” the “news” in 1974, when Minnesota required citizens to apply for a permit to carry a handgun; Minnesota had required none before. Crime accordingly vanished – right?
They were in the newsroom through the seventies, when gun control laws ramped up, and crime boomed. They were wretchedly ink-stained as cities like Chicago, Morton Grove, and others completely banned civilian gun ownership. They watched – by which I mean, “ignored the news”, apparently – as experiment after experiment in gun control – background checks, tight regualation, even outright bans – failed to lower crime rates. They were even in the “news” biz when the inescapable conclusion – harrying the law-abiding citizen doesn’t affect the criminal, the insane, or the terrorist – made itself clear.
And yet here they are; demanding background checks from people who don’t take them, and demanding reporting changes that the DFL – the party their paper shamelessly shills – has been blocking for a decade.
This is your Strib editorial board.
But I hate to say it; they’re better than the subject of Part II of this series.