And the Stakes Go Higher

Obama will put the full weight of the White House behind new gun control legislation. This was something to watch for, in terms of how serious this threat was going to be. To put it in other terms, this reduces our DEFCON level by at least a point. Why? Look at how quickly the Republicans in the House folded like a cheap deck of cards on the fiscal cliff negotiations. When the President gets in the way of getting anything done until he gets gun control, we’re going to start looking like dead weight on the lifeboat to GOP lightweights.

UPDATE: So do you think any of the left-leaning folks that told us that there was nothing to worry about with Obama and guns are going to apologize to us now and admit they were wrong? :) I remember a few months ago left-leaning outlets saying NRA was paranoid and crazy for saying Obama was a gun banner.

37 thoughts on “And the Stakes Go Higher”

      1. +1 to Sebastian on this comment.

        Jacob, look at everything that has happened thus far and think back to 1994. Give us facts to show that we’re over reacting.

        Right now we have legislation being introduced, two pieces in fact, that are so over the top that the “compromise” point is going to be painful. We now have a bully who sits in the White House who is so nasty he got the Obamacare through.

        Anyone with a cursory knowledge of history regarding gun laws and their passage in the US sees the danger right now. Doubly so since elections are 2 years away at a minimum.

        All signs point to a serious threat to liberty and you’re saying we’re overreacting. As I said previously, “If you sit around and do not even bother to lift a finger in this fight and we loose, you have no one to blame but yourself.”

        Complacency is how you get your ass handed to you. Look at the gun grabbers, they got complacent and started loosing. We probably won’t be lucky enough to get a sunset in this bill. Yet as you say, we’re overreacting? Prove it.

    1. Not really. I work for Florida Carry, a state level org, and I can tell you right now there is a LOT more going on behind the scenes than anyone has ever seen, and this includes members of the NRA saying the same thing.

      I don’t think there’s going to be a wholesale ban on guns, but I think what you’re going to see is some magazine ban (as a “compromise”)that will make millions of us instant felons. This will be another attempt to make gun ownership so fraught with peril that it’s not worth it to most people.

      THAT is the scary thing, and like Sebastian, I’d much rather overreact than pooh-pooh the whole thing. This is *their* last stand, and if we can stop them now the signal sent will be stronger than anything short of shots fired, and I’m MUCH more comfortable with the former over the latter.

      1. There won’t be any pulled punches in this. They will bring everything they have to the table to get a bill, and they aren’t going to be happy unless we’re essentially crushed. They are planning to go big, and with the full weight of the White House behind them.

        I don’t really get what factors Jacob thinks makes this not serious.

        1. To quote someone on this blog awhile ago, this is not out last stand, it is theirs.

          Let’s make “gun control” a poison word, equivalent to the weasel words they use on us. I want anyone in a purple or red state who even whispers it in a closed-door staff meeting to be be ridiculed much like Akin was in the Missouri primary. I don’t wan’t gun control to be the “3rd rail” of American politics, I want it to be so much more.

          And if we win this fight, we can do that.

    2. You’re seriously overreacting.

      Assume for a moment you’re right. There’s no negative to fighting like this is the Last Battle.

      On the other hand, if we don’t fight like it’s the Last Battle, and you’re wrong, then we will be well and truly fsck’d.

      I know what I’d rather do.

      1. Errr, there’s always a danger of overcommitting if the risk isn’t high enough, and the danger of exhaustion (a pretty serious one if you’ve been fighting this like I have since the early-mid ’70s; I’ve gotten burned out on it at least once).

        I don’t think that’s the case here. This is not (yet) worth a Million Gun Owner March to D.C. (which would be unwise anyway), but it is worth: (re)joining the NRA, sending messages to each of your Congresscritters, sending money to the NRA-ILA, getting involved in local debates, etc. Or at least so I judge, since I’m doing all of those, in addition to these sorts of internal discussions of what’s up and what to do.

        1. I agree there’s a real risk of burning your people out if you mobilize folks over every little threat, but right now we have a White House throwing its weight behind gun control, which we haven’t had for 12 years now. It’s good to have everyone mobilized.

  1. The antis wanted nothing less than Obama’s cart-blanche endorsement of their entire agenda. What they got was study group headed up by Biden. Nobody can be happy with that.

    As to the antis bringing everything to the table, so what? They don’t have anything to bring to the table. They have no money. They have no public support. Their endorsements mean nothing. The one thing they have going for them right now is PSH from their media allies and you can already see that waning.

    1. We’re not fighting the antis, Jacob, we’re fighting the entire far-left coalition that Obama has built. You’re fighting the last war.

      1. What coalition? Show some evidence that there are new players on the antis team. You’re kidding yourself if you think other lefty interests, like unions, greenies, etc. are going to spend their resources in support of issues that are not theirs.

        1. Creedo? Code Pink? MoveOn? And surely thr unions won’t get involved, like the CA teachers union forcing Cerberus to divest itself of Freedom Group. The greens won’t either, like Center for Biological Diversity. Remember, we shoot toxic waste.

          1. I saw the Credo and Code Pink protests. They weren’t effective and won’t last. As for the unions, as NRA itself has pointed out in the past, a big chunk of the the rank and file members support NRA and won’t go along with whatever their leadership tells them particularly in states like PA. The NYCPBA leader has called for gun control for years and never been able to generate anything other than a self-promoting press conference for himself.

            Then there’s Obama himself. Does this sound like a guy who is determined to move forward on an issue regardless of the political cost:
            “We’re not going to get this done unless the American people decide it’s important and so this is not going to be a matter of me spending political capital. One of the things that you learn having now been in this office for four years. The old adage of Abraham Lincoln’s, ‘with public opinion there is nothing you can’t do and without public opinion there is very little you can get done in this town.’”

            1. What political cost is there to a man who never has to run for re-election again? As for not being able to get anything done without public opinion, Obamacare has never had favorable approval ratings, it was rammed through using questionable procedures on a party line vote, and before, during and after passage Obama gave speech after speech trying to turn public opinion around to no avail. Yet he got it passed and saw that its lack of popularity had absolutely no lasting negative impact on his party.

              If Obama, Reid and Pelosi want gun control, they’ll do whatever is in their power to force it through, and have no reason to believe they’ll have to pay any price at all for it.

              1. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi want gun control, they’ll do whatever is in their power to force it through, and have no reason to believe they’ll have to pay any price at all for it.

                Does Reid want it, enough that he’ll risk his political career for it? He’s reaped the benefits of NRA endorsement; but has pulled parliamentary maneuvers to be seen to support with one hand while pulling out the rug with the other. We have to assume that Obama needs to burnish his statist credentials for whatever he wants to do after 2016, and Pelosi is an acknowledged foe.

                1. Unless I’m mistaken, Harry Reid won re-election somewhat easily in 2010, in the midst of an epic House of Representatives ass-kicking and while running on a record of not having passed a budget in 2 years at the time, and having forced through an unpopular new entitlement law. Again, what have the voters done to indicate to him that there’s any price to be paid for forcing a seemingly unpopular left-wing agenda on us?

                  1. Gun control isn’t all that partisan. We associate it with the left wing because it’s a hobby-horse of some prominent leftist politicians, but see counterexamples of Senators Lugar and Tester.

                  2. Well, we’re positing that he wants to be Majority Leader in 2015-6, the vast majority of his power, so to speak, in the 2014 election, and he can certainly lose that in a frenzy of gun control.

                    And that would change his reelection prospects, especially if it looks like the Senate will stay Republican. Plus a lot can happen in 4 years, including a fiscal crisis that makes this “fiscal cliff” fandango look like a kindergarten squabble over Crayons. E.g. the world’s appetite for Federal government debt at near zero, real negative interest rates gets satiated. Those who are holding the bag when that happens … well, it isn’t going to be nice.

            2. Disagree on the unions: it’s true of the old model private industry ones, but their decline and the rise of the public sector ones (to the point members of the latter outnumbered the former, at least prior to Wisconsin and now Michigan … although making the latter Right to Work is likely to cause declines in both) has changed things.

              Ignoring the police unions, this has a lot of consequences, e.g.:

              Good thugs are hard to find, as the Instapundit likes to point out. There’s a big difference between being threatened by steelworkers or miners (who have to work in teams) and … DMV clerks.

              However, the latter are culturally a lot more likely to support gun control. Fortunately, they’ve become a expense most states are finding out they can’t afford, assuming we don’t e.g. bail out California or Illinois.

  2. I’m not so sure, Obama’s promises, like his eternal one to pivot to jobs, aren’t worth much by themselves. It used to be said that “All Barack Obama Statements Come With an Expiration Date. All Of Them.” That’s obviously no longer 100% true, but it occurs to me that Team Obama had one degree of freedom in this: the decision to go on Meet the Press.

    After that, it was a given that guns and e.g. the deficit would be discussed, that he would say what he said about guns and also promise to focus on the deficit in 2013 … a promise no sane observer believes (absent his hand getting forced by the bond community, of course).

  3. The obvious reply from progs is That was then, this is now. We were always just one massacre away from Obama breaking his promise, anyway. Leopards don’t change spots.

  4. Honestly, there’s no negative to fighting this fight here and now; and no upside to compromising. They’ve drawn their initial line WAY over the boundary, compromising at halfway is still over the boundary. If we’re making historical comparisons, this is Stalingrad…

      1. Because, despite not being able to fire a musket without hitting a Revolutionary War monument, I am a WWII buff, not a Revolutionary buff :)

  5. I’m hardly a connoisseur of leftwing causes, but it seems to me in the past four years I’ve encountered a number of examples of the left complaining that Obama had failed to put much energy into left/liberal issues that he had promised to throw all his energies into; and that was in his first term, when he knew he would need their support to get reelected.

    That’s not an argument to be complacent, however. I’m just thinking maybe we would be more complacent if Romney had been elected, so maybe its a good thing we have a recognized boogeyman in office, rather than an NRA-endorsed gun-grabber.

    1. I could be wrong, but it would be hard to imagine the NRA really putting the boots to a president they had endorsed as a candidate only a matter of months before; an awful lot of anti-gun detail would be allowed to slip through.

      That’s what happened in Pennsylvania in 1995, after they had endorsed gun-grabber Republican Tom Ridge for governor in the 1994 election, walking all over the state grassroots to do so. Ridge then immediately demanded that his Special Session on Crime include a gun control bill, so the NRA dubbed the gun control bill the “Sportsmen’s Omnibus Anti-Crime Bill” and supported it.

    2. The GOP is also likely to obstruct anything Obama wants just for the principle of it.

      Would they be as obstructionist for Pres Romney? I doubt it.

  6. Obama will say whatever he thinks will make him look good. Truth,lie, fantasy, whatever.

    But he is also lazy and has a short attention span.

      1. It’s actually worse than that – he’s also possessed of considerable charisma (don’t ask me why) and luck in timing (consider the timing of the ’08 financial meltdown and Sandy in regards their respective election news cycles), AND he’s willing to use this to back the Senate Dems. (PPACA was a Senate job with Obama as the figurehead). Some powerful Senate Dems have literally been waiting YEARS for this opportunity.

      2. PPACA AKA Obamacare, and more like generations than years (Harry Truman was the first to try, yes?). And don’t forget the House was enough for it as well, it ended up being a Senate game because of Scott Brown’s election freezing the process before the normal reconciliation between the versions by each. Certainly a lot of House Democrats found themselves spending more time with their families after 2010, and the Blue Dogs were all but exterminated.

        But in general he’s way more lazier than “run-of-the-mill” politicians, however he was willing to go all in on that, it is the key thing that historically is a one way trap into a European social democracy with a terminal birth rate. Indeed a “fundamental transformation”. Although I’ll again note it is from an older playbook, unless he pushes gun control hard he’ll still be a classic member of my generation, less caught up in the previous cultural Baby Boomer generation’s culture wars.

          1. I don’t know that his prestige goes all that far. He has coattails in the years he’s run for President, but he has an otherwise terrible record in helping people get (re)elected. And that’s our strongest defense, I’m sure. As I note above, Obamacare was worth losing your seat for; this, not so much since I don’t see D.C. dealing us a death blow like Feinstein is aiming for.

  7. Regarding whether they’ll apologize: There will be snowflakes in hell before that happens.

    MSNBC was still talking about how paranoid the NRA was to think Obama would ban guns, even a week or so into the Post Sandy Hook PSH. Even though he and others, including they themselves, were calling for an Assault Weapon Ban.

    To their way of thinking, as long as hunters can get a gun to hunt with, their statements are true. They think that Obama would have to ban every gun to be a gun banner. Otherwise, they think it’s just common sense regulation and I think that they cannot even comprehend that anyone would oppose it except gun makers and sellers.

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