The State of the Gun Rights

US Capitol w/ Flag

Seeing various articles in the media, like this one from Politico from Manchin, and also this one on McCain in The Hill, is that the proponents of gun control are clamoring for more leverage over key politicians in the closed-door negotiations by leaking stories like this to the media. Note that I am not suggesting we have nothing to worry about here, because these kinds of tactics work, and the White House is quite eager to avoid an embarrassing loss on his gun control agenda. NRA is continuing to say that it remains opposed to expansion of the background check system to cover private transfers and sales between the law abiding. I expect that to remain policy, even in closed-door negotiations. The Hill article offers an indication that Reid may include the “background check bill reported out of committee” as an amendment, which will likely fail.

We can expect some kind of bill to pass the Senate. For one, the gods of “something must be done” are going to be appeased, and secondly, the Democrats are going to want to offer the White House a face saving way out. That’s why it’s not surprising that both Bloomberg and Coburn think some kind of bill will pass. The question now is what that bill will look like. The longer this wears on, the better it’s likely to be for us. We have some indication of the direction it’s going. There’s probably some give and take on making that which is already illegal, more illegal (e.g. some kind of trafficking language), and probably also on the Graham/Begich bill which clarifies people offering an insanity plea in court are prohibited persons.

So where do we all come in on this? Call your Senators and tell them to vote against any new gun control bill, and be sure to especially to mention no banning of private transfers or sales. We know what that has nothing to do with background checks on sales at this point. The more Senators hear from us, the more leverage NRA and the other people negotiating on our behalf will have to ensure that when the kabuki is played out on the Senate floor, we come out relatively undamaged, and perhaps even get a thing or two in return. I am cautiously optimistic we’re going to come other farther ahead than I would have expected heading into the New Year, but now is definitely not the time for complacency. Even if we come out okay in this floor fight, that only means round one goes to us. Bloomberg and Obama are going to take us more rounds than that.

13 thoughts on “The State of the Gun Rights”

  1. “Call your Senators and tell them to vote against any new gun control bill, and be sure to especially to mention no banning of private transfers or sales.”

    I’d also suggest, not being afraid of sounding “unreasonable,” and saying you oppose any expansion of background checks — at all.

    This may seem simplistic, because it is, but based on the truism that “the extremes define the middle,” there is nothing to be gained by signaling what we will stand still for. Keep them guessing — that’s what they’re paid for, and we’re kept guessing what they’re going to do, every day.

    For the record, I really do plan to vote against (or at least, not vote for) anyone who votes for background checks expanded in any way.

  2. and saying you oppose any expansion of background checks — at all

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable. If they figured there were 80 million people out there ready to vote them out of office if they voted for anything there wouldn’t even be a need to have this kind of conversation, because they wouldn’t dare bring anything to the floor.

  3. What is the chance we may be handed a golden Easter egg in any of this? The GOP managed to insert three good restrictions on the ATF through a continuous resolution bill. Is there a chance for “real compromise” now that the NRA and Manchin appear to be talking?

    1. I agree.

      I think this could be a golden opportunity. If pro-gun legislation was attached to a background check bill we could achieve several positive outcomes at the same time. If the legislation was defeated it would expose the extremism of the anti-gun crowd, and if it passed we would get pro-gun policy enacted and remove from the quiver of the enemy the most popular position they have by taking background checks out of public debate.

      Of course any background check bill would have to be limited one and not the Schumer bait-and-switch landmine of legislation. Obviously no hidden or de-facto registration should be a part of the bill, and I think it entirely reasonable to limit universal background checks to only handguns and exempt all long guns. I would trust Senator Coburn to craft such a background check bill.

      My suggestion for the pro-gun poison-pill amendment would be the legislation that had been tried before — universal reciprocity for CCW holders.

  4. We got gun controllers in md to acknowledge last week that they gotta strip the AWB to get anything to pass. The governor is himself private acknowledging the same. Nothing is permanent and political winds shift in a heartbeat, but this is proof that enough people pushing hard will get even the most progressive of them to bend. At least for a moment.

    We haven’t ‘won’ in Maryland yet, but we might. A few weeks ago the thought we’d beat this thing was unthinkable. Glad we don’t listen to reason over here…

    Everybody keep pushing. These are trial balloons being flown to see just how pissed we get. When we stop getting pissed and calling, they pass a law. That’s how it works.

    Don’t stop calling and don’t stop fighting.

    Last weekend we did had Hundreds of people who’s up for the general session. There we zero gun bills on the docket and none were going to be heard. We just showed up to, “say hello.” we had little sheets of paper that said, “2014 – I love primaries”. When the papers had to be thrown away, we wrote it on our hands. We formed a gauntlet of people that lines the entry to the chamber and welcomed each delegate into the building. We were polite, downright friendly and all delivering a single message: “2014”

    In case you haven’t guessed, Maryland statewide elections are held in 2014.

    The look on some faces was priceless.

    1. “The look on some faces was priceless.”

      Outstanding! I hope that reaction was prevalent among both parties.

  5. “When we stop getting pissed and calling, they pass a law.”

    It’s too bad we never stayed pissed, and demanded repeal of the laws they already passed. Instead we took “enforce existing laws” as an acceptable, even pro-gun, position.

    1. “Enforce existing laws” is the answer to demands for more laws. It has nothing to do with whether those laws should be repealed.

      Where do people get the idea that it does?

      1. If the GOP were to be thought of as a dog, “enforce the existing laws” is a ball you can throw and be guaranteed the “law an order” instincts of many GOP politicians will compel them to chase it. While they are chasing that ball, they won’t be chasing the “gun control” ball.

        A big problem is that the Democrats have traditionally like gun control, because it expands the scope of government, and makes technocratic elites feel warm and fuzzy. Republicans have often been vulnerable to their law and order instincts making them support gun control. That’s why you see so much effort by anti-gun politicians to be seen with law enforcement on their side, even if the people they are usually seen with are hacks, rather than rank and file.

        I’m not a law and order type, so enforcing the laws doesn’t have any great appeal to me, and I’m uncomfortable with the idea of prosecuting some guy who failed a NICS check because he went to buy a gun and didn’t realize when he plead to some technical crime years ago he ended up with a disabling felony on his record. So I am uncomfortable with this game of fetch with the GOP dog, but given the party line votes we’ve seen, I cant’ say it’s not working.

  6. At some point when 3D printers become mainstream, gun control will be all but a distant memory.

  7. This is very encouraging! I had contacted all my reps in DC. They responded positively and I figured that was that. But now, I shall contact them again. Thanks, guys!


Comments are closed.