Progressives love to ridicule Americans who are concerned that their Second Amendment rights are being threatened by a gun control-obsessed Obama administration. “No one is coming for your precious guns,” the hoplophobes taunt. “We just want commonsense gun laws.” Except that the pursuit of “commonsense gun laws,” which already exist, is just a smokescreen – President Obama and his crew really are coming for your precious guns.
Obama has made it no secret that he intends to push hard for stricter gun control in his final stretch in office. He emphasized that determination by appearing to be overcome with emotion when discussing the Sandy Hook shooting in a speech on gun control on January 4. That tearful moment – staged or not – spoke powerfully to his fan base, because leftists are all about feelings rather than facts; they feel for the children lost to gun violence, and if you object to “commonsense gun laws” then you are obviously a heartless right-winger who doesn’t care if children die. Never mind that the measures they want to implement not only would not have prevented most mass shootings, but – like the impotency of “gun-free zones” – they are more likely to prevent law-abiding gun owners from defending themselves and their loved ones from mass shooters.
Just prior to that speech, Obama issued executive actions expanding background checks on people buying firearms online or at gun shows. “This is a dangerous level of executive overreach, and the country will not stand for it,” Speaker Paul Ryan responded. “The president is at minimum subverting the legislative branch, and potentially overturning its will.”
Also at the beginning of the year, the Obama administration finalized a rule allowing health care providers to report the names of mentally ill patients to an FBI firearms background check system. Now watch the definition of “mentally ill” begin to expand to include any belief or behavior that the left would like to stamp out – fervent adherence to the Constitution, homeschooling, and climate change “denial,” for example – enabling the government to categorize those gun owners as mentally ill and disarm them.
That’s not all. The Washington Examiner announced that Obama plans to build a new gun control force of 430 agents, more than eight times the size of the team of commandos he is sending to the Middle East to take on ISIS.
And yet in a televised townhall meeting a few days later, Obama treated concerns about gun control overreach as paranoia. CNN moderator Anderson Cooper asked the President about worries that his administration wants to seize all firearms as a precursor to imposing martial law. He blamed that notion on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and others who worry that “somebody's going to come grab your guns.”
Obama dismissed that concern as crazy talk. “Yes, that is a conspiracy,” he said, then added unconvincingly: “I'm only going to be here for another year. When would I have started on this enterprise?”
Actually, the legal groundwork for that enterprise has long been underway, and it is picking up momentum, especially in California, which is always on the cutting edge of progressive lunacy. Already this month, three separate gun control bills attempting to categorize just about every firearm as an “assault weapon” have been introduced in California, which already has the strictest gun laws in the country and nothing to show for it except increasingly fed-up, law-abiding gun owners.
Senate Bill 880, authored by Democrat Senators Isadore Hall III and Steve Glazer, would change the definition of “assault weapon” to include any semi-automatic, centerfire rifle, or even semi-automatic handgun that does not have a “fixed magazine” but has any one of a list of “evil features.” The bill defines “fixed magazine” as one that “cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.” This would include potentially millions of firearms, including handguns, that would then need to be registered as “assault weapons” with the Department of Justice.
“Senate Bill 880 is another bill representative of the gun control frenzy we’re seeing from big-city Democrats these days,” says Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition. “Legislators like Hall and Glazer absolutely want to take your guns one bill at a time.”
That goes for California’s fifteen-year-old Unsafe Handgun Act, which includes a roster of handguns that meet the state’s increasingly stringent safety requirements; that roster is getting gradually smaller. The Calguns Foundation estimates that “at the current rate the number of approved handguns will dwindle to practically zero within the next six years… leaving a state of some 38 million unable to purchase new semi-automatic handguns.”
As Eugene Volokh puts it at The Washington Post, calls for bans on the sale or home possession of semiautomatic weapons in general are increasing. “These aren’t calls for restricting supposedly narrow categories of guns that are allegedly used predominantly by criminals,” he writes. “These are calls for banning the sorts of guns that tens of millions of law-abiding Americans have in their homes.”
California Attorney General and anti-gun extremist Kamala Harris recently announced that over the last two years her Department had “doubled the average number of guns seized annually.” She is now backing a separate bill that would require all rifles sold in the state to have permanently fixed magazines. “The devastation wrought by gun violence on innocent victims, children and families in this country, is an international embarrassment,” Harris said in a statement.
International embarrassment? Here is something the internationalist left doesn’t understand: what the rest of the world thinks about American guns is irrelevant. The rest of the world is not America. No other country has or even understands our Constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment right. So no other country’s opinion matters.
The leftist media too like the idea of drastic anti-gun measures. Last December The New York Times posted a front-page op-ed for the first time since 1920. “End the Gun Epidemic in America” proposed reducing the number of firearms “drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.” As for the Second Amendment: “No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation”:
Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.
The NRA is trying to counter the left’s anti-gun hysteria. For example, the organization has recently partnered with my friend Amelia Hamilton, a conservative blogger and author of the Growing Patriots series of children’s books, to produce a series of amusing fairy tales reimagined to show what might happen if some of the hapless characters like Hansel and Gretel were trained in the safe use of firearms. “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun),” for example, depicts an armed Red and her armed grandmother successfully defending themselves against the Big Bad Wolf. The Huffington Post huffed and puffed that by doing so, the NRA is trying to put guns into the hands of children.
HuffPost also complains that in the Little Red Riding Hood tale, “the NRA doesn’t explore what would happen if the Big Bad Wolf showed up at the door wielding a firearm himself.” Well, what if he did? All the more reason for Little Red and her grandmother to have their own firepower to defend themselves – that’s why a handgun is called “the great equalizer.” But the left likes to believe that good guys with guns are inept, untrained, and a danger to themselves and others, so having a gun for self-defense only invites more potential for harm.
In the aforementioned townhall meeting, for example, a rape victim confronted Obama about his gun control measures and said she would never allow herself or her family to be victimized again. Here is the President’s condescending response:
There are always questions as to whether or not having a firearm in the home protects you from that kind of violence… What is true is that you have to be pretty well-trained in order to fire a weapon against someone who is assaulting you and catches you by surprise. What is also true is always that possibility that firearm in the home leads to a tragic accident.
Translation: unless you’re a Navy SEAL, you can’t be trusted with a handgun to protect yourself. You’ll just end up hurting yourself or a loved one.
In any case, our Constitutional right to own firearms ultimately isn’t about self-defense, or even hunting; it’s about Americans defending ourselves against a tyrannical government. The fact that gun and ammunition sales as well as NRA memberships have soared since Obama took office is a clear indication of just how concerned Americans are that we are potentially facing just such a threat from the Obama administration and a possible future Clinton administration.
Candidate Hillary Clinton is, if anything, prepared as President to go even further to remove guns from American society. She has spoken favorably of the possibility of initiating something here like the Australian mandatory gun buyback program. And yet she has ridiculed the NRA for believing that the gun rights organization is the only thing keeping “the black helicopters from landing in the front yard and people’s guns being seized.”
Hillary, who travels with a phalanx of armed guards, can mock all she likes, but if she, Obama, and the radical left continue pushing this issue, they will discover that, like Brooke Shields and her Calvin Klein jeans, Americans won’t let anything come between them and their guns. If it comes to a showdown over gun confiscation, American gun owners will have a firm answer for the government: Molon labe.
Mark Tapson is the editor of TruthRevolt.org and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.