Skip to comments.For Democrats, Is Gun Control Worth The Effort?
Posted on 03/28/2013 9:19:49 AM PDT by marktwain
In January 1994 less than a year into President Clintons first term George Stephanopoulos received a memo from Jody Powell. If there is an area that needs new thinking, rethinking, a different kind of Democrat, and all that, crime/gun control is it, Powell wrote. As much as I hate to say it, the NRA is effective primarily because it is largely right when it claims that most gun control laws inconvenience and threaten the law-abiding while having little or no impact on violent crime or criminals.
Would criminals comply, Powell asked, and, if not, can we effective enforce the laws? If the answer is no in both cases, he continued, consider whether the benefits are worth making Bob Dole majority leader.
Powell was prescient. A year later, Dole was indeed the Senate majority leader, and Newt Gingrich Speaker of the House. The new legislative leadership reduced welfare benefits, cut the capital gains tax, and impeached Bill Clinton.
Eighteen years after Powell wrote, Democrats and progressives again face the same prospect: gun control proposals that threaten to ignite a culture-war in exchange for no real gains.
Lets take the case of assault rifles. In 2011, rifles of all types were involved in a whole 323 homicides, far fewer than those committed with bare hands. Assault rifles probably contributed a small fraction of this number. A dozen? Two dozen? Or take the case of large capacity magazines. The average number of shots fired in a gun homicide is four, and in mass slayings the killer usually carries more than one gun (at Virginia Tech, two, at Aurora, four). Add the fact that neither ban would affect the millions of firearms and magazines already owned, so that any hoped-for benefit is no more than speculation twenty or fifty years into the future. Or consider the gun show loophole. Bureau of Criminal Justice Statistics surveys of prison inmates found that 0.7% had obtained guns from a gun show. Even if gun control works, none of these measures is likely to affect the real world.
Conversely, gun owners of all political stripes have been altered to the dangers of a slippery slope. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, gun control proponents assured them that their only focus was handguns, especially small one; those were the concealable arms used in crime. In the 1990s, gun control groups discovered that assault rifle bans played well in the media, and Handgun Control Inc. changed its name to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and completely changed its focus. Small, cheap guns must be outlawed became overnight large, heavy, costly guns must be outlawed. In 1968, Congress decided that, since licensed dealers had to keep sales records and non-dealers did not, it would make it easy to become a licensed dealer. In the 1990s, after media pressure over kitchen table dealers, it enacted laws that made the great majority of small dealers give up their licenses. Today, having records is again a good idea, so the proposal is to require all sales to go through dealers. Thus also the course of gun permitting. In the 1980s, requiring gun permits was good, since it might limit carrying to the law abiding; twenty years later gun permits were bad, because concealed carry permits were being freely issued to the law-abiding.
Progressives need not be entirely satisfied with the accomplishments of the present Administration (particularly with regard to its dismal record on civil liberties) to recognize that it has many accomplishments to defend (health care reform, the end of dont ask and dont tell, etc.) and many more future measures to advance. The question becomes whether pushing gun control measures that have no benefit, for the sake of igniting a culture-war that imperils Democratic legislators in fly-over country, is a game worth the candle.
Republicans and social conservatives had their Terri Schiavo moment; Democrats and progressives now face theirs.
David T. Hardy, a member both of NRA and of ACLU, is an attorney in Tucson, Ariz. Image of gun and Constitution courtesy of Big Stock Photo.
There are a number of low information voters that actually think that way, and he may reach them.
Well, they obviously have something they want to do that they can’t do without disarming the populace first.
So, yeah, it’s worth it. They just have to do the “dialectic march” to get there.
Ah, but a compliant unarmed populace is a jewel
beyond price for totalitarian democrats. They
feel it’s within their reach, and if it isn’t
they’ll at least move a little closer to their goal.
Barack Obama DOES NOT CARE that Gun Control increases property crime.
Barack Obama DOES NOT CARE that Gun Control might cost Democrat senators their seats.
Barack Obama DOES NOT CARE that Gun Control might cost Democrat congressmen their seats.
Barack Obama DOES NOT CARE that Gun Control is unconstitutional.
Barack Obama DOES NOT CARE that Gun Control is unpopular.
Barack Obama DOES NOT CARE that there are a million more important things to do than Gun Control
Gun banning is his only focus and he means to double, triple, and quadruple down.
Learn it. Live it. Love it.
Constitutionally speaking, “GUN CONTROL” is an oxymoron and illegal because “KEEP” means “to have control of”
[Webster, 1887 dictionary.”
I think the outreach to blacks on guns scares the hell out of the democrats.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Comment: The Democrats(Far Left)need a totally gun free society. Only with a gun free society can they impose their agenda of gaining absolute power over us. In achieving the goal of absolute power and control the Democrats(Far Left) adopt the strategy of "gradualism." (The Far Left(Democrats are aided in achieving their goal of absolute control by the tragic events of Aurora and Newton, the crazy that shot a Congresswoman.)
The doctrine of "Gradualism" flows from Lenin's doctrine "Two steps forward, one step back."
It’s worth the effort to the far left because it’s one more step toward a socialist utopia that can then transition to true communism. To the far left’s everlasting joy, almost nothing they do is ever repealed by republicans, no matter how destructive their unconstitutional laws may be. If they can pass a gun registration law now, that will permit confiscation and disarmament later - once they regain power after being punished at the polls - and we will do nothing to roll back their gains in between.
phony question libtard media piece.
you can’t get the new world order going with free millions of armed people that can defend themselves that won’t go along with the program.
The replies on this thread are weird. The author’s entire premise is that “gun control” laws are stupid, don’t achieve their supposed objectives, and are pushed for reasons that are not told to the public.
What am I missing ?
useful idiot job security.
margin of fraud keeps them in power.
corrupt ego police keep the oppsosition slaves in check.
the elites live in a lawless nannystate of hedonism and aristocracy.
Key sentence, for if their laws are not repealed, all is Kabuki theater and it is just a matter of time - time as measured in a few years - not a nebulous "sometime in the future".