All weekend long, the political observers on both sides of the “gun issue” have been quietly hinting that this week would mark the new administration’s first “real” actions on more gun control.
Why’s that? Today through Sunday, February 7 is the “third annual National Gun Violence Survivors Week” - a week the “everytown.org" claims is the “approximate time that gun deaths in the United States surpass the number of gun deaths experienced by our peer countries in the entire calendar year.”
Before you start your rebuttal, stop. I’m not advocating for the week, I’m reporting why it is symbolic for the anti-gun movement. That type of symbolism drives Washington, and it is apparently being seen as an “advantageous” time for the introduction of new regulations- via executive order, legislation or lawsuit. The same weaponization of words is why virtually all regulations designed to constrain citizens’ rights is referred to as a measure to address a problem. The thinking is that anyone on the fence will fall to the “prevention” side. It’s a misdirection and manipulation trick generally employed to obfuscate the real intent.
Larry Keane, the NSSF’s chief counsel didn’t pull any punches in last Friday’s feature when he called the pause in publishing an Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s rule preventing discrimination against industry groups “the first salvo in the gun control fight”. He continued that assertion in an appearance on Dana Loesch’s radio show, saying “There’s no doubt we’ll see efforts to restrict and infringe upon our Constitutional rights that are protected by the Second Amendment. They will use every tool in the toolbox from executive orders to policy interpretations to, you know, legislation. “
If that’s true, our side of the fight is decidedly going into a gunfight with less than optimal troop strength.
The biggest ally all gun owners have when it comes to national policy is the National Rifle Association. Love or hate it, the NRA has done a good job of fighting for gun rights on the national level. But the organization has just had another spate of resignations. In addition to the latest Board resignations, the NRA’s CFO, Craig Spray, has also resigned, citing health reasons. Whether that references his health or the organizations’ there’s no arguing the organization’s effectiveness. Today’s NRA is embroiled in multiple legal fights, a bankruptcy filing, and a division so pronounced that members of the Board have told us they had no knowledge of the organization’s plan to file bankruptcy in New York and -form in Texas until they read it in the media.
At this point, other organizations, from the NSSF to the Second Amendment Foundation and various state and local groups are straining to fill the gap, but there’s no doubt the NRA’s problems have the potential to negatively impact all law-abiding gun owners.
If the fight’s beginning, we’d better all be prepared to get off the sidelines and make our voices heard. Otherwise, be prepared for your magazines that hold more than ten rounds to be either taxed or confiscated, universal background checks to be put into place, private sales of firearms to be banned, and ammunition sales to be limited in quantity, prohibited on the internet and by mail, and background checks to be required.
Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee of the 18th Congressional District/Texas apparently decided to get ahead of what might be happening this week with her introduction of H.R. 127. Her proposed legislation, if passed, would require the owner of any firearm to supply the BATFE with the make, model and serial number of every gun they own, no matter how long they’ve owned them. You’d also have to report the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to that individual.
And there’s a licensing requirement. It mandates that the license applicant undergo a criminal background check, and submit to a psychological evaluation to determine whether the person is psychologically unsuited to possess a firearm. Successful licensees would then be required to show they have an insurance policy which will cost $800.
Legislation like this is a “moon-shot” - a legislator’s attempt to list everything they’d possibly like to see -short of confiscation- so they can tell constituents (and contributors) they’re “doing something” about guns. Unfortunately, shooting for the moon doesn’t seem like such a lofty goal these days.
We’ll keep you posted.
— Jim Shepherd