With the recess for Independence Day done, the show to take away your Bill of Rights is back on in Congress.
The theatrics began with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) sending out a memo to its members in Congress. It said, “Rep. Robin Kelly would like CBC members to be present for Floor activities on gun violence when the House returns to session on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. The plan is to be as disruptive to Speaker Ryan as possible next week.”
Perhaps for this reason, the House was gaveled into session by Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told the Democrats he’d have a meeting with them later in the day.
The CBC and some other Democrats want the federal government to use black lists, such as the “no-fly list,” to take away a right specifically protected in the U.S. Constitution—our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. They want to give the federal government an unprecedented power—the ability to secretly decide who can and can’t be trusted with their individual rights. This wouldn’t just be a Second Amendment infringement, but also a Fifth Amendment infringement on our right to due process under the law.… Democrats are relying on a false, often media-driven narrative that the American people want this kind of government.
To pull this off, these Democrats are relying on a false, often media-driven narrative that the American people want this kind of government. To accomplish this, they are throwing up a smokescreen of dishonest statistics.
Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., began the show. He took the podium first to say, “We face an extraordinary calamity … worse than an other country in the world, and it’s the ongoing slaughter [of Americans]. There have been more than 1,000 mass murders since Sandy Hook.”
Let’s stop him there a moment. This statistic is from the Gun Violence Archive, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group. The Gun Violence Archive’s “Analysis & Opinion” section of its website links only to articles and reports that promote gun control. They say they get their data from “1,500 media sources, aggregates, police blotters, police media outlets” and more. They don’t break down their “mass shooting” statistics by type of shooting, as in terrorist attack, gang shooting and so on. Instead, they lump them all together.
Of course, it would be difficult to separate them by type, but even a cursory review of the Gun Violence Archive’s online records makes it clear that many, if not the vast majority, are gang-related violence. The Gun Violence Archive’s data includes the approximate addresses of where the shootings took place, and many of them took place in areas known for gang violence. Rep. Larson is saying that using the “no-fly list” to stop gun purchases would prevent these mass shootings, yet most of them are being committed with illegally bought and illegally owned semi-auto pistols in gang-related shootings. He is clearly trying to mislead us.
Rep. Larson next said, “What we are asking for are very common-sense solutions—no fly, no buy.”
Now, as he says this is common sense, what other constitutionally protected right can the government take away with a secret list? None, huh? So doing that with gun ownership isn’t “common sense” after all. Is it possible he is trying to say that stopping terrorists from getting guns is common sense? Few would disagree with that. But, if that is what he is saying, shouldn’t he be backing legislation designed to delay a sale to a suspected terrorist as law enforcement does its job?
Instead, Rep. Larson and other Democrats are keeping their dishonest theatrics going.Rep. Larson then said this is why “so many took the [House] floor [for their sit-in last month] in an organic movement to demand a vote … it’s not enough to stand for a moment of silence; your silence means you’re complicit in these tragedies.”
OK, now Rep. Larson is claiming to be standing up for victims. If he really cared, shouldn’t he be giving the FBI all the tools it needs to aggressively go after terrorists—and holding them accountable if they fail in this endeavor? Shouldn’t he also be doing all he can to empower law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, as law enforcement can’t be everywhere all the time?
Meanwhile, wouldn’t it be better if he’d acknowledge that the statistics he points to on mass shootings are mostly gang-related violence? Shouldn’t he be seeing what Congress can do to help law enforcement disarm and prosecute violent members of gangs instead of arguing the government needs the power to use secret lists?
Instead, Rep. Larson and other Democrats are keeping their dishonest theatrics going.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., took the podium in the House to answer Rep. Larson’s claims. Rep. McClintock called the Democrats who participated in the sit-in “childish,” saying, “They shouted down all they disagreed with … and illegally occupied the House.” He then quoted Abraham Lincoln: “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.” Noting that the Democrats could have gotten their vote with a “discharge petition,” or by offering amendments, he concluded, “Sorry, that’s called Democracy.”
Some might look at this deadlock in Congress and shake their head at the partisan divide. Some might even believe Rep. Karen Bass’, D-Calif., claim that the “NRA has a stranglehold on Congress.”
What more people need to realize, however, is the real cause here is media bias. Much of the media only report one side of this issue. Given this, why should politicians who want more gun control work across the aisle? The media is giving them a smart campaign issue. The media is helping them raise campaign contributions based on a false narrative.
If, however, more people knew what the real common-sense solutions are, they’d demand Congress keeps our civil liberties intact while bolstering what law enforcement can do, and needs to do, to stop the next terrorist and to combat criminal gangs.