The presidential contenders screaming for the attention of Democrat primary voters are actually telling us what they really think.
Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is the latest. Like the rest, he wants so-called “universal” background checks, a ban on “assault weapons” (meaning whatever they can stuff into that ever-expansive political definition of popular semiautomatic firearms) and a ban on standard-capacity magazines. Booker also now says he wants to establish a federal registry of guns and gun owners. If Booker has his way, Americans who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights would have to apply to Washington, D.C., for permission—and not just once, but every five years. Gun owners also would have to tell the federal government all about the guns they own. It is an Orwellian idea of Big Brother control that has consequences we now are seeing playing out in Venezuela.
In the past (from Al Gore’s embarrassing loss of his home state and with it the presidency in 2000 after he made attacking the Second Amendment a campaign plank to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run), Democrats seeking the presidency cloaked their views on the Second Amendment in rhetoric claiming they respected American constitutional rights, but just wanted to enact “common-sense” reforms.
Now Booker thinks America should be a “may-issue” nation for all of your guns.
If that sounds like a worst-case scenario, realize Booker also argues that the federal government’s “terror watch list”—a secret government black list—should be used to disarm “suspicious” Americans without due process. Who would he find suspicious? Maybe NRA members? He has said “we are gonna bring a fight like the NRA has never seen.”
Even when considered from a practical perspective, gun registries have failed again and again. Most recently in Canada, where the costs were astronomical and many people were practicing civil-disobedience by either not complying or purposely giving false information to government officials. And that’s in Canada. In the United States, there are over 100 million gun owners who own about half a billion firearms.
As if to sound reasonable, Booker argues that a driver’s license demonstrates a person’s eligibility and proficiency to drive a car and so “a gun license demonstrates that a person is eligible and can meet certain safety and training standards necessary to own a gun.”
This is once again the time to point out that legally speaking driving is a privilege whereas the right to own and carry a gun is a right specifically protected in the U.S. Bill of Rights.
The Mexico Gun Myth Resurfaces
A recent article titled “Mexico’s Gun Problem” at Kpbs.org is worth addressing mostly because it relies on long-debunked myths as our nation grapples with a surge of illegal immigration.
Its author, Jean Guerrero, obviously didn’t even sniff around outside of the mainstream media’s echo chamber for all the facts. This “journalist” makes the mistake TheWall Street Journalpolitical columnist Barton Swaim said “captures what ails present-day American liberalism. Its defining characteristic is a labored ignorance of the other side. Liberals frequently neither know nor care to learn what nonliberals think. Their own views predominate in the universities and media; why bother considering lesser ones?”
Guerrero blames “American guns, bullets and grenades” for Mexico’s homicide problem. He notes that “[m]ore than 33,000 people were murdered in Mexico last year, an all-time high.” Guerrero then says “nearly all” of the guns recovered at crime scenes and otherwise grabbed by the authorities are “American-made: AK-47s, AR-15s, Glocks and more.”
Guerrero explains that “Mexico has only one gun store. It’s controlled by the army in Mexico City. The gun laws for civilians are strict, with six-month background checks and a federal registry keeping track of every weapon. Person to person firearm sales is prohibited. Calibers are restricted to .380 or less….”
This is where anyone paying attention would point out that Mexico is obviously another place showcasing the failures of gun control. The criminals have guns, but the law-abiding find it very difficult and costly to arm and defend themselves from the criminal gangs who prey on them. Instead of solving their problem with freedom, Mexico is creating a populace of victims.
Guerrero doesn’t point this out, however; instead, he blames American freedom for Mexico’s homicide rate.
The thing is, the numbers he is citing have long since been debunked. Back during the Obama administration’s scandal over Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-running operation in which the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told gun-store owners to let known bad guys buy and then transport thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels, the facts came out.
Guerrero writes that “About 70 percent of the 15,316 weapons submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) by Mexican authorities nationwide in 2017 were traceable to the U.S.”
In 2008, when the media reported that 90 percent of the firearms recovered in Mexico came from the United States, some looked deeper at this number and found that actually less than 12 percent of the guns Mexico seized in 2008 likely came from the U.S. According to statistics from Mexico, in 2008 approximately 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals in Mexico. Of these, 7,200 (24 percent) were submitted to the ATF for tracing because Mexican authorities thought it possible these firearms were from the U.S. since they had U.S.-mandated serial numbers as well as the firearm’s make and model on them. Of the 7,200 firearms submitted for tracing, about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF—of which roughly 3,480 came from the U.S.
Even those statistics might be inflated because research has shown that some of these same firearms were submitted to the ATF multiple times by Mexican authorities.
Instead of quibbling over these inflated statistics, wouldn’t it be better for more people in the media to call for Mexico to give its citizens their own Second Amendment?
Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week
“The biggest thing in the proposal is a national gun licensing program, which would force Americans to apply for 5-year gun licenses before obtaining a firearm. The process would include fingerprinting, an interview, gun safety courses and a federal background check.” –Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said in a statement announcing his anti-gun proposal.
Pro-Freedom Quote of the Week
“In a 1968 Fifth Amendment case, Haynes v. United States, the Supreme Court held 7–1 that convicted felons cannot not be punished for failing to register their illegally owned firearms on the grounds that such punishment would constitute self-incrimination. What, one has to ask, is to be the purpose of a registry that is legally permitted to ensnare only the virtuous?” –An editorial at National Review pointing out how unconstitutional, un-American and impractical is Sen. Cory Booker’s call for a gun-owner registry.
(Frank Miniter is the author of Spies in Congress—Inside the Democrats’ Covered-Up Cyber Scandal. His latest book, The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to the Workplace, will be out this summer.)