These are heady times for the two dozen Democrats now running to be the next president of the United States. To grab some headlines, one by one they are trying to get to the left of the pack on guns.
This past week we saw former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper step in with his own desires for gun bans and restrictions. Hickenlooper, of course, in the past joined Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that has actually always been against legal gun ownership.
In2013 Hickenlooper signed bills banning so-called “high-capacity” gun magazines and more, and soon saw voters quickly gather enough signatures to trigger special recall elections. These recalls removed from office John Morse, a Democrat, who was then state senate president. They also recalled Angela Giron, another Democrat state senator. A third Democrat, Evie Hudak, resigned to avoid facing a recall election.
Soon after Hickenlooper signed the gun-control legislation, 54 of 62 Colorado sheriffs—Republicans and Democrats—put their names on a lawsuit filed in federal court in an attempt to overturn Colorado’s package of gun-control laws.
In 2014 Hickenlooper found himself in a room with these Colorado sheriffs. A video of Hickenlooper’s bumbling remarks at the event came out (everyone has a smart phone now). Hickenlooper can be heard saying, “I apologize. I don’t think we did a good job on any of that stuff” when referring to the gun-control laws he signed. And he said, “I think we screwed that up a little bit, and think we did a disservice to you and a disservice to ourselves.”
Now five years later, in his zeal to make national headlines in a field of Democratic candidates so big it could field two football teams, he seems to have forgotten the lesson that Americans know freedom matters.
“In this county, before you can drive a car, you have to get a license and demonstrate you can responsibly drive that vehicle. I believe we should create that same rite of passage for gun ownership,” Hickenlooper said, in a campaign statement. “Under my plan, people born after 2001 would need to get a license and pass a test that demonstrates they can safely handle and store a gun before they possess one.”
Now is when we remind anyone making this false analogy that the Second Amendment is a constitutionally protected right, whereas getting a license to drive isn’t. Having a driver’s license, legally speaking, is a privilege. In no place does the Constitution say the right to drive a car shall not be infringed.
Hickenlooper’s plan would also, by necessity, create a national gun-owner registry.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress…
When Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) proposed an amendment to the proposed DREAM Act that would prevent illegal aliens with gun offenses from receiving amnesty, many Democrats, who have the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, were so opposed to his amendment they tried to get Gaetz to withdraw it.
“I don’t believe anyone has made a promise to dreamers that they can wave guns around,” Gaetz said, at a congressional hearing to publicly discuss the bill. “And so I would seek to enhance the legislation by ensuring that anyone who comes to the country and is convicted of a misdemeanor offence that is gun related not be given the amnesty that is laid forth in the bill.”
After a series of Democrats spoke out against an amendment that would prevent illegal immigrants convicted of gun-related crimes from getting amnesty in this proposed legislation, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) held up Gaetz’s amendment and said, “I urge you to withdraw the amendment. And I won’t ask for an apology, but just ask you to withdraw the amendment.”
Gaetz responded, “I heard the gentle lady from Georgia say we have approved every caveat to protect people from gun violence, if that were true you would approve this amendment.”
With 18 months until the next election, and with Democratic candidates for president all trying to get to the left of the pack on gun rights, these Democrats in Congress have finally found a piece of gun-control legislation they don’t like—one that would stop illegal immigrants convicted of gun violations from being granted citizenship.
Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week
“A couple of weeks ago, the New York Police Department held an unusual public hearing. Its purpose was to make a Supreme Court case disappear.”—This is the lede in an article in The New York Timesthat details how New York City is tweaking its gun-control laws in an attempt to squash a Second Amendment case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear. It is not yet clear if this ploy will work.
Pro-Freedom Quote of the Week“Under my plan, people born after 2001 would need to get a license and pass a test that demonstrates common sense and have read the Constitution before they can vote.”—This sarcastic comment was posted by a Denver Postreader in reference to former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s unconstitutional plan make every American citizen born after 2001 apply for their Second Amendment rights.
(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.)