Why gun control failed: a perspective from an unarmed subject in the UK
He has some interesting perspectives, but also a lot of misconceptions. For example:
He accepts that 90% of the public supported gun control -- when that number was inflated by lack of specificity, ignorance of current law, and untrustworthy polls. If 90% of the people supported new gun control laws, more then 4% would see it as the most important problem facing America, especially with the media screaming about it for months. Instead, Americans consider gun control a solved problem within existing law.
He blames the NRA for being extreme, and the Democrats for being wimps and failing to support a more comprehensive bill. Yet the comprehensive bill got much less support, and independent legal scholars exposed the Democratic gun control proposals as being much more extreme than Democrats claimed them to be. Democrats asked for a small piece of gun pie, then tried to swipe half the pie in the process.
A word, first, about that Senate "minority." Majority Leader Harry Reid was free to bring the deal struck by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to the floor for an up-or-down vote, and this background-checks amendment might have passed. It did convince 54 Senators, including four Republicans.
But under Senate rules, a simple majority vote would have opened the measure to up to 30 hours of debate, which would have meant inspecting the details. The White House demanded, and Mr. Reid agreed, that Congress should try to pass the amendment without such a debate.
Why try to pass legislation -- any legislation -- without 30 hours of debate? The only possible reason is if you are afraid that the details of the bill will be discovered, and the resulting public opposition will sink the bill. As, in fact, happened -- Dave Kopel sunk the legislation with a single post on the Volokh Conspiracy, and thanks to the internet the word spread fast enough to turn a bill that might have passed into one that was significantly short of votes.
I just have to pull this quote out: "liberals tend to be less ambitious and tenacious than their conservative rivals." When was the last time a conservative tried to impose Obamacare on the whole country?
And finally, he blames Obama for being difficult to work with. That's a good point, because Obama has certainly not been a good representative for his side of the debate. He has a track record of negotiating in bad faith, rhetorically claims the center while arguing from the left behind closed doors, and refuses to engage in honest debate. That said -- if Obama had been a reasonable person on this issue, I don't think he would have gotten much more traction.
There is a very real, very intense problem with bad faith on the gun control side of the argument. Put simply, gun owners know that the ultimate goal of every major leader of the gun control movement is total confiscation. This has been reinforced again and again. No matter what "reasonable compromise" is agreed to today, they will be back tomorrow for more.
Any attempt at "reasonable compromise" will be viewed in light of that past bad faith, with predictable results.
This entry was published Fri Apr 26 03:34:16 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2013-04-26 03:34:16.0.