Buried about 20 paragraphs into a massive 5,000-plus report clearly aimed at stirring public emotion toward a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” the Washington Post tells about a handful of U.S. Senators—all Democrats—who now regret and wish they could change their votes on gun control legislation following the Sandy Hook tragedy.
The story is detailed and well-written, and it deserves to be read by Second Amendment activists, perhaps for no other reason than to understand how “the other side” thinks and reasons.
The important passage says this: “The senators’ changing views also reflect how the Democratic Party has moved in recent years toward supporting more aggressive gun control.”
There could be no clearer signal about what American gun owners—and especially the millions of peaceable citizens who own modern semiautomatic rifles and pistols—will face in the New Year, at the hands of Democrats, whose party has come to be known as the “Party of Gun Prohibition.”
The WaPo article adds, “Many Democrats had long refused to consider strict gun limits, blaming their party’s steep losses in the 1994 midterm elections on the enactment that year of an assault weapons ban. The ban’s expiration in 2004 preceded a new era of soaring semiautomatic weapons production, escalating after Sandy Hook, that has made the AR-15 the country’s best-selling rifle. Today, a well-financed advocacy network — sparked by the 2013 defeat in the Senate and supercharged by the mobilization of young people after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. — has heightened pressure on Democrats to unify around stronger gun-control policies.”
This year’s passing of career gun ban advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein will not likely slow them down. Neither will concerns about the November 2024 elections.
The story details efforts by Sandy Hook parents to push gun control policies.
One of the takeaways from the story is not what was said, but what was missing: Any examination of why restrictive gun controls fail. Simply put, criminals do not obey gun control laws.
Two recent examples can be found in Colorado and Washington state, both which have earned high marks from the annual scorecard from the Giffords gun control lobbying group, for passing new restrictions during the past year.
Published crime data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 show homicides in the state have gone up, from 312 in 2020 to last year’s 386.
Denver Post archives also tell an interesting story. In the Feb. 9, 2018, the newspaper lamented 56 slayings in the city in both 2017 and 2016. By March 14, 2022, the Denver Post was reporting this about 2021: “Ninety-six people died in Denver homicides last year, the highest number recorded since 1981 and a toll that’s left dozens more families devastated by the elevated level of violence that’s ripped through the city over the past two years.”
Colorado imposed a “high capacity magazine” ban, driving one business out of the state. The Legislature repealed state preemption allowing local control of gun laws.
Out in Washington, Giffords gave the state an “A-“ grade for passing restrictive gun laws—which, incidentally, only seem to have impaired the rights of honest citizens—while the homicide number has gone steadily up. As reported by TheGunMag.com (formerly GUN WEEK), passage of restrictive gun controls over the past few years, including bans on “large capacity magazines” and the future sale of modern semi-auto rifles, Seattle has set a new homicide record this year.
Data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs annual crime report shows the number of reported homicides go from 194 in 2019 (FBI) to an alarming 394 in 2022 (WASPC).
As reported in TheGunMag.com, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Washington-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, has called out anti-gunners, who have been silent.
“Seattle, and the whole of Washington State, is proof positive that passing laws which only impact honest gun owners accomplish nothing to reduce violent crime,” Gottlieb said earlier this month. “We warned people in 2014 that Initiative 594 would not prevent murder or mayhem, and we were right. We told Seattleites in 2015 the tax on guns and ammunition in their city would not prevent shootings or slayings, and we were right. We cautioned voters in 2018 that Initiative 1639 would not keep guns out of the wrong hands, and we were right, again. In fact, we have consistently been right about public safety issues while the other side is only interested in public disarmament.
“How many more people must die before the gun ban bunch publicly acknowledges they’ve been wrong all along,” he wondered. “What will it take to compel Gov. Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and their wealthy elitist anti-gun cronies to admit their agenda has failed miserably?
“The time has come for Washington State lawmakers and voters to roll back the extremist gun control measures, stop penalizing law-abiding gun owners and gun buyers for crimes they didn’t commit, and try a different tack,” Gottlieb suggested. “Almost three decades ago, we championed Hard Time for Armed Crime and Three Strikes laws. The public overwhelmingly supported both measures because instead of punishing the good guys, they concentrated on the bad guys. It’s time for that spirit to be revived.”
Meanwhile, the WaPo report was accompanied by a 742-word editorial calling upon members of Congress to act.
“It should be impossible to read The Post’s series on the AR-15-style rifles without realizing something is deeply wrong in the country — including, of course, its permissive gun laws,” the newspaper said. “The last installment in the series, published this week, shows that some of the politicians whose job it is to make those laws are beginning to rethink things. More of their colleagues should follow suit.”
There is no small irony in the WaPo’s unwavering support for more gun control, essentially advocating for restrictions on the Second Amendment, while another Gottlieb group—the Second Amendment Foundation—has been feverishly defending the First Amendment rights of free speech and the press in a case challenging a restrictive California law regarding firearms advertising in a publication titled “Junior Sports Magazine.”
Equally informative are some of the reader responses to the WaPo editorial. Most reveal a revulsion of the right to keep and bear arms, to the point of some calling for repeal of the Second Amendment. But a few others argue that an “assault weapon” ban will not survive a court challenge, “nor measurably lessen gun deaths.”
With the new year just days away, gun owners who consider themselves activists should read and study the WaPo story and editorial, because the thoughts and emotions expressed in those words reflect a mindset which is coming after your rights.
About Dave Workman