Democrat candidates lined up for Round 1 of the primary debates Wednesday and gun control was a big topic. (Screen snip, YouTube, NBC)
Round One of the first Democrat candidates’ debates is history, and if there is one thing upon which grassroots gun rights activists seem to agree, it’s that none of the people on that Miami stage Wednesday evening has even a remote grasp of the Second Amendment, and what separates constitutionally-enumerated rights from government-regulated privileges.
Vox.com reported that among Democratic voters, “gun policy” is second only to “climate change” as a major concern. This suggests that gun control “will be a big issue in the 2020 Democratic primary,” Vox observed.
A good gauge of public reaction appears at NJ.com, which focused on New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s proposal to require licensing of gun owners. Readers responding to the story Thursday morning wonder if Booker, the former Newark mayor and an avowed anti-gunner, ever read the Bill of Rights.
Writing at Townhall, Beth Baumann observed, “People like Booker are dangerous, especially when it comes to our Constitutional rights. We shouldn’t need permission to own a gun. We shouldn’t need a piece of paper to exercise our Second Amendment rights.”
Pushing varying levels of gun control occupied several minutes of the debate Wednesday evening and might also be part of the Thursday evening session.
Perhaps as alarming as the Democrats’ attitude towards the Second Amendment right was the question from NBC’s Chuck Todd: “Many of you are calling for tighter gun restrictions, some of you are even calling for restoration of the assault weapons ban, but even if it’s put in place, there’s still going to be perhaps hundreds of millions of guns still out there on the streets. Is there a role for the federal government to play in order to get these guns off the streets?”
Those “hundreds of millions of guns” are not “on the streets,” activists argue, but in the hands and homes of law-abiding citizens, posing no threat to public safety. So, why should Todd or the candidates be talking about “getting them off the streets?”
It was during this phase of questioning that the network experienced “technical difficulties” because some reporters in the back of the auditorium had their microphones on. Perhaps that underscored the toxicity of the subject matter. With an estimated 100 million-plus gun owners in this country, owning upwards of 300 million firearms, the notion of “getting them off the streets” is going to be met with a backlash that could have a ripple effect for many years, and many elections, to come.
Writing at the Washington Examiner, Kaylee McGhee criticized Booker’s “misconstruction of Second Amendment rights and what exactly they entail.”
“Under the Constitution,” McGhee observed, “there is a fundamental distinction between rights and enumerated powers. Acting on rights clearly listed in the Bill of Rights, such as the right to bear arms, does not require the government’s permission. But the government’s regulation of such rights does require permission — permission that must be granted by the people…
“The more we allow government to define and restrict the scope of our rights, the more freedoms we will lose,” McGhee added. “This is about more than bump stocks and school safety. This is about the Constitution and the people who sanction it.”
That viewpoint is shared by millions of citizens who vote, and it’s imperative for them to understand the extreme lengths to which some of these Democrat candidates are willing to go to regulate a delineated right that activists insist “shall not be infringed.”