Confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh were off to a rocky launch Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill as Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee seemed more intent on disruption and distraction than on getting down to business, with Fox News suggesting that gun rights v. gun control could be a major issue.
This probably should be no surprise to anybody, considering that anti-gun Senators Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein are point Democrats in the Kavanaugh opposition. They do not want the judge elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court for any number of reasons, and his apparent adherence to the Second Amendment is one of them.
Rasmussen Reports on Tuesday said a new survey shows that 69 percent of likely voters think it is “at least somewhat likely” that Kavanaugh will be confirmed. Thirty-eight percent think it is very likely.
By no small irony, Fox News made a point of mentioning guns following a weekend of violence in Chicago that left at least six dead. The Windy City is America’s text book example of the failure of gun control, with an annual body count that exceeds that of some entire states.
It also comes as gun control in neighboring Canada – a country often pointed to by U.S. anti-gunners as an example to follow – has just been given a slap in the face by the head of Toronto’s police union. Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, put it bluntly when responding to calls for more gun control from the city’s mayor, according to the CBC.
“There’s no way in my world or any world I know that this would have an impact on somebody who’s going to go out and buy an illegal gun and use it to kill another person or shoot another person,” he said. “It really has no impact on the psyche of a gunman.”
That’s a perspective routinely ignored by gun prohibition lobbying groups on both sides of the border. They will rush to quote some anti-gun police official, but when someone representing law enforcement offers a contrasting opinion, there is silence.
It is such a contrasting opinion offered by Kavanaugh in a dissent on a gun rights case in the District of Columbia that has anti-gun Democrats on Capitol Hill alarmed. In Heller v. District of Columbia, what many in the gun rights community call “Heller II,” Judge Kavanaugh noted that because the Supreme Court had already ruled that semi-auto handguns are protected by the Second Amendment, so should semi-auto rifles enjoy the same protection.
That brings the focus to “the other Washington.” Out in the Pacific Northwest, the gun ban lobby is pushing a citizen initiative that would, according to critics, strip young adults of their Second Amendment right to purchase and own a semi-auto rifle, even one as common as a Marlin, Ruger, Browning or Winchester semi-auto .22-caliber rimfire rifle used for plinking or small game hunting.
Grassroots firearms activists in Washington are fired up to fight the measure, which could have constitutional implications if it passes and is challenged in court. With Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, any glory gained by anti-gunners at the state level could be fleeting.