Writing at Cincinnati.com Monday, a pair of Republican congressmen explain the problems with Capitol Hill gun control efforts, from not reading legislation to passing measures that will not prevent crimes, raising the most important question of all: Do devout anti-gunners even care?
Judging from a couple of reader reactions to a gun control story in the Morning Call, a newspaper founded in 1883 in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, probably not. Indeed, it is instructional to read such comments in an effort to get inside the mind of an ardent gun prohibitionist.
In their joint Op-Ed, Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) come out swinging, telling readers, “Congress is notorious for passing legislation without reading it, but the urge to rush legislation reached a new level in Washington this month. Some members of Congress have announced support for gun control bills that haven’t even been written yet!”
They take a hard shot at the push for so-called “universal background checks,” acknowledging what gun rights activists already know: “Every attacker in all of the recent mass public shootings passed a background check and purchased his firearm from a federally licensed firearm dealer.”
And then Massie and Jordan go for the political jugular.
“There’s not a single mass public shooting that would have been prevented by universal background checks,” they write. “The other dirty little secret about universal background checks is that the only way to enforce them is to have a universal gun registry, which is a step toward future gun confiscation.”
But that’s just for openers. Jordan and Massie shift their crosshairs to the other solution du jour, “red flag” laws. They call the proposed federal mandate to pass state-level “red flag” law “unserious” and assert that it will cause more problems than it will solve.”
“The federal government,” they insist, “should not be in the business of using taxpayer money to bribe states to adopt unconstitutional laws. In fact, 17 states have already passed red flag laws, and there’s no evidence that these laws have reduced the frequency of mass public shootings.”
To the gun control crowd, that’s blasphemy. There is a strong impression among many anti-gunners that the solution to firearms misuse is to treat guns like cars.
One reader at the Morning Call wrote, “We need to treat gun use and ownership as we do car use and ownership. Just as all car sales require car registration, all gun sales should require registration.
Just as one needs a license to legally use a car, one should have a license to use a gun. Driving a car without a license is met with a penalty — so should using a gun without a license.”
Another added, “If you have to pass a written test and a driving test to drive a car, why can’t we make gun purchasers pass a written test with a psychological component, in addition to taking a shooting test at an approved range?”
Second Amendment activists look at such remarks and reflexively observe that people who write such things evidently skipped civics class in high school the day the teacher discussed rights versus privileges.
Congressmen Jordan and Massie sum it up: “Universal background checks, red flag laws, and the so-called assault weapons ban all have two things in common: they won’t stop mass public shootings and they will infringe on constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
“There’s not a single mass public shooting that would have been prevented by universal background checks.” Reps. Jim Jordan and Thomas Massie
“By keeping civilians from providing for their own protection,” they add, “and by causing those who need mental health care not to seek it, these laws will only make the current situation worse.
“If these proposals become law they will inevitably fail to produce the intended results and there will be a push for even more gun bans,” Massie and Jordan caution. “It’s time to slow down and look at the facts before rushing new laws to the president’s desk.”