“This is not helpful. It is an over reach,” Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said in a press release yesterday responding to President Barack Obama’s announcement on gun control. “Frankly, I’m concerned about the type of reaction he’s going to get to it.”
That’s certainly an ominous statement. Cramer expanded on it in an interview with Breitbart News:
The response I’m getting from constituents in North Dakota concerns me. What concerns me is, we’re talking about a very fundamental right where the topic itself is a gun. For these people, it’s a very personal thing. It’s very passionate. I worry about not the passion that it inflames, but beyond passion. When I hear people talk, I can tell they are really, really upset. There is a line they don’t want crossed and they see the government coming across it. The president is well protected, but I worry just about frankly, the ramifications to society from this kind of overreach.
There is no question that Americans have passionate feelings about gun rights. This is evidenced by the fact that every time the national debate turns to gun control we see sales of firearms and ammunition go up.
President Obama – who, whatever else you want to say about him, is nobody’s fool – so he has to know that anything he says about gun control is going to inflame the public. Which brings us to his tearful publicity stunt yesterday in which he announced new gun control policies which don’t really add up to anything all that new.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]This sort of exploitation of the law isn’t democratic. In fact, it comes off as bureaucratic harassment deployed with phony-baloney staging and theatrics.[/mks_pullquote]
Obama cried during his press conference, while invoking the memory of the children murdered at the Sandy Hook shooting, and then announced policies which would not have stopped that shooting. And you don’t have to take my word for it. That’s according to an Associated Press fact check.
“The gun control measures a tearful President Barack Obama announced Tuesday would not have prevented the slaughters of 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, or 14 county workers at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California,” the AP reports noting that “an Associated Press review shows, they would have had no impact in keeping weapons from the hands of suspects in several of the deadliest recent mass shootings that have spurred calls for tighter gun control.”
So then what was the point of Obama’s announcement?
“It doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks,” President Obama said yesterday. Except, if you’re in the business of selling firearms, you already have to get a federal firearms license. And if you have such a license you must run a background check on whoever you’re selling firearms to regardless of venue (internet, gun show, gun shop, etc.).
Sometimes gun control advocates make it sound like the internet is some wild west of firearm commerce, but it really isn’t. It’s heavily regulated. All internet sales must go through someone with a federal firearms license. If you’re in North Dakota and you buy a gun over the internet from a shop in Texas that gun must be shipped to someone with a federal firearms license near you so that they can make you fill out the proper paperwork and complete the requisite background check.
None of what Obama announced is new policy. What he was really telling us is that the way the government enforces that policy is going to change. His administration seems to be after private firearms transactions – i.e. you sell your shotgun to your neighbor – and it seems they may be willing to define even just one gun sale as a gun business needing a license.
This sort of exploitation of the law isn’t democratic. In fact, it comes off as bureaucratic harassment deployed with phony-baloney staging and theatrics.
Thus the concern Rep. Cramer expresses for the public’s reaction. Obama – again, no dummy – seems more intent on inflaming the public than engaging in transparent and democratic reforms. And as Charles Cooke points out, his machinations are self defeating.
“By taking this route, Obama will help to entrench America’s gun culture — and for little in return,” he writes. “Ceteris paribus, the United States will play host to at least another 20 million guns by the end of December 2016 — many of them so-called ‘assault weapons.’ In addition, the country will welcome another million or so concealed carriers, and another half-million or so NRA members. Every time the president talks about gun control, these numbers increase, and, in consequence, the president’s opponents are strengthened.”