Gunfight at the No-Kay Corral

When will they ever learn?  Apparently not any time soon.

Once again, progressive Democrats have lured weak-kneed Senate Republicans – apparently eager for ‘approval’ from people and organizations who will, in truth, never give it to them – to cross over to the dark side in a gun control bill.

These ten sell-outs – nearly half of whom having already announced they’re not running for re-election in 2022 – have signed on with Senate Democrats, to pull together what the Democrats love to misleadingly label as “commonsense gun laws,” as reported in the Washington Post

These senators have been urged on by New York senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and by Kentucky senator and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  These two have urged their members of this ad hoc working group to embrace a nine-point “framework” leading up to a gun control bill.  

Oddly, that framework actually never even mentions gun control.  Those seemingly moderate nine points within it are primarily a whitewash – a wish-and-a-promise list of ideas linking mental health with gun ownership, as well as mandating school systems to turn their schools into armed encampments. That provision is, actually, relatively common sense, but only if the armed presence in the schools are well-trained and volunteers.  You can be sure those “common-sense” limitations will be ignored in the final legislation.

Another of the nine points will involve pressuring states to enact “red-flag” gun laws that permit authorities to “temporarily” confiscate legally owned guns, without due process, violating both the Second and the Fourth Amendments.   Fortunately, because there is no due-process in red flag laws, they will – if enacted – be constitutionally overturned.  Not as a Second Amendment violation – which they are – but as a more politically-acceptable Fourth Amendment violation.  But that takes years, and in the meantime, millions of legal gun-owners will be “temporarily” deprived of their firearms, let alone the right to buy new firearms. 

That – even the red flag laws – still sounds more-or-less innocuous. But in this case, as so often is the case, it is deceiving.  Hey, it’s Washington, right?   So of course, there’s a catch.  There is a world of difference between a framework agreement termed a “handshake deal” by the Washington Post, and what will actually appear in the legislation, which has yet to be drafted. 

What the Democrats always do, and what the “bipartisan” Republicans always fall for, is the old bait-and-switch. 

The “common-sense” framework for legislation contains nothing overtly egregious to the Second Amendment, except for those red-flag laws, and – in the framework – those will see the individual states arm-twisted into passing these state-by-state gun seizure laws.  However, if past Democrat performance is any indication – and I believe it is – the actual legislation will contain most, if not all, of the gun-grab ideas President Biden has been so vigorously advocating.  Even though there’s no such thing as an “assault weapon,” those semi-automatic guns which look like full-auto military rifles or carbines will be banned – as will gun magazines holding ten or more rounds.  Biden even recently called for the ban of 9mm semi-auto handguns, the most commonly-owned firearms in America.  When that inevitably happens, the out-front “let’s go along to get along” Republicans will feel trapped into signing on to whatever the legislation has to say.

In effect, the Democrats – using the horrific Texas school shooting as a fig-leaf – have carefully crafted a way around the current fifty-fifty split in the Senate, one sure to be lost to the Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.  Not having time to push “normal” legislation through the Senate, they have doubled-down on the public horror of that latest shooting. 

Specifically, they threaten Republican senators who might otherwise stand against arbitrary limitations to our Second Amendment rights with charges of being “pro-massacre.”   They have also come up with preposterous numbers for recent “mass shootings.”  Recently, on Fox’s The Five, former Democrat Congressman from Memphis Harold Ford Jr. was pinned down when he said there had been more than 900 mass shootings in the past year.  Asked how many people had to be involved to qualify it as a “mass shooting,” he finally admitted, “more than one.”  That’s not what Americans think of as a mass shooting, but that’s what the lawmakers are claiming as justification for axing the Second Amendment.

This is my concern, but it is also one shared by the NRA. 

Here’s what the NRA told the Washington Post:  “The NRA will continue to oppose any effort to insert gun-control policies, initiatives that override constitutional due process protections, and efforts to deprive law-abiding citizens of their fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones into this or any other legislation,” according to NRA spokeswoman, Amy Hunter.  She also noted that because of this standard process by Democrats, they do not speak out on legislative framework agreements, as those never seem to reflect the actual legislation that follows such a hollow agreement.

By now, those feckless Republicans should know better, but they don’t.  Instead, they’re putting their personal ambition for this public imprimatur from the “Establishment, as embodied in the mainstream news media, ahead of what even the dimmest bulb among them must know is coming.

For instance, in a page-one article, The New York Times lauded the cooperating Republican senators, starting with Mitch McConnell. 

He’s not on the 20-senator “bipartisan” commission which created the framework, but he was the driving force behind this Republican sell-out of the Second Amendment:  “The group included,” the New York Times reported, “four Republican senators who are leaving Congress at the end of the year – Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania – and five who are not up for re-election for another four years (until 2026): John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who also embraced the deal, will face voters in 2024.”

They also noted that “in an indication of the political risks Republicans see in embracing even ‘modest’ gun safety measures, none of the 10 who endorsed Sunday’s deal was facing voters this year.”  At least they got that straight.  But it's not as riskless as it appears even for the sell-outs. Already Sen. John Cornyn is beginning to wobble on the bill, stating that he's suddenly concerned about the "cost."  That's a sign that even he's having second thoughts. Though he is politically insulated, along with the other Republicans who are selling the party’s members and the Second Amendment down the river, not all of them as insulated --  – Mitt Romney after all will face his voters in 2024. Perhaps he’s hoping for Republican presidential coat-tails victory to pull him through, or maybe he thinks the Romney name and the Romney wealth will enable him to buy Utah once again. 

We’ll see.

Ned Barnett, since 2006 a frequent contributor to American Thinker, is a life-long target shooter, who qualified for the rifle team while in college.  He is a life member of the NRA, though this hasn’t impacted his reporting here.  In a career spanning more than four decades, he has supported conservative candidates and causes which support the plain-language interpretation of the Second Amendment.  He is currently working on a book about the repeated attempts toward confiscatory gun control, and the battle by constitutional supporters of the Second Amendment.  Professionally, he has written 39 published books, and works with authors to craft their own books – either by ghostwriting or coaching, then get their book edited, published and promoted.  He can be reached at or at 702-561-1167.

Image: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

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