By Dave Workman,
Congressional gun prohibitionists have launched a full court press to pass some kind of legislation ostensibly designed to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but failing that they will use whatever setbacks they suffer as campaign issues heading into the November elections.
That appears to be the prevailing wisdom from pundits in the aftermath of a defeat of legislation proposed on both sides of the aisle in the US Senate as a response to the Orlando slaughter. Surprising to some, the concern was not so much about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as it was the Fifth Amendment right to due process.
Explaining legislation that she proposed to prevent people whose names show up on a no-fly list, anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told PBS that people could petition “and prove your innocence.” The remark streaked across social media at warp speed, with gun rights advocates calling foul, reminding the senator that under our justice system, it is the government’s responsibility to prove someone guilty before stripping them of a civil right.
After the initial bills were rejected, Sen. Susan Collins began working on a compromise proposal.
Gun rights leaders have been quick to respond.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, told WND Radio that “A gun doesn’t have a brain to hate with or a finger to pull its own trigger. The question we have here is: How do we get those people off the streets without infringing on people’s rights to own a firearm for legitimate lawful purposes, including the right to protect yourself from a terrorist?”
“It’s not just gun rights we’re talking about here,” he added. “You take people’s due process rights away; you’ve got a tyrannical government.”
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the legislation, which was defeated, would not accomplish a thing. He recalled that “Laws didn’t stop them in Boston. Laws didn’t stop them in San Bernardino, where you had every type of gun control law that you could have. And they didn’t stop them in Paris, where people can’t even own guns.”
And LaPierre added a warning that terrorists are coming, and law-abiding Americans need to plan for their own security.
“No one wants terrorists to have legal or illegal access to firearms,” added NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox. “Keeping guns from terrorists while protecting the due process rights of law-abiding citizens are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, Senator Collins and others are focusing their efforts on unconstitutional proposals that would not have prevented the Orlando terrorist attack. The American people want Congress to stop playing politics and pass policies that will keep them safe from terrorists.”
The discussion created some revealing moments, especially where anti-gunners are concerned. One of those came when Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) was interviewed by “ABC This Week.” When he resisted talking about how the gun control measures proposed by his colleagues would not have prevented the Orlando attack, he asserted that by doing so, he would be falling into “a trap.”
“We can’t get into the trap in which we are forced to defend our proposals simply because it didn’t stop the last tragedy,” he stated.
Many Second Amendment activists contended that this was proof positive that anti-gunners like Murphy know their positions are indefensible and do not want to be held accountable.