September 14, 2004

DID THEY LEARN ANYTHING IN '94?:

Staring Down the Barrel of The NRA (E. J. Dionne Jr., September 14, 2004, Washington Post)

The expiration of the assault weapons ban was a depressing but potentially valuable lesson in the rancid politics of gun control.

Honest debate on gun policy is impossible because of the cynical absolutism of the current leadership of the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party's dependence on this interest group's muscle and the fear that the NRA inspires among some Democrats.

[A] president who was happy to bring excruciating pressure on Congress to pass his tax measures lifted not a finger to get Republican leaders in Congress to put the assault weapons bill on his desk.

This is the politics of the nod and the wink. As Jim VandeHei and Paul Farhi reported in The Post, the NRA is planning to spend $400,000 a week until the election to condemn John Kerry's votes for gun control. Overall, the organization expects to spend $20 million on this election, mostly to help Republican candidates.


So if even Mr. Dionne can figure out that the gun issue is poison for Democrats, how can they manage to get themselves in a position where the press is running headlines like this: Kerry Blasts Bush on Guns?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2004 12:41 PM
Comments

They actually believe they are doing the right thing is the answer. I heard someone speculate that Kerry's anti-gun rant is a sign that his campaign now knows it cannot win, and is trying to 'energize the base' with left-wing pablum.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at September 14, 2004 1:01 PM

Taking a brief time out from dancing on the ridiculous ban's grave, the only silver lining in such a new bill might be the other "poison pills" it could be laced with (a la HSA's in Prescription Drugs):

> clarify the vagueness of the original

> mandatory Senate votes within XX days for fed. judge appointees

> '1 strike' mandatory gun crime sentencing with serious consequences

Could they draft an "Assault Weapons Ban" that even Dems couldn't vote for? Surely that's possible.

Posted by: John Resnick at September 14, 2004 1:20 PM

Honest debate on gun policy is impossible because of the cynical absolutism of the current leadership of the National Rifle Association,...


I wonder if Mr. Dionne would ever substitute a couple of words and write these statements:

Honest debate on Internet pornography and censorship is impossible because of the cynical absolutism of the current leadership of the American Civil Liberties Union,...

Honest debate on abortion policy is impossible because of the cynical absolutism of the current leadership of the NARAL and Planned Parenthood,...

Honest debate on affirmative action is impossible because of the cynical absolutism of the current leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP,.....

Posted by: pchuck at September 14, 2004 3:35 PM

"So if even Mr. Dionne can figure out..."

Blind sow, meet truffle.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at September 14, 2004 6:49 PM

There are two answers to your question. The first, of course, is Quem Deus vult perdere, etc.

The second is a bit more complex. Haters of America, our folk-enemies, hate guns as they cherish a myth it was our weapons and not our ideas that explain our mastery. They would have it believed, for example, that guns defeated the Aztecs and the Turks, even though Cortes had no more than a handful of ineffective matchlocks and the Turks were better equipped with gunpowder weapons than the Christian allies.

Also, the Marxists, our culture-enemies, despise guns because private arms reserve, even if only symbolically, the power of the individual against the State. Seizing control of the state doesn't give you the power to transform society if civil society is armed.

Parenthetically, the NRA's handling of the AWB matter has been brilliant. I am firing (sic) off my check to upgrade my membership from Endowment to Patron.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 15, 2004 10:42 AM
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