By David Codrea
Three cities filed suit in December against the Department of Defense. The complaint charged DOD shared responsibility for the Texas church massacre in which 26 defenseless people were slain by a “prohibited person” whose disqualifying military record was not reported to the national background check system. Overtly socialist Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City would be joining with Philadelphia and San Francisco to “stand up to” the DOD due to the “immeasurable harm” caused by its failures to comply with the law.
How those cities can make such a claim, especially considering the “immeasurable harm” attributable to their draconian citizen disarmament policies, is beside the point. The object here has nothing to do with “the security of a free State” and everything to do with scoring another of a thousand cuts against the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Case in point: the Texas maniac was stopped by an armed citizen. Had gun-grabber edicts been in effect, he’d have been able to continue racking up the body count. No other conclusion is possible but that “common sense gun safety law proponents” would rather see their countrymen murdered by the scores than armed.
Also left unacknowledged is the “immeasurable harm” caused by “sanctuary city” policies implemented by all three plaintiffs. The sensible part of the country was outraged at the acquittal verdict for an illegal alien felon, already deported multiple times, who used a gun stolen from a BLM agent’s car to kill a San Francisco woman.
He didn’t go through a “background check” either, nor do the beneficiaries of crimes of opportunity who get their guns courtesy of the very people pointing fingers, as these recent headlines make apparent:
• “Stolen police gun used to shoot Philly cop in name of Islam”
• “Bonehead [NYPD] cop suspended after gun, police gear stolen from car”
• “Shotgun, rifle, ammunition stolen from police vehicle in San Francisco”
A proverb about people living in glass houses comes to mind.
Urban regime culpability for death does not end there. Each of the plaintiff cities brings with it a long record of corruption, abuse and destructive policies. Such malpractice all but ensures what they call “gun violence” (in order to deflect from their failures) will continue unabated.
It also deflects from the culprits doing the killing.
New York City officials were actually celebrating that the number of homicides investigated in 2017 was fewer than 300. Not faring as “well,” lower-population Philadelphia’s total was over 300, the highest since 2012. And San Francisco homicides were up by 14 percent by the end of November. Left unsaid was how many of those—if any—were directly attributable to DOD reporting failures.
Also left unsaid is how closing the door on private sales would even make a dent in the black market supply of firearms available to the criminal underworld. The small fraction of guns supplied from stores is typically bought by a so-called “straw purchaser” who can pass the background check on behalf of a “prohibited person.”
That, of course, is illegal.
The vast majority of “crime guns” are obtained “off-the-books” from friends, acquaintances and fellow gang members, by theft, via sharing “community guns,” and through other illegal transfers. Per the most recent published ATF trace data (2016), the national average time to crime (from initial “legal” purchase is 9.76 years. The states of the suing cities show times respectively of California: 12.53 years; New York: 13.37 years; and Pennsylvania: 10.58 years.
The correlation of DOD negligence to those cycles will remain undefined because there is none. But since the intent of the lawsuit is to grandstand and harass, that’s irrelevant. Collectivists suing because they can’t control violence incubated on turf they rule is hardly new. Not that long ago cities were teaming up to bankrupt firearms manufacturers and dealers for illegal abuse of legal products until passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Gun-grabbers have made no secret of their intent to repeal that law if they can reclaim Congress and the presidency.
Besides, even if the goal was to force the military to get on board with reporting requirements, the lawsuit filed by the cities is redundant. A “bipartisan” bill, with Republicans teaming up with Democrat infringement zealots like Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer, is in the works. “Fix NICS” proposes “[t]o enforce current law regarding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” and significantly has the blessing of the National Rifle Association. It’s been “combined” with National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, meaning at this writing, the legislative sausage-making process is still ongoing.
“Just one record that’s not properly reported can lead to tragedy,” Republican Fix NICS sponsor Sen. John Cornyn asserted as justification. Think about that for a moment.
If “just one record” is all it takes, how can bill supporters credibly justify opposing so-called “universal background checks,” that is, ending all private sales in the US? Will we see their positions change, and if not, how will they refute charges of being inconsistent and putting lives at risk for political gain? Not that such checks can really guarantee that buyers are “safe,” as shootings in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, and other high-profile incidents demonstrate. But the government already knows that, and knows that the ultimate goal isn’t really the bait and switch scam being offered.
“Effectiveness [of Universal Background Checks] depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration…” wrote Greg Ridgeway, Deputy Director National Institute of Justice, in his 2013 report “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies.”
And unsurprisingly, the people who will continue finding ways around background checks also happen to be “exempt” from registration. In 1968’s Haynes v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled (properly, if you think about it) the Fifth Amendment ensures those prohibited from possessing firearms may not be compelled to register them because that would be forced self-incrimination.
Regardless, expect the lawsuit to proceed and be dragged on. It gives those behind it additional opportunities to get media attention and to further propagandize. Besides, it’s not like they’re the ones paying for it.
The real danger is from those ostensibly on the side of the Second Amendment making any concessions to those who are intent on eradicating it. They have now publicly gone on record advocating that “gun control” works, a position many properly denied not that long ago. That will be exploited.
Every inch you give up without a fight puts wannabe totalitarians closer to goals many have made clear over the years, from statements and attempts to ban handguns and semi-auto firearms, to calls to repeal the Second Amendment. No less an authoritarian than Nancy Pelosi has been in-your-face recently, admitting she’s counting on a “slippery slope” for more citizen disarmament laws.
The lawsuit is merely a ploy, just another attack adding to countless others in order to do “immeasurable harm” to the right to keep and bear arms. So is the legislative “remedy.” When it’s all said and done, when what they’re complaining about has been “fixed” and the hits just keep on coming, the confiscation lobby will find new targets to go after and new “compromises” to exploit.