A frenzied reaction from gun control advocates, the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians was predictable following the horrific mass shootings at the Aurora, Colo., premiere of the Batman summer blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises. The prolonged, furious intensity, unabated at this writing, weeks after the attack, suggests enemies of the Second Amendment sense an opportunity to buck political timidity preceding the November elections, and to strike a crippling blow to the right to keep and bear arms. Adding a disappointing element into the furor was a number of so-called conservatives who felt compelled to add their voices to those of the mob.
“NRA’s LaPierre has blood on his hands,” Pete Dreier, a “progressive” professor accused in an all-too-typical hit piece representative of Salon.com and the establishment media. “He didn’t pull the trigger, but he’s the NRA’s hit man when it comes to intimidating elected officials,” Dreier “reasoned,” devolving into childish ad hominem such as “Its [sic] hard to know if he’s mentally unstable but he’s certainly crazy like a fox (and Fox News).”
Legislation demands from the usual suspects were immediate, everything from a renewed ban on “assault weapons” to banning of online ammunition sales to—and those who ridicule the “slippery slope” concept take note—a ban on handguns endorsed by the United Methodist Church. President Obama ignored the pre-election wisdom of not touching the “gun control” third rail and, per The Washington Post, “told the National Urban League…he believes a lot of gun owners would agree that ‘AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers,’ not civilians on American streets.” The next day he and his people backed off and resumed the “enforce existing gun laws mantra,” notably after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid freaked at the prospect of November revenge and announced there was no room on his schedule to even consider such measures.
That’s not stopping RKBA nemesis Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and others in “safe districts” to join with Senator Frank Lautenberg on an ammo sales bill, one that would require showing the same form of government-issued ID Eric Holder’s Justice Department maintains discriminates against minorities when you require it to vote. And Obama’s spokesman, apparently oblivious to the previous flap, indicated the president would “evaluate” the measure.
Adding to the wave of assaults was a surprise attack from the political right, with “conservative” pundit Bill Kristol advising Democrats they were “foolish” for not pushing guns, and calling a ban on semi-autos “moderate.” Bill O’Reilly of the despised-by-the-left Fox News, evidently ignorant of the 1934 National Firearms Act, demanded Congress require dealers to report “heavy weapons” sales to the FBI. Syndicated radio host Michael Savage endorsed banning “assault weapons.” And Supreme Court Justice and presumed “originalist” Antonin Scalia felt it necessary to volunteer, again on Fox News, that “the Second Amendment leaves room for U.S. legislatures to regulate guns, including menacing hand-held weapons.”
The good news is, it appears a critical mass of Americans aren’t being fooled by the engineered hysteria, and gun owners, properly vigilant and holding fast, are realizing it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Addendum: Jury results in the trial of the Reese family reported last month in “A Fixed Fight” were announced as I was finishing this column. The family was found not guilty on one count of conspiracy and 18 counts of gun smuggling they had been charged with. Three of the defendants were found guilty on four of the eight charges of providing false statements.
By David Codrea