MILLER: The assault on weapons – Washington Times


MILLER: The assault on weapons – Washington Times.

Liberals pounce on opportunity to water down constitutional rights

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

Gun grabbers wasted no time exploiting Friday’s shooting in Aurora, Colo., by calling for more restrictive firearm laws. Their liberal agenda is off target because, with U.S. gun ownership at its highest level ever, the public sees crime is way down. This blows a hole in the left’s argument, but it doesn’t stop it.

Despite the House being strongly pro-gun and the Senate marginally so, some Democratic senators want to seize the opportunity to peddle pet legislation. On Tuesday, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey kicked off an effort to reinstate the expired ban on high-capacity magazines. His bill would prohibit the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds — modern handguns generally hold between 12 and 17. It’s not clear what exactly Mr. Lautenberg would accomplish, unless the government also recalls the 300 million firearms already owned by Americans.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg went off the deep end on Monday when he told CNN that police officers across the country should “stand up collectively and say, ‘We’re going to go on strike’” until states pass more gun laws, such as bans on certain kinds of bullets. The billionaire businessman also demanded that presidential candidates soften their stance on gun rights. President Obama is well aware of the political consequences of admitting his true feelings on guns in an election year. To avoid angering his liberal base, Mr. Obama let his spokesman respond on Sunday, off-camera on Air Force One on the way to Aurora. “The president is focused on doing the things that we can do that protect Second Amendment rights, which he thinks is important, but also to make it harder for individuals who should not, under existing law, have weapons to obtain them,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Mitt Romney was not afraid to say it himself. “I still believe that the Second Amendment is the right course to preserve and defend and don’t believe that new laws are going to make a difference in this type of tragedy,” the Republican presidential candidate told Larry Kudlow on CNBC Monday.

The left also wants to outlaw the purchase of large quantities of ammunition over the Internet. Because James Holmes reportedly had thousands of rounds of ammo, they assume anyone with a similar “stockpile” must be up to no good. As any savvy shopper knows, buying in bulk online is convenient and saves money. Gun owners are no different.

What liberals are really after is not preventing the tragedies that can’t be stopped. Their goal is to create inconvenience so fewer law-abiding citizens turn to guns for protection. They want the public to look to government instead.

Sadly for the left, the unconstitutional speed bumps it has placed before the Second Amendment are being removed slowly. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg lifted a stay, which effectively will force Maryland to drop its policy of arbitrarily denying requests from upstanding citizens seeking concealed-carry permits. Respecting the right to keep and bear arms in this way is the right response.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

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