Πέμπτη, 4 Απριλίου 2013

4 More Ways Obama's Gun Control Speech Sows Mistrust


As I
noted
earlier today, President Obama professes to be worried
about a lack of trust and empathy in the gun control debate, even
as he accuses his opponents of blocking life-saving legislation out
of sheer partisan perversity. Here are a few other ways in which
Obama's speech in
Denver sows mistrust:


He conflates a failed background check with stopping a
criminal from obtaining a gun.
 "Over the past 20
years," Obama says, "background checks have kept more than 2
million dangerous people from buying a gun." That claim is based on
two faulty assumptions: 1) that everyone who fails a background
check is dangerous, which plainly is not true, given the
ridiculously broad categories
of people who are legally barred
from buying firearms, and 2) that a criminal intent on obtaining a
weapon will give up if he cannot get it over the counter at a gun
store, rather than enlisting a straw buyer or turning to the gray
or black market.


He falsely equates "assault weapons" with military
guns.
 Obama inaccurately calls one of the guns used
in the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, massacre an "assault rifle," which is
a military weapon capable of firing automatically. He calls the
guns he wants to ban "weapons of war," again implying that they
fire continuously, when in fact they fire once per trigger pull,
like any other semi-automatic firearm.


He says there is no logical connection between
"universal background checks" and gun registration.
"We're
not proposing a gun registration system," Obama insists. "We’re
proposing background checks for criminals." But there is no way to
enforce a background-check requirement for every gun transfer
unless the government knows where the guns are. Federally licensed
gun dealers are readily identified and can be required to keep sale
records. Individual gun owners who might dare to sell their
property without clearance from the government cannot be identified
unless the government compiles a list of them. Hence Obama's
assurances amount to saying, "Don't worry. We will make a big show
of passing this new background-check mandate, but we won't really
enforce it."


He pooh-poohs the idea that there could ever be anything
adversarial about the relationship between Americans and their
government
:



You hear some of these quotes: "I need a gun to protect myself
from the government." "We can't do background checks because the
government is going to come take my guns away." 


Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you.
(Applause.) They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am
constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders
put in place. It's a government of and by and for the people.



One of the constraints on the federal government is the doctrine
of enmuerated powers, which says every act of Congress must be
justified by a specific constitutional grant of authority. Where is
the clause that empowers Congress to say how many rounds you can
put in a magazine or whether your rifle can have a barrel shroud?
Furthermore, as Obama surely has heard by now, there is this thing
called the Second Amendment, and it is hardly frivolous to argue
than an arbitrary and capricious piece of legislation like the
"assault weapon" ban Obama supports would violate the
constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Yet to Obama's mind,
anyone who makes such an argument is one of those "people who take
absolute positions" and therefore can be safely ignored. After all,
the government is us. 

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