On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, President Obama stirred the proverbial shooting industry pot with his remarks on gun control during the Presidential Town Hall Debate. During the debate, the President expressed his desire to reintroduce the Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004.
The Assault Weapons Ban was introduced in 1994 during Bill Clinton’s first term, and had nothing to do with actual assault weapons. Think propaganda. It banned semi-automatic weapons that had too many “scary” features like folding stocks, pistol grips and flash suppressors among other such nonsense. The Real Men of Genius song should be running through your head right now.
President Obama wants it reinstated, and undoubtedly it would be even more restrictive this time around.
…weapons that were designed for soldiers, in war theaters, don’t belong on our streets.
- President Obama, October 16, 2012
What I’m tryin’ to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally, part of it is seeing if we can get an Assault Weapons Ban reintroduced…
- President Obama, October 16, 2012
His remarks sparked immediate outrage on social media outlets from those of us who support the Second Amendment and its original intent (hint: it has nothing to do with sporting applications), and rightfully so in my opinion. The Assault Weapons Ban had nothing to do with saving the children, and everything to do with restricting our liberties.
The outrage I completely understand, the shock, not so much. If you were surprised that President Obama wants to reintroduce the Assault Weapons Ban, you’re just not paying attention. To those of you whose immediate reaction was ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ - trust me, I’m right there with you. I would, however, like to take a moment to examine the President’s remarks on gun control, the 2012 election, and perhaps add a bit of temperament to some of the sensationalism that I’ve seen.
It’s Not Gonna Happen
First and foremost, an Assault Weapons Ban is just not gonna happen if Obama is re-elected. It’s just not. Let me explain.
Let’s take the President at his word (scary proposition I know, humor me) and pretend that when he says he wants to reintroduce the Assault Weapons Ban, he actually means it and is actually going to do it. What would he need in order to make that happen? Presidents can’t make laws, right?
Right. Presidents can’t make laws, technically speaking (more on this in a bit). If President Obama wants to legally get an Assault Weapons Ban passed, the bill would have to pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and therein lies his problem.
Generally speaking, gun control is a Democrat issue. If you vote Democrat and don’t like hearing that, I’m sorry, but statistically speaking, it’s true. Given this reality, even if the current 2012 election projections are off by a huge margin, the Democrats won’t retake the House of Representatives. In the Senate, it will either remain a slight Democrat majority or will shift to a slight Republican majority. Not exactly the type of political climate that would be friendly to gun control legislation. The votes aren’t there, it would never pass.
What about other forms of gun control?
Gun Control by Executive Order or UN Treaty
Both theories have been floated as possibilities for gun control in Obama’s second term should he win the election, especially in the conspiracy theory circles. Are either possible? Sure. Are either likely? Nope.
Don’t get me wrong, I think politicians in general, and particularly the Democrats, would love nothing more than to strip the American people of their God-given right to keep and bear arms, which is of course protected by our Second Amendment. Protected, not granted (an important distinction). If it did happen, gun control by Executive Order or UN Treaty wouldn’t be something as far-reaching and with as much authority as an Assault Weapons Ban that passed into law. Americans simply wouldn’t stand for it.
Does that make it right? Absolutely not. I would never support gun control in any shape or form, I’m simply offering my perspective.
What About Romney?
For those of you who think Governor Romney is a shining beacon for gun rights, I’m sad to break this to you – he’s not. To see this evidenced, one has to only look at his own track record as Governor of Massachusetts, and listen to his own words. Mitt Romney is a chameleon – his color changes depending on the election he’s running for, to whom he’s speaking, the day of the week, current wind speed, altitude, and of course, the time of the month. What he actually believes is a mystery.
Having said that, his Chameleon characteristics are exactly what makes him predictable where the Second Amendment is concerned. Since he is running as a Republican, it would be political suicide for him to even bat an eye at gun control.
This country faces some very tough times economically no matter who wins the coming election. From my perspective, neither Obama nor Romney will do what needs to be done to right our financial ship, therefore neither of them will get my vote. From a Second Amendment perspective, however, I will concede that Romney’s be-what-you-want-me-to-be tendencies make him a safer choice by far, but I seriously doubt we need to worry about gun control legislation regardless of who wins.
Here’s hoping I’m right.
Agree? Disagree? Perhaps I’m missing something – leave me a comment below. Debate is welcome, but keep a civil tone with each other. We can disagree and still treat each other with respect.