For John, BLUF: I don't think the Anti-Second Amendment types see any righteousness in the gun owners' positions. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From the The Atlantic—"Why Conservatives Mistrust Even Modest Efforts at Gun Control". The sub-headline is "Liberals tend to blame the gun lobby for blocking new regulations, but they dismiss firearm owners’ fear of government at their own political peril."
Here are the two paragraphs Professor Glenn Reynolds pulled in his blog post:
While Obama has repeatedly called for new gun controls, those attempts have hit a wall in Congress. Furthermore, of the gun laws enacted at the state level since the Newtown massacre, more have actually loosened restrictions than tightened them. Firearm production and sales have also increased since Obama took office.The way I would describe it is that gun owners don't trust Progressives to not keep asking for more. If the Congress passes a nationwide background check, will they then ask for more, until they have progressed to gun confiscation.♠
The common liberal explanation for why this has happened is the entrenched power of the gun lobby—the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. This isn’t wrong. The NRA’s power is considerable and it is carefully and effectively wielded. But focusing exclusively on the lobbying angle overlooks the very real fear and distrust with which many gun owners regard the government that drives much of the opposition to gun laws. Many of them simply don’t believe that enhanced background checks—or whatever other modest changes are proposed—are what they appear to be.
Is there a way to assuage those concerns? I would think that affirmation of the Second Amendment would help. However, the proposal by former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens to add five words to the Amendment (when serving in the Militia), is not the kind of thing that builds confidence. The Amendment as it reads now:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.And as proposed:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.What does this do? Does it mean that I can tell the Platoon Sergeant that "Yes I can keep a pistol under my pillow, since I have been called up"? Does that even make sense?
I think another thing that might build confidence is adoption of what I call "The Windy City Test". How will this change in the law impact the number of gun discharges (shootings) and gun deaths in Chicago, IL?
The Comments to Professor Reynolds' blog post are here. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff