If there wasn’t hand-wringing to be done in Washington it’s likely lawmakers would have little to do. You see it’s much more important to the elite on Capitol Hill to demonstrate their concern than actually accomplish anything.
"There are too many families who now face an empty seat at the dinner table" because of gun violence, said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. He said that while opponents of stricter gun limits claim that existing laws simply need to be better enforced, "that's not enough. There are so many gaps in those laws."
It borders on humorous when a lawmaker from the state best known as the nation’s murder capital to exclaim that existing laws are insufficient when Chicago’s record of enforcing laws on the books is dubious at best.
Durbin said requiring background checks for all gun purchases could be written that would still protect the Constitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms. Durbin doesn’t explain how they would write a law so a law-abiding private citizen would perform such a background check before selling to another private citizen, nor how that does anything to remove the undercurrent of illegal sales that supply criminals; nonetheless let’s revel in another demonstration of the Liberal elite looking down their noses at us legal firearms owners.
In his best showmanship performance Durbin asked that people with relatives or friends who were victims of gun violence to stand. Several dozen people in the gallery rose to their feet and Durbin gazed upon them as his personal army of the wronged.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas expressed sympathy for those directly affected by gun violence but argued that constitutional rights must be protected "not just when they're popular, but especially when passions are seeking to restrict and limit those rights."
Cruz said "stripping the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop criminals" from committing violent acts; no more poignant words could be spoken as any fool knows criminals aren’t deterred by laws or legislative puffery.
President Barack Obama wants Congress to enact new laws, including bans on assault weapons, large-capacity magazines and requiring all gun sales, even private ones, be subject to background checks. Tonight’s State of the Union Address should be chock full of righteous indignation as Obama pushes for further restrictions against legal gun ownership.
Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for the western district of Virginia, Timothy J. Heaphy, released a statement that the existing federal background check system has kept more than 1.5 million guns from criminals and others prohibited from having them since 1998.
"Without more meaningful penalties for those who traffic in firearms, we will continue to find it difficult to dismantle the criminal networks that exploit these statutory gaps," Heaphy said.
Heaphy failed to provide the other side of the equation: How many illegal firearms have been allowed to pollute the cities of the nation due to failure of the local governments and federal officials to enforce existing laws preventing such sales? It’s easy to toss out a number of people that have had to walk out of gun shows without a weapon while you conveniently hide the vast number of sales that occur in the dark alleys of the inner cities of America; isn’t that where the greater tragedy is occurring? If you add up all the lives lost in the infamous mass shootings it would be dwarfed by the number of lives lost in the cities of America every year; isn’t ignoring these lost young lives, predominately minorities, the greatest form of racism?
Suzanna Gratia Hupp, who was in Luby's restaurant in Killeen, Texas, when a gunman crashed his truck through the front window and fatally shot 23 people, including her parents, and wounded many others, said she left her gun in her car because Texas law at that time barred her from bringing it into the restaurant.
"I can't begin to get across to you how incredibly frustrating it is to sit there, like a fish in a barrel, and wait for it to be your turn, with no hope of defending yourself," Hupp said, now a Republican Texas state official and gun rights advocate. "The only thing the gun laws did that day was prevent good people from protecting themselves."
Representing the NRA, attorney Charles J. Cooper said that Supreme Court rulings "establish that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms." He said Obama's proposed assault weapon and high-capacity magazine bans were unconstitutional because gun rights "cannot be circumscribed by appeal to countervailing government interests."
Daniel W. Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said in his prepared statement that 2004 data on prisoners who had committed gun-related crimes showed that nearly 8 in 10 had obtained their firearms from private sellers.
Striving to reduce gun violence is a laudable act; however creating laws for the sake of political expediency that cannot achieve their stated goal unless criminals cooperate is foolhardy; when such laws threaten our constitutional rights just to give Liberals a feel-good moment we must all stand up and say no more.
Listen to Mr. Kaplan on NTN Radio Fridays at 3pm EST
Subscribe to Mr. Kaplan's articles at Examiner.com
Read Mr. Kaplan's blog at Conservatively Speaking
Email Mr. Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Mr. Kaplan's tweets at ConsSpeaking