Former President, and serial (chronic?) Oath-Breaking-Philanderer-in-Chief Bill Clinton burnished his already gleaming "progressive" credentials Wednesday, when at the ceremony commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, he claimed that, “A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.”
One could argue, as this column has done more than once, that the United States is not, and has never been or striven to be a democracy, "great" or otherwise, because a republic is the form of government that prevents fundamental human rights from being voted away by 51% (or even 99%) of the electorate. The exercise of such rights, after all, cannot legitimately be subject to a popularity contest. But since that point has already been made, and never effectively refuted, let's move on to some other problems with Clinton's little sound bite.
John Pierce masterfully eviscerates Clinton's claim, noting that federal law requires not only government issued ID for gun purchases, but a background check as well. Indeed, this column, and David Codrea's National Gun Rights Examiner, have pointed out the vast disparity between the ease of voting--even in states with new voter ID laws, and the far more intrusive process of being "approved" to exercise the fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms--and wondered how the restrictive gun laws could be any less "racist" than laws designed to protect the legitimacy of the voting process.
Gun-prohibition zealot Alex Seitz-Wald counters that in many states, guns sold in private transactions, rather than by professional gun dealers, are not subject to either the background check requirement or even presentation of ID, thus making the purchase of firearms, including so-called "assault weapon," easier than voting.
Presumably, Seitz-Wald thinks a great many guns are sold in private transactions--perhaps as many as the "40%" falsely claimed (as even the rabidly anti-gun/pro-Obama Washington Post acknowledges) by gun prohibitionists from Obama on down. His claim also assumes that one can easily find a private seller with a so-called "assault weapon" for sale. Quite an assumption, given the fact that even quite recently, gun manufacturers, working full tilt, could not begin to meet the demand for AR-15s and other "assault weapons." Private sellers would be even more inclined than gun dealers to hold onto these valuable firearms.
And finally, Seitz-Wald is ignoring (and so, obviously, is Clinton) the fact that even the cheapest so-called "assault weapon" is almost certainly going to be much more expensive than any government-issued ID required for voting. That's a rather odd aspect of the debate to ignore, given the fact that the biggest objection to voter ID laws is the claim that they disenfranchise the poor, who supposedly "cannot afford" ID, and thus such laws disenfranchise racial minorities, who disproportionately suffer from poverty.
Any useful measure of the difficulty of buying something would have to take into account its cost, particularly if we are talking about the poor, as we supposedly were with regard to the supposed "victims" of voter ID laws. That's a puzzling aspect of the debate for Clinton to forget. To do so, he would apparently have to also have forgotten the, "It's the economy, stupid" slogan that served his ambitions so well.
Besides, is anyone seriously trying to argue that the right to effective fighting arms is less fundamental than the right to vote? What would you rather say to the government hired gun coming to haul you off to the gulag--"Stop, or I won't vote for your boss," or "Stop, or I'll shoot your testicles off'?" Is Clinton also unaware that, "When democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizen still gets to vote"? That's a dangerous lapse.
- Federal court recognizes felons' right to vote--what about self-defense?
- Holder position on voter ID exposes racial discrimination against gun ownership
- If gun rights were treated like voting rights
- Justice Department Voter ID opposition glaringly inconsistent with gun stance
- Use social media to confront 'universal background check' pushers on '40%' lie
- Government sues employers for background checks; wants to expand checks for guns
- EEOC's claim that background checks are racist must also apply to guns
- Fact-checking Bill Clinton’s absurd rhetoric
- A Great Democracy Does Not Make it Harder to Vote than to Buy an Assault Weapon?