Forcible citizen disarmament advocates, nervous that President Obama and much of the rest of the Democrat leadership have already abandoned any plan of making a serious push to ban so-called "assault weapons," in favor of the far more obtainable private sales ban, were presumably pleased to hear Obama reiterate his support for such a ban of "regime change rifles" Monday, as quoted in Reuters:
We should restore the ban on military style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines. And that deserves a vote in Congress, because weapons of war have no place on our streets.
The only proposed federal legislation at this point for such a ban is Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) S. 150, and its House companion bill, H.R. 437. This would ban such "weapons of war" as the Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, chambered for the .22 rimfire cartridge--for America's rarely discussed War on Squirrels, apparently. This, Obama and the rest of the gun prohibitionists tell us, is necessary to keep Americans safe.
Meanwhile, since the revelation Monday by NBC News of the contents of a Department of "Justice" memo (pdf file) making the case for the use of armed drones to assassinate American citizens, there has been a considerable amount of very understandable concern, even from the usually reliable Obama administration apologists of NBC, about the Constitutionality (and simple decency) of the federal government's executive branch naming itself judge, jury and executioner of American citizens:
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Now few would dispute the fact that MQ-9 Reaper drones, armed with some combination of Hellfire anti-armor missiles, GBU-38 JDAM 500 lb GPS guided bombs and/or GBU-12 Paveway II 500 lb laser guided bombs are "weapons of war." Most would even admit that they are rather more powerful "weapons of war" than a .22 caliber "assault weapon"--or any firearm of any caliber that Feinstein's bill would ban.
And yet the far less powerful "weapon of war" is to be banned, as "too powerful," while the other is to be used to kill Americans who have not been convicted of any crime, not indicted for any crime, and not even formally charged with any crime. Granted, Obama wants the rifles banned from "our streets," while he has so far only claimed authority to launch drone strikes against Americans in other countries.
On the PBS Newshour Tuesday night, though, Gwen Ifill asked Professor Matthew Waxman, of the Columbia Law School, what the basis of such a distinction would be: "Let me ask you this, Professor Waxman, if this only applies to Americans on foreign soil, why wouldn't this reasoning apply to Americans on U.S. soil, at home?" Waxman stuttered his way around that question, without ever really addressing it.
National Conservative Examiner Anthony Martin reports that United States Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) brought up that very point in an interview on Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record" program Tuesday:
Why could the same analysis not be employed for killing Americans that you suspect are part of al Qaeda on American soil? If you're going to use the 5th and 14th Amendment to justify it, why can you not do it on American soil? What's the difference?
And I'm going to ask Chairman Goodlatte if we can get the attorney general to come in and explain to me, using the 5th and 14th Amendments, why this couldn't happen on American soil.
And actually, armed domestic drones have been seriously considered since at least May last year.
Rep. Gowdy's best point, though, was reminding us that the unelected (and indeed unnamed) officials deciding which Americans are to be assassinated could very well be the very same paragons of moral virtue who authorized "Project Gunwalker."
Foreign soil, domestic soil--does it matter? If we can be "legally" killed while we travel, by our own government, on the basis of some faceless bureaucrat's suspicions (or his/her claim of such "suspicions") about "terrorist affiliations," are we supposed to be comforted when told that they cannot do it here (or that they have not--yet--claimed the "right" to do so)? Well, at least CSGV should be happy.
The Obama administration has again escalated its "cold war" against the American people. If American citizens are facing death by "weapons of war," those weapons will most likely be wielded by the U.S. government. Sounds like a good reason to expand the firepower available to private citizens. Speaking of which . . .
Update: Terry Hurlburt, of Conservative News and Views, has more, in "Drone warfare and the media."
- CSGV should change name to 'Coalition to Kill Dissenters'
- Forget 'gun control'; CSGV represents 'genocide enablement lobby'
- Not Just Domestic Drones
- The government's war at home
- CSGV backs government 'right' to political violence against citizens
- Believe 2nd Amendment is last bastion against tyranny? CSGV wants you dead
- Say WHAT?!?
- Gun ban proponents provoke possible civil war
- Government prepares for war with the people, and mass media approves
- Justice Department memo reveals "legal" case for drone strikes on Americans
- Power to kill citizens leads to Senate threat over Obama appointees
- Congressman: If the president can kill Americans overseas...
- Drone warfare and the media