A recent YouGov poll showed that 39 percent of Democrats supported the full and outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If that is indeed the case, than their representatives in Congress look to be doing just that.
As a result of the tragic shooting at Parkland, Florida high school last month, liberal advocates have been on the march – both literally and figuratively – on gun control. All of which has culminated into H.R. 5087. The bill, introduced in late February by Rhode Island Democrat David Ciciline, is entitled the “The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.” The measure currently has 173 co-sponsors including Wisconsin’s Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) and Mark Pocan (D-Madison).
Democrats; who in the House minority, hope they can force a floor vote on their bill through the use of what’s called a “Discharge Petition.” In such a case, if backers can get 218 members to sign the petition they can force a piece of legislation out of committee and directly to the House floor. The last successful use of a discharge petition was in 2015 for the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank.
So far no Republican lawmaker has signed on to support it, or have a number of moderate Democrats representing rural districts, such as La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind.The reason for that may well be what’s in the bill itself. It is not just an assault weapons ban, but is essentially a gun control wish list that advocates have been demanding for the past 30 years.
At its core is an outright ban on all semi-automatic weapons; not rifles like the much debated AR-15, but all semi-autos. This means that a large number of the 200-plus firearms listed in the bill’s text include shotguns, hand guns, and even standard hunting rifles which operate as semi-automatic. Beyond these weapons, the bill would also ban a number of cosmetic-minded changes lawful gun owners have come to popularize in recent years as well as limiting magazine size to 10 rounds or less.
The bill prohibits the “sale, transfer, production, and importation” of semi-automatic rifles and pistols that can hold a detachable magazine, as well as semi-automatic rifles with a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds. Additionally, the legislation bans the sale, transfer, production, and importation of semi-automatic shotguns with features such as a pistol grip or detachable stock, and ammunition feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds.
With such a wide definition, the proposed piece of legislation could effect millions of weapons which never before were considered as “assault weapons,” even under the previous federal ban which expired in 2004. There could be a number of reasons for that; but the biggest seems to be that few in the gun control movement has the desire or willingness to overcome their own personal ignorance on firearms and what each type of gun does.
One only has to recall CNN’s televised “town hall meeting” in the days following the Parkland shooting to see a desire on the political Left to ban all “semiautomatic weapons,” not just “assault weapons.” Long gone are the days of pretending to be tolerant of gun owners and gun culture. In a post-Parkland world, the mask looks to be finally off as gun control advocates decide to go ramming speed with their demands to ban as many firearms as they can.
Whether they’re successful remains to be seen. Few believe this particular discharge petition will gain the traction needed to force a vote on the House floor or even find success in the Senate if the bill reaches that chamber.
However, there is little doubt now that many progressives are playing a very long game to achieve their agenda. One of the latest tactics is to run pro-gun control veterans as candidates in various House districts this fall in the hope that their military service can shield them from political attacks.
While there’s little doubt that American want to consider additional gun control measures and school security measures after last month’s tragedy, when large swaths of the Democratic Party wish to see the 2nd Amendment virtually repealed, one has to wonder if they’ve gone too far in their extremism, or if they ever believed in personal protection and the tenants of the Bill of Rights to begin with.