"Are we reversing our decision on an assault weapons ban?, no" stated AG Holder in a press conference, "The administration is just progressing its position of the issue in a retrograded manner".
Did we actually win one for the Gipper here?
A few days ago, March 25th to be exact, US Attorney General Eric Holder reversed his, and the Obama Administrations, position on pushing to reinstate the now defunct "Assault Weapons Ban" originally enacted by President Clinton in 1994 during his first term. The idea of reinstating the weapons ban wasn't a new idea to the generally liberal leaning Obama agenda. Although he promised voters that he would only pass "common sense" weapons legislation during his campaign, it has widely been speculated in the media that a push to reinstate this legislation would be on his early list of things to do after the inauguration. What was needed by the administration was a reason, and the sudden US interest in internal violence in Mexico became rallying cause for gun control advocates in the administration. The accusations by Mexican El Presidente Felipe Calderon that the US was responsible for the trafficking of arms from the US to Mexico became the new cry for curtailing the LEGITIMATE sales of LEGAL firearms to LAW ABIDING citizens here in the US. A quick bitch slap in the face by reality changed their focus on the issue I think. Even House Democrats in his own party, 65 of them, signed a petition stating their objection to any further gun restriction legislation, along with the 2 Democrat senators from Montana. Both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed have even spoken up against the proposal (Pelosi is a very, very anti-gun proponent, I had to re-read that part of the Reuters article at least 3 times to make sure that was correct - I am still in shock). Both support the idea that we need to effectively enforce our existing laws in regards to the sale of firearms. "Well, I mean, I think what we're going to do is try to, obviously, enforce the laws that we have on the books," Holder stated in a news conference in which he addressed the administrations reversal of action. That's right, keep back peddling to the edge there my lofty AG.
As I see it, here are some of the key reasons for this reversal of direction:
- President Obama incorrectly assumed that all in his party universally shared his anti-gun views and he could easily push legislation through Congress and the Senate without bi-partisan support much like the porkulous, er stimulus, bill. In reality gun rights are a universal issue that cross party lines. While the Republican party is usually the most vocal in this area, there are key Democratic demographics that are fiercely pro-gun. And no, they are not all good 'ol boy Southern boys either.
- The reluctance of many to do this and appear to substantiate Calderon's claim of the role of the US in Mexico's internal problems and thus make us responsible at some point to interfere with their internal affairs.
- The data that shows that during the last weapons ban that crime as a whole did not change in either the type of crime or the portion to which guns played a role.
- The fear by party strategists that by pursuing gun legislature so early in his term, with the economy still floundering, that Obama would be seen as a special interest pandering president who didn't "put first things first" and should put all of his efforts into trying and turn the economy around instead of pursuing other agendas.
- My personal opinion that the ghost of Charlton Heston visited Obama in the White House much like the ghosts did in A Christmas Carol to Ebineezer Scrooge and showed him the error of his ways. (Hey, it could of happened, doesn't anyone else ever watch Ghost Adventures on The Travel Channel?)
- And of course, massive amounts of lobbying and expressed concern by the NRA and other pro-gun right groups.
So just because we won this round, the fight is far from over. Do yourself a favor and ensure that your voice is heard. I have a link at the top of the column on the left to get a free 1 year membership to the NRA. Go ahead and use it and protect your rights for now and the future.