The Pacific Northwest’s leading Second Amendment advocate yesterday offered a blistering criticism of gun control proponents, including President Barack Obama, for what he called “dancing in the blood of the Kalamazoo shooting victims to push their agenda of public disarmament.”
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, took the gloves off. He ripped the president for having “the gall to suggest that executive actions that he took in January might have prevented this tragedy” during remarks Obama made Monday to a gathering of the nation’s governors.
Under normal circumstances, this would be just one more firearms flap. But gun rights v. gun control has been turned into a major political issue during the 2016 presidential campaign. There’s a critical vacancy on the Supreme Court, and anti-gunners want the president to shift the court’s balance, perhaps with hopes of reversing the 2008 Second Amendment ruling, authored by recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. Hillary Clinton has declared war on gun rights advocacy groups. There is much at stake.
Gottlieb’s criticism extended to Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a lobbying group supported by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Yesterday, Watts “intimated that their gun control schemes could also prevent such incidents” in a fund raising email blast, Gottlieb asserted.
“It’s not true,” he said, “and they know it!”
Gottlieb had company. Writing on the Cato Institute’s website, Adam Bates discussed the unfolding case against Jason Dalton, the alleged Kalamazoo killer, a man with no criminal or psychiatric record. He could have, and actually did, clear a background check, to work for Uber. He owned guns. But Obama and Watts are both suggesting their gun control schemes could prevent someone like Dalton from literally coming out of the social woodwork to commit a heinous crime with a gun.
Bates recalled Obama’s January announcement of “executive actions” in response to the San Bernardino slaughter. That was an act of terrorism.
“There was no reason at that time to believe that President Obama’s executive actions would have any substantial effect on mass shootings or the rate of gun crime generally, and that remains the case today,” Bates asserted. “It’s a truism that a person who can pass (or has already passed) a background check will not be prevented from acquiring a firearm by expanding the categories of consumers required to undergo checks.”
Yesterday, writer Bonnie Kristian noted on The Week’s website that, “Dalton had no criminal or psychiatric record, meaning a universal background check like Obama wants to implement wouldn’t have stopped him from buying weapons. A representative of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) told the Associated Press that there was no evidence Dalton ran afoul of current gun ownership laws, either.”
Gottlieb’s use of the term “dancing in blood” alludes to what gun rights activists have long considered the gun control lobby’s macabre habit of exploiting tragedies such as this, frequently before an investigation is underway, much less completed, to press their agenda. Last year for example, after the on-air murder of a news crew in Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe was calling for tougher background checks even before the killer had been identified, and it was revealed he had passed a background check to buy a gun.
In 2014, Gottlieb co-authored a book titled “Dancing In Blood, Exposing the Gun Ban Lobby’s Playbook to Destroy Your Rights.” In 2013, purely by accident, Gottlieb stumbled upon a guidebook for anti-gun activists titled “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging.” It was something of a road map on how to press an emotional gun control campaign. The book grew out of that discovery, and efforts by this column and The Gun Mag.com, a firearms news magazine owned by the Second Amendment Foundation, to look at how the gun control lobby presses its agenda.
Gottlieb’s criticism is not likely to deter the president, Watts, Bloomberg or any other gun control proponent. But at least it adds a perspective not found in what people call “mainstream” sources.
MEANWHILE, Republican front-runner Donald Trump is celebrating his third straight win with last night’s caucus victory in Nevada. In his victory statement, he once again specifically alluded to the Second Amendment.
But within the firearms community there is considerable disagreement about Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Gun owners are split with their allegiances at this point. Some like Trump, others dislike and distrust him. Many like Cruz, but that’s hardly unanimous. There’s support for Rubio, and opposition.
Today Rasmussen Reports includes a headline, “Get over It GOP: Trump’s the Nominee.” It’s a commentary in which writer Fran Coombs observes, “Trump appears ready to rewrite the rulebook of recent decades at the same time. The Republican establishment, terrified of a Trump victory, still hopes to coalesce the anti-Trump vote around one candidate, so look for increasing pressure on Ohio Governor John Kasich in particular to drop out of the race in hopes that his voters will go to Rubio.
“But those establishment hopes run aground if it’s counting on supporters of Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson to follow suit,” Coombs insists. “Those voters would appear to have a lot more in common with the angry billionaire businessman from New York than with the sunshine candidacy of the freshman senator from Florida.”
And that sums up Trump’s appeal. He’s tapped into the visceral anger millions of Americans now have toward the government, political correctness, liberal “progressive” politics, the stagnant economy and what they see as a loss of American prestige on the world stage under the current golfer-in-chief.
But which candidate is the genuine article, especially on the Second Amendment? Will gun owners commit political and constitutional suicide by refusing to vote in November because their personal favorite candidate isn’t on the ballot? Will they have lost the perspective that the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights are very probably at stake?
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