It’s political theater time again!
By now you’ve heard about the marketing ploy, dressed up as La résistance, that took place on the House floor – literally – by Democrats. Maybe you’re one of the few wondering why this all went down, and what the Democrats wanted as a result. Now that the sit-in is over, I decided to write a condensed post that touches on as much of the debacle as possible. I highly encourage reading and watching the links I attach, as well.
Here goes! The week that nobody made you any safer: A recap.
What was clearly meant to conjure up emotions, and surely inflame cultural animosity, simply resulted in the crash and burn for any hope of meaningful dialogue.
Do you remember that scene in Jurassic Park when they lowered the cow into the Raptor cage? It was just full on disorder, animal moans, and inaudible screeches? This was not unlike that.
The House session officially ended in the wee morning hours on Thursday, but not before passing the Zika Bill.
“Despite the publicity stunt on the floor, House Republicans were intent on not allowing these tactics to stop us from completing this important business,” AshLee Strong, press secretary for Ryan, said early Thursday of the Zika bill. “So we have plowed ahead to do what is needed to responsibly address the crisis.”
“Democrats can continue to talk, but the reality is that they have no end-game strategy,” she said. “The Senate has already defeated the measure they’re calling for.”
“The House is focused on eliminating terrorists, not constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” she added. “And no stunts on the floor will change that.”
Some resistant Democrats remained even after Republicans had put an end to legislative work.
They channeled their inner warrior. Apparently their fundraising wasn’t quite up to the level they had anticipated.
In the iconic lyrics of Akon and Wyclef Jean, “Singin’ dollar dollar bill y’all… Some live for the bill, some kill for the bill” some sit on their pillows and get food catered to them for the bill. This “principled” act – the attack on due process that was already defeated in the Senate – was great for their campaign accounts.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent a brief email shortly after the sit-in crossed into Thursday, signed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.)“This is an historically important moment! John Lewis has been leading a sit-in on the House floor for 11 long hours now. We’re fighting to prevent gun violence,” the email reads. “The Republicans refuse to lift a finger. It’s shameful. I need your help to defeat them once and for all.”
It was at least the sixth such email from the DCCC as the sit-in gained steam. Several were signed by Lewis, a civil rights leader and Georgia representative who has lead many of the demonstrations on the House floor.
As Paul Ryan noted below, this was simply a case of Democrats fundraising off of a tragedy.
“This is nothing more than a publicity stunt,” Ryan said, saying House Democrats would infringe on Second Amendment rights and do nothing to prevent terrorist attacks. “This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention.”
Ryan said they would not take up gun bills that the Senate already voted down on Monday. He called on legislation to be drafted in a “calm and cool manner,’ not through sit-ins.
Riding the tidal wave of a fresh heartbreaking disaster makes it rain for Democrats, but I believe the cherry on top was when they sang the song “We Shall Overcome.”
Overcome what? Low election funds?
Future history books shall read, “Surrounded by armed security, the Democrats endured the pressure on their pillow cushioned coccyx on that fateful day. With M&M’s in hand, they struggled through the adversity of pizza deliveries and rising donations.”
Dunkin’ Donuts? Good God, it’s like Alfred Dreyfus on Devil’s Island. Instead of the iconic Lettres d’un innocent I’m expecting to someday read, Lettres de démocrates paresseux.
I particularly loved the tweets that started at about 8 hours in.
“A whole 8 hours!”
“Democrats have been conducting a sit-in for 10 hours!”
“WOW! #NoBillNoBreak is 12 hours in!”
That’s literally my dream job. They’re sitting on pillows while having pizza and chocolate delivered.
“Marybeth, what do you think heaven is like?”
I’m glad you asked, I imagine it’s like sitting on pillows while having pizza and chocolate delivered.
Now I’m even getting in the spirit…
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day.
We’ll walk hand in hand,
We’ll walk hand in hand, some day.
Oh, how they suffer for change.
As Guy Benson so eloquently pointed out, the sit-in officially came to an end on Thursday.
House Democrats abruptly ‘abandoned the victims of gun violence’ this afternoon, canceling their courageous anti-civil rights “sit-in” after one grueling night of air conditioning, catered meals, sleeping cots, cross-legged sitting, sloganeering, and placard-waving — all under the vigilant protection of heavily-armed security, of course. “No bill, no break,” they chanted in full throat, with Nancy Pelosi vowing to keep the vigil alive “until hell freezes over.” Mere hours later, they took that very break without compelling a single vote. In all fairness, there were flights home to be caught, and dinner reservations to fulfill. No bill! Let’s break! Also, please give us money. Such commitment.
It may be over, but we were gifted with over 24 hours of amazing hypocrisy, blatant lies, and unbridled ignorance.
Let’s look at a few examples (Why? Because it’s fun!):
Rep. Gregory Meeks opened his mouth and what followed was an admission of sorts…
“Nobody should have a weapon of mass destruction, and yes, that’s what an assault weapon is.”
George Bush should be off the hook then, because apparently we confiscated thousands upon thousands of weapons of mass destruction during the Iraq war. On top of that, once again, Assault Rifles – by definition – are already illegal for the general public to own. AR-15s are not military rifles, they’re like hunting rifles in a dress. Most hunters would use it for varmint, and would most likely reach for larger rounds when hunting.
Done, Sheila. Now what?
The GOP has decided to sell weapons to ISIS? This magnificent level of hysteria and absurdity can only be found in Warren and Murphy, and maybe the guttural bowels of an Info Wars extraterrestrial think tank. They make the guy on a street corner holding a cardboard apocalyptic warning look like William James Sidis. Apparently Murphy got so tired of failing the fact checks on his statements that he decided to instead focus on fear mongering.
John Lewis made a statement on Thursday morning, as well: “A little more than 50 years ago, I crossed a bridge not just one time, but it took us three times to make it all the way from Selma to Montgomery…” Yes, 51 years ago, John Lewis walked alongside Martin Luther King – a gun owner who in 1963 was on the FBI watch list – in support of civil rights, and was, years later, sitting on his gluteus maximus while being served Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts in support of attacking the 5th Amendment, and further limiting the 2nd Amendment. I can have the utmost respect for his former actions while acknowledging that his current actions are not something I can support. He’s moved on from fighting for rights to fighting for the removal of rights. This is not anything like the battle he fought 51 years ago.
After muddling through all of this insanity, the question still remains: What do they want? Besides, you know, money and emotionally manipulating drama during an election year.
An amendment by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would allow the attorney general to deny a gun sale to anyone if she has a “reasonable belief” — a lesser standard than “probable cause” — that the buyer was likely to engage in terrorism. The proposal is popularly known as the “no-fly, no-buy” amendment, but wouldn’t just apply to people on the “no fly” terrorist watch list
Feinstein’s bill would have automatically blocked anyone on the terrorist watch list, and allowed the attorney general to prohibit the purchasing of a firearm under the premise of “reasonable belief.” The effort failed, as it should have, because it is a direct assault on due process.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
You can’t be deprived of your rights without due process. It’s really that simple. Additionally, the Orlando shooter was not currently on any watch list. Now, we can debate the logistics of that, but the general consensus is that the lists, as they currently function, are highly susceptible to error. Your name can be added to the lists without a court decision, notification, nor the ability to challenge the very addition of your name. Journalists and politicians have been added to the lists, as well as frequent cases of accidental name inclusion. The lists were never designed to separate you from your rights, because they are not designed to arbitrate through due process.
An Republican alternative by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, which would require that law enforcement be alerted when anyone on the terror watch list attempts to buy a weapon from a licensed dealer. If the buyer has been investigated for terrorism within the past five years, the attorney general could block a sale for up to three days while a court reviews the sale.
Democrats fought back against the alternative, and John Cornyn openly questioned their rush to attack due process.
“We ought to be asking ourselves if there are those in this chamber and this body who believe you can deny American citizens their constitutional rights without due process of law based on a secret list that the government maintains,” he said, later questioning whether lawmakers would use the same justification to limit other freedoms. “This is really surreal to me.”
The interesting part about all of this is that, regardless of the lists, terrorists tend to find what they need to attack. The Orlando attack was planned in advance, to think that being denied a gun at a gun store would stop him is insanity. Just look at Norway and France, among others, and you’ll find that gun laws are a mole hill, not a mountain, for mass shooters.
“Guys, I failed my background check, our plans for mass devastation are totally ruined. Do you want to have a How I Met Your Mother marathon instead?” said no terrorist ever.
However, we do have one interesting bit of data: There have been only three mass public shootings since 1950 that haven’t occurred in gun-free zones. One of those shootings happened in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, and if we really want to get picky, while CB is not a gun-free zone, the shooter was on the job as an Uber driver in his vehicle, and Uber prohibits their drivers from carrying.
So we know this for a fact: Mass murderers clearly have a preferred venue, and it involves a mass number of law abiding citizens who are sure to be unarmed. Why wasn’t there any legislation brought forth to address that issue?
An amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would make it more difficult to add mentally ill people to the background check database, giving people suspected of serious mental illness a process to challenge that determination.
Once again, Democrats rejected his proposal, which would have attempted to prevent failed gun-running operations. One such gun-running operation, Fast and Furious, resulted in a substantial body count when the operation failed to serve its purpose. Unlike previous gun-running operations, Fast and Furious was brought to fruition with the insistence that gun dealers involved did not have contracts with ATF, and that the Mexican police and MCO were not in the loop. It had about as much success as the Hindenburg.
An amendment by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., that would close the “gun show loophole” by requiring every gun purchaser to undergo a background check, and to expand the background check database.
A. You can’t buy guns online without a background check. I just went through this process a few months ago while purchasing my Walther PPQ. (Yes I love it. Yes I recommend it. Yes I named it Waino after my favorite Cardinals pitcher.) You order the weapon and it’s delivered to a licensed gun dealer. The gun dealer I went through performed the background check onsite, made me fill out all of the necessary documents, checked my identification, etc… And I’m a CCW license holder, and I still had to jump through the same hoops.
B. I think ABC’s Jonathan Karl said it best, “So why — I mean, why — I mean, why are we focusing on things that have nothing to do with the massacres that we are responding to?” Closing the alleged “gun show loophole” would not have stopped any mass shootings in recent history, and I’d argue that it wouldn’t have stopped any mass shootings in U.S. history. Why? Well….
In reality, the so-called “gun show loophole” is a myth. It does not exist. There is no loophole in federal law that specifically exempts gun show transactions from any other laws normally applied to gun sales. Not one.
What Democrats are proposing would not have changed one thing about the recent attacks on American soil, and even legislation that seemingly would is not a guaranteed safety net for future attacks.
France, as an example, is the picture of a Democrat gun-control utopia: “In France, to buy a firearm, a hunting licence or a shooting sport license is necessary. All semi-automatic rifles with a capacity greater than 3 rounds, all handguns and all rifles chambered in ‘military’ calibres, including bolt action, require permits. These are known as B1, B2 and B4 type permits.” Additionally, “Fully automatic firearms are illegal for civilian ownership.” Yet in November of last year, 130 innocent individuals lost their lives, while another 368 individuals were injured. The rifles used were AKM (AK-47 style) fully automatic (actual assault rifles), and a handful of the attackers were known threats to law enforcement.
The fact remains: Bad people figure out ways to do bad things.
It’s really that simple. Like I pointed out in this post, we currently have more guns than ever before, and our crime rate – as a whole – hasn’t been this low (per capita) since 1967. The age of social media has given our society the gift of being informed, but unfortunately it is rarely joined by perspective in most situations.
Just to give you a snapshot of how much the gun industry has grown, in 1990 the United States manufactured 3,959,968 guns and in 2013, despite the war on guns the left has waged, we manufactured 10,844,792 guns. Meanwhile, exports have remained fairly steady at 361,625 and 393,121, respectively. We have more guns, more concealed carry permit holders, and lower crime rates.
It’s time to face the fact that the issue isn’t gun owners, and it isn’t the type of guns we own, or that we need more laws. The issues are terrorism, easy targets, the depravity of man, and the lack of prosecutions resulting from gun laws currently in place. Don’t be fooled, empty platitudes on the House floor do not make you safer. It’s political theater, and sadly the recent tragedy is just a vehicle they’re using to push their tired ideological agenda.
But wait, the Democrats aren’t the only ones.
Privacy-minded senators on Wednesday blocked an amendment that would give the FBI power to take internet records, including browser histories and email metadata, without a court order. But the victory may be fleeting.
That’s good, right?
Just one vote kept the measure from clearing a 60-vote procedural hurdle, and political arm-twisting may soon result in a second vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., switched his vote to “no” to allow reconsideration in the near future. That made the final tally 58-38, with four senators not voting.
This was a vote on an amendment that would allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to issue administrative subpoenas, called National Security Letters (NSL), that would compel companies to turn over “electronic communications transactional records.” NSLs don’t require court approval and often come with a gag order. For more see coverage by U.S. News & World Report.
The vote was on cloture, meaning to end date so that an up-or-down vote can be held. A yea vote is to end date and move forward with approving the amendment. A nay vote is to prolong debate or filibuster. Sen. McConnell, the majority leader, voted against in order to reserve the right to bring the matter to a vote again later on.
This is, in short, an expansion of the Patriot Act, which already went too far. The FBI can already get ECTR records if they convince a judge that there’s a reasonable cause, or in emergency situations they can be obtained but are then subject to retroactive court review. The only thing this bill would do, is cut out the middle man.
We want the middle man.
It’s hypocritical for us to say that the above gun control legislation would not have changed the Orlando outcome, while pretending as though this particular legislation would have. Personally, I’m not interested in stopping the FBI from getting the information needed to help control terrorist activity. I do, however, take issue with them getting that information without court approval or oversight.
Where did your representative stand on the issue? Check here. Maybe put in a few calls asking why, and remember that “because scary stuff” is an answer that would make the Founders throat punch someone.
Out of all of the former GOP presidential candidates in the Senate, Rand Paul was the only one to actually take the small government stand.
I disagree with Rand Paul on plenty of issues, but it is here that I proudly stand with him.
To both Democrats and Republicans: More government does not equal a safer world. Kindly get your nose out of everyone’s business. And when you do need to meddle in our business, don’t be offended if I want you to have a babysitter.
Please and thank you.
Well, that’s all. Hopefully I touched on enough points to give you a decent overview of this giant waste of time, resources, and energy that won’t make you any safer in any way whatsoever. However, taking yourself to a gun range and avoiding gun-free zones might. I won’t even charge you for that incredible piece of advice.
Featured Image: Courtesy of the always awesome Jay Caruso