Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Liberals in general and Democrats in particular are about to lose big on the issue of gun control. It’s not because it’s impossible to create and pass reasonable regulations on firearms; it has been done and can be done. It’s not because “the gun lobby” is too powerful. Yes, the NRA is influential, but if they’re so powerful, why are restrictive laws still in force for many states?

The reason Democrats are going to lose on this issue is because they’ll try to go too far. Senator Feinstein has already proposed a vast expansion to the 1994 assault weapons ban, NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo is talking confiscation of certain weapons, and Biden said just today the White House is considering “executive orders” and “executive action” on the part of the president.

Please note this is a fairly typical human reaction, this tendency to swing towards extremes. Does anyone doubt that, if some of our more liberal elected officials had their way, there would be no Second Amendment? But Americans overall have shown no strong desire to remove firearms from society. On the contrary, gun ownership has seen a steady rise even as (some might say paradoxically) society in general has seen a steady decline in overall crime and violence.

More Americans than ever own guns, yet, as Investors Business Daily reports, “over the last 20 years, the firearm crime rate has dropped, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 6 victims per 1,000 residents in 1994 to 1.4 victims per 1,000 residents in 2009. This has happened as more and more citizens arm themselves.”

Ultimately, Democrats will lose on this because, in their emotional fervor, they are already ignoring reality. Not just the reality of American culture and its pro-firearm philosophy, but the reality of what was really behind the murderous rampages in Sandy Hook, the UVA campus, Columbine, Colorado, and so many other places in this country. The problem of mental illness.

Let’s take a relevant case in point. In July, CNN posted a timeline of the Worst mass shootings in U.S. The timeline begins in 1949 and was recently updated to include the Sandy Hook massacre. Of those listed, most if not all the incidents had to do with people who were mentally ill or mentally unstable.

So, will the type of gun control proposed by many Democrats today deal with that issue? No, of course not. Mainly because that is the more difficult issue to address and does not do nearly as much for fund raising as gun control.

But this is the real issue, and, difficult or not, the one we should be addressing.