If any subject can overtake the fiscal-cliff aftermath on the D.C. Richter scale, it's a gun-control bill.
Get ready. There's a doozie of a seismic shift coming on Jan. 22 when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is due to introduceher "Grand Plan," a sweeping bill that would go further to rock the Second Amendment off its foundation than any legislation in the previous 112 sessions of Congress.
Theauthor of the federal assault weapon and large ammunition magazine ban of 1994-2004is seizing the Newtown moment to introduce what many protectors of the Second Amendment characterize as "a firebomb."
According to apostingon Feinstein's website two days after Christmas and a draft of the bill obtained by NRA-ILA, the bill would, among other things, adopt new definitions of assault weapon. It would affect a much larger variety of firearms, require current owners of such firearms to register them with the federal government under the National Firearms Act, and require forfeiture of the firearms upon the deaths of their current owners.
The post-election-frisky Obama administration apparently is cheering the bill on.
Less than a week ago,The Boston Heraldreported thatVice President Joe Biden guaranteed gun-control advocate and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino this: President Obama will pass wide-ranging firearms reforms by the end of the month.
RedState blogger Ulysses Arn writes, "This gun grab, this attack on the Second Amendment, is just the latest in a long list of usurpations of our Constitution."
Alex Jones of InfoWars calls it "the effective END of the Second Amendment in America."
But, wait. Before the earth moves, consider this:
Feinstein's gun-control legislation has about as much chance as a rabbit in a dog show. And most thinking liberals agree: Despite the almighty dust-up likely on the Senate floor, any attempt to ban guns is going up in flames.
But liberals are blaming the wrong party. The reason the California senator's bill won't pass isn't as they think, because of those blockheaded numbskulls running the NRA. They can blame the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
When all is said and done, most Americans hold the Second Amendment sacred. Most Americans understand full well that the Constitution isn't an a la carte menu from which we can choose the laws we like and discard the rest. Our Constitution is the whole meal, all of it -- it's everything this nation stands for, everything that makes it great in a single succinct document, including the right to bear arms.
Nicholas J. Johnson, professor of law at Fordham University -- one of the country's most respected authorities on the Second Amendment -- puts this overreaching bill into perspective on the Library of Law and Liberty website:
"Senator Feinstein will get lots of opposition to this bill," Johnson writes."That it is an unconstitutional taking of property; that it irrationally treats semi-automatics more harshly than true machine guns; that it is an unconstitutional application of the taxing power that grounds the National Firearms Act; that it attempts to ban guns in common use in violation of D.C. v. Heller; that it attempts to ban the quintessential militia weapon which seems protected even under Justice Stevens' dissent in Heller; that it will drive the targeted guns into the black market; and, that it will trigger militant resistance."
If any part of Feinstein's bill is passed -- even the smallest part -- it likely will be challenged, will make a lot of lawyers rich, will drone on for years and most importantly, will obscure, as Johnson states, "the core question of how to protect the 7-year-old in the classroom, with tired oversold ideas that mainly serve to mask the structural state incompetence that the progressive political class cannot profitably acknowledge."
Where are the bills to help frustrated and frightened family members quickly get help for their mentally ill or troubled and socially isolated sons and daughters, husbands and wives? Communities need resources and ideas. They need support. Where are the bills to augment real help in preventing another Sandy Hook?
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.