A new Democrat administration and two recent mass shootings mean it’s time for another episode of the gun-control melodrama that’s been running for decades. We all know the scenario: an obviously deranged person murders several people, Dem pols and pundits start fulminating about our lax gun control laws and gun-obsessed white males, followed by a bunch of ineffective proposals and policies that will do nothing about crime, but will annoy law-abiding gun-owners, which is ultimately the real purpose of the show––demonizing a political enemy.
The Biden outfit has announced “six initial actions to address the gun violence public health epidemic,” the White House informed us last week. None of them will do anything to stop mass killings, and some are trying to fix problems that existing federal laws already address. Two federal statutes concern homemade “ghost guns,” for example, which don’t have serial numbers. And state “Red-flag” laws would allow the police or family members worried about a seemingly unstable spouse, neighbor, or student to ask a judge for a temporary restraining order that would allow confiscation of the weapon. The potential threats to Second, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the moral hazard of giving the vengeful or malicious an opportunity for weaponizing the law, should be obvious.
Then there’s the usual hysteria about “assault rifles.” The popular AR-15 (pop quiz: What does the AR stand for?), which anti-gun-nuts usually bring up when decrying “assault rifles,” is no such thing. It’s not an