GOP leadership selling out to gun-grabbing Democrats

· March 7, 2018  
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The bipartisan arsonists are ready to once again dress up as the firefighters on public safety. They plan to offer their same failed “solutions” to a problem they helped fuel while obfuscating some of the true causes of mass shootings.

Yesterday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a memo to members of the House GOP conference announcing leadership’s banal legislative agenda for next week. On the agenda is a bill to throw $50 million in federal funds at another school safety program for all 3,000 counties in this country. In addition, he promised to pass the “Fix NICS” bill in the Senate, which will throw hundreds of millions of dollars at states to toss as many names into the NICs system as possible without fixing some of the universally recognized problems with due process.

The McCarthy memo does not mention a word about ending gun-free zones, not a word about arming teachers, not a word about ending the federal jailbreak programs that incentivize places such as Broward County to avoid arresting people like Nicholas Cruz. And finally, not a word about concealed carry reciprocity, even though that was attached to the Fix NICS bill that passed the House late last year and members were promised the two would go together as a package deal. In fact, at the time of passage, the official name of the bill was the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. And now they are calling it the Fix NICS bill.

These “fixes” won’t make us safer

This clamor to pander is especially offensive since not a single one of the horrific mass shootings we have seen would have been prevented by any of this nonsense. Las Vegas was the biggest shooting of all. It was not perpetrated by a disturbed youth, but by a wealthy 63-year-old former defense contractor, with every detail from beginning to end shrouded in stupefying mystery. No motive or even a basic narrative is available, and as Rep. Thomas Massie said last week, that was the only major attack after which members of Congress did not receive a classified briefing. This is the biggest mass casualty shooting ever in this country, yet we are discussing such nonsense as bump stocks and NICS?

It’s now clear that the Parkland shooting wasn’t the case of a random mentally ill kid who could never have been caught beforehand. Nor would gun control have prevented the attack. It was malfeasance of the Sherriff’s department fueled by the very weak juvenile disciplinary programs that the federal government encouraged. Now Congress has the temerity to throw more federal programs at schools without getting rid of the one federal constraint most responsible for making schools kill zones: their “gun-free” status.

The Baltimore mayor is offering local taxpayer funding to send buses full of students to the gun-control rally later this month, despite the $130 million budget deficit facing city schools. This is the mayor who presides over the city with the highest homicide rate and the strictest gun laws, where you need a license just to own a 9mm handgun in your home and are prohibited from carrying any weapon anywhere. Baltimore is also plagued with a juvenile crime crisis stemming from the breakdown of the education system and insanely weak juvenile justice laws, yet this clown of a mayor has the impudence to take off time from school, including the schools with many of the troublemakers perpetrating the violence, to protest guns? Some of these same high school “kids” are terrorizing my neighborhood with carjackings.

The irony: The leftist policies of keeping juveniles out of the criminal justice system are ensuring that these same juvenile offenders will never show up in the NICS background checks, even as they advocate for more robust background checks.

The Freedom Caucus must stand for freedom

It’s time for the Freedom Caucus to launch a counter-attack with the following proposals.

  • If we are going to seek a federalized solution to school safety, can we first eliminate the federal obstacle to school safety? Conservatives should demand an amendment overturning the “gun-free zone” law of 1990.
  • If we are going to make isolated shootings the biggest federal public policy issue of our time, shouldn’t we find out what happened leading up to Parkland and what actually happened in Las Vegas? The public and members of Congress have not seen any surveillance of either event. Conservatives should promise an amendment creating a congressional commission to investigate the details of these incidents.
  • If we are going to fund more federal school programs to prevent violence, shouldn’t we first discard the programs that incentivize states and schools and law enforcement to ignore violent juveniles? Conservatives should demand an amendment rescinding all federal programs that incentivize leniency programs, such as “Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline” program and rescinding the Department of Education memorandum calling for leniency in school discipline. They should also rescind the Memorandum of Understanding through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program directing school resource officers to take a liberal approach to dealing with threatening children.
  • If we are going to promote more gun control on the front end under the guise of ensuring that bad people don’t have guns, conservatives must stand by their commitment to pair the bill with right-to-carry reciprocity legislation to ensure that good people can actually carry guns. Even if one believes more background checks can stop bad guys from getting guns, nobody can suggest that once they have a gun, anti-carry laws will deter them from committing mass murder. Rather, anti-carry laws only serve to ensure nobody can counter the attacker with a gun. Thirty-eight GOP members, led by Rep. Ted Budd, signed a letter committing to oppose Fix NICS without reciprocity attached to it, and they should reaffirm that commitment.

Guns and crime are objectively the only issues on which Republicans have made genuine progress over the past few decades, as so many other issues have shifted dramatically to the Left in our body politic. Are we prepared to cede this last morsel of success?

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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.