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The chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus says he was right about Republican leadership swindling conservatives in the House of Representatives into voting for a gun control measure in exchange for an empty promise on concealed-carry reciprocity.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., spoke with Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz on a special episode of “The Conservative Conscience” podcast Tuesday. In this episode, Horowitz discussed GOP plans to hotline Sen. John Cornyn’s “Fix NICS” bill, the constitutional problems with gun control legislation, and surprising facts about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, as well as how gun control can have a disproportionate effect on minorities. Listen:
Here are the key takeaways:
- Senate leadership is breaking its promise: House conservatives voted for a compromise bill that paired concealed-carry reciprocity with the “Fix NICS” legislation to strengthen federal background checks. Massie warned at the time that the Senate would wait on the bill until the next mass shooting and then drop concealed-carry reciprocity and push House conservatives to pass this gun control bill they’ve already voted for. That seems to be exactly what’s happening.
- Massie feels Republicans are not pushing hard enough against gun control. “Some of my colleagues are like the deputy sheriffs there in Florida. They’re waiting for this issue to burn itself out; they don’t want to go in and take fire,” he told Horowitz. “So I’ve decided to go into the building.”
- Massie stresses that the legislation that is being proposed by Congress will do nothing to stop another school shooting. “There’s not a school shooting this century that the background checks have stopped or could have stopped,” Massie said. He noted that most people don’t want gun control; they want safer schools.
- On raising the age limit to 21 to buy rifles: Massie says this would be unconstitutional. There is already a federal age limit to purchase a handgun. If an 20-year-old single mom cannot purchase a handgun or a long gun to defend herself, her Second Amendment rights would be “completely extinguished.”
- On banning bump stocks: Massie is not convinced the Las Vegas shooter did not have fully automatic guns. He has requested more information from the FBI, but he says members of Congress have not received a briefing on the Las Vegas shooting. “There’s been very little due diligence here in Congress even before proposing a ban on a firearm accessory,” Massie said.
- Congress is in the dark about the deadliest mass shooting of our time: “We received … a classified briefing on Orlando. We received one on San Bernardino. We’ve never received one for Vegas.”
- Massie’s “Fix NICS” dystopian future: “You have the Department of Education who keeps records at some point and submits them based on your behavior when you were 12 years old.”
- Massie was clear that this scenario is a hypothetical, but the Department of Veterans Affairs is already stripping veterans of their gun rights without due process. Cornyn’s “Fix NICS” bill strengthens every executive agency’s ability to report records to a federal background check database and could exacerbate this egregious problem.
- The “Fix NICS” bill may discriminate against minorities: If your name is similar to a felon’s, you may be denied your gun rights during a background check. “The NICS background check discriminates against minorities, because a lot of them have similar names,” Massie said. “If you look at the percentage of young black males who are locked up and have similar names to those who are not locked up, you can anticipate that a lot of them would be denied if they go try to buy a firearm, based on the failures that we see every day there.”
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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