Guns: Time to Call the Liberal Bluff?

Last week the left attacked Republican leaders who stayed silent about the shooting at the Planned Parenthood abattoir in Colorado Springs, but yesterday, as Scott notes below, the left attacked Republicans who expressed condolences and prayers for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting. But the indecency of the left is only exceeded by their hypocrisy and insincerity.

Hillary called for “action” on guns in her tweet yesterday. Okay: what action? Has she proposed “action” that would have prevented yesterday’s shooting? California already has in place all of the “background check” laws and bans on “assault weapons” that Hillary called for last week. This is all posing and posturing, but sufficient for leftists to get through another day with their presumed moral superiority intact.

Here’s an idea: let’s call the left’s bluff on the Second Amendment. The left is wedded to the notion that there is no individual right to own guns because of the clause the 2nd Amendment that mentions “a well-regulated militia.” Never mind that this reading is completely ahistorical—a fact that a few honest liberal constitutional scholars like Sanford Levinson acknowledge (see his famous Yale Law Review article on “The Embarrassing Second Amendment“). But why not call for a serious militia program here in the U.S.—akin to the “Home Guard” Churchill set up in Britain in World War II?

Gun Free 2 copyThe “militia” at the time of the Constitution was generally regarded as every able-bodied adult male. Since we cannot have police or even private security at every location where a terrorist or mentally ill person might turn up, how about we start a program encouraging Americans to sign up in large numbers to be state militia members, involving a short course in gun safety and threat assessment. Then instead of having signs at schools and malls and elsewhere declaring a “Gun Free Zone,” we’d have signs saying “This facility protected by state militia members.” We’ve already gone a small step in this direction with the decision, several years ago, to allow airline pilots to carry their own firearms in the cockpit.

Yes, yes, I know: we already have a “militia” after a fashion in states with concealed-carry permits, and gun safety programs are what the NRA is all about. (Incidentally—has there been a single instance yet of a mass shooting by an NRA member? I’m not aware of one. Yet yesterday Martin O’Malley went out of his way to suggest the San Bernardino shooting was the NRA’s fault.) But why not make this a formal part of our national counter-terrorism policy, so that the kind of attack that happened at the Paris music hall two weeks ago would be impossible here?

Yes, yes, I know: inviting government, even at the state level, to “regulate” militia membership could mean stifling bureaucracy. I can just imagine how the Department of Homeland Security would screw this up. But I think it is a moot point. The purpose of this modest proposal is to expose the insincerity of the left: there isn’t a single liberal who will endorse this proposal, because they have no interest in a “well-regulated militia.” They want to confiscate guns—full stop—on the utopian view that it will make everyone safer. Just like Paris has been so safe this year with France’s strict gun control laws.