This morning Democrats brought the House’s business to a halt by staging a sit-in in the chamber’s well. They demanded votes on a series of anti-gun measures, presumably the same ones that failed in the Senate. Their rhetoric was characteristically restrained:
“We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence,” [Georgia Democrat John] Lewis said as he urged fellow Democrats to stand with him in the area near the podium, known as the well.
“What has this body done” to respond to the violence, Lewis asked, then answered his own question: “Nothing. We have turned a deaf ear to the blood of innocents. We are blind to a crisis. Where is our courage? How many more mothers…and fathers need to shed tears of grief?”
Gun control has never been a winning issue for Democrats, but they keep charging up the same hill, convinced that this time it will be different. Or maybe it is only a fundraising gimmick; I’ve gotten twenty or thirty emails from various arms of the Democratic Party in the last few days, using gun hysteria to raise money. One thing it surely is not, is a serious effort to do anything about crime. If Democrats actually cared about “the blood of innocents,” they would demand to know why prosecutions under our existing gun laws have declined by 30% to 40% during the Obama administration.
One of the Democrats’ proposals would bar “suspected terrorists” from buying firearms. As far as I know, not a single Democrat in Congress has expressed misgivings about denying a constitutional right based on suspicion. Given the Democrats’ hostility to the First Amendment, this probably shouldn’t be surprising, but keep it in mind next time a Democrat–any Democrat–claims to be a civil libertarian.
When John Cornyn offered a compromise proposal in the Senate–people suspected of being terrorists could be put on a list that would bar them from buying firearms, but the government would first have to offer evidence sufficient to convince a judge to sign the order, in a procedure analogous to a search warrant–the Democrats filibustered it. So much for any claim that Democrats actually care about keeping firearms out of the hands of terrorists.
STEVE adds: Where are the headlines saying, “House Democrats Shut Down the Government”?