The great Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review catches the New York Times in yet another instance of convenient revisionism—they were against No Fly lists before they were for them!
Now that No Fly lists might be an avenue to back door gun control, the gray lady sees an obvious opening: since you can be added to the No Fly list by executive fiat, with no due process and no prescribed appeals process to get off of it, President Obama could theoretically just add all Americans to the No Fly list and have instant universal gun control!
Don’t suppose this hasn’t occurred to some of the more extreme leftists in the administration, for whom there is no contemplated exercise of executive power that goes too far. Constitution? Separation of powers? Pffft: that old racist Woodrow Wilson explained that they’re obsolete.
But as Ross Douthat points out in the New York Times on Saturday (the same day as their front-page primal scream—it must drive Times readers out of their minds when this happens), a serious effort to reduce the number of guns in private hands in America would have what the civil rights community otherwise likes to call “disparate impact.”
But that claim’s very plausibility points to the problem: With 300 million guns in private hands in the United States, it’s very difficult to devise a non-intrusive, “common-sense” approach to regulating their exchange by individuals. Ultimately, you need more than background checks; you need many fewer guns in circulation, period. . .
Absent a total cultural revolution in America, a massive gun collection effort would face significant resistance even once legislative and judicial battles had been won. The best analogue is Prohibition, which did have major public health benefits … but which came at a steep cost in terms of police powers, black markets and trampled liberties.
I suspect liberals imagine, at some level, that a Prohibition-style campaign against guns would mostly involve busting up gun shows and disarming Robert Dear-like trailer-park loners. But in practice it would probably look more like Michael Bloomberg’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, with a counterterrorism component that ended up heavily targeting Muslim Americans. In areas where gun ownership is high but crime rates low, like Bernie Sanders’ Vermont, authorities would mostly turn a blind eye to illegal guns, while poor and minority communities bore the brunt of raids and fines and jail terms. (Emphasis added.)
Heh. Figures. So maybe liberals should be asked repeatedly why they favor a policy that will involve racial profiling and a de facto augmentation of dreaded “white privilege.”