With all the talk about AIG bailouts, bonuses, the White House proposing that American G.I.s injured in battle or other duty pay for their own healthcare, and the U.S. Department of Defense deciding to halt sales of expended brass to private re-sellers -- then reversing itself a few days later -- most media missed something extraordinary this week regarding the basic human right of self defense.
Sixty five Members of Congress, all democrats, yesterday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder insisting that they will not support a new ban on competition rifles (so-called "assault weapons"). Led by Arkansas democrat Rep. Mike Ross, the representatives stated succinctly that such bans do not work, and that the fear-mongering of the anti-gun community, which is trying to connect Mexican drug cartel wars with lawful American firearms ownership, is patently dishonest.
It is an extraordinary letter.
"Even the Urban Institute study of the ban's effectiveness mandated by the 103rd Congress found that it could only have a limited effect because "the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.
"It is hard to believe the ban would be any more effective in controlling crime by well-funded international drug traffickers, who regularly use grenade launchers, anti-tank rockets and other weapons that are not available on the civilian market in the United States.
"The gun control community has intentionally misled many Americans into believing that these weapons are fully automatic machine guns. They are not. These firearms fire one shot for every pull of the trigger. Some of the guns that would be banned under proposed bills have been around for more than 70 years, and are often passed down from generation to generation."
As some bloggers have noted, many of the controversial trial balloons being floated are not announced by President Obama, but by his surrogates. If the ideas face a storm of criticism, he can let them die and deny he had a part in their formulation.
But the gun controllers have to be crying in their soup today. This is not what they had in mind. Obama is being silent on this issue. And if you do the math, there is no statistical way such a proposal, supported by President Obama prior to his election to the White House, and announced last month by Mr. Holder, can possibly pass the U.S. House of Representatives. Even if a number of republicans supported such a measure, it still would be likely to fail.
Is it too soon to say RIP assault weapons ban? Yes. But I hear funeral dirge music playing in the background for THIS initiative. At least for now.
There will still be other assaults on the 2A. Like other squeeze on ammunition, which already is in short supply, particularly smaller calibers.
BTW, as an Ohioan, my personal thanks to Reps. Zach Space, Charlie Wilson, John Boccieri for signing onto this letter. Gentlemen, you put statesmanship ahead of politics. You are to be saluted.