Hillary Clinton is desperate to get on the gun-grabbing bandwagon because its the only place she can feel truly to the left of Bernie Sanders (who has expressed support for gun rights in the past), for the moment anyway.
Aaron talked about it this morning, but suffice it to say, Hillary has been over herself all weekend, trying to prove to progressive that once she’s fully minted in the position of Commander in Chief, her top priority will be grabbing the nation’s guns and hosting a mass meltdown on the White House lawn. And if Congress won’t help her because they’re too far into the pockets of the NRA, well, she’ll use her pen and her phone, and she’ll take those guns by force, and by executive order.
The proposal most likely to generate controversy is using executive action to close the so-called gun show loophole, if efforts to pass new measures in Congress do not succeed, according to a campaign aide to Mrs. Clinton, who asked for anonymity to lay out the plans before the candidate does…
A central issue in Mrs. Clinton’s proposals are the background checks on prospective gun buyers, which are required for retailers at stores. But under federal law, they are not required at gun shows or over the Internet with private sellers.
Under Mrs. Clinton’s plan, she would use administrative powers to make anyone selling a substantial number of guns declared “in the business” of firearms dealing, and subject to the same rules as retailers, if Congress does not act, according to the campaign aide.
It was not immediately clear what the bar for being declared “in the business” would be.
I’m not sure what Ms. Clinton thinks happens at gun shows, but it’s far from the massive ammunition swap she imagines. I suspect in her mind, “gun shows” are full of people armed to the teeth wearing camouflage jackets and discussing the pros and cons of various compost toilets, should the need arise to live out their doomsday fantasies. She probably pictures people shooting at each other, plotting to overthrow the government, and burning effigies of popular Democratic candidates over the same open flames that cook the squirrels they capture. In fairness, she’s pictured a Ted Nugent concert – one I’ve been to – but she’s far from on the nose about gun shows.
Closing the “gun show loophole” would have the same impact on maniacal mass killings as shutting down food truck routes has on cupcake consumption. In fact, a study published just this year, which asked dangerous criminals where they got their guns, demonstrated that few (about 1.5% of gun offenders in Cook County, where guns are illegal) took the time to pack up the kiddies and haul on down to a convention center, so as to properly outfit their street gang. As for the background checks, the only people not required to perform them are people who aren’t “regularly engaged” in dealing firearms. The law already defines exactly who fits that description, and makes it very difficult to consider yourself a “private retailer” of firearms and also sell firearms in high volume. Which, of course, means that people who sell guns at gun shows have a hard time avoiding any “loophole” in Federal law that exists outside the minds of gun control advocates.
And since it’s illegal to ship a gun over state lines, Internet sales that fly under Federal radar are already problematic from a Federal point of view.
Scarier, of course, is that Clinton is planning on continuing the trend of the Executive Order, which allows the President to bypass Congress and make law all on his or her own. That’s, at least, some nice continuity between the Obama and Clinton terms, I suppose: they’re both willing to trample the traditional Separation of Powers in order to achieve their lofty, if ineffective, goals. I suppose it makes them feel good, though, and that’s what liberalism is all about.
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