Bob Barr

For those who care for facts and accuracy, however, such these studies illustrate why gun control bills diminish not only Second Amendment rights, but public safety as well. Such proposals are drafted by non-experts like Feinstein, who have little to no actual experience with or true understanding of firearms or criminal behavior.

Nobody is denying we should investigate and do what we can to prevent gun crime in our cities and towns. But, we should not scapegoat the American gun owner for complicated, cultural problems we are just beginning to understand. Not only is the gun control agenda a slap in the face to our Founding Fathers who understood and recognized the significance of the Second Amendment; but it fails utterly to address public safety issues -- the supposed impetus of gun control.

This is not to say there are not steps we can take to address tragedies such as occurred last month in Newtown.

Cracking down on straw purchases and strengthening requirements to report stolen firearms are meaningful mechanisms to reduce chances for criminals obtaining firearms. Also, studying the impact of mental health on mass shootings is important and relevant to prevent future tragedies; even though such horrific events are statistically rare. I doubt even the most ardent Second Amendment activists would be opposed to such proposals, but not surprisingly, common sense proposals such as these are completely absent from Feinstein’s bill.

Unfortunately, most gun control advocates are not really interested in rational debate; and, their political games simply send Alice chasing white rabbits down holes. President Obama easily rallies his base by accusing the National Rifle Association of putting the Second Amendment above public safety (actually, of course, the NRA is all about public safety). Fortunately, however, more and more Americans are seeing the irony in using the anti-gun agenda as a political football when gun crime continues to go unaddressed.

The bright side to Feinstein’s bill is that more than a few Democrats, particularly those in rural areas, are wary of supporting such extreme gun control measures. The 1994 gun ban is blamed in part for the historic losses suffered by Democratic congressional and presidential candidates in 1994 and 2000. But supporters of the Second Amendment who might sit back and hope this storm passes simply because of past victories, do so at their own – and future generations’ – peril.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.