The horrific massacre at the New Zealand mosque has incited demands for gun control there, but surprisingly not here in the United States. The contestants for the Democratic presidential nomination have been remarkably silent on the issue of the Second Amendment.
Cat got their tongue? They have been leapfrogging each other to go far left on other issues, ranging from climate change to immigration.
Their liberal base must be stultified at the candidates’ deafening silence on this central issue of the Democratic Party Platform, which calls for bans on “assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.” Three weeks ago the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the most sweeping gun control legislation in 20 years.
But leading Democrats fear a repeat of 2000, when they loudly demanded gun control in the wake of the Columbine high school shooting. Then came Charlton Heston’s famous performance at the NRA convention at which he publicly warned that nominee Al Gore would grab Heston’s guns only “from my cold, dead hands!”
Heston, who had won an Academy Award for his role in Ben-Hur and also starred in The Ten Commandments, campaigned against Gore on the issue of guns. Gore then backpedaled on the issue, pretending that he would not grab people’s guns while many voters knew that he and his party would do just that.
On Election Day in 2000 Gore then lost his home state of Tennessee, where the right to bear arms is paramount. That cost him the presidency against George W. Bush.
This time the Democratic presidential candidates are lying low on the issue of gun control until after the presidential election. Democrats are looking for more stealth ways to erode the Second Amendment, to fly undetected on the radar of most American voters.
The first way is to pack the Supreme Court with Democrat nominees. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has endorsed this approach, and there is even a new group called “Pack the Court.”
Multiple Democratic presidential contenders, from Elizabeth Warren to Beto O’Rourke, are open to the idea. If one of them were to defeat President Trump while their party takes Congress, they might add new justices to the Supreme Court to erode the Second Amendment.
Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt floated a similar idea in 1937 for a different reason, and his own party resoundingly rejected it then. But in those days the Democratic Party actually represented working Americans.
The Supreme Court could soon be presented with an appeal from the Connecticut Supreme Court, which ruled that the gun manufacturer Remington can be held liable for the Sandy Hook massacre. The Second Amendment will not mean much if gun manufacturers are driven out of business for crimes they never intended.
The second approach is to call a constitutional convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, at which delegates could support an amendment to repeal the Second Amendment entirely. Hawaii legislators attempted this approach with a resolution.
In both Australia and Great Britain, massacres enabled gun control forces to push through tight new restrictions on guns. Their entire political culture then shifted to the left as voters became less self-reliant and more dependent on government.
"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic,” wrote longtime Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in 1833. He explained that the Second Amendment “offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
Chelsea Clinton was met with criticism by students at New York University who blamed the carnage at the New Zealand mosque on her gentle criticism of the Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). So apparently President Trump is no longer the culprit for everything in the minds of Leftists anymore.
New Zealand itself is turning its sights on Facebook, Google, and Twitter for how they provided an unregulated channel for the mass-murderer to live-stream his killings. Internet users then copied and reposted the hideous videos before those companies could take them down.
As three of the most liberal corporations in America, these Silicon Valley behemoths were slow to react to the New Zealand live-streaming. One reason may be that they devote much of their resources to censoring legitimate political speech.
Facebook admitted that a high-resolution video of the attack was uploaded 1.5 million times within the first 24 hours and that 300,000 of these were unblocked. The mass murderer used its platform to promote his heinous crime live.
Multiple prior killings have been done by others who touted their evil deeds on Facebook. Yet there are no calls to ban Facebook, the way that liberals demand gun control.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.