Bloomberg Misfires, Again
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg heads a group called “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” The name is deceptive – Bloomberg is mostly interested in further restricting legal gun ownership.
His most recent tirade comes in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Bloomberg complains that the FBI is not allowed to keep a registration list of gun owners.
Federal law prohibits the government from maintaining or compiling a registration list of gun owners. President Clinton ignored the law and kept files of lawful gun purchasers (those who went through an FBI background check before they were allowed to purchase a firearm) for at least six months.
Congress rightly stepped in and required that the records of lawful transactions be destroyed within 24 hours. It is bad enough that American gun owners are presumed to be criminals until they can prove otherwise to the government, but to add to that unconstitutional requirement the ability of the government to maintain gun owner registration lists would only lead to more intrusive laws, greater restrictions on gun rights and more civilian disarmament.
Gun control laws do not reduce violent crime rates (in fact the opposite is more likely the case). But what is the government’s typical response when its gun control laws prove ineffective? The common refrain is that law was too weak, or too small, or didn’t go far enough. The solution, therefore, is to enact yet more laws.
That is exactly the position of Mayor Bloomberg. Sixteen years ago, the gun control crowd pushed the so-called Brady law, wherein all firearms transactions conducted through federally licensed dealers would be regulated. But, of course, that was not enough for them. Now anti-gunners want to maintain lists of gun owners and expand background checks to private gun sales.
Bloomberg also believes that people who are suspected of crimes should be prohibited from purchasing firearms. Anti-Second Amendment advocates like Bloomberg want to deny gun purchases to persons listed on the governments so-called terror watch list – a list that reportedly contains over 400,000 names.
Why is due process so offensive to the gun control crowd? If we can deny civil liberties to citizens on the basis of being suspected criminals, we may as well run the Constitution through a shredder.
It is a shame that Bloomberg did not take up the cause of legal gun ownership at Fort Hood. The military’s anti-self defense policy is one reason that a man armed with a couple of handguns was able to murder 14 people on a military installation.
Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone told reporters after the Fort Hood shooting that, “we don’t carry weapons here, this is our home.” It may come as a surprise to many people that military installations are for the most part gun free zones. Only police are allowed to carry firearms on base – most soldiers are not allowed to carry weapons on base when not training.
Why isn’t Bloomberg outraged over the disarming of our servicemen and women on base? This is a “loophole” that can and should be closed quickly.
At the very least, those who hold a Texas concealed carry permit should be able to carry on post. That type of legal gun ownership would make the 33,000 people who reside at Fort Hood safer.
Bloomberg, of course, would not go for it because it doesn’t fit his extreme gun control agenda.
If Bloomberg’s organization were really just against the criminal misuse of firearms, its existence would be meaningless. A more fitting – and honest – title for Bloomberg’s group would be simply “Mayors Against Guns.”