2/00 Hatch’s Crime Bill

Hatch’s Crime Bill
Larry Pratt

As the Congress returns for the pre-election session of the new millenium, an old threat lies waiting to ambush the Second Amendment.

Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, has sponsored a piece of legislation as anti-gun as anything Senators Diane Fienstein or Charles Schumer have ever put forth.

Hatch’s bill started out as a Juvenile Justice Crime Bill. In the legislative frenzy following Columbine, Hatch’s bill was approved by the Senate, but the House voted it down.

Hatch spent the last half of 1999 pushing to get the House to act on his bill. This is what Hatch was trying to put into law:

   1. An end to gun shows by putting open-ended regulatory and taxing power in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.
   2. FBI registration of private gun sales at gun shows by subjecting them to the instant background check — the same as licensed dealers.
   3. Banning importation of high-capacity self-defense magazines.
   4. Forcing gun buyers to buy trigger locks, better known as “lock-up-your-safety” devices when they buy a new gun.

Senator Hatch came to Washington in the ’70’s as a “let’s-get-things-done” conservative. Since then, he has become a close personal friend of Ted Kennedy, even flaunting a painting by his Bay State Buddy in his front office in the Senate. The inscription under Kennedy’s signature reads: “We’ll always keep the light on for you at the compound.”

This is a reference to Kennedy’s estate on Cape Cod. As you can see, it’s OK for liberals to have compounds, but it is bad when gun owning conservatives do likewise.

Apparently Senator Hatch’s close personal relationship with Kennedy has put its stamp on the ex-conservative’s politics. Not only is he now for gun control, but he has approved of virtually every single one of Bill Clinton’s judicial nominees.

Happily, Republican primary voters have put an end to Hatch’s presidential race. But the rest of us still need to put an end to Hatch’s Juvenile Crime Bill.