Activists Claim This Will “Be the Year of Gun Sense”
According to a new story in The Hill, Everytown for Gun Safety – the Michael Bloomberg funded organization – expects big changes in the nation’s gun laws as a result of the November elections.
“2016 will be the year of gun sense,” said Everytown spokeswoman Kate Folmar. “If elected leaders themselves won’t change the laws that make it too easy for dangerous people to get weapons, the American people will change them themselves.”
Bloomberg’s Everytown group has been relentlessly focused on changing gun control laws at the local level, using popular referendums (combined with multi-million dollar advertising campaigns) to circumvent the tricky business of pushing legislation through Congress.
This year, the group is sponsoring gun control initiatives in four different states: Washington, Maine, California, and Nevada. The proposed laws range from background checks on ammunition (CA) to banning domestic abusers from purchasing firearms (WA). Everytown’s Folmar told The Hill that the group was relying on the state-by-state playbook of the gay marriage movement to bring their goals to fruition. The hope is that a cascading series of gun control successes on the local level will eventually bring change at the federal level.
NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the new round of gun control proposals were an example of a single billionaire trying to buy his way past the Second Amendment.
“After decades of legislative and electoral defeat, the gun control lobby has resorted to buying gun control by spending Bloomberg’s billions to impose his New York style gun-control through the ballot initiative process,” she said.
It’s all too easy to overlook these rapidly-changing state laws, especially when they aren’t happening in your state. But while there’s nothing wrong with local government – and, indeed, the local population – deciding what’s best for their communities, these states do not have the authority to invalidate the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Whether these gun control proposals do that or not is up for some debate, but the courts need to be extremely careful about where these laws tread.
The dangerous part of all this, of course, is that the ultimate goals of the movement will be realized. The Everytown spokesperson is right; this is how gay marriage landed in front of the Supreme Court. And with a President Hillary Clinton looming ahead, that court may have issued its last conservative decision for a very long time.
This is a future we can prevent…but the opportunity is slipping through our fingers with every passing day.