TAKING YOUR GUN AWAY….Mark Kleiman hopes that with the Heller case removing the threat that “the government is going to take away your guns,” maybe there will be less resistance to moderate gun control measures that really do reduce crime:
With any luck, taking the “gun confiscation” card out of the political pack might actually reduce the fervor of the opposition the NRA can whip up to sensible measures such as requiring background checks for gun sales by private individuals (the current rule that requires them only for purchases from gun dealers), computerizing data on which dealers are selling the guns that get used in crimes, and developing and deploying technology that would allow police to identify, from a bullet or a shell casing found at a crime scene, when, to whom, and by whom the gun that produced that metal was lawfully transferred.
I hope so too, but I doubt it. Unfortunately, my sense is that the gun confiscation argument never had all that much impact on centrist gun owners in the first place. It only appealed to an extremist fringe that’s fueled by an inchoate rage against pointy-headed DC bureaucrats — a rage that’s not going anywhere just because of one Supreme Court decision. After all, these are the guys who are so far off in lala land that they’re convinced it’s the United Nations that’s going to take their guns away. We all know the Supreme Court can’t stand up to the Secretary General (thanks to pointy-headed DC bureaucrats who are in on the game), so Heller is really pretty meaningless, isn’t it? The fight goes on.
Anyway, that’s my guess. Plus there’s the fact that the NRA has to keep raising money, and tamping down fears of gun confiscation probably isn’t high on their list of fundraising strategies. Logic says Mark ought to be right, but I suspect in practice that Heller will have no effect at all on the lunatic fringe.
UPDATE: Plus, in fairness, Heller was a 5-4 decision and the gun lobby will be able to say with some justice that it could get overturned pretty easily. Thus we need to keep our guard up, eternal vigilance in the price of liberty, etc. etc.