In a weekend editorial, the San Diego Union-Tribune*, once a fairly conservative paper editorially, came out with a gun control compromise which asks for substantive concessions on the part of Second Amendment defenders and mere promises from anti-gun zealots.
President Donald Trump may not have a record as a Second Amendment advocate to make a precise parallel to the strategy he could adopt if he wanted to buff his name in history. But history awaits, and Trump is so popular with Republicans that if he launched a push for universal background checks for gun purchasers and a ban on new sales of military assault-style weapons — paired with promises from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer that let gun owners fearful of a “slippery slope” know their right to possess plenty of other weapons wouldn’t be infringed — it’s conceivable the president could pull off a historic achievement.
Surely gun owners will be quick to jump on this deal where they give up the ability to loan a gun to a friend or relative on a short-term basis, or sell a gun to someone they've known for decades, in return for a promise from Democratic politicians, that they won't look to ban other firearms down the road.
Yes, they think you're stupid.
Restricted Arms posted a comment onto the paper's editorial Saturday morning, apparently somehow managing to bypass the paper's subscribers-only comments firewall. When discovered, the comment was memory-holed, but we were able to recover a copy of it. Here it is in its entirety.
The U-T's continued promotion of universal background checks and an "assault" weapons ban continues to demonstrate their willful ignorance on the issue. There isn't a single mass shooter who was initially thwarted by the background check system. They either passed the background check because they had no prior disqualifying incidents (Gilroy, El Paso, Parkland, etc.), should have been prevented if the government could run the program competently (Sutherland Springs, Charleston) or they committed a crime to get the guns they used (murder, Newtown).
Why the focus on universal background checks when they do approximately nothing?
Then there's the "assault" weapons ban, which had exactly zero effect when it was in place from 1994-2004. An "assault" weapons ban is all about cosmetics; what the rifle looks like as opposed to how it functions. Want to start a civil war? Make approximately 10 million otherwise law-abiding Americans felons overnight because they own one of these guns.
Then what happens 5 years later when the U-T editorial board discovers that semi-automatic firearms, including handguns (Virginia Tech), can cause just as much death and destruction as "assault" rifles? Well, we've already banned millions of guns that function the same way, so these can go too.
And let's ignore the millions of Americans who own these firearms legally and have used them to protect themselves and their families. We'll let them have revolvers and bolt-action rifles. The criminals on the other hand won't have turned in their superior firepower.
Gun owners, especially in California, have heard time and time again that we should compromise our constitutional rights for the greater good…and it's never enough. We're done compromising when every concession has been an excuse for more ineffective, draconian laws that infringe on our rights and do little to nothing to prevent these horrific crimes.
If President Trump wants to sign a compromise bill, then it'll have to be one where both sides give up something they don't want to give up.
We here at Restricted Arms propose offering Democrats universal background checks in return for national concealed carry reciprocity. You can check the transfer of every gun if, and only if, you allow concealed carry licensees to carry their firearms in non-secure locations (i.e. courthouses, schools, etc. would still be prohibited—we can fight the gun-free zone foolishness later) anywhere in the nation.
The reaction by liberal enclaves like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York when an armed Texan walks through their entertainment districts would be delicious to behold.
But something like that would truly be a compromise. What the Union-Tribune proposes is not a compromise.
*Full disclosure: Restricted Arms' founder/editor-in-chief is a former employee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.