It's been a while since we sent a political newsletter, because it's been a while since the flurry of stuff in the news cycle has slowed down enough for us to even comment on what is going on. Mass shooting events and other horrific tragedies tend to attract a lot of media attention because they attract a lot of eyeballs... and when there is an upcoming election, politicians want to use that attention to motivate voters. This is becoming more apparent all the time.
So, for the last few months, Democrat and Republican legislators, primarily at the federal level, have been engaged in a game of Midterm Election Chicken. Democrats know that passing hardcore gun control bills will cost them votes, so they demand that Republicans do it. That is why so much of the narrative surrounding the most recent shootings in New York and Texas have nothing to do with the shooter—and really very little to do with the firearms involved—and almost everything to do with partisan finger-pointing.
Republicans, particularly in the Senate, are on the run, walking a tightrope where they are trying to pass enough just gun control to prove to centrist voters that they aren't the bloodthirsty monsters that CNN says they are, but not quite so much gun control that it costs them actual conservative votes. This is where we get sneaky backdoor provisions like funding for Red Flag laws, something that is very destructive to a citizen’s rights.
Meanwhile, Democrats are on a similar tightrope, screaming about total gun confiscations to wind up their more liberal voters but also trying to trick their Republican counterparts into some kind of compromise that looks like progress. Each side is trying to force the other to make a mistake that will affect the election, but the Democrats need the circus more—something that will drive their base to the polls even amid tremendous Democratic failure.
That is why all of the Senate debate about gun control has nothing to do with violence, safety, or technically even guns themselves. It’s sheer political gamesmanship. Which isn’t to say that Big Government politicians (on both sides of the aisle) AREN’T interested in disarming the public, but this pre-Midterm grandstanding is how you get political action like the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a bill that will do nothing for communities, or safety, or political unity.
Democrats will insist, for example, that the bill’s $750 million bribe allocated for the creation of red flag laws or “crisis intervention orders” will result in large numbers of violent bad guys being disarmed, and Republicans will insist that those same red flag laws will never result in the wrong people being disarmed. Both of these statements are false.
America is full of police departments that would far rather disarm people who are prepared to defend their family members than embark on the risky business of dealing with active murderers who pose a genuine threat. This isn't idle speculation or wild guessing. This appears to be exactly what happened in Uvalde, Texas.
Despite a refusal to release body cam footage to state investigators, and a plan to demolish the physical school as quickly as possible, disturbing details are trickling out. Every new piece of data we are getting about that incident reveals that the actions of the chief of police and most of his men were far, far worse than anyone suspected.
For example, when reports of the shooting began, Ruben Ruiz rushed to the school. His wife was a teacher who had been shot. She was able to spend the last moments of her life on the phone with her husband, but he was unable to help her. Despite being an active-duty Uvalde Police officer himself, he was disarmed and removed from the scene where she lay dying.
The Uvalde Police Department stacked men with rifles and shields outside a door that wasn’t locked and then refused to stop the multiple murders of children that happened right in front of them. For over an hour, the only action they took was to actively prevent parents from attempting to rescue the helpless victims trapped inside.
Their actions only served to protect the shooter, enable more violence and death, and deeply harm everyone nearby. There is no better illustration of what gun control actually looks like and no worse case for increased Government power.
The good news is that more and more people are connecting these dots. Establishment media and establishment politicians still want a disarmed population, and they will still hold up the Uvalde shooting as an excuse, but this month’s gun sales numbers show that a lot of The People aren’t listening. They look at the Uvalde shooting and they want more guns.
But there is another big lesson that Americans should be learning from Uvalde. Far more important than replacing spineless Senators will be replacing spineless Police Chiefs, mayors, and city councils. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the best way to protect your community from potential gun violence is by having principled local leaders.
So don’t get distracted by the games in Washington D.C. We should certainly take the opportunity to replace Mitch McConnell, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis, and Todd Young. But what we really need are good State legislators who will push back against these Federal power grabs and Sheriffs, constables, and commissioners who will refuse to enforce them.
While the Senate was trashing more of your rights in an opportunistic grab for votes, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on NYSRPA v. Bruen, which essentially strikes down New York’s ability to deny carry permits to its people on a whim. More importantly, it calls into question every similar law in the country and makes a few solid statements that will affect the enforcement of gun laws in the future.
The DOJ has already stated that it “respectfully disagrees” with this ruling, an unprecedented refusal to recognize the highest court in the land. This is unsurprising, given the political nature of the DOJ recently, but the ruling is nevertheless a very big deal for gun rights, and the current response underscores the need for local authorities to hold the line and uphold the law.
Justice Clarence Thomas has written a majority opinion that is worth reading; it’s a great summary of gun laws throughout history. Justice Bryer’s dissenting option is also worth reading; it is a great collection of gun control lies.
I can hardly wait to read the dissenting opinion on today’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. It will be crazy.
There are a few related podcasts from the last few weeks. First, Isaac predicted that a few terrible gun control ideas would be revisited this year, and some have already been proposed in New York. Then we looked at five big gun control myths that come up in every Twitter fight (this may need a sequel... Twitter is being extra mythical this week). And finally, a conversation with Redbeard Tactical about training, military history, and the tremendous value of the Second Amendment.
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