The battle cries of the gun control advocates who failed to reform the nation’s gun laws in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, can best be summed up in a stanza from a poem called the Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton:
“Fight on, my men,” says Sir Andrew Barton,
“I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I’ll lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.
Let’s not kid ourselves about what happened. President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the primary sponsor of the 2013 Assault Weapons Ban, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), the authors of the bipartisan amendment to expand background checks, and every other lawmaker and activist pushing for tougher regulations and restrictions on gun ownership took one on the chin. And it hurt. Bad.
So, was the Senate’s rejection of Obama’s key gun control objectives – the expanded background check bill, the ban on so-called ‘assault’ weapons and the ban on magazines holding more than ten rounds – a victory for gun owners?
Well, as every savvy gun owner knows, the battle is won but the war is far from over. And if there was any doubt about this fact, one should just listen to what the aforementioned individuals are saying about this stinging defeat.
“We should make no mistake, this debate is not over,” said a defiant Sen. Reid from the Senate floor on Thursday.
“I’ve spoken to the president, he and I agree that the best way to keep working towards passing a background check bill, is to hit pause and freeze the background check bill where it is.”
“We are going to come back this bill,” he concluded.
Sen. Manchin, who has had an “A” rating with the NRA, expressed similar optimism about the future of his proposal, which would have required criminal background checks for all firearm transfers made at gun shows and over the Internet.
“It’s just a good, solid bill that had a lot of people working for months to try to put together – and it’s one worth continuing to fight for,” said Manchin.
Then, of course, there was President Obama standing with Newtown families and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Wednesday, telling the nation, “Sooner or later, we’re going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it and so do the American people.”
There you have it, an unflinching resolve to fight on. So, moving forward, where does this leave gun control advocates?
Sad to say, but they’re anxiously awaiting the next tragedy, the next mass shooting, the next Adam Lanza. This isn’t only my assessment, but that of the LA Times writer Doyle McManus who wrote this:
The more plausible scenario, one gun control lobbyist told me grimly, is that one day another mass murder will occur, “this time, committed by someone who didn’t undergo a background check.” That, on top of Newtown and the education voters have absorbed over the last four months, might just be enough to make a difference.
Unfortunately, there will be another mass shooting. There are just too many crazy people in this world to avoid it. Additionally, from a criminologist’s standpoint, there’s virtually nothing we can do legislatively to prevent a cunning sociopath from killing innocents.
Again, not only my assessment but that of Criminologist James Alan Fox, who pointed out in an interview with The Daily Beast that most mass killers are “calm, deliberate and determined to get justice for what they perceive to be unfair treatment.”
“Most mass murderers do not have criminal records or a history of psychiatric hospitalization. They would not be disqualified from purchasing their weapons legally,” wrote Fox in a recent article at Boston.com.
“People simply cannot be denied their Second Amendment rights just because they look strange or act in an odd manner,” he continued. “Besides, would-be mass killers could always find an alternative way of securing the needed weaponry, even if they had to steal from family members or friends.”
It’s all very ironic, isn’t it? Gun control activists waiting with bated breath for another mass shooting just so they can capitalize off the emotional trauma of the event to enact federal gun control laws that will do nothing to stop crazed gunmen from murdering innocents. And then, when it happens again despite the passage of the new laws, they’ll say “We didn’t do enough last time, we need to do more” and this cycle will repeat.
That is unless gun owners continue to stand and fight. On that note, the NRA is gearing up for the inevitable.
“We are prepared for a very long war and a very expensive war,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told the Associated Press on Thursday.
I hope they’re ready. Because gun owners are going to need all the help we can get when it goes down, again.