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Jerry Shenk


Dems Take Street Theatre to the House

by Jerry Shenk
 

Politicians tend to pay the most attention to issues that command public fascination. And the public's attention is most easily commanded when the public is given someone to hate… The NRA is [that someone] for the gun-control gang, even though the people who do…the shootings [here] are not very much like the people who belong to the NRA. It is easy to substitute an enemies list for careful thinking. — Kevin Williamson

On June 12, 2016, inside an Orlando gay nightclub, a Muslim gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in America since September 11, 2001. The shooter was a self-acknowledged jihadist who, in calls from the club to police, declared loyalty to ISIS, its leaders and pledged his allegiance to its mission. ISIS is among the world's most rabidly anti-gay organizations.

A follower of Islam (a/k/a, "Religion of Peace") massacred dozens of gays, but, rather than upset their ideological narratives protecting both groups, liberal Democrats deflected attention from the shooter's obvious motives by blaming guns and demanding more gun control legislation.

On June 22, a group of House Democrats, at least 26 of whom own guns, along with a few Senate Democrats, flouted chamber rules and blocked House business to conduct a 25 hour sit-in designed to "shame" Republicans into introducing a bill to deny gun ownership to people appearing on the Department of Homeland Security's no-fly list. Led by civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis who should know the difference between genuine black civil rights issues and performance art, Democrats sang "We Shall Overcome" on the House floor — literally.

Their sit-in was pure 1960s-style street politics, political theater. They knew a House vote would have failed just as four Senate measures, two sponsored by each party, failed. In fact, Senate Democrats defeated the two Republican proposals.

In effect, Democrats invoked and exploited the language of black civil rights in an attempt to deny innocent Americans the civil rights embedded in the Second and Fifth Amendments.

The no-fly list is a civil rights nightmare: It's kept in secret; it's error-prone (Ironically, Rep. John Lewis once appeared on it); there is no due process and little legal recourse for those appearing on it; and the list constantly expands. In 2014, the ACLU complained that the government had a master watchlist of 680,000 people, forty percent of whom had "no recognized terrorist group affiliation." This is both a ridiculously large number of arbitrary targets for gun control legislation, and too few to have any effect on gun ownership, much less gun violence.

Democrats ended their sit-in but vowed to continue to undermine due process when the House returns in July. Unsurprisingly, Republican House leadership may permit a vote.

If Americans wish to preserve a constitutional republic, we cannot allow ideological mobs of theatrical, left-wing politicians to strip Americans of their Fifth Amendment right to due process in order to strip them of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.


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