Gun control advocates are almost universally Democrats.
Democrats like to bill themselves as the party of the “little guy.” They talk about oppressed groups and the poor an awful lot and claim their policies are about helping those groups.
Let’s say for a moment that I, personally, bought that. If I did, any display or push for elitism would be rather jarring, to say the least. Imagine such a political party trying to push for laws that would basically make it so only the very wealthy could exercise a constitutionally protected right, well, how would that not be some flavor of elitism?
Yet, as Charles C.W. Cooke notes over at National Review, that’s what they’re doing.
In the Financial Times, Gillian Tett offers up what she apparently believes to be a spiffing new idea for circumventing the protections of the Second Amendment and reducing the number of firearms in private hands to a level that she thinks would be more acceptable.
“Searching for something to break the gridlock can feel hopeless,” Tett writes, especially when gun-control remains “anathema to many Republicans, who control the House of Representatives.” But despair not, for she has a cunning plan: Instead of waiting for legislators to impose the panoply of draconian restrictions that she covets, all Congress needs to do is price prospective gun-owners out of the market. “It’s time for a serious tax on guns in America,” Tett submits. “New research suggests first-time gun buyers are sensitive to price. Policymakers should take note.”
Oh, Lord, not this again.
To her credit, Tett is admirably open about her intentions. (We’ll call her ploy “Tett’s Offensive.”) “Instead of presenting the policy choices purely in terms of constitutional law, safety or human rights,” she recommends that gun-control activists “invoke some dry economic analysis instead.” But, of course, this makes no sense. As a rhetorical matter, Tett is free to focus on whichever element of the question she believes will gain the most purchase within the debate. But she should not delude herself into thinking that, by ignoring the constitutional problems with her proposal, she has any chance whatsoever of fooling others. Naturally, it is impossible to “present the policy choices” that relate to the Second Amendment outside of the realm of “constitutional law” when the “policy choices” that relate to the Second Amendment are firmly within the realm of “constitutional law.” Illegal restrictions on rights do not cease to be illegal restrictions on rights simply because those restrictions are economic in nature.
Now, Cooke goes on to note that no, this wouldn’t be constitutional, and he’s right.
What gets me on this one, though, is that it’s nothing but naked elitism, a way to keep what my mother used to jokingly term the “great unwashed masses” from being able to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
Yet the wealthy will have no issue. Sure, they might not like paying that much for a gun, but the cost is far less of a hurdle than it would be for a single mother living in the ‘hood.
And that’s the problem for me.
See, the problem with this is that those who are most in need of owning a gun would essentially be prohibited from owning a gun due to a taxation scheme designed to do just that. Meanwhile, the guys could hire private security can have all the guns they want.
See, the problem here isn’t that gun control advocates, primarily Democrats, are in favor of the little guy. They don’t actually care that much about the poor and oppressed because, frankly, they prefer them to be oppressed.
Note that those who would face this tax aren’t the people who represent the problem with so-called gun violence in this country. It’s not lawful gun owners that represent a problem, after all, and you’re deluded if you think that will somehow trickle down to the criminal underclass.
So yeah, I see this proposal as nothing but elitism. Some might disagree with my use of the term, and that’s fine.
Either way, it’s a terrible proposal that, thankfully, won’t go anywhere.
It’s easy for op-ed writers to be elitists. It’s the politicians who would have to answer for that elitism that have to introduce the bills and most aren’t willing to risk their careers over it.