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Jewish World Review June 3, 1999 /19 Sivan 5759

Don Feder

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Don't think, just vote

(JWR) ---- (
WHEN POLITICIANS tell you not to ask questions, demand evidence or weigh opposing views, but to just shut up and let us pass this legislation -- because, hey, we've got an emergency here -- you should start sweating bullets, especially when the issue is gun control.

Having successfully stampeded Senate Republicans, Democrats are furious that they couldn't get a House vote on their newest gun-control numbskullery last week.

House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt told his colleagues school shootings in Colorado and Georgia have created a "national crisis." "And we need to treat it that way and move on."

Vice President Al Gore urged House members to go beyond the Senate bill, which regulates private sales at gun shows and mandates safety locks on handguns. Gore pushed the president's plan to limit handgun sales to one a month.

Why not similar restraints on the exercise of other constitutional rights? Perhaps individuals should only be allowed to express controversial views once a month? Maybe officeholders should ration their harebrained proposals in similar fashion.

If once-a-month is good, wouldn't once-a-year be even better? How about a lifetime limit?

Congressional Republicans are running for cover, while Democrats chant: "Vote now! We must act before the evil gun lobby mobilizes its forces." God forbid Congress should actually hold hearings on proposals to limit a basic right. Inconceivable that the nation's 60 million gun-owners should be heard.

Democrats are demanding a vote in an atmosphere of hysteria for a very good reason -- their cause is driven by pure emotion. It will not stand up to dispassionate analysis.

Take gun shows, those dens of iniquity. (Law professor David Kopel says liberals regard gun shows the way Marxists view the New York Stock Exchange.)

The Senate voted to require background checks on private sales at shows. But over 60 percent of dealers there have federal firearms licenses and thus are already required to screen potential purchasers.

According to a justice department study, gun shows account for less than 2 percent of the firearms used in crimes, compared to the 25 percent that come from retail stores.

If a widow who wants to dispose of half a dozen rifles in her late husband's collection is required to do background checks when she sets up a table at a show, shouldn't she have to follow the same procedure if she sells through a newspaper ad?

And how will we know if she's complied if her guns aren't registered? And wouldn't registration give us a handy list when confiscation time rolls around?

The case for safety locks is even less compelling.

Since 1930, the number of firearms owned by Americans quadrupled while accidental firearm deaths declined 62 percent. Nationally, firearms account for 1.2 percent of accidential fatalities, compared to poisoning (10 percent), drowning (4 percent) and choking on an ingested object (3 percent).

Are Democrats suggesting that teens bent on massacre, who can build bombs, but can't figure out how to saw through a lock?

If you force a gun lock on someone who doesn't want it, how will you know that he actually uses it? Have a cop follow him home? Perhaps owners should be required to store their arms at gun clubs, in underground vaults, controlled by time locks? Keeping them in central locations would also facilitate confiscation.

Hunters and collectors should store their firearms securely. But someone living in a high-crime area, whose life may depend on quick access to a pistol, can't call a time out while he unlocks and loads his .38.

Armed citizens dispatch 3,000 criminals a year, more than three times the number killed by police. According to a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis, only one-fifth of violent-crime victims who defended themselves with a firearm were injured, compared to half who were unarmed. Gephardt, Gore and their lynch party would increase the odds -- in favor of criminals.

Liberals are forever trying to close "loopholes" in the nation's gun laws. But it's the loopholes that allow the exercise, albeit increasingly circumscribed, of the fundamental right to self-defense.

Each new restriction (which won't reduce crime anyway -- they never do) acclimates the woolly nation to the idea that guns are inherently evil and brings us one step closer to the ultimate goal -- ending private ownership.

The Second Amendment? Well, don't think about that either.


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5/19/99: Little Bill, you had a busy week
5/17/99: Gun control, campaign-finance reform -- two liberal illusions
5/12/99: Watch Quayle go from "incredible" to quite credible
5/10/99: Conservatives excluded from academic diversity
5/05/99: Expecting the impossible of parents
5/03/99: Gore race-baits with impunity
4/29/99: Why Kosovo? Oh, just because
4/27/99: The president's pro-parent claptrap
4/22/99: McCain plays to the media
4/19/99: NATO would have favored the confederacy
4/14/99: Before we march into Kosovo
4/12/99: Taiwan more worthy of U.S. support
4/09/99: Bauer and Forbes --- Main Street vs. Wall Street
4/05/99: Bubba and Maddy lit Kosovo's fire
3/29/99: At Passover, Egypt is a state of mind
3/29/99: Could the GOP stand Pat in 2000?
3/17/99: Hollywood's party line in 1999
3/15/99: All bow, the court is in session
3/11/99: In praise of negative campaigning
3/09/99: Day-care study defies common sense
3/04/99: Starship Clinton orbits Kosovo
3/01/99: Public will blot out Broaddrick's accusation
2/25/99: Slick Hillie for Senate would be fun
2/23/99: Fascism in the name of fighting fascism
2/16/99: Was anything learned from the impeachment trial?
2/12/99: Educating the democratic voters of tomorrow
2/10/99: First Amendment doesn't apply to pro-life cause
2/08/99: Dems' triumph over Constitution complete
2/03/99: Blood of victims will drown out breakfast prayers
2/01/99: Without a home the heart knows no rest
1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
1/05/99: Monica and a call to modesty
12/30/98: Will Bubba get away with it again?
12/28/98: Zionist dream alive and well on West Bank
12/18/98: Impeach or abandon the Rule of Law
12/16/98: Clinton moves Middle East closer to war
12/14/98: Why we lost interest in the homeless
12/10/98: No place at table for conservatives
12/07/98: The day America lost its innocence
12/02/98: Pilgrims Pilloried in streets of Plymouth
11/30/98: Caribbean dogpatch not a good candidate for statehood
11/25/98: Will Vermont force gay marriage on the nation?
11/23/98: The ACLU wants your kids to get a love life
11/18/98: Why liberals hate tobacco and guns more than drugs and crime
11/16/98: "Pleasantville" a countercultural morality play
11/13/98: Ads are a tough sell for abortion
11/09/98: Why gutless Republicans lost
11/06/98: Historians against the Constitution
11/02/98: Loving response to a hateful conference
10/28/98: Professor Death will fit right in at Princeton
10/26/98: Plymouth caves to Pilgrim foes
10/21/98: On '98 election, keep a critical eye on polls
10/19/98: Clinton could yet be 'prosperity president'
10/16/98: Working families -- Dems love 'em (stuffed)
10/09/98: Majoring in 'weirdness'
10/07/98: Friends of Billy Clinton
9/29/98: Letter from ex-soldier highlights defense peril
9/28/98: Answering arguments against impeachment
9/18/98: The nation that doesn't exist
9/14/98: Bubba isn't the only one who should be ashamed
9/11/98: Resolution of Clinton crisis will define national character
9/09/98: We're still just wild about Harry
9/07/98: Mexican banditry didn't end with Pancho Villa
9/02/98: Clinton forgives us!
8/31/98: Ashcroft's plain talking touches responsive chord
8/26/98: Public opinion be damned
8/24/98: Why liberals condone Clinton's lies
8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1999, Creators Syndicate