|Dear Guns & Patriots reader,|
|The performance by the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill during the lame duck session is a shocking preview of how things are going down in the new Congress that takes over in January.
We have seen in the last two years the battle to restore gun rights move from Washington to the states, part of a larger trend I am calling neo-federalism. On many issues, such as legal protection for the unborn and education reform, conservatives have accepted the brick wall erected by the GOP leadership and moved the fight to the state houses.
Moving to the states gives conservatives a natural advantage because our values and priorities flow from the people up, rather than from the top down. This is consistent with the Chinese proverb: “The mountains are high and the emperor is far, far away.”
Remember, the movement to the states was not directed, it is the natural pull of advocates to where they are most effective. However, the opponents of gun rights are feeling the same pull as their most extreme policies failed—and failed despite the support of President Barack Obama, self-described conservative Republicans and the gun-panic whipped up by the media after the Dec. 14, 2012 spree-shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Emperor Caligula once retorted to an angry crowd at the chariot races: “I wish that Rome had but one neck!”
It is the sad truth that in our current state of affairs, despite neo-federalism, that federal dominance in our system means that gun rights—and everything else—has but, one neck.
One federal law, one Supreme Court ruling or even one executive action become the law of the land in all 50 laboratories of democracy and everything accomplished in the provinces is lost.
The first place President Barack Obama is going to go is the expansion of background checks. He owns that system and it is easy enough to expand. The president has framed the argument, so only a madman would oppose such and expansion.
It would be nice if someone in Republican leadership would point out the folly and failings of background checks in the first place, but we are beyond relying on that fantasy now.
The second place is the administrative enforcement of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. Upon ratification, treaties have the force of law senior to all laws and ordinances, save for conflicts with the Constitution. For this reason, treaties have become backdoor legislative vehicles that in effect cut out the House of Representatives.
As of today, the Senate has not ratified the UNATT and the $1.1 trillion CRomnibus passed in the lame duck has language prohibiting the federal government from acting upon the provisions of the treaty.
But, this is just a dodge.
Proving the feds are enforcing the UNATT to do what they want to do anyway is a fool’s mission. In the same way, the White House and State Department have flatly said that nothing in the UNATT is more severe than existing federal law—the reason the president never bothered to send it to the Senate for ratification.
But, that is a lie.
One thing that is true, though is that we have assembled an amazing roster for you this week.