Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Pork and Injustice in Senate Gun Control Bill

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

With fanfare, a gun control compromise was announced by the U.S. Senate on Sunday and its supporters seek passage by the end of next week. But instead of addressing the recent mass shootings, this legislation wastes billions of dollars in handouts to liberal groups while advancing feminist ideology.

The mass shootings had nothing to do with alleged domestic violence. Yet a central part of this gun control bill is to broaden a lifetime deprivation of Second Amendment rights of men subjected to accusations by women.

Teenage boys are the worst perpetrators of the mass shootings, who typically lack any relationships with girls. Yet the Senate gun control bill jeopardizes rights and reduces job opportunities for men who have been accused by women of unwanted touching, as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was.

Ten Republican Senators, four of whom are retiring now at relatively young ages, support this gun control bill. None of the other six are up for reelection this year, and half of them include perennial anti-Trumpers Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate will block passage unless all ten Republicans cross over to the Democrat side on this. After wasting $54 billion on Leftist politicians in Ukraine, allocating billions more to Leftist groups in our country may not seem like much.

But a billion dollars to push enactment of gun control at the state level, such as euphemistically named “red flag” laws that can be misused, could improperly go toward tipping the scales in close elections. The billions of dollars in new funding for mental health clinics would not have prevented the recent shootings by defiant teenagers.

If mental health experts cannot distinguish between men and women, how could they reliably identify potential killers? In some cases mental health clinics can be a means to take children away from good parents, or install mental health testing in public schools to detect and deflect conservative political attitudes.

Couching feminist ideology in gender-biased terminology, the legislation seeks to close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to cause lifetime deprivations of Second Amendment rights. A spat with a girlfriend, as many popular athletes, politicians, and others have once had, would then be misused to stigmatize and exclude for life these men from ever holding a job that entails carrying a gun.

The Lautenberg Amendment, enacted in 1996, already denies for life the Second Amendment rights of any man ever convicted of a minor misdemeanor domestic violence charge, which is sometimes broadly defined to include even offensive touching of one’s wife. Now Democrats want to expand this to enable any girlfriend to make a false accusation that could result in men being barred for life from jobs in the military, police, or other gun-carrying professions.

Johnny Depp spent millions of dollars and several years of his life to clear his name of false domestic violence accusations. But most men are unwilling or unable to do that, instead accepting a misdemeanor plea bargain; they should not permanently lose their constitutional rights and job opportunities because of it.

Gun control zealots want to expand the draconian Lautenberg Amendment, even though it would not have prevented any of the recent mass shootings by teenage boys. The Senate bill would deprive men for life of Second Amendment rights based on a mere restraining order requested by a girlfriend, which is often issued based on an unproven accusation and without a hearing for the accused.

Many injustices already arise under current law when a man does not realize that a misdemeanor offense from decades ago senselessly makes it unlawful to possess a gun for his own defense today. Rather than be warned about this or moderately fined, he faces mandatory imprisonment for owning a gun for self-defense merely because of an obscure federal law.

Harsh penalties in this draft gun control bill would be enforced by inflexible federal courts, and a bill proposed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) seeks 5-year mandatory minimum sentences for a gun peacefully carried by someone having a minor outdated offense. Some judges like locking up someone for a long time for the “offense” of harmlessly carrying a gun, based on an outdated misdemeanor triggering a deprivation of his Second Amendment rights.

Older men, husbands, and fathers are not the people who have been committing these horrific shootings. Teenagers addicted to video games are the culprits, yet this supposedly bipartisan legislation is silent about that.

Gun rights were unjustifiably taken away from peaceful participants in the Trump rally on January 6. One who pled guilty to a minor misdemeanor petitioned the judge to restore her gun rights, which the Trump-appointed judge granted but was criticized for it by the media.

Pouring billions of dollars into Leftist groups to advocate for state gun control laws, funding bigger mental health clinics, and imprisoning older men due to an unproven domestic accusation or minor misdemeanor will do nothing to stop mass shootings by teenagers.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.

These columns are also posted on PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

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