Maybe there’s something to the slippery slope argument after all
Here at LI, we’ve been covering the various progressive attempts to pass anti-Second Amendment legislation at the state and federal levels.
While gun “control” advocates from the White House down are “disappointed” that there hasn’t been more progress in this area, they are signalling a change in tactics. The representatives of the people in Washington won’t move on guns, so they are taking the case to the American people via the ballot box.
Stymied on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, supporters of stricter gun control measures are taking their cause to the ballot box.
Voters in four states will decide ballot measures relating to gun control this November. In Maine and Nevada, voters will decide whether to expand background check requirements to include private gun sales.
In Washington, voters will decide whether to take guns out of the hands of people who are subject to extreme risk protection orders, which include restraining orders and people at risk of suicide.
And in California, voters will decide whether to ban the possession of large-capacity magazines. The California measure, Proposition 63, would also require individuals to pass a background check before purchasing ammunition.
According to the spokeswoman for the Bloomberg-funded “gun safety” organization, the American people will do what Congress will not.
The Hill continues:
“2016 will be the year of gun sense,” said Kate Folmar, a spokeswoman at Everytown for Gun Safety, the group funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “If elected leaders themselves won’t change the laws that make it too easy for dangerous people to get weapons, the American people will change them themselves.”
. . . . Gun control advocates have made little progress in recent years despite a series of mass shootings. Just six states have expanded background checks in the four years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., and Congress has rejected several gun control bills.
“After decades of legislative and electoral defeat, the gun control lobby has resorted to buying gun control by spending [Michael] Bloomberg’s billions to impose his New York style gun-control through the ballot initiative process,” said Jennifer Baker, an NRA spokeswoman.
This shift from pressuring Congress in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack or mass shooting is an intentional step designed to be the start of that slippery slope Second Amendment supporters have been warning against. Intending to start with the seemingly harmless idea of expanded background checks, these groups intend to move on to more restrictive measures.
The Hill explains:
Gun control advocates in several states say they are turning their attention outside the Beltway. They hope to build momentum first by expanding background checks, then later by tackling other specific gun controls that poll well with voters.
They compare their strategy to the fight to legalize same-sex marriage, which started in a few states before snowballing across the country.
“Our goal is in fact a state-by-state strategy, given how intractable Congress is. It’s not unlike what you saw with the marriage equality arc,” Folmar said. “They started to build momentum state by state, and as more and more people lived in marriage equality states, momentum built.”
Washington State provides an example of the progression gun control advocates hope to see. In 2014, Washington voters passed Initiative 594 to expand background checks. Versions of that initiative were exported to Nevada and Maine this year.
This year’s measure to limit access to firearms for people under protective orders, Initiative 1491, is modeled on legislation that has passed in states like California, Connecticut and Indiana. If it is successful, it too will be exported to other states. Stephanie Ervin, who is running the pro-1491 campaign, said she expected a similar measure to appear on the ballot in Oregon.
“It feels like we’re at a real tipping point, and folks are really engaging in the dialogue around gun responsibility issues,” Ervin said.
Gun rights advocates note how one seemingly harmless law will lead to the next . . . and then the next after that.
Gun rights advocates, too, believe they are seeing the opening moves in a prolonged campaign by gun control backers. They say the proposals for expanded background checks are unenforceable and represent a slippery slope toward something more sinister, like gun registration.
“This is the camel getting its nose under the tent. Before you know it, you’ve got a whole camel in your tent,” said Maine state Sen. Eric Brakey (R), one of the leading opponents of the ballot measure in his state. He worries about what comes next.
“That’s when you start seeing bans on particular firearms, and then they come knocking on your door because you have a prohibited firearm that’s registered to you at your home.”
Until now progressives have been a bit cagey about their plans, mocking the slippery slope argument as preposterous and fear mongering. Almost as alarming as their state-by-state strategy based on the success of the gay “marriage” campaign is their openness about how they intend to accomplish their end goal.DONATE
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