History is a marvelous thing. Though the particulars and circumstances change, it still can unerringly predict the future. This is because the actions of people, especially people in or grasping for power, do not change.
There has been great discussion that more gun control will not happen. History tells us it will, and it will be poorly written, unevenly enforced and full of unintended consequences. The history of gun control in America is one of reactions to crises – the National Firearms Act of 1934 to organized crime; in 1968 to the Kennedy assassinations; and the Brady Bill to the 1981 Reagan assassination attempt. This administration’s governing motto is not to let a crisis go to waste.
Some believe the Constitution will prevent the gun ban. Good luck; the 2010 Supreme Court decision upholding the Second Amendment was 5-4. Experts say there will be one or two justice appointments this term. Given the strident ideologues President Obama put on the court in his first term, by the time the next gun case reaches the Supreme Court, it’ll be pro-gun control 7-3.
Besides, how many amendments of the Bill of Rights still stand? One through Eight are pretty much gone. Freedom of speech, double jeopardy, searches, speedy trial, eminent domain – none of those exist anymore except in civics books. (I suspect, to cut the military budget, Obama has looked into quartering troops in private homes.)
There also is a belief in the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 – that the military would not obey the order to enforce a gun ban. Really? George Washington put under arms an army larger and better-armed than any he commanded in the Revolution to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. What about Gen. “Bug-out Doug” MacArthur machine-gunning the veterans of the World War I Bonus Army? And to those relying on the cops to disobey: Just who do you think went around confiscating guns to keep the rioters and looters from harm in Los Angeles and after Hurricane Katrina?
A word of warning: Military estimates place the number of combatants in Afghanistan and Iraq at less than 2 percent of the population, yet they’re pinning down the best military forces in the world – a bunch of 10th-century-technology peasants with some iron scraps, Semtex and C-4. I cannot imagine the consequence of pitting our armed forces against a determined, educated and equipped population infuriated by a sense of betrayal.
Dave Stewart Sr.
(The writer is a retired U.S. Army first sergeant.)