Obama administration push for gun ban continues
Administration's calls for ban echoed by bi-national panel of former government officials and scholars, and by a former Bush administration official
By Chad D. Baus
On February 25, 2009, headlines such as ABC News' "Obama to Seek New Assault Weapons Ban" turned an election-related spike in gun sales into a frenzy that has only recently begun to moderate.
The news of a pending push by Obama to ban many semi-automatic rifles was sparked by comments from newly-minted Attorney General Eric Holder, who told reporters that "As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons." He went on to indicate that the administration had decided on a new angle of attack to push for the ban: the war on drugs.
Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.
"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.
Despite claims of a gun trafficking highway running from the U.S. the Mexico having been immediately and thoroughly debunked (see here and here and here) the president said at a press conference in Mexico City in April that he has "not backed off at all from my belief that the assault weapons ban makes sense."
Last week, even as Holder indicated his office is "currently reviewing existing gun laws to determine how best to combat gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others prohibited from possessing them," echoes of the Obama administration's calls for a gun ban became even louder.
From a Washington Times article entitled "Bush aide urges weapons ban to slow Mexican drug war":
The former head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Monday for the U.S. to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons and take other measures to rein in the war between Mexico and its drug cartels, saying the violence has the potential to bring down legitimate rule in that country.
Former CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner also called for the United States to more aggressively investigate U.S. gun sellers and tighten security along its side of the border, describing the situation as "critical" to the safety of people in both countries, whether they live near the border or not.
Mr. Bonner's comments, which included cites to the same debunked studies on gun trafficking as the Obama administration is pushing, came just days after a bi-national panel of former government officials and scholars issued a report recommending the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.
Bonner, a former federal judge who also headed the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the Republican administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, said the still-raging battle "will determine who controls the legitimate institutions of government."
I agree with that statement, but not as Mr. Bonner meant it. I believe that when it comes to this administation's push for a new gun ban, the battle will determine whether government will be controlled by We the People, or by the world's elitist power brokers.
President Obama has loaded his administration chock full of vehement gun ban extremists (most recently to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The president has has already invested $700 million under the guise of reducing the illegal flow of guns and drugs across the border, and he recently reversed U.S. policy and said it would back launching talks on a United Nations treaty to regulate arms sales.
Clearly, despite a misleading headline published by The Hill ("Holder dials back his commitment to pushing ban on assault weapons"), the administration is still very much focused on advancing the president's anti-gun agenda.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.