Since Wednesday morning, Democrats in the House have been sitting on their butts and accomplishing nothing of value. So, they're basically doing what they normally do, but this time without chairs.
The purpose of their "sit in" is to push gun control and protest gun violence. Of course, if they really wanted to protest gun violence by lounging on the floor, you'd think they'd at least choose a floor in Chicago or West Baltimore. But that may be too dangerous, perhaps less sanitary, and it would likely call attention to the most politically inconvenient kind of gun violence. That is, the kind that takes place between minorities in areas where extraordinarily strict gun laws are already on the books.
This photo provided by Rep. Chillie Pingree (D-Maine) shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) center, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) as they participate in sit-down protest seeking a a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rep. Chillie Pingree via AP)
No, we can't talk about that. Democrats would rather sit and sulk on the floor of the House instead. Fortunately, a couple of hours into it, a woman came in with juice boxes and read them a story before nap time. There was an adorable moment where Rep. John Yarmuth fell asleep sucking his thumb, but was woken suddenly when Rep. John Larson accidentally peed his pants and started crying. At that point they were all too riled up to sleep so Rep. John Lewis led the gang in a rousing game of Duck, Duck, Goose.
Now, I can't say for sure that all of that actually happened. But the part where a bunch of elderly statesmen sat Indian style on the floor and pouted for the cameras definitely did happen, so the rest may as well have. It went on for hours as anxious onlookers prayed that an actual adult might show up to give them a good talking-to and send them to bed without supper. At the time of this writing they are still on the floor, still sitting, still demonstrating their dignified resolve by playing on their phones, posing for selfies and tweeting congratulations to themselves. And all the while, taxpayers work real jobs in order to pay the salaries of a bunch of showboating buffoons.
The average taxpayer may not be too pleased to see his lawmakers carrying on this way, but the lawmakers are certainly quite impressed with it themselves. It seems they can hardly contain their self-admiration. "This is what courage looks like," read the caption of a photograph of several overpaid politicians relaxing on the carpet. Many liberals on social media agreed, exclaiming that the protest was "heroic" and "brave" and "historic" and so on. Whatever other cause these "activists" wanted to call attention to, it's clear that their primary mission was to courageously make sure that everyone knew how courageously courageous they really are.
You'll notice that liberals are constantly informing us that their behavior is brave. This, by the way, is the quickest way to confirm that someone is not brave. The doer of truly brave deeds doesn't pause in the midst of his bravery to say, "Look how brave I am." That's what frauds and charlatans do. And these Democrats are nothing if they are not frauds and charlatans. What else can you call a person who stands on the graves of 49 dead Americans to extol his own virtue?
As a general rule, actions that are comfortable, politically advantageous, sure to win you praise from the media, and requiring no sacrifice on your part are not brave. At a minimum, bravery entails making it through one night without pizza, Dunkin Donuts, Chick-fil-A, and pillows and blankets, but these fearless warriors couldn't even accomplish that. A truly brave man stands up for truth in the face of opposition. A lazy opportunist sits on a cushy pillow with snacks and a smart phone, tweeting popular slogans while the media cheers him on. Most crucially, a brave man is honest and sincere in his actions. And that is where Democrats fail the brave test most spectacularly.
This photo provided by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., left, participate in sit-down protest seeking a a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rep. John Yarmuth via AP)
They waited until now, right when they have a mass tragedy to exploit and an election to win, to push for this "common sense gun reform." Curiously, however, when they owned the House, Senate and Presidency in 2008, they made no effort to pass legislation that could, they've just decided, "save thousands of lives." That could be because Obama was still selling guns to Mexican drug cartels back in those days, so perhaps they thought the subject a little awkward.
It would have taken real courage to stand up to the Democrat president and demand he be brought to justice for funneling weapons into the hands of dangerous people. But Democrats never have courage in the moments where courage is actually required. Like true heroes, they remained silent and waited until they had a Republican majority to blame and a tragedy to utilize.
Frauds and charlatans, as I said. Liars. Hucksters. Performance artists. And, we can't forget, tyrants.
If we can look past the insincerity of this whole charade, the actual laws they're trying to push deserve some attention. I can't say this for sure, but I believe this may be the first recorded case of a "civil rights sit in" being staged for the purpose of revoking civil rights. It's especially ironic considering the bills these Democrats are courageously championing would especially harm people of color. Rep. John Lewis once fought to win due process rights for racial minorities, and now he's fighting to take them back. An incredible development.
The Democrat temper tantrum centers around four gun control bills that were rejected by the Senate this week. The bills would intrude upon Second Amendment rights in various ways, but their primary function would be to deny guns to anyone on the No Fly List or the Terror Watchlist or the Might Be Bad Guys List or whatever other secret government list.
"If you can't get on a plane, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun," the bizarre and popular mantra goes. One wonders when we'll start extending this to other disconnected things. "If you can't drive a car, you shouldn't be able to practice religion." "If you can't procure a liquor license, you shouldn't be able to assemble peacefully." Etc.
You see how this works, don't you? Take something we don't have a constitutional right to -- planes, for instance -- and tie it to something we do have a constitutional right to, like guns. Just like that, you've erased a right by conflating it with something that is not a right. You've allowed the government to prevent you from exercising a right with the same ease that it can prevent you from exercising a privilege. And once you've done that, the process will not stop until there is no discernible legal distinction between a right and a privilege.
This is troubling because all the government has to do to put you on a list is put you on a list. They have to open a computer document, type your name, save it, and then forward it to all of the relevant government agencies. Whatever else goes into it -- if anything else goes into it -- is muddled, unclear, and largely classified. Most people don't even find out they're on the No Fly List until they try to board a plane. And most of those people have no idea how to get themselves off of it once they discover that they've been placed on it.
But these new gun control measures would not be confined to lists. Under legislation proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, anyone can be denied their Second Amendment rights if the Attorney General says so:
The amendment Feinstein introduced last Wednesday... lets the attorney general block a sale if he "determines, based on the totality of the circumstances, that the transferee represents a threat to public safety based on a reasonable suspicion that the transferee is engaged, or has been engaged, in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support or resources thereof."
...There is no additional requirement that the attorney general have reason to believe the weapon the suspect is trying to buy will be used in a terrorist attack. Hence an old lady who cut a check to a Hamas-affiliated charity (thereby "providing material support" to terrorism and arguably threatening public safety) could be stopped from buying a handgun for self-defense even if there was no evidence that she planned any sort of attack with it.
Magnanimously, Democrats would allow those summarily charged and convicted of future crimes by the Attorney General, or anyone on any secret list -- should they accidentally find out that they're on a secret list -- to plead their case in hopes of reclaiming their rights. It will be akin to waking up in jail one day and being told that you have to prove you aren't guilty before they let you out. But of course, first you have to figure out what crime you're accused of committing, or of thinking about committing, which is a detail they may not be able to share given the classified nature of the investigation. So you must prove you didn't do whatever thing they think you did, or that you won't do whatever thing they think you're about to do, and then maybe, after a certain amount of time, they'll grant you access to the entire Bill of Rights again. Or maybe not. It's up to the Attorney General.
That's what Democrats are "fighting" to achieve. And it should be of interest to the almost 1,000,000 people on the various lists in question, many of whom are probably brown-skinned Muslims of Arabic descent.
It's not just the Second Amendment at stake here. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments exist also, or so I've heard. These amendments, located just two and three steps away from the Second, respectively, guarantee that a person will not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process. They stipulate that the law may not treat someone as a convicted criminal until that individual has actually been, you know, convicted of a crime.
As much as some of us may love the First and Second Amendments, these other two are rather important because without them the First and Second are meaningless. The Amendments all work together like notes in a piece of music. If you take away one or two of the notes, you've fundamentally changed, and probably destroyed, the entire song.
If you have the right to bear arms, but the government has the right to take that right away just by snapping its fingers, then you don't have the right to bear arms. Or "having the right" becomes such an impotent and toothless concept that we may as well burn the whole document and carry on without it.
Here's the thing: the folks on the various watch lists are not charged and convicted terrorists. If they were, they wouldn't be on a list, they'd be in jail. Being on the list just means someone in the government thinks you might be a terrorist, or thinks you might become a terrorist. Or it could just mean that the government doesn't like you or your ideas very much. Remember, this is the same government that considers Catholics and Evangelical Christians to be dangerous extremist groups.
This is why our whole system of rights and liberties rests on the fact that the government can't deprive you of your rights and liberties just because it thinks you might be a threat. Your human rights are not meant to be contingent upon the whims and suspicions and prejudices of bureaucrats. The government has to prove its case. Yes, that may be hard, but that's their job. They should quit whining, take responsibility for their incompetency, and stop trying to blame the Constitution for their countless failures.
This is not a "slippery slope" into the revocation of the entire Bill of Rights. It is, itself, a revocation of the entire Bill of Rights. Democrats, naked and unapologetic tyrants as they are, like to refer to the fact that people on lists can buy weapons as a "loophole." Our Founders had a name for this loophole: the Constitution.
As usual, I find myself siding with the Founders on this one. They were the truly brave heroes. These Democrats are just petty despots sitting on the floor.
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