Senator Dianne Feinstein unleashed her federal assault weapon ban proposal yesterday, stirring up gun rights advocates throughout the nation. Closer to home, Atlanta state senator Vincent Fort said he would introduce a bill in January, arguing that now is a time when gun rights advocates and gun control advocates can find middle ground and manage to come up with comprehensive mental health reform…and an assault weapon ban apparently.
“If it means people disagreeing and debating and discussing, and have a conversation about this, so be it. But to do nothing is a crime in and of itself,” Fort told WXIA. Fort, as so many gun control advocates have done, went on to say that if we do nothing, more children will die. Fort, however, is just spinning his wheels.
Feinstein’s proposal is going to have an uphill battle to get passed, and is almost certain to get severely watered down in the process…and it’s still doubtful that it will become law. Fort, however, is in Georgia. This is not a state that has been known for welcoming restrictions on gun rights here lately. Over the past few years, gun rights have expanded to a point where Georgia has gone from a fairly restrictive state to a very permissive one. Does Fort honestly believe this is a state that will welcome an assault weapon ban? Does he honestly think the pro gun crowd will just bow out gracefully and let something like this get passed? If he does, how did a man like this get elected to a public office?
This is one example of how gun control advocates are seizing on the Sandy Hook tragedy to score political points. I believe that Fort knows this won’t pass. However, his constituents like this kind of thing, so he’ll put it out there. When it fails, he can blame the great, unwashed masses in the rest of the state who are far too primitive to comprehend the evils of such weapons.
However, that’s also not to say that gun rights advocates can just coast. The climate right now isn’t nearly as pro-gun as it has been in the past. If gun control is going to pass, now is the time for it to go through. Not just nationally, but also here in Georgia. A Gallup poll recently showed that opinion had shifted towards more invasive gun laws. Now, polls are tricky things because people are fickle. However, it does say the nation is primed for this kind of thing.
As a politiophile, this should be interesting to watch. Let’s just hope things like “freedom” win out. Why not rally the troops to make sure it turns out that way?