Booker's gun control agenda

  • 8 May 2019
  • NormanL

In our continuing look at some of the more...interesting...policy proposals from the score of Democratic presidential candidates: Sen. Cory Booker has decided his way to break out of the pack is to push for a sweeping series of gun control laws. Included on Booker's list is requiring every gun owner to have a license:

The 14-part plan unveiled Monday is part of what Booker said was a “personal fight” to combat a gun violence "epidemic," and it amounts to one of the most aggressive gun control proposals from a 2020 Democrat. It's also sure to face fierce pushback from gun rights’ groups like the National Rifle Association.

The core tenet of the New Jersey senator’s proposal is a federal gun licensing program that would require among other things a comprehensive FBI background check and proof of completion of a gun safety course. After a license is approved, holders “could freely purchase and own firearms” for the five-year duration of their license “with regular, automatic checks to flag non-compliance with license terms” and the possibility of renewal after five years.

The plan would also ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as well as bump stocks, and includes instituting a universal background check system to be enforced on sales at gun shows and in private and online sales, policies gun control advocates have been united in pushing for.

We can overlook Booker's personalization of gun control -- that's merely marketing.

And honestly, we can't disagree with the notion that training in the safe and proper use of firearms is essential. That's just common sense.

The idea that government can put a time limit -- in Booker's proposal, five years - on anyone's Second Amendment rights, though, is dubious, and likely unconstitutional. But Booker believes he has an answer for such doubts:

“That kind of resignation frustrates me to be honest because we know this is not a plan that any law-abiding gun owner should be concerned about it,” he argued. “The people who should be concerned are two groups, one, the people who want to break the law, gun runners and criminals and the gun manufacturers who have been working with — in an ungodly way to undermine the safety and security of this nation.”

Which shows Mr. Booker, while he may harbor genuine concerns about violence, has pitifully little understanding of the Second Amendment. It's further quite astonishing to see him equate -- without irony - gun manufacturers with criminals. We could put that down to political hyperbole. But we suspect that in pursuit of a nomination he cannot win, Mr. Booker has convinced himself they are the same.