Readers of today’s Seattle Times are all over Congressman Adam Smith for suggesting we ship arms to Syrian rebels and they are also having a healthy debate over a proposed Missouri law that nullifies federal gun law enforcement within the Show Me State, and President Barack Obama thinks rattling sabers will send a message to the Assad regime.
All of these things, plus a reported Obama plan to block the return of military small arms – including lots of M-1 Garand rifles favored by collectors and competitive target shooters – draw the clear distinctions between clear thinking and nonsense disguised as “common sense.”
As this column discussed, Mr. Obama is now considering some kind of action against Syria, a nation at war with itself. It is now reported he wants to fire a proverbial shot across Syria’s bow in reaction to claims that the regime gassed its own citizens. Says the president, according to Yahoo news:
“If, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict — not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about — but if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term…(sending) a pretty strong signal, that in fact, (the Assad regime) better not do it again.”
Flash to Seattle and the Zone of Happy Thought (otherwise known as Mayor Mike McGinn’s gun free zones), which gun prohibitionists think will help change attitudes about carrying firearms. Good luck with that, in the face of a steady two-year climb in the number of concealed pistol licenses issued in Washington. The number is now above 442,000, according to the latest information from the Department of Licensing.
At least McGinn has acknowledged that Gun Free Zone decals really won’t prevent violent crimes, but gun control proponents insists that the discriminatory signs will encourage people to change their attitudes. And it probably will; they’ll stop spending money at businesses promoting social bigotry and shift their patronage to places that recognize their civil rights.
The debate about Missouri not allowing the enforcement of federal gun laws is earning the righteous indignation from Evergreen State liberals, while pro-gun Seattle Times readers remind them that this state has as similar situation. The legalization of marijuana here stands in defiance of existing federal law.
Critics of the Missouri approach insist “that’s different,” and that guns are not the same as grass. Others explain that the discussion is not about firearms or pot but about a state’s authority to tell the federal government to pound sand. There is nothing in the Constitution about marijuana, but there is something specific about firearms. Constitutionally, this may be an interesting legal conflict.
As for Congressman Smith’s suggestion about sending guns and ammunition to the Syrian rebels, one reader recalls that we also sent guns and ammo to rebels in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, and they have turned out to be the guys we are now over there fighting.
Smith supports background checks for American gun owners, but he didn’t mention checking the Syrian rebels – who apparently are or have the support of al Qaeda – before giving them assault weapons.
For the firearms community, it adds up to a combination of hypocrisy, wishful thinking and starry-eyed stupidity masquerading as principle, common sense and leadership.