Home 2016 elections Dave Brat: Extreme on Guns

Dave Brat: Extreme on Guns

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(originally posted in DailyKos)

Too late for this legislative session but in time to try to satisfy his base, Dave Brat has published an article in the Conservative Review sounding the false alarm—they’re coming for your guns. Dave’s piece “5 Ways the Next Congress can Protect Gun Rights” takes the maximalist position—any gun restriction will inevitably lead to repeal of the Second Amendment and confiscation of all guns. He shows this in his criticism of Hillary Clinton for supporting comprehensive background checks, closing loopholes that allow people to bypass those background checks and keeping potential terrorists from acquiring weapons. Dave says that Clinton’s position shows that she “sadly misunderstands our fundamental right to keep and bear arms.” He goes on to warn that if the Congress doesn’t act soon, “one president can forever change our Second Amendment.”

Dave Brat knows that no president can change the Second Amendment. No provision of the constitution, including the Second Amendment, can be changed except by another amendment to the Constitution, and that requires ratification by three fourths of the states. But panicking gun owners is a sure way to get their votes.

Further, like his favorite presidential candidate, Donald Trump, Dave sees any limited, reasonable restriction on immediate access to guns, even to prevent potential murderers or terrorists from gaining access to weapons, as a violation of “our fundamental right to keep and bear arms”. Do Dave and Donald really believe that the drafters of the Second Amendment meant it to be a guarantee that criminals or the mentally ill could get weapons or that the United States must commit suicide by allowing access to weapons to potential terrorists?

It is on this latter issue that Dave is the most unreasonable. On a conservative talk show in July, he expressed his opposition to a bill preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing weapons. He said that we don’t need such a law. “If someone is a convicted terrorist, they should be jailed or deported—period. There are current laws on the books that tell us exactly what should happen if someone is convicted of terrorism, and we should make sure that our government is enforcing these laws.” In his latest article, Brat takes the same approach. “Terrorists caught trying to purchase a firearm should be immediately taken to court, the transfer of the firearm should be blocked and the terrorist arrested—end of story. . .”

For a college professor and member of Congress, Dave Brat is pretty naïve. On a daily basis our national security apparatus takes actions based on tips or suspicions. Is Dave really suggesting that we can take no action against suspected terrorists until they attempt to carry out their plot and are then tried and convicted? Does he not know that most terrorists die in their attacks and that we rarely have anybody to “convict”. And, how can we know that a terrorist is trying to purchase a gun so that we can take them to court and arrest them? Would Dave require gun stores to put ups sign saying “If you are a terrorist please inform us before you make a purchase”?

If Dave Brat really thinks we are at war with “Islamic extremists” and that potentially thousands of American lives may be lost, why does he oppose keeping weapons out of the hands of potential terrorists? His extreme interpretation of the Second Amendment has that very result.

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We can’t afford two more years of Dave Brat.

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  • Justsomeguy

    This article completely throws the idea of due process completely out the window. An idea that is so dangerous that I can’t believe it is being discussed in America today.

    It is true that Clinton would not be able to repeal the Second Amendment, but she darn sure can appoint justices who have no more respect for the Constitution than she does who could then very well interpret it into meaninglessness.

    We do not need to be limiting the rights of the people. We should strengthen each of the protections provided by the Bill of Rights to the people and to the States. It’s the right thing to do.

    • How are universal background checks, supported by upwards of 90% of Americans, “limiting the rights of the people?” Answer: they’e not.

      • RetLEO

        HRC answered it for you…when asked about her opposition to the Hyde Amendment (no federal money for abortions), she said the following: “Any right that requires you to take measures to access it, is no right at all.”

        And since most criminals aren’t buying guns from stores and tend to ignore laws anyway, UBCs will have negligible impact on crime.

        • So there should be zero limits (e.g., you can’t yell “FIRE!” in a crowded movie theater, incite to violence, etc.) on ANY of our constitutional rights? If that’s the case, then I guess the 2nd amendment doesn’t limit ANY arm (nukes? chemical weapons? biological weapons?) – or what? Baffling. And again, 90% of Americans support universal background checks – are they all idiots?

          • RetLEO

            First, it was HRC who said what I quoted…so do you think she was wrong? Or is she right but only when applied to abortion? Did she just imply that there should be no restrictions on rights? We already have quite a few restrictions on firearms, who can own them, who can carry them, what kind, etc. How, exactly, do you think UBCs will change crime? Or mass shootings, since it seems that every one prompts a new push for new laws? And if you can come up with a good answer, you should call Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) who, when asked by a reporter from ABC after the Orlando shooting what impact his proposals would have on mass shootings, was unable to answer.

          • Jaydc

            Poor argument,
            You are trying to conflate illegal activity with lawful posession of an object.
            Falsely yelling fire or inciting violence is an Illegal act. Asking your date if they’d like some popcorn isn’t. Potential abuse does not and should not prevent nornal discourse or public gatherings because someone “might’ do something
            Same with 2nd amendment.
            Using a firearm to rob or harm someone is an Illegal act and perpetrators would rightfully face prosecution and jail time. That is akin to yelling fire, not trying to purchase or own one.

            If I were to try and use your analogy about nukes and chemical weapons, moviegoers should have their mouths taped and keyboards limited to smile emojis. and all internet should be SUPER REGULATED” due to overly easy use facillitating crime, terrorism, hatespeech etc. etc.
            Again majority doesn’t mean legal or constitutional it just means popular.

      • Justsomeguy

        I will address your question even though it did not address a single comment that was under discussion. If you have to ask the governments permission to exercise a right it is not one. The opinion of the majority of Americans does not matter. If they believe in such a manner, the Constitution allowed a couple of different methods for it to be altered. If you have the majorities you claim to have, change the Constitution. I won’t be holding my breath.

        • “If you have the majorities you claim to have”

          There are a million polls on this subject, just use Google.

          • Justsomeguy

            Then which method of changing the Constitution are you planning to use?

          • Jaydc

            Just because the majority supports something doesn’t make it constitutional. look at at states that put marriage equality up for a vote, (California Proposition 8 ) Majority voted against marriage equality and the supreme court (rightfully) ruled it unconstitutional. What you advocate is termed “tyranny of the masses” . As stated by others, the only valid method isto repeal
            the 2nd, (good luck with that) anything else is invalid and trickery of the same kind as voter suppression through poll taxes or voter ID laws.

      • American Spartan

        They are not supported by 90% of the people, this has been shown to be a lie.

        Because they violate the 4th Amendment.

        Also

        According to the US Supreme Court it is unconstitutional to :

        Charge a fee for the exercising of a right (Harper v Virginia Board of Elections 1966);

        Require a precondition on the exercising of a right (Guinn v US 1915, Lane v Wilson 1939);

        Require a license (government permission) to exercise a right (Murdock v PA 1943, Lowell v City of Griffin 1939, Freedman v MD 1965, Near v MN 1931, Miranda v AZ 1966);

        Delay the exercising of a right (Org. for a Better Austin v Keefe 1971);

        Register (record in a government database) the exercising of a right (Thomas v Collins 1945, Lamont v Postmaster General 1965, Haynes v US 1968).

    • Bert Berlin

      Neither the 2d Amendment nor the due-process clause protect the rights of criminals and terrorists to buy guns

  • bach

    Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.- (attributed to Barry Goldwater)

    • Bert Berlin

      Yes, and Goldwater lost badly.
      The issue here is protecting both the 2nd Amendment and to protect our citizens from gun-violence and terrorism. Dave Brat doesn’t think it can be done. Eileen Bedell does.