Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Shelby County v. Holder, which is challenging the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, specifically the provisions of Section 5, which require certain states to receive Federal permission before altering any of their voting laws.
Note that this law was so controversial that, when it was re-authorized in 2006, it squeaked through the Senate on a vote of 98 to 0.
During his questioning, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that the protections of Section 5 were a form of “racial entitlement” that the “normal political” process could not be trusted to get rid of, because no legislator would ever be brave enough to vote against something called the “Voting Rights Act.” It apparently did not occur to Justice Scalia that legislators of both parties had done their due diligence and determined that the law was still useful. One does not need to be brave in order to not be stupid.
Right now there are three proposals for new gun control laws making the rounds on Capitol Hill. They are, in decreasing order of inevitability:
Universal Background Checks
Extended Magazine Ban
A New Assault Weapon Ban
The background check law, which would extend the background check to all private sales as well as those conducted through a licensed dealer. This is supported by 90 percent of virtually everyone, including 80 percent of gun-owning NRA members like myself. Reason: We don’t want to let crazy people and gang bangers into our club. We want the gun-owning public of these United States to be composed entirely of people who have no reason to fear a background check.
Of the other two provisions, the extended magazine ban, which would restrict magazine capacities to 10 rounds or less, and the assault weapons ban, would be ban selected rifles due to their shared features with military rifles, I maintain that only the extended magazine ban is necessary. It solves the real problem, making the assault weapons ban redundant. Continue reading →