Gun control is one of those issues that almost everyone approaches from an emotional rather than a rational perspective. Democrats in the House of Representatives recently staged a ‘sit-in’ to force a vote on a bill that would prohibit people who appear on ‘terrorist watch lists’ such as the no fly list from buying guns. Gun control advocates nationwide rejoiced at this piece of empty political theater for the simple reason that it tugged at their emotional heartstrings regarding the gun issue. They did not really sit down and think critically about the bill in question, they were just enamored by the intended perception that John Lewis and the Democrats who joined him were ‘taking a stand against the GOP and the NRA’ and began praising these Democrat ‘heroes’ for their ‘courage.’
The bill is a pile of garbage. These extra-judicial terrorist watch lists violate the 5th amendment to the constitution and as has been noted in numerous places, they tend to rely heavily on racial profiling. Should we really have legislation that infringes on the 2nd amendment based on one’s inclusion on a list that violates the 4th amendment?
I don’t think so. Many liberal Democrats do think this is okay. That’s what I see as the growing divide between liberal Democrats and independents on the left. Liberal Democrats have no scruples about legislation that infringes on personal rights or potentially violates constitutional rights as long as it is in service of an end that appeals to them. This is a dangerous direction, and I think many independents on the left agree with me that this is a prime reason why they do not feel like they have a political home in the Democratic party. Independents on the left tend to be more concerned with personal rights and constitutional rights than the Liberal Democrats, who will often use appeals to identity politics such as the gun control issue to prohibit behaviors they disagree with. Independent leftists tend to focus more heavily on issues such as the economy, war, the environment, trade, and infrastructure and feel that the Democratic party engages in empty posturing when they so heavily focus on gun control.