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Blame Bloomberg

Editorial of The New York Sun

Is it possible to imagine that when President Obama retires for the night that he will wonder who led him into the debacle that unfolded when his long campaign for gun control went down to defeat in a Senate controlled by his own party? Publicly the President reacted with a tirade of blame-shifting more shameful than any our aging typesetters can recall. Vice President Biden, who did so much to confect this catastrophe, stood beside the President looking like he was about to burst into tears. The President railed against the playing of politics — imagine, and in the Senate. He blamed the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby, calling them liars, and the Senate itself. But we find it hard to think that he takes his own words seriously. Back in his private study, he must be think about others.

If we were him, we’d blame Mayor Bloomberg. His Honor has placed himself at the head of the national chorus for gun control. He’s poured millions into the fight. He’s vowed to pour millions more. We understand how much the president resents the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby. But the NRA warned him of the fate of these measures all along. It understood that the issue in gun violence isn’t the size of the magazines. Or “assault” rifles. The issue isn’t background checks. But that’s not the problem, either. The real problem is that every senator comprehended that whatever measure might have been approved, it would have been certain to be used as but a stepping stone to the next restriction on Second Amendment rights.

The problem is that the neither Messrs. Obama, Bloomberg, nor Biden believe in the Second Amendment. Nor do any of their partners in politics, such as Senator Schumer. Not one of them has protested the over-regulation of guns in New York or any other state. Mr. Cuomo just tightened gun prohibitions in a state where Mother Teresa couldn’t get a pistol permit. Not even the most law-abiding, well-trained individuals can carry a gun in New York. The Second Amendment is not in force here. So people look at Bloomberg-land and ask, where is he leading us? Where does he want to go? The way we interpret the decision of the Senate yesterday is that it is saying, “not one more inch in that direction.” Good for the Senate.

Next up in the great battle of guns is the drive to enforce the Second Amendment more broadly and end what the Wall Street Journal, in a particularly important editorial issued the other day, called “massive gun resistance.” He was speaking of the open defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Heller and in other cases. This is the context in which the Senate came within a whisker yesterday of passing an amendment requiring reciprocity for state carry permits. The only thing stopping it is the 60 vote thresh-hold for cloture that the liberals love to carp about. If the Second Amendment means anything, it means that an honest, law-abiding, adult American should be able to keep a pistol and bear it on his person — even in New York.

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