If you're Sen. Diane Feinstein from the gun-grabbing state of California, or Sen. Chuck Schumer from New York where news reports say state police are confiscating the guns of people on anti-anxiety medication, you can apparently attack the Second Amendment at no political risk to yourself.
Thankfully, most lawmakers don't have a free pass to trample the Constitution without considerable voter backlash. Many Democrats in the U.S. Senate who answer to large constituencies of sportsmen and Second Amendment defenders are looking down a tough political barrel as they determine what to do regarding gun control.
This includes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada, who wants no part of Sen. Feinstein's amendment that bans "military-style" semi-automatic firearms and places arbitrary bans on certain types of magazines and gun accessories.
The gun control debate is now dividing into two fronts. While the U.S. Congress moves away from a national gun ban to a bill requiring mandatory background checks, many states are drafting gun control bills that are worse than Sen. Feinstein's "Assault Weapons" ban.
In DC, Senators Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced an agreement on a bill that would expand gun background checks to cover most firearms sales, including gun shows and online sales. The fate of this legislation remains in limbo after the American Civil Liberties Union sided with the National Rifle Association in saying that mandatory background checks of gun purchases could create a national database of names that could easily be misused by the federal government.
But, even if the Toomey/Manchin bill passes in the U.S. Congress, this law will not come close to satisfying the ravenous appetite of the ultra-zealous Left, which wants to ban most guns and gun accessories from public use.
Want a pistol grip on your shotgun to more safely control the firearm? The Left says a plastic pistol grip turns your standard shotgun into an "assault weapon." Want a slide stock for your AR-15 to have more fun on the range? The Left says it should be illegal, even though slide stocks make bump firing safer, more accurate, and accessible to the disabled for self-defense.
Thus, the effort to pass invasive gun legislation has moved into several states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rammed his excessive gun control law through the legislature in just days with many analysts believing that the Cuomo law is highly vulnerable to a court challenge. Anti-gun lawmakers in Maryland, Connecticut, Colorado, and other states have passed, or are working feverishly to pass, laws that fracture the Second Amendment. Like the New York law, they too will likely face high court challenges.
The knee-jerk gun control legislation on Capitol Hill and in several states has produced a tidal wave of gun buying along with the sale of millions of high capacity magazines and other gun accessories. This very news service cites statistics showing more than 70 million gun purchase background checks made during the Obama administration, which translates to roughly 32 gun purchases per minute. At Slide Fire Solutions in Texas, our annual sales are projected to more than double in 2013.
Cautious lawmakers should heed the findings of a national survey conducted by PoliceOne, which questioned 15,000 active duty and retired law officers on gun control. Ninety-one percent of respondents say a federal ban on semi-automatic weapons would have no effect on violent crime. One out of three respondents say that better concealed-carry policies for civilians would help prevent a large-scale shooting. And less than one percent of respondents believe that restrictions on "assault-style" weapons or ammunition magazines would prevent a large-scale shooting.
But, fanatical gun-phobes are still trying to dictate what guns you can own, how many bullets you can load, and what gun accessories you can use. After passing aggressive gun control legislation in Colorado, lawmakers are watching as gun magazine manufacturers leave the state, taking jobs and tax revenue with them. Thousands of sportsmen announced online that they will never return to Colorado to hunt or fish due to its restrictive laws. Talk to the owners of hunting and fishing lodges in Colorado to see how they feel about these arguably unconstitutional laws that could take years to repeal.
Connecticut - current home of the iconic Colt's Manufacturing Company - is now facing a similar exodus. Bristol-based PTR, a manufacturer of "military-style" rifles that employs 40 people, is already planning to relocate in response to a severe gun prohibition that was rushed through the state's legislature and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Daniel P. Malloy last week.
Other Connecticut-based gun and gun accessory manufactures should be weighing their options, too. Colt's is planning to move some of its manufacturing to the great state of Texas where we still believe in the Constitution and our God-given right to defend ourselves. We welcome them and any other manufacturer in the firearms industry who shares these values.
The gun control debate should address the important issue of removing guns from the hands of criminals, not grandstanding around flawed legislation that penalizes the law-abiding.
Editor's Note: Laura Shackelford is Chief Executive Manager of Slide Fire Solutions, an American owned and operated manufacturer of rifle accessories located near Abilene, Texas.