Following the Parkland, Florida mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, Donald Trump held a “bipartisan” meeting with legislators to discuss areas where they could work together to take an Obama-sized bite out of the Second Amendment.
In that meeting, Trump promised to use his pen and phone to ban bump stocks by executive order — one of the few promises he’s actually kept — and infamously expressed his willingness to deny Americans their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment right to due process in his quest to disarm America when he said, “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Diane Feinstein and other Democrats in attendance — already big fans of ignoring due process as a means for disarming America — were obviously thrilled by Trump’s words.
Meanwhile … on Capitol Hill, the Unibrow Party followed Trump’s lead and went right to work creating legislation that literally accomplishes his desire to seize guns without due process.
At about this time, Lindsey Graham teamed up with Richard Blumenthal to introduce the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Act (FERPA), a bill that federalizes Extreme Risk Protection Orders (aka ERPOs or red flag laws) and gives federal courts jurisdiction over the states.
Less direct than the open attack on due process but just as effective, Democrats introduced the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act, a bill that would massively increase federal excise taxes to 20 percent on guns and 50 percent on ammo. The intent of the bill is to discourage gun and ammunition purchases by pricing them out of reach of consumers.
While red flag laws and other pre-crime legislation like the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety (TAPS) Act being pushed by Marco Rubio make most of the headlines, disarming America via excessive taxes is still a top priority of anti-gun Washington.
Frontrunner for the 2020 Democrat nomination for president Elizabeth Warren has made this a part of her platform, only her plan raises the tax on guns to 30 percent. For the time being, she’s apparently OK with leaving the tax increase on ammo at 50 percent.
This “sin tax” approach has been a favorite of politicians looking for ways to do “secretly” what they’re unable to do through normal legislation. But laying aside their obvious assault on the Second Amendment for a moment, sin taxes always fail to achieve their desired result and accomplish little more than line Washington’s pockets at the expense of the poor while simultaneously growing the size and scope of government. Sin taxes also create black markets, increase criminal activity, and move the sale of otherwise-legal products outside the reach of law enforcement.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.