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07/22/2003 Archived Entry: "Hatch and NRA trying to derail Second-Amendment challenge?"

ORRIN HATCH IS THE WRONGEST MAN IN THE SENATE. For years, he's been a driver behind one major freedom-stealing law after another (often in partnership with Dianne Feinstein). His laws all seem to focus on one thing: control -- control of what we read (he was co-sponsor of a law to put people away for up to 20 years for writing or publishing books about explosives), how we associate, how we travel, what we ingest, ultimately what we think. He is a modern-day legislative Cotton Mather, combining iron-rod morality with the power of the superstate. And -- shudder -- he smiles and calls it good for freedom.

So when the media first reported that Hatch had sponsored a law to restore gun-rights to the citizens of Washington, DC, I was flabbergasted, momentarily pleased, and then suspicious. I started to blog the "good" news. Then I stopped. There's more to it than what I understand, I warned myself. Aside from the unlikelihood of Hatch ever actually doing anything for individual rights, it was all just too sudden. Hatch? Swooping onto the scene as a crusader for repeal of some form of government coercion? No way! But at the same time I felt guilty for not giving credit where credit seemed due. Are you really not writing about it merely because you think Orrin Hatch is a forked-tongue, cloven-hoofed, red-dyed demon from hell? Even if he may have done something right, just once?

Well, if you've been watching the gun-rights news more closely than I have lately, you've probably already figured it out: Orrin Hatch really is a forked-tongue, cloven-hoofed, red-dyed demon from hell. And a pawn of Satan, which is spelled N-R-A. According to Robert A. Levy and Gene Healy, the Cato Institute mavens who've been shepherding a Second-Amendment lawsuit toward the Supreme Court, the whole thing is just a Hatch-NRA ploy to weaken their case.

What is it with the NRA, anyway? Levy and Healy are kind. They say the NRA simply wants to maintain its clout by ensuring that it will control litigation, if there's to be litigation. But like the "poverty pimps" on the left whose jobs and reputations depend on preserving the very thing they claim to oppose, the NRA wants, loves, and needs ever-worsening disarmament -- and the crime and misery it brings.

This is one of about a zillion reasons I cherish Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. The NRA needs bad gun laws to keep its membership and contributions up. Preserving itself as an institution trumps freedom. OTOH, Aaron Zelman of JPFO has told me repeatedly that he'd think it was the greatest possible victory if we were so successful in getting rid of citizen-disarmament laws that JPFO had nothing left to fight for and could go out of business.

(Afterword: For a more balanced view than mine or Cato's, see this Washington Post article about the foofooraw. It's much more fun frothing at the mouth than being balanced, and I still believe the Hatch-NRA combo can never possibly produce anything good.)

Posted by Claire @ 10:45 AM CST

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