DNC meetings on platform reveal party stance on gun rights

The Democratic National Committee is holding meetings in preparation for drafting the party platform in advance of the national convention this July in Philadelphia, and thanks to C-SPAN, voters have video of the speakers.

During one exchange, gun control was the subject of discussion among Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis and national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Bonnie Schaefer, a former CEO of the retail corporation Claire’s Stores and an activist for women’s rights, and Cornel West, professor of philosophy currently at Union Theological Seminary.

At the start of the third hour of the video, McBath gives her testimony.  After reviewing the murder of her son, Jordan Davis, who was killed in a dispute over the volume of his music and telling the committee about how she had “the talk” with him—the conversation that African Americans and other minorities have with their children regarding interactions with police—she proceeds to the main part of her testimony, insisting that all Americans have a responsibility to prevent as many gun fatalities as possible by keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals and the mentally ill—though how that could have saved her son’s life isn’t clear.  She gives the usual litany of gun control demands, calling for universal background checks, a repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, and the closing of what she believes are loopholes regarding sales of guns on the Internet and and the requirement to complete a sale if a background check takes more than three days.

Thus, most of her testimony was typical gun control boilerplate.  Of particular interest to the subject of gun rights was her assertion that the first priority of Democrats must be to pass “common sense” legislation, while showing that the party knows how to protect the Second Amendment.  She insists that she knows no one in the Democratic Party who wants to repeal that amendment.  A bit later in the conversation, Cornel West asks her about the influence of money on campaigns, and she quotes a verse from Hosea to say that the people perish from a lack of knowledge.  In her view, if only voters were informed about how the NRA gets what it wants from legislators, those voters would make wiser decisions.

But let’s focus on her belief that no one in her party wants to repeal the Second Amendment.  Cue the immediate counterexample.  At around 3:10:00 in the video, Bonnie Schaefer declares her disgust that we have lax gun laws in this country, thanks to Republicans.  And then comes the contradiction to McBath’s own words.  Schaefer says, “I really don’t personally think anyone should have a gun.  That’s just my own philosophy.  Nothing is ever solved when you have a gun in your hand except the worst possible scenario.”

Perhaps Schaefer hasn’t read the Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence, a report ordered by President Obama in 2013, that found that several hundred thousand Americans do each year what she denies is possible.  Or it may be that she regards good people defending their own lives as the worst possible scenario.  But her statement—that in her opinion, no one should have a gun—coming from someone who is on the committee to write the platform for the Democratic Party this election needs to be broadcast to the nation.  If the party has finally had a moment of honesty about their goals for gun control, indeed, voters have to be informed.

The total video is around five hours, giving plenty of time for yet another telling statement.  James Obergefell, one of the plaintiffs in the case that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the nation, testifies at the fourth hour.  According to him, “no right should be rescinded by crossing state lines.”  Exactly so.  As I’ve pointed out before, the requirement that all states and territories must respect the licenses issued by any is a good thing for gun rights, though no one in the committee room noticed the implications of Obergefell’s comments.

Schaefer replied that last year’s ruling gave her community the right to marry, reminding us, if we had any doubts, how little she understands the concept of rights.  The upshot of these discussions is that for at least some members of the platform committee of the Democratic Party, rights are whatever they are willing to give us.  It’s up to those of us who know better to remind them and the rest of the nation that rights are inherent and individual, protected by the Constitution that must be respected by our leaders.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.

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