Political Report: The Tiahrt Amendment
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
CHRIS COX, NRA-ILA Executive Director
Ronald Reagan put it this way four decades ago: "The
only choice we have is up or down--up, to the ultimate in
individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down, to the
deadly dullness of totalitarianism."
As you know by now, New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg will stop at nothing in his effort to push
his pet anti-gun agenda.
Bloomberg is focused on convincing the Congress to
delete the Tiahrt Amendment from an upcoming spending bill. That
amendment protects the privacy rights of all retail gun buyers by
preventing fishing expeditions into sensitive batfe trace
data--particularly by politicians hell-bent on filing baseless
The amendment does not prevent the release of
tracing data related to bona fide criminal investigations. And it
did not keep the New York City police from quickly tracing the
firearms used in the criminal shooting that inspired Bloomberg's
testy outburst. One of the two firearms was purchased legally in
Missouri, and the other was purchased in Arizona in the 1980s. The
suspect had lived in both states.
But Bloomberg isn't used to not getting his way. When he
wants something bad enough, he just uses his immense personal
fortune to buy it.
That's really all that
tracing data can tell the investigators. It doesn't prove anything
more than the original point of retail sale for any given firearm.
And that's why politicians and the public at large have no business
poking around in it.
But Bloomberg's tirade went well beyond the
point where the facts matter.
A New York Post article on the radio interview
said that Bloomberg "also called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Thursday to urge her to act--and said that if she didn't, she'd
have blood on her hands, according to the
Bloomberg's rant continued, according to the
article. It quoted the mayor as saying: "The Democrats have said
repeatedly that they blame the Republicans for no gun legislation.
Well, now they're in charge. ok, stand up. And if not, I'm going to
So, according to the mayor, if Pelosi doesn't
ramrod his agenda through the Congress, he is going to tattle on
her--to everybody! Even though it would do nothing to solve this
particular shooting, or to prevent any
We've seen the mayor do his tattletale routine
before. Earlier this year, lawmakers in Virginia passed a bill that
would prevent Bloomberg from invading the shops of gun dealers in
the state with his vigilante posse of private
Virginia lawmakers must have taken the wisdom
of the U.S. Department of Justice to heart. The Justice Department
told Bloomberg to refrain from staging any more of his phony
"sting" operations in a strong letter that said: "You should be
aware that there are potential legal liabilities that may attach
when persons outside of law enforcement undertake actions typically
reserved for law enforcement agents ... .
In addition, civilian efforts can
unintentionally interrupt or jeopardize ongoing criminal
Bloomberg dismissed the warnings in the
letter, and his henchmen told the media that they would not stop
their illegitimate "investigations." But the warnings were not lost
on lawmakers in the Virginia capital, who passed the bill in a
clear message to Bloomberg to keep his amateur gumshoes out of
their state's borders.
Bloomberg didn't appreciate having his snout
whacked. He pulled all the stops to convince Virginia Gov. Tim
Kaine to veto the bill. He put out the word to gun control groups
that the Virginia bill imperiled his sole strategy, and they did
what they were told, sending alerts in states like Illinois and
Ohio, asking gun control supporters to call the governor of
Virginia and persuade him to veto the
He tattled on the Virginia legislature to
everybody, and everybody did what he wanted them to do. Could his
infantile protests possibly work? Would the governor of Virginia
actually heed panicky calls from gun control supporters in other
states? Not this time, apparently. Kaine signed the bill, putting
Virginia firmly off-limits to Bloomberg's Keystone
But Bloomberg isn't used to not getting his
way. When he wants something bad enough, he just uses his immense
personal fortune to buy it. This is not conjecture--as Casey
Stengel would say, "You can look it up." Bloomberg spent $85
million of his own money to become mayor, setting a record for a
Buying his election also spared him from the
tedious political chores of having to build support and raise funds
from voters. That left him free to pursue his purely personal
agenda of deciding what's best for everyone else. His top priority
has been mounting relentless campaigns to ban what he perceives as
He refuses to believe that the mayor of New
York doesn't run the rest of the country. So now he has threatened
to next put his billions behind an independent bid for president.
He has publicly mused about spending half a billion dollars--yes,
billion with a "b"--to hijack the 2008 presidential race. It's
small change for a man with an estimated net worth of nearly $6
After buying the presidency, how would the
benevolent king rule over the unwieldy gun-owning peasants? That,
too, was revealed in the Post article. "Nobody's trying to ban
guns," said Bloomberg with typical petulance. "That's just so
ridiculous an argument. If you get a license, you can have a gun."
So there. If you want to play, you just have to get permission from
the rich kid.
And if he doesn't like the way you play, he'll
buy the playground, change the rules and shut you out. And then
he'll tell everybody. Since he can't do it himself, he now wants
Speaker Pelosi to fight the big kids for
You and I know these politicians are deadly
serious about stripping away our Second Amendment rights. We can't
let them. Ronald Reagan put it this way four decades ago: "The only
choice we have is up or down--up, to the ultimate in individual
freedom consistent with law and order, or down, to the deadly
dullness of totalitarianism."