The Blog

The Weakest Case Yet

3:24 PM, Mar 26, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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The gun-grabbers are at it again, or at least they were until Eric Holder's call for a new assault weapons ban ran into a wall of bipartisan opposition in Congress. The administration told him to pipe down and talk of an assault weapons ban has died with it. But the coverage of all this is amusing. Take Newsweek, which describes Holder's misstep as a "self-inflicted gun wound." Isikoff and Hosenball open their report:

After fierce resistance from the gun lobby and its allies in Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder has dialed back talk about reimposing a federal assault weapons ban to help curb the spiraling violence in Mexico.

As much as 90 percent of the assault weapons and other guns used by Mexican drug cartels are coming from the United States, fueling drug-related violence that is believed to have killed more than 7,000 people since January 2008, according to estimates by Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials. But the political obstacles to addressing the U.S.-to-Mexico weapons flow are dramatically underscored by Holder's experience in just the last few weeks.

Liberals have been trying to limit Second Amendment rights for decades now. The argument has always rested on the damage that American guns do to American communities. Every time there's another school shooting -- a Virginia Tech or a Columbine -- editorial boards across the country demand some new firearms regulations. But Americans have rejected those arguments. They want their guns. They've weighed the costs and benefits and decided in favor of gun rights. The Supreme Court has come down in favor of an individual right to bear arms. The matter has been settled.

But for some reason Eric Holder, and apparently many in the press, have some absurd idea that the violence in Mexico will make Americans change their minds. Columbine didn't do it, but a Mexican drug war will finally convince law-abiding Americans that their tradition of gun-ownership simply comes with too high a price. Right. Because American gun-owners lose a lot of sleep worrying about drug-fueled violence in Nuevo Laredo.