This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 29, 2022:
In passing the $1.7 trillion spending bill that Biden has promised to sign into law shortly, 18 Republican senators (all of whom claim on their websites that they support the Second Amendment) joined with every Senate Democrat in passing the monstrous, pork-laden, and anti-Second Amendment 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Act.
After being approved by the Senate by a 68-29 vote, the bill moved to the House, where Democrats quickly passed it. Biden has confirmed that he will sign it.
Included in the 4,100-page spending bill is $858 billion for defense, another $787 billion for “non-defense” domestic spending and welfare programs, another $45 billion to shore up the corrupt Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, and 7,200 earmarks totaling over $15 billion.
Deep in the bill are found a dozen infringements on the Second Amendment, with the most pernicious and dangerous being funding to bribe state governments to pass so-called red flag laws, aka ERPOs — Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
ERPOs allow law enforcement to seize firearms from people who have committed no crime but are “believed” to be a danger to themselves or others. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have red flag laws in place, and more than $770 million of the odious omnibus bill provides federal funding (that is, bribes) to states that enact such laws.
The money will flow to the states via Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, which will be parceled out to states acceding to the red flag violations.
Those laws violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as they may be issued without the gun owner’s knowledge, allowing his or her firearms to be confiscated without a hearing to allow a defense to be presented. This violation of due process is explained away by advocates who hold that the gun owner may appeal to the court to get his firearms back.
But this is backwards, and the 18 Republican senators who voted for it know it. They include such pro-gun worthies as Roy Blunt (Mo.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), and Richard Shelby (Ala.).
The danger of ERPOs is that the definition of who may be “dangerous” can be expanded — and likely will be — to include anyone who owns a firearm. And the ATF knows who those owners are. Given sufficient resources from bills like the one Biden is about to sign, the ATF will then be free to move from door to door collecting the firearms under the guise of removing those “dangers” from law-abiding citizens.
The sell-out by Republicans who claim to be “friends” of the American Republic and its guarantees spelled out in the Bill of Rights was predicted long ago by Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University. In his seminal work Tragedy and Hope, published in 1966, Quigley wrote:
The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers.
Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.
Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.
To see evidence of this, the reader is invited to review the “Freedom Index” (FI) made available by The New American here. That shows, not surprisingly, that the voting patterns of these 18 “Republican” senators range from “moderate” to “poor.” Senator Susan Collins (Maine), for example, sports a dismal 38 out of 100, while Senator Inhofe (from the dark-red conservative state of Oklahoma) has earned just a 69 out of 100. Senator Cotton from Arkansas, in a surprise to some, earns an Index rating of only 60, and Mitt Romney of Utah comes in at a disheartening 42.
Lest readers become discouraged at the selling out of our liberties by our “friends,” keep in mind those who voted against the bill, including Senators Mike Braun of Indiana (FI 80), Ted Cruz of Texas (FI 77), Bill Hagerty of Tennessee (FI 93), Mike Lee of Utah (FI 93), Rand Paul of Kentucky (FI 95), and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama (FI 87).