Former National Rifle Association President David Keene says the second amendment dodged a major bullet when the vacant seat on the Supreme Court was filled by Neil Gorsuch, but he warns the threat to gun ownership is far from over.
Keene gives credit to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to advance President Obama’s choice of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and for doing what was necessary to get Gorsuch confirmed.
“If Garland had won confirmation, that would have reversed the majority favoring the second amendment as defined by the founders and as ratified by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision some years ago as an individual right to keep and bear arms,” said Keene.
“Preventing the Garland confirmation and replacing Antonin Scalia with Justice Gorsuch is a tremendous victory for America’s gun owners, for believers in freedom and for the second amendment,” said Keene.
Keene, who is now opinion editor at The Washington Times and co-author of “Shall Not be Infringed,” firmly believes that the gun issue and the Supreme Court vacancy was a big reason for President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton and for winning over voters in swing states who had supported Democrats in the past.
But Keene is quick to warn second amendment supporters that the fight is not over.
“It does not mean that gun owners can be comfortable in terms of what might happen during the course of the next year or so at the Supreme Court level because it simply re-establishes the majority that existed with Scalia on the court, a very shaky majority,” said Keene.
Another major threat, he says, comes from Obama’s handiwork in signing on to the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. Even without Senate ratification, Keene says the agreement puts pressure on the U.S. to violate its own Constitution.
“Even if it’s not ratified, under international law, a nation is supposedly prohibited from acting contrary to the spirit and letter of a treaty, even though it has not been ratified through processes within the country itself,” said Keene.
The U.S. can ignore the treaty, but Keene is urging decisive action against it.
“It really needs to be killed. There are two ways to do that. One, the President of the United States has the authority to withdraw this nation’s signature from the treaty. I hope that President Trump will consider doing that. The other way to handle it is for the Senate to bring it up and put a stake through it’s heart,” said Keene.
Keene says the treaty is just an international version of the gun restrictions that many Democrats want to impose here in the U.S.
“They want bans on so-called assault weapons that are in fact semi-automatic weapons rather than real assault weapons. They want limits on magazines. They want all the things that Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton wanted here,” said Keene.
Despite the wind being at the back of gun rights advocates, Keene says his side must realize that gun control supporters are never going to to give up.
“They actually believe that if they snap their fingers and if firearms would disappear, there’d no longer be burglaries. There’d no longer be robberies. We’d all live in peace and I assume unicorns would dance across the horizon. It’s almost a religious fervor with which they go after firearms ownership,” said Keene.
And Keene says pro-second amendment Americans must be equally relentless in protecting their constitutional rights.
“Like most freedoms, this is a freedom that if you don’t stand up for it and if you aren’t wiling to defend it and if you’re not vigilant, it’s liable to disappear on you,” said Keene.