By: José Niño
Last week, the U.S. House passed H.R. 8, a universal gun registration bill.
The vote for H.R. 8 featured the usual suspects. Nearly all Democrats, with the exception of Jared Golden (D-Maine), voted in favor of H.R. 8, which passed by a 227 to 203 vote.
The most remarkable aspect of this vote was the number of Republicans who voted for this bill, namely:
Vern Buchanan (R-Florida)
Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania)
Maria Salazar (R-Florida)
Andrew Garbarino (R-New York)
Chris Smith (R-New Jersey)
Fred Upton (R-Michigan)
Carlos Gimenez (R-Florida)
Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois.)
H.R. 8, the “The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019,” should it become law, will essentially create a national gun registration system. The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) tells reporters it will:
*** OUTRIGHT BAN nearly all private firearms sales — requiring every gun purchase to be pre-approved by the federal government at YOUR expense.
*** FORCE nearly all firearm purchases to be registered through the Brady-NICS registration system.
*** CRIMINALIZE law-abiding Americans who want to sell firearms to close friends and neighbors unless Big Brother approves via their registration schemes.
Some of the Republicans who voted for this bill were rather predictable turncoats. Maria Salazar, who is being hailed as an incoming star simply for being a woman and Hispanic, has openly called for passing gun control for the past several years. In her first failed bid for Congress in 2018, she openly advocated for universal background checks, reported the Miami Herald. She ended up following through on her long-held promises to vote for gun control in last week’s vote. All things considered, Salazar will likely be given a pass by the GOP establishment.
Adam Kinzinger was another predictable gun control supporter, due to his constant attacks levied against former President Donald Trump and congressional colleagues for backing the former president. Kinzinger is looking to stay in favorable terms with the corporate press, and he will do what it takes, even if it means betraying his constituents to stay in their good graces.
Gun owners know that Democrats, by and large, cannot be trusted to defend the Second Amendment. Their visceral hatred for the Constitution and repeated legislative efforts to gut it, tell us all we need to know of where they stand in regard to the right to self-defense. There are, however, plenty of snakes in the Republican Party who are more than willing to wheel-and-deal with Democrats.
Grassroots activists cannot afford to be complacent when dealing with Republicans. Some Republicans will leave their constituents hanging if they perceive that selling out could benefit them politically. More importantly, a lack of pushback against Republicans who deviate from the principles they purportedly espouse sends a clear message that their political treachery will not be punished.
The only way elected officials like Salazar and her Republican colleagues who voted for H.R. 8 will learn the error of their ways is through pressure from below. This can range from attack ads on social media all the way to primary challenges. The latter brings a great deal of political pain and could result in political death if the challenger pulls off an upset.
At the end of the day, politicians are social animals who respond to pain or pleasure. Subjecting them to the former is crucial in keeping sell-out politicians in check.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.