Boehner sets 1000-foot perimeter around House to gun … legislation

posted at 9:30 am on January 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Don’t count the new leader of the House among supporters for Peter King’s new gun-restriction legislationThe Hill reports that John Boehner will oppose the bill, which creates a 1000-foot bubble around federal officeholders and judges in which gun possession would become a crime.  However, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is still reserving judgment (via Instapundit):

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is rejecting gun-control legislation offered by the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in response to the weekend shootings of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 19 others in Arizona.  …

King’s legislation got the cold shoulder from Boehner and other Republicans after it was announced.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the Speaker would not support King’s legislation.

The office of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the majority leader is reserving judgment until the King bill is finalized.

“Mr. Cantor believes it’s appropriate to adequately review and actually read legislation before forming an opinion about it,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring stated in an e-mail.

Mike Lillis reports that even “ardent gun reformers” think this has no future, nor any other gun control legislation in this Congress.  Why?  They say it’s because the Republican majority and the gun lobby are too powerful.  If that’s true, why didn’t Democrats try to push something through in 2009?  They have dropped gun control not because of the “gun lobby” but because it’s tremendously unpopular with voters, a lesson they finally learned after Al Gore lost his home state in the 2000 presidential election.

In this case, it’s easy to see why.  King’s bill, promoted in response to the Tucson shootings, wouldn’t have prevented them at all, which even King acknowledges.  He says that the law might prompt police to check out people at rallies with suspicious bulges in their pockets, which I suspect they’d be inclined to do anyway at political events, assuming they’re present.  The lack of security at the Tucson event is a bigger issue, but even with a significant security presence, a determined attacker could reach his target before anyone knew he had a gun at a venue like a supermarket or other public-space event.   The only effect that King’s bill will have will be to criminalize the law-abiding who pose no threat while providing a false sense of security for the public officials it attempts to protect.

That’s true of most gun restrictions, which is why they’re so unpopular when put into practice.


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