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This past week, a group of ten Republican senators, led by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, met with the ten Democrat senators, led by Sen. Chris Murphy, in a bipartisan committee to write new federal gun control legislation. According to The Independent, “the legislation will include an expansion of background checks for people under age 21 to include a search of juvenile justice registries, as well as a federal grant program that will encourage states to pass red flag laws, which allow family members or law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily restrict certain persons from owning firearms.”

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hailing this as a great example of compromise and placating the “do something!” crowd, this is rather a shameless concession that will make Americans less safe, less free, and less represented while emboldening today’s toxic Democrats to wreck the country even further.

Obviously, the proposed bill is meant to be a response to the mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo. Democrats want to disarm potential psychos by placing more barriers to owning and using a gun, and Republicans want more intervention with individuals who suffer from mental health problems. On the surface, their bill seems e a win-win: fewer guns and fewer crazy people.

Except that these two incidents have almost nothing to do with guns or psychopaths, and everything to do with the profound dysfunction of American law enforcement. There were plenty of “red flags” with both shooters that warranted earlier intervention and immediate action, but nothing happened.

In Buffalo, there were already red flag laws, and no one bothered to enforce them. And in the Uvalde shooting, police officers actively impeded any kind of intervention while the shooter was shooting people, mostly children, for at least an hour.

So this new legislation would only empower and enrich incompetent police officers and punish and disable law-abiding Americans. Instead of deterring these monsters with armed civilians, the government will deter those civilians from becoming armed in the first place. Added to this is the costly and politicized bureaucracy to enforce these regulations on people who have done nothing wrong.

On a deeper level, it must be reiterated that these types of regulations are an unconstitutional violation of civil liberties. The Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to use firearms to defend themselves — according to Justin Trudeau, Canadians have no such right.

Like the right to free speech, the right to due process, or the right to be treated equally, the Second Amendment empowers individuals against all forms of tyranny, whether that be from the state, the corporate elite, the mob, criminal organizations, or any other oppressor. Take it away, and Americans have one less tool to protect their freedom, their property, and their lives.

For people who don’t own firearms, this may be too abstract. Therefore, as a good analogy they can consider restrictions on their right to own and drive a car (which, by the way, kills thousands more Americans each year than firearms). At that moment, all people would be forced to depend on the government’s approval to drive a car of the government’s own choosing or rely on government-run mass transit.

Perhaps some may be fine with this, living in an urban area where they have a semi-functional bus and subway system and few places to go, unless they are rich, leftist, and own a fleet of Teslas. However, the great majority of people would resent being restricted in this way, and object that their right to automobility (which isn’t an amendment, but probably should be) was being infringed.

In response, those who oppose such freedoms could always claim that there are fewer traffic accidents, and the United States is finally starting to resemble the rest of the developed world. The matter would finally rest there, and the government would put another freedom on the chopping block.

As it is with driving a car of one’s choice, so it is with protecting oneself with a gun of one’s choice. So many social reforms may fall under the heading of “safety,” but they inevitably translate to more government control. This is Democrats’ whole agenda. Whether it’s gun restrictions, diversity quotas, ending economic security in the name of climate change, or eliminating poverty, all of it amounts to the government having more control and making Americans less independent and self-sufficient.

All of this is why Republicans need to stop meeting their political opponents halfway. G. K. Chesterton’s criticism made more than a century ago is still quite apt: “Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.” With this new bill, McConnell and the rest of the ilk are celebrating yet another half-loaf while their constituents already suffer from malnutrition. 

It’s a mistake to view today’s Democrats as fellow Americans who share the same values and goals but have different ideas of how to get there. Rather, they have completely different goals and will employ any means to achieve them, even if that means putting on show trials, exploiting mass shootings, and intimidating and threatening opponents — to say nothing of rigging elections, bankrupting the country, and ushering in millions of illegal immigrants.

The time for negotiation and “crossing the aisle” is over, and has been for a long time. Democrats have figured this out and continue to push their failed policies with impunity. Republican leadership continues to play political patty cake while their country goes up in flames. The American people are on their own right now. And it’s times like these where an individual’s freedoms matter most, particularly the freedom to defend oneself.