By John R. Lott Jr. on National Review Online:
With presidential primaries just over two-and-a-half years away, John McCain is moving back towards Republican conservatives. On some issues, from campaign finance to illegal immigration to global warming, he isn't even trying to convince conservatives that he agrees with them. But he realizes he can't oppose them on everything. So, on other important issues, such as taxes, abortion, and guns, he's brandishing his conservative credentials.
So can he convince people he is still sufficiently conservative?
Let's consider just one of these issues: McCain's claimed pro-gun record. This was true a decade ago, but since then, on issues such as regulating gun shows, banning less expensive guns and so-called assault weapons, and requiring gunlocks, McCain has supported central portions of the gun-control agenda. Indeed, in a couple cases, McCain authored the proposed legislation himself.
McCain's gun show regulations, instead of simply requiring background checks on sales at gun shows, would make it extremely difficult for gun shows even to function. A special license would be required to operate gun shows. Licenses could be denied without the federal government even having to give a reason, and no time limits would be placed on how long the government had to make its decisions.
While gun-control groups have tried for years to register the names of gun owners, McCain's legislation helps accomplish this by effectively requiring the registration of all people who attend a gun show. Gun show operators would even face criminal penalties and imprisonment if any unregistered attendees were to trade a gun after the show if the gun were discussed in any way during the show. The only option to operators would thus be to register everyone.
McCain acknowledges that these regulations could be abused, but, according to him, the goals are too important to compromise, and McCain assures us that we should trust the regulators.
A loss for John McCain is a win for the Republican Party, America, freedom, mom and apple pie.
* Thank to Tom Blumer of BizzyBlog for turning me on to a new acronym. What I want to know is: Can I run for PITA president?