By Larry Keane
Yesterday, Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times blasted the National Rifle Association while seemingly attempting to reinvent the paper’s position on gun control.
In his post, Mr. Rosenthal declared:
“I want to be clear: The New York Times editorial board does not oppose gun ownership. We believe the Second Amendment confers a communal right on Americans to own guns – not an individual one. But that’s actually a smaller point than you might think. All we really want are sensible restrictions based on public safety and common sense.”
Mr. Rosenthal, I want to be clear, too: The New York Times editorial board has a long history of attacking the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Given this, it’s no surprise that The Times would disagree with the Supreme Court, which reaffirmed in two cases (Heller and McDonald) that the Second Amendment is an individual right and not a collective right of the state. This understanding has been widely accepted in legal and academic circles as the government does not have rights, only powers.
The article also disingenuously summarizes the anti-gun position of The Times. Here are just a few of the gun-control measures supported by the paper over the years:
– Licensing of firearms owners, which is de facto registration.
– Registering of all firearms, which is a necessary prerequisite to future confiscation.
– Allowing local governments to require personal and invasive information (including medical) before purchasing a firearm.
– Publicizing law enforcement-sensitive firearms trace data.
– Waiting periods to purchase, even if the owner passes a mandatory background check and already owns firearms.
– Banning all semi-automatic firearms, which are the overwhelming choice for sporting and self-defense purposes.
– Opposing licensed concealed carry.
– Opposing stand-your-ground laws – laws designed to ensure that law-abiding citizens do not need to turn their back on a threat before defending themselves.
– Mandating reporting of lost/stolen firearms, making criminals out of victims.
– Opposing private firearm transactions, including bequests and inheritances.
– Ending gun shows, even though retailers must comply with the same laws governing an in-store sale.
– Allowing licensed firearm manufactures, distributors and retailers to be held liable for the actions of criminals who misuse illegally obtained firearms.
– Treating firearms and firearms ownership as a public-health issue, like a disease.
– Advocating public funding of biased anti-gun research.
– Restricting firearm purchases to one gun a month, even for collectors.
– Advocating firearms microstamping, a flawed concept that would significantly raise the price of firearms while doing nothing to reduce crime.
And, of course, the list goes on. In fact, it’s hard to think of any gun-control measure the Times hasn’t supported.
So, while Mr. Rosenthal is free to believe whatever he wants, he, like The New York Times, should hardly be considered an unbiased source when it comes to firearms. They’ve made their position on the matter very clear.