Gun Control Issues Load Up in Legislature
Last week I mentioned numerous legislative issues we have been watching during this 2019 Indiana General Assembly. One issue I have not addressed yet this year is the issue of gun control.
AFA of Indiana does not have an official position on this issue, but when we recently surveyed our donors, the issue had risen to a top ten concern for the first time. Our mission statement does affirm the founding principles of our nation, and the 2ndAmendment was certainly one of those uniquely American values that were necessary to the formation of our nation. We have often written that the problem of crime rests in what is in someone’s heart, not necessarily the item in their hand. That too, was a core belief of our founders.
In the last few years there has been a growing presence of gun control activists in the statehouse. Almost every week this year I have noticed a large number of red T-shirt wearing gun control activists in the hallways connected with “Moms Demand Action.” This group is part of an umbrella group called “Everytown for Gun Safety.” It is part of a $50 million expenditure by liberal activist, and former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
Indiana is one of the original 15 states targeted by Bloomberg in 2014 for the passage of “common sense” gun control measures. The group’s goal is to be a counter to the National Rifle Association.
The group has had an impact in the last couple of legislative sessions by stopping some pro-second amendment bills. One of those was a bill that I mentioned positively. It would have allowed licensed concealed carry permit holders to exercise that ability in a church that happens to meet on school property on Sunday. (With the growing bigotry toward Christianity in America, I believe this measure by Senator Jack Sandlin needs to pass.)
The emergence of this group here has made passage of firearms bills more difficult and more politically charged. It has also had the effect of loading up bills. If only one or two bills on this topic are likely to pass now, they tend to get cluttered with multiple issues.
Most legislators want a “clean” bill with one subject. Procedural and germaneness rules prefer such bills. Bills cluttered with a wide variety of issues can tend to make it more difficult for legislators and the public to know exactly what is in a bill. I can also make it more difficult to get a consensus on that proposal.
For example, Senator Jim Tomes has tried for nine years to get a bill through that accurately defines an “assault rifle.” His concern, which has proven to be true in other states, is that a poor definition of this vague term could lead to the restriction of semi-automatic firearms used by many hunters and the shooting sports for over a century. His bills have often been amended to address all sorts of other issues, and though those changes were not meant to harm his bill, they made it a bigger target of controversy, and led to their stalling out in the process.
In this session, more pro-2ndAmendment bills have seen action, due in part to the NRA’s national convention coming to Indianapolis in a few weeks. That shouldn’t overshadow the significant emergence of “Mom’s Demand Action.” The targeting of Indiana by national liberals like Bloomberg is a real political development. It is something Hoosiers, (who may think we are free from gun control efforts due to our Midwest values), need to consider.
New Study Reveals Weakness of Homosexuality as a Civil Right
There is an extensive new study from the Family Research Council that points out how homosexuality is not a fixed unchangeable trait. This often documented, but rarely reported fact undermines the movement to equate this behavior with immutable characteristics like race, national origin or gender. Immutability is a key basis courts have historically used to determine civil rights protections.
Many young people have been indoctrinated into thinking that the gay political agenda is on par with the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s involving skin color, through a “born that way” notion attributed to a sexual lifestyle choice. I am including the executive summary here, and a link to the full detailed study, which is well worth reading, here: https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF19C38.pdf
Many of the advances of the homosexual movement have been based on the claim that sexual orientation is “immutable.” For example, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the 2015 Supreme Court case that redefined marriage to include same-sex couples rested upon that assertion. Key policy issues still being debated in which the supposed “immutability” of sexual orientation can be an issue include efforts by LGB activists to expand non-discrimination laws to protect sexual orientation (such as the proposed federal “Equality Act”), and efforts to restrict or ban sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), sometimes called “conversion therapy.”
The concept of “sexual orientation” is multi-faceted, involving a combination of attractions, behaviors, and personal identity. Changes in any of these elements (sometimes called “sexual fluidity”), and a lack of “stability” or “exclusivity” in or among them, represents evidence that sexual orientation can change. This paper reports results from four large data sets reflecting longitudinal analysis of the same individuals over time in population-based samples (three from the United States and one from New Zealand). All demonstrate that significant change in each of the elements of sexual orientation is possible. The percentage changing from homosexuality to heterosexuality ranged from 13% to 53%, while the percentage changing from heterosexuality to homosexuality ranged only from 1% to 12%. This suggests that heterosexuality is largely stable, but homosexuality is not. In one survey of “same-sex attracted respondents,” up to 38% of men and 53% of women “changed to heterosexuality” in only a six-year period.
FRC endorses the call by pro-LGB scholars Lisa Diamond and Clifford Rosky to “abandon the immutability argument once and for all.” Diamond, Rosky, and others on the Left argue that a belief in personal freedom should be sufficient support for pro-homosexual policies. However, this amounts to substituting the principles of the sexual revolution for the principles of the civil rights movement. The public would be wise to question instead whether the goals of the homosexual movement can be justified at all.
In Their Own Words:
“Liberty considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom.” – Alexis de Tocqueville