Fear and Loathing in Connecticut

In my post of October 21 of last year, I pointed out that there were similarities between the catastrophic debut of Obamacare and the law requiring registration of AR-type firearms foisted on the Nutmeg State shortly after the shooting at Newtown in December 2012. Healthcare.gov. seemed to have been put together by Moe, Larry, and Curly, and today, despite fixes to the website and all manner of backtracking by Obama & Co., only 11 percent of new enrollees are citizens who didn't have health care before.

Why? In addition to good old American mismanagement, Congress miscalculated how people would react.

In Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy and his half-bright legislature concocted an equally naive and unworkable law that required AR owners to register their guns and magazines before December 31, 2013 or become Class D felons, eligible for a fine and a year in prison. This law was based on the same flawed assumption that citizens would do just what the government wanted.

According to the February 10, 2014 issue of the Hartford Courant, response to the law has been a mixture of indifference, defiance, ignorance, and very limited compliance. The Connecticut State Police figures show that 49,916 registration applications have been received with an additional 2,100 that may yet come in.

However, the number of firearms that are classified as "assault weapons" in the state may be as many as 350,000. No one has the slightest idea. What is plain is that a great many gun owners are ignoring the law, or defying the law, or are ignorant of it.

This puts Governor Malloy and his legislature in a bind. They can:

1. Let matters stand as they are.

2. Review all 4473s going back to 1968. Track down everyone who owns an AR and send each a letter warning them of the consequences if they don't comply. I've read that such a letter has already been drafted but has not been sent. I'm not certain that it's authentic. You can judge for yourself by going to www.theblaze.com and look under "crime."

3. Send the cops to selected homes to deliver the message in person.

4. Arrest a few AR owners for show trials and send them to prison.

5. Backtrack. Declare an extension of the deadline and see what happens.

6. Choose the Janet Reno option. Assemble a strike force from the Connecticut State Police, FBI, and ATF, replete with armored vehicles, throw in a 100 or so reporters, pick some AR owner's home, and have at it. The last time this was done was at Waco, Texas, in 1993 when the federal government taught David Koresh and the Branch Davidians what was what.

These are a few possible scenarios. About the only ones that would not make matters much worse are No. 1 and possibly No. 5. You could say that no one would be stupid enough to try any of the others, but when has stupid been an impediment to government? Malloy and company have already badly miscalculated, and there's no reason to assume they won't do it again.

The effect that Numbers 2, 3, 4, and 6 would have on gun owners not only in Connecticut, but in every state, would be galvanic. And that's assuming that someone doesn't shoot back when his home is stormed. Who knows what would happen then?

Probably Dannel wishes he had thought all this through before he stepped into the lions' den.