A Change in the Wind

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." --Bob Dylan

And you don't need to be able to sing to make a fortune in the music biz, but that's not important now. Those of you who remember the 1960s recall that, after the assassination of John Kennedy, there was no significant gun control law passed by Congress. What led to GCA '68, which was the most significant piece of firearms legislation of the last century, was the nearly back-to-back murders of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. Then, the impetus for a sweeping national gun law was overwhelming and irresistible.

So it seemed after Sandy Hook. This particularly ghastly crime came as the culmination of other mass shootings, and it seemed inevitable that some sort of new national gun law would follow. But it didn't. What we did get were new state laws in Colorado, Connecticut, and New York, but nationally, nothing, and gun owners, it seems, are pushing back in ways that have not been seen before.

What follows has received minimal coverage by the news media, but if you look at these three separate episodes, something very interesting begins to emerge.

In Colorado, two of the legislators who voted for that state's assault weapons bill were thrown out of office in a special recall election. More may follow.

In Connecticut, where MSR owners are supposed to register their guns and their magazines, only a fraction of the people who were supposed to, have. The rest have refused to cooperate, risking fines, jail, and confiscation.

In New York State, where Governor Andrew Cuomo recently disbanded a panel charged with finding corruption in government because it was finding corruption in government, the same thing has happened. As far as anyone can tell, only a fraction of the people who own "assault weapons" has registered them. The deadline for registration was April 15, and citizens of the Empire State have either ignored the SAFE Law in droves or evaded it by modifying their rifles so they no longer qualify as ARs.

Governor Cuomo attempted to reassure people by pointing out that New York State has registered handguns for 80 years and there has never been a confiscation. This is like saying that both the U.S. and Russia have had nuclear weapons since 1949 and there has never been a nuclear war, so there will never be a nuclear war.

And finally, in Nevada, a rancher named Cliven Bundy got in a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management over whether his cattle could graze on government land. The BLM decided to confiscate Bundy's cows and came cocked and locked. Normally, this convinces citizens that it's time to back down because the government has you outgunned. But then the demonstrators began showing up, hundreds of them, some from out of state, some heavily armed.

Faced with a great many civilians who were apparently only too happy to start shooting back if the Feds did, the BLM backed down "in the interests of public safety."

The incident is probably not over. The BLM and the federal government can't afford to lose face. Mr. Bundy had better start looking upward for drones over his ranch.