The Corner

U.S.

Kamala Harris’s Gun-Control Policies Are Incoherent

Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) in Houston, Texas, April 24, 2019. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Kamala Harris wants to ban the importation of what she calls AR-15-style assault weapons. Per Politico:

At a presidential campaign event Wednesday in New Hampshire, Harris pledged to take executive action banning the importation of AR-15-style assault weapons — a move that came just three weeks after the California Democrat rolled out her sweeping gun-control proposal.

Er, why? The majority of AR-15-style weapons — also known as the most commonly owned rifles in America — are built in . . . America. Suppose that Harris became president and enjoyed the authority to prevent the importation of whatever arbitrary set of features she found the time to string together into an order. What exactly does she think would happen next? The demand for modern sporting rifles is pretty high already, and it would presumably get considerably higher if the President of the United States were running around explaining that she hoped to ban them. Should imports be banned, that demand would be met by American manufacturers. And then what?

There are a few potential explanations for this policy. Harris might believe that the misuse of privately owned firearms is worse if those firearms are sourced from abroad. She might believe that foreign-sourced firearms are cheaper, and thus hope to price out poorer people from the market. Or, most likely, she might know full well that this would do nothing, but know also that her audience is so stupendously ignorant about firearms that it can be placated by any form of base saber-rattling, providing it is accompanied by a raised eyebrow.

As an elementary political matter, it seems to me that Harris’s policy, if implemented, would actually marginally weaken the gun-control movement’s position, in that it would (a) lead to a massive increase in the number of AR-15-style weapons in circulation, and (b) lead to an increase in the number of Americans who were involved in their production, and thus to an increase in the number of voters who are against a ban. Workers at foreign companies can’t vote in America. Workers at American companies can.

Most Popular

U.S.

Men Literally Died for That Flag, You Idiots

The American flag’s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable. The symbol itself is under attack, as we’ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and ... Read More
Books

The Plot against Kavanaugh

Justice on Trial, by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino (Regnery,  256 pp., $28.99) The nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was the political event of 2018, though not for the reasons anyone expected. All High Court confirmations these days are fraught with emotion and tumult ... Read More
Politics & Policy

He Just Can’t Help Himself

By Saturday, the long-simmering fight between Nancy Pelosi and her allies on one side and the “squad” associated with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the other had risen to an angrier and more destructive level at the Netroots Nation conference. Representative Ayanna Pressley, an African-American Massachusetts ... Read More
White House

On Gratitude and Immigration

Like both Rich and David, I consider it flatly inappropriate for the president of the United States to be telling Americans -- rhetorically or otherwise -- to “go back where you came from.” In consequence, you will find no defense of the president from me, either. What Trump tweeted over the weekend was ... Read More
Education

Gender Dissenter Gets Fired

Allan M. Josephson is a distinguished psychiatrist who, since 2003, has transformed the division of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology at the University of Louisville from a struggling department to a nationally acclaimed program. In the fall of 2017 he appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation ... Read More