So, there’s a new spending bill which provides some money–not all that was asked for but some–for Trump’s border wall. In return, Trump declared a “National Emergency” in order to spend military construction budget on said border wall. And in return to that Pelosi, “suggests” that the next Democrat President (fate forfend) can use a declaration of national emergency on the subject of gun violence (presumably eradicating the 2nd Amendment and going whole hog on gun confiscations).
Wow. That’s a lot.
First off, I’m of mixed feelings about this border wall, not because it’s “useless” (every builder of fortifications throughout history would laugh at the blanket “walls don’t work” claim–they do work as a force multiplier. They have to be defended but they mean that existing forces on our border can be more effective by complicating the problem of those trying to cross illegally) but because the resources being spent there might be better spent in other ways to reduce the problem of illegal immigration. Things like aggressively checking that people who get government assistance are actually citizens and not providing said assistance to those who are not. Things like actively seeking and censuring companies that employ illegals, with penalties strict enough to discourage said hiring. Remove the incentive for people to come here illegally and much of the problem will be self correcting. OTOH, I don’t have enough information to determine which would be a more effective use of resources and with a number of cities and even states actively working to undermine those laws shifting the balance… Like I said, mixed feelings.
As far as the national emergency goes, some people complain that it sets a bad precedent. While I may be skeptical that this is the best way to accomplish things, that ship has sailed a long time ago. And just like we’ve seen how empty “I’ll give you a concession Tuesday for a concession today” has been, so too is “If you don’t use this today, I won’t use it tomorrow” is a thin reed indeed to hang on. If they really thought they could do it (that “national emergency on gun violence” bit), then they’d do it whether Trump used it now or not. They’re already all-in on gun banning and will use any tool they think will work toward that end.
There is just one problem with this hypothetical future president declaring a “national emergency” on gun violence and using his pen and phone to ban guns. That would be “go time” on something no sane person wants. Oh, some may think they want it but that’s because they have unrealistic expectations on the results. I don’t want it. After all, I like to think (YMMV, of course) that I am reasonably sane. The immediate results would be horrific and the final result? Unlikely to be good.
But I keep watching those in power flirting with triggering just that result by pushing people into situations where “unlikely to be good” is still the best option they have.