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Meanwhile, back at the gun wars ...

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Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

“Universal background checks” will be the centerpiece of gun control legislation when Congress returns from its two-week Easter recess. And who could be opposed to such a “commonsense” law, its proponents argue, putting on their incredulous face.

But as avid Michigan sportsman Rick Averill reminds in the American Thinker, it's a slippery slope fraught with plenty of misrepresentations.

Leading the pack is the “gun show loophole” that liberals vastly overstate (i.e., the 40 percent of gun sales typically claimed to escape checks is more like 4 percent). But worse, Mr. Averill, hardly a conspiracy theorist, sees requiring background checks on sellers, too, as an opening to essentially classify gifted guns as illegal. There's typically no bill of sale to prove ownership, he reminds.

“The universal background check to close the ‘gun show loophole' is the Holy Grail to the left and their ‘commonsense' approach to gun confiscation without a shot.” ...

Ignorant New York lawmakers have been forced to backtrack on one of the more idiotic provisions of its new gun laws. One provision banned handgun magazines in excess of a seven-bullet capacity. But there's no such thing as a seven-bullet magazine and no manufacturer has any plans to make one. Thus, it technically was a de facto ban on handguns.

The measure's on hold until the Legislature can rewrite the law — likely to say that 10-bullet magazines can be loaded with only seven bullets. Surely the magazine police are not far behind. And given New York's follies, perhaps it will instead say the 10-bullet magazine can be fully loaded but the trigger can be pulled only seven times. ...

Sayeth Charlie Rangel, the long-in-the-tooth and ethics-challenged Democrat congressman of New York:

“There is no hunter that needs automatic military weapons to enjoy the culture of going hunting.”

And no hunter uses them, given that private citizens long have been legally barred from owning “automatic military weapons.”

Mr. Rangel also contends that “millions of kids” have been “shot down by assault weapons.”

Old Charlie must be writing a Hollywood script to even better feather his golden years. ...

Some of this nation's predictably brain-dead editorial writers worked overtime last week to prove they really do have mush for brains regarding the demise of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's legless “assault weapons ban”:

The San Jose Mercury News said “an assault weapons ban is a common-sense (sic) measure supported in polling by a majority of Americans. It is doomed only because politicians are cowed by the National Rifle Association.”

Never mind that the last “assault weapons ban” had no effect — zip, zilch, nada — on gun violence.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times editorial offered this perverted history lesson:

“(O)ur obsession with overpowered weapons ... is,” in part, “rooted in our history, in which freedom had to be won by the people by force of arms, leading to a constitutional amendment to keep firearms available. At its base is a simple but powerful emotion: fear.”

Pay no attention to that liberty and republicanism designed to keep tyranny at bay waving furiously just offstage.

Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or

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