Party platforms are not binding agreements. They indicate what is on the minds of the party faithful. They are like hymns in church. Everyone sings along. No one changes his behavior because of the singing. But it sounds comforting.
The first verse goes like this.
Right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation
We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements–like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole–so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.
This is as close to a pro-life position that the Democratic Party ever comes. Life is precious, especially for violent criminals whose lives are put at risk by armed citizens.
Reauthorize assault weapons ban, close gun show loophole
We will protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms, and we will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists by fighting gun crime, reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, and closing the gun show loophole, as President Bush proposed and failed to do.
This affirms the power of the federal government to pass effective laws that will keep American criminals from getting their hands on guns. This will make more guns available to the Department of Justice for its Fast and Furious program.
Strengthen gun control to reduce violence
Democrats passed the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban. We increased federal, state, and local gun crime prosecution by 22 percent since 1992. Now gun crime is down by 35 percent. Now we must do even more. We need mandatory child safety locks. We should require a photo license I.D., a background check, and a gun safety test to buy a new handgun. We support more federal gun prosecutors and giving states and communities another 10,000 prosecutors to fight gun crime.
Let’s see. Federal prosecution is up 22% since 1992. That’s about 1% per year. It looks as though the FedGov has done very little. Also, prosecution is not the same as conviction. The FedGov needs 10,000 more prosecutors to get the job done right, which means that, so far, the job has not been done right.
But let these trivial objections pass. This is the Big Party of the Big Party. Let’s sing! “In my heart there rings a melody. . . .”