Most “gun people” know that in 1986, the manufacture of new machine guns was banned by an amendment to the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act.
There’s always been a rumor about it being a late night voice vote that really didn’t have the requisite number of votes to pass, but was ordered to be added anyway.
Now, however, thanks to the detective work of a man who goes by the name AJAX22, we’re finding out that a recorded vote was taken, and the amendment was defeated – but again, it was ordered to be added anyway.
Who was instrumental in this action? None other than Charlie Rangel, then acting as Speaker of the House – the disgraced, corrupt New York congressman who was recently censured on the floor of the House. Are we really surprised that a person of such low “moral caliber” would falsify records to ensure that a law he favored would pass, directly subverting the democratic process? I’m not.
There is some controversy about the vote, the full transcript of which can be found here.
Is there something fishy here? Oh, yes. What can be done? That’s not clear at this time. It’s unlikely that the Supreme Court would inject itself into the situation, although, ironically, the Supreme Court derives much of its power from injecting itself into a situation where it never had a clear power to do so – I’m talking about Marbury v. Madison and the power of judicial review. The modern Supreme Court doesn’t like to interfere with the internal business of the other branches, which is, frankly, a good thing.
With legal challenges hazy at best, perhaps the best option – and the one with the most poetic justice – would be to have an amendment added to some bill in Congress that was destined to pass. This happened recently with the “credit card overhaul” bill and the amendment allowing the carrying of firearms in National Parks. President Obama signed the bill despite the inclusion of the pro-gun measure. Of course, this is going to take a lot of legwork on the part of pro-gun folks. While it would probably be prudent to wait for AJAX22 to upload a video of the vote to YouTube, a strongly-worded letter to your Congressman might be in order soon.