Joe Manchin used a senatorial recess to assure news outlets throughout West Virginia that he is going to give gun control another try.
Only 4 percent of Americans think guns and gun control are the No.1 problem the nation faces, according to a Gallup Poll.
Besides, Manchin's call for background checks at gun shows would not have prevented Newtown. Adam Lanza did not buy his weapons at a gun show.
But the bill gets worse. The common thread of mass killers is mental illness.
By expanding background checks for handguns, Manchin's proposal undermines treatment for mental illness, which the nation needs to improve.
If a person seeks help, he may lose his Second Amendment rights without a trial, without a jury, without an appeal and without a time limit.
No gun owner would risk being blackballed, so the net result of Manchin's pro-posal is a disincentive for the mentally ill to receive treatment.
I won't even go into the privacy aspects of allowing so many people to have access to one's medical records for treatment of a mental illness.
Gun control makes for a grand distraction from the economy, unemployment and the budget deficit, which combined are the top concerns for 53 percent of the nation.
Instead of addressing the concerns of the majority, we have this Beltway battle over gun shows.
Another diversion is immigration reform. As with guns, only 4 percent of the nation makes immigration reform the top concern.
I do support immigration reform if it does the following:
- requires employers to check and vouch for the immigration status of their employee.
- makes it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants.
- legalizes hiring illegal immigrants for seasonal farm work
- allows people who have lived here illegally for four years or more to stay legally as long as they pay a fine and their back taxes.
I have just described the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act.
President Reagan signed it into law with the understanding that by legalizing 3 million illegal immigrants, the problem was solved.