The call for greater gun control is once again upon us, and we need to call (202)224-3121 (congressional switchboard) and ask that our congressmen vote against these measures for the reasons outlined below. While we all want to save lives, we must make sure that we are not passing laws that merely make the impression that we are at least “doing something.” Most intriguing is how readily the proposers of these bills admit that they would not have prevented the Newtown, Connecticut or the Aurora, Colorado incidents. As shocking as these and all mass shooting incidents are, we must keep our feet firmly grounded on reality, morality, and upholding the Constitution that many of us took the oath to protect. I offer the following for my reasoning.
Universal background checks: There has been a common calling for this recently. While I can understand its appeal, its drawbacks in implementation and legality far outweigh its benefit. Recent proposals sound more accommodating by omitting personal and family sales or transfers, but it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We already know that gun shows currently require NICS checks for all but personal (non-licensed) sales, criminals will find ways around the new law, and that gun shows are a minute part of illegal gun transfers (even in the 1994 survey consistently misrepresented by President Obama’s administration). Leaked internal memos from the President’s own Department of Justice (Greg Ridgeway, National Institute of Justice, 4 Jan 2013, henceforth NIJ) say that “effectiveness depends on…requiring gun registration;” and we need only to look to California, Canada’s sad attempt, and past totalitarian governments regarding registration. The fact that criminals are immune from prosecution when they don’t register, per the Supreme Court’s decision in Haynes v. U.S., 1968 (“Claim of…privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense”), is mind numbing enough. Now we learn of a survey of 15,000 police officers (Policeone.com, March 2013) where 80% say that universal background checks would have no effect on crime. And legally…while interstate commerce can be cited and upheld in a court of law for the current background checks, what provision of the United States Constitution allows for regulation of any intrastate transfers? I fear this would open Pandora’s Box for things beyond our imagination. While I don’t agree with “universal background checks,” I do believe it something for the states to decide amongst their own people and that this ground should not be given up to further endanger the balance of the State and Federal government.
Assault weapon ban: I realize that this is not in the current proposals, but it will be allowed to be submitted as an amendment. First, let me say that I am proud to have state representatives who at least know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic firearms, as President Obama & Mayor Bloomberg don’t. As you are aware, the entire premise of assault weapon bans is the uglier; the more dangerous it must be, irrespective of function. On this, 91.5% of those policemen surveyed said it would have either no affect or negative effects in curbing violent crime. According to NIJ these are “not major contributors to gun crime,” and according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2011 statistics these accounted for only a fraction of the total 323 rifle murders (which pales in comparison to the 1,659 killed with blunt instruments; hammers, pipes, etc.). We must also remember that the Supreme Court concluded that for a firearm to be legal it must pass the test of being “part of the ordinary military equipment” (U.S. v. Miller, 1939)…this is conveniently ignored by most.
Ban on large capacity magazines: Here is something else that may be proposed through the amendment process of the Senate’s bill. Once again we can cite the Miller case, but we can also add District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) which confirmed the “common use” criteria; and it is inarguable that 20 and 30 round magazines are in common use today. Yet again, 95% of those policemen surveyed said that limiting magazine size would have no effect on crime. The NIJ memo states how the 1994 ban “did little to affect the supply of large capacity magazines,” citing the 2004 report’s conclusion that, “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.” As was found in Newtown’s investigation, the killer inserted a new magazine before entering each room and left unspent cartridges in the dropped magazines. Once again, this is a feel good proposal that will only harm law abiding citizens while criminals ignore it, or simply carry more magazines.
There is a sickness across our lands. It is not the tools that have been around for more than a century (referring to semi-automatics), but the moral decay. Everyone admits this, our founders warned of it, yet it is the inanimate objects that now distract us. When the teachings of morality are forced from all aspects of public life, there is nothing left to shape character but the shackles of government. Mental health issues abound upon that thin line between liberty and oversight; we must tread carefully down this path. There may be fear crossing the minds of many in congress of not doing enough; my fear is shared with our forefathers of government doing too much. You may be well aware of the facts that I have presented. Ask that your congressmen do all they can to improve enforcement of the laws already established, to minimize the gap that remains between the states in reporting mental illness issues regarding NICS, and removing barriers to the “free exercise” of religion (barriers founded upon false history) and the protection of schools (Gun Free [crime advertisement] Zones). Ask that they vote in the negative for any bill proposing greater restrictions upon firearms or their rightful owners.
God bless, and remember: the ignorant people with big hearts, and others with an agenda against some of our freedoms, are contacting their representatives; are you? Believe it or not, it makes a difference. You can make a difference!
- Justice Department Shoots Obama’s Gun Control Agenda in the Head (theburningplatform.com)
- Just like NIJ, IL state rep. says magazine bans useless without confiscation (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)