Registration in any degree is particularly offensive to those who value their 2nd amendment rights. It is the basis for abuse and harassment of law abiding gun owners by those who would deny those rights, both official and unofficial. We have seen the damage caused when the Journal News in New York published the names and addresses of thousands of citizens with a license to own handguns. At least one Connecticut legislator wants the state to publish the names of gun owners. A similar attempt was made in Illinois in the Spring of 2011, abetted by Illinois AG Lisa Madigan but stopped short by a court order, then both houses of the Assembly. Historically, firearm registration was used in Australia to confiscate a broad range of weapons, after only 20% of their citizens complied voluntarily. It was used in 2008 by Great Britain, and by the Nazis in 1935. Notably, none of these nations had a constitution which limits the actions of government, as in the United States.
Meanwhile the Administration continues to falsely claims that 40% of firearms are purchased without a background check (the true figure is closer to 6%). Where are the statistics about where CRIMINALS get their guns? One chart based on surveys of convicted criminals, indicates that about 40% are obtained from relatives, about 40% are obtained "on the street", about 11% by legal purchase from gun stores, and 1.6% from gun shows and flea markets. The balance are obtained from private sales. Note that the President's proposal on background checks would exempt transactions between relatives.
The hypocrisy of celebrities and politicians regarding guns is notable. Dianne Feinstein carries a gun, as do most of the Hollywood folks. Others have Secret Service or armed private security agents. Mayor Rahm Emanual of Chicago has a cadre of armed police officers for protection around the clock.
In an affront to those who believe in the 2nd Amendment, a bill introduced by Diane Feinstein (D-CA) in the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 24 -- "assault weapons" banning bill -- has a preamble which describes her proposed law as "[regulating] assault weapons, [and ensuring] that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited." Approximately 150 weapons are banned, including "semiautomatic rifles" that "accept a detachable magazine and any of the following: a pistol grip, a forward grip, a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock or a threaded barrel, among other things.
Yet even under Feinstein's draconian bill, not everyone would have to abide by Senator Dianne Feinstein's gun control bill should the proposed legislation become law. Government officials are exempt. It is safe to say than any politician who claims to respect the 2nd amendment, interjecting the word "but" doesn't respect it at all.
Where was the call by President Obama to demand that Hollywood stop producing violent moves? Movies seem to become more violent by the year as audiences increasingly accept greater and more sensational displays of blood and mayhem. A 17-year-old boy who shot and killed his mother and sister in their Aledo,Texas home in October, 2012, admitted that watching the horror movie “Halloween” provided him the inspiration for the slayings. The four-page confession released by the teen during the trial reported how at ease the boy was during the murders and how little remorse he had. The boy said he had watched the Rob Zombie remake of "Halloween," about a 10-year-old boy who murders several people and kills more 15 years later, three times earlier that week, and believed it would be the same for him when he would kill someone. The confession was introduced as evidence.
In lieu of what is currently being pushed as a long-time "progressive" goal of disarming Americans, what would constitute a sensible approach?
A report issued by The Heritage Foundation on January 18, 2013, "The Newtown Tragedy: Complex Causes Require Thoughtful Analysis and Responses" by John G. Malcolm and Jennifer A. Marshall offers these three key points:
1. Any federal action should be consistent with our federal system of government and the separation of powers.
2. The Second Amendment remains an important safeguard of Americans' security. Gun control laws do not correlate with decreased violence.
3. Decisions about school security, and assessing and addressing risks of school violence arising from mental illness, are the responsibility of state and local governments.
A quote from an article by David Harsanyi appeared in Human Events (a powerful conservative voice) in its weekly publication dated January 21, "Harsanyi: On Guns, An Abuse Of Power," brings to the fore why using fear and a tragedy to further ideological goals is not a logical or constitutional path to embark on.
"Now, when the Supreme Court solidified the right to an abortion via Roe v. Wade (now a constitutional right, unlike owning a gun in Chicago) and solidified the individual mandate found in Obamacare (now a constitutional right, unlike, say, the right of Catholics to be free of economic coercion), they became immovable legal precedents that may never be toyed with -- ever. Well, even if you believe in banning "assault" weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, doesn't the Bill of Rights deserve at least that much deference?"
In summary, the real problems are being systematically ignored by politicians and suppressed from public view. Instead, legal gun ownership is under attack because it is politically easier to go after things (firearms) rather than the people who misuse them, particularly when the abusers come largely from your core constituency. It is easier to burden citizens who normally obey laws than those who habitually break them.
There are no easy solutions to the real problems, and politicians always take the easy way out. When laws don't work as intended, it is easier to make them stronger and more restrictive than to start afresh. We must always ask if it is ever worth sacrificing freedom for the vain hope of temporary safety (q.v., "stop and frisk"). Our freedoms were won at great price, and once gone, they are difficult to regain.
Part 1 posted at Illinois Review on Monday, January 28