Heartland's noontime Author Series on Thursday, September 5th featured David B. Kopel and his book, "The Truth About Gun Control." It was a timely topic given President Obama's two mandates issued on August 29 to impose new regulatory restrictions on gun purchases and imports after the crippling blow he suffered on April 17 when the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to expand federal gun controls.
David Kopel, an associate policy analyst and research director at the Cato Institute, also serve as an adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Stum Collge of Law. Kopel is the author of a number of books, among them No More Wacos: What's Wrong with Federal Law Enforcement, and How to Fix It, Antitrust After Microsoft, and The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies.
About the book, The Truth About Gun Control is a 44-page, pocket sized inexpensive book published by Encounter Books which can easily be read in one sitting, The following is noted on its back cover:
Who is sovereign in the United States? Is it the people themselves, or is it an elite determined to rule citizens who are seen as incapable of making choices about their own lives? This is the central question in the American gun-control debate.
In the Broadside, David Kopel explains why the right to keep and bear arms has always been central to the American identity -- and why Americans have always resisted gun control.
Gun control is not an issue of left vs right or urban vs. rural. The right to bear arms is crucial to prevent large-scale tyranny by criminal governments and small-scale tyranny by ordinary criminals -- to to protect our Constitution.
Jim Lakely, Director of Communications at Heartland, introduced David Kopel. Prior to his introductory remarks, Lakely spoke about the very important happening that will take place at a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday, September 17, with the release of the first volume of Climate Change Reconsidered II.
Check Thorner's articles at Illinois Review on Friday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 8 for a full description of what the report is all about and how you can participate in the report's release
Remarks by David Kopel:
- How nice it is to be in Chicago again. It is like speaking in Warsaw, Poland, shortly after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in light of the 7th Court of Appeals Court where Judge Posner ruled against the no-carry statute in Illinois in a display of intellectual honesty (elected officials and security guards were exempted from Illinois's no-carry law). http://www.isba.org/ibj/2013/03/lawpulse/despite7carulingillinoisjudgesnotdi
- Judge Posner's decision represented a huge civil rights victory in Chicago, where its laws, practices, and regulations are even more oppressive than those found in New York City. NYC has gun stores and licensed firing ranges, while Chicago has neither, which has resulted in more and more gun owners in Chicago staying in the closet. The ignorant media continues to play along with the anti-gun sentiment found in Chicago.
- Kopel believes that concealed carry in Illinois will re-normalize gun ownership making the closet no longer necessary for gun owners. Kopel also predicts that by April of 2014 there will be individuals walking on Michigan Avenue carrying concealed guns. This practice will gradually change the existing sentiment against gun ownership in Chicago when perceived that adults who pass fingerprint tests and safety training can carry a gun safely and responsibly without going on shooting sprees. Kopel compared the gun issue to what happened in the South when desegregation was passed. White people had been conditioned to be afraid of black people, but after they found that going to movies, or that children attending schools with blacks didn't threaten their well-being, fear was overcome. This doesn't mean that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will ever turn into a pro-gun guy!
- The American Revolution was sparked over a gun control issue. To Americans in the 13 colonies, the right and duty of self-defense applied to a householder protecting her children and to militiamen protecting their communities from foreign enemies or from tyranny. In the fall of 1774 King George began sending out Redcoats to seize arms. Soon after the 13 colonies agreed that the time had come, recognizing as they did that an armed people could not be governed without their consent, and that arms were necessary to defend against tyranny.
- The right to bear arms was not controversial in early America until 1850 when the "crime against Kansas" happened, also known as "Bleeding Kansas," which many view as a precursor of the Civil War. Anger erupted when the 2nd Amendment rights of the "free soilers" settlers in Kanasa was violated when their guns were taken away. http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/civilwar/section2.rhtml
- The 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War. One of its key purposes was to guarantee that freedmen (formerly slaves) could exercise their Second Amendment right to own guns for self-defense, especially against Klansmen. It also had as its goal the eradication of civil rights suppression. The 14th Amendment mandated that all states had to recognize the civil right of citizens to bear arms. http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv
- Although the NRA was founded in 1871, it wasn't until 1920 when the gun debate started to heat up with added crime brought on by prohibition. The NRA defeated two handgun-prohibition campaigns. The 2nd campaign was orchestrated by Franklin Roosevelt's first attorney general, Homer Cummings, who hoped his bill would set the stage for a handgun ban. It led instead to the National Firearms Act of 1934. While Congress was unwilling to impose special restrictions on handguns, the NFA did impose stringent controls on machine guns and short-barreled shotguns. Thus the issue of "assault weapons" came in being which remains front and center in 2013, a hoax invented by the gun-prohibition lobbies and spread by willfully ignorant media.
- Shortly before Pearl Harbor in 1941 The Property Requisition Act was passed reconfirming the 2nd Amendment. This Act made clear that it would not impair or infringe in any manner the right of any individual to keep and bear arms, including seizing guns from the American people. It was WW II and the atrocities of the Nazi regime and other totalitarian governments that brought home the message to the American people of how intended victims were always first disarmed before genocide or mass murder took place. http://www.constitution.org/211/2ndschol/36halc.pdf
- David Kopel is firmly against the ban of so-called assault weapons. Ordinary guns like the Colt AR-15 rifle and the Ruger Mini-14 rifle -- the best selling riffles over the last 5 - 8 years -- look like machine guns but they do not function like machine guns. They fire only one round each time the trigger is pressed, just like any other ordinary gun. Likewise is the attempt to limit the size of magazines. The standard capacity for many handguns is from 16 - 20 rounds.
- Kopel's sentiments about Mayor Bloomberg were ones of disgust, especially Bloomberg's remark when he says that the only reason to own an AR-15, or to use a magazine with more than ten rounds, is because of a desire to mass murder people. What about target practice and for self defense, Mayor Bloomberg? Attacking people on the other side as mass murderers is evil and unproductive in any gun debate.
In conclusion David Kopel asked these questions as they pertain to this nation today.
1. Is America to be ruled from the top down where the government makes decisions for those who can't or don't wish to do for themselves?, or,
2. Will the American model remain where the people are the sovereign body and government is created to serve the people?
Never to be forgotten, or lost through indifference to a stealth political agenda, is that the fundamental human right to keep and bear arms is an inherent right of all Americans. From the very first days of colonial settlement America rejected British and European precedent, fashioning laws that recognized the right of individuals to use force for protection, whether to protect themselves from large-scale criminals such as tyrants, or from lone criminals invading a home or attacking a school. This is consistent with the American principle of retaining extensive power in the hands of the people.
The next Heartland Author Series will feature Rupert Darwell, discussing his book, "Age of Global Warming," on Thursday, September 26, from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. For more information or to register call 312/377-4000 or visit heartland.org.