February 18, 2011
The near constant push by the left to pass more and more restrictive gun laws highlights their ignorance of human nature and common sense. Those that would have us believe the act of passing legislation upon the law abiding citizen will do anything to curb criminal behavior is either an idiot or has an agenda of control over the liberties of the population.
To remind those who may have forgotten, the Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Because it has been settled that the Second Amendment is a right guaranteed to the individual and is not a collective right, I will not address that issue here. I wish to address the latter portion of the amendment which deals with the keeping and bearing of arms by the citizenry.
The term “shall not be infringed” has been a point of contention for at least the last century and most especially in the last 70 years. No one would argue that we do not want toddlers and unsupervised adolescents handling firearms. We recognize that someone with a mental illness or diminished mental capacity should not be allowed to have weapons. So there is a certain amount of “infringement” that common sense would show prudent to enact.
As with any general statement there are always exceptions for those things that are aberrant to the whole. However, laws that affect the whole of the population, and not directed solely to the defined aberrant group, which restrict, increase cost (financial burden), or enact burdensome procedural processes, are by definition infringements.
An infringement is defined as anything that encroaches or trespasses on a right or privilege. And encroachment is defined as being a gradual or stealthy taking of the rights of another. Since the introduction of federal firearms laws, in the early 20th century, the number of firearms laws have swelled to over 20,000 with millions of dollars spent each year on regulating and enforcing what is arguably even constitutional.
The question then becomes at what point does the continual increase in laws on guns become an infringement?
Thomas Jefferson stated: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
Jefferson starts this statement with “laws that forbid the carrying of arms.” He did not say laws that forbid owning arms or keeping arms; he stated emphatically the “carrying of arms.” Having arms on the person, not stored in some other location or kept locked up where they cannot be accessed when they are needed.
By definition a criminal does not obey the law; that is what makes him a criminal. Every criminal behavior, deemed necessary by our society, has already been codified and has years of settled case law to support its existence. So when I speak of gun laws I am not talking about the behavior of the criminal I am talking about the tool the criminal uses.
Example, a man gets behind the wheel of a car and drives at a high rate of speed into a crowd of people killing 10 of them and speeds off down the road. A second man takes a rifle into a bell tower and starts shooting down at the crowd below and kills 10 of them and then runs away. The crime of homicide is the same in both instances – the end result is identical – the only difference is the tool used.
When someone uses a car, or an axe, or a screwdriver, or a machete, or any other tool, we do not call for passing laws to restrict ownership of those items to only military or law enforcement. We don’t require everyone that buys an axe or a knife to have a thorough background check, force them to pay additional tax, and sign multiple forms just to purchase one. But we do for firearms – and who does that effect?
Do you really think the bank robber will go down to his local gun shop and try to buy a gun and because his application was denied he will now mend his ways and stop robbing banks? Obviously this is a ludicrous example; the majority of real criminals do not buy their guns legally and they do not go through the process that only law abiding citizens are putting up with.
So if criminals are not purchasing firearms through the normal channels then the only rational explanation as to why the federal government continues to enforce these laws is because they are being enforced on exactly who they want them enforced upon – US.
Both the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) statistics have shown that the majority of violent crimes are committed without firearms, and the vast majority of gun crimes are committed with guns that were illegally obtained, bypassing gun laws. So the net effect of gun control laws is to affect the law abiding citizen and has virtually no effect on the criminal element of our society.
And even with the strict gun purchasing laws – according to the Senate Congressional Record dated April 6, 2000 (4864) – about 500,000 felons and other “unqualified” people were prevented from purchasing firearms and were found to be in violation of federal statutes. Of those 500,000 people there were only 200 referred for prosecution and less than half brought to trial.
Additionally, a senate report entitled “Right to Keep and Bear Arms” (located on the GAO website) stated: “Based upon these hearings, it is apparent that enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible. Although Congress adopted the Gun Control Act with the primary object of limiting access of felons and high-risk groups to firearms, the over breadth of the law has led to neglect of precisely this area of enforcement… BATF has primarily devoted its firearms enforcement efforts to the apprehension, upon technical malum prohibitum charges, of individuals who lack all criminal intent and knowledge…In these and similar areas, the Bureau has violated not only the dictates of common sense, but of 5 U.S.C. Sec 552, which was intended to prevent "secret lawmaking" by administrative bodies… the Bureau has disregarded rights guaranteed by the constitution and laws of the United States. It has trampled upon the second amendment by chilling exercise of the right to keep and bear arms by law-abiding citizens. It has offended the fourth amendment by unreasonably searching and seizing private property. It has ignored the Fifth Amendment by taking private property without just compensation and by entrapping honest citizens without regard for their right to due process of law.”
This is our own government telling us they are breaching the trust of the American people and enforcing laws that are “constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible” and yet they continue to force more and more laws and further infringe the rights of citizens while all the while ignoring the vast majority of criminals identified.
In this light it is impossible to believe the federal government cares one whit about the constitution or this would have stopped and the federal firearms laws would have been repealed. Because they have informed the American people that this is taking place and have chosen not to act against those laws, but instead have increased gun law restrictions, we must now assume that these laws are indeed enforced upon the very segment of society they want them enforced upon.
Jefferson went on to state that firearms laws “disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” Our modern legislature, as we have read above, has come to the same conclusion yet every year we hear more and more talk of increased gun laws.
The end result of EVERY gun law is to disarm or reduce the capability of the law abiding citizen and grant an increased advantage to the lawless.
As a prior article outlined, the courts have made it clear that the police have no obligation to provide security to any individual in the general public. They cannot be held accountable for failure to protect you and in nearly every instance are held guiltless in the accidental homicide of a civilian while working in the capacity of a police officer.
You do not have the right to protection by the state and at the same time your right to self-defense is being continually eroded while the criminal element grows stronger.
Based on the congressional record above and the failure to act we must assume this is by design.
I ask myself – why would a government that is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution openly admit to violating it and then refuse to rectify the violation?
I am left with only one conclusion – it is because this is exactly what they intended to do. They know they are in violation – they know the people know they are in violation – and they are afraid that someday the people may say enough is enough. But if the people are disarmed to the extent of only being a minor threat and at the same time increase the general public’s reliance on the central government – the people can be controlled.
Jefferson’s insight into human nature and the operation of law is outstanding. The idea that passing laws on inanimate objects will change a person’s behavior is a false theory. Guns as with any other object are only tools of those who use them and can be used for good as well as evil. When we deny the good people in our society the same tools available to the evil in our society we set the balance in favor of evil.
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We must demand from our representatives a repeal of these evil supporting laws and a refocus on the criminal and not the tools. Demand from your state legislature’s laws that would nullify unconstitutional federal firearms laws and allow for law-enforcement within the state to arrest any federal official trying to enforce these unconstitutional laws.
It is time for ALL Americans to stand up for what is right and for our rights