Yes, I am going to harangue you again about the slate of new gun regulations that have been introduced into the House of Representatives. The gun-grabbers are splitting their wish list into ten different bills, so this will not be an all-or-nothing fight. They are trying to ban private sales, online ammo purchasing, most (10+ round) magazines, and more. If we can defeat these bills now with the media circus going on still, then we can defeat them any time.
There are two things we can all do that can actually affect whether we can maintain (and improve) our civil rights, and the short-term one is to actually talk to our representatives (the long term one is to introduce new people to shooting as a sport and carry as a habit). As a general rule, they only care about getting reelected, and if they think something is unpopular enough to hurt their chances at reelection, they will not pursue it. So take five minutes, and call your rep, whether they are D or R, and whether you voted for them or not. I’ll make it really easy – if you know your rep’s name, click here to get their phone number:
Otherwise, go here, and find them by zip code:
Seriously, go do it now. Be polite, and tell them that none of these laws will stop a maniac, and all of them infringe on the rights of hundreds of millions of people who have done nothing wrong. More to the point, tell them they will lose your vote and the votes of all your friends and family if they support gun control legislation. It takes five minutes, and it will accomplish more than a dozen angry posts on the internet and an hour spent yelling at the TV.
Now that you’re off the phone, the other thing I wanted to mention is that we will be spending much of next week in Vegas at the 2013 SHOT show. There probably won’t be much there that is applicable to the blog, but it’s interesting to see what’s new and upcoming in the firearms industry. We always enjoy meeting folks who read the blog, so if you are also going to be attending and want to say hi, drop us a line and we can coordinate schedules. There will be blog posts lined up for the week, but email responses may take longer than normal.
Go for it! Don’t let your gunlaws become as bad as here in The Netherlands.
Here in Britain, back in 1988
The British NRA and most other shooters organizations couldn’t wait to throw owners of centre fire semi auto rifles under the bus.
Even if the legislation won’t really affect you this time, it adds speed and momentum to the legislation which certainly will affect you.
Registration leads to confiscation (I lost my pistols last time around in Britain)
However, historical evidence from around the world indicates that registration usually also leads to massive non compliance and civil disobedience: http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have-always-bred-defian
Let’s hope that it doesn’t get that far in the US.
Just to make that second point clearer
Law abiding people follow laws,
what use is a law, when the historical evidence shows that the only people who will follow it, are the ones who were not a risk to anyone.
All those who pose a risk, will join the second (historically much larger) group, of those who evade the law that was meant to restrict them.
I’m not an American, so I don’t have a stake in this issue, but I would like to make a comment about it. Ian said “be polite”. I would also add “be clear” and “be succinct”. It’s hard to emphasize these points too much. Too many American gun advocates go into full-on rage and froth mode whenever this subject comes up. When you start doing that, everyone else just tunes out. A long incomprehensible emotional rant just makes you look like exactly the sort of person that people are afraid will go on a shooting rampage.
Ian also said: “and … infringe on the rights of hundreds of millions of people who have done nothing wrong”. You might also want to take the time to seriously think about civil liberties in a broader sense. Over the last 10 years or so, the rights of a lot of people have been rolled back in the name of “the war on terrorism”. The USA of today is not the USA that you grew up in. You’re worried about guns? Well, other people are worried about mass phone taps and collection of e-mail data. Where were you when all that was happening?
Living in a free society isn’t “safe”. “Bad” people will use their freedom to hurt you. That’s the price we have to pay if we want freedom however. That isn’t an argument that most people want to hear however, unless it’s something that affects them personally. If you want the support of people who don’t own guns, then you need to give support to them on their issues.
There is an old saying about “first they came for the Jews, but I wasn’t a Jew so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for the trade unionists but I wasn’t a trade unionist so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for me, but there was no one left to speak up for me”. Well, now that “they” have worked their way through the Muslims and the “hippies”, they’re coming for you.
I agree with your view, there is a broader context to what “civil rights” are and what is in perils in U.S. since 9/11. Now it is gun people, who will be next? Also, as you say the ‘culture’ of presentation of gun owner’s views is of importance.
MG, as usual, you make a great deal of admirable sense and you have hit the nail on the head once again, as have Keith, Ian and Denny. What a pity that so many others on both sides in this polarized society of ours simply cannot, or will not, admit even to themselves the realities of the current situation, choosing instead to stand by inflexible and ultimately impractical “principles”.
This is a copy of the letter I sent to both Senators from my state, and the Representative from my district
A duly constituted body of Government Agents, under orders from the legitimate government moved to seize weapons and explosives from a self declared Militia. The Militia insurgents took position to block the Law Enforcement Agents access to the cache of military grade weapons and other materials. Suddenly, a shot rang out. The Date? April 19, 1775. The place? Concord, Massachusetts. So started the American Revolution. Now, two-hundred thirty-eight years later, the rights those Militiamen stood and fought for are under attack, all in the interest of making us “safe”.
Make no mistake. Despite what is written in the history books about “no taxation without representation”, to the average colonist, it was not really an issue. Most bought little, if anything that was taxed. It took a certain income level to be one of those who purchased the items taxed, and the vast majority fell below it. The war started with gun control. Within six hours of word of the impending raid going out, it’s estimated that thirteen thousand men had assembled to resist the government. That’s without any modern electronic communications devices, remember. Thirteen thousand to stop a gun control raid.
Senator Feinstein’s latest legislation ignores the wording of the Constitution when it says “shall not be infringed”. Remember, the Supreme Court has already ruled that “The right of the people to keep and bear arms” means just that The right of the people as individuals. Remember, also, that in Miller, the Supreme Court ruled that short barreled shotguns were not covered by the second amendment because, in essence, they were not military weapons. Senator Feinstein’s proposed legislation is, in fact an attempt to subvert the rights of the people, essentially an attempt to subvert the United States. As such, it come perilously close to an Act of War on the United States.
Many conservative writers when covering the subject, and also many lawyers and judges who really should know better, speak of “Second Amendment Rights”. The right to keep and bear arms, are, in fact, not dependent upon the Second Amendment. The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, and is necessary to be able to enjoy the right to self defense. Like the other rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, they are fundamental rights. They, like the the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence are among the “self evident” rights. Are the rights to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” no longer in existence because they are not enumerated in the Constitution? All the rights enumerated still exist,even without the Bill of Rights. The US Constitution exists, not to grant rights, but to limit Government power. Strictly speaking, the term “Constitutional Rights” is a misnomer.
Note also, when the Founding Fathers spoke of self defense, they didn’t mean just defense from common criminals. They also included self defense against the Government, and in their writings they show that they felt that the public, the people had the right to any weapons the military had, so as to be in a position to resist them. To think that they were not thinking in such terms is to ignore, not only their writings, but also the history of the preceding two decades.
The whole Bill of Rights was considered superfluous by many of the Founding Fathers. It was insisted on by men who had the mindset of what, in this day and age, we would call a safety engineer. Belt and suspender types. Thank heaven for them. Writing under the name “A Pennsylvanian”, Tench Coxe, delegate from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress was one of those men insisting upon that bill of rights. He wrote “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American… [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” Notice that the “power of the sword” the right to keep and bear arms is not under the authority of the Federal OR State Governments, it resides with the people
Our natural rights, fundamental rights, god given rights, call them what you will, have been under assault almost before the ink of the signatures on the Constitution was dry. Every branch of Government, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, has attempted to limit the rights of the people, while enhancing their own power. They are, as a whole enemies of the people, and of individual liberty.
It is time to remember your Oath of Office- “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”