Farewell To Arms

I’m feeling a little literary today as I look at the impact of all the upcoming gun control laws.  At one point very early on in the world of gun control, there might have been a resemblance of a genuine public safety goal. While it was never the actual intent, at least they feigned the interest. Fast forward to today and it’s clear the intent is to rid our country of as many civilian owned firearms as possible, as quickly as possible.  The Second Amendment is no longer a barrier to every conceivable, irrational and nonsensical gun control scheme our gun-hating politicians can come up with.  The time to say farewell to arms is getting closer by the day. 

If you want to see how close we are to the end game, just take a look at the type of laws and ordinances being pushed around the country this year. Law makers are emboldened by support of political activist judges in the most liberal parts of the country who will rubber stamp anything that restricts law-abiding citizen’s access to firearms, ammunition and accessories. Combine this with a United States Supreme Court who hasn’t had any interest in taking Second Amendment challenges, political hacks around the country are redefining what a so-called “assault weapon” is to the point where – literally – any semiautomatic firearm, rifle or pistol, will be included. 

Of course, the latest and greatest is the attempt to make so-called “assault weapons” subject to National Firearms Act (NFA) registration. HR 1263 introduced in the US House of Representatives would include ANY semi-automatic rifle or shotgun that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine. While the most obvious targets of “assault weapon” bans, the AR or AK pattern firearms would be included, it would also include firearms such as the vintage M1 Carbine, the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, the Remington 742 hunting rifle and Ruger 10/22, a .22 caliber plinking and varmint hunting rifle. Caliber or magazine capacity wouldn’t matter, only the fact that the firearm accepts a detachable magazine. NFA registration would bring with it all the same restrictions and fees, including the $200 tax stamp PER firearm now only associated with items such as fully automatic firearms and suppressors. 

But of course, that won’t be the end of it. The follow-up law being pushed by the behind the scenes architects would “Ban the future manufacture and sale of assault weapons to reduce the easy availability of such weapons to civilians.” Patterned after the 1986 ban on new fully automatic firearms, it would put a hard cap on the number of so-called “assault weapons” available in the country. A bill for this has yet to be introduced, and likely won’t be introduced until the NFA Assault Weapons bill is passed.  After all, it’s difficult to convince the people, and those all-important swing votes in Congress, that you’re not after an all out ban when you show all your cards at once. 

If you’re thinking the US Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald rulings are going to protect your Second Amendment rights, you are sadly mistaken. Gun control states like California, Washington, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois and Vermont – along with a long list of municipalities contained therein, have been thumbing their nose at Heller & McDonald since before the ink was dry on the rulings. The reason they can is quite simply, who is going to stop them? 

The gun control lawmakers and their political activist judges know the US Supreme Court only hears arguments on about 80 cases per year, and decides about 50 more without oral arguments. This is out of the roughly 7000 requests to hear cases per year. And that 7000 represents the best of the best cases with the highest likelihood of success before the court, thus worthy of the time, money and effort needed to litigate them. Knowing this, the chances of any particular gun control law getting overturned, to say nothing of setting a national legal precedence, are slim to never. 

So where does this leave your Second Amendment rights? Without an incredibly strong and wide reaching intervention by the US Supreme Court, something they are NOT known for, your rights are going to continue to erode away to nothing. What was legal last year is going to be illegal this year. What you used to be able to freely own will need to be registered or outright banned. What is registered today will be banned tomorrow. 

Today’s article was inspired by a section of George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the book, Newspeak was the controlled language of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, meant to limit the freedom of thought, personal identity, self-expression and free will. It was under constant revision to eliminate terms, and thus any resemblance of resistance to the ruling party. 

‘The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition. We’re getting the language into its final shape — the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won’t contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.’

All you need to do is substitute ‘guns’ for ‘word’ and you can see where our laws are headed. In our real life edition of banning the civilian ownership of guns, I don’t see it taking until the year 2050 to happen. However, I can envision the 11thEdition of California Gun Laws looking something like the photo with this article. 

Unless…

Each and every person in this nation who believes in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, whether or not they own firearms, gets up off their ass and says NO MORE! Systematically eroding our rights for the enrichment of the ruling class and their concept of an ideal society is what lead our nation to be formed in the first place. Why would we want to allow that to happen again? 

Bob

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More Gun Control, Cali Style

As if last year’s Gunmageddon laws and Prop 63 weren’t enough for California, they are back at it this year proposing even more draconian gun control measures which do nothing to fight crime or increase public safety, only punish the law abiding. As evidence, I give you Senator Anthony Portantino’s SB 497 changing the limit of one handgun a month to one firearm a month.

The Senator’s rational is this will close a so-called “loophole” by including long guns in a monthly buying limit. He argues there is no reason why someone would need to buy more than one long gun each month. The direct quote: “This is not the Wild West,” he said. “California’s in the 21st century, and you shouldn’t be able to walk into a gun store and come out with an arsenal.”

Here is my very personal reason why I oppose this.

My wife is the director for our county’s Women on Target program. For those of you who don’t know about NRA’s Women on Target, it is a program dedicated to providing women with a safe, friendly and fun introduction to recreational shooting. The program here is a small one; this will be its third year with three to four events per year. It is a 100% volunteer, bootstrapped effort. With materials from the Women of the NRA and together with a training company that offers its resources, our local range providing the facility and a local restaurant providing lunch for the participants and the many volunteers – oh yes, the wonderful volunteers! Men and women from the community who provide their time, expertise and kindness to help local women of all ages learn about firearms and safety.

Previously the program was able to borrow the firearms needed to run the clinics from friends and families. Now California says the only way you can loan a firearm to anyone other than a small list of immediate family members is for the loaner and loanee to go to the local gun shop, pay $35, the state mandated fee for a party-to-party transfer, and wait ten days just like a normal firearm purchase. Getting it back to the original loaner is $35 and ten more days.

Since borrowing under these circumstances is cost prohibitive and time consuming, and having a hodgepodge of whatever the instructors and volunteers can bring isn’t effective for education, it means acquiring them. The good news in this situation is a very generous grant pending from the Northern California Friends of the NRA. However since firearms in California must be registered to an individual, not a company, trust or non-profit, the plan for the program is for firearms to be registered to my wife. That way if she is ill, traveling or otherwise unable to attend a clinic, as one of the volunteers I can still ‘borrow’ them for the event using the family loaning exception.

On the list of pending purchases are 13 firearms, eight of them handguns. Under the current one handgun a month law, even splitting registration between the two of us will take four months, eight months if they are all in her name. Under the proposed one firearm a month law, seven months split, 13 months if they all are registered to her.

This Women On Target program isn’t the only one impacted. Even long running training and educational programs that have enough firearms still need to be sure the registered owner is with the firearms during training to not run afoul of the new loaning laws. Acquiring replacements or additional firearms puts them in the same position of having to wait months to years to replace or expand inventory.

It is already illegal to buy a firearm for someone else. It is already illegal to give someone a firearm without doing a legal transfer. It is already illegal to use a firearm in the commission of a crime, to say nothing about committing the crime in the first place and the host of other crimes that come along with it. How is making legal purchases illegal, going to make anyone safer?

If California spent their time and money enforcing the laws already in place, punishing those who break those laws and keeping them incarcerated instead of letting them out early to prey on the public, instead of creating new laws targeting law abiding citizens, the crime rate would actually go down.

What California is doing is obvious and inevitable. Each incremental, “common sense” gun control law that further restricts only the activity of law abiding citizens is another step towards the eventual goal of no firearms in private hands in California.

So congratulations California! You’ve made it more difficult to teach women in our county about safety and responsible firearms usage, as well as categorizing my wife’s volunteer educational activity as amassing an “arsenal”.

Welcome to Gun Control, Cali Style.

Bob

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