Let me start of by asking a couple of questions. Do you believe the 2nd Amendment is worth defending? Do you believe strong enough in our right to keep and bear arms that you will stand your ground in the face of so much opposition? There is a danger of being to complacent on this issue because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that you can not trust the gun control lobby. They do not want you or me to have this right that our founding fathers believed we should have.
When President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981, his press secretary James Brady was wounded as well and the gun control lobby gained their greatest advocates in him and his wife, Sarah. Through their lobbying of Congress, the Brady Bill was passed, which aimed to prevent handgun violence. It mandated background checks for handgun purchases and a five day waiting period before the purchase could be completed. That waiting period expired on November 30, 1998, as it was replaced by the background check by the National Instant Check System or NICS. Let me be clear in stating that I have no problem with background checks. As a responsible people in a responsible nation, it behooves us to do our best to make sure someone like John Hinkley does not get their hands on a gun. Had the background check system been in place in 1981, he would have not been able to legally purchase a handgun and that is as it should be. The system may not be perfect, but it gets the job done.
One issue that has to be mentioned in any discussion of gun control is the so called gun show loophole, which in reality, doesn’t even exist. Gun control advocates have complained that gun shows allow a venue for criminals to buy cheap handguns or other firearms and bypass the background check system. Nothing could be further from the truth. All transactions by licensed firearms dealers have to go through the system, no matter if it is at a gun show or not. This does not cover transactions between private individuals at gun shows, just as it does not apply to such private transactions anywhere else in the country. I say again, there is no gun show loophole. To stop such transactions at gun shows, you would have to be able to stop them all across this country and this would even include transactions between family members.
While gun control advocates shout loud and long about this nonexistent loophole, there have been studies that show a very small percentage of guns used in crimes were obtained from gun shows. A study by the Department of Justice weighed in at 2% and I believe there is one overriding factor that accounts for this small number. Have you ever been to a gun show and tried to buy a gun of any kind? I have and although I have purchased a couple, I promise you it wasn’t cheap. A gun show is one of the most expensive places to buy a gun and it is certainly not a place where you will be able to make a profit buying and reselling guns.
There are some citizens of our country that have more trust and faith in the liberal gun control advocates than I do. I believe their aim is to eventually remove all private ownership of firearms. Why would they go to such extremes to paint the picture of gun shows that they do, if their aim is not to shut them down completely? If they are really serious about stopping crimes that are perpetrated by people using guns, then stop playing around with them and throw them in jail when they are caught. Instead, they seem to think that infringing upon our rights will stop the criminals from doing what they have always done.
One prime example of that is the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, enacted in 1994. This piece of legislation put a ten year ban on the selling of semiautomatic assault type weapons to civilians. For those of you who are not gun savvy, a semiautomatic weapon is one that you can fire repeatedly by just pulling the trigger. The firing of the shot works the action and loads the next round into the chamber. This is compared to a fully automatic weapon that can be fired repeatedly by simply holding down the trigger. What the legislation actually did was to blur the lines between these two types of weapons. The criteria for a weapon to be classified as an assault weapon is listed below.
Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:
- Folding stock
- Conspicuous pistol grip
- Bayonet mount
- Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
- Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades)
Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:
- Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
- Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or silencer
- Barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold
- Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
- A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm
Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:
- Folding or telescoping stock
- Pistol grip
- Fixed capacity of more than 5 rounds
- Detachable magazine
Several weapon manufacturers simply changed cosmetic items on their weapons, renamed them, and started selling them to consumers. So you can see, despite all the claims that the ban has lowered crime, it simply isn’t true. The weapons are still on the market and have only been cosmetically changed, which does nothing to increase or decrease their effectiveness in doing what they were designed to do.
This kind of legislation is just one more reason I distrust the gun control advocates. They like to enact legislation such as the Assault Weapons Ban, that is loaded with ambiguous language that can be construed to say what they want it to say. What they should do is actually enforce the laws that are already on the books, instead of spending time and money on a bill that did no good whatsoever. Just so you know, President Obama favors making the ban permanent.
It’s a sad time in our country when guns are portrayed to be evil creations that no law abiding citizen should even want to have. Some insurance applications are even asking if you own a firearm, as if it is a bad thing to do. Gun control advocates do their best to draw a picture of everyone walking down the street, carrying a gun and loaded for bear. That idea needs to be rejected outright. Not everyone is wanting to walk down the street armed to the gills, but it is our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and it should not be infringed.
There is one thing we all need to remember. The 2nd Amendment was included in our Constitution for a reason and that was to protect us, the citizens of the United States, from tyranny of any kind. That means from our own government and from others as well. Do you not believe that has been a deterrent before? Let me leave you with a quote from a well known Japanese Admiral, Isoroku Yamamoto. When he was asked about invading the continental United States, he strongly advised against it. His reason was simple.
Upon landing in America, there would be a rifleman behind every blade of grass.
Our country was founded with certain freedoms being assured in the Constitution. One of the most precious is our freedom of speech. When our founding fathers came to these shores, they were leaving a country where they had very little rights. When the United States was being formed, they wanted to make sure the rights that were denied them in Great Britain were guaranteed in our country. Thus the 1st and 2nd Amendments were born and at great cost to some of those men who fought to establish our nation. Surely they are still worth fighting for today.