A Second Amendment, If You Can Keep It
In a dark day for Liberty, Senator Feinstein today introduced to the Senate The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. The Senator’s summary may be found here. The bill explicitly bans 157 specific firearms, apparently on the basis that they are simply too scary looking. Furthermore, the bill bans all magazines with a capacity in excess of ten rounds, apparently on the specious contention that the additional seconds required to swap out two ten round magazines, as opposed to continuing to fire from a single thirty round magazine, might save a life or two. (Never mind the Sandy Hook scenario, where all the victims are defenseless, and the police are nowhere in the vicinity.) The bill grandfathers possession of existing specimens of the banned varieties, but prohibits transfer or sale of these guns without a federal background check, even between family members. Sale or transfer of existing high-capacity magazines is simply outlawed. No exceptions are made for small caliber cartridges like the venerable .22 long rifle.
I could go on at length about the foolishness of Feinstein’s bill, but that’s evident ipso facto, and of little real importance. In the interest of maintaining my Fifth Amendment rights, let’s just say, hypothetically of course, that I might or might not own one or more of the scary guns on the ban list, or one or more high capacity magazines. The important question becomes, were such a travesty of a bill to become law, and were I affected, how would I react? The answer is simple:
I. Will. Not. Comply.
In effect, my government will turn me, and millions of otherwise law abiding gun owners like me, into criminals. And it’s not just ordinary citizens who will be criminalized. The Wall Street Journal today reported (in Some Sheriffs Push Back on Gun Laws) that dozens of local law enforcement officials will not enforce a law they consider to be unconstitutional.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently declared, “Nobody needs ten bullets to kill a deer!”
Cuomo is right about one thing: I’ve never needed more than one bullet to kill a deer. But that’s not what the Second Amendment is about. I might need more than ten bullets to deal with one or more bad guys entering my home with evil intent. Or of more import to a despicable tyrant like Cuomo, as Judge Napolitano so trenchantly observes, “The Second Amendment was not written in order to protect your right to shoot deer. It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants if they take over the government.”
Actually, gentle reader, the real horror of politicians like Feinstein, Cuomo and Obama is that for some strange reason they feel it is within their purview to define your needs for you. And even more disturbing is that a significant percentage of your fellow citizens seem inclined to let them do it. So much for liberty.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Maryland delegate Dr. James McHenry recorded that a woman spectator asked Benjamin Franklin,
“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
To which Franklin archly replied,
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Well, gentle reader, do you suppose you can keep it without the Second Amendment? Good luck with that.