I've said this many times: I'm a conservative republican, and while I love our party and its ideals, I don't believe, by any means, that it's perfect. In that regard, I've also said many times that I think there are some positions the GOP holds that are losing propositions (the GOP's position on gay marriage, for example, I think, regardless of anyone's personal feelings, is a losing position to have in the party of smaller government), and while these political "losers" are small in number, there are many, many winners.
Simply put, gun rights is one of these winners. In my opinion, the GOP has the winning position. Hands down.
Much has been said in this arena since the tragic massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, and that tragedy should never be forgotten. No one can fathom the loss and grief the families and friends of the 26 victims are feeling. It's unquestionably a sorrow few know, and this brief article is, in no way, an attempt to downplay that aspect of one of the darkest events in American history.
Sadly, however, since this tragedy occurred, people have turned to government and requested it to do something. They are turning to the government to react, and just as sad, they're requesting this reaction to be based on emotion rather than logic. Aside from all the rhetoric that has been tossed around from both sides, from "if no guns existed this wouldn't have happened" to "dictators in Germany, China, et. al. took guns away from their citizens before they killed them," I want to focus, instead, on something I noticed... something that shows that the democrats' push for further "gun control" is completely devoid of logic. It comes from President Obama's emotional campaign-style speech in Hartford, Connecticut yesterday. The full transcript can be seen here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/08/remarks-president-reducing-gun-violence-hartford-ct
In his speech, President Obama claims that if we enacted these tougher "gun control" measures, criminals wouldn't be able to (or they would have a harder time) "get their hands on a gun." He made this claim four times:
- "We have to tell Congress it's time to require a background check for anyone who wants to buy a gun so that people who are dangerous to themselves and others cannot get their hands on a gun."
- "Over the past 20 years, background checks have kept more than 2 million dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun."
- "Shouldn't we make it harder, not easier, for somebody who is convicted of domestic abuse to get his hands on a gun?"
- "Why wouldn't you want to make it harder for a dangerous person to get his or her hands on a gun?"
Aside from the obvious, glaring facts that render these claims embarrassingly false (none of these so-called background checks could have stopped Adam Lanza - he nor his mother, the purchaser of the guns, had any criminal record - from carrying out this massacre), the emotional plea that background checks would stop some bad people from "getting their hands on a gun" is so far from the truth that it would barely produce the results its intended to produce.
What President Obama is doing is greatly stretching what would happen: possibly preventing a potentially bad person from purchasing a gun at a specific time and place into ensuring that bad person does not get his hands on a gun at all. As you can undoubtedly see, these two things are not the same. All a background check would do, should it produce the information that shows that a potential buyer should not be purchasing a gun legally, is prohibit the buyer from purchasing the gun at that specific time and place. Surely, the bad person would be stopped there, but if he is truly determined to "get his hands on a gun," do you really think he will stop at his local gun store? Do you really think he would walk out of the store and say, "oh, okay... that's it... I guess I'm done. I can't buy this gun, so that's that?" This is the precise problem with Obama's position. A bad person, hell-bent on getting a gun, will simply turn to the black market to get that gun. He will buy it illegally, off the streets, in one illegal method or another, and guess what... he will still be able to get his hands on a gun. The universal background check will be rendered ineffective and worthless, and all it will have done was created another government control infringing on our Second Amendment rights.
Please keep this in mind: there is no law that comes without a sacrifice in freedom. The more power the government gets, the less free the people are. "Gun control" and universal background checks are no exceptions. The potential system of universal background checks the government is proposing (some states are worse: Maryland wants to fingerprint all gun purchasers, for example) is completely hollow and will do virtually nothing to prevent bad people from "getting their hands on a gun," all while establishing another government control and another government regulation that puts up a barrier to a citizen exercising his or her Second Amendment right. "Infringe" was a word carefully inserted into the Second Amendment, and it was done for a reason. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, a measure installed in the Second Amendment to protect the citizens from a potentially tyrannical government, was not worded, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be controlled, limited, and made unduly difficult by the very government this Amendment is designed to protect the people from," it was worded in the simplest text possible: SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
The government, in such a brazen, logic-less, emotion-based, feel-good rush, is pushing to trample this Amendment, and if the citizens stay quiet on this issue, they're simply paving the way for further government expansion. This is no "hysterical" rant. This is a call to get people to return to logic and common sense. I urge people to share this, talk to friends, talk to family, write their elected representatives, and be heard. If we let the government alter the citizens' rights as it sees fit, we are allowing it to remove the very safeguards we have, as a population, that protect us from that government. And for those who say, "no way... it wouldn't happen; our government would never turn on its people..." I beg of you to look at history. Perhaps you know someone who is related to a fellow American who felt the wrath of Executive Order 9066.