By Chuck Baldwin
March 3, 2009
According to ABC News (Feb. 25, 2009), "The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.
"'As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,' Holder told reporters."
Holder also said that President Obama would seek to make the assault weapons ban permanent, close the "gun show loophole," and ban "cop-killer" bullets.
At this point, I believe it is incumbent on me to say that both Eric Holder and Barack Obama have made a career out of doing everything in their power to strip the American people of their right to keep and bear arms. Even under the rubric of the abovementioned "few gun-related changes," there is the potential for widespread assault against our Second Amendment.
For example, the so-called "assault weapons" ban is as phony as the Bush-Obama stimulus spending bills--and just as fraudulent. A semi-automatic rifle, which is incapable of automatic fire, is not an "assault weapon." By definition, an assault weapon must be capable of fully automatic fire. A civilian AR-15-style rifle--in any configuration--is functionally identical to any semi-automatic hunting rifle. In fact, many hunters commonly use AR-15-style rifles for all types of hunting, both predator and big game. The term "assault weapon" is simply a dangerous-sounding moniker that makes it easy for a compliant media to intimidate the public and public officials into passing a ban against semi-automatic rifles.
Furthermore, does anyone believe that if Obama and Holder were successful in outlawing semi-automatic rifles, pump and bolt-action rifles would not also be targeted? Get real! I well remember gun control zealots during the Clinton years railing against bolt-action rifles, calling them "sniper" rifles. And once rifles are outlawed, how long would it be before handguns and shotguns would fall victim to a similar fate? As always, the issue for these people is not what type of firearm it is; the issue is the infringement of the right of the people to keep and bear arms--any arms.
Of course, the "gun show loophole" is nothing more than the prohibition against private citizens selling and trading their own personal firearms. I would like to remind the Obamas and Holders of this country that liberty is not a "loophole."
In the beginning, the private sale and trading of firearms was almost exclusively the purpose for which gun shows were started. Today, commercial firearms dealers dominate gun shows, but it is still a convenient marketplace for citizens to buy and trade guns. This is a freedom and right that is as old as the country itself. Shoot (pun intended)! I remember when we were free to buy guns from a Sears & Roebuck catalog.
And as to banning "cop-killer" bullets, what bullet is not capable of killing? Any bullet that is not capable of killing a good guy is not capable of killing a bad guy (be it two-legged or four). This is just another approach to the same goal: the infringement of the right to keep and bear arms. Obviously, any gun without a bullet is pretty much useless.
The Democrats went down this road in 1994. Are they really willing to go down the same road again? It looks like they are.
It was largely an aggressive gun control agenda that caused the Republicans to sweep both houses of Congress in 1994 and render Bill Clinton without a majority in either chamber. It was also an aggressive gun control agenda that caused Al Gore to lose the Presidential election in 2000. Even Bill Clinton publicly acknowledged that fact.
All of that said, however, the underlying reality is that it is the individual States that must ultimately be guardians of the Second Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights, of course). States must be willing to resist any and all efforts by the central government to intrude upon their independence, sovereignty, and liberties. If this was not the case, why did the individual States not dissolve after the federal government was created by the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787? Why? Because the States were deemed to be superior entities. Superior in assignment. Superior in responsibility. Superior in nature. Superior in scope.
As James Madison said in the Federalist Papers, No. 45, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
Therefore, when the federal government begins to intrude upon the rights and liberties of the people, it is the responsibility of the States to resist. Obviously, the way the federal government tries to keep States in subjection is through bribery: by threatening to deny federal tax dollars unless States comply with their despotic machinations. And, sadly, most States have succumbed to this menacing temptation for far, far too long.
The good news is that States are finally beginning to fight back.
House Bill 254, sponsored by Representative Glen Casada (R-63), deletes the requirement to give a thumbprint as part of the background check process when purchasing a firearm.
House Bill 716, sponsored by Representative Frank Niceley (R-17), allows permit holders to possess a handgun while within the boundaries of any state park. Currently, it is unlawful to do so. This bill would preserve the self-defense and Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Tennesseans. HB 761 also passed the House Judiciary Sub-Committee on Criminal Practice and Procedure and will move to full committee next week.
House Bill 959, sponsored by State Representative Eddie Bass (D-65), would ensure the privacy of handgun permit holders by making records of permit applications and renewals confidential. Any public disclosure of this information would be a Class A misdemeanor.
House Bill 961, sponsored by State Representative Mike Bell (R-26), authorizes a person with a handgun carry permit to possess a firearm in a refuge, public hunting area, wildlife management area, or on national forest land.
Another pro-gun bill that passed out of the House Judiciary Sub-Committee on Criminal Practice and Procedure is House Bill 962, Restaurant Carry legislation. HB 962, sponsored by Representative Curry Todd (R-95), allows a person with a handgun carry permit to carry in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages as long as that person is not consuming alcoholic beverages and the restaurant is not an age-restricted venue. HB 962 is the result of three House Study Committee meetings held over the past few months.
While it is already illegal for someone to carry a firearm while consuming alcohol, this bill was drafted by the study committee to include an amendment in an attempt to distinguish between a bar and a restaurant in Tennessee, as no definition currently exists in Tennessee code. The age-restricted language is similar to the current Tennessee smoking prohibition in restaurants.
This last bill, House Bill 960, was held over in the House Judiciary’s Sub-Committee on Criminal Practice, but should come up for another vote next week when the sub-committee meets again. Sponsored by State Representative Harry Tindell (D-13), HB 960, which is similar to HB 961, would expand the boundary for permit holders to carry a firearm into local parks in addition to state and federal parks. more
Tennessee Bill Filed to Ban Microstamping of Guns
Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, has filed legislation that would ban the sale of “microstamped” firearms and ammunition, calling them an infringement on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
California has passed a law mandating microstamping of firearms, “and I predict that Tennessee will pass a law banning it,” Sen. Jackson said..
Called the “Second Amendment Protection Act,” the bill would outlaw sale of firearms and ammunition that are laser-engraved, or microstamped, to identify the buyer of the firearm or ammunition after it has been shot.“This process does little to track criminals, but it does a lot to eclipse our Second Amendment right to bear arms,” Sen. Jackson said.”It’s an unproven technology,” he says. “It’s an expensive technology. Tests have shown it’s very unreliable.
It creates an opportunity even to frame an innocent citizen by scattering ballistically imprinted ammunition around a crime scene.What’s more, the senator says, “That technology, assuming that it worked, would be most effective if legislation were passed that required all guns be registered.” And now we’re getting to the real motivation for microstamping–that’s right, the government wants to seize your guns!
Microstamping would lead to the establishment of a registry or database of gun-owners who are guilty of nothing more than owning a gun, the senator noted. “A firearm registry is a preamble to gun confiscation. And the law-abiding American gun owner would have to pay the added costs it would incur.”
He said the legislation “points out that microstamping would do little to fight or solve crime” because:
Most guns used to commit crimes are purchased illegally, many of them stolen, so a microstamp ID would be meaningless.
Microstamping can easily be removed from a firearm with simple tools.
Most guns do not eject shell casings, which is where the microstamp mark is found.
Microstamping wastes money that could be used on proven crime-fighting methods that give results.
“Just last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that each citizen has a constitutional right to bear arms,” Sen. Jackson said. “But we have to be diligent if we are to protect that right.
“Microstamping is meaningless technology that threatens the Second Amendment.”
Sen. Jackson filed the legislation Feb. 12 as Senate Bill No. 1908. If passed, it would amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.