Guns and Ammo: Ban, Tax, and Confiscate!

Guns and Ammo: Ban, Tax, and Confiscate!

Using Crisis for Sleight of Hand and Misdirection

While we have been distracted by our focus  on COVID-19, and the efforts to mitigate the contagion, our U. S. House of Representatives (and now the U. S. Senate) is attempting a feat of prestidigitation through misdirection. A bill was introduced that would effectively nullify the Second Amendment, and possibly eliminate private ownership of firearms in a generation: H. R. 5717, the text of which is available here.

In an era of nanny-state legislative and executive order overreach, the House of Representatives has kicked the nanny, “We’re the government, and we’re here to help” boundaries beyond all sense of reason. To misquote Admiral Nimitz, “Uncommon nonsense was a common virtue,” applies abundantly to the proponents of this bill!

UPDATE (3/24/2020): Not to be outdone by the House, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced S. 3254. Essentially, this bill is a clone of the House version.

The End Run: License It, Ban It, and Tax It!

There have been anecdotal suggestions to repeal the Second Amendment for decades. Most anti-gunners recognize trying to do so would likely fail, or at least take so long as to be unacceptable. The alternative? License it, ration it, ban it, and tax it into non-existence.

This bill includes every infringement on the Second Amendment a rabid anti-gunner could possible conceive, and salivate over: Mandatory owner training and federal licensing, universal background checks, national gun registration, semi-automatic firearm and magazine bans, increases in firearm (30%) and ammo (50%) taxes, red flag laws, repeal of firearm manufacturer protection when someone uses a firearm illegally, expansion of gun-free zones, grants to incentivize states to enact similar legislation, and the inevitable tax-payer funded “research” into gun violence and its prevention .

Is it just me, or does this one have a “Bloomberg smell” about it? This flurry of anti-gun activism makes me wonder if it is an effort to over-load the senses of reasonable people, and browbeat them into “compromising” to pass at least some of it.

The Irony of H. R. 5717

A fundamental and tacit presupposition behind anti-gun proposals is the position that law enforcement is always available to protect citizens from attack. Therefore, it is unnecessary to have potentially dangerous tools available to protect yourself. The problem with that tacit understanding is that the U. S. Supreme Court, as well as developing case law, has ruled the police have no duty to protect citizens not in their custody. To add to the irony, police departments in some metro areas are now announcing they will no longer respond to “minor” offenses as they attempt to integrate communicable disease mitigation practices while performing their role as law enforcement.

A second flaw in the “police are always available” presupposition is response time. Attacks happen in real time; they happen NOW! Police responses are after-the-fact. That is, at the moment an attack begins, the probability of the police being there, at that moment, is remote. We grant that police responses in metropolitan areas are usually short, but they are still finite, and typically range in being minutes away. Response times can be significantly longer in rural areas.

Protest the Enactment of this Proposed Bill

One of the few mechanisms we have to protest this effort at government overreach, and hopefully defeat it, is to contact our representatives. U. S. House members can be contacted through https://house.gov. U. S. Senators can be contacted through https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact. Register your protest!

UPDATE (3/24/2020): The Firearms Policy Coalition created a website where you can send your opposition to these bills to your House and Senate representatives. FPC’s site is here.

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