The “I’m a gun owner, but” narrative is getting quite a workout from anti-gun activists these days. On Monday I highlighted one of the silliest examples I’ve run across in almost two decades of reporting on 2A issues, but little did I realize that less than 24 hours later I’d run across another piece of commentary that’s equally as absurd.
Rich Logis describes himself as a “remorseful ex-Trump/ex-DeSantis” voter who still has a Gadsden flag hanging in his office and still carries a gun with him everywhere he goes “except where it’s prohibited by law or a business’s policy.” Logis isn’t busting out the “I’m a gun owner, but” argument to oppose permitless carry, however (though he does object to the idea). No, his “but” is much bigger than that.
For years, I voted for Republicans, including twice for former president Donald Trump, and once for Gov. Ron DeSantis (in 2018).And I’m here to tell you that the Second Amendment needs to be repealed and replaced, because it has nearly zero modern-day applicability.
The Second Amendment was a compromise of James Madison’s. Likely its most important goal was to prevent the federal government from starting a professional army. This was relevant to our Southern states, where slave populations were disproportionately higher than other states’. Militias controlled states’ security, especially because of concerns over slave revolts. There was a fear amongst some of the Founders that the Haitian Revolution — the first-known successful uprising in the Americas of slaves against their masters — would inspire U.S. slaves to revolt. The Second Amendment assuaged these worries. Side note: Blacks were overwhelmingly prohibited from keeping and bearing arms.
I agreed with the court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, but Bruen’s history-based tests are resulting in unimaginable regressions of common-sense public safety laws, as well as rollbacks of statutes protecting victims of domestic violence.
“I agree with the decision but I don’t like the results” doesn’t make any sense to me, but I guess that applies to the entirety of Logis’s column. At one point he even appears to concede that repealing the Second Amendment is a non-starter, but says the idea should still be mainstreamed in order to help “meaningful gun safety” legislation get enacted into law. And what would that consist of?
- Age 21 to own any gun, with some exceptions for law enforcement, military service and bequeathing; inheritance exemptions will only cover certain types of low-powered guns;
- National firearm registry, to assist law enforcement in criminal investigations; included here are inheritors;
- Codify mandatory record-keeping and reporting of prohibited persons, and the mentally ill, by all states, to federal databases;
- Background checks for all firearm sales performed by federally licensed dealers;
- Background checks on all ammunition;
- Annual Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) background checks for all firearm owners (including inheritors), with reasonably allowed grace periods for failure to comply; dealers could conduct these checks;
- Reclassification of any firearm that holds 10 or more rounds in a magazine; any firearm holding 10 or more will be levied an excise tax (a tax at the time of manufacture, not time of sale); funds collected from excise taxes to be used for a variety of initiatives, such as gun violence studies and research and federally administered liability insurance;
- Enshrinement of compulsory concealed carry permitting (but not “good cause”); prohibition of open carry;
- A federal buyback program, offering to buy firearms for the same price as purchased;
- Red flag laws ― irrefutable lifesavers — in all states.
Okay, I think I finally understand why Logis is calling for the Second Amendment’s eradication. There’s no way that the vast majority of his proposals would hold up in court otherwise. But even those proposals that aren’t blatantly unconstitutional, like a federal “buyback” program, would be utterly useless at reducing violent crime, gun-involved suicides, or accidental deaths.
What’s more, one of Logis’s suggestions once again cuts against his call for repealing the Second Amendment. If he believes that “shall issue” concealed carry should be enshrined into law (while prohibiting open carry), isn’t that an indication that he still believes owning and carrying a gun for self-defense is a right? Or does he maintain that its a privilege to be doled out by the State while still being “enshrined” into law?
I don’t expect to be swayed by these “I’m a gun owner, but” arguments, and I hope for Logis’s sake that he doesn’t have high expectations either. Honestly, he sounds more than anything like a guy desperately trying to fit in with his new tribe on the Left even though he’s not entirely convinced of its anti-gun ideology. Maybe that’s not the case, but Logis hasn’t given any of his readers a compelling reason to believe otherwise… or to back his impotent and inconsistent call to repeal the Second Amendment.