The country appears to be on two separate tracks when it comes to the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. On the one hand, 27 states have gone with permitless carry, with the possibility of 3 more – North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana – rounding it out to 30 states. On the other hand, residents of states like California, New York, Washington, and Oregon are being subjected to increasingly oppressive laws that the Founding generation would never have put up with.
For those readers in freer states, here’s a roundup of the humiliation that gun owners in the offending states are being subjected to:
- Increased burdens to exercise the right to bear arms in the form of onerous training (16+ hours) and burdensome fees in the hundreds of dollars.
- Delaying tactics to draw out and ultimately discourage applicants from bothering to apply for carry permits.
- Background checks on the purchase of ammunition, adding time and monetary costs to discourage the exercise of our Second Amendment rights, exemplified by the disastrous New York law.
- Newfangled licensing requirements for any semi-auto firearm, as is the case in New York.
- A patchwork of sensitive places restrictions to ensnare decent people in a legal web, like in California and New York.
- The elimination of state preemption to allow local governments to entrap people by creating confusing, inconsistent, contradictory laws in different local jurisdictions, like in Colorado and Virginia.
- New “Assault Weapon” bans after the Supreme Court already granted, vacated, and remanded (GVR’d) two “assault weapon” cases alongside Bruen in Maryland (Bianchi v. Frosch) and California (Miller v. Bonta).
These humiliations continue in the face of record gun sales and expanding gun ownership. It appears that the current level of gun ownership is not enough to tell lawmakers and judges around the country to stop messing with our rights. The remedy for that is further expanding gun ownership among the populace.
Gun owners have limited resources with several competing demands: pursuing the shooting sports, acquiring guns, optics, and accessories, buying into legal defense funds, continuing training, contributing money to various Second Amendment groups, lobbying lawmakers, etc.
Governments, on the other hand, have bottomless pockets to grind us down in the courts by repeatedly passing unconstitutional laws and forcing us to waste time and money on winning back our rights at the hands of an unpredictable, often biased, judiciary.
This brings me to an important suggestion for this holiday season. We have all spent good money on Black Friday shopping, some of us well into the 4- and 5-digit figures on getting the coolest new guns and gear. Some of us will be buying those for family and possibly close friends too.
I have friends who bought more guns to add to their collections. That’s great for personal enjoyment, defense, and a whole host of other reasons. But your 10th or umpteenth gun simply can’t vote. Your enjoyment of that new gun is contingent upon unconstitutional laws not being passed in the first place, so you don’t have to worry about the next step of challenging those laws in the courts.
What if you set aside a small portion of that money to buy a training class as a gift for someone who is currently not a gun owner, is gun curious but hasn’t taken the first step? That will be a solid, long-term investment in opening someone’s eyes to our world and bringing them on board.
I have a fundamental belief that the bulk of gun control is rooted in ignorance and fear. Destroying that among as many people as possible is the first step in taking back what’s been stolen from us through infringements here and there over the course of a century.
There are still two days left until Christmas, so I hope you consider buying training for someone as a present. There are various training options out there; classes offered by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) are the first ones that come to mind. Project Appleseed is another excellent training option, they are currently offering tickets you can buy for a potential student.) You can also look into trainers in your area who you can buy gift cards or certificates from.
Please consider gifting a class to someone. It’s a present that will bring joy to the recipient and also to you as a Second Amendment gift giver.