AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Without a doubt, the Democrats running for president aren’t fans of the Second Amendment. Saying such isn’t exactly breaking new ground, either. We all know that there’s not a pro-gun bone in any of their bodies.
However, the proposals that are starting to come out of that side are getting more insane by the moment. First, we have Rep. Eric “Nuke ’em All” Swalwell (D-CA) and his ban and buyback proposal, which is bad enough, but then we had Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) threaten to create gun control with a stroke of the presidential pen.
Now, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) wants to double down on the vile.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) sums up his ambitious new gun control plan in one sentence: “If you need a license to drive a car, you should need a license to own a gun.”
On Monday, Booker unveiled his proposal to tackle America’s gun problem as part of his bid for the presidency, detailing a plan that sets a high bar for the rest of the Democratic field.
But Booker’s plan goes further by requiring that gun owners not just pass a background check but obtain a license to be able to purchase and own a firearm. This is a far more robust gun control proposal than any other presidential candidate has proposed. The idea has solid research behind it, and real-world experience in nine states that currently require a license or permit for at least handguns, including Booker’s home state of New Jersey.
Booker’s proposal would require people to obtain a license to purchase and own a gun. To obtain a license, people would go to designated outposts — similar to the passport system — to get a federal license, administered by the FBI. Applicants would need to pay a fee; submit paperwork, a photo, and fingerprints; sit for an interview; pass a comprehensive background check; and go through gun safety training to get a gun. The license would be valid for five years, although it could be rescinded if someone breaks the law or otherwise proves to be a danger.
That’s similar to what states that currently mandate licenses for guns already do. Booker’s home state of New Jersey, for instance, requires that people obtain a permit from local or state police to buy a gun. The process entails extensive vetting in which applicants submit personal details (including about their past), go through a typical background check, and waive confidentiality for psychiatric and mental health records.
In other words, the right to keep and bear arms will no longer apply to Americans.
Oh, the right will still exist. That’s the thing about natural rights; you have them whether they’re acknowledged, protected, or anything of the sort. We’ll always have the right to keep and bear arms. We just won’t be able to exercise it.
You see, when you have to go to the government and ask permission to buy a gun, that’s not a right. That’s a privilege. Booker’s efforts to compare cars to guns is indicative of his belief that you do not have a right to keep and bear arms. After all, driving has been determined by the courts to be a privilege, not a right.
Well, that’s not entirely true, and that’s where Booker’s comparison breaks down completely.
I can legally teach my seven-year-old daughter to drive. I can legally do it right now, with no permits or permission required. I just can’t do it on public roads. If I were to go to a farm or some other patch of land owned by either myself or someone who permits me to use the land, I could have her drive (theoretically) until the cows come home. I don’t need the government’s permission for that.
What Booker is proposing, however, is a licensing scheme that makes no differentiation between what happens on my property and what happens off of it. Booker wants me to apply to the federal government, hat in hand, and ask, “If it pleases the Crown, my lord, might I possess the means of self-defense?”
I’m sorry, but that’s not how rights work. You’d think a United States senator would know that, but you’d be wrong. Remarkably few seem to understand that.
While Vox may lament the idea that 2020 candidates aren’t more focused on guns in this campaign, let’s also be very clear here. They’re making it very obvious that, should they win next November, our Second Amendment rights are on the chopping block.