I read a lot of opinions on a day to day basis when it comes to the Second Amendment. In the case of letters to the editor, most of them are rehashes of what someone else says. Rarely do they contain much in the way of new ideas, and that’s understandable. Most people who write the letters are engaged politically, but they don’t spend their time considering new approaches to problems. Nothing wrong with that.
However, sometimes someone has an idea that’s so ridiculous that it has to be addressed. For example, the ideas contained in a letter titled, “Letter: Precedent exists to take guns as a national emergency.”
In mid-September, after another horrible mass shooting, Beto O’Rourke announced that “we are coming for your AK-47s and AR-15s.” I would add to his list any semi-automatic weapon of any kind and any magazine that holds more than six cartridges.
It is possible that the next Democratic president could declare a state of emergency stating that all semi-automatic weapons constitute a danger to society. Their owners would be required to give them up for fair compensation. New Zealand bought back these guns, and the process proceeded with little difficulty.
Here, of course, there would be violence, which simply underscores the need to get these weapons off the streets. I have owned guns and shot guns since I was a boy, but the time for easy access to instruments of mass murder is over.
We have legal precedent. Machine guns were outlawed for sale to the general public in the 1930s. In the 1990s, we had a ban on assault weapons. Trump declared a national emergency to build his idiotic wall.
Well…that’s just a whole new ball of stupid, ain’t it?
Let’s break this down for a bit.
First, let’s address the fact that despite increases in both handgun ownership and so-called assault weapon ownership, violent crime is actually down. I’m sorry, but if that constitutes a national emergency, then may we have more and more such emergencies.
Second, the idea that the machinegun ban or the previous assault weapon ban somehow justify gun confiscation shows a profound lack of understanding of the nature of both of those laws. In fact, both allowed people to keep the guns they already owned. Further, the assault weapon ban in 1994 was more of a cosmetic feature ban as AR-15s were still being produced by the tens of thousands as people continued to buy the weapons.
Somehow, I don’t think that’s what our writer had in mind.
In other words, though, there’s absolutely no precedent for trying to confiscate guns after declaring a national emergency. After all, there has never been a gun confiscation effort in this country, which alone shows the writer doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
Further, President Trump’s effort to declare a national emergency do redirect money is also very, very different from trying to violate the civil liberties of law-abiding Americans with a stroke of the pen.
Yet this is what passes for thought among anti-gunners. They want your guns and whenever one claims that no one is coming for them, we now know for a definitive fact that they’re lying. They want our guns.
They won’t get them.