March 08, 2013

A Bad Check

Colorado senate republicans are planning to filibuster the gun owner control bills being heard today. That ought to make for interesting viewing. If they attempt this they'll be under a lot of pressure, as there's a storm moving this way and no one wants to get snowed in.

I found the following in the above linked article:

"What happens in Colorado, a western, politically moderate state that’s been affected by two major mass shootings at Columbine in 1999 and in Aurora last July, has the potential to re-shape the national narrative about whether the country is ready for tighter gun control laws in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. shooting."

This article from the same paper explores that angle a little more (though it makes it out to be much more equal than it has been).

"We're the pinnacle platform for America's gun discussion,' said Ciruli, who has followed politics for more than 30 years in Colorado. 'Which legislation passes here and what fails could — and, in fact, will likely — set the benchmark for what's to come."

The anti-gunowner politicians have accused the pro-gun side of busing people in, while at the same time flying in their supporters. (Also look here and here and here for a more detailed explanation of the foreign influence affecting the Colorado legislature.)

It seems, judging from this article, that the anti gunowner groups are being directed rather tightly from the White House. That should underscore the importance of what happens in the senate here tomorrow and early next week; Obama thinks getting anti-gunowner bills passed here will help his efforts to either get them passed in other states or perhaps help get them passed nationally.

I haven't been paying as much attention to the federal legislature as I usually would, instead being more focused on what's happening in my, the state, but the federal senate is trying to move on some anti-gunowner bills even now.

Senator Coburn (as well as a few others) somehow thinks that negotiating with senator Schumer and the other anti-gunowners in the senate is a good idea. Negotiations have halted on a universal background check bill but could resume. I'm thinking what may cause it to resume would be if Colorado passed its own universal background check bill.

Co HB 1229 is the universal background check bill. At the Colorado senate's state veterans and military affairs committee HB 1229 was amended to allow family members to temporarily transfer a gun betwixt them, to allow gunsmiths to receive guns for repairs, and to allow transfers while target shooting (previously it only exempted target shooting at a range owned by a commercial enterprise). A .pdf of the bill can be found here.

It still would prohibit a transfer without a background check at most other times. For instance if a person had a friend over and was showing a new acquisition, the friend could not actually handle the firearm. Or if someone was cohabiting with someone else they could not handle each others firearms without a background check unless they were married, so gay couples are out of luck. If a friend or lover who lived outside your home was in need for a firearm for a few days, say while waiting on a background check to come in on a firearm of their own, no one could lend them a gun. And if I'm reading this correctly, if a person went camping, with a friend, lover or family member, that person could not loan them a firearm to carry whilst hiking and camping in bear or mountain lion country.

And despite the penalty for violating a provision of that bill (say handing your live-in lover of 30 years a firearm to place back in the gunsafe) being a misdemeanor, it would bar any person from possessing a firearm for 2 years from the date of conviction.

I cannot view such a law containing such penalties as anything less than a direct attack on our culture. That'd be my, the culture.

If this passes in Colorado i have no doubt that Obama, with the aid of senators such as Coburn, will try to use that to sway other senators to support such a measure on the national level.

From what I gather, the big hang up in the federal senate is registration. There's no way such a background check law could work without registration, and some folks are not real comfy with that idea. As they damn well should be uncomfy with that idea.

The Colorado bill uses what will amount to a centralized database; it requires approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (the same folks that run our background checks now) in order to have a background check conducted. I'm positive that the make, model and serial number of the firearm will be required info when seeking such approval, thereby creating a de facto centralized database of firearms involved in private transactions. Couple that with good ol' Form 4473 and you have a decentralized yet accessible registry of every firearm in this state. You couldn't just dial up a name on a screen to see what guns any one person owns, but odds are you'd be able to see what guns they bought or sold privately. (though since the background checks would be conducted by an FFL, whether they wanted to or not, there wouldn't actually be any private sales in the true sense of the phrase.)

Take that concept and apply it nationally. Not exactly what any of us thought of years back when we said we'd oppose gun registration, but remember this is all incremental. Some sort of universal background check bill such as the Colorado one would be a start. In a few years they'd cry about needing to toughen the background checks again. Before long there would be a centralized database that listed all firearms owned by any name they punched into the computer.

Hopefully now you see why Colorado is so important to them? Hopefully you'll also see why it's important to you.

The dems in the Colorado senate have supposedly lined up the least controversial bills first, with the more harsh bills coming later in the day. They've said that the order of bills is subject to change at any time so they may try to pull a fast one, though methinks they already have.

The universal background check bill is slated to be 3rd in the line up. Most of the attention will be on the magazine capacity bill, the "assault weapons" liability bill, and the bill banning carry on college campuses. Those 3 bills will be heard last. But I think that the universal background check bill is more important than they're letting on.

In the federal legislature a universal background check bill will have the most chance of passing. An "assault weapons" bill or a magazine capacity bill would be a long shot (assuming the republicans in the house don't cave in, which is always a concern). But perhaps they think (by they I mean Obama, Biden, Bloomberg, Schumer, et al) that successful passage of a universal background check in a presumably pro-gun state like Colorado would give them a model for federal legislation as well as bolster support amongst politicians who fear that voting for any serious gun owner control will cost them votes.

If I'm correct then the background check bill will actually be the most important thing they vote on as far as national impact goes.

So if you're in Colorado, call your senator and urge them to vote "triple hell no" on all the gun owner control bills. If you're out of state call the governor's office and make it clear that your vacation and/or business dollars won't visit Colorado if these anti gun owner bills are passed. And everyone call your senators at the federal level and tell them not to support any universal background check bill, no matter what happens in Colorado.

And contact your pro gun owner organization of choice to make sure they've still got religion, especially on opposing universal background checks. The NSSF appears to be leaving us high and dry on that one. The SAF as well as the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear arms are accused of being okay with some form of universal background checks in this article.

Traditionally the NRA has supported background checks, but right now they're holding firm against a universal background check bill. If you're an NRA member make sure they hold firm, and try to thank them for opposing universal background checks so far. If you belong to any pro-gun owner organization that appears weak on opposing universal background checks then make sure they know you do not approve.

It's been argued that some groups or personalities are playing chess while we're playing checkers, or that they're trying to make a bad bill better in case it does get passed, or that it will get passed so they're just trying to do damage control.

Bullshit. Any support of background checks is, and always has been, outsmarting ourselves. It doesn't make gun owners look moderate and thus appease our enemies or those on the fence. It gives away another portion of our Right with abso-friggin-lutely nuffin in return. "Shall not be questioned" is used in the enumeration of the Right to own and carry weapons here in Colorado, as well as soem other states. What exactly is a background check if it's not a questioning of your Right to own and carry a weapon? It's allow the state to grant or deny permission to exercise a Right, and that's just wrong no matter how you look at it.

I simply don't trust anyone with my Rights but myself, and therefore I don't find an ounce of credibility in the argument that someone smarter than me is doing what's best for me even if on the surface it seems like I'm being sold out. I never gave permission for any person or organization to bargain with any part of my Rights.

The game isn't chess, or checkers. We don't lose game pieces made of wood or plastic or hand carved ivory inlaid with gold. The game being played is simple old fashion usurpation. It's a nice little con with politics as a cover. What we lose, what I lose, are Rights.

From that last link:

"In behind-the-scenes talks with congressional staff members and others, gunmakers, dealers and other Second Amendment advocates have offered support for more instant criminal background checks, buoying the hopes of gun-control supporters, including President Obama, who has put a top priority on extending criminal checks to private sales." (emphasis added)

That's what Obama wants - "expanded" background checks. Universal background checks. Ultimately registration. Caving in to this preliminary step, no matter what the reasoning, will be disastrous for us all.

"But I don't want felons to have guns". That's what you'll hear and on its surface it, like all other sound bytes, seems compelling. Until you dig into what all gets a felony conviction these days. And be sure to read this for an anecdotal example of who all can get caught by a domestic violence misdemeanor (hint: it's not just abusive husbands).

There is no making a bad bill better, when the enemy can patiently advance their agenda bit by bit, year by year. Their agenda, might i point out, is not to be tough on criminals; it's to subdue and eliminate our culture. That's it. You cannot compromise with them, not even under the very shaky pretense of it being a tactical retreat.

There's an old sayin' - you can't out democrat a democrat. When republicans try they're usually not as effective, which loses the support of democrats, and it usually loses them the support of republicans as well. It's the same with the anti-gunowners; we can't beat them at they're own game, nor should we try. We have to win by using different methods, as our resources as well as our goals are different. Working with them, even to make a bad bill better, advances their agenda at the expense of our goals, and none of us can really afford to compromise any more; not now that we know what they're up to. They don't want to eliminate guns; they want to eliminate us, our culture, our ideology, our way of life.

We have to fight them. We can do so now by calling our congresscritters and demanding they oppose any and all anti-gunowner bills. We can do so by not taking for granted that pro-gunowner groups are actually acting in a pro-gunowner fashion. We should support them when they're doing what's right, and we should raise hell with them when they start straying down that broad and slippery slope.

We have to be absolutist, and we have to make sure our allies are as absolutist as they possibly can be. We have to be principled, because right now, being principled is being pragmatic. If we give any ground - if we give any more ground - it'll be nigh on impossible to keep from losing even more, let alone gaining back what we've already lost, or even what we lost in this latest tactical-retreat/appeasement/compromise/only-partial-surrender.

What we need now is resolve.

Posted by Publicola at March 8, 2013 05:58 AM | TrackBack
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