July 10, 2006

The Bane Of Five Points

Michael Bane has a 5 point plan he'd like to see implemented. I think I've mentioned here & there over the years that the pro-gun crowd doesn't have any sort of plan so a single point one would be an improvement. & I like Michael's idea as a whole - setting up a few specific goals to work towards & hopefully achieve most of them this year. But following the old adage blogerto ergo bitchum (I blog therefore I bitch) I have a few thoughts about his specifics.

"• Immediately pass a federal law banning confiscation of legal weapons during any emergency. Katrina proved what we RKBA people knew all along, to wit, the government will happily strip you of your only means of self-defense if it can get away with it. Let's make sure they can't, once and for all."

During Katrina two constitutional prohibitions on such activity were overlooked. I really don't think a mere law will change a damn thing in those regards. Doubtless it'll include the phrase "legally owned" which makes it easy to simply declare all arms contraband, thus nothing is "legally owned". Plus it's falling into that peculiar brand of legislative logic which convinces folks that if a law is passed it will be obeyed.

It's a good idea though & one that should be pursued. So I would substitute the passing of a law providing harsh criminal penalties for the actors in such an event with a heavy dose of civil liability. Course to be honest I'd also like to see a reward fund set up for anyone, cop or non-cop who through use of force incapacitates anyone disarming anyone else during a disaster or emergency (with exceptions for disarming those in the process of committing violent confrontational crimes). Maybe a $1,000 bounty per each gun grabber once it can be proved that person took them down? I know - it probably wouldn't fly through congress, but it'd be worth some effort just to se the look on the gun grabbers faces when it's read in the house for the first time.

"• Rein in continued BATFE abuses. The laws are already on the books if anybody would step up to the plate and enforce them. There are enough legitimate law enforcement issues out there — for example, I have a friend at BATFE in gang intervention, a necessary and wildly dangerous job — without local agents launching their own personal crusades."

Michael includes a contradictory statement; "...I have a friend at BATFE...". No gun owner, none, not here, not anyplace else can ever have a friend in the ATFU. An acquaintance perhaps. Maybe someone you trade info with. But gun owners have no friends in that hive of scum & villainy.

which is part of the problem I have with this proposal - the ATFU can't be reigned in. It must be eliminated. No band aids will fix it. Its very existence bitch-slaps the Bill of Rights. The same misunderstanding of those hyenas in spandex/Kevlar/mall ninja fabric of the week that makes you think you can be friends with one makes you think it can be fixed.

Nope. Elimination. We might not get it right away, but that's what we need to push for.

& gang intervention? What? Are they showing the Cryps how to play dirty or are they taking pointers? Seriously what the hell are a bunch of overly glorified tax boys doing running around playing Cryp? They can't be trying to collect excise taxes from the Bloods using the Cryps as cover can they? That's mission creep. Those revenuing bastards have no business doing anything but seeing to the damn unconstitutional taxes they're supposed to see to, & they don't even have any business doing that. The FBI would be the proper org to handle anything gang related IF - If I say - If for some reason it became a federal (i.e. non-state) matter.

Disband the ATFU.

"• Stop all antigun initiatives in other branches of government service. The U.S. Forest Service, for example, ought not to be allowed to run overt antigun programs while the parent USDA resolutely insists that it supports the rights of gun owners. How many other personal vendettas under the protection of a GS rating are running out there? Make them stop!"

There was also HUD who made federal housing programs victim disarmament zones. As a general matter I can get behind this. But it's the specifics that get ya. For example when I see the words "Stop all antigun initiatives in other branches of government service" I assume that means all federal agencies will stop pursuing prior restraint based gun control, which means i can buy a full auto Sten sans paperwork from a manufacturer & then have it on my shoulder as I board the next airplane for Knob Creek, Ky. & yes; I'd seriously push for that level of strict scrutiny concerning the 2nd amendment, but somehow I think Michael had less than that in mind. At least for now.

"• National CCW reciprocity and enforcement of federal "Safe Passage" laws! We need this yesterday! Again, if it works for drivers licenses, there should be no problem with it working for carry permits. A second part of this issue is demanding that all states abide by federal "Safe Passage" laws — it is criminal that prosecutors in Boston, New York and Chicago can jail innocent people trapped for a night at their airports through no fault of their own because nobody in Washington D.C. has the balls to tell those cities that they are indeed part of the United States!"

No. State CCW permits & the FOPA's travel provisions were a mistake. Expanding CCW nationally & going for strict enforcement of the FOPA's travel provisions would make it that much harder to rectify the mistake.

If you'll glance under the "Notable Posts" section of the sidebar you'll see a few concerning CCW & such. I won't expound too much on the theme here. But in my copy of the 2nd amendment I see nothing that says "except for concealed guns". I also see nothing that says "except in airports". I see nothing in my copy of the 14th amendment that says "except states can pass whatever gun laws they want to & just ignore the 2nd amendment altogether".

They wouldn't heed the 2nd amendment as applied via the 14th & then they wouldn't heed the FOPA so I doubt another law will make much of a difference. I say the bounty on anyone taking away someone's arms unconstitutionally would be the only truly effective measure, & again it'd be less than likely to pass.

But no - no national gun owner registration - er, groveling for permission... ummm paying a bribe to carry CCW. The only permit we need for that is made of parchment so let's focus on getting that one applied rather than going for a gun control solution.

"• Dismantle the onerous conditions of the 1968 Gun Control Act, the machinegun amendment of the 1986 FOPA, the 1990 Crime Control Act and the 1999 "Al Gore Stands Up!" trigger lock requirement. These laws were all passed as sops to a small minority of very loud antigun activists who no longer have any credible standing. The laws should go away! Now!"

Tell the truth. :)

Not complete enough though. I'd add the NFA, the Brady Bill, Lautenberg, the "Cop Killer" bullet ban, the prohibition on carry in national parks & damn near any other federal gun control law there is. & I mean in their entirety. The last few sentences of Michael's explanation sum up these laws as well.

But to simplify it let's just say repeal all prior restraint based gun control laws. Start with the ban on carry in national parks & then go back to the NFA & work our way up to the trigger lock requirement for new purchases that passed last year.

But as I said we have no plan. We haven't ever had a plan. Even with the criticisms I listed above I'd rather see Michael's plan adopted than do what we've been doing - which is to be plan-less. I don't mean to pick on Michael's ideas, I'm just pointing out how I think they'd be better. But anything is better than the plan we currently have now, which is none (if I hadn't mentioned it before).

But to make things uber-simple I'd settle for striking very hard at one point. Let's say repealing the ban on open &/or concealed carry in national parks. It's do-able & doesn't require as much PR effort as say repealing the Hughes Amendment of the FOPA. A pic of the sign at Rocky Mountain National Park which warns of bears & mountain lions & such with "No Weapons Allowed" in big letters right underneath it (as it appears on the signs at the trailheads/parking areas now) will do.

Still Michael has the right idea - we do need a plan,. Even one with the same colored font throughout would be better than nothing.

Posted by Publicola at July 10, 2006 03:37 AM | TrackBack

-I think its pretty much pie in the sky and completely fanciful to think that the BATFE would ever be disbanded. The American political climate seems to pretty much let large executive branch agencies continue to exist. If you know of another agency the size (as % of federal budget) that was eliminated entirely in the past, I'd love to know about it.
-I completely agree on the there's no point to a federal law prohibiting confiscation. We already have plenty of relevant law, probably most importantly, section 1983 to actually go after people who do illegal confiscation.
-I don't buy the constitutional argument that since the 2nd amendment doesn't enumerate exceptions for concealed weapons, or airport carry that they're unconstitutional. I can't see in the 2nd amendment exceptions for VX gas and Nuclear Weapons either, so how exactly can the government constitutionally keep me from carrying a thermos full of VX on the NYC subway?
Granted, there's less 2nd amendment case law than say 1st or 4th, but much as there are some restrictions on the 1st amendment (child porn, reasonable time/place/manner, obscene expression in public schools,etc) that are generally accepted as constitutional, I suspect restricting private ownership of nuclear weapons (analogous to child porn in the 1st amendment) can be restricted, and probably CCW (analogous to reasonable place and manner in the first amendment) can be restricted and still be constitutional under most any judicial interpretation. Likewise, I don't think you're going to get anywhere close to a majority of Americans to buy into an argument that you should be able to carry in an airport, which makes it a complete loosing proposition as far as a point gunowners should argue politically.
-As far as laws that would be politically attackable, I'd argue that the 1986 FOPA amendment is the most vulnerable. It would be easy to argue that it didn't do anything to reduce crime statistically, and it reduced government revenue while stifling industry. I'm willing to trade a substantial increase in the NFA tax price for removing the 1986 ban, so I'd sell it as a money making tool.

Posted by: Bob at July 10, 2006 06:37 AM