By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “I was reading your column Rights Watch in the May 2017 issue regarding the Turkish Bloodbath and your comments about the ‘draconian regulatory schemes,’” an email from a reader, forwarded to me by the editor of GUNS Magazine, began. “I'm a sporting shooter living in Perth, Western Australia…”
He begins by recounting all the hoops he must jump through in order to exercise what his government treats as a privilege. He claims “over 95% of gun crime in Australia involves illegally imported guns” and then proposes what he calls “a happy medium” we all should be able to live with.
It’s a sincere attempt from someone who is not looking at the issue through the eyes of an American who views the right to keep and bear arms as unalienable, and who takes seriously Patrick Henry’s warning:
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.
Here’s the crux of what my correspondent sees as the problem and his proposed fix:
I'm in favor of the right to bear arms, even though they don't apply in Australia, but when making the argument against gun control being ineffective you must consider that the countries in this world aren't completely isolated entities and the freedom one allows for firearm ownership can impact the ability for another to enforce a stricter control.
In a perfect world, I believe we would all be best served with an international standard minimum level of registration, with ownership restriction that only applies to convicted criminals / radicals, with the relaxation of the more draconian laws like we endure here. Unfortunately, I fear this happy medium could never be realised with the vast political differences and social attitudes in today's societies and this fever dream of mine is nothing more than lament for what could have been. I hope that sensible argument endures with respect to gun laws but we should also focus on what impacts our own actions will have on others when it comes to regulation.
The first arguable point is that Australians have no right to keep and bear arms. All human beings do, and its preexisting to any legislatures. It’s just that some live under governments that don’t recognize that. And as the Supreme Court has noted:
“[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.
And why would freedom-loving people want to help more repressive regimes put the squeeze on those they rule? Besides, experience shows it’s not so much that “the freedom one allows for firearm ownership can impact the ability for another to enforce a stricter control,” as it is that places with more repressive “laws” do what they can to diminish freedom in areas beyond their control.
We see that here all the time, with high gun owner control cities and states blaming freer (and safer) locales for violent crime issues overwhelmingly concentrated in places dominated by “progressive” regimes. We see fictions promulgated like “the iron pipeline,” supposedly the source for a “flow” of “crime guns,” which invariably ignore ATF “time to crime” statistics measured in many years.
As for setting up and adhering to “international standards,” unless they say “shall not be infringed” and recognize the Constitution as “the supreme Law of the Land,” that’s a no-can-do. We’ve seen that no amount of global citizen disarmament is enough for those who would direct the world, and we’ve seen the lessons of history from those imposing it anew.
Anyone who can't be trusted with a gun can't be trusted without a custodian.
If violent criminals are still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his classic “Gun Control,” equating their release from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.
And as for registration, gun owners serious about their rights will never let that happen – and if it does they will not comply, as we’ve seen play out in California, Connecticut and New York. By imposing such an edict, gun owners can either surrender and obey, setting themselves up for the consequences of being “outed” or for later confiscation (not to mention being forbidden to pass their property on to their heirs), or take the terrible risks of having their lives destroyed if they’re caught out of compliance.
And let’s not forget who is immune from all registration requirements: Criminals. The very ones causing the problems. The Supreme Court said so. And, counter-intuitively at first glance, it was actually a proper decision. Not that they'd register regardless.
Expand that to an international standard and there are people alive today who were alive when Olympic medalist Alfred Flatow was arrested and deported to die in a concentration camp because his name was on a gun registration list (and anyone who says “it” can never happen again is ignoring the cultural terraforming of the West and whistling past the graveyard of history).
Some of us aren't “sporting shooters.” Some of us are fighting for nothing less than freedom and we know what’s at stake. We also know that the gun-grabbers will happily accept any incremental concessions they can swindle us out of and then complain about how “extremist gun nuts” are unwilling to “compromise.” Cede to them a beachhead without a fight and they’ll use it to launch their next incursion, because their long-stated goal, before they felt compelled to mask it, is to have it all. Any sop thrown their way in an attempt to appear “reasonable” makes about as much sense as throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to go away sated and to leave you unmolested.
I’ll open the floor up now to your responses in comments if you have anything to add. Please consider that this gentleman approached in good faith and courtesy, and from a foreign perspective that has not been shaped by a lifetime of influences bolstering the predominantly American view of the right to keep and bear arms. As such, if you do choose to weigh in, please do so with the intent of generating light rather than heat.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.