Fayetteville, AR -(AmmoLand.com)- March for Our Lives, an organization founded by a “group of students”[read Bloomberg] who were the victims of the Parkland school shooting, has a plan for peace in America called C.H.A.N.G.E., six bold—according to them—collections of actions that they believe will reduce the number of gun deaths.
Predictably, it’s a hash of demands that have been made for years, vague wishes for easy fixes, and generally a desire to make legal gun ownership as difficult as possible.
The specific proposals are all too familiar:
- a license to purchase guns and ammunition that must be renewed annually with background checks and that requires personal references to receive,
- raising the minimum age for ownership to twenty-one,
- a ten-day waiting period for the transfer of a firearm, firearm storage requirements,
- bans on online sales, a maximum of one gun purchase a month,
- bans on “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines,
- and the kind of red flag laws that lack protections for due process.
March for Our Lives also wants to see a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention appointed to “operationalize and empower existing federal agencies,” whatever that is supposed to mean? Also they hope to see a domestic peace corp formed that would do unspecified things to reduce violence. And then there’s the proposed mandate that would require owners of “assault weapons” to sell them to the government, while “encourag[ing] voluntary civilian reduction of handguns and other firearms.”
In other words, there’s nothing new here, other than a lot of juvenile optimism.
It’s good for young people to get involved in the adult world, but part of doing so is a realization of how complicated life is. March for Our Lives offers the licensing program in Connecticut and the gun control laws of Australia and England as examples to support their faith in the concept, neglecting to consider the details. Connecticut did see a decline in the homicide rate following the passage of a licensing requirement for handguns, but the entire country experienced the same decline, and most states don’t share that law. A license to carry a firearm outside the home was introduced in England in 1870 and a license to own a handgun in 1903.
Regulations ratched up from there, ending up in the repressive system that exists today. And yet, the homicide rate in that country has been basically flat since 1775, and I’m being generous to the gun control side here, since as the laws became stricter in the mid-twentieth century, there was a slight rise in the murder rate, followed by the same decline in the 90s that the whole world enjoyed. And in Australia, there were spikes in homicides after the 1997 laws were enacted, but a decline began again in the early 90s, and there was no accelerated decline due to the new controls.
If the honest goal is to reduce rates of violence, this is a good desire, but having a goal is not the same thing as having a good plan to achieve it. Policies must come with sound reasoning that shows that they’ll work. The March for Our Lives activists will likely regard me as old fashioned if I point out that what they propose would be a major curtailment of rights, but they should think about the consequences were they to achieve a significant reduction in private gun ownership in America. They identify police violence as one of the types that they want to reduce, but have no problem seeing agents of the government as the only people who legally possess “assault weapons.”
In my observations done as a child and as an adult, I haven’t seen the line, “you’ll understand when you grow up,” ever work, and I doubt it would succeed here. What may win young people over is to appeal to their desire for independence and their willingness to live and let live? Millennials, for example, see GSRM (gender, sexual, and romantic minority) rights as obvious and see no reason why marijuana should be illegal. Private gun ownership fits into this easily. A government that can take away one’s stash isn’t a government that has to be scrupulous about which kind of stash it seizes.
If we can’t win the rising generation over, gun rights will be increasingly curtailed. And even if it takes them decades to achieve that, the American legacy matters too much to me to say that I’ve got mine and let the future tend to itself. There is no need to allow March for Our Lives to win this fight, and we in the gun community have work to do in persuading young people to come to our side.
About Greg Camp
Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.
During WWII many American private firearms where shipped to England to assist in home defense. The English having given up their private firearms due to some ill-advised and stupid policy of citizen disarmament. Some of those firearms were returned after the war. One is on display at the NRA Museum at Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri. The facts that England had no citizen soldiers and few privately own firearms is testament to the lunacy of citizen disarmament. The Japanese high command knew that behind every blade of grass there was an American Rifleman. This may have dissuaded them from… Read more »
What is the old saying? “If the government fears the people, you have a Republic, but when the people fear the government you have a democracy? Something like that? The left has no shame warping the minds of children for the purpose of their own self gratification and to force the children to give the left what they want, total power over the dark future the left has in mind. For 75 years the soviet union produced no utopia, because there is none under socialism/communism/fascism. The lefties, for all their claims of being smarter than everyone else, don’t have the… Read more »
So, these high school students are just like Mao’s Red Guards. How did that happen?
Family courts destroying the Father / Child relationships in custody battles for one, removing the paternal nurturing and discipline from the child as well as allowing the child to witness Mom, (in many cases) have multiple suitors rather than one stable father figure. Then in some instances there is the drug and alcohol factors blended with all of this.
California already has that list of requirements.
Criminals don’t seem to be affected by them.
Where are the “BLACK Lives Matter” people when all of these shootings happen in our inter cities?
Why has there been an uptick in mass shooting events? Are they Manchurian Candidate type events?
Where are the people who have sworn to uphold the constitution? If they have violate their sworn oath, should they be immediately removed from office? Should they be charge with a criminal offence and be tried in court?
These are some questions that we should ask our selves and our neighbors.
If “Black Lives Matter(ed)” they would go into the inner cities throughout the nation and scourge them of pimps, hookers, drugs, gangs and illegally obtained guns. They would restore families, clean up the addicts, get the fathers work, get the mothers off welfare and other men. They would change the police force’s attitudes by demonstrating how the people in the cities are working to change themselves for the better. They would dramatically alter their neighborhood. Instead they burn their own businesses to the ground, whine and complain about “whitey” and racism, war with police and expect us to pay them… Read more »
@Truth, And If “BLack Lives Matter(ed)”, to their own people, they would not decide to abort their children five times more often than any other group.
A great part of the difficulty in reaching out to the younger generation about American gun rights is that the Left has so inculcated them that they are not amenable to reason. This doesn’t mean that we should give up on reaching out to them, but we should mainly focus on our own children as well as friends, and the general public, through activism and social media.
“What may win young people over is to appeal to their desire for independence and their willingness to live and let live?”
What have you been smoking there bro? They have no desire for independence, they want a government that gives them everything. Live and let live? Only if you think the way that they do.
This whole plan sounds “very interesting” and gestapo-like. It is a complete violation of the Second Amendment and several other parts of the Bill of Rights, but apparently Bloomberg doesn’t give a damn about your Rights as long as he can afford an armed security guard for himself and his family.
Other than obvious ways that the government has to coerce you to turn in your guns, who is going to go out and actually attempt to “pick up” your firearms?
What the author is talking about is a limited number of snowflakes that provoked, and admitted they did, the shooter that took control of that school. The whole country full of young people are not joining this fight. They are only doing it because they come from a very strange county in Fla. It is not the first time these liberals have gone off the right side of things. I do not think we have to bow down to these twerps and try to soft soap them into our way of thinking unless you are offering them fame and fortune… Read more »
We essentially have a 7 day waiting period. In some instances it might be 9 days. When the Brady Bill was passed it instituted a 5 working day waiting period, excluding weekends and holidays. Okay I suppose that if you bought a gun in the middle of the week you could pick it up in the middle of the following week. So that’s at least 7 days. If bought on the weekend you’d have to wait the 5 days, okay so I guess you could pick it up on the following Saturday. So a 10 day waiting period becomes a… Read more »
You need to move to America (Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio, etc.