U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- A ”Below the Radar” piece posted Tuesday on AmmoLand lauds a bill promising to increase gun possession penalties against “criminals” as a preferred solution to violence. It further asserts doing that will reduce receptivity to further Second Amendment infringements.
There was a law mandating penalties, but a 2015 Supreme Court ruling declared parts of it unconstitutionally vague.
“A pair of Second Amendment champions, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Representative David Kustoff (R-TN) have introduced legislation called the Restoring The Armed Career Criminal Act, known as HR 2837 and S 1541 to address that ruling,” the article gushes. “According to releases from Senator Cotton’s and Representative Kustoff’s offices, they do this by dispensing with the old definitions of ‘violent felony’ and ‘serious drug offense’ and going with a single ‘serious felony’ that is defined as any offense that lands a person with a potential sentence of at least ten years in prison.”
As if to prove the case, including a resulting diminished public appetite for citizen disarmament, the article lauds Project Exile as “a successful strategy [that] can reduce the number of propaganda weapons available to those who seek to take our rights away.”
Here’s what’s not being considered:
Project Exile was condemned by those groups and individuals who put the Bill of Rights first. And for the record, it didn't work anywhere near as well as NRA’s louder “law enforcement” voice tells us it did. Nor did it reduce the push for more “gun control.”
The mantra to “enforce existing gun laws” is the exact wrong thing to be asking for because it feeds the lie that such edicts work. Calling for that in the face of “shall not be infringed” is tantamount to demanding that usurpers with no legitimate authority enforce existing Intolerable Acts.
We know that anyone who can't be trusted with a gun can't be trusted without a custodian. It's not just a saying, it's true. Not that “the law” keeps anyone determined to get a gun from doing so, as weekend homicide stats from Chicago or Baltimore continually remind us. And remember that mass killings that racked up the highest death tolls, 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Happyland Dance Club fire, were all committed without guns. Of relevance, author Robert J. Kukla made an astute observation in his 1973 classic “Gun Control,” equating the release of the chronically violent from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.
Here's what’s being missed most of all: The bill, if enacted, will add acts of principled civil disobedience into the mix.
Per U.S. Code, “possession of a firearm or ammunition by a prohibited person [is] punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.”
A man can find himself “prohibited” for a lot of reasons, including a conviction for possessing a “bump stock” the government says you can't have (soon to be a semi-auto if the antis get their way), or even for a “domestic violence” misdemeanor like tearing a pocket or throwing keys. Add to that due process-denying “red flag laws.”
Decide you will not give up your guns for those reasons and now these “Second Amendment champions” propose tacking another 15 years on if you're caught? You'll be lumped in with the worst of the worst?
But wait: Surely only violent felons will be affected, and prosecutors and judges will have discretion, right?
Disregarding for a moment this gross violation of the principles of federalism and the naivete of trusting anti-gun federal prosecutors and judges to differentiate between “offenders” in an era where official government bodies have declared NRA a terrorist organization, the “violent felon” language is what this new bill has done away with:
By defining “serious felony” solely based on the potential term of imprisonment, the bill would address the vagueness issue and remove any discretion or doubt about which offenses qualify.
And they emphasize they mean “any offense.”
Some of us will not comply with orders to disarm. Some of us realize that when the door to a peaceful resolution is slammed in our faces by tyrants, the choice is to obey or to refuse to surrender our rights.
This bill is an abomination. Anyone endorsing it is setting the enforcement hounds loose on all who will not disarm. They are supporting and enabling the agents of tyranny to bend resisters to their will or destroy them.
And that brings us to the last point—anyone who thinks the gun-grabbers are really doing this because of “crime” has not been paying attention to history. But they’ll be more than happy to take the pound of flesh being offered to them gratis. They’ll then move on to their next objective on the road to a monopoly of violence now that they no longer have to struggle with an obstacle that’s been preemptively surrendered in the name of “law and order” over liberty.
Sorry, but I will not “politely urge” my representative and senators “to support the Restore the Armed Career Criminal Act.” I’ll be sending my reps the link to this post and telling them, in no uncertain terms, that to do so will be the act of a gun-grabber, whether intentional or not.
Don't “enforce existing gun laws.” Repeal the damn things.
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. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.