U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “PA Dem Has Right Idea to Fight Crime,” a Wednesday email alert from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership proclaims. They’re passing on a link to a Bearing Arms article by Cam Edwards, former NRATV personality and host of Cam & Co., and a widely followed commentator on the right to keep and bear arms. JPFO does that regularly, providing extra visibility for articles that inform gun owners about developments of interest and they deserve to be thanked for that.
But this time they’ve passed along a self-defeating prevailing sentiment that has been promoted for years by NRA and some other groups, one that gun owners need to free themselves of.
“Rep. Amen Brown says he’ll be introducing a bill in the near future that would increase the penalties for being a felon in possession of a firearm,” Edwards writes. “Each subsequent offense would come with more time behind bars, including a mandatory minimum sentence to ensure consequences for those carrying a gun when they’re prohibited by law from possessing one.”
That’s not the “right idea,” especially noting it comes from a “Gun Sense Voter” candidate. It’s the absolute wrong one, and by endorsing it, gun owners are placing a noose around their own necks, particularly if they adhere to the “I will not comply” declaration and refuse to obey gun confiscation edicts they know to be unconstitutional and tyrannical.
Sure, it makes for a good sound bite, because who wants dangerous criminals out there armed?
Well, who wants dangerous criminals out there in the first place? If their actions have proven they can’t be trusted without a custodian, how does releasing them back into the general public make any more sense than opening a man-eating tiger’s cage (H/T) because time has been served? Who thinks that doesn’t put the public at unacceptable risk, and importantly, that such predators will let a little thing like “the law” stop them from getting – or taking – whatever weapons they want?
But that’s not the way the law works and we have to deal with reality, many will counter. True, and the reality is, such “prohibited person” laws make no distinction between repeat offender killers and Martha Stewart or Scooter Libby. A felon is a felon.
Rep. Brown himself declares his proposed bill will apply to “any previously convicted felon who is found to be in possession of an illegal firearm…”
“Felons” with “illegal firearms” like me…
Well, I’m an “undocumented” one, anyway. I just never got caught after publicly refusing at an NRA-sponsored “terms of surrender” event to register my “assault weapon” with the California Department of Justice. That also went against NRA’s very public position that “any honest, law-abiding American would” turn in banned guns, and resulted in one sheeplike NRA member in a mostly subdued audience bleating out “He doesn’t speak for all of us!”
I’d like to remind our friends at JPFO that I’m not alone in rejecting the persecution of “felons” for gun possession. At the time NRA was making a big push to convince its members that “Project Exile” was just what was needed to deter violent crime (it wasn’t really), a group of us pushed back with the Project Exile Condemnation Coalition, stating:
The signers of this statement support any reasonable law-enforcement program that removes violent repeat-offender felons from our cities and neighborhoods, but only if the laws utilized to convict and to punish such felons are constitutional.
We condemn any program that involves enforcing unconstitutional ‘laws’, even if such ‘laws’ are enforced only against violent criminals. Unconstitutional ‘laws’ are illegal, harmful to public safety, tyrannical, and are inevitably enforced against ordinary, non-criminal citizens.
The ‘Project Exile’ supported by the current NRA management calls for enforcing all existing gun laws, regardless of their unconstitutionality and regardless of their being enforceable against non-criminals. Furthermore, the current NRA management’s quoted remarks … indicate a disregard for our public safety, our heritage, our freedom, and our Constitution.
Among the many signers I was honored to join was:
Aaron Zelman Exec. Director, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Does anyone at JPFO really believe he would have agreed with Mr. Edwards, that enforcing unconstitutional anti-gun edicts is “the right way to fight crime”?
“Demanding that government ‘enforce existing gun laws’ is more than a bit like calling on King George to enforce existing Intolerable Acts,” I wrote in an earlier AmmoLand piece, noting that it’s the last thing true rights advocates should be calling for. What we should all be demanding, especially those who have positioned themselves as our influencers and leaders, is to repeal the damn things.
Remember, enforcing existing gun laws is what precipitated Ruby Ridge and Waco.
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.