THE ATF SHOULDN’T EXIST BUT NOT WHY YOU THINK. A number of reasons it shouldn’t exist; it’s a revenue agency who’s roots begin with the IRS and alcohol prohibition, they are regulating a constitutionally protected & natural right, and they are a federal agency that should be (as mentioned above) a state level organization at best, where local municipalities and citizens can actually effect law. It’s hard to pick an organization out besides the ATF that is so clearly unconstitutional, after all why do they even get to tax and regulate items like Alcohol and Tobacco? It’s as if the government listed sins that they deemed as appropriate to tax. The ATF’s entire history is one of tax collectors with guns. But here is the even bigger reason…
The federal government shouldn’t have this power over the states it should be a state issue. Federal gun laws should be nullified (10th amendment.) Firearms like; abortion, marriage, drugs, even free speech… are state issues. Before you get mad hear me out. I believe guns are a natural right not bound by governments, however that doesn’t mean states cannot enact laws that are against natural law (can/cannot as in posses the ability). The constitution and bill of rights apply to the federal government, the powers that they have NOT the powers the individual states have. This line of thinking is probably counter to what 99% of gun owners believe today and even though I’ve talked about felons and drug use, this may be the most shocking and hard position to get behind. It’s even hard for me as I’ve taken the position for so long that the 2nd Amendment was king when it came to gun rights legislation, our gun rights ebook even takes that position, after all this is what we’ve all been told over and over. What always bothered me however was that if you got into an argument with the right person they would bring up gun control laws that were going on at the same time as the second amendment. This used to drive me nuts… “why did they have gun laws so close to the second amendment,” answer is that these were state laws that had nothing to do with federal laws. Another example is the first amendment, besides free speech, what is the first amendment? Separation of church and state, yet three states at the time had state churches. It would also seem unnecessary for states to proclaim the same rights that are listed in the bill of rights in their own constitution. Example the Michigan Constitution states “ Every person has a right to bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.” What was the point of saying this if the 2nd amendment had already covered it?
To be honest I don’t remember what sent me off on this tangent of why the 2nd doesn’t apply to the states, whatever I was reading or listening to had nothing to do with gun rights. The further problem is that this is such a unique subject I had no idea where to look for more information. Luckily months later I was listening to the Mises Weekend podcast with Jeff Deist whose guest was Michael Boldin from the Tenth Amendment Center. Jeff Deist mentioned in passing Brion McClanahan’s position is that the states aren’t bound by the second amendment. If you don’t know the three men I just mentioned you should, they are some serious liberty pushers all who produce great work. For this topic I think the best thing to do is to point you to Brion and have him explain it. Two of the links are to rebuttals from someone arguing with him, this to me is helpful because he’s answering tough questions posed by an opposing view. The first is a link to a 30 minute podcast he did on the subject. https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/07/brion-mcclanahan-on-the-original-meaning-and-purpose-of-the-2nd-amendment/https://www.brionmcclanahan.com/blog/my-response-to-chris-woodard-at-freelibertywriters-com/https://www.brionmcclanahan.com/blog/my-response-to-mr-woodard-part-ii/
In many ways we’ve drifted so far from original intent we begin to argue positions incorrectly, now we’ve argued them so long and even lawmakers have formulated unconstitutional laws for so long that they couldn’t even tell you. The proof is that gun owners have won some cases on the federal level for state laws. The issue is two serparate issues 1. The federal government needs to get out of the firearm business altogether and 2. Gun owners need to stand up to their own states, whether that be voting, using the courts, or in massive displays of civil disobedience. Gun owners for too long have relied on organizations and other people to fight for them, example would be the NRA… 5 million members yet over 80 million gun owners. That means even if the NRA was progun they would only be getting supported by 6% of gun owners. Organizations like this have let numerous laws slip through, even when they were lobbying more heavily the Hughes amendment, Brady bill, the assault weapon ban, etc all passed.
Bottom line the ATF shouldn’t exist because of the preamble of the Bill of Rights. It’s interesting that the preamble to the constitution is widely read but the Bill of Rights preamble is not. “THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added:” better explained by Brion McClanahan “The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution was never intended to apply to the States. The original preamble to the Bill of Rights states unequivocally that the Bill of Rights are “restrictive clauses” to prevent the “misconstruction or abuse of its [the Constitution’s] powers” and are applicable to the federal government as in “Congress shall make no law.” If congress shall make no law then how did they create a whole organization to enforce laws they can’t make? This is the heart of gun control, the states must nullify unjust laws.
Some takeaways from this should be that state gun control laws should be fought at local level, the federal government needs to stop being treated as the overseeing parent. Second the federal government has overstepped its bounds immensely, reading the original drafters and more importantly the ratifiers you will see how our current system is in no way operating as intended.
Want more difficult scenarios to deal with, then read this. The PDF and Audio book are free. Walter Block “Defending the Undefendable” https://mises.org/library/defending-undefendable
More like this? Then read Murray Rothbard’s “The Ethics or Liberty” I suggest reading chapter 23 multiple times. https://mises.org/library/ethics-liberty
Dear Colion Noir,
For years I appreciated your videos, the interesting narrative was unlike what others were posting. It was entertaining, it was showing high end guns and a few others. Also your defense of gun rights was on point and solid. All this is why it was so stunning your alignment with the NRA on their proposal to investigate bump stocks. I can’t quite pinpoint it, not sure if it is just blind loyalty or if you felt pressure after taking an opposing view after Philando Castile (where the NRA dropped the ball again).
What I want to do is go through that statement so we all can review the NRA’s position. There are a lot of items that are bullshit but let’s focus on the major flaws. These statements are taken in context from NRA’s official website: “National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.” None of us want the ATF to further investigate or make judgements, they are not a legislative branch. The idea that the NRA is playing this elaborate game of chess to put the ball in the ATF’s court and leave congress out of it is foolish, name one time the NRA has negotiated an item so we could get something better. The NRA is supposed to be a gun rights organization… not a “the gun rights that most people care about” organization.
Next. “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” That’s enough to tell the NRA to screw themselves. Us gun owners have been wanting an end to NFA and we thought (well some people did) that Trump was a pro-gun President that we could get to do it. There is another part to this… many die hard NRA supporters said they are putting the ball in the ATF’s court because they already made a ruling on it twice and wouldn’t change their minds, however the next sentence says the “NRA believes items such as that SHOULD BE subject to more regulations.” It’s clear as day.
The remaining gibberish is just filler to act like we can trade bump stocks for national reciprocity. What they are clearly doing is compromise, you made a great video on the failure of compromising… yet this is exactly what they are doing and what you said in defense of the NRA, that you would rather have national reciprocity over bumpstocks. Choosing one over the other is compromising. We are no closer to national reciprocity, no closer to national hearing act. BUT what we do have now is the NRA backed president pushing a ban on bump stocks as well as stricter background checks. I know you don’t agree with Trump on this because you tweeted during debates about the ignorance of no fly list and random pat downs. This isn’t a slippery slope… this is a huge invitation to look at competition triggers, binary triggers, and numerous other parts, hell the weight of BCG can change rate of fire!
This is what my plea is… on a recent post you said you are just one man against thousands of “antis.” I can’t tell if that’s ego or ignorance. You have thousands of followers on multiple platforms, I would bet you have the most followers of any pro-gun person. Perhaps some gun guys may have more but they are not vocal about pro gun issues or they don’t have the opportunities that you have to talk to people outside of a gun blog or social media.
You’re right we do need to stand together, we will continue to lose rights until this happens. You at one time even warned that anti gunners would parade “pro gun” individuals who are calling for gun control as examples of how everyone wants gun control. Well until the NRA is on board they will lose followers left and right as we all move to an actual pro-gun organization the Gun Owners of America. The NRA and these pop up gun companies that came up under Obama who are still looking to capitalize on panic buying aren’t winning support of the new pro-gun community.
Start backing the rest of us and stop making excuses for this archaic organization.
*UPDATE: This was originally posted in Feb of 2018, so this still seems like an appropriate response due to your recent response where you only regurgitated the same talking points and posted a podcast from a year ago that was just as inaccurate then as it is now… only difference being that we now see the result, that we were correct.
I am also including another post we made at the same time
Gun control by a thousand cuts.
On the surface a lot of the most recent gun control measures that Trump mentioned do not impact me at all, I can pass any background check and I don’t want a bump stock. This is not the point though. This is what the gun control lite crowd is hollering. We should trade ABC for XYZ, or that “what’s the big deal with background checks?!?” That sounds logical if that’s all you here or that’s as far as you dive into a subject….but that’s not it.
You see the main stance of us in the anti-gun-control crowd is a few immovable positions or albeit starting points for our arguments.
1. A gun is a tool, no better no worse. The person wielding the tool is solely responsible.
-this includes features such as pistol grip, bump stock, bayonet lug, etc…
2. Background checks are pointless as they have been proven time and time again to not stop a person driven to do harm. Example: most recent Florida shooter was investigated by the FBI… still passed a check. So what good is stricter checks when this person was specifically looked at??
-if a criminal is wants a gun why would the legality stop them?
-we have guns for defense, one of those things we are defending are our rights. It negates the idea when the government can tell us who can have a gun and who can’t.
3. Magazine capacity is a joke and have been proven that even a novice can quickly change magazines.
4. Most importantly freedom and liberty are dangerous. We have rights and accept the risks.
Therefore when organizations like the NRA want to push for a feature or another style of gun to be regulated more heavily they are attacking the basis of our counter arguments, they are chopping their own legs out from under them as they open up debate for more items. Example attacking an item such as a bump stock for its ability to increase the rate of fire is an extremely slippery slope things like triggers, length of gas tubes, and weight of the bolt carrier group all effect rate of fire. Will these now be classified as dangerous? If not right now are they setting up for future restrictions? Or background checks, we’ve already seen the overreaching powers of the federal government with unlimited spying, secret FISA courts, no fly lists, etc… why would we want to add to that? Why does anyone want one more list to be added to?
Finally why aren’t we looking for the actual reasons? Why do we see a spike starting in the 1960’s of mass shootings? Many people would like to blame assault rifles but sub-machine guns used to be mail order. What was the change?… why not look at the increase in single parent homes, the increase in “latchkey kids,” or the huge increase of pharmaceuticals… Bottom line is we have had guns in basically every household since this country was settled, you can’t tell me that a device is the cause and not a change in culture or another variable that has been a part of our lives since the middle of that last century.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” -Sun Tzu
The NRA is the most well know pro-gun organization, Everytown is the largest group fighting for gun control. They are as different as night and day… or are they?
Everytown for Gun Safety was a combination of “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (such reputable members as Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who is currently serving time) and Moms Demand Action. Everytown is commonly referred to as Bloomberg’s gun control group as he appears to be the main one funding the organization. Other notable members include Austin Police chief who posed with Mia Kalifah as she turned in her firearm, he’s also marched with Parkland students and most recently was able to get Cody Wilson extradited from Taiwan after he fled the country (thats a topic for a different time) While the progun crown would certainly consider a group like this and others like it, such as Gabby Giffords group, to be ANTIGUN however they claim to be just for “common sense” gun control.
The NRA is the largest “progun” group boasting 5 million members and lead by Wayne LaPierre who joined the NRA in 1977 and has been in a major role since 1991. The NRA is the common whipping boy for gun control advocates, the punchline and the target for many in the antigun community. They’ve even been said to have been infiltrated by the Russian in order to help Donald Trump gain the presidency in 2016.
As we look at these two we again see two completely different organizations, but are they, are they really that different? I brought up Gabby Giffords gun control group earlier on purpose, If we were to compare her group next to Everytown you could say Giffords group is much more “progun” than Everytown. After all the Giffords themselves are gun owners. Another group we didn’t mention was the Brady Campaign… the Brady campaign chairmen Pete Shields advocated a complete ban of firearms except for military and police/security. Brady campaign of course is associated with the Brady Bill and implementation of the NICS background check and successfully lobbied for the assault weapon ban in 1993 under Bill Clinton.
As you can imagine the NRA was very upset about this bill to force background checks, as it was their idea… yes that’s correct the NRA often argues that the background check system was their brain child and if implemented the way they wanted (more in-depth checks) we would be better off. Of course that’s not it:
-The NRA assisted Roosevelt in drafting the 1934 National Firearms Act and the 1938 Gun Control Act, the first federal gun control laws. These laws placed heavy taxes and regulation requirements on firearms that were associated with crime, such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and silencers. Gun sellers and owners were required to register with the federal government and felons were banned from owning weapons. “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” -Karl T. Frederick, the president of the NRA 1939
-1963 “We do think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.” This is what spawned our current system of serialized firearms and the Federal Firearms License.
-They supposedly attempted to get some rights back in 1986 that they had previously handed over but failed. Again and again they’ve remained quiet only lobbying enough to continue to gain monetary support with the only exchange being more gun control. Even recently NRA has supported Donald Trump’s bumpstock ban and again pushed for further background checks.
Gifford is more progun than Everytown and the NRA is more progun that Gifford… but when it comes down to it what they all have in common is that they want to enact some type of gun control. They are all gun control groups. The NRA just happens to be “guncontrol lite.”
They are confusing and perhaps a more dangerous enemy as they claim to be on our side, they are knowledgeable about guns and occasionally throw us a bone. But I ask you… are they any different than any other lobbying group? In 2016 they took in $400 million dollars, what have you gotten in return? Anything in 2017 when they took in around $350 million? BILLIONS of dollars through their hands yet the most recent “wins” have come from smaller groups like Cody Wilson’s attorneys who fought for the right of 3D printed firearms and plans, or further back cases like the Heller decision which the NRA was against the case initially, afterwards the Supreme Court gave an almost correct view of the 2nd amendment, certainly a landmark case. Even now drastically smaller groups like Firearm Policy Coalition and Gun Owners of America have filed suit against Trumps bumpstock ban. Meanwhile the NRA is busy losing case after case.
The media and mainstream liberals do not understand what they have with the NRA. It is a gift to them, the NRA has been around for so long and pushed its propaganda the best, seducing gun owners and their industry partners into thinking they are the dominant progun organization. The last thing those people want is a group that is actually progun to wield the power the NRA has.
If you’re still stuck on how scary drugs are I ask that you listen to the first few episodes of the podcast series “Historical Controversies” from the Mises institute. https://mises.org/library/historical-controversies?page=7 as this discussion is way past the need for legalization of marijuana.
The more states that legalize marijuana, the more the question is posed; should gun owners be allowed to use medicinal marijuana. Part of the reason that this is such a difficult question for most is the lies that have been told for so long about marijuana and other illicit drugs, hence why I put the link to the podcast series above. It’s well done, thorough, and best of all it includes tons of references. I’ve tried to point this out numerous times through these writings that many times people are all about freedom and liberty when it comes to themselves but are quick to want to reign in the freedom of others whether it be “what part of infringe don’t you understand… unless you’re a felon” or “marijuana should be legal… and tax the hell out of it.”
Think of the countless ridiculous laws, prohibitions, and sin taxes that have been pushed in American just during the 20th century. Many areas still have pointless Blue laws regulating industries and behaviors. The story of the Ice Cream Sundae was because of a Soda shop wanting to still make money on Sunday but was unable to sell Soda Pop as it was against the law on Sundays. Alcohol was probably the most famous prohibition where is users were vilified by numerous groups and politicians, point being that marijuana users are just the most current in a long line of second class citizens… even while marijuana use is in many ways like that of alcohol during prohibition, it’s in common use and is losing its taboo profile. But that doesn’t stop the hypocrites.
Think about this, 60% of adults will be on antidepressants at one point or another in their lifetime. Do you think they plan on giving up their firearms? Or look at it another way 10,000 people die in drunk driving crashes every year, do we take someone’s license who drinks BEFORE they commit the crime? The governments constant pushing for “pre-crime” legislation is slippery slope that focuses on punishing people who have not committed any crime, completely neglecting the good old “innocent until proven guilty.”
I realize much of this section was about Marijuana and that was intentional as this is the more hot button issue right now. This all still applies to the cocaine, heroin, DMT, LSD, etc… user. This is not advocating the use of firearms while intoxicated on any of these (or alcohol) what I am saying is its use doesn’t make the users rights null and void. The response to this is often that druggies end up committing crimes while trying to get money for these drugs… well yeah but it is illegal to steal you know, will you also be banning drug users from crow bars and bolt cutters? This also is a great example of the misconception of drug users. Contrary to cop drama television shows and movies… not everyone who has looked at a drug becomes a rabid uncontrollable druggy.
This also segways into our next topic and that is the states right to regulate itself, if a state wants to legalize marijuana than it has every right to allow its citizens who partake to also posses firearms. The second amendment specifically forbids the federal government from getting involved.
Thomas Massie recently spoke on this topic as well: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/gop-congressman-wants-marijuana-consumers-to-be-able-to-legally-purchase-guns/ .
Sometimes just the mere exercise of walking through controversial positions can strengthen your own beliefs, it can also help you determine if your view is based on emotions or based on logic. I have no doubt people will not agree with all these positions… and that’s fine, echo chambers are not usually great places for growth.
Gun owners are quick to point out the importance of the Natural Right of self-defense as well as the constitutionally protected right of firearms by the second amendment. However once you start wading in the weeds you find that it isn’t as cut and dry for most. They mean that it is a Natural Right and Constitutionally protected right for THEM… Which is why this topic is in need of review.
Felons should be able to purchase and possess firearms… admittedly this isn’t the majority or popular opinion, and you can be damn sure it isn’t on any bumper stickers or upcoming pieces of legislation, however the fact remains the same. Why? One is that not all felons are violent, example; drug distribution/ possession in some cases, cyber crimes, fraud, counterfeiting, bribery, and drunk driving are just some cases of non-violent felonies. Some argue that these people have committed crimes, they knew what they were doing and it isn’t so much that they aren’t safe it is that they need to still be punished. Or phrased differently (and ignorantly) “play stupid games, win stupid prizes.” If this is the case the question becomes how long does a person need to be punished for a crime? Generally people who go to prison and are released are said to have “paid their debt to society” how is that true if their rights are not restored? Some politicians have looked to restore voting rights, jury duty, and even running for public office. Note though that not a thought is given to restore their right to own firearms. It is interesting to hear the same people who say voting laws that don’t allow felons to vote disproportionately effect the African American vote, but they don’t apply this to African Americans being disproportionately unable to protect themselves and their families with firearms. It also doesn’t take much research to see that the areas where many ex-cons live are areas with increased crime rates, the very area where self-defense is needed the most.
We can look in article after article that basically say the same thing, people who are against restoring the rights of felons continue to insist that the state continue to exact punishment and retribution, upon people who have paid their debt to society. But again, these articles mention nothing of restoring gun rights. (Do your own research look up “restoring felons right to vote”)
Violent offenders bring up more issues, first why are we letting them out if we still think they are violent? Second if these are violent criminals then haven’t they proven they don’t exactly obey laws? Third if felons are not allowed to buy guns then how would we stop them? Background checks? But we’ve already covered that previously (links below). Is it right to infringe on the rights of everyone so we can stop the sale of a few guns to violent felons who would be able to get the guns through other means anyway?
Gun control doesn’t work, it is legislation that keeps firearms out of the hands of people without due process.
While there have been “reformations” in the past none of them stand out more than the “Protestant Reformation” after all it is referred to as “THE” reformation, along with an actual day dedicated to it (Oct 31st). What I suggest now is a Gun Reformation…
History lesson: in 1517 Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 thesis to the door at Wittenburg, what may not be as well known was Luther’s last straw that resulted in him airing his grievances was Johan Tetzel. Tetzel’s famous line was “for every coin in the coffer rings a soul in purgatory springs” (coffer being the box that collected the offering to bring to Pope Leo). The reason this infuriated Luther was that he believed this to be a downright lie on contrary to scripture. His thesis was to point out the errors and “reform” or correct the current path or position of the Roman Church at the time. He wasn’t the first to do this John Wycliffe and Jan Hus made stands as well (Hus was executed for it). Luther’s famous words were “here I stand, I can do no other” was a brave stance that he took at one of his trials (Diet of Worms… which has to be the best trial name).
What Luther went on to do was translate the Bible into the German language while he was in hiding, this is a clear example of Civil Disobedience as his aim was not violence just disobeying what he believed to be unjust. The result was the largest group of PROTESTers in the world… the PROTESTants, responsible for modern German language, and he spawned resistance during his time as well as centuries later in an name that would become synonymous with civil disobedience… Martin Luther King Jr (MLK). MLK’s name changed after his dad learned about the reformer. (Of course my favorite thing about Martin Luther was that although he was brilliant he still told his enemies to Eat Shit (look it up)) Back to MLK, MLK is perhaps the first thing people think of when they hear Civil Disobedience (sorry Henry David Thoreau) his statements on civil disobedience are numerous and “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” in my opinion is better than his “I have a Dream” speech. Letters from a Birmingham jail is where he said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It might sound weird to say but I think the letter gives the best example of his brilliance, in that he wrote so well and referenced cases so clearly yet he wrote this in prison… He was writing about civil disobedience while acting out civil disobedience.
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the
oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct-action movement that was “well timed” according to the timetable of
those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “wait.” It rings in the
ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This “wait” has almost always meant “never.” -MLK
I have heard others say that not turning in an item such as a bump stock or high capacity magazine then you are breaking the law and you are a criminal, and further saying this is not civil disobedience… However this action is exactly that civil disobedience. It is asinine to believe that just because a thing is entitled “law” that it somehow becomes “just.” Countless cases can be offered as example such as Harriet Tubman, Corrie ten Boom, MLK, and I would say to an extent more controversial people like Daniel Ellsberg (leaked Pentagon Papers which helped end Veitnam War), Edward Snowden, or even Julian Assange. It is easier to argue over older scenarios and their morality because the stigma is gone, in other words enough people finally agree that what was done to blacks and Jews was immoral. At this moment most do not consider an infringement of the 2nd amendment to be immoral, in fact I would say they believe they have the moral high ground as they do not understand Natural Rights/Law. Even people who you would think would be on our side are pushing to not disturb the status quo, again in MLK’s Letters from jail he seems to answer “You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just laws, and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.” I do not want it to sound like gun owners plight is currently that of the Blacks in the 60s, far from it. However at what point do you want to reform and at what point can you no longer reform and you must revolt? I for one would rather attack low hanging fruit while we still have the means instead of waiting to things further deteriorate.
Between Luther and MLK we had Henry David Thoreau who literally wrote the book on Civil Disobedience. He argued Civil Disobedience is the “deliberate violation of laws for reason of conscience.” (Notice he didn’t say they had to be public displays of resistance) Thoreau’s belief was that no law should command blind obedience and that non-cooperation with unjust laws is both morally correct and socially beneficial. An interesting quote that ties Reformation and Civil Disobedience is from Thoreau’s famous work, in it he says “They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?” When I started writing this post my whole intention was to only explain that the gun community needed a reformation and was using the reformation as a comparison, what I did not plan until seeing a post from gun celeb, was that reformation and civil disobedience were so similar. Thoreau in the previous quote in his book on civil disobedience actually references Luther, MLK in his letter from a Birmingham Jail quotes St Augustine who said “an unjust law is no law at all.” Luther was a monk dedicating himself to the “Augustinian” order, Wycliff was known as John of Augustine because he loved him so much and Hus was Wycliff’s student… In other words St Augustine was born in the mid 300’s yet the same belief that was true in his day was true in Wycliffs, Hus, Luther, Thoreau, MLK and so on and that is DISOBEY UNJUST LAWS! Civil disobedience is nothing new, it has just grown out of favor as a means to correct the state, just like the tenth amendment that so few citizens seem to understand.
What every great generation or leader has had in common was that they had a breaking point, a point where they said “here I stand, I can do no other”…. what made movements out of those moments was that other people got on board and simultaneously had the last straw. The reason I started with Luther was that his last straw was similar to the problems we face in the gun community. (you could argue it was also the founders last straw with the Stamp Act) It is violating or ignoring your convictions for financial gain. The amount of “gun celebs” that have fallen in the trap are countless… too many have let their pocket book direct their beliefs instead of the truth. Just like there are televangelists and there are pastors, one group claims to believe the same but is only interested in financial gain. Organizations like the NRA are rotten to the core where the mission has been lost due to the maintenance of the monument. $400 million dollars in annual donations (under Obama) results in numerous people clamoring to keep their jobs and putting principle to the side to make way for profit. Outside of the NRA we have too many people who claim to be supporters of the constitution and gun rights who make statements like “don’t blame me I just enforce the law I didn’t write it.” People who make such claims that they are just enforcers are in direct opposition to their duty to protect the people. I urge you to read MLKs letter not only because of the content but because who the letter was written to. I think the letter is more powerful because he was writing to his fellow pastors… people who should have been next to him but stayed safely away. People who Thoreau said sit by waiting for “others to remedy the evil.”
“Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. To use the words of Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher, segregation substitutes an “I – it” relationship for the “I – thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. So segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, but it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Isn’t segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, an expression of his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? So I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court because it is morally right, and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances because they are morally wrong.
Let us turn to a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow, and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.
Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was seen sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar because a higher moral law was involved. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks before submitting to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil
We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal. If I lived in a Communist
country today where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I believe I would openly advocate disobeying these anti-religious laws.”
The topic of banning private gun sales has been around for a while, including Obama’s whole campaign so why are we still talking about it like it’s actually going to happen?
Well because it just might…
As has been said before every little piece of gun control legislation is a stepping stone to the next. Private sales go hand in hand with background checks which is a current hot topic as well. If you require expanded background checks then no doubt you will soon eliminate private sales between two individuals. We should start back a little further to how the Federal Firearm License (FFL) program was implemented as part of the 1986 Gun Control Act. Notice that the 1968 Gun Control Act followed the assassination of JFK (the debate on the act started shortly after his death), the 1934 National firearm act followed the “business plot” of 1933 to overthrow the Roosevelt presidency, 1986 Hughes amendment was after the attempted assassination of Reagan, and from that same event we end up with the Brady bill. The 1968 Gun Control Act requires that business owners who sell firearms to have a FFL, not only that but it bans the sale of handguns from private out of state individuals. Using the most violated portion of the Constitution, the Interstate Commerce Clause. The amount of awful legislation produced from a perverted view of the Commerce Clause is staggering. This is where the restriction of private sales really began and the implementation of license manufacturers along with proper serial numbers. One has to wonder how guns were so readily available through mail order, no serial numbers, no background checks, yet gun crime pales in comparison to what we have today.
Ultimately I would say this is one solution to figuring out what to do with crime, why were guns so much more readily available yet there was little violent crime? Personally I blame the deterioration of family including welfare system, the drug war, the education system, perpetual war, and the rise in pharmaceuticals, it is certainly hard to point at one specific item. To clarify, this isn’t to try and point fingers at everything besides guns, it is to say that firearms existed and were readily available for over a century and the rise in violent crimes coincide with the other items I mentioned. Therefore attacking a symptom and not looking at the root cause is like giving a patient, with a brain tumor, only aspirin to fix his headache. Continuing down the current path of adding reactive regulations will do nothing to truly decrease gun violence.
As I said Obama didn’t get very far on putting an end to private sales, in fact the only thing he was able to push was that if you routinely sold firearms then you needed a FFL. This is contrary to the ATF’s take on it, as they have said for years if you are not in business then not only do you NOT need one but you CANNOT have one. The fact of the matter there are thousands of old men who set up at flea market like gun shows (quick clarification you can sell flea market items at a gun show but cannot sell guns at a flea market) and their goal is mainly as collectors, just trading up for the next thing. Many of these guys will never even shoot the firearms they are buying it’s like a stamp collector or baseball card collector, it’s the thrill of it and the community of being around fellow collectors. Some may say that the FFL system allows them to apply for a “curio and relic” license but this again may not apply to the more casual collector. Also who can blame a person for believing the government doesn’t need to know about their large assortment of early 20th century 22 rimfires and double barrel shotguns.
I said this about background checks and I think the same about private sales, these rules will more than likely pass because the government wants be involved in every aspect of our life, it adds to revenue due to taxing as firearms would have to go through an FFL, and it fits with the idea of background checks for all purchases. Leaves me to wonder when will enough be enough.
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