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

“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. 


https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/4431356/nra-gun-control-history

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/ .

FELONS

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. 

https://reason.com/archives/2016/05/04/should-felons-get-their-gun-rights-back/amp

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2017/05/bruce-krafft/whats-wrong-universal-background-checks/amp/

https://www.gunowners.org/fs08112016.htm

https://voicesofliberty.com/2016/01/13/ron-paul-why-background-checks-are-unconstitutional/amp/

http://www.gunpowdermagazine.com/background-checks-are-unconstitutional-not-common-sense/amp/