Friday, February 20, 2009

Attack on the Second Amendment

For years, whenever the whole "Democrats want to confiscate all of our guns" topic came up, I would ask the (usually) right-wing Limbaugh-listening Hannity-channeling blowhards making the claim if they could picture a situation in which the Democrats could confiscate every firearm in the country.

The answer was always no, and that's how I was able to shift the conversation back to things that were truly important.

Now I'm not so sure. After enduring eight years of Constitution-shredding rights-revoking road-warrior decimation by the Rethugs, now there's an attack from the left. It's something called the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009, and it has some troubling provisions: It defines all gun dealings as interstate commerce, which automatically makes them subject to federal restrictions and it requires that all persons who even possess a "qualifying" firearm be licensed by the feds as a "gun dealer". There's more. Take a look at the article.

As usual, the intent behind this bill is a noble one: Reduce gun violence. Fair enough, I guess, but, as the NRA has argued all these years (and Jesus, do I ever hate being in line with those fascists on this), guns don't kill people, people kill people. And those who don't think that this registration can be the first step to confiscation...well, all you need to do is take a look at Great Britain and Australia to see that this is exactly what took place there.

Making it illegal to possess a firearm without all this rigamarole will not stop "gun violence". Even if they were somehow successful in rounding up every single handgun and semi-automatic rifle in the country (a physical impossibility), the criminals and crazies would just switch to sawed-off double-barrel shotguns -- easy to conceal, easy to reload, and deadly effective within their working range. And also, because of the spread pattern, more likely to injure or kill "innocent bystanders", i.e. those who are not the intended victim of the attack.

But of course not everyone will give up their guns willingly, and I believe that millions of people will just ignore the law, not get the license, and take their chances rather than give in.

Haven't our previous forays into banning things (alcohol and drugs are the two signal examples) been lesson enough for us? When you ban something, all it does is drive the trade underground and make it more profitable for the "bad guys".

It's ironic: All this time the NRA was squawking that when "they" take away our rights under the Second Amendment, then they will be able to take away all of our other rights. They were wrong about that -- the got it backwards. Who knew that "they" would successfully take away all of our other rights first?

Please, we have enough problems in this country already to deal with. We don't need the "smoke and mirrors" magic tricks in this bill to divert our attention from those problems.

But then I think you all ought to know that my friends tend to call me a "gun-totin' meat-eatin' redneck liberal" so I may be a little biased here. But believe me, it really does pain me to be on the same side of the table with the NRA.