Back when I was young, naive and not yet wise to the ways of the world, about two weeks ago, I was fantasizing about being elected Benevolent Dictator of the Universe. You know, just like President Nine Iron.
Since I view the whole gun issue as a great barometer for individual liberty and personal accountability, it would make sense for my first official acts to be striking down some of the more onerous gun laws.
Figuring out exactly which laws to start with would be quite a challenge as there are over 20,000 gun control laws on the books. Why? Because “compromise,” that’s why.
Well, not compromise in the true sense of the word. You see, real compromise means that each side gives up a little, yet wins a little of what they want. Both sides share in their respective upsides and downsides. Like sex.
When it comes to gun control, there is no such thing as real compromise. It’s just a code word for “You guys just keep giving up more and more ground while we give up nothing until we achieve complete and total civilian disarmament.” Real compromise on gun issues, is about as likely as our President skipping a golf outing to attend a national security briefing.
This is why we have 20,000 gun control laws and more being proposed each and every day.
When that glorious day comes, when I’m in charge, I’m going to set about fixing a few things. Think beavers are industrious? Wait til you see me in action with my secret decoder dictator pen! During the first 20 minutes of my reign, I’ll get rid of ALL gun control laws. Well, all except one perhaps. I do kind of like that 2013 Family Protection Ordinance, passed in Nelson, GA, that requires all citizens to own a gun and ammunition. The intent is to “provide for the emergency management of the city” and to “provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.” I suppose I could live with that one.
But just because I’m feeling masochistic, and due to word count limitations of this article, I’m limiting my initial actions to just four laws – for starters.
1. The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990
The first one is easy. That would be Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. This is one of those populist feel-good laws that does far more damage than good. Our cerebral and insightful VP, Mr. “Shotgun Joe” Biden introduced this one.
This one is my top priority. If you’re reading this, you probably already know why. It’s bad enough that this law does absolutely nothing to protect our children. Worse is the fact that it creates and advertises ideal target areas for evildoers. Since schools are self-defense free zones, they’re the number one target of sociopaths. Should regular terror attacks like those overseas make their way to the US, what do you think the first targets will be?
I can’t for the life of me figure out why we can’t seem to provide the same level of protection for our children as our money. How many mass murderers target banks, where legal guns are allowed, instead of defenseless targets like schools?
2. The Gun Control Act of 1968
Number two is also easy. That would be the Gun Control Act of 1968. Why? It created that whole FFL system and all the bloated overhead that goes with it. While private sales are still perfectly legal (within your state at least) you can’t buy a gun from a store unless that store is a subject of the federal government. You can’t sell your gun across state lines without getting two FFL dealers in involved in the process. Oh, and the GCA is the leading reason that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives authority is spreading faster than a cold virus in a Chuck E. Cheese playground.
A large part of the GCA had to do with regulation of interstate firearm commerce, but when you think about it, there’s no logic. The NICS system, love it or hate it, is a federal level check, so it matters not a hoot where you are at the time that a background check is performed. If I buy a gun in Montana or Florida the same call is made to the same office to validate my legal status.
To my FFL buddies: I don’t want to drive you out of business. Au contraire, I want you to be able to focus on selling guns, ammo and accessories – not dealing with paperwork and audits by the federal government. You can thank me later!
3. National Firearms Act
The National Firearms Act of 1934 was the biggie that started the downhill slide of gun legislation. Yeah, I know, this law was amended by the 1968 clusterfuggle, but it’s well known for the “certain firearms” restriction business. After the repeal of prohibition, the feds got bored and needed something else to regulate, so they decided on guns since eCigarettes hadn’t been invented yet. With complete disregard for the entire intent of the Second Amendment, they imposed regulation and restriction on certain types of firearms. To put this law’s impact in simple terms, it’s the reason you have to send $200, fingerprints and stool samples to the ATF, and wait for many moons, to get something as simple as a gun muffler or rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches.
As a refresher, the guys who started that major shooting war back in 1776 didn’t do it to protect deer hunting rights. They did it to protect against a tyrannical government. Accordingly, when they wrote that Second Amendment thing, the intent was for private citizens to (always) have equal power and weaponry to that of the government.
Where do you think all the cannons in the Revolutionary War came from? That’s right, most of them were privately owned.
4. The New York SAFE Act
The SAFE Act makes my list not because of its impact on the country as a whole, but because it’s a shining example of bad government behavior at its worst. So inclusion of this one in my top four is an issue of principle.
In case you were busy watching Housewives of Toad Suck, Arkansas in January of 2013, this law was rammed through, literally under cover of darkness, and signed into law by Governor Andrew “Happy Tyrant Pen” Cuomo on the same day. No debate, no input from citizens. Not even consultation with law enforcement, who, by the way, were also prohibited from carrying more than seven rounds of ammo by the same law – it was that poorly conceived. The process, not to mention provisions of the act, was dastardly.
Our legislative system is supposed to be dysfunctional. We’re supposed to argue, debate and call each other names.That’s how issues get resolved, compromises achieved and good decisions are made.
I’ll let you folks know when my Benevolent Dictator uniform gets here so we can get started on these four repeals. Since I’ll be benevolent in my dictating, I’ll be taking requests, so what are your top priorities?
Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.