by Craig Masters
In the aftermath of the crisis at Sandy Hook Elementary, those in Washington and many others in the media suggest we who would be the next militia trade freedom for the false promise of security. They have joined the Obama cry for a national system of gun control that would – in the President’s words, “stop the insanity.” Which insanity does he mean exactly; trillion dollar deficits, more green energy investment money going into political campaign contributor pockets? Is disarming Americans somehow going to end insanity? Ironically eventually this president will be exposed as the greatest trafficker in illegal weapons in U.S. history. But for now he is counting on public sympathy to be focused anywhere but on the facts or existing laws or the Constitution.
The records are clear that this administration has fought violently in court to keep its involvement in the Fast and Furious gun trafficking scheme from becoming public knowledge. But more than enough documents have already been uncovered to know that the scheme was to have these guns used in crimes here in the U.S. and thus build support for gun control at the federal level. Even as Obama signs a flurry of executive orders to push his agenda to disarm Americans, his administration is fighting against the release of public records withheld from Congress by Obama under executive privilege June 20, 2012. Earlier this January the Obama administration filed what experts have called “an outrageous court motion” in which the President claims he does not have to answer to the American people, or abide by the Freedom of Information Act at all regarding Fast and Furious gun trafficking scandal!
Disregarding the whole idea of the Second Amendment for a moment, it is possible to argue against the majority of the new executive orders on the basis of other existing laws and the historical records they have generated over the past 25 or 30 years.
In 1982 Chicago (where more Americans have died in the past ten years than in the Afghanistan war zone in Kabul) enacted a total ban on handguns with the exception being only those weapons registered with the city government prior to the 1982 law being enacted. One provision of that law called for those persons who were permitted to own handguns to re-register those weapons every two years. In 1994 the city revised its prohibition of handgun ownership and adjusted the the section of the law that required re-registration every two years to requiring re-registration every year. By 2010 the citizens of Chicago had virtually become disarmed as a result of 28 years of the city’s total ban on new ownership of handguns and excessive registration requirements discouraging permitted owners from remaining within the city. On June 10, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that the Chicago handgun ban is unconstitutional. But by then the damage had been done. The murder rate in Chicago speaks so clearly in favor of law-abiding citizens being unable to protect themselves that it would seem even the President, a former Chicago community organizer in a community with one of the highest murder rates in the country, would be in favor of easier access to handguns instead of attempting to create a nationwide “Chicago gang criminal safe zone” like he left behind in Chicago.
Four years after the Chicago ban was enacted came the 1986 McClure-Volkmer Act. This federal law forbids the federal government from establishing any “system of registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearms transactions or distribution.” And then again in the Brady Act of 1993 the prohibition of a federal gun control program was included in wording that prohibited the establishment of any electronic registry of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions.
On the opposite tack from trying to disarm law-abiding citizens, Florida realized the citizens should be able to protect themselves and in 1987 enacted a right-to-carry law allowing those persons who so desired to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The numbers released by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing show that since the right-to-carry law went into effect, the Florida murder rate has averaged 36% lower than it was before the law took effect. That is more than double the decreased rate on the national level following the Brady Bill. Texas also enacted a RTC law and saw a 30% decrease in the murder rate compared to prior to the law being in effect. In fact, there is no state or city where the murder rate did not decrease after a RTC law was enacted.
As to the argument for creating criminal safe zones where even those law-abiding holders of RTC licenses are prohibited – like the Aurora theater – consider this: of the 2,571,573 Florida RTC licenses in effect between 10/1/1987 and 07/31/2010 only 168 were revoked because the holder was involved in a crime involving a gun according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing.
Now if we believe Obama we are supposedly going to be safer because the President has decided mental health professionals can decide whether or not a citizen without any criminal actions in his or her background can be denied the right to own a gun. The idea of approval of gun ownership by mental health professionals is born of the idea that there are people out there who can somehow determine if a person is mentally healthy now and will stay so for the rest of his or her life.
But who are these mental health professionals? Where did they learn their skills? Are they psychologists? Psychology is one of those subjects you can take for years, answer every question on every test ‘wrong’ and still get a diploma and an A for the class. The whole subject is a matter of opinion!
Maybe psychiatrists should be making the final approval of which citizens can and cannot own guns. At least psychiatrists learn some serious chemistry and medical procedures. But can they read minds or see into the future? There is no evidence that suggests they can.
Seeing into the future is the key to deciding who will become violent and use a gun to hurt someone else. And this is the area of expertise of psychics and Gypsy fortune tellers. But does Obama expect the federal government to certify these people as ‘mental health professionals’ and be designated as the ones who will decide which of us will be approved for gun ownership?
There is no indication in the 23 executive orders as to how anyone can or will be able to decide who is going to be mentally healthy for the rest of their life. Nor is there any set of qualifications for who will be designated as Director of Mental Health Decisions for Gun Ownership Czar. These questions and their answers will have to come after the orders take effect. Once again we have to ‘pass the bill’ in order to see what’s in it!