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Our Position on Guns and Gun Control
This is not as much of a no-brainer as you may think. Conservatives throughout the country decry gun control as the first major step toward tyranny. They cite the Second Amendment to the Constitution as carte blanche for Americans to arm themselves as they please. On the other side of the spectrum, the extreme left hates the notion of an armed populace, either from a genuine misunderstanding of the people, or an ingrained belief that the people lack the wisdom to manage their own lives without governmental assastance and controls, or a sinister desire to pacify the people and reduce or eliminate their ability to thwart tyranny. I truly hope against all hope that the leftists do not operate from the last potential motivation on the above list.
I will sum up our position in preamble: Conservativity supports the Constitution as written, including but not limited to a substantially unfettered right to keep and bear arms. A rule of reason approach is minimally necessary to prevent those who use weapons in crime from using them again, to keep weapons out of the hands of incompetents, and to prevent the keeping of artillery or weapons of mass destruction. Apart from that, we strongly oppose any anti-weapon legislation. We also strongly oppose amending the Constitution in any way that would restrict the People’s rights beyond what we’ve just said here.
Now we’ll explain why we hold our position. To start off our discussion, here is the entire text of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Recently the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a highly controversial decision, ruled that this text does not grant an individual right to bear arms. The 9th Circuit’s decision is ludicrous on its face, and assigns a meaning to the "militia" clause that flies in the face of its text. Let’s get some background on what the founders thought of Amendment II. Since the Federalist Papers predate the amendment, we’ll not use them as a primary source. Let’s then look at the Congressional Register, August 17, 1789. Here’s a Quote:
"Whenever government mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the commencement of the late revolution. They used every means in their power to prevent the establishement of an effective militia to the eastward. The assembly of Massachusetts, seeing the rapid progress that administration were making, to divest them of their inherent privileges, endeavored to counteract them by the organization of the militia, but they were always defeated by the influence of the crown." Mr. Gerry of the Congress.
"[I]t is evident that the right to bear arms is not restricted to use in the militia scenario. In fact, the right to own and keep weapons is an essential prerequisite to the ability to rebel against tyranny."
Gerry was the primary voice of the debate on Arms and Militia, and objected to the abortive "religiously scrupulous" clause that said that conscientious objectors to war could not be compelled to bear arms. Gerry’s objections prevailed. Reading Gerry above, it is evident that the right to bear arms is not restricted to use in the militia scenario. In fact, the right to own and keep weapons is an essential prerequisite to the ability to rebel against tyranny. Notice that this right is absolute, and although fourth in the articles to promulgate from the Congress, it was in final, the second approved. This shows the high importance that the people placed on this fundamental right.
This is a right not to be infringed. This is a special word, meaning that the right shall not be denied or abridged in any manner. The purists among this amendment’s supporters hold this to mean that any effort to burden the people’s efforts to keep arms unto themselves is inherently unconstitutional. The plain language and the history of the amendment bolster their position quite nicely.
Subsequently, courts have held that laws prohibiting any felon from owning a weapon ever again were constitutional. We disagree. First, if some numbnuts writes a bad check for $301 and gets a felony knock on his record (most states hold that bad checks over $300 are felony violations), that felony thing does nothing to protect the people. Numbnuts is highly unlikely to try to rob a bank with an AK-47. However, if someone is charged with aggravated assault for threatening someone’s life with a gun, and pleads down to misdemeanor assault (which happens all the time), that person has demonstrated a tendency to abuse the Second Amendment right, but is not required to surrender his weapons. Therefore, we feel that the best way to minimally burden this fundamental right is to prohibit anyone from keeping arms, if that person has been convicted of any crime where he used a weapon in any way. That prohibition should be subject to the pardon power.
"Considering that most crimes involving weapons are not committed with registered guns, and there are plenty of unregistered guns everywhere, the benefit of gun registration is greatly limited, and the potential danger to our liberty is grave."
Another restriction has been the imposition of registration requirements for both firearm owners and firearms themselves. The former is used ostensibly to ensure that only those eligible to keep arms under the statutes do so, and the latter is ostensibly used to track stolen weapons and/or to solve crimes. To us, both requirements go past reasonable burden. It is possible to set up one national database with an instant check and no "trail" to see if someone was ineligible to bear arms. That way, the privacy rights of the gun owner are protected and ineligible gun owners are kept from purchasing weapons. Registration of firearms is simply too easy to be abused. Here is a list of the law-abiding citizens with guns, and what they have. Should an oppressive regime come into power, it will have little to no trouble confiscating all firearm weapons. This is too dangerous. Considering that most crimes involving weapons are not committed with registered guns, and there are plenty of unregistered guns everywhere, the benefit of gun registration is greatly limited, and the potential danger to our liberty is grave.
Then there are bans on automatic weapons, meaning machine guns and fully automatic assault rifles. These bans are intended to keep criminals from arming themselves better than the police. Trouble is, illegal machine guns are readily available everywhere. Moreover, the forces that would be used to pacify a public that is being placed under tyrannical rule have them. Therefore, the people must have the right to keep these weapons, including large caliber weapons. We don’t think it should be lawful to allow law-abiding individuals to stockpile artillery, grenades, SAMs, bombs, and the like. This is best off being banned. On the other hand, in the event of invasion, this would facilitate the rapid rise of a well-armed militia to aid in repelling the invaders. Reasonable people would probably prefer to set up local armories from which the militia may be armed in this event. Frankly I would be terrified that two very angry neighbors in a property line dispute would let fly with mortars, bazookas and the like.
Finally, we say that the people ought not to keep weapons of mass destruction of any kind. To protect the people, the government ought to be prohibited from ever deploying them against the people. It is truly insane to allow the people to stockpile chemical, bio or nuclear weapons.
This summarizes our position on this issue.