A leading national Second Amendment advocate may have cracked a code by suggesting that the gun prohibition lobby isn’t trying to erase the right to keep and bear arms, but rather they are attempting to nullify the amendment piecemeal via increasingly strict regulations, as noted in an Op-Ed he bylined recently in the Asheboro, N.C. Courier-Tribune.
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation continued that contention in a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times Tuesday morning.
“Gun prohibitionists,” he wrote, “simply want to nullify the Second Amendment by regulation.”
It’s an intriguing allegation. After all, when was the last time a politician or gun control advocate claimed to “support the Second Amendment…but?” After that, whomever is speaking typically throws out a sweeping comment about having to “stop gun violence” in the inner cities, or keep guns out of criminals’ hands.
At least, that’s how grassroots gun activists view such people and their tepid pro-Second Amendment remarks.
In both the letter and the Op-Ed column, the latter which is getting rather sparse attention from editorial page editors, Gottlieb also lays down a rather uncomfortable challenge.
“It’s time for the proponents of so-called ‘common-sense gun laws’ to drop the charade and admit that what they really want is to ban privately owned firearms,” he wrote, obviously confident that gun control fanatics would never do any such thing.
A group of anti-gunners tried to put a total ban on semi-auto firearms on the Oregon ballot earlier this year, but the effort failed. Considering the success of much-better-financed anti-gunners in neighboring Washington earlier this month—not banning guns but passing an initiative that defines every semi-auto rifle ever made as a “Semiautomatic assault rifle”—they may be encouraged to try again.
Once the public allows one entire class of firearms to be banned, taking out another class of guns—say scoped hunting rifles that miraculously become “sniper rifles” in the text of a citizen initiative—becomes easier.
Having to apply to a local police agency for a permit to purchase a firearm, as is required in New Jersey where a stalking former boyfriend murdered Carol Bowne in her driveway while she was waiting for the police in Berlin Township to approve her application, is one way to regulate a right out of existence. Ten-day-long waiting periods, so-called “enhanced background checks” and other inconveniences also serve to create what Gottlieb calls “a chilling effect” on the exercise of a fundamental right.
The renewed push for stricter gun laws comes after the massacre in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The people making those demands, according to Gottlieb, “want to punish people who didn’t commit a crime since the actual perpetrator, who took his own life, proved that all of their previously passed restrictions have been abject failures, a fact they don’t care to admit.”
Grassroots gun rights activists think it would be refreshing for the gun control crowd to acknowledge that all of the laws they supported have failed to prevent violent, deadly crimes. Instead, gun prohibitionists demand only tougher laws that, in the final analysis, are tough only on honest citizens.
As Gottlieb’s Op-Ed notes, “Instead of criminalizing a constitutional right, focus on punishing criminals.”