Mark Anderson's recent commentary, "It's time to ban all guns" promoted me to write Mark and post my message as the following commentary. I appeal Mark to reconsider his position and welcome any response he has to this commentary.
Please tell me as succinctly as possible who has the authority to legislate (ban guns) contrary to our Constitution?
The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. Implicit in that right is the right to purchase both the weapon and the ammunition.
Neither federal nor state legislatures have any authority to legislate contrary to our Constitution.
If we view gun crime as unacceptable, then we should make the criminal's penalty for gun crime fit the crime. We should not ban the instrument of the crime when there are compelling reasons not to.
Every gun crime can be traced to a flaw in legitimate regulation of gun access and/or licensing. Why not address that problem? Why take the easy route of banning all guns in violation of our Constitution?
This is a point lost on far too many. Evidently, you included.
There are remedies for gun violence that do not deny our fundamental constitutional right.
Among those remedies (and constitutionally, these are a state power, not federal power):
(1) Just as we must all be licensed to drive a motor vehicle, those desiring to own and use a gun should be properly licensed. Gun ownership, like driving a motor vehicle, is a privilege, i.e., a right that comes with responsibilities. Licensing and policing are instruments to encourage and enforce responsibility.
(2) Proper licensing requires instruction in the ownership and use of a gun, including how to protect it from falling into hands of those who are not licensed. It must also include a thorough background check of the individual. Any felony record or certified mental instability should automatically deny gun ownership. Be a good citizen, or lose a constitutional right.
(3) As with motor vehicle licensing, the license should include a reasonably current photo identification.
(4) Licenses should have a limited life and the renewal process should include an updated photo and background check.
B. Proper penalties:
(1) The use of a gun to kill someone in pursuit of criminal activity (including the act of killing with malicious intent) should carry a mandatory death penalty, no exceptions. Eye for an eye. There should be no penalty for legitimate use of a gun in self-defense or the defense of one’s family and/or home.
(2) The act of selling or providing a gun to an unlicensed person who, in turn, uses that weapon illegally, should bring with it mandatory prison for the person providing the gun. This would include those who do not properly safeguard their gun(s), allowing others access who are not properly licensed.
(3) Armed rebellion to defend our Constitutional Republic from tyrants should be exempt from penalty. Such use comes with a burden of proof, but since it is the very reason our Constitution provides a right to bear arms, reasonable use of guns in defense of our Constitutional Republic must be protected from criminal penalty.
Banning guns is a child’s solution to an adult problem. And it is unconstitutional. So, please, I urge those of you who support gun bans to look more deeply at this issue and reconsider your position.
Remember, the right to bear arms is in our Constitution to provide the People with the means to assure that our Constitutional Republic is not destroyed by those in power who extend that power beyond their constitutional authority.
Ultimately, should it be necessary for the People to move in armed rebellion against usurpers who ignore Constitution restraints, then the People will need to be armed to defend our Constitution.
Sadly, many in Washington today do not even give “lip service” to their oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (oath of President) or “support and defend the Constitution of the United States “ (oath of Congress). This is a warning sign that should motivate resistance to, not support for, banning guns.
Banning guns is an essential requirement for tyrants to enable them to seize ultimate power in defiance of the People. History informs us that once tyranny takes control, the People will not find it easy to restore their Constitutional Republic. Recall Russia, Cuba, and Germany after tyrants seized power in the name of international and national socialism. In each of those cases, guns were banned to facilitate seizure of power.
Once the capability (our right) to fight tyranny is removed, it becomes far more difficult to remove tyrants from their seat of absolute power.
If, in clear violation of our Constitution, we allow our citizens to be disarmed, we will have ceded our ability to fight a single battle in defense of our Constitutional Republic.
That is a price far in excess of the cost of gun violence.
When our federal government seeks to be the instrument of utopian charity, it is really waging battle on a false front in its war to seize absolute power. The only obstacle is an informed and armed People.
Contemplate the prescient words of James Madison, author of our Constitution:
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. … If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one. …
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. … The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general.
"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. … There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
Consider how far the current Administration has strayed from Madison’s wisdom and you have a pretty good barometer of how close this nation is to absolute tyranny and why it is imperative that we fight the unconstitutional campaign to ban guns.
Bob Webster, a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.