King William speaks

By Scott Carpenter
web posted February 21, 2000

Bill Clinton was back on stage on February 16 paying lip service to all the usual issues: social security, health care reform and of course firearms. I don't know about you but I'm getting kind of tired of having to listen to every politician under the sun with some disarmament agenda spout off about the need to increase public safety through yet another set of laws that do nothing of the sort.

We all know, as a matter of common sense, that background checks do not stop criminals from getting guns as it simply forces them to do business behind closed doors and thus behind the back of the system. Introducing these sorts of "waiting period" laws at gun shows (one of the issues Clinton was prattling on about at his conference) will be even less effective than they are in established businesses. I can see the scenario now:

"Big Bad" guy approaches "Joe Bloe" at the local gun show and asks him how much he wants for that .45 semi auto sitting on his table. The guy behind the seller's table responds that it is $200.00 but that "Big Bad" will have to wait for a background check to be done first, or he can meet him out back at his Van afterwards for a bit of whining and bitching about this new law at which point "Big Bad" will repay "Joe" that $200.00 he owes him and "Joe" will return that .45 he borrowed from "Big Bad" last month. [Note to all government agents: I am not condoning such an action but am only pointing out the obvious holes in this system!]

This being a very real problem the bureaucrats and politicians will be forced (by the bad guys of course) into passing yet another set of more restrictive laws such as mandatory licensing of gun owners and registration of lawfully held firearms. If you don't think it will happen in your state just take a look north of the border for a quick reality check. Canadians now enjoy all of these listed safety features... yet criminals continue to get guns!? Go figure!

The Brady Bill and its children are what psychologists like to call the "foot in door technique." They start with a seemingly harmless law that is not incredibly inconvenient but is, at the same time, highly ineffective. From there, since that law didn't seem to work to well, we (the government with permission from the masses who voted them into office... or so the logic goes) introduce more restrictive measures, all in the name of the public good (of course). Second Amendment and hundreds of years of common law be damned. Nothing shall stop them from their appointed mission: to socially engineer... errr... to make society a much safer place.

What's the point of my rant here? Well, quite simply, all of these "safety" laws beg a few important questions that gun owners have failed to ask... questions that would reveal the true agenda of our concerned officials and lobby groups.

For instance: after these new laws purge our society of crime and violence will we then be able to rescind them, assuming that citizens from across the continent have learned how to be peaceful people? If no, then why not? Surely our representatives don't expect us to believe that inanimate objects alone are responsible for the reprehensible behavior of individuals? Once we've all learned to be good citizens shouldn't it then follow that we will have our original liberties returned to us in full? Or is there another agenda in place here?

Moreover, what level of safety must society achieve in order to discard these laws? At what rate of gun deaths per year could we finally say "Things are fine... lets all be free men again!". Also, what happens if, when we finally get rid of all the guns, criminals create a different or more efficient way of killing people? Should we reinstate firearms ownership in the hopes that criminals will start using these less deadly devices? I mean, if it saves one life isn't it worth it?

So many questions so few answers.

In his final comments on this issue, Clinton remarked that he would not pass nor enforce a law that wouldn't work. I laughed so hard I nearly choked. It was damn near a contradiction in terms.

I've got news for Bill Clinton. No type of preventative law will work. New laws do not stop people from acting on evil ideas. Moreover, preventative law that blurs the distinction between whim and justice only diminish an individuals respect for the mechanisms of law to begin with. As a friend of mine once said, after being told by a judge that he couldn't sell his own wheat to whomever he chose (and after the judge used a new law to convict him that didn't exist at the beginning of the trial), "How do you expect me to take this kangaroo court seriously? I won't obey any ruling you hand down!"

Ouch. When these sorts of words are uttered in a court of law we all have a very serious problem.

Passing preventative law only creates criminals out of otherwise peaceful people. If Bill Clinton's goal is to make society a safer place then he should heed some good advice: punish crimes where there is actually a victim, do it expediently and leave everyone else alone.

Scott Carpenter is the editor of Liberty Free Press and a frequent contributor to Enter Stage Right.

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