NYT: Who’s Afraid of a National Gun Registry?

 Bridge Gulch, site of the Bridge Gulch Massacre (courtesy topozone.com)

“The dark and nonsensical fantasy that the United States government will one day transform itself into a jackbooted fascist state and seize American weaponry has long been peddled by the gun lobby to stir up donations to its cause,” today’s New York Times editorial opines. “It is the reason the federal background check system is not allowed to keep records of people who are approved to buy guns — advocates claimed that doing so would lead to a national gun registry and thus a road map for the storm troopers to know whose door to kick down in their rabid search for a revolver.” More likely a modern sporting rifle but we understand alliteration’s artistic allure. Anyway, true dat. Highlight and delete the word “nonsensical” and I’d say that’s a fair characterization. So what’s the Times’ indaba? Apparently, it’s that we already have a registry . . .

But licensed dealers already have to keep records of their gun sales when they conduct background checks, which makes the opposition to the same requirement for private sellers particularly absurd. If those records — which are kept for the majority of gun sales — haven’t led to a registry, why should the expanded requirement?

Ah yes, the gun dealer’s “bound book.”

By law, all federal firearms licensees (a.k.a., gun dealers) must record all firearms sales (with info gathered via purchase form 4473) in the book and maintain these records for 20 years. The ATF can request access to the book as part of a criminal investigation. You know; with a warrant and all.

Under the terms of the Firearms Owners Protection Act, the ATF (or any other local, state or federal agency) are not allowed to create a database of guns or gun owners using data from this book.

In the real world, the ATF has plenty o’ firearms databases. But the wider point remains: Uncle Sam doesn’t have a [legal] national gun registry based on the dealers’ bound-book. For exactly the “dark and nonsensical reasons” that the Times derides.

Politicians who respect both the Firearms Owners Protection Act and their constituents’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, and have even the most tenuous grasp of the connection between disarmament and death and dismemberment, see a government maintained “universal background check” as a non-starter. Needless to say, the Times has a different view . . .

It sounds as if this last-minute issue is simply a lame excuse to kill the bill for those lawmakers already under pressure from the National Rifle Association. For the sake of future gun victims, lawmakers should ignore this lobbying and pass a background-check bill with a strong requirement for keeping records.

Wow. It “sounds as if”? In other words, there may be some merit in this argument but it’s probably the NRA obstructing legislation for obstruction’s sake? Hey Times, what if it isn’t?

Would you really risk the possibility of a government run amok and killing—yes disarming, interning and murdering—tens of thousands of people to “make the work of law enforcement easier” and “save” “future gun victims”?

I guess they would. Which is why we wouldn’t.

[Note from wikipedia: "The Bridge Gulch Massacre, also known as the Hayfork Massacre or Natural Bridge Massacre, occurred on 23 April 1852, when more than 150 Wintu people were killed by about 70 American men led by William H. Dixon, the Trinity County sheriff." Map above.]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

48 Responses to NYT: Who’s Afraid of a National Gun Registry?

  1. avatarCrazed Java says:

    Is the same NYT talking about jackbooted thugs being some paranoid fantasy the same NYT that was crying about how George W. Bush was going to institute jackbooted thugs?

    • avatarNeonCat says:

      Shhh! Don’t spoil their beautiful narrative with nasty facts!

      Anyway, things are different now. There’s someone with a D after their name in the White House.

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      To opponents of certain provisions of the Patriot Act as unconstitutional:

      “The Constitution’s just a God damned piece of paper! Stop throwing it in my face!”

      — G.W. Bush

      When THAT was elected in ’04 the U.S. ceased to be, as a majority voted for someone who served “a higher authority” than the U.S. Constitution.

      We became the Union of Bushevist Republiks.

      In a Constitutional Republic, noone who does not consider said Constitution to be the Highest Authority should be permitted to “serve.”

      Glass houses.

      That said, his successor has decreased transparency and embraced/extended many of W’s worst policies. Further, he has treated the Constitution as a buffet, from which to use that which serves his purposes while ignoring and/or suborning the rest.

      While he’s right on a few things, the negative would appear to outweigh the positive. Further, he would appear to have a popular mandate in this.

      Hamilton and Jefferson (who pretty much never agreed) would, I think, agree on this.

      Double plus ungood.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    the United States government will one day transform itself into a jackbooted fascist state

    One day?

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      CA and NYC would be glad to help.

    • avatarChuck in IL says:

      Yes one day. Like August 21, 1992. Or February 28, 1993. Or say April 22, 2000.

      • avatarNathanredbeard says:

        Ok… Ruby Ridge, Waco, but what happened on 4/22/00?

        • avatarNCGlockin says:

          In a pre-dawn raid, federal agents seize six-year-old Elián González from his relatives’ home in Miami, Florida.

        • avatarJ in OR says:

          The Elian Gonzalez raid.

        • avatarElliotte says:

          Follow-up to NCGlockin, and then the Feds shipped him back to Cuba where his father was.

        • avatarRuss Bixby says:

          Gods forbid we should acknowledge a father’s claim to his kidnaped son.

          Yes, Cuba is not a nice place and no, we shouldn’t selectively disregard the law.

          Not that it’s nice, but while distasteful, it was right.

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      There’s a shortage of jackboots, but sneakers, loafers and wingtips will do.

    • avatarPaul says:

      Well Said….. AMERICA IS NOT A FREE COUNTRY. Land of the Brave? But defeinitly NOT the “Land of the Free” thatrs a flipping joke. I will never pledge allegiance again. Any country who denies sick people health care befoire giving it to the so called “Healthy” and then taxes the sick people dirrectly rto pay for that health care for others, is nbot a country I pledge allegiance too. Any more than I would had I been a German during the tenure of the 3rd Reich. Can you say EUGENICS? This is a disgraceful country – I pledge allegiance to our founders the constitution AS WRITTEN and nothing else

  3. avatarNYT says:

    Would you really risk the possibility of a government run amok and killing—yes disarming, interning and murdering—tens of thousands of people to “make the work of law enforcement easier” and “save” “future gun victims”?

    Great Lenin’s ghost! You cannot be serious!

    Kulaks, saboteurs, wreckers, and nationalists are enemies of the state.

    As part of the vanguard of progress it is up to us to encourage the leadership to round up and deal with these felons. The people have a right to be free from fear of them.

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      Y’know, the Soviet Union had the most liberal, progressive Constitution up to that point. It made ours look like a manifesto of totalitarianism.

      All save for one little snippet, stating that any portion – up to and including the whole thing – could be suspended as needed to ensure the “greater good” during a “state of emergency.”

      So… those in power maintained a continuous state of emergency, and did whatever they wished with no respect for or fear of the Law of the Land.

      Glasnost and Perestroika reduced and finally ended that state of emergency, and the U.S.S.R. then collapsed under its own, deflated weight.

      State of Emergency. Sound familiar…?

      • avatarSixpack70 says:

        Yeah, funny how everything is an emergency anymore. A few years ago I wrote to my reps in Oregon to not support a stupid ban on after market mufflers written by some guy in California. It would have made it so I could not put aftermarket exhaust on any cars I own. It was presented as an emergency safety measure. Really? Mufflers make it an emergency safety measure? So not only am I fighting stupidity on firearms, I also am fighting stupidity about banning hot rodding. Leave my damn cars alone also!

    • avatarSamAdams1776 says:

      No they don’t–because that cannot be accomplished except by totalitarian actions, and then the point is proved and with no way to fight the totalitarian regime-the good guys having been disarmed.

      You suffer from a serious trust in the goodness of government. Have you never heard the famous quote by Lord Acton about power? Government must NEVER be given the monopoly on force–not EVER!

      SamAdams1776
      Molon Labe
      Si Vis Pacem Parabellum

  4. avatarWilliam says:

    All doubt should be removed: the NRA just admitted that Obama intends to confiscate our guns.

    Blood running in the street is his chosen path. Also his legacy. Apparently, he’s not worried about history. He’ll just erase it.

    • avatarPaul says:

      Exactly William…. did you hear the speach the scumbag commie wench michelle gave in 08 to followers. She said…. “We need to change history”. Hmmmmm “Change History”? – just saying….. think about what that means….

  5. avatarbeanfield says:

    “It sounds as if this last-minute issue is simply a lame excuse to kill the bill for those lawmakers already under pressure from the National Rifle Association. ”

    Malarkey. Similar legislation was shot down in 2007 by Coburn for the same issue. The only lame excuse is the author’s attempt to claim this is a last minute issue with no sound basis. Pathetic.

    • avatarLucas D. says:

      They’re treating it like a last-minute issue because it’s new to them. Thanks to alternative media offering a counterpoint to their propaganda machine, they now have to actually address points that until a few years ago they could safely ignore. That’s not the reason they suck so hard at refuting our message, though; that’s just because their counterargument makes no sense.

  6. avatarSkinnedknuckles says:

    Since nobody claims that Canada is run by jackbooted thugs, why did they use their registry to confiscate various types of firearms while the registry was in effect?

  7. avatarNeiowa says:

    During the 80s the ATF (see jackbooted thugs) successfully drove thousands of small/hobby dealer out of business. Guess where all their “bound books” went? To ATF archives. Think all that info is now in a database (gun registry)????

  8. avatarThomas Paine says:

    yeah, but everybody registers their car. So what’s the difference? (sarc)

  9. avatarDB says:

    Sigh. Cue the broken record…

    Seventy years ago, in the heart of western civilization at the time, government agents went door to door and carted six million people off to their torture and deaths. Furthermore, if you lived in any of Greece, Yugoslavia, Poland, the Soviet Union, Holland, France or Belgium, you may not have needed to fear your own government, but that of a conquering/occupying government.

    In the US, the same government that rounded up Japanese-Americans in 1942 is today run by people who:
    - have enacted a mandate to force us to buy insurance,
    - insist global warming denial is akin to war crimes,
    - will not let you buy a certain type of light bulb,
    - aim to seize our property under various guises,
    - want to place a GPS tracking device in your car,
    - adulate a leader who exorts to “punish our (domestic political) enemies”,
    - are influenced by scholars who advocate abandoning the US constitution as a governing document
    - advocate suspending elections (see former NC Gov., Perdue)
    - brag of not following the rules when enacting laws (see Alcee Hastings, “there are no rules”)
    - wish to direct and restrict media content (see Fairness Doctrine)
    - et cetera and so forth.

    Dark and nonsensical indeed.

    • avatarSamAdams1776 says:

      Yeah and of course that could NEVER happen (again) here, because government only wants whats best for us. Only government should be armed to protect us, of course. Uhm—who exactly will protect us from our protectors?

      SamAdams1776
      Molon Labe
      Si Vis Pacem PArabellum

  10. avatarLayne says:

    You need not worry about an illegal gun registry because there’s already an illegal gun registry. What!? Sounds like we should be worried. (NICS is also effectively an illegal registry)

  11. avatarRoadrunner says:

    They always call us paranoid. Then their minders go out and actually do the thing they said we were paranoid about.

    It should be eye-opening, that whatever the problem was, banning long guns, semi-autos and standard mags, and registering owners, were the solutions. Back when Obama had Presidente Calderon come up and blame American gun owner, just before Fast & Furious broke, that was the fix. A handful of crazies come off their meds and kill, and somehow the same solution presents itself, though with no relation to the harm it pretends to stop.

    They really do want our guns, especially the semi-autos, and any excuse will do. The burning question is why do they want them so badly?

    • avatarTSgt B says:

      Clear as the growing nose on Obambi’s face, Roadrunner: Without guns, and a lot of ‘em, we mere peons will not be able to effectively resist the installation of totalitarian tyranny that the Chosen One wishes to impose. He has already shown TOO MANY TIMES that the mere Constitution HE SWORE, TWICE, TO UPHOLD, PROTECT AND DEFEND is meaningless to him. He, his almighty self, has publicly proclaimed that he, and he alone, wildeide whether or not to obey the laws of this nation. He has also publicly stated the Constitution of the United States of America, which I took a solemn Oath on my life to “….protect and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic….” is an IMPEDIMENT to his agenda.

      I never, in my 2 decades of military service, swore allegiance to a person. I swore it to MY NATION. I’ll be damned if I’ll obey this marxist muslim POS.

      • avatarSamAdams1776 says:

        Bravo!

        I too have served and still do. Many of us are prepared to side with the people if it becomes inevitable!

        SamAdams1776
        Molon Labe
        Si Vis Pacem Parabellum

  12. avatarRob says:

    “The dark and nonsensical fantasy that the Weimar Republic government will one day transform itself into a jackbooted fascist state and seize Jewish weaponry has long been peddled by the gun lobby to stir up donations to its cause…”

    How does that one sound?

    “The dark and nonsensical fantasy that the Cambodian government will one day transform itself into a jackbooted fascist state and seize peasant’s weaponry has long been peddled by the gun lobby to stir up donations to its cause…”

    (I’m listening to Holiday in Cambodia by Dead Kennedys as I write this.)

    How about that one?

    Give me one damn good reason why our own government in D.C. can’t go full-retard, and set up death camps to exterminate groups of people? Tell me!!

    Every single argument against such an eventuality could have been used, and was used by the Germans for why the death camps couldn’t have been built in that state.

    Never. Again.

  13. avatarSixpack70 says:

    So, when has gun registration not lead to some sort of confiscation? I’m drawing a blank.

  14. avatarCJ says:

    Socialism politely knocks just before its brother Fascism kicks the door down.

  15. avatarSammy says:

    It sounds as if this last-minute issue is simply a lame excuse to kill the bill for those lawmakers already under pressure from the National Rifle Association.

    Do the publishers of the “Paper of Record” realize the the NRA is a coalition of PEOPLE, citizens/constituents, who have just as much a right to the 1st Amendment as they do to the 2nd Amendment. Or is it a case of gun owners not having a right to a voice in the government?

    • avatarRoadrunner says:

      To the NYT, the First Amendment only has meaning insofar as it can be used to advance state socialism, or worse. To the NYT, it certainly does not protect political speech, either before elections or on campuses, and especially not speech the NYT disagrees with.

  16. avatarRopingdown says:

    “Dark and nonsensical fantasy”? You must be kidding. Take America’s guns? How about their gold? Is confiscating that a “dark and nonsensical fantasy?

    Executive Order 6102 is an Executive Order signed on April 5, 1933, by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt “forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates within the continental United States”. The order criminalized the possession of monetary gold by any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

    The only reason they couldn’t actually go house to house is that they lacked both the funding and a registry of gold holdings. The only prosecution targeted a man with a large holding stored at a NYC bank. Confiscation is a dark possibility, but certainly no fantasy.

  17. avatarFYI says:

    Registration = confiscation of firearms in California
    http://gunowners.org/nws9911.htm
    Confiscation in California: A Test Case for the Nation?
    “Once the 90-day window of opportunity for turning in such assault weapons concludes, we will send each sheriff and police chief a listing of the affected individuals [who own banned firearms].” – California Department of Justice Information Bulletin, June 11, 1999
    So read the ominous words printed in a bulletin addressed to law enforcement officials in California.
    The California Department of Justice issued the notice in June to explain how more than 1,500 individuals in the state were in possession of illegal firearms– all of which were subject to forfeiture without compensation.
    The document entitled “RELINQUISHMENT OF ASSAULT WEAPONS,” along with two other equally ominous documents, were inadvertently leaked to the public sending shock waves through the gun rights community in California.

    Gun Confiscation in New Orleans.
    http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/see-police-confiscate-guns-from-americans/

    First Gun Ban in America

    By the Governor
    A PROCLAMATION

    “I have thought fit to issue this Proclamation to require all Persons who have yet Fire-Arms in their Possession, immediately to surrender them at the Court-House, to such Persons as shall be authorized to receive them; and hereby to declare that all Persons in whose Possession any Fire-Arms may hereafter be found, will be deemed Enemies to his Majesty’s Government.
    Given at Boston, the Nineteenth Day of June, 1775, in the Fifteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of GOD, of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith &c.
    Tho’s Gage,
    By his Excellency’s Command,
    Tho’s Flucker, Secr’y.
    GOD Save the KING.
    12 June 1775

    H/T to
    Clayton Cramer.com

  18. avatarMike C says:

    Always remember most Dictators are elected before they use some emergency to seize “temporary” power that somehow never ends. What happens when terrorists set off a nuclear device that they smuggle in to our country!

  19. avatarJoe Doakes says:

    We are one generation away from being put into the ovens again.

    One.

    Never Again.

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