In the first of a two-part think piece, John Longenecker makes the case for the abolition of all gun laws as a way to preserve the sovereignty of the individual under the American system of government. Even a little “common sense” gun control is the camel’s nose under the tent, a first step in transferring the supreme authority away from the citizen to the state. But he doesn’t stop there. As he sees it, de-controlling guns is also a way to shrink the overarching, overweening leviathan that is the federal government. “When the sovereignty of the citizen is officially acknowledged…you get a handle on revenues and spending. You can actually reduce the size of government if gun control is repealed and sovereignty is affirmed.” So is this the magic bullet issue the Tea Party has needed? Is expanding gun ownership an act of budgetary hygiene? Can we get our fiscal house in order by abolishing gun control?

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20 Responses to Question of the Day: Will Abolishing Gun Laws Balance the Budget?

  1. Eliminating the “pistol permit bureaus” in NY State would certainly save a lotta dough. Westchester County NY alone would, I’m guessing, save about $200,000 a year in salary and benefits.

  2. if new york changed its ridiculous laws id probably stay(as well as the outrageous taxes). other wise im hitting up florida and buying and SBR

    • Right on! Within the US, there are “tax exiles” but I’m sure that there are “gun exiles” too – people that move primarily because their state is 2A-hostile. I wonder if someone on our side has ever tried to get some reasonably good figures on that…
      One day I’ll move if things don’t get better here, and whoever is in power will definitely get a scathing letter telling them that they’re losing an educated, productive tax-paying resident because of their disrespect of my rights.

  3. Oh, cheeze… I’ve been arguing against the gun control ideas of my liberal friends since I first announced having a gun back in May. Now here I am about to argue the other side of the fence. *sigh*

    Okay, look. I like my gun a lot, and want to have more, and I want the freedom to carry if I so desire. We can all agree that the 2nd Amendment enshrines that right.

    The other side of that is the fact that guns are dangerous weapons. They were designed for one purpose: to destroy whatever it is they were aimed and fired at. We need some kind of mechanisms to get and keep the guns out of the hands of criminals. We need some kind of mechanisms in place to educate people – children, non-gun owners, and gun owners alike – in the safe handling and use of guns. By “mechanisms” I do not mean physical machines; rather, I mean educational and legal systems.

    One item of the educational system needs to teach people that guns are not magic. They do not go off on their own, and do not in and of themselves kill people. They need a mind and muscles behind them to direct their destructive force.

    On the legal side, I want to see some of the harshest punishments possible against the criminal use of guns. I want criminals to know that if they use a gun in the course of robbing a person or a business, or murder, or whatever, that they are going to receive a harsher penalty than if they didn’t use the gun. For instance, if you used a gun to rob someone, you lose a hand or an eye. That’s in addition to a longer jail sentence. In other words, a *much* harsher punishment, with lasting consequences, if you use a gun.

    I can see licensing of gun owners. If we license drivers of cars – the leading killer of people in the United States – we can license gun owners. Mandatory training before you get your license, testing every few years to make sure you’re still capable and competent, that sort of thing.

    Those are just some preliminary ideas, borne out of discussions I’ve had with my friends. Now if only I could have a rational and reasonable discussion with them on this topic, but that ain’t gonna happen…. *sigh*

    • Guns are a right, driving is a privilege. The government has no authority to deny someone their right unless they have a licence, because even a brief study of political philosophy will teach you that your born with your rights and you lose them only by your own actions and from a court of law.

      • Actually, gun ownership by a private citizen is a privilege. Don ‘t kid yourself. Stop reading philosophy and read law instead. Start with Heller.

        • Actual text from the Heller decision:

          (1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

          Note the phrase “individual right”.

        • Joe Joe Joe … the Supreme Court specifically enunciated the RIGHT to keep and bear arms as one belonging to individuals. All nine judges did that, not just the majority. This is from the dissent of that fruitcake Stevens:

          The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals.

          The majority specifically avoided a finding under the privileges and immunities clause.

          If you believe that the majority’s use of the phrase “possess and use” as cited in Moonshine7102’s post does not include ownership, I believe that you are far off base. Otherwise, there would be a right to possess and use, but only a privilege to own. That would make no sense whatsoever.

        • Joe,

          All of the Bill of Rights are written for the individual citizens. Gun rights is not some privilege granted by politicians. The Founders recognized that human beings have certain rights as granted by the creator (define that as you will) that include the right to liberty from an unjust government and to protect oneself from dangers. The Founders also recognized the threat from the existence of a large standing federal government controlled Army and that is partially why they created a system for local citizen armed militias.

    • Much of what you wrote I agree with yet two points I do not.

      A convicted criminal should lose an eye or hand if they rob someone? I find that extreme and barbaric. Do you propose torture if a criminal murders a person using a gun?

      Guns should be licensed? If we lived in a Republic with government obeying the Constitutional and Bill of Rights, and if one-third of the population wasn’t a bunch of easily manipulated pro nanny-police state sheeple, I might agree with your requirements. Licensing provides government with the power (and granting them some power will always lead to more) to set the standards or requirements, and to make denials based on their whims. Unfortunately, government has proven itself to lack legal ethics and to lack common sense.

  4. It’ll help, but that’s only one over-regulated issue with too many tax dollars spent on it among many. We need something broader.

    Maybe something like a constitutional amendment that narrowly defines ‘interstate commerce’ to how it was understood before the new deal court packing threats. This would render whole departments and vast swathes of spending instantly unconstitutional, including all post NFA federal gun laws.

  5. This is a stretch. The cost of Federal gun regulation is decimal dust compared to other Federeal activities. I am sure that Obama would gladly repeal all gun laws if he could get the rest of his program.

    • Agreed that his argument is a (vast) stretch. I find the claim an over-rationalization and good propaganda ammo for the gun control nuts to point at and laugh about. For balancing the budget and shrinking government it would be better if the author focused more on advocating for self-sufficiency, self-reliance, closer knit families and communities working together to support their own members with less dependence on the State and Federal Government structures.

  6. Abolishing gun laws will not balance the budget. It might even make things worse, with all those damn bureaucrats drawing unemployment. But doesn’t the thought of all the gun grabbers on the unemployment lines makes it all worthwhile?

  7. John Longenecker’s article may sound really good to a layperson, but to anyone with formal legal education, it rings hollow. He discusses the citizen as the “supreme authority,” and states that “we have never surrendered the totality of our supreme authority as the Sovereign.” The concept of a citizen as a “sovereign” is something that the “Posse Comitatus” / “Common law” nut cases like to bandy about, but it is not a principle of American jurisprudence that has any practical effect. We as citizens surrendered a good portion of our “supreme authority” (whatever that means) long ago when we enacted federal and State Constitutions.

    Mr. Longenecker attempts to use legal phrases to bolster his point, but he really has no idea what he is talking about. For example, he states: “In this country, there is no legal standing with which to challenge or infringe on the second amendment.” The concept of “standing” has many sub-parts (some constitutional in nature, others which are prudential in nature), but to generalize, courts use “standing” doctrines as a gate-keeping function in civil cases to make sure that the plaintiff has the right to seek redress of the court. In this regard, it simply makes no sense to say that someone does not have “standing” to “infringe” on the second amendment. The notion of having standing to “challenge” the Second Amendment is a closer question, but also makes no practical sense. A local government seeking to “challenge” the Second Amendment will simply enact a law that arguably violates the Second Amendment, and then wait for a citizen to “challenge” their law. The plaintiff, therefore, will be the citizen seeking to enforce the Second Amendment. The courts have stated that persons have “standing” under the Tenth Amendment to challenge the constitutionality of a law.

    I could go on, but I have to go to work. Bottom line, Mr. Longenecker needs to spend some more time in the law library.

    • +1. If anything, the piece is a lesson in critical reading on the Internet. Folks, when you see the phrase “sovereign citizen” or suchlike, that’s a big red flag. The writer is essentially announcing to you that he rides the crazy train. There is no such constitutional theory except among people who drink their own pee.

      As for his contention itself, it’s nonsense. For example, the ATF has around 6000 employees. BFD. One Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has a crew of 6000.

    • Begging your pardon, Joe, but the only dispute as to who is sovereign comes from the left. It’s not a matter of Law, but of Original Intent, the law being perverted to create self-doubt from one generation to the next. The dumbing down began rather early. Let me explain.

      The founders knew they they would never again vest sovereignty in one man, such as the throne of England. The War For Independence meant the chance to vest sovereignty, and it wasn’t in the government. Only the states existed at the time, and the federal government had yet to be created by those states. When the federal government was created by the states, it was granted by us only 33 or so enumerated powers. That’s all.

      All gun control is illegal because every gun law challenges the authority of the citizen as supreme, being supreme prior to the very formation of the federal government. No government in this country is sovereign, because we were here first; using “Law” to discredit Original Intent misleads the readers. The founders knew that the people were the supreme authority and so they wrote shall not be infringed; only the farmers and framers were the law of the era in the militia; there was no police until the middle 1800’s and armed citizens were all they had. The nation survived, and went on to create the federal government. Original intent can be determined from debates, infighting, papers and ratifications long before there were “Laws” which you quote, Joe. All gun laws were subsequent to original intent and conflict with it.

      Finally, I have heard by officials smearing and mocking their constituents that they are ‘sovereign citizens’. Well, some servants are just dishonest and stupid both in one person. The mocking takes the form of smearing reasonable objection to abuse of powers as “citizens thinking they are above the law,” and even furnishing a gleeful grin on video. BTW, they’re mocking about you, too, Joe as being above the law.

      Citizens who admonish officials to adhere to their oath of office do not believe they are ‘above the law’, but adhering to the law in a love of due process; the objection is that the officials mocking you and me think they are above the law.

      Because the people are supreme authority, no single person, group, non-profit or movement has standing to challenge the sovereignty of other citizens.

      It’s not a matter of going back to the law library; it’s a matter of going back to what the founders had enough of and how they formed a nation of being entirely away from that paradigm. Original intent predates gun laws.

      Self-rule.

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