The Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex have adopted the phrase “gun violence prevention” to justify pretty much everything they do these days. No matter how inane the measures they propose, their position is that it’s all intended to reduce “gun violence.” That’s the marketing angle they’ve come up with to sell it to the American people. But the latest proposal by the White House to curb firearms ownership in the United States is proof positive – as if any more were needed – that they either have no idea what’s actually happening on the streets, or simply don’t care. It’s just a smokescreen intended as cover to ram through still more regulations designed to keep firearms out of the hands of the civilian population . . .
Let’s start with the worst part of Obama’s latest proposals: the ban on re-importing surplus firearms.
Branding something as “military grade” is the latest trend in gun control parlance. The idea is that by associating a particular firearm with use by the military, the gun control advocates can try to differentiate the “traditional hunting rifle” from the “deadly assault weapon.” Or as President Obama puts it, “weapons of war do not belong on our streets.” It’s the same “divide and conquer” approach that Feinstein took when she successfully pushed her original assault weapons ban legislation through congress, isolating owners of AR-15 rifles and counting on those who primarily self-identify as “hunters” to stay out of her way lest she come for their “sniper rifles” next.
“Military grade” is the new “assault rifle,” an attempt at branding some of the most popular firearms in use today as bringers of death and destruction as opposed to “sporting” firearms. It’s like 1994 all over again, except that while the players stayed the same, the language has been updated.
There are two things at play here. The first is that the president and his ilk are trying to take full advantage of the anti-military bias of the baby boomer generation. They grew up in the Vietnam era when those in the military were considered subhuman “baby killers.” It’s a bias they hold to this day, and anything associated with the military is similarly tainted in their eyes.
The second is that gun control advocates are broadening their aim, trying to associate anything military as being “evil” and making it easier to expand on the original list of “evil” rifles and “evil” features. Of course almost every single firearm was derived from a military design at some point in its lineage. Everything from the AR-15 to the m1903A1 to the Brown Bess muzzle loading black powder rifle was a “military” firearm at one point or another. Even the “hunting rifles” that Senator Feinstein was looking to exempt from her latest ban were all military firearms at one point way back when.
There’s ultimately no way to clearly differentiate between “sporting” and “military” firearms. They know this and that’s the reason they are going full-speed with their re-branding efforts. It makes the job of associating any firearm they deem objectionable as a weapon of war that much easier for future bans.
While that may be their end goal, the specific strategy of keeping Korean M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles out of the United States is of a piece with their the greater goal: prevent anything that could result in more gun owners. These rifles aren’t exactly what one would consider to be the first choice for gangsters. Study after study has shown that what today’s hip and happening gang banger is looking for is a small, concealable, cheap handgun. They want something that they can pack in case they run into a rival gang member. They’re not looking to make a 100-yard shot — they can’t even make 100-foot shots. In that sense, the M1 rifles that are waiting to be repatriated from the Korean peninsula are the exact opposite of what those perpetrating most “gun violence” today want.
Less than 2% of all firearms related crimes in the United States are committed with rifles of any kind. Statistically speaking, the president would be more effective at reducing the death rate among teenagers and young adults if he banned the import of foreign sports cars. And given the fact that these rifles (the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine) were specifically exempted BY NAME from Dianne Feinstein’s updated and expanded proposed assault weapons ban, a bill that sought to ban every “evil” firearm in a bid to reduce “gun violence,” one would be led to believe that these firearms were not considered dangerous at that time by the gun control advocates. The Queen of Confiscation herself didn’t have a problem with the ownership of these guns six months ago. Has some mass shooting taken place in the last six months involving an M1 Garand that I was not aware of?
The reason for the rifles being kept from importation, therefore, is clearly not out of any desire to reduce “gun violence.” Instead, what the president is trying to do is drive up the price of firearms and make it more difficult for new shooters to own one. What we see, time and time again in places where outright bans on firearms have failed, is that the next step is always to tax them to the point where the average person simply can’t afford them. That was the case in the 1930’s with the National Firearms Act and its taxation of all “dangerous” firearms, and it continues to be the case today with proposals for mandatory firearms insurance, a proposed 50% sales tax on firearms in some states and registration fees in excess of $200 in New York City. By increasing the total cost of owning a firearm, it makes it difficult for anyone other than elites to own them.
The lack of new M1 Garand rifles and M1 Carbine rifles also means that the 110 year old Civilian Marksmanship Program, one of President Teddy Roosevelt’s legacies, will shortly cease operations. They are tasked with supplying firearms for marksmanship training among the U.S. population, and their last source of new stock was the overseas stockpiles in Korea. Without that new stock, they will no longer be able to continue handing out rifles.
It also sets a dangerous precedent. If the president can ban the import of certain firearms because they are “weapons of war,” then what’s to stop him from shutting off the importation of any other firearms that are made overseas? Almost the entire Winchester line of firearms is made in Portugal and Japan. FN’s guns come from Belgium before final assembly in the US. Taurus is made in Brazil. What would happen if, by fiat, the president suddenly stopped the importation of all those firearms as well due to concerns over “gun violence?” Prices go up, availability goes down, and the supply of cheap firearms that keeps the gun culture alive quickly disappears. That’s it — game over. All because of a precedent set with a couple thousand WWII era rifles.
Speaking of the National Firearms Act, that brings me to the second part of Obama’s proposal. Question: when was the last time someone killed someone else with a legally owned and registered NFA item? I’ll let you think on it, because I sure as hell can’t remember a single instance (Dorner doesn’t count — they were indeed illegal in CA).
Gang bangers don’t bother to register their illegal firearms. It goes against their criminal nature, and violates their 5th amendment rights. Law abiding citizens, on the other hand, run that bureaucratic gauntlet every single day to obtain their legal SBR, SBS, machine guns and silencers. And not a single one has been used in a crime in the last decade. So the idea that by “cracking down” on the ATF’s scrutiny of NFA applications it will reduce “gun violence” is patently absurd. These so-called “dangerous weapons” have proven to be far less deadly than cars, or swimming pools, or even sharks.
The worst part about the proposed changes to the NFA transfer process is that we have just learned that they are planning to extend the “CLEO sign-off” requirement to all individuals named on a trust as well as individual transfers. The CLEO sign-off is a requirement that the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of a city or county physically put pen to paper and sign the ATF NFA paperwork saying that the person listed as the intended recipient is not a “bad guy.” It’s a throw-back from before the NICS system was in place, assuring the ATF examiners that the intended recipient is not a criminal. The way around needing to go groveling to your CLEO for their signature was to form a trust and submit the paperwork that way, since a corporation (trust) is not an actual person and therefore cannot undergo a background check.
These days the CLEO sign-off is redundant, since a NICS check would serve the same purpose. But the real reason that the CLEO sign-off remains a requirement is that it allows individual sheriffs to determine whether they want to allow their subjects to purchase these “dangerous weapons.” The previous CLEO for San Antonio outright refused to sign any NFA paperwork, creating a de facto ban in the city limits that contradicted state and federal law. By extending the CLEO sign-off to all forms of NFA transfers, Obama’s proposal lays the ground work to allow for these elected officials to begin denying their subjects their right to own these firearms, without any legislative or judicial oversight.
We don’t have a “gun violence” problem here in America — we have a “violence” problem. There’s a culture of violence that has become a way of life in the inner cities, glorified by pop culture and perpetuated by a lack of enforcement by the police. The Chicago police, on average, solve 26% of all murders in the city. That’s a 74% probability that if I shot someone in the head in Chicago there would be no adverse consequences for me whatsoever. With that kind of a shitty record, it’s no wonder why the murder rate is through the roof. It’s not the guns causing the murders, it’s the fact that there are no consequences. And it’s definitely not THESE guns, the ones that Obama is targeting with his latest gun control proposals.
So we can see that, in reality, the measures that Obama has introduced would have no impact whatsoever on “gun violence.” The guns that he’s targeting aren’t the kind being used in crimes, and wouldn’t have any impact on the inner-city murder rate. But what these measures do impact is the law abiding gun owner. It keeps new gun owners from being able to buy cheap rifles in the short term, and sets a dangerous precedent that could allow for broader importation bans in the future. And it further demonizes NFA items just at a time when the NFA stamps are flowing like fine champagne, threatening to re-open the campaign to permanently ban those items.
The fact that these specific actions are so minor in comparison to what was on the table less than a year ago is a testament to the power of the gun owning public in America. But the implications of these measures makes me think that a whole new front may be opening up in the war on our guns. Where legislation has failed, the president is trying to stifle gun ownership without their permission. And the scary part is that he might actually get away with it.