Chris Cheng
Chris Cheng (courtesy C-SPAN)

By Larry Keane

Chris Cheng outperformed competitors to win History Channel’s Top Shot championship, but his best performance yet may have been on Capitol Hill defending gun rights this week.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled, “Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence.” In the wake of the tragic murders in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado, Cheng was among the witnesses testifying.

There were repeated calls by some senators advocating for “common sense” restrictions to “do something” to limit gun rights and reduce “gun violence.” Among their demands were expanded background checks, instituting red flag and extreme risk protection laws, banning modern sporting rifles and repealing the bipartisan Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

Top Shot Performance

Cheng reminded senators that Second Amendment rights are foundational to Americans’ ability to defend themselves. Cheng brought a unique perspective. Aside from being a competitive marksman, Cheng offered the committee the perspective of a member of two communities that have been victimized, he’s a member of both the Asian-American community and the LGBTQ community.

Cheng reminded the committee that Americans, and the Asian-American community in particular, have reason to be skeptical of government overreach on seizing rights. He reminded senators of the Japanese internment camps during World War II that were ordered under the guise of protection and safety. Cheng jumped to more recent examples where the Second Amendment right was crucial.

“We don’t have to look any farther back than the 1992 Los Angeles riots and Koreatown in L.A. was burning,” Cheng began. “They called the LAPD for help and the LAPD was under-resourced and unable to come to the aid of Korean-Americans. So what did they do? Korean-Americans utilized their Second Amendment rights and took their own personal firearms and protected their businesses, their lives and their community.”

Cheng referenced rising incidents of attacks on Asian-Americans today. Those threats of violence are the reasons why Asian-Americans have purchased 42 percent more firearms than they did the previous year.

“The past year-and-a-half or so with COVID-19 has been a pressure cooker…When you couple that with calls to defund the police and taking law enforcement officers off the street…it makes citizens like me less safe,” Cheng said. “If I can’t have law enforcement there, then it is a rational conclusion that individual citizens like myself would opt to utilize my Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm and use that firearm in lawful and legal self-defense.”

Senate Defenders

Senators defending fundamental Second Amendment rights explained more laws would not have stopped the criminals. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) noted that an amendment he sponsored in 2013 would have possibly prevented the Sutherland Springs, Texas, murders and others like it.

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz, R-Texas (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

His proposed legislation would have strengthened the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by requiring federal agencies to accurately submit records to NICS. Sen. Cruz explained the amendment received 52 bipartisan votes but was filibustered by Senate Democrats. He vowed to reintroduce the proposal as a stand alone bill.

As the hearing progressed, it was the witnesses voicing support for the Second Amendment that made the most impact.

Democratic senators voiced support for “red flag” and extreme risk protection laws. Firearm retailer, National African American Gun Association member and African-American woman Geneva Solomon pointed out how these laws disproportionately impact minorities.

“Often times extreme risk and red flag laws affect people more within a minority community who are practicing responsible gun ownership,” Solomon explained. “We hear stories about how costly it would have been to defend yourself in that process, they spend countless amounts of money and a lot of time in court just to get their firearm back two or three years later. We began to price people out of being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Registry Resistance

Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation Amy Swearer was asked by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) about the recently House-passed bill, H.R. 8, that would require universal background checks for private firearm transfers. The bill specifically authorizes a national firearm registry. Still, Democrats have stated the proposal would not require a national registry, but Swearer rebuffed that claim.

Amy Swearer
Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Policy Analyst Amy Swearer (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“The way these laws work is primarily retrospective. A crime is committed and we have law enforcement has the gun, they look at it, they say ‘where did this come from?’ and they backtrack to find out if the gun was purchased legally or through a private sale, etc.,” Swearer explained.

“It would seem to be the case that if the concern is private sales, the best way of retrospectively enforcing that is through a gun registry and the fear is when you have any sort of gun registration system, it is going to be used in the future as a launching pad for the next step and then the next step and so on.”

Through all the questioning and answering during the hearing, observers are watching what President Joe Biden may implement through executive actions or what proposals Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will place on the Senate floor for a vote. Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp also testified before the committee and explained the resistance to proposals that don’t reduce gun violence but do place stricter limits on law-abiding Americans.

“The stat I really think means something is 350 million,” Hupp said. “There are 350 million legally-owned firearms in America and the overwhelming vast majority of those law-abiding gun owners are never involved in crimes of any kind.”

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. Well, it was nice of the Committee to at least invite them and listen to them. But I doubt their testimony will make any dent in the Biden/Harris Agenda.

  2. Cool…can’t rag on CC cause he’s asian AND gay😏 Just watched slow Joe’s “news conference”. Fairly pathetic with no real 2A BS. Contrast that with DJT. Yikes!

      • One of the reasons a contract at a government agency wasn’t extended. They found out I was a gun owner, white, and Male. From an organization that preached diversity, inclusiveness, and tolerance. They came up short on all three

    • his response to the 2a questions (fed to him on a podium panel screen) was something about infrastructure.
      “sitting on a muddy circumstance.”

    • Yes, it falls under the heading of political double- speak, where it means the opposite…. sort of like “senate intelligence committee”. The amazing thing is that they can say it with a straight face.

  3. Watched a little of the conference, I’m pretty sure I heard Grandpa say he was going to executive order regardless of what the Senate did. And, ,,, it’s not his fault because the illegal immigrants are flooding the border, even though Lupe’ Louis and Angelita Angel said they thought it was cool to swim the Rio since Grandpa was de prez.

  4. Anyone else kind of hoping Biden goes full dictator on gun control?

    I say go for it Grandpa Joe; make them all class 3 NFA or institute a mandatory buyback. That way everyone will finally know what the situation really is and you’ll look just as ridiculous as Cuomo did when he tried to explain why his SAFE act registration numbers were so low.

  5. Way back, when I lived in the Dakota’s, the fed was threating to pull funding from the states due to non compliance with the 55 speed limit. Both of the governor’s suggested that they should probably figure out how to plow 2 major interstates by themselves, and good luck finding somewhere to fuel and store the equipment. Well, bygosh, I’ll be goddamned if they didn’t recheck their math and discovered both states WERE in compliance…but just barely. How long would it take to back down on looking for a couple hundred million well armed new “felons”??

    • It’s more of tactic to throw back in the faces of the Liberal Democrats who pretend to believe this malarkey.

  6. States need to start declaring all their citizens official militia members with the right to make and own full-auto weapons and SBRs within their borders.

  7. After the piss poor gov response to the riots last year (or lack of), anyone taking the gov seriously in regards to public safety is a lost cause.

    Sh!t hits the fan and the gov is the first to fold… And the first to return to arrest you for defending yourself during its absence.

  8. Mr. Cheng wasted his time, the Democrats do not care about him or his rights, nor that of the people of the US.

    • He didnt waste his time if it recived the media coverage to make folks sitting-on-the-fence on gun rights think. The Dems usually have the spotlight to sway the mindless masses.

  9. OK…so the art to f#cking up government legislation is to make it so expensive to implement it won’t be used.

    Solution to Red Flag laws…(cause you know ///sigh/// there are dangerous people we need to take guns from…(sarcasm font)

    Fine have a Red Flag law…but place this caveat on it.
    .1 If there is a Non Judicial (meaning prior to the citizen having a trial we want to grab his guns, property, money etc) Seizure a Judge or DA must approve the Seizure.

    2. They must also budget to financially provide for the defense counsel of the citizen’s choice. (If the citizen lives in say Connecticut and wants to hire legal counsel from say Texas…the state will have to pay all associate costs). The state will be responsible for all costs associated with all defense (hey the state said it was worth violating a citizens right then its worth all costs to make sure the state was right).

    3. If the state does not prevail in proving their decision was correct they will reimburse the citizen with triple damages. (Say they take $5,000 worth of guns and ammunition they first return the weapons and ammunition and then add $10,000 to the top).

    4. If another citizen filed the complaint that created the red flag seizure the citizen will be charged for filing a false police report and prosecuted accordingly.

    Now will this eliminate Red Flag seizures (or non judicial seizures of “excess cash” or other property) it will make the potential costs extremely prohibitive.

    Years ago I had a Public Defender lie to me about questions regarding ‘expert opinion” on a case..(she was grasping at straws and lied to me then placed me on the list as a defense witness). I simple told her that costs for my services were “$200 an hour plus management fees by my attorney” and that I had spent 20 hours on the case already…LOL she did quick addition which was impressive for an attorney and she released me from the case.

    Imagine the DA or ADA going to the city or state and saying “Jim Bo Bob John’s ex has called and said he made threatening comments …we are going to seize his weapons. We estimate the budget to be $500,000 for potential defense costs”….Ya think hes gonna get it approved?

  10. “Cheng offered the committee the perspective of a member of two communities that have been victimized, he’s a member of both the Asian-American community and the LGBTQ community.”

    Doesn’t matter, that makes him a member of Schrodinger’s White People’s Club.

  11. Sadly Chris Chen is the only gay gun owner who was willing to come out in public. And testify in support of the Second Amendment. And that is a real problem that homosexuals have. They are not willing to come out in public. As a gun owner. They can’t wait to tell a total stranger what kind of sex they have. But they’re not willing to come out and support the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

  12. In the state of California the politicians there decided against incorporating the Second Amendment into the California state constitution. The reason was because the white politicians did not want people of Mexican or Chinese descent to have guns. These two groups fought among themselves a great deal. And in fact they found the .410 caliber shotgun to be very effective against their enemies. Which is why you cannot possess a Taurus Judge or the Rossi Circuit Judge carbine. In the state of California. Because the caliber was made illegal in the state.

    So-called “gun experts” say a .410 caliber shotgun is worthless. Those so-called “gun experts” don’t know history very well. Americans of Chinese descent in the state of California, need guns just like everyone else does to protect themselves.

    Los Angeles Chinese Massacre of 1871 video 12 minutes long

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