Underbelly of S649 is Weak and Unacceptable

April 4, 2013


By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –

President Obama is deliberately ignoring a solution in favor of a long-time “progressive” goal of disarming Americans. Blaming violence on a particular segment of society or region doesn’t lend itself to solutions. Not withstanding, and especially since Newtown, there has been a blizzard of propaganda against the NRA and its supporters in Congress which seem perfectly legitimate to anti-gun advocates. It is always easier to blame an organization with an easily recognized set of initials than the millions of its members  and tens of millions of supporters who write their representatives in Congress in support of their Constitutional rights.


Accordingly, in the aftermath of Newtown, S649  (Safe Communities, Safe Schools  Act of 2013) was fashioned.   A “motion to proceed” (which in reality is a policy vote)  could be brought to the  floor of the Senate during the week of April 8th.  Not only would  S649 undermine  America’s constitutional eights, but it would have done little to prevent the horrific massacre of Newtown, Connecticut.  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s649/text?utm_campaign=govtrack_email_update&utm_source=govtrack/email_update&utm_medium=email


Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) does plan to allow Diane Feinstein (D-CA) to re-introduce her opus Semi-Auto Assault  Weapons Ban as an amendment to S649.  It probably can’t get the necessary  60 votes to place it in the bill, as many senators have already  voiced opposition and will vote “no”  on that amendment, but Reid wants to take names of  anyone opposing “reasonable” gun control measures to use as  future political campaign  fodder.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg is pumping $12  million into an ad campaign against key Republican and Democratic gun rights  supporters, including Grassley of SC and Manchin of VA.  One ad has a  bearded country bumpkin in bib overalls, sitting on the tailgate of a pickup  truck, gun in hand, finger on trigger, casually pointed at a child sitting  next to him. The bumpkin is a “gun owner” who supports “reasonable” laws. He  obviously never held a rifle before the filming began. That’s how lies become  truth!   http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/michael-bloomberg-12-million-gun-control-ads-89256.ht


Discounting the Feinstein  amendment with its limited support, the incremental threat in S649 centers around  the proposed universal background check, which appears to be the original, unacceptable  version by Charles Schumer (D-NY).  Other aspects of S649 include a ban on large capacity (>10)  magazines, anti-trafficking measures, etc.

Registration in any degree is particularly offensive to those who value their 2nd amendment right. It  is the basis for abuse and harassment of law abiding gun owners by those who  would deny those right, both official and unofficial.   Historically firearms registration was used in Australia to  confiscate a broad range of  weapons.  It was also used by Great Britain in 2008 and by  the Nazis in 1935.  Notably, none of these nations had a  constitution which limits the actions of government as does this  nation. So this can’t happen in the United  States, we’re just being paranoid?


California and New Jersey are comparing registration lists to  judicial and civil records which might, in their opinion, prejudice the legal  ownership of firearms. They have teams of well-armed police conducting  warrantless searches to execute these decisions.  A well-publicized event in  California occurred when a woman voluntarily entered a mental hospital for two  days. Shortly afterward, nine officers in black “SWAT” costumes showed up and  bluffed their way inside (they can’t enter without a warrant). The family  “voluntarily” (again, no warrant) surrendered three firearms, which the  Attorney General claimed couldn’t even be in the same household as a “mental  patient”, even if they belonged to another family  member.      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-12/california-seizes-guns-as-owners-lose-right-to-bear-arms.htm


In Delaware, a father took a picture of his 11 year old  son holding a .22 sporting rifle, wearing “military” camouflage. Someone  complained and a child protection representative showed up withe police in tow  and demanded an explanation. (It is perfectly legal in Delaware and all other  states for a child to hold and shoot a firearm under close supervision of a  parent. The father was obviously present, because he took the picture.) The  police demanded he open a safe where firearms were secured so that “the serial  numbers could be checked.” (Firearms are not presently registered in Delaware,  so the request was a ruse.) He refused, and the police went away and never  returned.    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/19/dad-this-picture-of-my-son-holding-a-gun-triggered-a-visit-from-nj-police-family-services/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=Share+Buttons


Democrats and Obama claim that 80% (90%, whatever seems most convincing at the moment) of  the citizens want Universal Background Checks  (UBS), including gun  owners and NRA members.  This is patently false.  While  UBC seems like a good thing to people,  the bill (S649) as written seriously erodes second  amendment rights.  First of all, it is based on a false premise, cited over and over by Obama, that 40% of sales are made without any checks at all. (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338735/40-percentmyth-john-lott)


This is based on a survey taken in 1993 (checks were  instituted in 1996) which assumed only purchases made in conventional stores  (60%) were checked. In fact, most of the remaining 40% are made through FFL  holders, through inheritance, or from close family members. Only about 6% of  legal sales are made by private sellers to strangers. (According to FBI  statistics, about 40% of ILLEGAL sales are made face-to-face, and only 3% from  gun shows.).  http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/11/where-criminals-get-their-guns/


Under Schumer’s bill, a father can give or sell  a firearm to his son, but the son can’t give or sell a firearm to a  parent, but the Schumer bill goes even further. You can  only loan a gun for temporary use on a licensed target range (and the bill  raises the bar for licensing ranges to require full-time, certified training  and safety officials) or for licensed hunting. You must be present, and the  firearm can’t leave the premises. So much for plinking at cans in the country  with a friend!


The clincher is an admission by supporters of Schumer’s  UBC proposal that it cannot work unless the government knows exactly  who owns a particular firearm at any time – in short, universal  registration. S649 is only the first step. When that is found to be  ineffective, it’s supporters will demand the next step, and the next, ad  infinitude.      http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/15/17326732-nras-lapierre-background-checks-a-pretext-for-gun-registration?lite

The anti-trafficking section of S649 requires an owner to report  lost or stolen firearms to the Attorney General Eric Holder within 24 hours. It makes criminals out of victims  – how convenient.  If you can’t catch the bad guys, prosecute the  otherwise law-abiding victim. This section is a collaboration of  Illinois senators, Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.  Durbin apparently ingratiated himself with Kirk during Kirk’s  recovery. While Kirk was never a strong supporter of 2A, this bill seems to be  a payback for Durbin’s “friendship.”


It is politically easier to go after things (firearms) rather than the  people who misuse them, particularly when the abusers come largely from your core constituency.  It is also easier to burden  citizens who normally obey laws than those who habitually  break them.

There are no easy solutions to  real problems.  Politicians always try to take the easy way  out.  When laws don’t work as intended, it is easier to make them stronger and more restrictive than to start  afresh.  We must always ask if it is ever worth  sacrificing freedom for the vain hope of temporary safety.   Our freedoms won at great price, once  gone, are difficult to regain.    http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/02/21/disarming-the-myths-promoted-by-the-gun-control-lobby/2/


Contact your senators with this message, that he/she should oppose S649 and vote against a “motion to proceed.” 

Published first at Illinois Review on Thursday, April 4.


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