April 4, 2013

“Loose Language in Reid’s Gun Control Bill Allows the Beginnings of a National Gun Registry”

Unlike it might to, say, Joe Scarborough, this doesn’t come as any great shock to me.  In fact, I’d have been a little disappointed had the Democrats not tried to write a bill that, by either omission or commission, attempted opened up a path to a national registry, which in turn sets the stage for confiscation.

The Foundry:

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) must know, Americans who own firearms have a special sensitivity to a “Big Brother” federal government that wants to keep centralized records on who owns what guns and where in America. Loose language in his gun control bill (S. 649) could start America down that slippery slope.

Since the Second Amendment guarantees to the people the right to keep and bear arms, many Americans look askance at efforts to create centralized records that might some day, in some distant future neither wanted nor expected, facilitate a despotic government’s efforts to disarm the populace or ensure that its supporters but not its opponents possess arms. Some Americans look at history and view that concern as far-fetched; others look at history and see careful attention to that concern as essential to maintaining freedom.

Congress has attended carefully to the concern about a federal gun registry in the past. Thus, for example, section 103(i) of Public Law 103-159 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) regarding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) provides:

No department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States may–

(1) require that any record or portion thereof generated by the system established under this section be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or political subdivision thereof; or

(2) use the system established under this section to establish any system for the registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions or dispositions, except with respect to persons, prohibited by section 922(g) or (n) of title 18, United States Code, or State law, from receiving a firearm.

Unfortunately, the Reid legislation deviates from this strong guarantee that protects against misuse of the NICS process to start a national firearms registry.

Title I of the Reid gun control bill purports to “fix gun checks.” The proposed “fix” in section 122 of S. 649 is to take away an individual’s right to sell or give away a firearm to another individual unless, in most cases, the individual uses a licensed importer, dealer, or manufacturer to make the transfer of the firearm.

In a departure from section 103(i) of Public Law 103-159, section 122(a)(4) of the Reid bill enacts a new section 922(t)(4)(B)(ii) of title 18 of the U.S. Code to direct Attorney General Eric Holder to issue regulations “requiring a record of transaction of any transfer that occurred between an unlicensed transferor and an unlicensed transferee.” The legislation does not define the term “record of transaction,” does not specify any limitations on who creates and who keeps the record of transaction, and does not explicitly incorporate the existing prohibition on a national firearms registry.

Thus, the loose language could be construed to allow the Department of Justice itself (or another agency specified by the Attorney General) to keep centralized records of who received what guns and where, by sale or gift from one individual to another. [...]

Dealing with the new breed of national Democrat — those who have spent their lives basting in New Left dogma, and who have fallen-in lockstep behind the progressive agenda being pushed by this Administration — requires constant vigilance.

That they were discovered here watering down language to open the way for the beginnings of a national gun registry means only that, should they now be defeated in their plan by strong arguments and sunlight, they’ll merely try again later, in some other way, using some other bill or some other crisis to reach their ends.

That is, if the full-frontal approach doesn’t work, they’ll return to the incremental approach — and with respect to their gun control aims, the contours to that approach are already quite clear:  empower the AG to expand the parameters for what is included in a background check, wherein a partisan agent is given the power to determine what group or groups of people come to constitute a potential danger; cross-reference ObamaCare, with its governmental access to health and prescription records, with other databases, using medical professionals and (they hope) mental health professionals to create the conditions under which they can argue for “sensible” prohibitions on firearms ownership; use Democratic majorities in various states to drive draconian gun control measures through the state legislatures on a party-line vote, then see which of those state laws stand up to court challenges and which do not; use agencies such as the CDC to lend an air of scientific and medical emergency to the “gun violence” “epidemic” — as if gun violence is contagious in any way other than through some strained sociological metaphor — then demand action to combat the crisis or “epidemic” (regardless of what the crime statistics show).

We are living in a time when our government is looking for ways to usurp our rights, pressuring them from every angle, waiting for us to “compromise” if only to make them relent.

But we mustn’t.  It is painfully clear, having myself listened to the entirety of the assembly and Senate debate on the Colorado gun-control laws that this current push for gun control has nothing whatever to do with protecting innocents from violent gun offenders, and everything to do with chipping away at the rights of the law abiding in order to make them in ways both large and small more dependent on the government and its agents.

It is beyond outrageous that a state representative who can’t distinguish between a magazine and the bullets that go into it is given the power to bring legislation that bans that about which she demonstrates publicly she hasn’t any real knowledge.

At some point in our history, shame and ridicule would be heaped upon such a lawmaker by constituents on both sides of the political aisle.

Progressivism changed all that:  the people masquerading as Democrats today are the far left radicals who a few decades ago made clear that they despised the Democrat Party, whom they considered bourgeois and soft, fighting openly against it from the left in much the same way the TEA Party today fights the GOP establishment from the conservative side.  It was only after they were defeated openly that they took to overtake the Democrat Party from within.

Make no mistake:  We are not fighting a party that disagrees with us on certain policy issues; we are fighting an ideology that has as its purpose the deconstruction of the Constitution, and with it, a clear path to remake society in its image through pure assertion of unchecked power, marshaling regulation, taxation, price controls, and the re-defining of core foundational ideas made permanent by activist courts as a way to fundamentally transform the US.

It is post-constitutionalism — and whether or not the babycons at the American Conservative find such a diagnosis crass and uncouth, that doesn’t change the reality of the situation, which (as I’ve pointed out repeatedly) is being reinforced through the normalization of a broad, cynical, manufactured narrative that seeks to make those who express fidelity to the Constitution fetishists and extremists, racists and dangerous, would-be domestic terrorists whose unnuanced opinions can and should be marginalized or disregarded entirely on their face.

Sadly, simply putting “conservative” on your masthead doesn’t help you sell the principles behind it. You have to believe in them. And when that belief can be bracketed out of love for a particular video game series, it wasn’t all too strong to begin with, in my opinion.

Meaning, if the future of conservatism rests with snotty brats who refuse to allow error and are more concerned with appearing thoughtful to liberal academics than they are with the real existential fight we now find ourselves in — that is, ignorant pollyannas or willing right-leaning statists — then it doesn’t stand a chance against the relentless rhetorical gambits of the left, who seek nothing less than control over a “reality” that they themselves get to construct through consensus, repetition, and insistence.

(h/t newrouter)

 

 

 

 

Posted by Jeff G. @ 8:15am
25 comments | Trackback

Comments (25)

  1. Strange bedfellows: now it appears that the ACLU might kinda sorta be on our side. Go figure.

  2. To our ruin, as individuals, as a people, as a nation, even constant vigilance cannot be effective to give or import intelligibility into laws written and passed with no conceivable understanding permissible ab initio. Neither those toward whom the laws are ostensibly aimed at governance, nor those who “write” or “compile” these absurd monstrosities comprehend them, nor could they, even with infinite attention and diligence: hence, by deduction, comprehension must not be permissible — we do not say, we need not say, what the motive for this condition is. We merely notice that this condition is utterly at odds with all understanding of law which comes down to us today.

    Laws are — must be — intended to be understood. They must only reach to future conditions. They must not reach backward to make past acts illegal (and punishable) after the fact. Laws must be rational. Laws are purposed to order society, not to disorder it.

    What these asinine legislators do, writing unwritten law — which is to say law which is not complete even when it is passed, but must await the “regulations” to be written by unknown, unelected bureaucrats or special interest groups — cannot possibly be the meaning of considered deliberation by, of and for the people who are the sovereigns in the land. How can one understand what one has never seen? How deliberate over what is yet to exist?

    One cannot.

  3. We struggle against the individual assaults yet don’t attack the fount and foundation of their ability to shape the public’s perceptions that paves their way to their goals.

    we are wasting our time fighting them on an item by item basis and our energy.

    ALL our energy should be devoted to fighting the machine they have built up across the country.

    Starting with their communications units of the State Media.

    Defund them, write letters, notify your friends and neighbors of their calumny and refuse to allow them to play the same games and words tricks to distort a subject.

    Personally, I believe it will take some type of registration and/or requirement that all media outlets must follow certain rules of publication or ethical/value rules that if violated expose them to increased likelihood of losing any suits.

    It’s their pocketbook and their access to the publicly owned air waves that must be threatened for them to start behaving as responsible citizens.

    A good “in kind” lawsuit would be good to see brought against a particular outlet.

    It will take either money or blood to win against these vultures. Argument and reason doesn’t work.

  4. I’m coming to the conclusion that, at its core, the fundamental problem is that we’re just too damn big.

    There’s a proper scale for everything, including constitutionally-based representative republics. One reason our so-called representatives support the interests of advocacy groups (another form of representative) rather than the citizens they purport to represent is that it’s physically impossible. You can’t reasonably expect one person to advocate for 640,000 other people in any way that matters. A representative could take any position, and enough “yea” voices would shout out from a crowd that size to maintain the illusion of “I’m representing my constituents”.

    So, because our reps don’t truly represent us, and the scale is too big, we end up with laws being written for the sake of writing laws, etc. etc. And chaos is the natural result.

    I have lots of thoughts and ideas around this topic, but nothing really clear enough to put to coherent language as yet. Therefore I don’t have anything approaching an answer to the question of “what do we do about it,” other than “Let the whole mess break up into smaller entities more amenable to the proper scale”.

    Which, I’m told, crucifies Abraham Lincoln all over again since he died to save the nation from fractiousness to make us stay one, or something like that.

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  6. One reason our so-called representatives support the interests of advocacy groups (another form of representative) rather than the citizens they purport to represent is that it’s physically impossible. You can’t reasonably expect one person to advocate for 640,000 other people in any way that matters. A representative could take any position, and enough “yea” voices would shout out from a crowd that size to maintain the illusion of “I’m representing my constituents”.

    Physicality, I believe, needn’t enter into the question, though Darth. If the representative does not know what needs doing in order to advocate well for his constituents, then he can pause, say so, make it clear to his constituents that he does not know how to proceed in their interests (which is to assume: for the sake of their future well being, or good, as we used to say). He can admit to ignorance, rather than make sophistical arguments to willy-nilly justify potentially acting to their detriment, or sub rosa, acting solely in his own.

    Likewise, a representative who swears to uphold the Constitution while secretly reserving to him or herself an intention to destroy the Constitution isn’t confronting a difficulty understanding the desires of his constituents because they are so numerous and of so many differing opinions and dispositions. No. His difficulty is the lie at the heart of his enterprise.

  7. At some point some uncouth partisan is sure to enact a “lynch-pin” resistance strategy: identify the kingpins in the leviathan of corruption and start decorating lampposts.

    Far be it from me to endorse such an approach; I’m more a “tar and feathers” kind of guy.

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  9. “Let the whole mess break up into smaller entities more amenable to the proper scale”.

    Let Lincoln rest in peace. We don’t need mass secession, nor another war between the states. We merely need for our states to stand up against Federal overreach and reassert their sovereignty. It starts with lawsuits against unconstitutional power grabs from Washington. It proceeds to State refusal to recognize or enforce those power grabs the exceed the scope of Washington’s authority.

    I don’t think people understand how simple it would be for a couple of states to make a principled stand and Just Say No. Nor do I think people understand how powerful such a stand would be. In one move, we’d create a huge “teachable moment” on the limits of Congressional and Executive authority, while at the same time illustrating just how powerless Washington really is when people stop going along with the fiction of its “limitless” power.

    We’ve been focused lately on “molon labe” as the ultimate expression of our refusal to obey unlawful dictates from a distant, corrupt bureaucracy. But short of that awful eventuality, we have an opportunity simply to say “We refuse,” or the very familiar “Make me.” One can’t help but smile at the mental image of Washington bureaucrats stamping their feet because Texas or Indiana refuses to Respect Their Authoritah, and they slowly realize there’s not a fucking thing they can do about it.

    Better to do it now, I tell my state representatives, than to wait until Obama and his successors establish their “domestic security” forces. Better still to have done it thirty years ago.

  10. From the beginning, progressives have seen laws as seeds which the legislative branch plants with only a hope, a dream of what will grow from that seed. The administration and enforcement of the law by the executive branch and the interpenetration by the judicial are the soil, water and fertilizer which determine the full growth of the unfolding law to come.

    That is why they “must pass the law to find out what’s in it.” They, the makers of the law, only fashion a seed and plant it with hope of a wonderful crop to be harvested.

    That said there are two other “seeds” seen in Reid’s little packet. One was called out at “The Truth about Guns

    “You missed a KEY point about the bill. S.374: “Upon taking possession of the firearm, the licensee shall comply with all requirements of this chapter as if the licensee were transferring the firearm from the licensee’s inventory to the unlicensed transferee.” In my opinion this means that the gun’s information (S/N, make, model, etc.) must be submitted . . .

    …to the local police (I suspect in almost all cities in the US) to determine if it is lost or stolen — just like everything a pawn shop takes in. This means a ONE to TWO week delay. At a gun show with 100 transfers, who holds the gun? Who holds the money and how does the process work?

    The other I noticed back when I first read the bill. There are three parties that are named in this law. We would call them the buyer, the seller, and the middle man. They call them the “transferee”, the”transferor”, and the “licensee.” So what to make of this part on page 13 of the pdf of S. 374? Typo = the “we’re stupid defense” which is what will be invoked.

    For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘transfer’—

    ‘‘(A) shall include a sale, gift, loan, return from pawn or consignment, or other disposition; and

    ‘‘(B) shall not include temporary possession of the firearm for purposes of examination or evaluation by a prospective transferee while in the presence of the prospective transferee,.

    My bolding.

  11. cross-reference ObamaCare, with its governmental access to health and prescription records, with other databases, using medical professionals and (they hope) mental health professionals to create the conditions under which they can argue for “sensible” prohibitions on firearms ownership

    Yeah, I heard those doctors on Levin, too, talking about the record-keeping requirements. The current medical coding will be expanded so that instead of just saying “fracture of the right ulna” it will say “fracture of the right ulna while skateboarding.”

    They spend their entire waking lives thinking up this wicked stuff. They’re relentless. They never take a vacation from finding new ways to amass power and control unto themselves so that they can micromanage every detail of our lives.

    It’s not because they think they know better—it’s because they’re bottomless pits of powerlust. They MUST have control the way a heroin addict must have his fix.

    How does humanity keep producing these types? Most of us want control only over our own lives (if that); micromanagement of the rest of the populace sounds tedious and pointless.

    I mean, I GET people who want to be filthy rich, but filthy powerful?

    WTF?

  12. It’s not because they think they know better—it’s because they’re bottomless pits of powerlust. They MUST have control the way a heroin addict must have his fix.

    There’s another aspect of tyranny Hiero points out in his conversation with Simonides: once one begins going down the path of tyranny one dare not stop for fear of the retributions certain to follow.

  13. we are wasting our time fighting them on an item by item basis and our energy.

    ALL our energy should be devoted to fighting the machine they have built up across the country.

    We have to do both. They’re winning through incrementalism, so every hill we refuse to die on is a hill they’ve taken, a hill from which they are strategically poised to take the next one.

    So yes, we have to pull up the seedlings AND chop out the suckers AND hack down the tree itself.

    (This metaphor brought to you by Ailanthus altissima, a non-native, invasive species of tree that relentlessly suckers AND seeds AND whose leaves contain an herbicide to kill competing plants beneath it. The tree is extremely fast-growing, so its wood is too weak to be useful for building. When you break a branch or crush a leaf, it reeks of fetid onion. Even after you cut down the main tree, its roots continue to sucker out indefinitely, resisting everything from RoundUp to old-fashioned dynamite. Its common name is “Tree of Heaven,” a deceitful moniker if ever there was one. Only Constant Vigilance and repeated hacking and digging and poisoning can keep these monsters in check; otherwise, they’ll quickly fill in wherever they can get a purchase, crowding out all other species.)

  14. I haven’t heard yesterday’s Levin show yet. If I can get the baby to take a nap, usually around 1:30 or so, that’s when I’m able to listen.

  15. I don’t think people understand how simple it would be for a couple of states to make a principled stand and Just Say No.

    Just Say No to all of the federal funding that comes with the mandates? That’s why even GOP governors buckled to the Medicare expansion: if they refused, they would miss the enormous chunk of money that comes attached to it, money that the state collected for the fed and passed on, so money that technically belongs to the state.

    The only way to Just Say No is to also refuse to send federal tax dollars along.

    And them’s fightin’ words.

  16. The only way to Just Say No is to also refuse to send federal tax dollars along. And them’s fightin’ words.

    Yup. Which is why we’ll depend on a couple of successful, non-dependent states to lead the way. My point remains that fightin’ words today is better than shootin’ a bunch of revenooers tomorrow.

  17. “This metaphor brought to you by Ailanthus altissima, a non-native, invasive species of tree that relentlessly suckers AND seeds AND whose leaves contain an herbicide to kill competing plants beneath it. ”

    I’ve been working on an infestation of that crap for over a decade.

  18. I’ve heard tell some Asian peoples use the Ailanthus’ wood for coffins and dowery-boxes, and the like. Moderately prize it, even, albeit far trailing the wood of Paulownia tomentosa, of which large examples here in the states have been known to be cut down and stolen away in the dead of night.

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  21. I’ve been working on an infestation of that crap for over a decade.

    Never ends, does it?

    I’ve heard tell some Asian peoples use the Ailanthus’ wood for coffins and dowery-boxes, and the like.

    The Ailanthus branches are the first to break off with an early fall/late spring snow. I can saw through fairly thick branches or just yank them off bare-handed, whereas trying to saw through a Russian Olive is a veritable Test of Strength and Endurance.

    I’ve tried to use some of the suckers as flower supports, but they don’t last very long.

  22. The Ailanthus

    me and my chipper have fun with it.

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