Generally, I avoid columns at HuffPo, but I clicked the link before I realized where it was (I really need to watch URLs more closely). In this case, I discovered an “open letter” from associates of the Outdoors Writers Association of America, who apparently never heard of Jim Zumbo. They want gun control.
Lots of it.
As is my habit, I wrote an email to Daniel Ashe, the bylined writer of the letter, and former FWS director (an Obama appointee). I couldn’t find an email for him, so I sent it to OWAA, as all the co-signers are affiliated with that group. I waited for a response.
-crickets- Funny how that happens when I challenged victim disarmers with facts.
As is also my habit, I’m now sharing my letter with the world.
Dear Mr. Ashe (and co-signers),
RE: An Open Letter From Hunters About Gun Reform
I’m not sure you’ve thought through your gun control proposals. Allow me to explain.
“We see the need and opportunity to frame compromise between the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms and the Fifth Amendment’s right to life and liberty.”
That would be the “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property” part, I presume. I think you need to read the whole Fifth Amendment, rather than cherry-pick one clause:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Please note that this is a set of restriction on government, meant to protect individuals from said government. Let’s focus on that partial clause you like:
“nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”
Shall not be deprived of property without due process. Like taking, or preventing the acquisition of firearms. That’s rather important, as I hope you’ll come to understand.
“Here’s where we would begin:
“1. An age minimum of 21 years to purchase any gun;”
Any other constitutionally guaranteed rights you want to restrict? Perhaps the First Amendment right to… write? Vote? That whole Fifth Amendment thing?
“2. Anyone on the Terrorist Screening Center’s “no-fly list” may not purchase or possess firearms;”
I’m not a fan of denial of human/civil rights without due process. I think you’re advocating an 8 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights violation.
The problem is that politicians discovered an investigative tool (lists of suspects — many with insufficient evidence to arrest — and possible associates to be watched) and mistook it for a list of actual known bad guys. Well… they did ID the late Senator Ted Kennedy, so some of them were bad guys. But the elderly nun? The inconvenient wife who the federal worker added to no-fly to be rid of her? And several others?
“3. Anyone on Social Security disability due to mental illness may not purchase or possess firearms;”
There’s that due process — or lack thereof — problem again. Based on experience with the Obama administration, I’m guessing that you mean you want his old no-due- process rule reinstated.
“4. Prohibit new sales of semiautomatic assault or tactical-style weapons;”
Why? You never actually explain that. I’m reasonably certain that the Second Amendment doesn’t mention hunting, while it does mention arms being necessary to security and freedom. Pesky thing, eh?
“5. Prohibit new sales of semiautomatic shotguns or rifles (except .22-caliber rim fire) that can hold more than 10 rounds;”
Ditto. Not that such a limit would have deterred some of the recent school shooters (Parkland, FL, ten-round magazines; Ocala, FL, double-barreled shotgun — whoa, a hunting weapon — Dalton, Ga, revolver)
“6. Prohibit any accessory designed or mechanical modification intended a) to increase the rate at which any firearm may be discharged; or b) to increase the magazine capacity of a semiautomatic rifle beyond 10 rounds (except .22-caliber rim fire);”
Can you give me an example of such a device? Metallic self-contained cartridges raised the rate of fire over that of non-case muzzleloaders. The Revolutionary War era Ferguson rifle also had a higher rate of fire over muzzleloaders. Double-barreled shotguns can fire faster than single-shots. Polished trigger groups can increase the rate of fire (along with replacement springs and bolt assemblies).
At a guess, I suspect you have bump-fire stocks (and possibly trigger cranks) in mind. Funny thing: neither increases the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm; that’s inherent in the physics of the firearm’s internal parts. In fact, since a bump-fire stock bleeds off recoil energy to allow the trigger to reset for the next manual operation, that can decrease the theoretical maximum rate of fire.
“7. Mandatory and universal background checks for all firearm sales;”
There’s an idea. How about starting with the 64% of murderers with prior felony convictions who use stolen firearms 88% of the time (and even more with other disqualifying conditions like mental health adjudications, misdemeanor domestic violence convictions, unlawful residency status, and the rest)? Roughly 90% of them get their firearms from friends and family who could be presumed to be aware of their prohibited person status, and from blackmarket — i.e.- already unlawful — sales.
If you can get them to go through background checks, you might be on to something. I’m not sure how you’ll get around the HAYNES ruling on self-incrimination, though.
“8. Prohibit sales of firearms except through registered/licensed dealers (no direct private sales);”
You’ve already specified mandatory universal background checks (more accurately: a prior restraint on the exercise of a right through preemptive proof of innocence). Why also require owners/buyers to go through an FFL dealer unless you want a permanent 4473 and bound book record of who owns what? And you still have the prior felon issue; get them to buy through dealers. Such an insistence on a paper trail is why many gun owners fear you have backdoor registration in mind.
“9. Enact gun violence restraining order authorities allowing courts to temporarily prohibit a person from purchasing or possessing firearms when a family member, community welfare expert or law enforcement officer presents evidence of a threat; and”
You have a serious jones for violating due process, don’t you? Such restraining orders mandate violating human/civil rights with process coming only after the fact; UNDUE process. And if the person is so dangerous that his property must be taken preemptively, why wouldn’t he be arrested and and charged with a crime? Or do you mean that rights — like the First Amendment right to pen silly columns — should be violated without probable cause?
“10. Repeal the “Dickey ban” on scientific research in the area of gun violence and implement the Institute of Medicine’s 2013 gun violence research agenda.”
There is no such ban. The Dickey Amendment forbade the CDC to “advocate or promote gun control.” They could — and did — continue with research (as are other federal agencies). The amendment did take away certain research funding: the amount that the CDC diverted away from research, proving they didn’t need it for said research. And you seem to have missed recent legislation clarifying that: an explicit statement that such research is allowed.
“These suggestions are simple to implement and enforce.”
If they are so simple, then start with the unlawfully armed criminals before inflicting them on the folks who didn’t do it. You know, the…
“They do limit the rights of honest and law-abiding citizens, but they are responsible limitations that do not infringe the ability of Americans to hunt, shoot, or protect themselves and their families.”
They limit the rights of INNOCENT “honest and law-abiding citizens,” but ignore the prior felons who are the vast majority of the problem.
And if have to wait for government permission to purchase only less-effective defensive arms, then, yes; my right to protect myself has been infringed. I seem to recall a wise man speaking of a right delayed being a right denied.
Oh well; it’s not as if you have to run your open letter through a Federal Literature Licensee and undergo a prior restraint background check before exercising your right to speak up.
Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger
Writer, The Zelman Partisans
About Us: Jews. Guns. No compromise. No Surrender.
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