On Laws, Guns, And Freedom, Bureaucrats Fight To Overrule The People

On Laws, Guns, And Freedom, Bureaucrats Fight To Overrule The People

What we in the US are seeing now, and have ever since Donald Trump was elected, is an attempt by Democrats to weaponize the legal system to further a nakedly political agenda.
Daniel Oliver
By

With just over a month left before the Supreme Court’s scheduled December sitting, Second Amendment activists are eagerly anticipating the first major hearing on gun rights since the high court struck down Chicago’s handgun ban in 2010. At issue is an onerous New York City ban on the transportation of legally-owned handguns between residences or shooting ranges located beyond municipal borders. And while New York lawmakers tried to rescind their dictate in the face of a near certain judicial reversal, the pending case highlights an increasingly concerning trend in state, federal, and foreign affairs.

What we in the US are seeing now, and have ever since Donald Trump was elected, is an attempt by Democrats to weaponize the legal system to further a nakedly political agenda. New York lawmakers want to cudgel the Bill of Rights with ill-conceived regulations, and Congressional partisans are set on twisting impeachment proceedings into the reversal of a free election. Such heavy handed government tactics are not limited to elites in the United States.

In Britain also, we are seeing all the proper people doing everything in their power to nullify Brexit, called for by a popular vote.

And we also saw people in Europe run over by their “betters” in the lead-up to the European Union. The French people voted not to join—obviously the wrong decision, and so obviously the wrong decision that the French rulers decided to vote again. That is, the rulers decided that they would vote again, and get it right. So they repaired to—the symbolism is pungent (pungent with the smell of blood)—they repaired to Versailles where they voted to join the EU.

To visit Versailles is to understand regicide.

In Ireland too, the people voted by 54.3 percent not to join the EU (Barack Obama got 52.9 percent of American votes). Having gotten it wrong (a “triumph of ignorance”), they were compelled by their betters to vote again. The second vote was in favor of joining. Why wasn’t there a third vote, or a fourth, or a fifth vote? The answer is, because the rulers decided that on the second vote the people had gotten it right by endorsing the rulers’ position.

All those actions were perfectly legal.

In the US, the current crisis (“Ukrainegate?”) was originally provoked by a “whistleblower” law, a law that gives any disgruntled bureaucrat the power to throw monkey wrenches into the workings of government. A still-unknown individual, but one rumored to be a partisan Democrat, operating solely on hearsay (as we understand it at this point, the whistleblower hadn’t heard the conversation, and hadn’t read the transcript), claimed that President Trump had said something wrong in a telephone conversation with the president of Ukraine.

Yet now the nation is convulsed; impeachment hangs in the air; the nation’s needs will be ignored; no legislation will be passed for the next year or more; the whistleblower’s charge will be examined; and the House will probably vote to impeach the president. Of course, the Senate will not vote to convict, so the whole thing is a grande charade. All perfectly legal.

It should remind us of the Watergate movie, where a president who had won a landslide victory only months before—60.7 percent of the popular vote and 49 states—was toppled by left-wing Democrats and their media allies getting even for Nixon’s having nailed Alger Hiss, the Left’s darling who (uh, oh) turned out to be a Soviet spy. Note that the Watergate putsch was perfectly legal.

At the same time all this is happening, left-wing pols and some Republican dupes (no, Virginia, not all Republicans are dupes) are calling for gun control. Energy exploration and production expert Hunter Biden’s father, Joe Biden, wants a ban on all military-style weapons as well as a ban on high-capacity (i.e., more than one round!) magazines; and also more “red flag” laws.

Red flag laws, currently on the books in 15 states, allow police, family members, and others (e.g., cranky neighbors) who fear (or say they fear) that a gun owner has become dangerous, to file a seizure warrant for that person’s weapons, reversing the burden of proof: the gun owner is presumed dangerous and has to prove he is not—making a travesty of both the Sixth and Second Amendments.

As of now, there is no national gun registry, but Democrats dream of creating one so officials can confiscate the firearms of dangerous people. Like you.

Not a good idea in a country where people aspire to be free.

The history of Venezuela’s gun control is instructive. In 2012 the Venezuelan National Assembly enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law,” with the explicit aim to “disarm all citizens.” There were only a few objections, from some pro-democracy opposition figures. After the law took effect, there was a months-long amnesty program that encouraged Venezuelans to trade in their arms for electrical goods. Only 37 (!) guns were surrendered voluntarily. Thousands were confiscated by force. In 2014 Chavez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, is said to have spent more than $47 million enforcing the gun ban. Now, as we have seen, the disarmed populace has no chance of defeating the Maduro thugs.

And it was all perfectly legal.

As it could be here.

Laws written on paper aren’t enough to keep a people free. Freedom has to be written in their hearts as well.

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email Daniel Oliver at [email protected]

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