The anti-gun proponents frequently use the phrase “commonsense gun control” or “commonsense gun safety” when nothing could be farther from the actual truth.
Background checks prior to the sale of any firearm became commonplace after the Clinton “assault weapons ban” in 1998, except for the very few firearms sold via private sales. A private sale of a firearm is like selling a used baseball bat across the back fence. Can the baseball bat be used to commit a crime? Sure. Does the government need to restrict such a sale? I (and many others) don’t think so.
After background checks became commonplace, most people forgot the real sticky point regarding this legislation. The Second Amendment of the Constitution recognizes the inalienable right of U.S. citizens to “keep and bear” arms. This legislation is hostile to any civil right and opposite the judicial norm of “innocent until proven guilty.”
You should ask yourself, “What other individual right, recognized by the Bill of Rights, is treated in this manner?” Do you have to “prove yourself innocent” before exercising your right to free speech, practicing your choice of religion, testifying in court against yourself, requesting legal counsel, demanding a speedy trial, demanding a trial by a jury of your peers, receiving just bail? No, none of these require proof of innocents.
Now the government is armtwisting our congressional representatives in the attempt to gain even greater control over the individual. Gun control after all is more about controlling people than it has ever been about controlling guns. The factoid about 90 percent of Americans wanting “expanded background” is another misrepresentation of the facts. This figure is from a pole taken by about 600 people, all on the East Coast, and all from states that voted for Obama in 2012.
Why another law? According to statistics, the government seldom prosecutes even the most hardened criminal who attempts to purchase a firearm through a brick and mortar store, or any other licensed gun dealer. In fact, the prosecution rate is a little less than 1 percent of the known or suspected illegal gun purchase attempts made each year. Why enact a law, demanded to protect public safety and then refuse to enforce that law?
If the government was actually concerned over “public safety,” the “safety of our children” or any other of the absolute nonsense being discussed regarding firearms in the mainstream media they would crack down on the existing gun control laws already on the books.
No, it is not just common sense. This is not about controlling guns. This is another attempt at control your freedom.
Philip Colson, of Albany, is a retired Marine master gunnery sergeant, who had 30 years of service with the Corps, including two tours in Vietnam. He has been awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Colson coached the USMC Pistol Team, Quantico (1986-90), was adjunct instructor at the FBI Academy, Quantico (1987-90), and adjunct instructor, ABAC Police Academy in Tifton (1995-99). He is a personal marksmanship instructor.