Gun proposals are attacks on our freedoms

Guest commentary

Philip Colson

Philip Colson

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.


Jax 2 years, 6 months ago

A recent Rasmussen poll shows that those who favor stricter gun control laws in the United States also have the misperception that gun crime has gone up in the past 20 years. In reality gun violence has significantly declined in that time.

NPR writes:

"Firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011," according to a report by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, "and nonfatal firearm crimes dropped from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011.''


Sister_Ruby_Two 2 years, 6 months ago

.........meanwhile gun purchases and conceal carry permit applications are at an all time high over the same 10 year period. Correlation statistics, anyone?


FryarTuk 2 years, 6 months ago

Careful there now these are guvmint numbers and you know you can't trust a thang them boys do: federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. I thank it's ah trap. To ketch them boys off guard down thar on Tabaco Road.


RedEric 2 years, 6 months ago

I like the way you talk, FryarTuk. If you misuse statistics, you lie. Simple.....I believe the recent upsurge in gun sales is fairly recent. Escalating over the last four years. This allows the confusion in results especially when you leave out important data. Even the reduced crime rate could be manipulated to show the administration is tough on crime. I.e. we do not know the truth.


Cartman 2 years, 6 months ago

When was the last you heard of an assualt rifle being used in a convenience store robbery in Albany? I can't recall ever hearing of one.

Banning them wouldn't even be noticed by criminals.


YDoICare 2 years, 6 months ago

I’m not disagreeing with Mr. Colson about the 2nd Amendment, and for the record I have purchased and own many types of firearms. My broad statement is that I support responsible handling and usage, and feel that when we separate the rhetoric of “gun advocates” versus “gun control” tossed out by the extremes on both sides many are in agreement. In a modern sense, gun control legislation goes back to 1968. Ronald Reagan in 1986 signed legislation which became Public Law 99-408 prohibiting what was termed “cop-killer bullets.” The vagueness in what constituted as having the ability to pierce soft body armor led to many loopholes as the 10 year “Assault Weapons Ban” mentioned by Mr. Colson.

Enforcing existing laws on the books would be great, and I agree that too few illegal or straw purchasers are prosecuted. The question though is why? How many people are aware of the Tiahrt Amendments which have been attached to appropriations bills as riders before being made permanent in 2006 in the 2007 fiscal appropriations bill? Essentially provisions such as having to destroy certain documents within 24 hours and allowing Federal Firearms Licensees to not have to keep inventories severely hamper anyone’s ability to prosecute. Would there ever be a legitimate reason for a business to not maintain an inventory of stock? If I were a legitimate business, I would want to know what I had on hand simply to have adequate supplies to maximize my profits. According to the NRA and other “gun advocate” groups keeping an inventory of stock is an infringement on personal rights.

As to individual rights and history, my former colleague when I was still teaching at Darton wrote some interesting pieces. I recommend reviewing the citations via the links provided in the respective pieces.





YDoICare 2 years, 6 months ago

I’ll leave with 2 links of my own in asking who is really protecting rights versus protecting their own monetary interests by keeping the people between the extremes from seeing how much more they have in common with each other versus either extreme side.



Again, I agree with Mr. Colson. I’m just not sure if it is the government or the special interests lobby who are actually trying to control or dictate both your freedom and mine. Other acts signed into law have actually controlled more guns than anything proposed today. Common sense, on the other hand, of allowing criminals to be prosecuted and promoting personal responsibility seem to be lacking.


Abytaxpayer 2 years, 6 months ago

@ Y How dare you drag common sense into this. Common sense would demand prosecuting criminals. If they were all in jail how could they vote?


RedEric 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes! The only difference in who is lying is the advocacy groups try to change your mind, to influence you. The government ORDERS you what to do, no matter what you want.


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