I don't know about you, but I for one am sick to my stomach of having to repeat the same facts and statistics over and over again. For years, decades even, we have beaten the drum and recited the same litany. Any man willing to sit calmly and listen to the facts, to history, will understand that civilian disarmament has always led to the abuse of the populace, whether by vicious criminals or an authoritarian government.
Additionally, Dr. John Lott did yeoman's work when he researched and compiled the material for "More Guns, Less Crime" his extensive report on gun ownership and specifically concealed carry. It should be old news to this audience that Dr. Lott found the instances of violent crime against citizens dramatically dropped in areas where concealed carry was lawful and prevalent. Subsequently, in restrictive areas, such as Chicago (Cook County IL) and Washington D.C., where citizen gun ownership was the most restricted and nearly non-existent, violent crime; rape, robbery, and murder were rampant.
We have the demonstrable failures of the British and Australian gun bans. The citizens of both nations now lay exposed and vulnerable to all manner of criminal villainy, including the terrorism of home invasion, which is epidemic in Great Britain.
Those Who Should Know Better
This article is not being penned for the benefit of Sarah Brady, Herr Bloomberg, or any of the useful idiots and naked hypocrites in Hollywood. This text is for the supposed choir, those who should know better but seem not to.
During the last big offensive on civil liberty involving firearms, the 1994 (it was a) Crime Bill, we lost, not because the opposition had a more convincing argument, but because of the "reasonable" and the compromisers on our side. Self-appointed traditionalists, sportsmen, and hunters saw the gun ban as someone else's problem. They looked at it and reasoned that they could still enjoy their favored recreation or play their game of choice.
It has been better than fifteen years, but I can still remember standing in my favorite gun shop when one of the regulars pointed to a black rifle and said, "Well, I can see banning certain kinds of guns." Out of respect for the owner of the shop I secured my mouth and simply left feeling disgusted. Somehow I doubt I would have that level of self-control today.
More recently I had a skeet shooter attempt to explain the reason the local outdoor range specifically forbid concealed carry on the club property. During the discourse he said to me "Have you seen those concealed carry people? They scare me." All the while he was balancing the muzzle of his shotgun on his foot. I didn't exercise the previous restraint and congratulated him for saying the stupidest thing I had heard all week.
Should you count yourself among the reasonable hunters, traditionalists, or sportsmen today and believe you will be spared any inconvenience from the upcoming assault on civil liberty you are willfully naïve. If you think it's alright for the government to confiscate your neighbor's AR-15 as long as you get to keep your Remington 700 you are a selfish and vile creature and I have no respect for you.
Games are not Liberty
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Second Amendment enumerated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution has nothing to do with hunting, collecting, or playing shooting games. Games are not a substitute for liberty. In the vaunted European nations who still claim that their citizens can "own guns", the only guns they can claim ownership to are those suitable for play, not for fighting. Their governments have also seen to it that playing with firearms is a rich man's game. Licenses, fees, club memberships, storage costs, and various taxes have taken even play guns out of the hands of the common man.
For all of you weekend trap shooters, annual deer hunters and seasonal competitive marksmen, you had better think twice before throwing your concealed carry neighbor under the bus. Adopting the "civilized" European model may very well price your favorite hobby far out of reach. Do you think ammunition is expensive now? Wait until the Federal Government institutes their new form of taxation on it.
Do you appreciate the wide variety of firearms, ammunition, and accessories from which you have to choose? Kiss those days goodbye. Without the profit incentive to offer a large number of products, most manufacturers will be forced to either fold up completely or cut back on their manufacturing numbers.
The vast majority of accessory makers in the firearms industry are legitimately small business owners. The draconian taxation that is being put in motion will financially crush the vast majority of them. Those who manage to stay in business will only do so by dramatically raising their prices. Imported firearms accessories will be banned outright or taxed to extinction. The days of the $200 riflescope or the $50 set of binoculars will be long gone. Bargain prices on imported ammunition? Nope, that will be gone as well.
If this short bit of text hurts your feeling or strikes a nerve, tough. It's time to either man up and grow a pair or just admit you are not really a son of liberty but a comfortable slave seeking permission from the king to play your favorite game. And, to the moderate man, who feels that I may have erred for calling out the recreant, it is exactly that moderation and compromise that has brought us to the precarious position we are in right now.
I am reminded of the immortal words of Dalton in the venerate tale of the Roadhouse. "I want you to be nice until it's time not to be nice." Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come not to be nice.
Paul Markel © 2013
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