There's a reason gun owners make up one of the largest, most effective voter blocs in American politics. We take our freedom seriously because we feel the impact of election wins and losses in our daily lives. But with concealed carry on the march and gun sales at all time highs, have you noticed a growing number of the politically complacent in our ranks? They apparently forget how long it took to dissolve the Gun Control Act of 1968; how closely the Clinton assault weapons ban came to being permanent; and how closely the Supreme Court came to ruling that the Second Amendment doesn't really mean what it says.
Gun owners who sit out the 2012 election surely endanger all we've accomplished. If we don't "cling to our guns," to quote President Obama, but rather reelect him and bolster him with an assortment of anti-gun cronies in Congress, we're looking at a worst-case scenario. Power would be in the hands of those who wouldn't know the difference between an AR-15 and a sharp stick, yet want to know and control what's in your gun safe. If they win, you lose, and these are the top nine ways you can expect your rights to be trampled.
Clinton-Like Power Abuses
The '90s were a bad time to be a gun owner, and not just because the music was terrible and dressing like a homeless drug addict was considered fashionable. Pride in firearm ownership and the freedom to do so was on the retreat. Gun rights were attacked both in the legislature and by an out-of-control executive branch. Bill Clinton's BATFE earned a reputation for overstepping its bounds in regard to policing firearms retailers (FFLs). Under the guise of crime prevention, Clinton used the BATFE to stalk, harass and fine FFL holders for petty clerical errors. This had little effect on crime, but that was never the goal -- Clinton wanted to make life as difficult as possible for gun dealers, and he succeeded, as some did indeed close up shop. Insiders believe that a lame-duck Obama term would involve a similar ploy.
Appointment of Anti-Gun Supreme Court Justices
Gun owners celebrated the win for individual gun rights in the Supreme Court's District of Columbia v. Heller
decision, but think how close we came to losing: We won just 5-4 on the constitutionality of a .38 revolver. That narrow margin could quickly be erased by a second Obama term. He will nominate up to three justices, and his first two nominees are simply awful on gun rights. As a policy advisor in the Clinton White House, Elena Kagan took an active role in determining how Clinton could undermine gun ownership in America. Sonia Sotomayor once ignored the Heller
decision in a lower court ruling, contending that the Second Amendment somehow does not apply to the states. Fortunately these anti-gun justices simply replaced other anti-gun justices. We likely wouldn't be so lucky with another four years of Obama, and the Supreme Court bench's liberal faction knows it.
Bans on Traditional, Lead Ammo
Under the guise of environmental protection, anti-gun politicians have achieved some momentum in banning lead ammunition
. Using very questionable science, the greenies argue that lead ammo harms birds of prey, but here's the height of hypocrisy for you: The wind-farms these 'œenvironmentalists' so cherish kill 67 golden eagles per year in the San Francisco area alone, far more than a few lead bullets ever could. The real goal is to force hunters and shooters to buy much more expensive non-toxic ammo, thereby pricing many of us out of the sport. The anti-lead momentum has thus far been achieved at the state level -- it isn't just federal elections that matter.
Continued Blame for Mexico's Violence
There are many reasons for Mexico's rampant drug trade and associated violence -- not the least of which are its corrupt police force and its concentration of power in the hands of criminals -- but the freedoms of American gun owners are not among them. So when Mexican President Felipe Calderon blamed us for his country's crime and corruption, a strong American leader should've leaped to our defense. Instead, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued an apology
to Calderon for the Second Amendment. Obama's Justice Department had meanwhile put the wheels of the 'œFast and Furious' debacle in motion. The operation allowed guns to illegally 'œwalk' to Mexico, but instead of leading to prosecutions, the guns were used in the murders of several Americans, including border patrol agent Brian Terry. If Obama is reelected, we can expect the continued belittlement of gun owners -- the Mexican government recently erected billboards urging a crackdown on gun ownership in the United States -- and if the power of the U.S. Congress shifts hands, we may never know the full story of the 'œFast and Furious' scandal.
Defeat of Nationwide Right-to-Carry Reciprocity
We are very close to passing what was once considered an impossible dream: a nationwide system of reciprocity for right-to-carry permit holders. No more confusion -- every state that issues carry permits would recognize the carry permits of all other states. The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House 272-154
. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it has a strong chance of passing, unless pro-gun seats are lost on Election Day. Also, if Obama is reelected, we can surely expect his veto -- will we have a strong enough pro-gun majority to override his distrust in us?
Obama's Sneaky Federal Budget
If reelected, expect the federal budget to include a few of the anti-gun lobby's priorities that Obama hoped would fly under the radar. These include but aren't limited to: lifting the ban on the Center for Disease Control's ability to perform gun 'œresearch,' a restriction put in place after the CDC released what the NRA calls biased, anti-gun propaganda; the use of tax dollars to melt expended military brass rather than allow private citizens to buy and recycle it; and the use of tax dollars to prevent the importation of collector guns, such as last year's quashing of a deal to import M1 Garands from South Korea.
Stolen Gun? You Just Became a Criminal
Led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 'œMayors Against Illegal Guns'
-- which has never met a gun it didn't want to make illegal -- mayors in various jurisdictions have passed 'œstolen gun reporting' ordinances. Such laws turn innocent victims of gun theft into criminals themselves if they fail to report a stolen gun in an arbitrary amount of time. Such laws also put us on the path toward European stolen-gun laws, which have prosecuted gun owners who 'œshould've done more' to prevent the theft of their firearms. Most such laws have been overturned in the judiciary thanks to preemption statutes that preserve the uniformity of state laws. But it's clear the mayors are steadfast on making life as a gun owner more difficult -- and that it's more important than ever to vote in local elections.
You think firearms and ammunition are expensive now? Imagine the dreadful day when the anti-gunners achieve enough clout to pass microstamping legislation. Every new gun would be required to contain a tiny, expensive stamp on the firing pin to mark all expended rounds. Each microstamp would be registered -- obviously this is concerning enough in itself. It's difficult to argue that this legislation would affect a single criminal (why do anti-gun politicos always expect criminals to follow their laws?), but it would definitely infringe on the liberties of lawful gun owners.
Posting of Names, Addresses of Right-to-Carry Permit Holders
Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Hopefully the power-abusing journalists in Pennsylvania, Virginia and other states who used the Freedom of Information Act to reveal the names of right-to-carry permit holders have learned that lesson. Whether these journalists had an agenda fueled by hatred for gun owners, or they were just looking for a juicy story, their actions are unforgivable. They posted the names and addresses of anyone with a carry permit in a searchable,"http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/03/illinois-governor-signs-bill-banning-release-firearm-owners-names/" target="_blank">stepped up and sealed the records. But all it could take is a shift in the political tide and Johnny Journalist will again be howling about 'œthe public's right to know.'
How do you think we can lose in 2012? Is there any way we win if Obama gets elected?