[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e are less than 3 months into 2018, and due in large part to a recent string of highly publicized, tragic shootings perpetrated by the murderously deranged, our 2nd Amendment rights are once again under assault.
Reactionary opposition groups, political partisans and politicians themselves have wasted no time in seizing the initiative, counting on a tide of grief and anger to carry their agenda through to implementation. Make no mistake: a widespread, radical ban on firearms in the U.S. is as likely as it has been in decades.
It is my intent that this article will serve as a primer on why a gun ban is certainly a possibility, and what you should be doing to help stop it.
A Brief History of Gun Control
While gun control measures have been a political hot-topic since at least the late 1960’s, America has a long history of gun control.”Gun control” here will be defined as a political effort to institute government force in the regulation of citizen acquisition and trade of firearms, ammunition and any other related parts or equipment. In the list below, you will find an overview of major gun control legislation that was made law, and continues to affect political maneuvering in the country today. This article would be very long indeed if we analyzed each of them, so I recommend you familiarize yourself with all of them if you have not already:
- National Firearms Act of 1934, or NFA
- Gun Control Act of 1968, or GCA
- Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, or FOPA
- Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, or Brady Law
- Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, or AWB, now defunct as of 2004
In addition to laws, there have also been a great many trials concerning 2nd Amendment rights. These in particular have influenced public opinion, and more importantly case law in their wake. You should also endeavor to be familiar with them:
- United States v. Miller
- United States v. Emerson
- Parker v. District of Columbia
- District of Columbia v. Heller
The evidence is plain: there has been concerted, consistent erosion of our 2nd Amendment Rights over time. There is a precedent for continual, if not immediate, infringement of gun rights in the U.S. Those efforts are underway, right now, today, with a strength and zeal unseen since the 80’s.
It will take the combined efforts and activism of every gun owner and freedom-loving American to turn back the Leftists who would see our rights relegated to the dustbin of history.
Proposed Gun Control Today
In the immediate aftermath of the Parkland, FL high school shooting, as predictable as the tide, Leftist political partisans swooped into action from coast to coast and especially on Capitol Hill. Several Liberal states struck first: Illinois’ House of
Representatives passed 4 brand new gun control measures, further burying that beleaguered populace under even more ineffective gun control measures. California, predictably, pushed forth 10 new gun control bills.
I did not think there was a slingshot left in that state, much less a gun, but I guess they are taking no chances. Their laws are among the most stringent in the country, and there is no sign of relief for gun owners there.
Florida and several New England states rolled out bills proposing to curtail or ban the ownership of semiautomatic rifles, and magazine capacity restrictions. We also saw national news coverage of the fact that several major department stores and sporting goods retailers pulled semiautomatic rifles, most prominently AR-15’s, from store shelves, and instituted policy changes raising the minimum age to purchase a long gun to 21 years old (the federal age requirement is 18).
Further adding to the general panic and mayhem rippling through 2nd Amendment proponents is the overnight reversal of opinion held by the 45th President regarding gun control, saying on live T.V. that he was open to making a deal with prominent, powerful anti-gun politicians.
To say 2A supporters in his base are horrified is an immense understatement. It has been reported by the NRA-ILA (National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action) that after a late night visit and meeting with the President that he has backtracked on that comment, and all is well, but this has created a feeling of severe uncertainty, of a “waiting for the other shoe to drop” among conservatives .
The single biggest threat to gun ownership today is bill HR 5087. This bill, if passed intact, will restrict entire categories of firearms and magazines. A few highlights include restriction or total banning of:
- “semiautomatic pistols”
- “semiautomatic assault weapons”
- “semiautomatic shotguns”
- “large capacity ammunition feeding devices”
- “barrel shroud”
- “detachable magazines”
HR 5087 will also mandate storage and ownership transfer requirements, and fund government “buy-back” programs that, if disobeyed, will create an entire class of criminals out of citizens. Do I have your attention? This bill is active today.
The sad fact is that Conservatism loses almost every time in the political arena against Progressive Leftists. The idea of just “digging in and hanging on” is no defense against the slow but inexorable march by the enemies of decency and freedom.
It is not enough to tell friends or relatives trapped “behind the lines” in non gun-permissive states to “just leave.” It makes sense, considering our opponents control entire cities and institutions of social and political capital, right? No. If we keep giving up ground they will drive us in the metaphorical sea.
The time for a political grassroots offensive is now, and you, yes you, dear reader, are the single cell, the atom, that when harnessed will halt the Leftist march. But for that to happen, you must act.
Action in the Right Place, At the Right Time
You certainly don’t have unlimited time, and you probably don’t have unlimited funds. You must determine where is best to apply both. Pro-Tip: it is not slinging memes and insults on the internet.
Talking crap and grandstanding isn’t worth two steel pennies. Replace both with political action, and bringing the undecided people in the middle of the debate over to our side. Action! Not words.
You can spend all the time in the world correcting anti-gun advocates in message threads, insulting their incorrect use of nomenclature and spamming Pro-2A memes all over social media, and you will not bring a single person to support our cause. You won’t convert one hardened anti-gun Leftist. You won’t stop one bill from winding through Congress.
Sure, it feels good to lash out at our opponents, and the memes are funny. I have posted plenty, and fired off my share of witty zingers. But before you congratulate yourself too heartily for defending the 2nd Amendment, you need to remember that, in reality, you are sitting on your butt screwing around while real work, for and against you, is being done elsewhere. Time for a gut check.
Action Items for the Present
Don’t waste breath or typing on anyone that cannot make a difference in the current fight. That means hardened anti-gunners, as well as staunch Pro-2A guys and gals; don’t sow pearls before swine, or preach to the choir.
If you are going to take the time to reach the undecided in the middle, that may be a worthy effort. Adding numbers to the cause is a benefit, but be cautious to not overload them with rhetoric and politicking on their first time out on the range. It should instead be a fun and enjoyable time with good people.
Everyone started somewhere, start them right. Who should be hearing from you regularly are your elected local, state and federal representatives. How you get in touch with them matters: Mass-mailer petitions, form letters, and the like may be of dubious utility. Coming from the National Rifle Association, they may have some impact, but are weak compared to an actual, unique letter, written well and candidly, addressed to them, signed by you.
Your letter should detail your expectations concerning even the discussion of any anti-gun bills, and detail what they should expect if your interests are deserted come election day. These letters should be sent to all your elected reps at every level of Government at the following times:
- When a gun control bill is announced
- When a gun control bill is approaching a vote
- After a bill is passed or dropped, and suited to their vote
If we all sent letters like this, en masse, it would have the full and total attention of our politicians. Another step you should be taking, in accordance with sending letters, is calling those same representatives.
Tell them you expect them to oppose any and all new gun control legislation (Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 Contact your reps!). Be vocal, be heard, and pay attention! It will take both your time and effort, things that you do have if only you will stop wasting it on fruitless activity!
Becoming a member of and donating to an effective gun-rights organization is in your best interest. This is a contentious topic among Pro-2A supporters, and the arguments have raged since I was little as to which organization is most effective, or betrayed their members, or whatever. Bottom-Line Up Front:
If you have only enough funds to join and donate to one, make it the NRA. No other organization has the membership or political horsepower that they do. However, I am a firm believer in being a member of as many as you can: The Gun Owners of America and Firearms Policy Coalition are good groups, and do make a difference. Pay attention to what all of them are saying about political rumblings and successes. Join, participate and stay focused.
Stop Eating Our Own
Any of you that have been around the gun scene long enough are no doubt familiar with a sort of grudge that has been stewing for many years. The feud, as it were, is between Hunters, or Sporting Shooters, and the Tactical Shooters. I am painting with a broad brush here, so don’t get too wrapped up in my language. I don’t care if you belong to one, the other, or both (and neither should you). Pejoratively this grudge is called the Fudds vs. Mall Ninjas. It revolves around the hunters and sport shooters holding the tactical shooters’ guns and methods in contempt, to the point of even agreeing that AR-15’s, “assault weapons” and similar should be banned! Conversely, the Tactical shooters dismiss many hunters that cling to their sport and ways as being hopelessly out of touch and antiquated.
This is a bad deal for a host of reasons, but primarily because we, as 2nd Amendment Supporters, must present a united front politically. Division and mutual enmity is the opportunity the Leftists will use to pounce, and enact their laws. Then it will be too late. If you don’t care about modern “black guns,” start caring: The loss of them will certainly affect other, more “traditional” firearms. If you don’t care about hunting, and hunting grounds and legislation affecting it, start caring: any loss of ground on those fronts will affect all gun owners. The Left has nibbled away our rights for decades, bit by bit. A law here, a bill there. One or two more regulations piggybacked on other legislation. Every, single one matters. Start acting like it.
Stop giving friends or strangers grief if they don’t belong to the “correct” gun-rights organization of choice. Encourage them to do the things I have outlined in this article. If they are, compliment and encourage them. Get them to approach their like-minded friends and family, and then you should do the same. We must come together as gun owners. Our opposition has, and they show no signs of backing down. There will be no compromise. They will win, or we will. Win or lose. There is no more time for bickering, no more time for excuses. Get involved politically where it matters. Nothing else will make a difference.
A massive gun ban is possible in the U.S. It is more possible than it has been in a long time. The Left is perched, waiting for the slightest lapse in political resolve, or concentration. Now is the time to stop wasting our words on those who cannot be reasoned with, and instead start talking to the ones that, right or wrong, put pen to paper and change our laws. Call your representatives. Write them. Move your family and friends to take the same action. This is what will turn the tide, not fighting on the internet.
What are you doing today to support the 2nd Amendment? Do you have gun-owning friends who are apathetic, or lazy? Any family members that are in opposition? Let me know what you need help with in the comments!
Chad Nabors specializes in firearms, with a strong focus on concealed carry and pistols. His background is in commercial sales and training, and armor development and testing. He has trained many citizens on the pistol from basic to advanced skills. He is a vociferous proponent of the 2nd Amendment, and believes that defense of self and family is a moral obligation. He can be reached at grimgunner (AT) gmail.com.