"As California goes, so goes the nation" is an often-heard comment. Sadly, for those who cherish freedom and expect the State to adhere to the limits of the Constitution, this happens all too frequently. California, with a majority of its residents exhibiting both cowardice and ignorance, believes the State to be the only entity that should possess .50 caliber rifles. As predicted, that trend is now flowing eastward to at least one other state: there is now legislation in Illinois to ban .50 caliber rifles.
Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, is the bill’s chief sponsor in the Illinois legislature. She, like the majority of fear mongers servicing their constituents, probably thinks proper head spacing has something to do with a drug overdose. She bases her argument against private ownership of the .50 caliber on its use by the Branch Davidians at Waco. In her view, why should anyone have the means to protect themselves from rogue federal law enforcement personnel who obtained a search warrant under false pretenses, secured military support for their ill-fated raid with a lie about the presence of drugs, injected a highly combustible gas into their home using military vehicles and then lied about firing incendiary devices into the mix, which most likely kindled the fires that killed them and their children?
Forgotten by the majority of elected useful idiots is the reason the Bill of Rights was included in the Constitution: to protect the citizens from a runaway, tyrannical government. Nowhere to be found in that document is the right of the government to protect itself from its citizens!
“When the government fears the People, that is Liberty. When the People fear the Government, that is tyranny.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
While proponents of the ban on .50 caliber firearms in both California and Illinois have no problem going to the fear well one more time and citing the possible use of these weapons by "terrorists," they conveniently forget our government supplied Usama bin Laden with 25 of them back in 1988—89.
Ronnie Barrett, President of Barrett Firearms Inc., one of the manufacturers of fine .50 caliber rifles, who sells his product to the federal government, state and local governments and to private individuals, came up with a brilliant idea back in 2002. Following a visit to a Los Angeles City Council meeting, Barrett wrote a letter to the LA Police Department. The following is an excerpt from that letter
"… I was very surprised to see an LAPD officer seated front and center with a Barrett 82A1 .50 cal rifle. It was the centerpiece of the discussion. As you know, there have been no crimes committed with these rifles, and most importantly, current California law does not allow the sale of the M82AI in the state because of its detachable magazine and features that make it an “assault weapon.” This rifle was being deceptively used by your department. The officer portrayed it as a sample of a .50 cal rifle currently available for sale to the civilians of Los Angeles. One councilman even questioned how this rifle was available under current laws, but as I stated, facts were ineffective that day.
Your officer, speaking for the LAPD, endorsed the banning of this rifle and its ammunition. Then he used the rifle for photo ops with the Councilmen each of whom, in handling the firearm, may have been committing a felony. I was amazed.
Since 1968, with the closing of the U.S. Springfield Amory, all of the small arms produced for the various government agencies are from the private sector. Every handgun, rifle or shotgun that law enforcement needs comes from this firearms industry. Unless the City of Los Angeles has plans of setting up its own firearms manufacturing, it may need to guard the manufacturing sources it has now.
When I returned to my office from Los Angeles, I found an example of our need for mutual cooperation. Your department had sent one of your 82A1 rifles in to us for service. All of my knowledge in the use of my rifle in the field of law enforcement had been turned upside down by witnessing how your department used yours. Not to protect and serve, but for deception, photo opportunities, and to further an ill-conceived effort that may result in the use of LA taxpayer money to wage losing political battles in Washington against civil liberties regarding gun ownership.
Please excuse my slow response on the repair service of the rifle. I am battling to what service I am repairing the rifle for. I will not sell, nor service, my rifles to those seeking to infringe upon the Constitution and the crystal clear rights it affords individuals to own firearms.
I implore you to investigate the facts of the .50, to consider the liberties of the law-abiding people and our mutual coexistence, and to change your department’s position on this issue."
As Mr. Barrett stated above, all law enforcement entities and the military contract all of their firearms from private companies, which are also engaged in the business of selling their products on the open market. It stands to reason the majority of their products are sold to the public and that those sales generate the majority of profit for these companies as the competition for contracts with state agencies and the military are most competitive. In many cases, state agencies actually dictate the price they will pay or farm the item out for bids. If the State continues to outlaw more and more firearms, why should the gun industry not refuse to sell their product to those who actively campaign for the financial failure of their industry?
Peppered throughout the frantic appeal for banning of the .50 caliber are the usual lies and obfuscations. In a CBS news article, the author first claims that Ronnie Barrett designed the .50 caliber rifle: John Browning must be spinning in his grave. Then Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center says, “The real question here is we do not know who has these terribly destructive rifles, no one in the United States government knows who has these guns.” Isn’t it funny that this well-known opponent to gun rights is completely ignorant of the federally mandated ATF form 4473 from all the way back in 1968? This was one of the mandates of the 1968 Gun Control Act.
For anyone who does not believe the Feds maintain a database of gun owners, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale.
Here are some lies about the .50 caliber from those who actively campaign for the destruction of the Second Amendment:
“This is a weapon of war, with a range of up to two miles that uses a cartridge the size of a ketchup bottle. Selling this as a consumer product is unconscionable.”
~ Bob Williamson of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
"These weapons can shoot down airplanes."
~ Congress critter from California, Henry Waxman, 2001
The projectile from the .50 caliber rifle is “capable of piercing light armor at 4 miles.”
~ Senator Diane Feinstein, California
The bullet from this gun “can pierce tanks and concrete bunkers.”
~ U.S. Rep. Rod Blagojevich
“The intended use of these long-range firearms…is the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and such components of the national critical infrastructure as radars and microwave transmission devices.”
~ Senators Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy
(Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 2001, “findings”)
What we have above are the lies and rantings of a terrified group of people. Of whom are they afraid? Certainly not Usama bin Laden. The government they represent has provided bin Laden and his cohorts with some of the finest .50 caliber rifles made. Chances are, they have provided the same to many groups who may be the terrorists de jour tomorrow. These rifles are really small potatoes compared to the thousands of missing shoulder-fired missiles our inept leadership let fall into the hands of opposing forces in Iraq, not to mention thousands the CIA gave directly to bin Laden.
Still, it is not these weapons in the hands of outside forces that the government and its lackeys fear — it is the .50 caliber in the hands of a free American!
Wake up, people. To those who would impose a totally tyrannical slave state on its citizens, a free man is a "terrorist!" Perhaps these tyrants have heard of, or maybe even read, John Ross’s Unintended Consequences. They are also cognizant of the lessons of Waco: a much-vaunted federal agency got their asses handed to them by a small number of armed and determined church members. This was a terrible embarrassment to the feds, an embarrassment the Branch Davidians and their children had to pay for with their lives 51 days later.
Many of the ignorant still do not understand the Patriot Act, the National ID legislation and other infringements and usurpations are not aimed at a foreign state or rogue terrorists; they are aimed at us, the citizens of this country. Jefferson was right: State lackeys fear us as long as we are armed. Without the Second Amendment, liberty will disappear as fast as a tax dollar in the hands of a politician.
The minions of the State do not fear attacks from outside our borders. They realize that in the event of an actual attack against them, the military and all the alphabet agencies will not conveniently fall asleep for several hours while the attack takes place! They know the attacks against their tyrannical designs will come from patriots who insist on being free, and ARMED!
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.