I fear there are a large number of gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment (2A) who believe there still remains in the Congress some support (fear of not being reelected if they vote for gun control) for 2A. They are also of the belief, especially among the National Rifle Association (NRA) crowd, that the recent Heller decision was a major victory for gun owners. Both beliefs are highly suspect.
It is true that Bill Clinton stated in his biography that the Democrats lost the Congress in 1994 because of the party’s support for gun control. It is also true Al Gore very possibly lost the presidential race in 2000 because he was unable to carry his home state of Tennessee, many believe because of his anti-gun stance. Had he won Tennessee, Florida would not have mattered. But that was then, and this is now; the political and economic climate is much different today.
It is also true that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has, for the time being, shown no spoken interest in pursuing an Assault Weapons Ban in the House of Representatives. Pelosi, who comes from a predominantly antiwar district has consistently voted a pro-war stance, routinely betraying her base of support. She is also a professing Catholic who supports abortion and openly lies about the tenets of her faith. Exactly how much credence can we give to anything she says she will, or will not do?
There was a rumor early in the George W. Bush administration concerning Karl Rove, who many considered to be the brains of the GOP. Supposedly, a party operative questioned Rove on how the GOP should position itself on certain issues in order to cater to the GOP base of anti-abortionists and pro 2A voters. Rove reportedly said to the operative, "We need not concern ourselves with those voters; where else are they going to go?" Whether the rumor is true or not matters little, for the results are evident: in the 2008 Presidential election the GOP offered as their candidate a pro-choice politician with an F— rating on the 2A from Gun Owners of America. Of course the folks at the NRA jumped into the election fray with total support for McCain. How could McCain’s opponent have a lower score than F—; didn’t Obama claim to support the 2A too? I’m sure the anti-abortion voting crowd was just as duplicitous in their support of candidates.
The bottom line is: there is no support in the Congress for the Second Amendment, certainly not enough to override any attempt by those in power to disarm American citizens. Ron Paul and a very few others, will stand strong in defense of our rights, but like trying to stop the "bailout," the effort will fall short. To place one’s right to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property in a political body populated for the most part by those who steal and lie as a normal function of everyday life is dangerous in the extreme.
Many gun owners, especially those in attendance at the recent S.H.O.T. Show in Orlando, were beside themselves with glee over the DC v Heller Supreme Court decision. In actuality, this decision, a 5—4 vote, does very little to actually support the 2A other than state what the 2A defines, with the caveat that even then it is subject to "reasonable" government restrictions. Libertarian gun rights advocate L. Neil Smith puts it very well.
"Although many gun rights advocates mistakenly believe that the recent Heller Supreme court decision was a victory for our side, in fact it authorizes all manner of infringements — in the form of "reasonable" regulation — on the individual right to own and carry weapons."
Are we the people ever consulted on what constitutes "reasonable" when it comes to our rights; do we have a say in the implementation of "reasonable" restrictions on our freedoms?
What Heller actually accomplished was to establish a climate of never ending litigation to determine what is reasonable to those in political positions to make such determinations. The Heller vote was 5—4, which means that four of the Supreme Court Justices disagreed with our right to own and possess the tools necessary to defend ourselves; indeed, a precarious position for liberty. Basically, our rights depend on the capricious nature of one bureaucrat.
Another serious mistake 2A supporters could fall into would be to believe that the Obama administration will be too busy with the economic storm to move for draconian firearms legislation. The chaos that will result from the Keynesian economic approach now being employed by this administration will eventually lead to the rapid breakdown of law and order as the desperate and criminal-minded seek to secure the property of others. The state will then convince Boobus the only way to stop the violence will be to seize all privately owned firearms. Magnify the chaos and violence in the aftermath of Katrina by thousands of US cities and the picture should become clear. The state’s answer to the violence in New Orleans was to seize the firearms of law-abiding citizens. It will happen again.
The mentality of those who believe their salvation/safety lies in the state was clearly illustrated by a vendor at a gun show I attended this past weekend. A private citizen was walking around with a Heckler and Koch model 91 slung on his shoulder with a for sale sign attached. The vendor, resplendent with his NRA Life-Member hat, asked the man if he had had any offers to purchase the rifle. He stated that he had received several offers to purchase, but none of the prospective buyers wanted to complete the formal federal paperwork required on gun show property. The vendor promptly responded that anyone who feared a government background check was obviously a criminal and/or a terrorist and had something to hide. He was obviously of the opinion that the state will never use these records of purchase when they decide to confiscate firearms from those who "legally" possess them.
Supporters of the 2A best come to their senses and realize very quickly that the only support we have for the right to keep and bear arms is ourselves. Depending on others, especially politicians and judges will prove fatal. In the words of Karl Rove, "Where else are we going to go?" The fall at the end of the ride is going to be rough.
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.