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Guns and Crime

America should consider adopting Israel’s ‘gun control’

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The Left wants a total ban on guns. Much of the right counters with unlimited “Constitutional carry,” anywhere, anytime. Neither of these extremes is feasible.

If we can put aside our narratives and straw men for a moment, and simply be real, we may find some value in commonsense “gun control.” And the most commonsense place to find it is our friend in the Middle East, Israel.

Israel is a very small country, about the size of New Jersey. It is in many ways surrounded by enemies, or at best, tenuous partners bound by treaties and pledges of cooperation. These facts lead to some stark realities. Every able-bodied Israeli–even the ultra-Orthodox Jews–must serve in the military. This is mandatory. The military trains every member in weapons handling, so every Israeli who has served has some familiarity with handling, caring for, and firing guns.

That’s one large difference between Israel, the U.S., and other western countries. Many Americans only know guns from movies. Seeing a real one, or–heaven forbid–firing a gun, can be a frightening experience for liberals and Europeans unaccustomed to it. (In fact, Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News called his virgin experience firing an AR-15, “horrifying, dangerous, and very, very loud.” To which Erick Erickson hilariously replied, “It’s a gun, you idiot! Were you expecting it to tickle you?” This lays to rest the “suppressor” or “silencer” argument, of course, but that is not our topic here.)

Let’s set aside those who believe that real, actual guns, not portrayed on television or movie screens are incarnations of Satan himself. Those people are the burners of straw-men and fantasizers of gun-confiscation. To whom they would entrust the task of confiscating (at gunpoint!) 300 million guns is also not our topic here. Let’s now confine the subject to those who wish to own, use and carry guns.

In America we have a Second Amendment right for citizens to own guns. In Israel, no such right is granted by the government, although it is somewhat brought about by necessity. Where the two overlap: Americans’ rights and Israelis’ necessity, is where we can and should learn from Israel’s form of “gun control.”

There are three planks to sensible gun control.

  1. Determining who can and cannot possess a gun.
  2. Determining where guns can and cannot be carried.
  3. Controlling how guns can and cannot be used.

It’s a far-right straw-man to claim that none of these apply, as even the Second Amendment speaks of “a well-regulated militia.” The government has an interest and a responsibility to regulate (“control”) deadly weapons. Can we all agree that it’s a bad idea to give a loaded gun, unsupervised, to a four-year-old? Can we agree that 16-year-olds carrying concealed, loaded weapons in high schools may not be the best idea? What age is the right age? That’s a matter of debate–but the point is taken that some people should not possess guns.

Who can carry?

In Israel, carrying a gun is a positive privilege granted by the state. Since 2015, IDF officers with the rank of lieutenant or above and NCOs with the rank of staff-sergeant or higher are eligible for firearms permits. Before 2015, there was an additional two-year service requirement, but that was removed to enhance the value of “citizens with firearms training” as “a multiplying force for the police in their fight against terrorism.”

Also, citizens who have served in certain military units, along with those who have passed the Shin Bet’s (Israel’s FBI) security guard training courses, and people who wish firearms training on a case-by-case basis can apply for permits. Permits carry an obligation to remain proficient with the weapons–every few years at a range at minimum.

We should have no problem with states that require some kind of firearms training to obtain a concealed carry permit. We should agree that firearms education should be offered in every high school. It would prevent the “Gersh Kuntzman” reaction, or the tragic case of 19-year-old Pedro Ruiz. Ruiz convinced his girlfriend to shoot him in the chest point-blank with a .50 cal Desert Eagle so he could make a YouTube video showing how an encyclopedia would stop the round. She killed him.

Many times, at super-mega gun stores and big-box retailers, the people behind the counter are incentivized to make the sale, get the background check, and collect the money. Perhaps, adding a few bumps here and there with other people who aren’t trying to sell a product would be a better solution. Waiting periods are fairly useless, except for the occasion where a jilted lover runs to Bass Pro Shops to buy a gun to take home specifically to kill a cheating spouse. On the other hand, there’s not many times where I have a “gun buying emergency” where I simply must have that .454 Casull, and I must have it today!

Gun registries and sales: a uniquely U.S. problem

Oh boy. A hornet’s nest. Is it the government’s business that you own a gun, and is it their (or anyone’s) business that you own a lot of guns, or which guns you own? In Israel, yes, absolutely. There is no private gun sale right in Israel. There’s no way a terrorist can get a legal permit holder to go buy a gun for them without raising all kinds of red flags. You can’t just walk into Academy Sports in Israel and walk out with a handgun.

In the U.S., gun sales is big business. To the tune of $11 billion (guns and ammunition). Gun manufacturers employs 35,165 workers. There are over 50,000 retail gun dealers, which contribute $123 million in tax money to federal coffers, along with over a half billion to states and conservation groups for hunting licenses. In the U.S., 32 percent of households own at least one gun.

Of course the industry would be against anything that would spook individuals from buying guns–that’s a no-brainer. However, common sense can prevail here, in a combination of Israel’s tightly controlled ownership registry versus America’s “screw-you-it’s-my-right” ethos.

Nothing good can come of a national gun registry, unless you were a criminal and the police were about to raid your house. And since you fill out an ATF Form 4473 every time you buy a gun from a licensed dealer, they already know you’ve bought a bunch of guns. They aren’t supposed to share that information–but they do.

The fact is, that people who own 30 or 40 or 50 guns–they’re either collectors (and that’s fine) or they’re something else. The something else might be a paranoid prepper, an anti-government arsenal builder, or a murderous nutcase. Either way, people in that category deserve scrutiny. I might be unpopular saying it, but let me give a couple of examples.

If you’re a father, do you want your teenage daughter dating a guy who has dated one or two girls in his class, or one who has dated them all? If you’re hiring for a position, do you want the applicant who has worked at one company for 5 years, or 15 jobs in the same period? There’s a value in knowing when the neighbor down the street has 50 cases (1,000 rounds per case) of 5.56mm NATO ball ammo. That’s enough for a small army.

Can we agree that there’s no problem with the federal government asking “why” in these cases, or telling buyers on the phone that  local law enforcement will be informed of their newly-acquired arsenal? Can we agree that’s not an infringement on Second Amendment rights? It’s a straw-man argument that anyone can own as many firearms as they want without the government taking notice. Can we agree that there’s no problem telling shady gun stores that they’ll face decades in federal prison if they break those rules (they have those rules now, but pawn shops and other dealers who buy and sell weapons sometimes “lose” the transaction records).

Where guns can be carried

Americans want to have our cake and eat it too. We don’t like metal detectors, bag searches and other inconveniences. But we also don’t like being shot at in public places. As the latter increases in risk, resistance to the former becomes weaker.

In Israel, it’s commonplace to have bag searches, metal detectors and security guards. Many employers have gun lockers. Employees come to work, unlock their personal gun safe, deposit their firearm (sometimes an M-16 if the worker is a reserve soldier), and go to their jobs. If you go into an Israeli mall, the security guard asks “do you have a gun?” They might ask for your permit.

Can we agree that in American retail stores and malls, it’s a tremendously stupid idea to ban all guns? It’s just blindingly dumb, but it’s private property. In these businesses, in Georgia, I carry concealed if I feel like it. The worst they can do it throw me out. A smarter way is to employ a couple of trained, armed security guards, who can ask if people are armed (train them to spot telltale signs). If they are armed, they show their permit, and they can come in. This is not an infringement on anything. Private businesses can ask for a gun permit if they want to.

Why is that better? Well, it keeps the idiots at bay–those open-carry-for-the-sake-of-screw-you people. It keeps the criminals at bay–they know there are armed people in the mall. It would likely prevent several tragedies a year. Notice at churches where people can carry guns, mass shootings are rare and generally quashed quickly if attempted. But in Charleston, guns cannot be carried at churches, and Dylann Roof took advantage of that. It’s the same with movie theaters.

Creating unenforced no-gun zones where people gather simply makes it more likely a mass shooting will happen, and succeed.

Walt Disney World used to allow anyone legally permitted to carry concealed in Florida to carry in their parks. Now they don’t. They have metal detectors and bag searches. You have to get there earlier. The moved the “open the gates” ceremony at the Magic Kingdom from the gates to Cinderella’s castle. It’s less convenient. But it’s safer.

We should expect at least some of the hotels at the Las Vegas strip and other touristy places where a killer can infiltrate to set up similar inconvenient barriers. That means some people won’t want to stay at the hotel, and that’s fine. Maybe the hotel can make an exception for permitted concealed carry–one gun on your person. That would prevent someone from bringing in an arsenal. Common sense can prevail.

In Georgia, it’s illegal to carry onto school property, except when picking up or dropping off students. That’s common sense. It should be legal for college students to carry on campus–at any school, in class or in the dorms.

But there should also be limitations.

How guns can and cannot be used

In Israel, one big–huge–difference in dealing with firearms is the concept of positive control. If a citizen carries in Israel, the gun is inextricably tied to them. Many police departments in America use this same concept. Carry everywhere because the gun is yours and you can never let it out of your sight. It’s a major offense in Israel to leave a gun unattended. In the U.S., it can lead to discipline against a police officer (such as the Capitol police sergeant who left a gun in a bathroom). In Israel, leaving a gun in a car unattended will lead to prison.

In Israel, permit holders are required to have government-approved gun safes in their homes. If the gun isn’t in the safe, it’s carried. If it’s carried to work, it goes into a safe locker. Guns are not simply left out.

What reason do we have not to require some kind of personal carry and ownership responsibility? We might not require a full-on gun safe (but that’s a good idea, mine is biometric), but there should be stiff penalties for leaving a gun in a car or home unattended without securing it. At minimum, that should be a hearing to potentially suspend a citizen’s right to carry. A right is a right, but if it’s exercised without responsibility and with abandon, it should be suspended. We have a right to vote, but should we be able to vote again and again in the same race? Should convicted felons have a right to vote from prison? Should company insiders have the right to use their knowledge to profit in the stock market?

Can we agree that certain activities should result in suspension or loss of the right to carry a gun?

In Israel, the standard is one of “need.” In Israel about 300,000 guns are licensed to individuals, companies and ministries based on need. That’s about one for every 16 citizens between 15 and 65 years old–or about 6 percent of the population. There are about a half million Israelis eligible to carry weapons because they’re serving in the military or reserves. That brings the number up to 14 percent.

That’s not so far off from U.S. numbers. Though about a third of households own a firearm, most of those don’t carry it, or they have a hunting rifle or other long gun. Hunting in Israel is not nearly as popular an activity as in America, so it’s hard to compare apples-to-apples. In general, there is only one reason to own or carry a gun in Israel, and that’s necessity.

In Israel, the government limits the amount of ammunition people can own; it’s anywhere from 50 bullets for a handgun to up to 700 bullets for a hunting rifle. Generally, in Israel, a civilian gun license is for one gun only. They are very restrictive.

In America, owning is a right. But not an unrestricted right.

The Takeaway

If we want to prevent more mass shootings of the kind we had in Orlando, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, we can’t continue to burn straw-men and shout past each other on the issue of gun control. Some gun control is needed. Gun confiscation, or a total ban, is not feasible, legal, or politically possible.

It’s up to private businesses to determine if they want firearms carried on their property. In many cases, it’s stupid for them to ban guns carried by law-abiding citizens. But it’s even more useless to ban guns without having some kind of enforcement, as inconvenient and expensive as that might be.

Owning a gun should not merely be an entitlement. It’s a right that carries with it a responsibility. It’s up to government to wisely regulate the responsibilities of gun owners, without infringing on the right to become one. How a gun is carried and used should be strictly enforced.

Gun education is key. This is mostly what the NRA is about. The Left paints them as a lobbying organization representing gun manufacturers (yes, the NRA-ILA is a lobbying group, but there’s also the NSSF, NAGR, and others), but much of what the NRA does is training and education. If people aren’t getting firearms education in the military, they need to get it locally, and we should be okay with that as a requirement for concealed carry. Guns are deadly and should not be trifled with.

Finally, we should look at some form of law enforcement flagging for individuals who have accumulated many guns. This will upset the paranoid conspiracy theorists who are preparing for the black helicopters and UN troops marching to take “our guns.” I have news for these people: if the federal government wanted to know who you are, they already do. The flagging is to offer a check against individuals like Stephen Paddock who might accumulate a cache of weapons quickly. Better to have a confrontation with law enforcement at home than to have him do what he did.

Sensible “gun control” is the objective. Israel has a very good and effective system. They do it out of necessity. Maybe it’s time America adopted their ideas.

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Doug Olson

    October 4, 2017 at 5:55 am

    None of this addresses the other elephant in the room… criminals and the black market for guns. While I have no objection to requiring training to receive a conceal carry permit, the fact of the matter is that there are a number of guns out there that are sold or traded by illegal means. No gun control legislation will fix that. If you want to reduce American’s dependence on guns, so to speak, you need to make sure they feel safer in their own persons. Further regulating legal and law abiding owners will not do that.

    Yes, the government already knows who the gun owners are… and yes, they should investigate, or at least be aware of, those people who behave out of the ordinary. But so far, they have failed in that task, even though the means exists to execute that. Sometimes just knowing that law enforcement is watching you is enough of a deterrent.

  2. anonymous3

    October 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Wow… So much wrong here…

    First, the government does not “grant” rights. Our rights are intrinsic as being created in God’s image. I was willing to overlook that as most people make that mistake even if they realize the truth. I’m not sure if that’s a product of Liberalism subtly influence the way we think or if it’s just an honest mistake but while this may seem a minor point it is actually crucial to understanding rights. My rights are not subject to the good graces of those in power nor are they at all connected to a document written a mere 200 years ago. Human rights span all times and all national boundaries and are indelibly connected to the fact that we are HUMAN. If you are human, you have the right to defend yourself and acquire tools for that purpose. You have this right because you are created by GOD and that is the only reason necessary.

    Second, speaking of straw men, the right of the people to possess weapons is not contingent on the existence of or necessity for a militia. The right of the people to possess weapons is PROTECTED because a free state requires a militia but the right of the people to possess weapons is recognized as being intrinsic, preexisting and independent of anything to do with the government. The Constitution might have said–and many state constitutions simply say–“The Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” and it would carry the same force. That the 2nd Amendment gives a practical reason for that right–the existence of a militia–even if that reason becomes obsolete, the right perpetuates because it is intrinsic to us as people.

    In Israel, carrying a gun is seen as a “positive privilege.” In America, it is not a “privilege.” It is a right. Privileges can be taken away for any reason or no reason at all. Rights can only be taken away based upon actual committed actions by an individual. (i.e. you forfeit your right to life when you kill somebody). 

    As it relates to individual state laws, the US Constitution is a restriction on the scope of power to be exercised by the NATIONAL government. If a state wants to utterly ban guns, it can do that: provided its constitution doesn’t prohibit that kind of tyrannical act. States can make any laws they want regarding the subject of firearms. That’s why “national right to carry” is so dangerous: a national government which can so trample the rights of the States as to “grant” the right to carry a weapon can also make that right impossible to exercise by requiring unreasonable demands to be met before it will allow you to carry. If New York is forced by law to recognize a Texas carry permit, then why doesn’t New York get to tell Texas how to get that permit? Thus, while where we can carry weapons becomes broader, it is suddenly MUCH more difficult–perhaps impossible–to feasibly acquire those weapons.

    “The fact is, that people who own 30 or 40 or 50 guns–they’re either collectors (and that’s fine) or they’re something else. The something else might be a paranoid prepper, an anti-government arsenal builder, or a murderous nutcase. Either way, people in that category deserve scrutiny.”

    No, that is not a “fact.” That is your opinion. What about competition shooters? What about recreational shooters who just like a wide variety? Also, your permission (“and that’s fine”) is not required. I don’t require your approval to exercise my rights. And I happen to be one of those “paranoid preppers” and “anti-government arsenal builders.” So, by your logic, I should be scrutinized? In what way exactly should I be scrutinized? My phones tapped? My conversations cataloged? I guess it shouldn’t surprise but it nevertheless is still incredible that those who think so little of the 2nd amendment should also publicly disparage so many of the other rights we enjoy as free people. I guess people who own 5 computers should also be scrutinized because “who knows what they’re saying” and “who really needs all those computers?” Right?

    “If you’re a father, do you want your teenage daughter dating a guy who has dated one or two girls in his class, or one who has dated them all? If you’re hiring for a position, do you want the applicant who has worked at one company for 5 years, or 15 jobs in the same period?”

    What that heck do those two things have to do with owning a weapon or even owning dozens of weapons? Is a prepper “cheating” on his AR-15 when he buys an AK-47? Although the idea of a “harem” of firearms is rather evocative, I’m not sure of the moral equivalency there. And similarly with holding a job. How does having 10 jobs in two years relate to buying 10 guns in 2 years? How are those the same? At all? I’m usually pretty good with a metaphor but that thought is so disconnected that even I can’t think of a like comparison. I guess it would be like saying: “You shouldn’t drive too fast. After all, fishing is a great pastime.” Wait…what? Completely random connection.

    “There’s a value in knowing when the neighbor down the street has 50 cases (1,000 rounds per case) of 5.56mm NATO ball ammo. That’s enough for a small army.”

    Yeah, there is value in knowing that. If you intend some sort of malicious action against him. As long as he keeps those rounds confined to the range or self-defense, I am not advantaged at all by knowing that. That’s not my business nor is it the business of the government. And if he decides to use that ammo for something else, I also have a healthy pile of ammo that I’m willing to trade with him at muzzle velocity.

    “Can we agree that there’s no problem with the federal government asking “why” in these cases, or telling buyers on the phone that local law enforcement will be informed of their newly-acquired arsenal? Can we agree that’s not an infringement on Second Amendment rights? It’s a straw-man argument that anyone can own as many firearms as they want without the government taking notice. Can we agree that there’s no problem telling shady gun stores that they’ll face decades in federal prison if they break those rules (they have those rules now, but pawn shops and other dealers who buy and sell weapons sometimes “lose” the transaction records).”

    No, we can’t agree. As I am still FAR more threatened by the possibility of democide than homicide, you will never get me to agree on that point.

    “Americans want to have our cake and eat it too. We don’t like metal detectors, bag searches and other inconveniences. But we also don’t like being shot at in public places. As the latter increases in risk, resistance to the former becomes weaker.”

    Speaking of straw men arguments, although everyone complains about these things, that is in the nature of human beings: to complain. I’ve heard VERY few people actually suggest doing away with those things. Equating the belief that people should be allowed to carry guns anywhere with the idea that metal detectors serve no function in society is called “conflation.” Walking into an airport with a weapon shouldn’t bother anybody. Even getting on a plane with a weapon shouldn’t bother anybody. But, if you pass through the metal detector with a weapon on, expect a little scrutiny: a request for ID and carry permit. Nothing wrong there. Again, provided that ID and permit are issued by that provided that ID and permit are issued by that person’s State of residence rather than the national government.

    “Private businesses can ask for a gun permit if they want to.”

    Again with the straw men. No one suggests that private businesses not be allowed to have any rules they want on their property. It’s THEIR property. Anyone who claims their 2nd amendment rights trump other peoples 4th amendment rights doesn’t understand how freedom works.

    “In Georgia, it’s illegal to carry onto school property, except when picking up or dropping off students. That’s common sense.”

    No. No it’s not. By your own admission in this very article, anywhere people gather in numbers is a target for mass shooting and anywhere that is a threat it is wise for other people to be permitted to carry weapons as well. You refute your own argument and just come off as a fool.

    “What reason do we have not to require some kind of personal carry and ownership responsibility? We might not require a full-on gun safe (but that’s a good idea, mine is biometric), but there should be stiff penalties for leaving a gun in a car or home unattended without securing it. ”

    And now you reveal that you have no idea what you are talking about. There is responsibility. If you leave your gun accessible and your child shoots himself, YOU are held responsible for that. If you leave your gun accessible to a mentally ill person and they use it to kill a bunch of people YOU are held responsible for that. You can be held responsible for anything from negligence, child endangerment up to and including reckless use and storage of a firearm–all of which carry SEVERE penalties. And they should.

    “At minimum, that should be a hearing to potentially suspend a citizen’s right to carry.”

    Any suspension of rights should be a suspension of all rights. Either you deserve to be a free and independent citizen or you don’t. If you don’t deserve to be free, you should be in jail or dead. Period. Once you have paid your debt to society, whatever that debt is, you should have restored the full scope of your Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. If you have done something that society believes warrants a response of “you NEVER get those rights back” then you should either be executed or spend the rest of you life in prison.

    “In America, owning is a right. But not an unrestricted right.”

    EVERYWHERE owning a weapon is a right. The only thing that changes is whether or not the government recognizes and protects that right or if it habitually violates that right. And all rights are restricted: they are restricted by the concept of “consistent with a free society.” A jihadist doesn’t get to blow up a bus and say “But the 1st amendment protects my religion.” You don’t get to yell “fire” in a crowded room and claim “freedom of speech.” But that’s not what we’re talking about. Your right to own a weapon is restricted: because you have to pay money to exercise it. Beyond that, the restriction comes because other people carry weapons too. Your rights stop if and ONLY if they trample the rights of someone else. That’s called living in a free society and if that is unacceptable to you then there are other countries with varying degrees of freedom that will be more to your liking.

    “If we want to prevent more mass shootings of the kind we had in Orlando, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, we can’t continue to burn straw-men and shout past each other on the issue of gun control.”

    I agree. My gun is my right. Period. And you can’t have it. Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about real-world practical solutions that don’t include violating the liberty of law-abiding citizens.

    “Some gun control is needed.”

    No, it’s not. Gun control isn’t about guns: it’s about control. And as that is and has always been the case, WHO that control belongs to is of primary importance. Even with all the death caused by the private ownership of firearms, history demonstrates quite clearly that control over our personal defense is ALWAYS better off in the hands of the People than the Government.

    ” Gun confiscation, or a total ban, is not feasible, legal, or politically possible.”

    True. So stop supporting the gateway to those things. Gun control is merely the foundation to gun confiscation and those of us who realize that aren’t to be duped by your “reasonable” appeal.

    “Owning a gun should not merely be an entitlement. It’s a right that carries with it a responsibility. It’s up to government to wisely regulate the responsibilities of gun owners, without infringing on the right to become one. How a gun is carried and used should be strictly enforced.”

    Owning a gun is not an “entitlement.” It is a right but an “entitlement” means that someone is obligated to provide one to me. That is not the case. I am entitled ONLY to the right to acquire one, keep it in my home and on my person for the purpose of defending myself and my freedom from those who threaten them. Yes, ALL rights carry responsibilities: that’s actually why we have them in the first place. You have the right to free speech–like this crap-laden puff piece–because you have the responsibility to speak out against injustice and be socially and politically engaged. I have the right to own a weapon because I have the responsibility–the CIVIC DUTY–to defend my nation, my home, my family, my freedom and myself against all that would come against them. That being the case, NO: it is not the government’s job to regulate my responsibility because the government itself is one of those potential enemies. That would be like saying we should let felons regulate how complicated the lock on my house is. What nonsense is that?

    “Finally, we should look at some form of law enforcement flagging for individuals who have accumulated many guns.”

    You are a statist. What does “many” mean? More than one? More than five? More than…you? Of course, that’s what it’s all about: getting the government to police anyone YOU have a problem with. Your statism has been tried throughout all of human history and has been found wanting.

    “I have news for these people: if the federal government wanted to know who you are, they already do.”

    Yes, and that’s a problem. Considering the state of affairs in this country, if you aren’t on a government watch list, you should be ashamed of yourself. As you seem to have no concept whatsoever of why the 2nd Amendment exists in the first place, perhaps you aren’t the best person to be commenting on its scope.

    “The flagging is to offer a check against individuals like Stephen Paddock who might accumulate a cache of weapons quickly. Better to have a confrontation with law enforcement at home than to have him do what he did.”

    Except that, at home, he’s hasn’t done anything yet. He hasn’t broken any laws!!! What’s next: are we to arrest people with unacceptable ideas because of what those ideas MIGHT do? Evil ideas have done FAR more damage than “evil” guns. No, fool. It is not “better” that the government arrest someone when he hasn’t done anything wrong. I know that seems cold and heartless but far colder and far more heartless is using the blood of those victims in Law Vegas to write this self-serving rag.

    “Sensible “gun control” is the objective. Israel has a very good and effective system. They do it out of necessity. Maybe it’s time America adopted their ideas.”

    CONTROL is the objective and you are fooling yourself if you think that’s what it won’t turn into. Israel has some good points but “necessity” is the excuse of EVERY tyrant from throughout history. To you, control–order–is of paramount importance but this isn’t “the land of the ordered and home of the cowed.” This is “the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE.” To live free takes the utmost courage: it means being willing to stare the ugliness of life in the face, recognize it for what it is and step out of your house again the next day. It means taking responsibility for your own fate and enduring the constant threat that others may abuse their freedom. It means recognizing your duty as a free individual to act in defense of that freedom and the freedom of others.

    If you are too much a coward to live free, then leave. Go to Israel. Go to England, France, Canada—any of these places which are “safer” than the United States (even though statistically they’re NOT actually safer). For the rest of us, we recognize that free is the only moral way for man to live and that that freedom comes with the highest of costs and that that cost is not always paid by a person in uniform but must daily be paid by the common man who chooses in his daily actions to hazard himself so that he and others may continue to live free. If you’d rather be safe than free, then you shame yourself and cheapen the sacrifice of blood that has been paid for that freedom. As Samuel Adams put it:

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your council nor arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you and my posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    • Steve Berman

      October 4, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Thank you for the comments. I think you mischaracterized my piece. I am for the Second Amendment. I am in general for Constitutional Carry. However, when someone builds an arsenal, I see them as a potential threat to liberty. Private armies is not what the founders envisioned with the Second Amendment.

      Either we use common sense, or we will end up with Ruby Ridge and Waco all over again.

      • Dallas H

        November 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm

        I’m a bit late to the conversation, but I’m in alignment with anon here. I’m not sure where Steve Berman gets his odd and surprising ideas on American citizens Second Amendment rights, given his normally rational writings and even his support and affiliation for the Federalist Party. This opinion piece is bizarre for that alone. Israel has some fine things about it, but it is still a socialist nation. I’m not at all interested in following their lead in their laws and practices toward citizens use and possession of firearms. I suppose Mr Berman would be fine with a few more government oversights of his First Amendment rights, since constantly writing of God, criticizing the Government, and advancing (some, obviously now) Constitutional ideals could possibly convince an individual to act outside the law…

        Oh, and Ruby Ridge and Waco were government extreme oversteps that had little to do with firearms, and much more about simple control of the citizenry. Much the same as the Bundy Ranch imbroglio. But the citizenry decided to take a hand in the last one. Think the government would have backed down there (and back to the courts) if all those citizens had arrived unarmed, with only their First Amendment rights ready to use?

        This one opinion piece has definitely colored (darkened) my opinion of Mr Berman’s writing, past and future. I’m very disappointed to see this.

  3. Liam

    October 4, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Do you really think our rights come from the government or the Constitution? SMH

    • Steve Berman

      October 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Neither. Our rights come from God. The Constitution was drafted as best imperfect mortal men could come up with for government to vouchsafe God-given rights from the tyranny of others.

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Culture and Religion

Snatching Defeat from the jaws of Victory: ‘Writing out’ Most Guns with the Bump-Stock ban.

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Bump Stock

The latest Liberty grabber wave has crested, but Trump is about to give them a tremendous victory over the 2nd amendment.

Now that the Sturm und Drang of the March for gun confiscation has ‘died down’ it has become evident that, much like previous movements of the past, it came to nought aside from some localised suppressions of Liberty. The problem is there a vestige of this assault of freedom that is still rearing it’s ugly head, that of the infamous ban on so-called “Bump-Stocks”.

Those who are rightly concerned about this assault on Liberty can still inscribe their opposition with the Moonshine, Cigarettes and Fire-sticks bureaucracy [Better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – BATF]  pushing through a new ‘law’ that all by himself, Trump has taken to “Writing Out”.  The deadline is June 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET for everyone to post their opposition to this ‘Law’.

First they came for the Bump-Stocks.

For those who may not care about someone else’s concerns over freedom, just be mindful of a reprise of Martin Niemöller Poem starting with the line: “First they came for the Bump-Stocks, and I didn’t object – For I didn’t care about Bump-Stocks…. Soon enough, they get around to coming after the firearms everyone else cares about, and eventually that will be hunting rifles or shotguns. If you chose to remain silent those guns will be “written out” as well.

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to what the Liberty grabbers have stated in bragging about the subject:

Delaney Tarr [March for Our Lives]

When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.):

Upon being asked if the bill was a slippery slope toward further gun restrictions, she said, “So what? … I certainly hope so.”

Apparently we’re not supposed to notice when the Liberty grabber Left broadcasts their intentions to the world. We’re supposed to let them get a foot in the door of a pretext for further bans before objecting.

Giving up the question.

David Deming over on the American thinker, Made the very important point that sacrificing one more time to the Liberty grabbers of what seems to be nothing is in essence:

If we agree to ban bump stocks because they facilitate rapid firing, we have given up the question. We have agreed in principle that any dangerous gun can be banned and confiscated by an arbitrary executive order. All guns are capable of rapid fire, and all guns are inherently dangerous. Pump-action shotguns can be rapidly fired and reloaded. Jerry Miculek can fire five shots from a double-action revolver in 0.57 seconds. High-capacity magazines most certainly facilitate rapid fire, so they also will have to go. A writer who wants to ban all “private individual ownership of firearms” recently argued that “even bolt-action rifles can still fire surprisingly fast in skilled hands.” He’s right. All magazine-fed guns will be outlawed.

Automatic redefinition.

In point of fact, the ATF previously ruled that Bump-Stocks [and presumably other ways of ‘bump-firing a gun – Fast fingers, Rubber bands and Belt-loops] don’t actually convert ordinary semi-automatic firearms to a “Machine gun” because the trigger has to be pulled for every shot. Now with the President’s authorising this linguistic legerdemain, this definition codified in the law has been blurred to the point that any gun that can be ‘Bump-fired’ could also be banned. However, they can’t very well ban fingers, belt-loops or rubber bands, so they will just ban each and every gun that can fire too fast.

Just ‘Write-out’ this legal requirement and Voila! Any gun that can be fired too fast for the sensibilities of the Liberty grabbers can be thought of as a “Machine Gun” and banned instantly – converting most of the 120 Million gun owners into instant felons. With a bit of training,  most guns can be fired faster, so in essence, letting them change this legal definition could have them ban just about every gun in existence.

The Takeaway.

One might not care about the fate of thousands of inert pieces of plastic or what happens to those who have them. One might not care if someone won’t be able to bump-fire a weapon in this particular way. But we on the Pro-Liberty Right will rue the day that we let this go through in exchange for nothing.

If we let the powers that be arbitrarily proclaim that some guns with these pieces of inert plastic are “Machine Guns’, the day will soon dawn when ALL guns are dishonestly ‘written out’ as the same. It will then just be a slippery slope to everyone having to undergo a background check, registration and of course – TAXES – on guns that we already own. Followed by the inevitable confiscation of those guns.

Those who remain silent now will only have themselves to blame when this happens – so now is the time to stop this dead in it’s tracks. The comment window is only open for a few more days [Jun 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET], make the best of it.

 

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Guns and Crime

Final pieces of the puzzle voiding the Second Amendment are ready to put in place

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It’s no mystery to the majority of liberty-loving Americans that politicians of every political stripe have been working feverishly to find new ways to restrict or eliminate our constitutionally protected God-given rights. And there has been perhaps no greater effort in their politically correct but unconstitutional agenda than their attempts to void in word and/or deed our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

While attempts to restrict gun ownership have existed throughout American history, the current movement got its footing from the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). This law, a response to gangland crime during Prohibition, established a framework for the federal government to regulate specific types of firearms and accessories, and it imposed a tax on the manufacture and transfer of firearms defined by the Act.

Though amended by the Gun Control Act of 1968 to address a flaw that nearly voided the NFA, the law has been used to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions involving firearms identified in the 1934 law. Since 1968, the Firearms Protection Act of 1986, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, and the NICS Improvement act of 2008—which “improved” background checks required under the Brady Law—have also been added to the NFA.

As you can see in this very brief timeline, the old “slippery slope” adage is true. And in the aftermath of recent shooting events at public schools, the final pieces of the puzzle to void the Second Amendment are ready to put in place.

For example, the omnibus spending bill passed by the GOP-controlled Congress and signed into law by Donald Trump in March included the Fix NICS Act, a bill introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn. This so-called “improvement” to NICS gave the government power to deny gun rights to individuals for something as minor as a traffic ticket, and it laid the groundwork for the establishment of a FBI database of all gun owners.

With Fix NICS in the books, and with Republicans and Democrats in one accord on gun control, Washington is ready to take the next logical step toward voiding the Second Amendment—a Nazi Germany-style gun registry. If successfully made into law, these proposals will give the federal government complete control over every gun and gun owner in America, thus giving our Big Brother overlords the power they need to eliminate private gun ownership entirely.

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act, a bill that will require the federal government to establish a “searchable, computerized database” of all records pertaining to the sale, importation, production, or shipment of firearms. Though he hasn’t advocated a database system “yet”, Nelson’s GOP opponent, Gov. Rick Scott is equally as dangerous following his strong anti-gun position since the Parkland, FL high school shooting.

In the House of Representatives, Democrats have introduced the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act. If passed, it would prohibit gun ownership without a license and would require a valid firearms license to transfer and receive a gun. The bill would also require the US attorney general to maintain a “federal record of sale” system to track every gun purchase made in America.

From laws denying gun rights to adults under 21 years of age to the growing acceptance—even in Washington—of using Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) to seize firearms from individuals who haven’t broken any laws, many Americans have already lost their Second Amendment rights.

If anti-gun politicians in Washington have their way—and with no Constitutional conservative coalition to stop them, they might—all of America will soon know the reality of living in a country without a Second Amendment . . . and without liberty.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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