"WE WILL HAVE to change," President Obama said recently, referring to Americans
needing to do everything possible to ensure that murders like those at Sandy
Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., are never repeated elsewhere. Of
course, the National Rifle Association strongly agrees, and has introduced the
NRA National School Shield Program in order to develop very specific ideas for
how to stop the next evildoer who attempts to murder children at school.
President Obama, however, didn't really seem to mean what he said. His children
attend a school safeguarded by armed security, as every American child ought to
be able to do. Yet, instead of looking for ways to protect children, President
Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, New York
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and their media minions have unleashed a program to
destroy the Second Amendment.
At the core of the gun-banners' program is
national gun registration. In truth, gun registration would have done
absolutely nothing to stop the Sandy Hook murderer who killed his mother and
stole her lawfully purchased firearms. Nor would it have stopped the killer who
attacked Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, or the Virginia Tech murderer, both
of whom bought their guns in stores. But gun registration is very good for
one thing--confiscation. And even more immediately, gun registration is ideal to
bolster the quickly growing public persecution of gun owners.
of New York shows exactly how it's done. There, you may only possess a handgun
if you have a license, and the license lists every single handgun you own. In
Rockland County, the Journal News used public records to obtain the
name and address of every handgun owner in the county. Those names and addresses
were then published, in full, by the newspaper and placed on the newspaper's
website, where they are now available for everyone to see. The newspaper has
been digging into gun registration lists in other counties as well, with plans
to publish those records.
The same thing was done to all registered gun
owners in New York City in early January. This time, the perpetrator was
Gawker.com, one of the most high-traffic sites on the Internet that specializes
in salacious gossip and vulgar malice. Gawker absolutely hates guns, gun owners
and the NRA.
What does this mean for the people who dutifully complied with
New York's gun registration law? It means those who chose not to have their
personal information listed in the phone book now have their residences exposed
to a worldwide audience on the Internet. It now means that people who kept low
profiles and their addresses private because they have been victims of stalkers
are now easier targets for stalkers and other sociopaths.
In 1989, actress
Rebecca Schaeffer was murdered by a stalker who obtained her home address from
California driver's license records. Since then, many states have barred public
access to driver's license records. But gun registration records are not
One group pleased with the Rockland Journal News'
publication of gun registration data was the felons in nearby state prisons.
They've told prison guards who live in Rockland County that now, thanks to the
Journal News, the prisoners and their friends on the outside know
exactly where the guards' families live. If a prisoner decides he doesn't like a
particular guard, it is now a lot easier to find that guard's family.
After the Journal News published gun owner registration information,
another paper in the area, the Rockland County Times, asked several former
convicts what they thought about the publication of registration information.
The convicts all agreed that it would be an outstanding list for burglars to
We know that the vast majority of burglars in the United States (unlike
in Great Britain or Ireland) try to avoid breaking into a home when someone is
there because of the risk of being shot by the homeowner. So the longest part of
a burglar's working day is "casing the joint" to ensure nobody is home. Burglars
in Rockland County now know which homes to avoid while the occupants are home.
And once the occupants are gone, burglars know precisely where they can steal
guns to sell on the black market.
Consequently, New York's gun registration
program is now being used to help criminals arm themselves. It's likely that
the Rockland Journal News was not intentionally attempting to help
criminals; the newspaper was just wanton and reckless about the very foreseeable
pro-crime consequences of its actions. Rather, the Journal News, based
on its printed justification for its actions, seems to have been motivated by
social malice against gun owners.
Perhaps one of your neighbors hates gun
owners. You know from casual conversation with him that he is angry and
irrational about guns. To avoid upsetting him, you don't tell him you are a gun
owner. When your car leaves your garage on a Saturday morning, he doesn't know
that you are driving to the shooting range with a pistol in your trunk.
suppose that the guy who hates guns isn't your neighbor; he's your boss. Thanks
to gun registration, he now knows that you are one of the people he hates. He
may never confront you about the topic. He may never tell you why his written
evaluations of you suddenly became so negative. Or why, when your department had
to lay off somebody, he decided that somebody would be you. Gun
registration--what Obama, Biden and Bloomberg euphemistically call "a national
database"--is also a perfect tool for the later confiscation of guns.
City has experience in this arena. In the mid-1960s, street crime was rising
rapidly there as in most of the rest of the nation. The people who were
perpetrating muggings in Central Park and robbing liquor stores in Queens were
not the decent, law-abiding gun owners of New York City. Nevertheless, the New
York City Council and anti-gun Mayor John Lindsay enacted long gun registration.
The per-gun fee was just a few dollars. The politicians promised that gun
registration could help solve crimes and, even if it didn't, registration was
harmless. After all, it was just registering guns, not confiscating them.
registration did nothing to solve crime or stop criminal use of guns, crime
continued to get worse in the city. So in 1991, with the city becoming
increasingly unlivable, Mayor David Dinkins attempted to make himself think he
was tough on crime, this time by pressuring the City Council to enact a ban on
so-called "assault weapons" (such as the M1 carbine). After that, the New
York state police used registration lists to conduct home inspections of every
individual whose registered gun had been outlawed. The police were ensuring that
the registered guns had been moved out of the city or already surrendered to
GUN CONFISCATION is much easier if guns have first been
registered. Pete Shields, past president of the Brady Campaign, explained in
1977, "The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced
and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. The
final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun
ammunition--except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed
sporting clubs and licensed gun collectors--totally illegal." (Richard Harris, A
Reporter at Large: Handguns, The New Yorker, July 26, 1976, p. 58.) (At
the time, Shields' group was called the National Council to Control Handguns. It
later changed its name to Handgun Control, Inc., then later changed it again to
the Brady Campaign.)
Shields was right to identify registration as a first
step toward confiscation. In Great Britain, registration lists were used for the
confiscation of every handgun and every semi-automatic long gun. On the
Monday morning after the Sandy Hook murders, Howard Dean (former chairman of the
Democratic National Committee) touted Australian-style gun confiscation as the
model for the United States. In Australia, the national government waited for an
atrocious mass murder to take place (32 people at a tourist site in Tasmania in
1996), and then unleashed its gun confiscation program. Following a plan
developed by Rebecca Peters (who would later become the head of an international
gun-ban lobby called the International Action Network on Small Arms, or IANSA),
the confiscation bill was rushed through the legislature while emotions were
high and skeptics could be shouted down.
Thus, every semi-automatic
rifle, every semi-automatic shotgun and every pump-action rifle in the nation
was confiscated. This was followed by confiscation of a huge variety of handguns
in 2003. Handguns in Australia had been registered since the 1930s, but most
Australian states had only imposed long gun registration in the two decades
preceding the confiscation. Civil liberties activists who raised concerns that
registration lists could be used for confiscation were sneered at as
Some of the people who had enacted gun registration in
England and Australia may have had no intention of confiscating firearms, and
may even have opposed confiscation. They may have rationalized that even if
registration might not do much good, it couldn't do any harm. They were
The catastrophic dangers of gun registration were
demonstrated in Europe in the mid-20th century. There, gun registration laws had
been enacted by democratic governments, such as the Weimar Republic in Germany,
or the Third Republic in France. The lists fell into the hands of the Nazis,
first in Germany and then in all the countries they conquered. In Germany, guns
were confiscated from the Jews and from anyone else who was not considered to be
an utterly obedient servant of the regime. In the Nazi-occupied countries, guns
were confiscated from everyone. If a family could not produce and immediately
surrender a firearm that had once been registered to someone in the family,
the entire family would be executed on the spot.
In the Soviet Union, and
then in the Eastern European countries that the Soviets took over following
World War II, gun registration lists were likewise used for confiscation. Hitler
and Stalin, like every dictator who perpetrated genocide during the 20th
century, assiduously confiscated guns before starting the genocide.
Registration. Confiscation. Extinction.
Each step makes the next step much
The American people were well aware of this danger on the eve of
World War II. So in 1941, when Congress passed the Property Requisition Act to
allow the federal government to seize property that might be needed for the
national defense, Congress specifically forbade the federal government from
using this act to seize or register guns.
In 1986, the Firearms Owners'
Protection Act, the NRA flagship bill that forbids the creation of a federal
registry of guns or gun owners, became law. Likewise, when Congress in 1993 set
up the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, it required that once
a check was completed, the record of an approved sale must be destroyed.
Like President Obama, President Lyndon Johnson used an atrocious crime (the
assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy by an anti-Israel extremist) to push
national gun registration. Congress rejected the idea. Instead, the Gun Control
Act of 1968 requires firearm manufacturers, wholesalers and retail dealers to
keep written records of sales. However, those records are decentralized, and are
not consolidated into a national database. This reduces (but does not eliminate)
the risk that those records could be used for gun confiscation.
We know that
gun registration does not work. The largest, most detailed comparative study of
the effects of various firearm laws was conducted by Florida State University
criminologist Gary Kleck, published in his book Point Blank: Guns and
Violence in America. That book was awarded the highest honor by the
American Society of Criminology: the Michael J. Hindelang book award "for the
greatest contribution to criminology in a three-year period." The Kleck study
examined many years of crime data from the 75 largest cities in the U.S. The
study controlled for numerous variables such as poverty, race, arrest rates and
so on. Kleck's study found no crime-reductive benefits from gun
New Zealand's Arms Act of 1983, enacted at the request of the
police, abolished the registration of rifles and shotguns. Rifle registration
had been the law since 1920 and shotgun registration since 1968. The New Zealand
police explained that long gun registration was expensive and impractical, and
that the money could be better spent on other police work. The New Zealand
police pointed out that database management is an enormously difficult and
expensive task, that the long gun registration database was a mess, and that it
yielded virtually nothing of value to the police.
Although some gun control
advocates began pushing in 1997 to revive the registry, since, supposedly,
computers would make it work this time. The plan was rejected after several
years of extensive debate and analysis. One reason that New Zealand
continues to reject gun registration was the fiasco in Canada. There, long gun
registration was enacted in 1995 and repealed in 2012. The registry literally
cost over 100 times more than expected. The more than $2 billion that was wasted
on the registry could have been spent on putting police on the streets (rather
than shuffling paperwork). Or it could have upgraded forensics laboratories. Or
it could have paid for social worker outreach to potentially violent people.
Allan Rock, the justice minister for the Liberal government that imposed
registration, claimed that universal firearm registration would reduce criminal
violence, total suicides and domestic abuse. He spoke forcefully against the use
of firearms for self-defense, and said that the severe gun laws would
distinguish Canada from the United States. Put another way, Rock was saying that
his gun registry was the opposite of the Second Amendment.
The pretext for
the Canadian registry was that a man had attacked a college and killed several
people (because, of course, Canadians are not allowed to carry handguns for
protection). The killer had actually used registered guns, but that fact was
irrelevant to Canada's gun prohibitionists.
Already, by executive fiat, Obama
has unilaterally imposed federal registration on anyone who buys two or more
semi-automatic rifles within a one-week period. Currently, Obama's registration
system applies in the four Southwest border states, but Bloomberg has been
urging Obama to impose the registration nationwide. Never mind that a federal
statute specifically forbids this registration--so far, the courts have let Obama
get away with it.
When Obama and Bloomberg talk about "expanding background
checks," read the fine print of the actual bill. Every bill touted by Bloomberg
and sponsored by anti-gun zealots such as Sen. Charles Schumer that carries the
label of "background checks" has, in fact, been a bill that includes extensive
When the NRA said "never again" about Newtown, it was
serious. Real security measures would ensure that never again, as in Newtown,
will a sociopath have 20 minutes to murder schoolchildren before the police
arrive. The gun-ban lobbies, their political allies and their media enablers
looked at Newtown and saw the opportunity for which they had been waiting. The
murdered children and their teachers have been turned into the political pretext
for gun registration.
Rather cynical, isn't it?
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