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Six Reasons Gun Owners Should Care About This Election

Remember, Barack Obama is the best pro-gun President of all times, according to the media, and these paranoid gun nuts are just a bunch of moronic hicks brainwashed by the NRA. This article in Forbes lays out the case for why that’s as big a lie as virtually anything else they’ve parroted this silly season:

More recently in a move unprecedented in American history, President Obama quietly banned re-importation and sale of 850,000 collectible antique U.S.-manufactured M1 Garand and Carbine rifles that were left in South Korea following the Korean War. Developed in the 1930’s, the venerable M1 Garand carried the U.S. through World War II, seeing action in every major battle.

I had kind of forgotten about this, because Presidents screwing us on importation rules has been a grand bipartisan tradition, but it’s certainly something to count against the President.

An Obama reelection presents an extreme risk of replacing at least one of five Supreme Court justices who have vindicated Second Amendment protections in the precarious Heller and McDonald decisions. If this were to happen, our right to bear arms might become a lost historical memory for future oppressed generations to read about.

This point needs to be pounded on until gun owners start to get it.

Still, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence continues to wage war on several fronts, most particularly attacking the constitutionally-sanctioned Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens to carry guns for protection outside their homes, a right the vast majority of state governments acknowledge.  According to their director of legal action, Jonathan Lowy, “this battle is far from over.”

I think the Brady Campaign has largely beclowned itself under Gross, and is sliding further down the slope into irrelevance. Bloomberg and MAIG are the big threat now, and that’s another reality I think gun owners need to be made to understand.

UPDATE: First comment on that article illustrates an attitude you find often among gun owners who are ill informed:

No one…not even the President of the United States…can *legally* impose any restrictions on a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. Until the Bill is Rights is abolished that right is just as important as any other right in the Bill of Rights. Can you imagine the uproar if some silly woman senator suggested “Common Sense restrictions on the right to free speech? The Second Amendment is the ONLY amendment to specifically state that the “right to KEEP and BEAR arms shall NOT BE INFRINGED.

So…what PART of “Shall NOT be INFRINGED” do these people not understand? No one has the right to tell *anyone* that they cannot only KEEP but also BEAR arms anywhere at anytime. Why? Because the Second Amendment does not have ANY provision for that. It’s really simple. But some law breaking “government officials” believe that they can force people to do what *THEY* deem as right. Well, it AINT gonna happen.

The unfortunate fact is the Second Amendment only means what 9 unelected men and women in robes say it means. Beyond that, it does not protect you. A great many gun owners don’t understand the existence and recognition of this right by the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, doesn’t mean squat unless the courts enforce it. I think this is an understandable, if naive view, that people in the government will act in good faith. They won’t. I think a good reason the Court argument may not be effective among gun owners is that they don’t really understand the magnitude of the threat. “It’s in the Constitution, and I can read,” they likely think, probably also remembering back to civics class about what it takes to amend the document. But while Judges can read too, judges also have agendas.

What seems clear can be unclear. I can remember being this naive once, back when I was first getting into this issue in a serious way, and someone told me the Second Amendment was ruled not to be an individual right. I couldn’t believe this was the case, so I looked up the Supreme Court cases on it, and couldn’t find anything that lead to that conclusion. But this did lead me to the collective rights work of Saul Cornell, and I was outraged enough by it to seek deeper knowledge, which was part of my transition out of that space. Sometimes I think when ordinary gun owners find out how this really works, they are going to be pissed.

12 Responses to “Six Reasons Gun Owners Should Care About This Election”

  1. Ian Argent says:

    Like any rules of a game, the Constitution means what the referees say it means. That’s the federal judiciary.

  2. Sigivald says:

    No one has the right to tell *anyone* that they cannot only KEEP but also BEAR arms anywhere at anytime.

    Further, someone needs to remind that guy that – as far as I know, from the founding of the Republic “someone” has been telling “anyone” they can’t keep and bear arms at various times.

    At no time in the history of the Republic (or indeed in the Common Law tradition, or Roman law, either) have prisoners been allowed to keep and bear arms.

    The Founders knew that when writing the Second Amendment, and they never thought it meant they had to let prisoners carry arms of any sort.

    Even if we lived in a world where the Courts always interpreted the Second Amendment “correctly”, the analysis he gave would be untenable.

  3. JMD says:

    Of course the right to self-defense is a natural right which government cannot take away. Everyone has that right. You will always have that right. You will have that right when you choose to disobey unconstitutional laws. You will have that right as law enforcement officers confiscate your gun collection. You will have that right as you are locked up in a cell. You will have that right as prison guards conduct body cavity searches for illegal contraband.

    The sad fact is that it’s not enough to have the right. We also need a government (including a Supreme Court) which recognizes and respects that right. This is a principle that every gun owner – and every voter – needs to understand.

  4. Bubblehead Les says:

    As a Gun Owner, I care so much about my RKBA that I voted Early via Absentee Ballot, and Hand-Delivered my Ballot to the local Board of Elections, since I don’t trust the U.S. Post Office to make sure it got there on time.

    And yes, I voted for Romney, even though I had to hold my nose.

    But since I expect a whole bunch of Shenanigans with Ballot Stuffing, not enough Ballots, Voter Intimidation, etc, come Election Day, I highly recommend that if one lives in a State that allows Early/Absentee Voting, that one should do so today.

    Sorry for those who live in VolksRepubliks, but throwing a Vote for the Libertarians or any other Third Party in a Free State is the mathematical equivalent of Voting FOR Obama. No Third Party Vote can win a State’s Electoral Vote in 2012, and that’s what is needed for Regime Change.

    Remember, only 2 States allow Proportional Electoral Vote Splitting (Nebraska and Maine for a total of 7). The rest are “Winner Take All,” and the Third Parties CAN’T get the numbers needed.

    I don’t like it myself, but it’s like walking into a Casino and trying to play Texas Hold ‘Em at the Blackjack Table. Them’s the Rules, and that’s how the Game is set up.

    Yeah, Romney ain’t no Reagan, but most of our President’s weren’t that great. There’s a lot more Chester A. Arthur’s and Millard Fillmore’s in our History than Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan. But I’d rather have an Arthur nominating Judicial Appointments than Wilson, Carter and Obama.

    So Vote today!

  5. Andy B. says:

    “Vote for the Libertarians or any other Third Party in a Free State is the mathematical equivalent of Voting FOR Obama.”

    Only if you think the only possible alternative is to vote for Romney; aren’t Ds saying a vote for the Green Party candidate is equivalent to a vote for Romney? How can it also be a vote for Obama?

    A vote for what you prefer is only a vote for what you prefer — nothing else. If the Republicans deny me the right to vote for what I prefer, in my state, then I can either not vote at all, or choose which of two choices that I don’t prefer, I should throw away my vote on. And, as a libertarian, I find the modern Republican field at least as scary as that of the Democrats. Which shall I embrace — flaky economics, or the abandonment of civil liberties?

    Frankly, as a libertarian — or even as a gun owner — I have, after decades, gotten tired of the Republicans’ haughty “Where else are they going to go?” and “Wasted vote” attitude, while taking us for granted as their reluctant meat. At very least mine can be a vote they wanted, but didn’t get.

    Sorry for the rant; these quadrennial “Wasted vote” cliche’s are just getting to me as the insults that they are.

    • Alpheus says:

      Each of us needs to make our own political calculations. I would propose that if voting Johnson for President also gets you to vote for a liberty-minded Republican congressman (I can vote for Chaffetz, for example!) then voting Libertarian isn’t a bad thing to do.

      For that matter, what are your other options? Stay home? If you can’t bring yourself to vote for Romney, then why should it matter if your vote “doesn’t count”?

      Although I’m planning on voting for Romney (and so far, he hasn’t done any major thing that makes me not want to vote for him, unlike McCain!), and I understand the need to get him a popular-vote mandate for overturning ObamaCare, I’m also a bit wary of “you must vote for the lesser of two evils if you want to win” arguments. You have to vote your conscience!

      • Trost Osler says:

        I’m sure you already know this, but as the governor of Massachusetts, he re-affirmed the Assault Weapons Ban so that it did not expire when the Federal ban expired. We are still stuck in AWB-land.

        I do know know if you care one way or the other about the public health insurance debate, but the Affordable Care Act was based on MassHealth. Romney pushed for and signed this legislation as governer in MA.

  6. TS says:

    The other day I brought up Obama and the M1s in response to the Rachel Maddow video proclaiming how the NRA should be endorsing Obama. My point was that this was the best litmus test we have for his position on guns since taking office. He had sole executive discretion to allow or deny these imports. He didn’t have to wait for someone to put a bill on his desk, he didn’t have to choose whether to veto a bill just because of a rider, and it was low enough under the radar for him to do it without much negative attention. These were legal guns that are already owned by hundreds of thousands of US citizens, and collectible war memorabilia at that. It was a straight up “I hate guns move”.

    Though I am pretty sure he reluctantly allowed the Garands to come through, he just put his foot down for the carbines.

    • Andy B. says:

      How sad that we base our “pro-gun” calculus not on who has done the most to advance our rights, but who has done the least to harm them; Obama’s M1s versus Romney’s permanent assault rifle ban in his home state.

      Not the best metaphor in the world, but I’m thinking of that old joke about the shopkeeper who was such a bad businessman that he thought he could lose money on every sale, but make it up in volume. That sounds like the political choices we’re called on to make.

  7. Greg says:

    “the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, doesn’t mean squat unless the courts enforce it.” Actually until the people enforce it. As the power of the court is nothing more than a grant from the people. But will the people stand up to its own institutions that are enslaving it, doubtful. They is little will among the people to protect freedom, it is nothing but a word. the few will take a stand but if they fail liberty is lost.

    As for the second amendment. It is my right, I was born with it, and is far above your power to detract from. You can nether take it away or curb it in any manner. Nor can I give it up, I may chose not to exercise my right but, it is still with me. You can try to regulate it, that is oppression, to ban it is tyranny. You can lock me in the deepest dungeon but, it will still be with me. Your only hope of curtailing it is to end my life; you should be prepare to pay the price should you try.

  8. AndyN says:

    The Obama administration helped arm Mexican drug gangs and tried to use the predictable results as an excuse to increase regulation on legal gun purchases along the Mexican border. Yes, the M1 re-importation decision was offensive and petty, but Fast and Furious was orders of magnitude worse in so many ways.

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