Calling the Attack

I’m going to make a prediction, because I think a picture might be shaping up here.  Given who Obama has nominated for his AG, and the things he said, I think we can expect gun shows, and in particular private sales, to be a prime target of the new administration.  Why?

  • Gun shows are a locus of organization for the gun community.  We’d be far weaker without them.  The other side has to know this too.  If you’re a recruiter or an activist, you go where the fishing is good, and the fishing is very good at gun shows.
  • They are easily demonized.  Few people have attended them, and the media has done an excellent job of making sure people think gun shows are a bunch of Nazi white-power types looking for a few extra boxes of grenades to defend the bunker from the blue helmeted hoards.
  • They are easily confused with the separate issue of private sales.  While shutting down private sales won’t, in and of itself, make gun shows disappear, they are an effective vehicle for pushing the issue and getting to gun shows.
  • John McCain supported regulating private sales, and the NRA endorsed him.  This was a signal that NRA wasn’t all that afraid of private sale regulation, and the number of gun owners who voted for McCain suggests they weren’t either.  This was always the risk of getting behind McCain.

My prediction is that when they move on gun owners, they will move on this issue.  They will reach farther than McCain ever would have ever done, and we will have to fight them.  I expect private sales regulation will be the main push, but expect gun shows themselves to be in the crosshairs, with the aim of destroying them.

35 thoughts on “Calling the Attack”

  1. Three steps:

    1: Eliminate private sales. Force all transfers through dealers to create a paper trail.

    2: Nationwide registration. After all, Heller means you have nothing to worry about now, right?

    3: Confiscation. Liberal Supreme Court finds that it doesn’t violate 2nd Amendment after all, despite Heller.

  2. Step four: the rest of the gun community wishes it had listened to the Three Percenters when it had the chance.

  3. If what Countertop predicted about Waxman and guns coming under the Consumer Product Safety Commission “umbrella” – it’s a bad sign indeed…

  4. Yeah, except under McCain, this would be the worst we’d have to worry about, and we’d have leverage on McCain. If all we get is a private sales ban out of this administration, I’m going to consider us lucky.

  5. I don’t think there can be much doubt that closing the “gun show loophole” will be the biggest anti-gun priority at the federal level. I’m not sure I’d expect them to try to go much further than H.R. 96/S. 2577 on the gun show front, but I certainly don’t rule it out.

  6. We’ll see. Maybe they aren’t that smart, but I think they will want to go after something that will keep the Brady’s fed, and that they will perceive won’t risk their majority in Congress.

  7. The main reason I think they will overreach is that they won’t be able to help themselves. Any gun control bill heading through Congress is going to offer opportunity for various enemies of ours to tack on this or that. It will be irresistible.

  8. I agree with Kurt. HR.96 would be a symbolic Brady victory and allow the Feinsteins and McCarthy’s of the world to claim a win but actually do nothing. All HR.96 would do is force private sales next door into the hotel or store parking lot. It would not ban them.

    Banning private transfers wholly in any State starts to butt really close up to interfering with State’s powers. Plus it would be an infringement on personal property rights. If such an overreach occurred, if it didn’t include exceptions for family transfers or inheritance, I’d expect a backlash. At least, I’d hope for one.

    Do you think we are past the point of common sense and that the politicians have abandoned any pretense at actually listening to the People anymore? If so, I fear for this country.

  9. A Federal ban on intrastate private sales of lawfully-owned, Constitutionally-protected private property would not pass the “sniff test” of a lot of CongressThings, even those that dislike guns, and Federal judges likewise. I think a new AWB or magazine-capacity limit would be more likely.

  10. I don’t think so. Heller pretty much left the door open for regulating commerce in arms, and under the Raich decision, Congress’ commerce powers can reach into intrastate activity provided the activity in question can affect Congress’ attempts to regulate a national market. There’s little doubt in my mind The Court would uphold a requirement that all sales or transfers proceed through a federally licensed dealer.

    On the other hand, I think Heller offers a lot of room for fighting an assault weapons ban. Plus, the Democrats have the lesson of 1994 as an example of that particular issue being capable of firing up opposition. They also have the recent sales surge just in case they are wondering if we’re a real force or not.

    I think for that reason, the Democrats are going to be wary of a new Assault Weapons Ban. But I could be wrong.

  11. The Safe Explosives Act (SEA) of 2002 regulated the intrastate sale of explosives. Always before if I manufactured explosives and sold to someone locally the Feds didn’t (officially) care. Now they do. Interstate commerce justification? “We don’t need that anymore”.

    I mentioned this to an lawyer interning at a Federal Prosecutor’s office and she she was almost giddy about the changes because the new law would “invalidate tons of legal precedent”. As a future Federal prosecutor she had just been given a whole bunch of new tools and she was eager to use them. I dropped the subject.

    Don’t expect guns to be any different.

    First they came for the machine gun owners and no one spoke up. Then the explosives owners and no one spoke up. When they came for the shotgun owners…

  12. half of me says screw it… i havent seen a good deal at a show in years… so why do i care if they shut em down…

    the other half realizes that all of my good deals come from private swap meets and the like…

  13. Matt said:
    “Do you think we are past the point of common sense and that the politicians have abandoned any pretense at actually listening to the People anymore? If so, I fear for this country.”

    I think the election of Obama proves to anyone willing to see that we are indeed past the point of common sense.

    I too fear for this country. I’m not giving up, but I’m not at all optimistic.

  14. Chris, I hear what you’re saying, but that’s exactly what they hope will happen to us… everyone making the decision on whether or not it affects them personally, thereby diluting or splitting off the possible opposition. Listen to Joe Huffman. “First they came for the machine gun owners”…

    The struggle is for our >rights<, not for our convenience or our “hobby”.

    (not picking on ya Chris, just reminding us all ;-) )

  15. >the media has done an excellent job of making sure people
    >think gun shows are a bunch of Nazi white-power types

    Let’s be honest; while the portrayal of all gun owners this way is false, the suggestion there are a large number of Nazi white-power types at many gun shows isn’t just a media creation. I think we make a mistake by being far too tolerant of stuff like that.

  16. Stormy:

    Some promoters don’t police displays well. In most cases, it’s people not understanding what they are seeing. They don’t know about militaria, or the people who collect it.


    Upon this Nineteenth Day of April, Two-thousand and Eight Years A.D.,

    We The People, Do Hereby Declare and Proclaim Ourselves;
    To Be in Agreement with the Spirit, Meaning and Intent of the Constitution which Established the Republic Acknowledged as that of These United States, and In General with the Spirit, Meaning and Intent of Constitutions Having Established Our Respective States within the Union.
    We the People, Do Hereby Declare and Proclaim Ourselves;
    To Be Peaceful and Law-abiding American Citizens and Hold every Honest Intent to Assent, Abide and Bind Ourselves to;
    All Constitutionally-Permissible, Just and Rightfully-Enacted Laws.

    In Honor of and Having Respect for, Those Patriots who Responded to the Crisis which Occurred on the 19th day of April in 1775;
    In Honor of and Having Respect For, Those Righteous Persons who Sacrificed All Which They Had to Cause Tyranny and Despotism to Be Abolished;
    In Honor of and Having Respect for, Those who Courageously and Brilliantly Brought Forth from the Articles of Confederation a System of Government by Consent of The People;
    A System which Separated the Powers Within and Limited those Powers Afforded to the New General Government;
    In Honor of and Having Respect for, Those Who Sacrificed and Died, those now Passed Away, Those who Served and those Now In Service Defending Our Nation from Our Enemies

    We The People, as Self-Governing, Self-Regulating and Responsible American Citizens, Do Hereby Issue to All Federal, State and Local Governments;
    All Branches, Agencies, Agents, Authorities, Officials and Representatives of The People Thereof and Therein,
    An Order To;
    Cease and Desist from Any and All Further Attempts to Infringe Upon the GOD-Given and Common-law Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms.

    As Any and All Governments within these United States Derive their Just Powers Only From The People; and
    Continue to Govern Only In Accordance With the Will, By the Grace and With the Consent of The People;
    We the Independent, Peaceful and Intentionally Law-Abiding American Citizens Residing as Members of the Whole Body of The People;
    Do Declare and Proclaim by All which We Hold to Be Morally Right, Just and Consistent with Individual Rights Endowed Upon Each Person by Their CREATOR;
    Not In Any Way Granted or Afforded by Any Lesser Authority;
    In Accordance with our Moral Obligations and Duty to Ourselves, Other Citizens, State and Nation;
    As Testament To and In Accordance With Our Will;
    We The People Do Hereby Declare and Issue This PROCLAMATION.
    As It Has Been Said, So It Shall Be.


  18. Sebastian sez: “I expect private sales regulation will be the main push, but expect gun shows themselves to be in the crosshairs, with the aim of destroying them.”

    The appointment of Eric Holder as AG is an important clue in which way they’re going to jump. If this is a “govern-from-the-middle, bipartisan” administration they have represented themselves to be that is operating under the old verities, they will stay away from another AWB or even a “loophole” bill out of fear of a repeat of ’94.

    What they will do under this scenario is use every little rule-making deal they can to tighten the screws. Dicking with importation Form 6’s, heightened dealer harrassment, flooding gunshows with agents and attacking gunshow promoters like the Lamplugh’s back in the ’90s (they got a stomped-to-death kitten out of that one, courtesy of a female ATF agent. “Ms. Keeku, you have a call on line 3.”)

    However, if they decide to go for the big enchilada, you will see a couple of things first (or perhaps simultaneously, but I rather think since the rest hinge upon it, they’ll wait until they know they’ve got it in the bag). Amnesty for illegals. With the “reuniting of loved ones” from Mexico, this will give them 60 million new American “citizens” and between 15 and 20 million new loyal voters. They won’t have to worry about losing another presidential election ever again. Another possibility, the addition of Puerto Rico and DC as “states,” adding four more Senators.

    If you see this first, then the rest will follow. It means they’ve decided to seize power and hold it.

    The AWB then will be a lot more invasive and you can kiss fifty cals goodbye, if you choose to obey it.

    We won’t. In fact, even if they pass a bill that includes only the registration of all private sales, we will be holding no-fed gunshows with our own security and give them the choice of starting a war to enforce their diktat.

    No more concessions. No more backing up.

    Mike Vanderboegh

  19. To the larger extant I do feel, think and know that the day of obeying our government is over. As a Citizen who will NOT surrender my rights to this Fascist Government and the one to follow I need to find more and clever ways to resist. I am somewhat slow to learn I must say. My loathing and fear of Government did not really commence until Rudy Ridge.

    My good Conservative friends are thankful for President Bush keeping us safe with the Patriot Act. And now this country has given that power to President-Elect Obama. And gun owners and others interested in Liberty can be branded Terrorist and denied due process.

    Valley Forge?

  20. I have been saying since the election to talk with your FFL1s and figure out how to help them (beyond continuing to give them business at every opportunity). Right now your retailers are liberty’s supply lines. The other side is morally perverse, but they are not stupid. Logistics are the weakest link, and ours are in the crosshairs. They don’t even need a new Executive Order to clamp down.


  21. I think you’re right about that Oldsmoblogger. There’s a lot they can do to us without passing any laws — and I expect they will do those things.

  22. Sebastian sez: “I think you’re right about that Oldsmoblogger. There’s a lot they can do to us without passing any laws — and I expect they will do those things.”

    And what, then, are you prepared to do? Will you back up or will you stand?

  23. I’m going to do what I’ve been doing — a lot of political activism. What are you suggesting we do? Shoot the ATF people responsible for yanking the FFLs of the local gun shops?

  24. Sebastian sez: “I’m going to do what I’ve been doing — a lot of political activism. What are you suggesting we do? Shoot the ATF people responsible for yanking the FFLs of the local gun shops?”

    Yanking the FFLs is a backdoor way to total registration by the feds seizing their 4473s. What I will be urging (and doing) at that point is 4473 parties. Finding and seizing the old paperwork before the feds can get their hands on it and making bonfires of them. Many gunstores are limited on space and store their old 4473s in storage lockers or sheds on their property. Start there. I cover this in a chapter of Absolved. Can I count on you buying a copy, Sebastian? ;-)

  25. I’m with Sebastian–just continue doing what I do. Providing training opportunities and teaching people how to make and use explosives.

    No need to do anything illegal.

    And when those activities become illegal?

  26. Just dont let the libs go to far , as my name suggests originally I am from England its a total mess there crime wise it will be far worse here .

  27. How people forget.

    Our country started with a bunch of gun-grabber (redcoats) demanding that subjects turn in their arms. You know what happened next:

    We gave them our arms- ammo first.

    There’s your “political activism”

  28. Mr. Huffman –

    By any chance might you make the knowledge you have shared with all of those people available online, to the best of your abilities? Sharing knowledge is the one case of “spreading the wealth around” that works, after all, and it could help all of us stuck on the fringes of the country (like me) learn critically important skills.

    I’d go so far as to suggest there’s money to be made in teaching the liberty-oriented the skills necessary for their self-determination.


  29. Way to make me feel bad, haha.

    It isn’t so much geographic location that keeps me from attending so much as the fact that it isn’t close enough for me to schedule and afford it. But I should stop with the excuses. Maybe if it’s still legal next time, I’ll be there.

    Thanks for the links!


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