The Goal is Simple: To Break Us

I linked to Jim Shepherd’s very detailed and fine article in a previous post, but it covers a lot of topics so I wanted to speak to another point he made:

But what if the intent of this legislation wasn’t really the banning of magazines or classes of firearms? What if the real intent was to let the bans be watered down while pushing through sweeping redefinitions of terms we all think are clearly defined?

Consider, for example, the lawful transfer. That’s a transfer of ownership between two private parties or between a federal firearms licensee and a purchaser, right? To a point.

But what if language broadened to the point that the term “transfer” was applicable to any regulated item -such as a “high-capacity magazine” used in competition and not just a “firearm”?

It seems to be a very small distinction, until you realize that a lawful transfer, as stated under Colorado’s proposed statutes, would be applicable to magazines. And those definitions went on to broaden a “recognized competition” as having been run by either a state agency or non-profit. SASS, IDPA, USPSA are not, technically non-profit organizations. Under that broadened definition, USPSA/IDPA match officials picking up a magazine dropped during a competition stage would be participating in an illegal transfer.

I don’t think their strategy heading into this was anything other than to throw everything they had at us, and probe for where we were weak, and where they could get us. The goal, quite simply, is to break us. They don’t care if they do it with an assault weapons ban, or without. They are happy to do it by banning private transfers, redefining terms, or even bringing back old, stale ideas like liability insurance. I believe the overall goals of the gun control push can be best summed up in a few bullet points:

  • Set up a confrontation for the 2014 elections. If they can deliver us any setback or defeat, it’ll be used to cement the case that NRA isn’t a factor in elections. Even if the 2014 Senate races go well for the GOP, that will help the progressive-left tighten their control over the party, and help them convince other Democrats that NRA can’t protect them, even if they vote the right way. The progressive-left has little to lose pushing this issue. Most of them are in safe districts, and they don’t have to worry about winning close elections where NRA could sway people at the margins.
  • Try to gain ground in a policy area we’ll have a hard time challenging in court. That’s why I think they like trying to redefine terms, as Jim says. They’ll want to set something up for a possible change on the high court so they can forever limit to the Second Amendment to a second class right. I think they’d be happy to overturn it, but that might be a hard sell, and absent that, limiting it to a great degree would be just as well. New York City has demonstrated that ownership of weapons by civilians can be for practical purposes eliminated without having to resort to an outright ban such as existed in Chicago or DC.
  • At the least blunt our advance into cities like Chicago and New York. One reason I think they are so unwilling to compromise on some of our concerns regarding private transfers is that they don’t actually want to pass something that would be tolerable to us. If they pass something intolerable, our immediate priority will be to undo the damage, rather than shrug our shoulders and continue pushing gun rights into places that have long strangled their legal gun and shooting cultures.

The 2014 elections will probably determine what happens to our rights. If gun owners fail to become engaged in that election, and pro-gun politicians take losses, I think we’ll see a tsunami of anti-gun legislation moving forward. The Democrats will have no reason to care about gun rights, and the Republicans will be further weakened, and also wondering if the gun vote is really delivering for them. It is vitally important we stand by lawmakers who stand by us in this coming election, and punish those who screw us.

My big fear approaching 2014 is a broad Republican sellout on one of our key issues, like gun or magazine bans, or on private transfers, that effectively disgusts enough of the people who comprise potential volunteers that we end up a non-factor in the election because gun owners feel cheated by both parties. Even a screwing by one or two key reps in swing districts or states may be a real problem for us. A good many of these folks in Congress have never been in a real fight over guns, and this is where the rubber meets the road. A lot of what they are going to do depends greatly on what we do.

Once we get through this I think it incumbent upon us to not just push them back, but to destroy them. They have raised the stakes of the game, and we’re playing for keeps. It will be incumbent upon us to keep fighting. The gun control regimes in New York, Chicago, California and New Jersey must be crushed, and relegated to a dark age when some constitutional rights were more equal than others.

12 thoughts on “The Goal is Simple: To Break Us”

  1. Interesting post following the one right before it. While I think it is best to assume & prepare for the worst, given the snowballing we are seeing in manufacturers & resalers in responding to New York’s newly passed laws, I’d say that on the surface we are stronger & more organized than we were back in the 70-90’s. Add in the results of the last election & one truly doesn’t know just where we stand.

    I don’t see the House caving into or selling us out, and think that they may actually destroy all Bills coming from the Senate. But the 2 most important things, at least to me, are can we transfer our Pro-Gun Energy into votes & hopefully changes in the Senate & will the Heller/McDonald 5 stay in place for the remainder of Obama’s term?

    My fear is that one of the 5 won’t & I’ve not seen a Republican Senate, whether majority or not, defeat a progressive nomination yet.

  2. “the Republicans will be further weakened, and also wondering if the gun vote is really delivering for them.”

    The gun vote can’t deliver much less for them, than they have ever delivered for us. Gee, could that be the problem? That Rip Van Gun Owner is finally waking up? Or is it just that technology has given gunnies the capability to play “Enforce Existing Laws” on a continuous loop, and they don’t need blowhard candidates to sing it for them?

  3. My worry is that the Red or Purple state Republican House members will think they can buy some liberal good will by voting for some of the bills if they come up in the House. For instance some New Jersey or New York Republicans might think they can get a pass from the voters at home because hey their constituents already live with magazine limits or prohibition on private sale for the same reasons. Of course these members might well be the most vulnerable to an election loss when their pro-gun voters stay home and the liberals who they had hoped to attracted still don’t vote for them.

  4. That bit about GOP caving and us becoming irrelevant because people stay home due to lack of options…is probably going to keep me awake tonight.

    Walking Dead at 11PM? No prob. 5-minute check-in at SNBQ? Scary like campfire stories.

    You’re killing me, Smalls!

  5. They’re trying to break Second Amendment supporters like they are trying to break First Amendment free exercise of religion supporters, forcing birth control and abortion payments on Catholic institutions. The administration is not shy about attacking civil rights that could oppose the permanent imposition of a Progressive agenda.
    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Common cause can be found.

  6. I see 8 dark years ahead – from the time the majority of Americans agree to pull the trigger on forming a 3rd party, to the time it takes to get that party elected president with majorities in the Senate and House.

    1. I am not so confident of the prospects for any third party — from experience. When the Libertarian Party was formed c. 1971, it certainly seemed the nation was in a state of crisis that justified it, but it floundered. (In my time I thought it was heavily subverted by non-libertarian infiltrators — and just plain loons — but that’s another essay.) And I have told a story before of Reform Party acquaintances who back in the ’90s were convinced their party would have major party ballot status in only 3 – 5 years. Have you heard to them recently?

      I’m not sure what the platform would be of an ascendent third party these days, and after a lifetime of observation, I no longer have confidence that “I’ll know it when I see it.” Every ideologue is convinced their own ideology, taken pure, would sweep to victory and power, but it never seems to work that way. There is always a belief that following some “breakthrough” — e.g., a candidate or two winning a significant election, seats in the legislature, etc. — that the popularity and representation of the new party will increase geometrically with each election, but usually the opposite happens. One or two or four or six win this election, and are repudiated by the voters in the next election.

  7. My big fear approaching 2014 is a broad Republican sellout on one of our key issues, like gun or magazine bans, or on private transfers, that effectively disgusts enough of the people who comprise potential volunteers that we end up a non-factor in the election because gun owners feel cheated by both parties.


    The GOP has already proven that they don’t really care about cutting spending, or illegal immigration, or individual liberty. The only reason left for me to even go to the polls is for gun rights. If they sell out on this, I’m done wasting my time and money on them. I’ll just stick my head in the sand like 90% of America and wait for SMOD.

    1. I have long had a theory that we are a bothersome constituency to them, that they will be happy someday to be rid of. But as long as the vote margins remain tight, they will grit their teeth and pander to us, though no more than they have to. In the past all a Republican needed to say was “Enforce Existing Laws” and we would flock to the polls to support them, so, that was about as much as they ever delivered. For all their heart-felt love for the 2A, how many times have you hear “Repeal existing laws” cross their lips? Remember that almost every “existing law” is one they claimed the opposed, before it passed handily.

      I expect in this go-round they are going to look at the polls and pass as much gun control as they think they can get away with, looking forward to the day when the vote margins open up in their favor and they can abandon us forever.

  8. You are precisely spot on. (Many thanks to SWAT Magazine’s Facebook page for bring me here.)

    Any plan that hinges on the reliability of any particular political party is probably misguided. I’m afraid that neither personal integrity nor an uncompromising commitment to liberty are considered winning political formulae anymore by those who make their fortunes in politics — whichever side of the aisle they occupy.

    Perseverance, vigilance, a good memory and the willingness to act in protection of the rights you value are what will see us through — if anything will. I’ve been writing about the same issues, albeit more obliquely.


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