Winning the War on Guns

 

Gun owners are winning the war on guns. There is no Federal Assault Weapons Ban in place anymore and there is no reasonable chance one will return anytime soon. Concealed carry (in some form or another) is, in theory, the law of the land in all 50 states. Things are calming down on the legislative front and some of my friends in the gun industry talk about how they look forward to the market getting back to “normal” after the panic-buying of guns and ammo during the Obama administration.

But what is normal? “Normal” certainly wasn’t the time before the Assault Weapons Ban, when “Gun Culture 2.0” was just an idea and “shall issue” concealed carry was the exception, not the rule. For over 20 years, the gun owners of America have either been dealing with the effects of an Assault Weapons Ban, feeling an urgent need to buy guns in fear of another ban being enacted in the near future, and their ability to carry a gun for self-defense was outright banned in a large number of states. Today’s environment for gun owners isn’t “normal,” it’s unlike anything we’ve seen since the Sullivan Act was first passed.

On a national scale, over the last few years, the NRA and other organizations have done an admirable job of defending our natural right to defend ourselves. In the wake of the horror at Sandy Hook, the forces of gun control made a full-court press to re-enact an “assault weapons ban” on a national level, and it failed spectacularly. A bill to validate a concealed carry licenses across state lines has passed in the House, and while its future in the Senate is a little iffy, we’ve started the process of having concealed carry licenses act just like marriage licenses and driver’s licenses do.

We also have the SHARE Act, which has made it out of committee and awaits a scheduling vote in the House. The SHARE Act would strengthen the ability of gun owners to safely transport guns across state lines, protect endangered species, clarify the rules concerning lead tackle weights and birdshot on public lands, and take firearms noise suppressors off the highly-restricted NFA list and make them more like the safety tool they really are. Will this bill pass both houses and become the law of the land? I don’t know. I do know that the fact that we’re even talking about such things is proof that the needle is starting to swing in our favor.

In addition to all of this, the Pew Research Center recently reported that seven in 10 Americans have fired a gun at some point in their lives, and owning a firearm for protection was cited as the number-one reason to own a gun these days.

Gun owners are winning the war on guns, but the problem is, we’ve been fighting a defensive battle against gun control for so long, we don’t know what it’s like to win. Worse than that, gun owners are not used to the idea of decisively beating back the forces of gun control to the point where they can’t mount an effective attack on our rights. We don’t know what the end of our struggles will look like because we’ve never really thought this was a battle we could win.

So what would victory in the war on guns look like?

I’m not sure we know the answer to that question. We know what defeat would look like, it would look a lot like the current situation in (formerly Great) Britain, where the laws on gun ownership are so strict, the United Kingdom’s Olympic pistol team has to travel to Northern Ireland to practice their sport and common, everyday objects like chef’s knives are looked upon as weapons of mass destruction.

Victory in the war on guns would be more than just the passing and enactment of the SHARE Act and concealed-carry reciprocity. I think victory in this war would look a lot like Arizona’s gun laws, except enacted on a national scale. Aside from silliness about restricting the right of self-defense on college campuses in the state and not allowing teachers in public schools (excepting private ones) to have access to the tools they need to stop a mass shooting the instant it happens, Arizona’s gun laws should be the gun laws of the rest of this nation.

Arizona has open carry and permit-free concealed carry of firearms and other defensive implements, but also issues concealed carry permits to people who want to travel out of state. A concealed carry license in Arizona allows you to skip the NICS check needed to buy a gun, the idea being that if your record is clean enough to get a concealed carry permit, why do you need to prove it every time you buy a gun? The state allows for the legal private sales of guns between individuals without the need for a background check, and a concealed carry permit allows you to carry almost anywhere in the state that doesn’t have a “no guns allowed” sign by the door.

Arizona’s pre-emption laws are very tough: If a city or county in that state decides to flout the law of the land and creates its own gun laws, the state can (and will) cut off funding to that body until things are set right. Despite all this, and despite fears that it would lead to more violence, when the gun laws of Arizona were changed in favor of more freedom for the law-abiding, nothing really changed except the crime rate, which went down, not up.

While we may win the war on guns and all 50 states will enjoy the same freedoms that Arizonans enjoy, regardless of the outcome, the battle will go on. Winning World War II didn’t stamp out fascism from our planet and while Mr. Gorbachev did allow that wall to be torn down, there are still some people who think that communism is a great way to run a nation’s economy. Even if we are successful in rolling back over 100 years of restrictions on our freedom, we will always need to confront the people who fear an armed populace, rather than embrace it.

We can win this war. We only have to want to.

Published in Guns
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There are 16 comments.

  1. Member

    A win everywhere except here behind enemy lines in California.

    • #1
    • January 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm
    • 6 likes
  2. Member

    It’s good to see the 2nd amendment is winning on paper, but is it in practice?

    There have been several encounters with police where the simple fear that someone is carrying has resulted in their death.

    Is it still a right to bear arms if being a legal concealed carrier puts you in jeopardy of being shot by law enforcement?

    • #2
    • January 9, 2018 at 3:42 pm
    • 7 likes
  3. Member

    All the win in the world makes no difference to me. Except for when I go to church on Sunday I go to Naval Base Kitsap which is governed by OPNAVINST 5530.14§306 which forbids all private weapons on base except for those who reside on base. Even with the new DoD policy the Navy has drug its feet in allowing even military members to carry personal weapons. I work at the most secure place in the world with the most highly vetted people in the nation, yet we are all disarmed on the way to and from there. Congress shall make no law, but the SecNav sure has.

    • #3
    • January 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm
    • 8 likes
  4. Coolidge

    Victory would be repealing the GCA and the NFA. Anything less would just be a step towards that end.

    • #4
    • January 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm
    • 4 likes
  5. Member

    I was rather proud of the campaign to get Campus Carry passed in Georgia. The NRA and GeorgiaCarry.Org sent out almost hourly legislative alerts as the Campus Carry passed first through the House and then through the Senate after a false start the year before. I called, emailed and faxed my representative to no avail (he’s a hyper Liberal millennial, getting him out is our next battle at the local level). Other members did likewise with their representatives and the bill passed early last year and became law early summer. If you are a gun owner you need to know the name and voting record of your State Senator, Representative, and County Commisioner. If you don’t you ain’t in the mix.

    • #5
    • January 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm
    • 2 likes
  6. Member

    JamesAtkins (View Comment):
    A win everywhere except here behind enemy lines in California.

    I “liked” this only because it is so true, and not because I like it.

    @kevincreighton has, well, hit the bullseye – again – on this.

    • #6
    • January 9, 2018 at 6:07 pm
    • 3 likes
  7. Member

    Duplicate. How on earth did I do that?

    • #7
    • January 9, 2018 at 6:16 pm
    • 2 likes
  8. Member

    Kevin Creighton:So what would victory in the war on guns look like?

    Be careful about declaring victory in this war. We’ve won some battles, and currently have a bit of momentum on our side, but the cultural forces arrayed against us are considerable, and they will never stop.

    True victory would require a cultural shift so that people who essentially think of guns as evil talismans, or who think their social “inferiors” can’t be trusted with the tools of self defense, are a small, mocked minority.

    This isn’t a political war, it’s a cultural one.

    • #8
    • January 9, 2018 at 6:21 pm
    • 7 likes
  9. Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Terry Mott (View Comment):
    True victory would require a cultural shift so that people who essentially think of guns as evil talismans, or who think their social “inferiors” can’t be trusted with the tools of self defense, are a small, mocked minority.

    This isn’t a political war, it’s a cultural one.

    I agree. Consider this, though: Thanks to video games, there are millions of adults and teenagers out there who know, from memory, the advantages of a Lee-Enfield over a Mosin-Nagant. Airsoft, aka milsim, is a booming business even behind enemy lines in California and New York. Duck Dynasty, a show about people who make hunting accessories, was a huge hit on cable tv.

    Heck, we’ve even got a remake of “Death Wish” coming out soon.

    The culture has changed so much, that no one is talking about banning guns except a few Blue State holdouts. While it’d be nice to have more politicians talk about increasing gun rights, we are holding the line.

    Time to push forward.

    • #9
    • January 10, 2018 at 5:19 am
    • Like
  10. Thatcher

    One thing I’d like to see is a curtailment of the ability of zealous, anti-gun prosecutors to go after gun owners who successfully use their weapons to defend themselves. Even knowing they’ll lose, these DAs punish the owners by the process, and chill the possible usage of weapons for self defense by others.

    • #10
    • January 10, 2018 at 5:37 am
    • 2 likes
  11. Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    One thing I’d like to see is a curtailment of the ability of zealous, anti-gun prosecutors to go after gun owners who successfully use their weapons to defend themselves. Even knowing they’ll lose, these DAs punish the owners by the process, and chill the possible usage of weapons for self defense by others.

    This speaks to the broader issue of prosecutorial over reach. We need to work a better job on checks and balances.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417155/wisonsins-shame-i-thought-it-was-home-invasion-david-french

    • #11
    • January 10, 2018 at 7:05 am
    • 1 like
  12. Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Related: Bid to federalize concealed carry puts GOP in unfamiliar territory.

    • #12
    • January 10, 2018 at 7:54 am
    • Like
  13. Member

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):
    Related: Bid to federalize concealed carry puts GOP in unfamiliar territory.

    Really curious, but don’t the constitutional amendments supersede state’s rights? Even in a small government argument?

    Are they actually altering their arguments and doesn’t the 2nd amendment already federalist gun rights?

    • #13
    • January 10, 2018 at 10:44 am
    • 1 like
  14. Coolidge

    Stina (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):
    Related: Bid to federalize concealed carry puts GOP in unfamiliar territory.

    Really curious, but don’t the constitutional amendments supersede state’s rights? Even in a small government argument?

    Are they actually altering their arguments and doesn’t the 2nd amendment already federalist gun rights?

    https://constitutionallawreporter.com/amendment-14-01/incorporation-of-the-bill-of-rights/

    The Bill of Rights – those first ten amendments to the Constitution – were originally written to apply to the federal government. Meaning, under the 1st Amendment, for example, the federal government could not infringe on someone’s freedom of speech, a state had no such restrictions on its power.For a century after the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, this was the framework followed by the Supreme Court.

    With the passage of the 14th Amendment, however, and the recognition of
    Substantive Due Process rights housed within that amendment, the notion that the first ten amendments served to protect individuals against only overreaches of the federal government was undone.

    • #14
    • January 10, 2018 at 11:13 am
    • 2 likes
  15. Member

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):
    With the passage of the 14th Amendment, however, and the recognition of
    Substantive Due Process rights housed within that amendment, the notion that the first ten amendments served to protect individuals against only overreaches of the federal government was undone.

    Interestingly, that amendment was what I was thinking about. As practiced, that law applies to all, so why wouldn’t the others.

    • #15
    • January 10, 2018 at 11:27 am
    • 1 like
  16. Coolidge

    Stina (View Comment):

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):
    With the passage of the 14th Amendment, however, and the recognition of
    Substantive Due Process rights housed within that amendment, the notion that the first ten amendments served to protect individuals against only overreaches of the federal government was undone.

    Interestingly, that amendment was what I was thinking about. As practiced, that law applies to all, so why wouldn’t the others.

    The practice of the Courts has been to individually decide which amendments are incorporated in the 14th Amendment. Generally all of the Bill of Rights are, but since the Second Amendment hasn’t been addressed as being incorporated into the 14th Amendment, it has not happened yet. And because a century of opposition to the right to bear arms has dominated the courts, it won’t be incorporated by lower courts until the Supreme Court makes a decision in the matter.

    To me, it need not be a matter of 14th Amendment incorporation. Concealed carry reciprocity should be a matter of the “full faith and credit” clause, just as it is with most state actions. Your marriage and drivers license are recognized by all states. Your professional engineering license and your hair dresser’s license, however, are not.

    • #16
    • January 10, 2018 at 4:35 pm
    • 1 like