Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gun Accountability vs Gun Control In Anti-Gun Chicago

"I'm from the Government. I'm here to help. How many guns do you own?
Can I come in and confis-err-- see them? I promise, it is for your own safety and welfare.
Why would I need a warrant? You're just going to cooperate, right?"
  Along with torrential rains and flash flooding, two other stories dominated the early morning local news shows in Chicago on Monday, August 27, 2012.

One story was a typical media love-fest with the local socialist-in-charge, Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former Chief of Staff and current Mayor or the windbag city. It seems that Rahm fancies himself an amateur athlete, having taken 27th place for his age group in Chicago's triathalon. While it is great that Chicago has a Mayor willing to set an example of fitness, I'm sure the city would be better off if he didn't waste all the time training for the race, spending it cutting pork out of the city's budget and doing the job he was elected/hired to perform.

The other story came on the heels of the violence reported early the morning of August 24th. That previous night contained hours of violence and terror with mass, serial shootings including 19 people shot in just one 30-minute period.

In reaction to the violence as well as actionable intelligence, the Chicago police executed a series of raids over three days resulting in over 300 arrests and the seizure of over 100 unregistered, improperly registered, or illegally owned firearms. In an interview on one of the local morning television news shows, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy stuck a feather in his cap, recounting how great it was to actually go out and lead some of  the raids personally. His little self-tooting-horn is much reminiscent of certain other politicians from Chicago. The narcissism displayed reminded me of Rahm Emanuel, R. J. Daley Jr., and Mr. Obama.

During that same interview, Mr. McCarthy brought up one point that seemed, on the surface, a good idea that links to an understandable issue concerning firearms ownership -- accountability.

Despite the egregious violations of the Second Amendment on the books in Illinois, such as requiring somebody to apply for permission to own a firearm (FOID) and not allowing citizens to bear arms at all, concealed or otherwise, Illinois has no real accountability laws. That is surprising, given the state's stern anti-gun laws.

Accountability laws, in a nutshell, are laws that require owners to register items and to maintain some form of responsibility for them. One example is automobiles. If you own a car, you most likely have it registered. The VIN is most likely listed on documentation that demonstrates who the owner is and who is responsible for the car. If you sell the car, you will likely transfer that title to the new owner. The same applies to real estate. If you sell your home, you transfer the deed and title to the new owner.

With weapons, the concept of accountability is not a violation of the Second Amendment. Proper accountability laws can actually help protect gun-owners. For example, if you purchase a new pistol, the sale is recorded and reported. However, if you sell it to your buddy, Joe, the transfer may not be recorded. If that weapon is stolen from Joe's house while he is at a Disneyland Resort or Six Flags and used in a murder 2 days later (before he returns to find it missing), then we have a bit of a problem. The police won't be knocking on Joe's door first. They will be knocking on yours. However, if transfer documents are filed, then Joe listed as the owner  and the cops don't waste your time.

That sounds good, so far. The issue that arises is who pays for all of this. That is an easy answer. Just like vehicle ownership registration transfers and land title transfers, the new owner pays the fee. No additional taxes are necessary. However, socialists won't like that answer. They'll want only wealthy people to pay through their taxes.

Mr. McCarthy used the example of a lawful gun-owner with an Illinois FOID purchasing multiple pistols, keeping one, then reselling the rest to non-FOID holders. There is no recourse and no accountability.

First, the FOIDs are a violation of the Second Amendment. The words "shall not be infringed" come to mind. Requiring somebody to qualify to own or carry is, indeed, infringing upon that right. That point removed from the equation, however, still chimes of some level of sense. If a gun owner resold his weapons to somebody else, the last thing he should want is to be interrogated if Johnny-B took that new pistol and shot up a parking lot. The accountability law would also prevent those gang members who have not been convicted of any felony from supporting the gang through legally purchasing weapons, then illegally distributing them knowing they will be used in crimes. Of course, doing such is still being an accessory to a crime, intentionally and willfully, and is still a crime, regardless of accountability laws.

This whole scenario, however, is a page right out of what Eric Holder and his ATF did with Operation Fast and Furious. It is exactly what he did. He purchased guns, legally, then smuggled them out of the country and into the hands of terrorists and cartel members. I wonder if Eric got the idea from his buddies on the streets of the windbag city.

On the surface, these accountability laws make a lot of sense.  If specific, stated simply and clearly, and restricted to just proper transfer registration and accountability, they do protect your average law-abiding gun owning American. However, the eventual abuse becomes abundantly clear.

First, the information will be used to track private citizens and violate the 4th Amendment. the number and type of guns you own will be public record. That violates the Privacy Act and the 4th Amendment. In the future, the laws could be used to limit the number and types of weapons your average American can own. So, they could limit you to one pistol, one rifle, and one shotgun. I can hear the argument now. "That's three guns. That is 'Arms'. The right is, therefore, not infringed".

Second, it opens up for actions should bans on certain types of firearms again infringe upon the Second Amendment. Should a ban against anything larger than 9mm be issued, the police can now go straight to the homes of lawful .45cal owners and demand they willingly turn over their lawfully owned and purchased firearms.

The list of potential abuses goes on. The "left" side of the political spectrum wants to instill a tyrannic oligarchy, by its very definition. One of the first things such an oligarchy wishes to do is disarm its current and future opposition so that it can retain power and further its abuses upon the people. This is the very thing the Second amendment was written to prevent.

Gun owners need to be responsible. If a weapon is stolen, it is just common sense to report it stolen. If it is lost, it is just common sense to report it missing. However, it is not in the authority of the Nanny State to force common sense down people's throats through legislation. Doing so is a flagrant theft of liberty.

On the surface, "gun accountability laws" may be spun as not "gun control", Mr. McCarty. Through that transparent surface, sir, it is obvious that they are designed to facilitate Second Amendment violations of the most extreme sort. Your bright idea just flickered out.