Editor’s note: This column was written by Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. It will be appearing in the November ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the NRA.
If there were ever a perfect example of the endgame of the gun-ban crowd and their ultimate weapon—registration of firearm owners—it comes with the order by the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands to confiscate registered firearms from law-abiding citizens as a response to the impending devastation of Hurricane Irma.
Gov. Kenneth Mapp, in a toxic Sept. 4 order, proclaimed that the activated National Guard “is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition.”
That order was abandoned due in large part to the threat of immediate legal action by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox, citing provisions of an NRA-backed 2006 federal law prohibiting the confiscation of legal firearms from law-abiding citizens during states of emergency. That law was enacted in response to random gun confiscation during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Unlike the Hurricane Katrina gun seizures, the U.S. Virgin Islands threat could have been implemented systematically by using lists of licensed gun owners and their registered firearms.
And this gets us to the key tool of the gun banners—government records. Databases of gun owners in any form—be they firearms-owner licensing or registration, or the “universal” background checks demanded by the likes of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—are the route to confiscation. And make no mistake, “universal” background checks are ultimately sought by the gun banners as the basis for permanent government records—morphing into universal gun-owner registration in the United States.
As to the danger of such records on private gun ownership, look no further than the words of Australia’s current gun-control guru, Philip Alpers, who heads a self-styled “global project” of the Sydney School of Public Health where peaceable gun ownership is considered a disease.
In a bylined 2015 article in The Washington Post, Alpers ridicules our Second Amendment-protected freedom as “America’s gun infestation” saying, “Almost all nations now rely on universal licensing and registration to regulate firearms. Except America.”
I say amen to that.
Then to the big connection, “Most developed countries have already moved to reduce gun-fueled mayhem. Great Britain, Argentina and Brazil all mounted massive national gun buybacks to reduce the availability of firearms. The world’s largest occurred in Australia, where a million of its guns—one-third of the nation’s private arsenal—were destroyed.”
This was no arsenal. The firearms taken and destroyed were the private personal property of individuals who had trusted their government, had duly obtained required licenses and had registered their firearms.
These were people who never had anything to do with mass shootings or violent crime. Yet they paid the price with the loss of their liberty.
When U.S. politicians like presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama embraced Australia’s gun laws, they denied the element of confiscation. In his Postarticle, Alpers sneeringly set the record straight and forever defined the true nature of “buybacks,” saying:
“When a government bans a particularly dangerous type of firearm, then offers to buy those guns under threat of prosecution, that is of course confiscation and destruction of private property.” (Emphasis added.)
Alpers continued his bizarre attack:
“To public health practitioners, the gun is to gun violence as the mosquito is to malaria. Break the chain of causation, and the disease begins to retreat. But when guns proliferate, a harm agent designed to kill drives an infectious disease fueled by fear and profit. The more Americans die by gunshot, the more Americans purchase guns.”
Whether it’s the likes of Alpers or the Brady Campaign, or gun-ban fronts headed by Michael Bloomberg or George Soros, no measure of gun control is ever enough. With every new domestic proposal come the words “first step.” And each step is another step toward the total eradication of private firearm ownership.
Nothing is ever enough.
Under Australia’s draconian law, one means for a citizen to obtain a license to possess a registered firearm is by joining a government-recognized gun club.
Let Alpers explain it in his own words. This is from an article on his Sydney University webpage:
“Since 1996, each applicant for a firearm license must prove a ‘genuine reason’ for gun ownership. … For many thousands of urban and other firearm owners, the only ‘genuine reason’ which fits is to join an approved shooting club.”
But, according to Alpers, therein lies an intrinsic evil.
“Gun clubs enshrine in our society a core pledge of shooters, which is to introduce children to firearms as early as possible.”
The Australian law, he says, has compelled many gun owners “to shoot with politically committed enthusiasts several times each year. … It’s easy to see hundreds of gun clubs acting as ideological training camps.”
So you can see what’s down the road for most of Australia’s besieged gun owners.
In his Washington Post screed, Alpers obliquely referred to the NRA, whining, “Interest groups have bullied politicians into allowing unlicensed, unqualified gun ownership. The United States is now alone with its Second Amendment.”
Amen to that.
And that gets us back to hurricanes, the Second Amendment and your NRA.
As part of Florida’s response to the expected mega-disaster of Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott implemented public safety provisions of an NRA-inspired law enacted last summer. That statute allows citizens who do not possess a concealed-carry permit and who come under evacuation orders or other emergency proclamations to carry firearms for self protection. The law provides those protections for 48 hours, but can be extended by the governor. Like the very concept of concealed-carry and “Stand your Ground” laws, this one was the brainchild of the redoubtable former NRA President Marion Hammer.
As always, NRA is Freedom’s Safest Place.