Ask the average gun buff if we need new gun laws and the knee-jerk reaction is, “Not just no, but hell no!” That’s followed up with, “What part of ‘Shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand? All those gun laws on the books are illegal and should be repealed!” Let’s just think about that.
You know rights come with limits and responsibilities. Your right to swing your arms ends at the tip of my nose, right? Who would argue a law disarming convicted murderers in prison violates the Second Amendment? You get the point. Some gun laws are just fine. A five year old can’t walk into a gun shop and buy a gun.
Yes, on cool reflection, some gun laws work and are a part of the American concept of ordered liberty. We control bad elements in society and mete out punishment for bad actors and their bad acts. The worse the act is, the harsher the penalty. You want those laws.
But let’s change the rules of engagement. You help undermine anti-gun-rights bigots, and co-opt their work, by demanding reasonable, common sense gun laws of your own — a superb paradigm shift.
Let’s look at our legitimate need for gun laws. Because laws protect the innocent as well as punish the guilty. That’s especially important now the Constitution no longer constrains Congress. Officials do whatever they please, trashing our rights, ignoring their limits, acting like tyrants unrestricted by “a government of limited delegated powers.” You can fight this using new laws, with teeth, to stop those defilers of our magnificent system.
Here’s how you grow teeth. Instead of a law stating (in simple terms), “It’s illegal to take a gun away from an innocent person” (a toothless statement, but oh so typical), you say instead, “Anyone who takes a gun from an innocent person shall go to jail.” Now the authorities have to watch their butts because there’s a penalty for violating your rights, not just some feckless statement they shouldn’t do it. We win.
“Kosher” Gun Laws
Of all the groups defending the RKBA, the most aggressive is Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and even those people support “reasonable” gun control, the type I’m talking about. They’ve identified five Kosher Gun Laws (“Kosher” means proper). JPFO suggests all the rest should be tossed in the ocean:
1) If you criminally misuse a gun, your gun rights can be severed.
2) People who are mentally unfit to handle their own affairs may not bear arms.
3) Until the age of 18, your gun rights come from your parents.
4) You are responsible for the outcome of every shot you fire.
5) Because the God-given right of self-defense is inviolate, anyone who, under color of law, denies or attempts to deny your civil right to bear arms, pays a stiff fine and goes to prison.
See the footnotes and more that expand on these basic rules, at www.jpfo.org.
No one who reads Handgunner should be a spectator in the struggle to preserve freedom. Find out who your local legislators are and start enacting reasonable common sense gun laws with them. That’s how things get done. What laws? You can read the details of these and more “Model Gun Laws” at www.gunlaws.com/ModelLegislation.htm. Here are some ideas.
Constitutional Carry: The right to discreetly or openly bear arms should not require a government-issued permission slip, taxes, paperwork and an expiration date. Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act: If you create a dangerous, make believe, so-called “gun-free” zone by simply hanging a sign, you are liable for any harm it causes. High School Marksmanship Act: An elective class worth one credit is offered toward your high school diploma, earned after you safely discharge a firearm at a target. “Educate kids on the constitutional roots and proper exercise of the right to keep and bear arms.” Protection of Private Property Act: Any legally owned private property may be kept in or on a private means of transportation at any place the means of transportation may legally be. This removes bans on guns in vehicles (without mentioning guns).
And there’s more. Defensive Display: Warning an attacker you’re armed is protected by law in Montana and Arizona. Get your state onboard. The warning can be verbal, a motion or reach, or presenting a firearm in a way a person would understand is meant to forestall an assault. BIDS vs. NICS: If we must have gun-buyer background checks to stop criminals, at least do it without compiling massive records on the innocent. A simple system called BIDS can do this, and at far less cost than NICS. Limited Immunity for 911 Emergency Reporting: If you have the right to remain silent, and the right to have an attorney present during questioning, why are you encouraged to call 911 after self defense and speak into a police voice recorder, to the people trying to convict you? Yes, America needs more common sense gun laws.
(Editor’s note: This article first appeared on JFPO.org. It has been syndicated with the permission of its author, Alan Korwin. In addition to being the proprietor of the popular online destination Gunlaws.com, Mr. Korwin is an adviser to Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.)