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Friday, February 13, 2009

Time For a Greek Lesson

Today, Class, we're going to learn some Greek. For many of you, it will review, but we all need some review from time to time.

Today's Greek phrase is...

Molon labe is a Greek phrase supposedly dating back to the Battle of Thermopylae (Y'all did see 300, didn't you?) Xerxes I tells the Spartans to lay down their weapons. Leonides yells back "Molon labe," which, loosely translated, means, " Come and get them." Recently, this Greek phrase has become a rally cry for Second Amendment proponents.

Why the Greek lesson? CongressCritter Bobby Rush, ever known for his sanity reason insight stupidity, has introduced a bill that has gun owners alternating between spitting angry and uncontrolled laughter. Let's see... all gun owners must be registered. All guns must be registered. All records will actually be maintained (as opposed to CCL records, which are supposed to be purged once the license is issued).

The Bill is named after Blair Holt, a teenager gunned down during a bus shooting in Chicago in 2007. From all accounts, he was a good kid, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time (on a city bus, right after school, and some other student came onto the bus and started shooting). Some reports say that he was protecting another student from the shooter when he was shot. He should be remembered for being one of the good kids, not for having his name on a flawed House bill.

On the surface, the bill seems ... innocent. What could be wrong with requiring registration to own a firearm? It's nothing that many states don't already require. Under the supposed innocence, we have a problem.

The NRA-ILA site has a good explanation of just some of the things wrong with this bill:

The measure calls for all handgun owners to submit to the federal government an application that shall include, among many other things: a photo; an address; a thumbprint; a completed, written firearm safety test; private mental health records; and a fee. And those are only some of the requirements to be licensed!

The bill would further require the attorney general to establish a database of every handgun sale, transfer, and owner's address in America. Moreover, the bill would make it illegal to own or possess a "qualifying firearm" -- defined as "any handgun; or any semiautomatic firearm that can accept any detachable ammunition feeding device…" [emphasis added] without one of the proposed licenses.

Additionally, the bill would make it illegal to transfer ownership of a "qualifying firearm" to anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer or collector (with very few exceptions), and would require "qualifying firearm" owners to report all transfers to the attorney general's database. It would also be illegal for a licensed gun owner to fail to record a gun loss or theft within 72 hours, or fail to report a change of address within 60 days. Further, if a minor obtains a firearm and injures someone with it, the owner of the firearm may face a multiple-year jail sentence.

Got that? That's just some of the provisions. There are more. The NRA-ILA doesn't even get into the states' rights issues. Or, it clearly violates the Fourth Amendment (warrantless search) and has a harsher sentence for non-compliance (10 years) than many violent crimes. Or, how about the fact that registrations have never led to a reduction of crime. And, as our friends in England and Australia can tell us, the "common sense" gun legislation leads to prohibition and gun grabs. It's a slippery slope, and it only takes a little push.

Did Rep. Rush talk with Rep. Hastings? They should have just combined their bills and saved time.

I guess my response to this is to first quote Patrick Henry:
"Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" - Patrick Henry
Unfortunately, we now defend ourselves against the criminal down the street and not the neighboring nation. But that's another post.

Second, e-mails have been fired off to my CongressCritter and my Senators. They now know my position on this particular legislation.

Third, I'm talking about it.

Anything else I can do?

In case you were wondering, this isn't the first time Rep. Rush has proposed this legislation. The last time he had several co-sponsors... Rahm Emanuel was one. He has no co-sponsors at this time. For now...

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