By Steve Orcutt
Jack of all trades, master of none; the point is, no one knows everything. I don’t expect our elected representatives to know everything or even have a vast understanding of a single complex subject such as quantum physics – I sure don’t. But like most Americans I do expect my elected representatives to have an understanding of the Constitution, and be able to comprehend the basics of a subject after researching or being briefed when it is of legislative importance. So I ask the question; are the contending candidates, in the recent third Democratic Party Presidential Debate, merely uninformed or purposely deceitful to Americans regarding their comments on firearms?
“Guns, in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer.” – Hilary Clinton
The question of purposeful deceit or ignorance needs to be asked and answered so that honest debate on the topic can occur. Plain ignorance is rectifiable, and while understandable it’s not what we need in a Presidential candidate. On the other hand, purposeful deceit requires in-depth discussion; why is this person lying to us and what do they have to gain by their fallacies? The simple answer is because they all want to be President of the United States and pandering to the easily swayable Democratic Party base can be effective during a primary campaign. However, might there be an agenda to why they want to be President?
Firearms have been a “hot button” election issue for decades and a Progressive’s holy grail since at least 1927. Likewise refuting Progressive claims is a constant theme of 2nd Amendment proponents and GOP debates for nearly as long. The fact that people die prematurely can be unanimously agreed, but the means and reason are what are mostly the source of contention.
“We lose 33,000[SIC: 33,636] people a year already to gun violence,” Hilary Clinton said during the third DNC debate. The problem with her claim of 33,000 is that it’s actually 11,208 homicides (2013)(1). 21,175 of her 30,000 claim are unfortunately suicides, 22 per day of which are military veterans. Yes death is tragic, especially when it’s early in life, but you cannot legislate morality; if someone wants to murder another, they are going to do it. If the CDC and FBI statistics are actually looked at, Clinton and other Progressives would see that other objects and activities are similarly lethal and means to which are used to commit homicide. Granted that 69.5% of homicides in 2013 were committed using a firearm, but when analyzing the data, the focus of their ire is not the “assault rifle.” 2013 FBI crime data shows 285 instances of rifles (of all types) were used to commit homicide, compared to 5,782 handguns used for the same. 308 murders were committed with shotguns, more than rifles. What is certainly flying under the radar are knives, which attributed to 1,490 homicides in 2013; where is the cry for knife control?
I say knife control in jest, because in the words of the 2nd Amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Let’s analyze that data for a moment:
Right – that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.
Arms – weapons collectively.
Infringe – to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress.
The 2nd Amendment translated into today’s verbiage: ‘The right of the people to keep firearms or other weapons, must not be violated.’
“That it is their right and duty to be at all times armed,” Thomas Jefferson said, (letter to John Cartwright) which is in stark contrast to what Hilary Clinton said, “Guns, in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer.” The FBI data doesn’t support Mrs. Clinton’s statement, nor do a majority of Americans in a recent Gallup poll. The reason for this change is because Americans are waking up to the fact that restrictions on peaceful, lawful Americans from owning firearms doesn’t make them safer. Too many people rely solely on their local police or sheriff’s force to keep them safe. The problem with that thinking is, even with a passive ‘security system,’ between the time the potential victim is aware of a problem and the arrival of law enforcement averages at 11 minutes; the death of the victim happens at 1,200 ft/second which is a whole lot faster.
I am a strict Constitutional constructionist and believe wholly with, “an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed.” Whether some or all of the current gun control laws are Constitutional is another blog post altogether. However, there are already laws in effect that achieve what Progressives desire against violence and firearms. For example, it is already unlawful to commit murder. Just as it already is unlawful, unless specially licensed by the Attorney General “for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, to transport in interstate or foreign commerce any destructive device, [or] machinegun” as stated in the National Firearms Act; 18 US Code GS 992(a)(4). Machinegun would describe a “combat assault weapon” as Martin O’Malley woefully attempted to sound tough on guns. What Progressives such as O’Malley insist on calling an ‘assault rifle’ are only semi-automatic rifles. What they do not like about them is that they ‘look scary’. There is little to no difference in the lethality of a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle and an ‘evil scary’ Bushmaster XM-15 Basic Tactical Carbine, both of which are .223 caliber (5.56x45mm) semi-automatic rifles. As shown with the FBI and CDC data, rifles are the least of the problems with firearms. There is no legal basis for legislating something to be illegal because it’s ‘scary looking.’ If that were possible, we could consider outlawing Nancy Pelosi.Murder and other crimes perpetrated using firearms are only a fraction of the issue. The other aspect for the need and right of the people to keep and bear arms is, “it being necessary to the security of a free State.” What James Madison meant by security was keeping the liberties of the people secure from the usurpation of a tyrannical government. In the historical context of the era, it is understood why Madison, the members of the 1st Congress, and other Founding Fathers would want protection for their posterity against such a government. They had recently concluded a bloody war against their former countrymen because of the oppression they endured under the British crown. Be it not for the arms at their disposal, we would likely still be British. Lest it be forgotten, the battles of Lexington and Concord occurred because the British were marching to confiscate the arms (muskets, powder, shot, and cannons) of the Massachusetts colonists in Concord. Had they not had those muskets ready, at hand, and able to be armed in the face of an oppressive government force, we would all still speak with an English accent today.
I believe it would be a stretch for anyone to say that we live in a more liberal state than which Thomas Jefferson and John Adams left us on July 4, 1826, the day they died. More aggressive since the conclusion of the Civil War, the Federal government has reduced the liberties of the people. The assault on firearms is relentless, as the rhetoric in DNC debate illustrates. “Standing up to the gun people,” as Bernie Sanders said. We “continue to let people who are on the no-fly list buy guns,” Clinton said, while forgetting we the people have the right to due process preserved in the 14th Amendment. Clinton also said, “the role that guns play in delivering the violence that stalks us,” as if there is someone behind every bush scaring the meek and timid with an ‘evil gun.’ The intent to me seems like a broad Progressive DNC agenda to disarm Americans. Does this agenda have anything to do with the UN Small Arms Trade Treaty? Seems the supposed ‘new world order’ may have been busy at work consorting with their global diplomatic body.
Firearms will not be leaving the sights of Progressives anytime soon. The ideological divide on the issue and others like it have radically divided Americans. Clinton said during the debate, “So guns have to be looked at as its own problem, but we also have to figure out how we’re going to deal with the radicalization here in the United States.” That is how Progressives view gun owners, Constitutionalists. The simple, undeniable fact is that they aren’t able to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” and it should negate their qualifications for the Office of President.
Should one of the contending Progressive candidates garner the favor of the Electoral College, I fear we edge towards a second bloody American civil war. Down the other end of the spectrum, depending on the selected candidate, we could see ourselves marched towards World War III, while greatly divided at home. Arguments could be made that a single foe could unite Americans, but I have my reservations. Until we return to a state of a federal government which abides by its limitations set forth in the Constitution and the principals of liberty the Founding Fathers espoused, the United States will continue to wallow towards the fate of the Roman Empire.
Notes: (1) 2013 statistics referenced because those are the numbers that H. Clinton used.