The other day I urged anyone reading my blog to contact their representative to voice their opposition to anti-gun regulatory efforts. Here is my first salvo to my congressman (sent on March 19, 2009 at 12:45am) concerning H.R. 45:
To The Honorable Patrick J. Tiberi
As I am sure you are well aware, there is great shift in political power undergoing in our society. What were once considered, and legally proven, to be innate rights under our constitution to keep and bear arms are once again under assault. As an honourably discharged and retired member of the military, government employee, NRA member, gun owner, father, husband and concerned citizen I strongly urge you to vote against House Resolution 45, the Blair Holt bill.
First off, I would like to recognise the actions of Blair Holt on May 10, 2007 who gave his life to protects school mates from a gunman who entered his bus. The truest form of heroism is to that act for which you knowingly give your life to save another knowing the risk before hand. I do not wish for my opposition for this bill in any way to be a mark against Mr. Holt or his actions.
I am not writing you blindly without first looking at the legislation as currently presented. I initially looked at the bill due the perceived inclusion of a clause that would require the stamping of serial numbers on ammunition, resulting in exorbitantly increased prices on ammunition and making shooting sport financially prohibited and effectively banned. I did not find it. What I did find was a bill that introduced a worrisome amount of federal oversight into what I see as state issues with concerns to firearms legislation.
Title 1. LICENSING Sections 101 - 105
The issue with a federal firearms license becomes two fold for me.
1. The necessity of this level of censure at the federal level overstepping state authority. I understand the desire to license owners with the provisioning that a license would ensure some type of basic skills or understanding of the rights and responsibilities inherent of ownership; but this is already been proven in practice to be better left to the states. Many more people each year are killed by motor vehicle accidents than in gun related accidents. The federal government has not seen a need before to federally license drivers to ensure that they are proficient in driving skills, this has commonly been the responsibility of the states. Why should firearm ownership be any different? I strongly believe that the states, not the federal government, should retain the right to license it citizenry in these matters, and only if they deem necessary to do so. As a CCW licensee in our great state I can confirm that our state legislature and county sheriffs can more than adequately do this job.
2. There is already federal oversight into the purchase of a firearm by a licensed dealer in the form of a BATF background check completed at the time of each sale. With the recent increase in gun sales after the November Presidential election you may of heard stories about the increased waiting time for these checks. Do we really need yet another layer of federally funded bureaucracy to back this up? What we could use would be laws to make the attempted purchase of a firearm a felony so instead of saying that the BATF successfully prevented thousands of criminals from purchasing firearms, we could have yet another tool to use to help get these criminals off the street.
Section 202 FIREARM RECORDS (b) "Federal Record of Sale System- Not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall establish and maintain a Federal record of sale system, which shall include the information included in each report submitted to the Attorney General under subsection"
Referring to my previous statements concerning BATF background checks, I can only wonder what has been done with the information gathered previous to the introduction of this bill during purchase transactions?
Section 301. UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIREMENT.
This provision is included to close the infamous "gun show loophole". Has there ever been conclusive evidence to show that these events are a problem? No. On the contrary statistics show that <1%> **DAMN, Cut and paste error from the letter!! I pointed out to him that the vast majority of firearms used in illegal activity were not aquired through legal means, gun shops or gun shows**
Section 305. CHILD ACCESS PREVENTION. (gg)(3)(B)"the person is a peace officer, a member of the Armed Forces, or a member of the National Guard, and the child obtains the firearm during, or incidental to, the performance of the official duties of the person in that capacity;"
I take personal offence to the wording of this part of the bill as it seemingly relegates those of us who have served or who are serving in the National Guard as not being members of the military. While I realise the intent was to differentiate members of the military under federal control (title 10 USC) and member under state control (title 32 USC); the wording is a slap in the face to all of us that have served, bled and died while wearing the uniform of a Guardsman. It's funny, the 2 years I spent mobilized since 9/11 not once did anybody ever say I was exempt from the Uniformed Code of Miltary Justice (UCMJ) due to my Guard status.
SEC. 801. INAPPLICABILITY TO GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES.
This section is totally unacceptable. This exempts government agencies from being required to conduct the same licensing requirements that the citizens they are sworn to protect must comply with. I understand that certain precautions and background checks are already assumed to be in force, but when the Lautenberg amendment went in to law back in 1994 we in the military were not exempt, why is this different? This also means that no transaction between the government concerning firearms is required by law to be documented. So if these arms somehow end up in the wrong hands who is to blame and how do we track them?
In conclusion, why I see that this bill was intended for purpose to try and make it more difficult for criminals to gain access to firearms and to safeguard the public in general, it still ignores one basic fact. The vast majority of criminals do not buy they firearms through legitimate means. This is what differentiates the criminals in our society from the remainder of the law abiding citizen gun owners in our country. Passing a federally invasive law limiting my Constitutionally assured rights to keep and bear arms in no way will affect those who knowingly live outside of our laws. The sponsor of this bill comes from a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the county but yet boasts a city beset with firearms violence costing an estimated $2.5 billion a year. What this law will do will erode our personal liberty, state rights and promote an environment where normal citizens will be turning into criminals overnight due to the ignorance and oversight of a few individuals using their moment of power to wage ideological war to their advantage.
I again urge you to oppose this bill.
Now nobody can say I only talk the talk and not walk the walk.
Shoot often and shoot safe!
2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)