First, it is not beyond the pale to consider background checks not only the death of our right to keep and bear arms, it is also the death of our Bill of Rights. I’ll show you why.
Second, do you know the difference between a “right” and a “privilege”? A right is something the citizen may exercise without government knowledge, consent, interference, or oversight. It is beyond the lawful reach of government at any level. A privilege, on the other hand, is something the citizen may do if government permits it, and if government permits it, government may revoke the permission at any time of its choosing, for any reason or no reason, and the citizen has nothing to say about it. (Nothing binding, anyway.) Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something.
We have a Constitutional Bill of Rights. It’s not a bill of privileges, and it is not a bill of suggestions. Any claim that the Bill of Rights only restrains the federal government, or only applies to the States if the Supreme Court says so, is a – pardon my vernacular – a crock of crap. This kind of suggestion is borne of subversions introduced into our legal system before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, and it is time we put a stop to them. Some of those subversions were introduced “innocently” (in a sense) because, while our founders were brilliant men, the people around them were used to a feudal structure and not a liberty structure – they didn’t know how to deal with it, and they made mistakes because liberty scared them. But truthfully, many, if not nearly all, were intentional subversions and actual insurrections against our Constitution and Bill of Rights because … well, the concept of citizen sovereignty over government is an abomination to certain very powerful people. It sticks in their craw. It is a direct attack on their core philosophy, and their core philosophy is that they are the rightful masters of humankind, and they intend to govern. They are narcissists, and they cannot abide the fact that ordinary people have the right and the capability to say “Up yours!” and make it stick with force of arms if necessary.
Do you know of any other right that that requires a citizen to undergo a compelled interrogation under penalty of perjury as a precondition to receiving (or being denied) permission to exercise it? Or a compelled search of his private papers and effects on government databases?
Look at the Bill of rights: Is there any right listed there that requires government permission to exercise?
Look at the U.S. Constitution: Is there any Article, Section, or Clause that authorizes government to issue or deny permission to exercise any of the Rights listed in the Bill of Rights?
Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The purchase of a firearm is not probable cause of criminal conduct and the purchaser is a person. By what authority does the federal government compel an interrogation under penalty of perjury as a precondition to issuing or denying permission it does not have the authority to issue or deny?
Important: Are you willing to waive your guaranteed right above against warrantless search and seizure in exchange for government permission to exercise a right government has no authority to require?
Fifth Amendment in pertinent part: “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; …”
Compelling an interrogation under penalty of perjury – that’s a threat of criminal sanction – and a search as a precondition to issuing or denying permission to purchase a firearm is not due process and the purchaser is a person.
Are you willing to give up your guaranteed right above to be secure from being deprived of your life, liberty, or property without due process in exchange for government permission to exercise a right government has no authority to require?
Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Can you cite any Article, Section, or Clause of the U.S. Constitution authorizing the federal government to even license firearm dealers? How about any authority to violate the Fourth or Fifth Amendment as a precondition to allowing a citizen to exercise a fundamental Constitutionally-guaranteed right? Putting a finer Constitutional point on it, where is the authority delegated to the federal government to even take notice of a private citizen’s purchase of a firearm? Or to oversee, monitor, database, infringe upon the right, or interfere with the purchase or sale in any way?
Second Amendment in pertinent part:* “… (T)he right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” (Period. Full-stop. End of story.)
Subversive Constitutional insurrectionist Michael Bloomberg and a couple of his wealthy cronies like Bill Gates spent close to 10 million dollars suckering the citizens of Washington State into passing a voter initiative requiring that every transfer of a firearm, even a temporary one for purposes of inspection or training at a range, be preconditioned by a background check conducted through a firearm dealer. Does a State have the lawful power to violate the Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments, and impose an a priori restraint on the Second, just because a bunch of voter said so? (Hint: Read the prohibition clause of the Tenth Amendment.)
No, States are prohibited that authority, and the voting majority doesn’t have the authority to overcome that prohibition. We do not live in a democracy, folks, we live in a Constitutional Republic in which no one, private citizens or government functionaries, have the lawful power to deprive anyone of their fundamental guaranteed rights.**
Bloomberg and his cronies now have their sights set on Nevada, and Arizona, and Maine. Their success in Washington and in those other States will determine whether they destroy our Bill of Rights in the rest of the country or not.
In conclusion, let me point out that background checks have never prevented the criminal misuse of firearms in the history of the planet, and they were never intended to. The backers of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 knew background checks would never accomplish that stated goal, but they knew it would eventually accomplish something very dear to their hearts: Rendering the Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, and ultimately the Second, Amendments irrelevant.
If you have any desire to see America be restored to a nation founded and perpetuated on principles of personal liberty under the rule of law, do not, ever, vote for any law compelling a background check as a precondition to exercising any right, and let’s mount an effort to repeal the unconstitutional Brady handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, and do away with government licensing of gun dealers and background checks. Then we can repeal the unconstitutional Gun Control Act of 1968 that made the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (and now Explosives) the most powerful gun control tyrants in the history of the planet.
*I did not quote the preamble to the Second Amendment, which says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, …” because the founders and the Supreme Court have both made it clear that while the preamble gives the reason for the right, the operative clause I quoted is not in any way limited by the preamble. The people have the right to keep and bear arms. (We also have a right to a Constitutional militia of the people, but that is a different, though closely-related, issue.)
**States do have, under the Police Power, the authority to regulate the use of arms, i.e., where, when, under what safety rules, etc., but the Second Amendment prohibits exercise of any State power to infringe or interfere in any way with the right to keep and bear arms.
Comments and discussion is welcome, and if you know of a website or individual or media outlet who needs this information, feel free to pass it on to them without alteration, and attributed to me as follows:
You cannot arm slaves and expect them to remain slaves.
Nor can you disarm a free people and expect them to remain free.
–Donald L. Cline