, Salem, MA

January 17, 2013

My view: Gun controls will strip citizens of their rights

My View
Anthony Mirabito

---- — It is surprising that despite all the flag-waving and patriotic fervor most Americans take part in, few actually pay heed to the principles of this country’s Founding Fathers. In fact, most not only pay no respect to the wisdom of those men, they seek political ends contrary to the Constitution of the United States.

As the government sells all taxpayers into debt slavery to the Federal Reserve Bank under the rubric of “quantitative easing” and Americans are conditioned to a police state with their grandmothers being molested at the airport, yet another pillar in the Bill of Rights is about to fall.

I’m not talking about the Fourth Amendment. That was eliminated on the eve of 2012 with President Obama’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the president to seize and indefinitely detain American citizens belligerent to the state with no due civil process. It provides that citizens may be tried before secret military tribunals and renditioned to another country.

Now it is the Second Amendment’s turn to be rescinded. Tragic as it was, the Newtown, Conn., school shooting tragedy is being exaggerated to the point that national and state legislators are openly seeking the seizure of arms from legally licensed gun owners.

According to the FBI, more Americans are killed every year by fists and strangulation than by rifles. More Americans are killed every year by clubs and knives than by rifles. Ten times as many people die every year from bad interactions with prescription medications than perish as the victim of a homicide by a gun. Yet despite the fact that you are more likely to die in an accident caused by deer crossing the road than become the victim of a mass shooting, the stalwart defense of private citizens against tyranny will likely be revoked very soon.

On the federal level, the Obama administration knows it is unlikely to have the votes in Congress to pass an outright ban and seizure of tactical rifles. Therefore, Vice President Biden is floating the idea that Obama will act via executive order to accomplish his objective. An executive decree that bypasses the Congress to eliminate a constitutional right would, in the context of history, be viewed as treason. Sadly, such is not the case in contemporary politics.

Closer to home, state Rep. David Linsky of Natick is working on proposed regulations to put before the Joint Committee of the Judiciary that would:

Ban all tactical (“assault”) rifles and require them to be surrendered during a grace period by any permit holder currently in legal possession of such a weapon. (To induce compliance, this program may be initiated as a buyback program that will be funded from the state’s general fund.)

Require gun permit holders and applicants to sign a waiver so police chiefs can audit the medical records of licensed gun owners for evidence of mental illness or other disqualifying factors in the renewal and issuance of gun licenses.

Ban all large-capacity magazines for any rifle and require that any non-banned rifles capable of receiving a high-capacity magazine (that’s most rifles) be stored at central repositories or gun clubs, and not in one’s home.

Require all permit holders to obtain liability insurance.

These regulations are in fact going to make the availability of weapons easier for criminals. Many of these weapons will not be forfeited but instead go on to be trafficked in the black market.

Meanwhile, legal gun owners are having their licenses suspended even without these regulations due to the inability of local police chiefs to keep current with renewals. Requiring chiefs to obtain and review every license holder’s medical records will further eliminate gun owners’ rights under a crushing bureaucracy.

If those two regulations don’t do the job alone, surely the expense of obtaining insurance and storing weapons outside the home will put an end to the important constitutional legacy of an armed citizenry.

Make no mistake: The true political impetus for these attempts to disarm America is not the safety of schoolchildren. If it were, there would be armed administrators at every school, as there are in Israel, where such a program eliminated schools as a target of terrorists. The aim of gun confiscation is to disarm the citizens before our collectivist government collapses under its failed policies.


Anthony Mirabito is a resident of Middleton. He has written previously for the opinion pages.