The draft language of the Democrats' 2012 platform – set for a final vote this week in Charlotte – argues that current safeguards protecting the public against gun violence are insufficient and urges "an honest and open conversation about firearms."We've been having that conversation since 1968, and it's been both honest and open. It might be instructive to see what they want and the article lays out two of the sticking points.
The document also calls for "reasonable regulation" governing guns, including laws banning assault weapons and requiring all gun sellers – not just licensed dealers – to perform background checks on potential buyers.And there's the problem. We already have laws banning assault weapons. Those laws have been in place since 1934 Fully automatic assault weapons are all-but-banned to the general population. I cannot go out and purchase a rifle like I carried in the Army for most of my career. Their second point would require that if I want to give a gun to a son or grandson that I go through a licensed dealer to have the NICS approve the transfer. Hogwash, all of it.
Don't be misled. What they want is a ban, a total ban, and if anyone tells you anything else, it's also hogwash. We've been having this "open and honest conversation" most of my life and it entails encroaching on my rights. I remember when I could walk into a shop, buy a gun with cash across the counter and walk out with the gun over my shoulder, just as easily as I'd buy a loaf of bread. I bought my first shotgun at age 13, just like that. Since then it's been one "reasonable" regulation after another and no one can prove that any of them have done anything to stop gun violence.
Not anymore. We've been having this conversation for over 40 years. Nothing that the gun banners have done has worked for the simple reason that guns don't commit violence. People commit violence and no one has any idea how to control that.
The problem that the banners have is that they've already lost the conversation. By our collective actions, writing, speaking, talking, teaching, explaining, we've seen a tremendous expansion of gun rights from where it was 20 years ago. The ability to get a concealed carry permit is almost an absolute right, with gun-banning holdout areas excepted. It is interesting to note that the gun banning holdout areas are often the ones with the most gun violence, a trait that we've been able to point out time and time again. Gun banning doesn't work. Look at the places with the most onerous regulations, and look at the crime stats there.
No, they've lost the argument. They've lost in the Courts where expansion of human rights is important to freedom. They've lost in the legislatures, who see their arguments as detrimental to freedom-loving peoples. They've lost in the public opinion, where many people see the benefit of owning, shooting, and passing along firearms. They've lost in the marketplace where the gun industry is the one bright shining spot in this otherwise horrible economy.
They've lost everywhere but those few backwards, anachronistic areas like California, Illinois, and New York. Places that were once vibrant, exciting, and bustling are now shedding businesses, economically stagnant, and horribly violent. Not a place that anyone would want to live. Certainly not any place that a freedom loving person would want to live.
For myself, I'm finished with this conversation, and I'm certainly through being reasonable. When reasonable people negotiate, when they try to compromise on an issue, both sides lose a little to come to a middle ground. It's been my experience with the banners that they never give anything, they never lose anything. It's always my side that loses. We lose rights, we lose freedom. I've got a few ideas of my own, but I'm sure that the banners won't get on board, and I'm saving those thoughts for the conversation. But, my big question for the banners is this. What are you willing to give up? If you want to bring something to the table, you've got to be willing to compromise, you've got to be willing to lose something. What are you bringing to the table?