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What If?

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Before any election, it’s worth asking, “What if?” What if one of the anti-gun politicians now hoping to be president wins and gets their way? We don’t have to wonder what they want, as they’ve been publishing their wish lists of restrictions and bans on your Second Amendment freedoms. All we have to do is take them at their word as we step forward with a Dickensian gaze at our horrifyingly possible gun-control future.

So, imagine it’s 2021, and one of these woke, far-out-there Democrats now duking it out in the primaries has won the White House, and so all they’ve been telling us—warning us!—they’d do to our Second Amendment rights is coming true. Look around. Do you see the hip, free and peaceful place they told you about on Jimmy Fallon?

What these politicians are basically targeting are virtually all popular semi-automatic rifles, and many semi-automatic shotguns and pistols.

Not at all.

A new ban on all semi-automatic rifles would be going into place and it would be far from sedate out there. The new administration, if their campaign promises are honest, would be trying some kind of “buyback” of the 17-million or more AR-15 type rifles American citizens now own. This would be pushing America toward a police state. If the “buyback” were mandatory, as some candidates support, no doubt many police officers might refuse to carry out orders implementing it. The mainstream media would, meanwhile, be loudly taking sides in support. Many people would be marching in protest.

Can you foresee what would happen next? More dystopian rather than Shangri-La, isn’t it? Our federal government would be treating all of this nation’s 100 million-plus gun owners as if they are the bad guys or gals, the criminal element, in the national narrative. The policies these Democratic candidates want, after all, are focused on restricting your freedom, not on targeting criminals.

Too dark a prediction of what their policies would bring? Not hardly. To see this possible future, let’s take a comprehensive look at what former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and the others want.

The White House

Hello, Mr. Bureaucrat
Basically, Americans who have never lost certain rights by committing some felonious act, or who do not fall into some other restricted category, have always been able to gift, buy and sell their firearms amongst themselves without a federal bureaucrat, and all the fees and restrictions inherent in a governmental system, in between them.

Every Democrat now running for president says they would change this. They’d all sign a so-called “universal” background check law (so-called because criminals, by definition, would not abide by the restrictions). Such a law would make gun ownership much more expensive and so would make gun ownership more difficult for the less well-off.

Such a law is also a bureaucratic way to turn more gun owners into criminals, as these complex laws criminalize what has always been normal, law-abiding behavior—some of these suggested laws even make it illegal to hand someone your gun at a range so they can try your new carry pistol or hunting rifle.

These laws are also certainly a step toward a national gun registry, as no “universal” background check law can ever be effective if the government doesn’t know (or think it knows) what guns each individual has—and we know where registries lead.

“Reform advocates are engaged in a valuable discussion about gun reforms that can be achieved by executive action. We must pursue these solutions to the fullest extent of the law, including by redefining anyone ‘engaged in the business’ of dealing in firearms to include the vast majority of gun sales outside of family-to-family exchanges. This will extend requirements—not only for background checks, but all federal gun rules—to cover all of those sales….” wrote Warren in her plan for your Second Amendment rights.

Warren, like the other Democratic candidates, wants to make owning a gun so burdensome and legally perilous that few will dare to exercise  whatever is left of our Second Amendment rights.

You Need a License for That Constitutional Right
Many of these Democratic candidates think you should have to get a license to utilize your Second Amendment rights. Former candidate Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) was the first to announce a policy that would require all gun owners to acquire a license through the federal government. Warren, Buttigieg and others soon echoed support for a national gun-licensing scheme. When he entered the race, Bloomberg announced he is for forcing all gun owners to apply for gun licenses. Biden and Sanders, meanwhile, have both said they want the states to implement their own mandatory gun-licensing systems.

“A license is required to drive a car, and Congress should establish a similarly straightforward federal licensing system for the purchase of any type of firearm or ammunition,” said Warren. Like many of these candidates, she neglects to note that the Second Amendment is a constitutional right, not a legal privilege, as driving is. She wants to force American citizens to apply for their Second Amendment rights. This would create a way for the government to establish gun registration, which then, if history is any teacher, would later create a tool for gun confiscation.

Washington D.C. Capitol building

No, You Can’t Have That
All of these Democrats want to ban so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines, and would prevent people from protecting their hearing by banning the use of suppressors on their firearms.

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The terms “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines are vague, at best, as they are purely political ideations that can only be defined by how a particular law defines them. The definitions of these terms are different in the few states that now ban or restrict these popular products. This means that, as the definition of these phrases is determined by political correctness, their definitions can be forever expanded to cover yet more firearms.

Right now, what these politicians are basically targeting are virtually all popular semi-automatic rifles, and many semi-automatic shotguns and pistols. American citizens now own over 17 million AR-15-type rifles and millions and millions of other semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns. The semi-automatic design has been popular with American citizens for well over a century. Even the AR-15 was first sold by Colt to the American public in the early 1960s—around the same time the company began selling the similar-looking, though not similarly functioning, fully automatic M16s to the U.S. military.

If these commonly owned firearm types are banned or severely restricted, the banned categories would certainly be expanded, as we have already seen occur in states such as California and Connecticut.

A new ban on these popular rifles, and an arbitrary ban on magazine size, would then create a criminal class of now very law-abiding people, just as it has in California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and other states, where perhaps more than a million otherwise law-abiding Americans are now technically living outside the law.

The desire for a police-state roundup of citizens’ commonly owned rifles was expressed by former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” This “hell yes” soon became a rallying cry for opposition to O’Rourke’s stated desire to confiscate Americans’ guns—he soon lost what little ground he had and dropped out.

Some anti-freedom politicians worried aloud that O’Rourke showed too much of their hand.

“I frankly think that that clip will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said on CNN. “I don’t think a majority of the Senate or the country is going to embrace mandatory buybacks. We need to focus on what we can get done.”

Notice that Coons didn’t say he wasn’t for door-to-door gun confiscation, but just that he thought it was not something they could “get done” in America right now.

Biden and Sanders, meanwhile, have only publicly supported so-called voluntary “buyback” programs, as if the government once owned the 17 million-plus AR-15-type rifles now owned by Americans. This, of course, is simply a softer way of saying gun confiscation.

Klobuchar has been coy in this policy area. She has repeatedly said she’d only judge gun-control legislation according to whether it would “hurt [her] Uncle Dick in the deer stand.” Evidently, according to Klobuchar, Uncle Dick wouldn’t mind submitting to a “universal” background check law, to a ban on whatever Klobuchar thinks are “assault weapons,” to the federal government secretly using black lists, such as the terrorist watch list, to take away American citizens’ constitutional rights without due process and more.

“Would closing off the loophole in the terrorist watch list hurt my Uncle Dick in his deer stand? Not at all,” Klobuchar said in 2016—unless, of course, Uncle Dick’s name is similar to someone’s who has been placed on the secret government list.

Goodbye, Gun Makers
This dystopian plan from these presidential candidates also includes shuttered factories and an entire industry—the industry that started the American industrial revolution with Samuel Colt—being run out of business, since all of these Democrats want to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

“As president, I will immediately take executive action to rein in an out-of-control gun industry—and to hold both gun dealers and manufacturers accountable for the violence promoted by their products,” said Warren. To do this, Warren says she would repeal the PLCAA: “Nearly every other industry has civil liability as a check on irresponsible actions, but a 2005 law insulates firearms and dealers from civil liability when a weapon is used to commit a crime, even in cases when dealers were shockingly irresponsible.”

This is a blatant lie—and one repeated by many of these candidates. Anyone who reads the PLCAA will see this law explicitly does not do this. Gun makers and dealers can still be sued and held legally accountable if they make a faulty product or if they break an existing law.

What Warren, and others who want to repeal the PLCAA, want to do is to allow people to sue gun makers and dealers if some criminal uses one of their legally sold products in an illegal way—this is like holding GM (to pick a brand at random) civilly liable after some monster intentionally drives a Cadillac into a crowd of people. Forcing manufacturers to pay for illegal misuse of their products is nothing short of a strategy to drive manufacturers and dealers out of business.

As our gun makers disappeared, the police and the U.S. military would obviously still need firearms, so they’d either have to create some government-controlled manufacturing sector for themselves (good luck with innovation then) or they’d be forced to buy their firearms from companies located in other nations (imagine our military having to rely on getting guns from other countries).

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They’d Change the Rules to Get Their Way
If you’re thinking they might not really get their way, as Congress will need to write and pass these laws, you should realize that many of these candidates have said they’d use executive orders whenever and wherever they can.

Also, even a small majority in both houses, as Barack Obama had, could let them run over your rights, as many of these candidates have said they’d support ending the U.S. Senate’s filibuster rules so that a simple majority of 51 (or of 50, as the vice president breaks U.S. Senate ties) could end your freedom.

“And we’ll make structural changes to end the ability of corrupt extremists to block our government from defending the lives of our people—starting with ending the filibuster,” said Warren. The U.S. Senate’s filibuster rule now requires a 60-vote margin (out of 100) to bust. If her party wins a majority in the U.S. Senate, and if she were to win the presidency, ending this rule would make it easy for her to quickly get her way.

They’d Treat Gun Ownership as an Illness
Most of these Democratic candidates for president have also said they want to allocate a lot of taxpayer money to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to treat gun ownership as if it were a disease.

To accomplish this, they often push the popular myth that the CDC is barred from doing research on gun violence. This misinformation focuses on the “Dickey Amendment,” which was passed in 1996 and named after former Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark). Those making this claim rarely quote the actual amendment because it clearly does not ban the CDC from doing research on gun-violence prevention. The Dickey Amendment simply says: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” That’s it. The Dickey Amendment bars the CDC from politically promoting gun control, not from researching the causes of violence.

The Dickey Amendment was enacted precisely because some officials at the CDC were using their positions to promote their political agenda on guns.

“We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths. We’re doing the most we can do, given the political realities,” said Dr. P.W. O’Carroll, then the acting Section Head of Division of Injury Control of the CDC, in 1989 (this quote ran in the Journal of the American Medical Association). In 1994, O’Carroll’s successor, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, was quoted in The Washington Post saying, “We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. It used to be that smoking was a glamour symbol—cool, sexy, macho. Now it is dirty, deadly—and banned.”

This blatant activism by government scientists who were supposed to be unbiased was responsible for the political fallout that resulted in the passage of the Dickey Amendment.

These Democratic candidates would like to treat gun ownership as a disease because, when you treat a disease epidemic, the first thing you do is reduce the risk factors. With guns, they’d like to use this mixed-up logic (mixed-up because the most dangerous areas in America are mostly the places with the strictest gun-control laws) to ban guns, raise taxes on guns and pass other strict controls.

The America These Policies Would Create
Now picture an individual attempting to live safely in America if these candidates got everything they wanted. If a law-abiding citizen wanted to buy and carry a firearm for self-defense, they’d have to first apply for a federal license. This would mean passing tests and perhaps proving to local and federal authorities that they really, really need their right to bear arms in what would be a “may-issue” (meaning, at the government’s discretion) nation.

A person would then, if they were approved, have to pay exorbitant fees and take classes. Maybe if they made it through that gauntlet, they could go gun shopping. The thing is, as most manufacturers would have been driven out of business by what should be frivolous lawsuits, they wouldn’t have many choices. If Biden got his way, they’d only have so-called “smart guns” to choose from.

If they made it through all of that, they’d still have to navigate a complex web of laws and restrictions. If they inadvertently wandered within a certain number of feet of certain buildings—provided carrying a firearm for personal protection is still permitted—and so entered a “gun-free zone,” they’d quickly become felons. Maybe their government “smart gun” would even automatically deactivate and send the police a text message telling the authorities that this gun owner needs to be prosecuted, as they clearly can’t be trusted with their rights.

Meanwhile, the elites—just think Michael Bloomberg—would still have exemptions for their private security details while average Americans live in helpless dependence.

Article by Frank Miniter, Editor in Chief

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