The Totalitarianism of Universal Background Checks
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The Totalitarianism of Universal Background Checks

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Finally, some sanity, and from a somewhat unexpected source. The ACLU is concerned about the ...

Finally, some sanity, and from a somewhat unexpected source. The ACLU is concerned about the
civil liberties implications of the new Harry Reid Senate bill to establish so-called “universal
background checks” for firearms purchases. The organization has tended toward silence on gun
rights, but at least now it recognizes aspects of the problem with this terrible proposal.

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The Totalitarianism of Universal Background Checks The Totalitarianism of Universal Background Checks Document Transcript

  • The Totalitarianism of Universal BackgroundChecksAnthony Gregoryindependent.orgApril 8, 2013Finally, some sanity, and from a somewhat unexpected source. The ACLU is concerned about thecivil liberties implications of the new Harry Reid Senate bill to establish so-called “universalbackground checks” for firearms purchases. The organization has tended toward silence on gunrights, but at least now it recognizes aspects of the problem with this terrible proposal.Ever since Sandy Hook, the Obama administration and its progressive choir have demanded a newAssault Weapons Ban (AWB). Now it looks like that plan is toast. California Senator Dianne Feinsteinblames gun owners and the NRA, and in a sense we should have expected all along that this proposalwould get nowhere. Such a ban would mostly target “semi-automatic” rifles—which, despite all thehysterics, simply refers to any standard rifle that fires one round each time the trigger is pulled—thathappen to have esthetic elements like the pistol grip that do not in fact add to the weapons’ lethality.This is the nonsensical standard used to ban some classes of weapons instrumentally identical to theones banned in 1994.The first AWB devastated the Democrats politically, and probably contributed as much as anything tothe Republicans’ crushing victory in the 1994 congressional elections after forty years in the legislativeminority. It also hurt Al Gore in his run against George W. Bush in 2000. The ban generally prohibitedordinary but scary looking rifles, which are used in about two percent of violent crimes committed withfirearms. The law did not apply to, say, most of the weapons used at the Columbine school massacre in1999. But it did interfere with Americans’ basic right to own what we can fairly call the modern versionof the musket. Millions of Americans own such weapons like the AR-15, the most popular rifle and one
  • targeted by the Democrats’ proposal for a new, robust AWB. These weapons are used for hunting, sport,and self-defense. They are not, despite all the misinformation to the contrary, repeating, military-stylerifles.In any event, the unpopularity of an AWB always doomed this proposal, especially under a Democraticpresident as distrusted on the right as Obama. The Republicans have the House and too manyDemocrats in the Senate are loyal to their gun-owning constituents.So this whole time, the real threat to our firearms freedom has been these less debated, peripheralproposals—proposals that strip people the state deems “mentally ill” of the right to bear arms,proposals that violate the civil rights of released convicts, proposals to increase penalties for violationsof current law, and, as disturbing as anything, proposals to institute “universal background checks.”The gun restrictionists have pointed to polls showing more than 90% approval of such backgroundchecks, including among a vast majority of conservatives, Republicans, and gunowners. Liberty isalways attacked on the margins, and most Americans don’t go to gun shows and so don’t see the bigdeal. Surely the state should know who is armed. Surely we don’t want people buying and selling gunsfreely.But, in fact, universal background checks are arguably even more tyrannical than banning wholeclasses of weapons. Why should the government know who is armed? Why shouldn’t people beallowed to freely buy and sell private property without government permission? Half of Americans seebackground checks as the first step toward full registration then confiscation. Many fear that the newlaw would create records of these deals that would not immediately be destroyed, which could formdatabases or enable government in further nefarious purposes. The progressives have tended to regardany of these worries as paranoia, but it looks like the ACLU is now among the paranoid.There is no need to discuss pure hypotheticals. There have been gun confiscations in the United States.After the Civil War, officials conducted confiscations to disarm American Indians and blacks becamethe target in the Jim Crow South. Confiscations followed Hurricane Katrina, along with the rest of thegovernment’s martial law response. Since many gun controllers openly say they want a total ban ofcertain kinds of firearms, or all firearms, why wouldn’t gunowners fear that registration will lead toconfiscation? The U.S. president promised that he would not take away Americans’ rifles, then wentahead and proceeded to propose to do just that. Add all of this to the database growth, the warrantlesswiretapping, the domestic surveillance drones, the frightening executive power grabs concerning
  • detention, interrogation, andexecutions, and the overallmilitarization of policing thathas unfolded thanks to thewars on drugs and terror, andit seems fairly appropriatethat in the age of Bush andObama, civil libertarians ofall stripes would resi st thedrive toward universalbackground checks oranything with such anOrwellian name as that.This whole matter shouldalso remind us of theinterlocking nature ofpersonal liberties. Abolishingthe Second Amendmentnecessarily means abolishingthe Fourth as well. Just askthe millions of black andHispanic young men stopped and frisked in New York City in the name of gun control and with thepurpose, as the police commissioner reportedly put it, to “instill fear” of police in these demographicgroups. It is the violations of privacy that concern the ACLU, but anyone jealous of her security in herpapers, persons, and effects should recoil at the thought of the state collecting these records. Of course, it should go without saying that when it comes to criminal enterprise, universal background checks are unenforceable. In a country with as many guns as there are people, criminals and the state will always get the weapons they want. Firearms are easier to manufacture than many illegal drugs, and we see how well the state has stamped those out. The rapid developments in 3-D printing makes it even crazier that we’d still be talking about gun control as anything but a threat to the liberty of the law abiding. The AWB looks defeated for now, but perhaps that was always known to be inevitable by our cynical civilian disarmament fetishists in Washington, DC. Perhaps the real goal was to get what could be gotten now—the beginnings of a national database of every lawful gun owner. The so-called gun show loophole—the freedom of owners to sell firearms to one another with few encumbrances—is a pocket of liberty. Closing this loophole would be a tragedy. We can only hope that civil libertarians across the spectrum ban together to challenge this march to erode these core freedoms.
  • Is It ‘Necessary And Proper’ For The Feds ToRegulate U.S. Citizens ‘From Cradle To Grave’?Donna AndersonInfowars.comApril 8, 2013On April 17, 2013, The Supreme Court of the UnitedStates will be hearing a case which could have far-reaching effects. In the case of United States v. AnthonyJames Kebodeaux, the central issue is: Can the UnitedStates use the Necessary and Proper Clause to assertperpetual jurisdiction over American citizens and controltheir lives from “cradle to grave?”In 1999, 21-year-old Anthony Kebodeaux was convictedof having consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl andsentenced to 3 months in prison. After serving hissentence, Kebodeaux was released from federal custody,free from any post-release parole or probationrequirements, and was no longer a member of themilitary. Essentially, Kebodeaux was a free man with nofurther ties to the federal government that would justifyhis continued and indefinite supervision.At the time of his release in 1999 Texas state law required that sex offenders register with localauthorities whenever they moved within the state or changed jobs. Even though Kebodeaux had beenreleased unconditi onally, he followed the law and registered each time he moved.In 2008 Kebodeaux moved from San Antonio to El Paso, Texas, an intrastate move, but this time hefailed to update his address within the three-day window required by the federal Sex OffenderRegistration and Notification Act (SORNA), and he was sentenced to one year and one day in federalprison.The only problem is – SORNA wasn’t enacted until 2006, seven years after Kebodeaux’s unconditionalrelease. The state of Texas might have chosen to prosecute Kebodeaux for failing to register in El Paso,however, given the nat ure of his offense, the length of time that had passed and the fact that he was unconditionally released, Texas really wasn’t concerned that Kebodeaux missed his three-day deadline. But, should the federal government be able to step in and, using a law that wasn’t even on the books, reach into a state and assert jurisdiction over an individual? The feds say yes , and they cite the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses of the U.S. Constitution to back up their argument. Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. At the time of his arrest, federal authorities
  • claimed they had the right tooverride Texas authoritiesbecause it was “necessaryand proper” in order toprotect the citizens of theUnited States. Kebodeauxcould, theoretically, movefrom Texas to another state,which falls under theCommerce clause, althoughit’s quite a stretch. And hisflagrant disregard forSORNA – a law whichwasn’t even in effect whenhe was releasedunconditionally – made hima threat to citizens all acrossAmerica.Members of The CatoInstitute say no and, joined by Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University School ofLaw, they’ve filed an amicus brief challenging the Supreme Court to decide if Congress has unlimitedjurisdiction and the power to “regulate an individual from cradle to grave.”The Cato Institute, founded in 1977, is a public policy research organization “dedicated to theprinciples of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analystsconduct independent, nonpartisan resea rch on a wide range of policy issues.” In 2012 Cato filed asuccessful brief regarding Obamacare and argued that the government cannot use the Commerce andNecessary and Proper Clauses to compel someone to purchase health insurance.Section 8 of the Constitution was drafted to limit the powers of Congress, and in most cases it’s veryexplicit. However, the “Necessary and Proper” clause of Article 8 of the U.S. Constitution almosterases those limitations and gives Congress free rein. The clause gives Congress the power “To makeall laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and allother powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States.”Cato’s brief says the Necessary and Proper clause is a “back door to unconstrained federal power, and itis essential for this Court to enforce the requirement of propriety.” Further, the brief states that thegovernment claims their assertion of power in this case is modest because it’s limited to people with“greater ties” to federal jurisdiction.The problem, says Ca to, is that there are huge numbers of people who have ties to federal jurisdictionwhich are just as “great” or greater than Kebodeaux’s. If allowed to stand, this “unconstrained federalauthority to register, regulate, and detain all of these persons clearly constitutes a new great andindependent realm of federal power.”Kebodeaux served his additional one year and one day in federal prison, but Cato argues that it was anunlawful conviction – SORNA was not even a law at the time of his original conviction, Kebodeauxdid not move out of Texas, and he’d had been released unconditionally. If Kebodeaux’s federalconviction is allowed to stand anyone in America who’s ever been in federal custody, or otherwise infederal jurisdiction, could be subject to this unlimited abuse of power.
  • Warning to gun grabbers: If gun rightsare lost, you will soon lose free speechMike AdamsNatural NewsApril 8, 2013Public Protests, Art, Blogs And The Right To A Fair TrialAll those who value free speech, art, public protests, internet blogs and due process should be wagingan all-out information war right now to defend the Second Amendment . Why? Because if the SecondAmendment is lost due to unconstitutional legislative and executive actions pursued by thegovernment, then there are no limits to what civil liberties and individual freedoms thegovernment can declare null and void.All those who are arguing for infringements of Second Amendment liberties (universal registration,banning AR-15s, criminalizing high-capacity magazines, etc.) are effectively arguing to hand thefederal government the precedent it needs to criminalize free speech, religion, public protests, internetblogs, Youtube videos and more.In effect, gun grabbers are arguing for the government to have the power to overturn the Bill of Rightswhen it is popular to do so. But such power will inevitably end up being used in circumstances neverenvisioned by the gun grabbers… and often in the hands of someone they hoped would never hold theoffice of President such as a third member of the Bush regime.The Bill of Rights isn’t optionalYou can’t have a half-way Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights either means what it says and strictly limitsthe reach of the federal government, or it means nothing and all the individual rights and libertiesenumerated in the Bill of Rights are null and void.Those include the right to exercise whatever religion you choose and not have the state mandate whatchurch you must attend; the right to speak your mind and even criticize the government without fear of
  • being prosecuted for your opinions; the right todue process and a trial of your peers if chargedwith a crime; and the right to be safe in yourperson and effects (your home) without beingsubjected to illegal searches and seizures.If the Second Amendment is nullified, then so isyour right to remain silent. Without the FifthAmendment, the government can (and will)torture you until you “admit guilt” for whatevercrimes they claim you have committed. This isalready being planned for Aurora Coloradoshooter James Holmes, who prosecutors now saywill be subjected to injections of a “truth serum”so that he will confess to his crimes.Folks, there is no such thing as a truth serum.It’s a science fiction fantasy. What Holmes isbeing subjected to is torture until he “confesses”to the crime. This is precisely what awaits allAmericans if the government is not held to thelimits of the Bill of Rights.If the Second Amendment goes, the First Amendment will soon followOnce the dismantling of the Bill of Rights is tolerated, there will be no stopping the government’splanned destruction of all its provisions, including the First Amendment. With freedom of speechdestroyed, all websites, blogs and online videos will be deleted or shut down unless they are approvedby the government. All art must be government approved before being published or publiclydisplayed (First Amendment). Anyone charged with a crime can be held indefinitely, without charge,while the government waits for them to “rot in prison” for the rest of their lives (Sixth Amendment).Gun control advocates are, almost by definition, ignorant of history. They foolishly believe that themore power government is granted, the more compassionate, fair and just that government will behave.History has shown exactly the opposite: power corrupts, and when power is centralized in the hands ofthe few, it is almost always exploited in a manner that brings great harm to the People.America’s founders understood this, which is why the Bill of Rights was written and ratified. Powermust necessarily be distributed (decentralized) for freedom to flourish, and the primary purpose of theBill of Rights was to enumerate lines in the sand that the government cannot cross.Those who are arguing for gun restrictions today are hopeless fools who seem oblivious to the tyrannythey are bringing down upon themselves. In order to achieve one limited political goal, they willsurrender all rights and freedoms to a government that will then recognize no limits whatsoever to itspower. When gun control laws pass, they think they are “winning,” but what they’re actually doing isconstructing unintentional prisons that will enslave their children and grandchildren.Fortunately, many of us do understand history, and we will not allow the ignorant masses to destroy ourfundamental rights and freedoms. We will fight these efforts with every means available, beginningwith information and judicial strategies, but progressing to fighting enemies of America with physicalforce if necessary to defend the Republic.Curiously, every U.S. Senator, Congressperson, President, police officer, district attorney and other“official” takes a sworn oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies,
  • foreign and domestic. Yet intheir actions, many of thesepeople prove that they arethemselves the very enemiescited in that oath of office. It isthe job of the People to forceour representatives to keeptheir oaths of office, first at theballot box if effective, but thenusing incrementally moreforceful means as necessary tokeep government in check. ThePeople are the commanders oftheir government, but if theyrefuse to remind governmentwho is in charge, it is they whoare soon commanded by government tyrants.All laws that violate the Bill of Rights are null and voidAny law passed by either state government or the federal government is immediately null and void if itviolates the Bill of Rights. This is why the U.S. Supreme Court declared in its landmark 1803 decisionof Marbury vs. Madison:“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”But this truth does not require a Supreme Court to make it so… it is self-evident under common law.Thus, any member of government who attempts to enforce an unconstitutional law is acting in violationof civil rights and the legal protections guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. Importantly, no citizen isobliged to follow unlawful orders even if directed by an apparent “law enforcement” authority.If a police officer, for example, tells you to “go murder that woman standing on the street corner,” youhave no obligation to follow such an order because it describes a criminal act. Similarly, a police officeror lawmaker commanding you to surrender your rifle is also an unlawful request, and no citizen has any obligation to follow it. This is even true if local laws have been passed that violate the Bill of Rights. For example, if the police chief of New York City says you must surrender your rifle because New York has passed a law criminalizing the possession of such a rifle, you are under no legitimate legal obligation to do so because such laws are unconstitutional and illegal. That doesn’t mean you still won’t be arrested and thrown in prison while your case eventually makes its way to the Supreme Court, of course. Tyrants do not abide by laws unless they are forced to do so by the People… which is precisely the point of having a Second Amendment in the first place. No government can be trusted to remain honest and representative of the People unless the People possess the means of force to overthrow a
  • corrupt, criminal government and replace it withlegitimate, constitutional government.Why gun grabbers are the true “anti-government”extremistsThe mainstream media and the White House attempt totwist these ideas by branding anyone who disagrees withthe government as an “anti-government” extremist. Butthat’s not the case at all: Most patriots aren’t anti-government at all. They are simply anti-corruptgovernment while being pro Constitutionalgovernment.People who advocate gun control today are actually“anti-constitutional government” extremists because theirideas extremely diverge from the laws of the land (theConstitution and Bill of Rights). What could be moreextreme than suggesting the People have no rights and that the government has total power to decidewhich rights in the Bill of Rights it wishes to recognize?Gun grabbers are the true anti-government people because they are enemies of the legitimate andlawful government of America. Rather than constitutional government, they wish to see an illegitimate,unlawful government usurp power and run the country as a police state that respects no limits to itspower. That’s the type of government desired by foolishly dangerous people like Rachel Maddow,Michael Moore, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden and others.Imagine if Bloomberg were given the power to rewrite the Constitution…Think about it: If people like Bloomberg had their way, there would be no Constitution, no Bill ofRights, no due process, no trial by jury and no free market choices whatsoever. The people would haveno rights and freedoms, and the government would simply dictate to them what they could buy, eat,drink, think, speak, write and more. All forms of expression would be tightly regulated by thegovernment, and anyone who was labeled “guilty” by the government would be immediately sentencedwithout trial or even a requirement of any evidence being presented.This is the world being created by gun control advocates. Yet, in the end, they owe gun owners a hugedebt because it is gun owners who will halt the march of tyranny in America. We will protect therights and liberties of all Americans — including those who are seeking to take away our rights. Thepurpose of the Second Amendment has always been to protect the integrity of all the otheramendments, including the First. The only reason people like Jim Carrey can attack gun rights inAmerica is because the Second Amendment has put enough guns in the hands of enough Americans todissuade the government from destroying the First Amendment.Finally, I know there are a few readers, mostly younger people, who cannot imagine government everbecoming “evil” or “tyrannical,” and they think this talk of the Second Amendment being needed toprotect the rights and freedoms of Americans sounds outlandish. To those people I say you areuninformed. You are ignorant of history, and you would be wise to learn history now, lest youinadvertently become part of it in the very near future. http://www.infowars.com/