GUN CONTROL: what's the reason?

By Harry V. Martin

Copyright FreeAmerica and Harry V. Martin, 1995

"The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

Thomas Jefferson
Gun control is one of the hottest topics of the nineties. There has been a series of legislation on both the State and Federal level attempting to control the ownership and sale of guns. There are currently 31 bills in the State Legislature right now that address the gun control issue.

The debate over gun control centers on the issue of safety, on one side, and freedom on the other. Public opinion polls show the majority of Americans now favor some form of gun control. But at the same time the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the people the right to bear arms. The increased possession of guns by gangs and criminals has caused great alarm, some mass killings such as the Stockton School Yard shootings and the Yseda McDonald's shootings have increased that alarm.

But in the quest for gun control also comes the erosion of rights. This erosion is found in a confidential memorandum concerning a White House brainstorming session over how to control guns over the next five years and also projections into the next 15 years. The plan, outlined on December 29, 1993, states: "What was only a dream ten years ago can be a reality as early as this year. After the meeting, the following ideas were the result of brainstorming session to guide the focus of gun control initiatives over the next five years. These may not be politically feasible ideas for 1994, but we are confident that with continued pressure we can achieve most if not all of these goals within the next five years." That White House session was held on Friday, December 17, 1993.

The plan outlines how the media is to receive one press release a day to keep the gun control issue on a high profile with the public. "Many local news organizations have been very active in keeping the gun control issue resolutely in view," the report states. The plan is as follows:

1. National licensing of all handgun purchases. This is the top priority.

2. Licenses fors rifle and shotguns.

3. State licenses for ownership of firearms. The license has to be signed by three public officials.

4. Reduction of the number of guns to require an Arsenal license. Ownership of five guns and 250 rounds of ammunition would be considered a arsenal. An arsenal license fee would be at least $300 annually up to $1000. An arsenal license would not be permitted in counties with populations of more than 200,000.

5. Require a Federally approved storage safe for all guns.

6. Inspection license. Mandatory inspection of all safes with an annual fee.

7. Ban the manufacturing of weapons in counties with a populations of more than 200,000.

8. Banning all military style firearms.

9. Banning any machine gun parts or parts which can be used in a machine gun.

10. Banning the carrying of a firearm anywhere but home or target range or in transit from one to the other. 11. Banning replacement parts except barrel and trigger group.

12. Elimination of the Curio Relic list.

13. Control of ammunition belonging to certain surplus firearms.

14. Eventual ban of handgun possession. A total ban within five years.

15. Banning of any ammo that fits military guns dating back to as far as 1945.

16. Banning of any quantity of smokeless powder or black powder.

17. Ban on the possession of explosive powders.

18. Banning of high powered ammo or wounding ammo.

19. A national license required for possession of ammunition.

20. Banning or strict licensing of all re-loading components.

21. National registration of ammunition or ammo buyers.

22. Requirement of special storage safe for ammunition and licensing.

23. Restricting gun ranges to counties with populations of less than 200,000.

24. Special licensing of ranges, which also requires each existing or new shooting range required to get written permission of all property owners within a radius of seven miles.

25. Special Range tax to visitors, requiring the collection of a minimum of $85 per visit per person.

26. Waiting period for rentals on pistol ranges.

27. Banning gun shows.

28. Banning of historical military reenactments.

29. Making unlawful the assembly of more than four armed individuals who are not peace officers or military.

30. Begin to curb hunting on all public lands.

31. Making gun owners records and photos a matter of public record.

32. Random Police checks for weapons including vehicle stops and checks at all levels and in all types of neighborhoods.

The fifteen year plan would call for the following:

1. Banning of all military accouterments including clothing, pouches, gear, boots, etc.

2. Stricter guidelines for violence in television and movies.

3. The total elimination of arms from the society.

4. Control of dangerous literature.

Handgun license fees are suggested at $50-$75 the first two years, rising to $150 to $250 annually the following two years, and $550 to $625 annually from year five through eight. A range license would be $12,100 a year.

Implementation of these programs the White House conference group seeks a low-key approach. "Pending issues to be given at the appropriate time to the LCAV office for investigation as to feasibility, implementation and public reaction. At no time should these suggestions be made public before we can ascertain the current public reaction and provide the results of these studies to the LCAV attorneys." It adds, "There are some ideas which are ahead of their time and would only be feasible through a concerted Public Relations campaign over the period of years. A Public Relations campaign includes press releases, press conferences, direct lobbying and constant pressure via the national media."

How does this compare with the Second Amendment of the Constitution? The regulations are not compatible and also violate right of free assembly, as well. America, faced with violence and blood shed, is torn between protecting herself from the criminals and maintaining the right of free citizens, non-criminals, to bear arms and protect themselves against the criminal element., or perhaps, as Thomas Jefferson suggested, a tyrannical government. The debate is just beginning, but rather than wait for the secret White House plan to gradually filter out into the public, we felt it was our responsibility to bring it to our readership as a whole so they can commence their own debate. How far is protection and how much is Big Brother?