Rushville Republican

June 11, 2013

Barada: Gun scare is a lot of hot air

Paul W. Barada
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — It’s obvious that many people really believe that, somehow or other, it’s possible for the government to take their firearms away. The surge in the purchase of firearms is proof enough that people believe that the federal government has the power to ban the sale of all types of firearms and that the general public had better buy more guns and ammunition now, before the sale of weapons and ammunition is illegal.

It’s time to get a grip, folks; it’s not possible for the “government” to do either of those things: confiscate firearms or ban the sale of them, despite what anyone may hear or despite what anyone may say. Stop and think about either of those scenarios for a minute, and the impossibility of either event happening ought to become clear.

First, for the federal government to seize privately owned firearms, the Congress of the United States would have to pass legislation banning the ownership of any type of firearm. Then the President would have to sign the legislation and the Supreme Court would have to uphold the constitutionality of the law before it could be enacted. Friends, that’s just not going to happen! There is no way in the world that both houses of Congress are going to pass legislation making it illegal to possess firearms. For one thing, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United Sates guarantees the right of the people to “keep and bear arms.” More specifically, the Second Amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” To have any sort of firearms ban would require amending the Constitution. Again, that just isn’t going to happen. For an amendment to be made to the Constitution, 38 of the 50 states would have to approve it, and that’s definitely not going to happen. The Bill of Rights is just not going to be swept aside that easily. It has been in place since 1791, for heaven’s sake. So, a little clear-headed thinking should tell everyone that the government can’t simply pass a law that would prevent the sale or the ownership of firearms.

Now, let’s talk about the federal government seizing privately held weapons. Even if a law allowing that to happen were passed, which will never happen, how could it realistically be done? There are over 300 million privately owned firearms in this country. Is the government going to create a “Firearms Police” to go from house to house clear across the nation seizing weapons? The practicality of actually doing that is absurd. Logistically, it makes no sense at all, aside from the fact that there’s that little clause in the Constitution that says people cannot be denied life, liberty or property without due process of law; it’s called the “due process” clause. In other words, for anyone to be denied the ownership of property, which includes firearms, a court would have to order it. Once again, the Second Amendment to the Constitution would prevent the state or the federal government from seizing privately owned firearms, regardless of the outcome of any lawsuit on the issue. So, put simply, seizure of firearms just isn’t going to happen.

So, why are people rushing out to buy more firearms? It seems clear that many are afraid that the Congress will, somehow or other, ban the sale of firearms. While, I suppose, that’s theoretically possible, once again, it’s just not going to happen. At most, Congress could make it more difficult to buy a rifle or handgun. Legislation could be passed requiring background checks to prevent convicted felons or those not totally sane from buying weapons, but for the vast majority of law abiding citizens, there’s just no way that Congress is going to pass legislation that purports to ban the sale of firearms. It’s just not going to happen!

Congress might pass legislation limiting the size of magazines used in semi-automatic weapons. Or they could limit the caliber of weapons that private citizens can own. But the chances of either of those things passing both Houses of Congress are so small as to be miniscule – for one thing the people of this country would not stand for it, and any group of Congressmen or Senators that supported a ban like that are just about guaranteed to be in office only one term. We, the people, after all, decide who we’re going to vote for; and, if we don’t want bans on magazine size or caliber size, most of us aren’t going to vote for any candidate who does!

As a practical matter, what difference does it make whether we defend out homes and property with a .22, .30, .38, .45 or a .50 caliber weapon? All of them will do the trick. And if Congress should even limit magazine size to, let’s say, 10 rounds, so what? All the average person would have to do is buy several 10-round magazines and keep them handy. God forbid that anybody would even have to use 10 rounds to defend their property, but were that to happen and more rounds needed to be fired, all anyone would have to do is just drop out the empty magazine and slap in a new, fully loaded one.

All that notwithstanding, the chances of the federal government ever passing laws that prohibit people from buying firearms or laws that would allow confiscating privately owned firearms are ridiculously small. So small, in fact, that it’s really not worth worrying about. Nobody’s ever going to knock on your door and demand that you surrender any weapons you may own. Nor is anyone ever going to tell the American people they can’t buy firearms. So, there is really no need to “stock up,” no matter what anybody tells you the government is going to do.

That’s -30- for this week.