Blaze Magazine Exclusive: Will the Constitution (and Gun Rights) Be Disarmed?
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The November 2012 cover asks, “Will the Constitution Be Disarmed?” For decades, the anti-gun crowd has sought to weaken law-abiding American citizens’ constitutional right to bear arms. From presidential candidates whom many don’t trust on gun rights to the Fast and Furious scandal to the multiple exploitations of tragedies to legislation making gun ownership more difficult to lies that gun control actually reduces crime, it has become clear that the state of the Second Amendment is growing more tenuous.
Below is an excerpt from Jason Howerton’s cover story (“Disarming the Constitution”). His full report is available only in the November 2012 issue of TheBlaze Magazine.
It’s one of the most important provisions found in the U.S. Constitution. George Mason warned during Virginia’s convention to ratify the Constitution in 1788 that “to disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
Despite warnings of our Founding Fathers, the fight to preserve the Second Amendment seems like a never-ending battle. After every mass shooting, after every gun-related crime in America, calls to strengthen gun laws (or create new ones) become deafening. The theory is that the fewer guns there are, the less gun violence there will be. However, as history has shown, criminals will always find a way to obtain firearms, legally or illegally.
New anti-gun legislation is constantly being proposed as lawmakers (mostly liberal Democrats) attempt to exploit tragedies and scandals to promote harsher gun laws. Most recently, Americans faced an election choice important to our right to bear arms.
THE ANTI-GUN MOVEMENT’S KIND OF CANDIDATE (AND PARTY)
Though Obama repeatedly claimed a belief in the right to bear arms and even signed a law to allow firearms in national parks, there was undoubtedly a perception throughout his first term (and even before he was elected) that Obama is anti-gun.
The Left’s crusade against the Second Amendment was touted by its standard-bearer and favorite presidential candidate, who did and said plenty over the years to cause worry; consider a few examples:
- In 1996, while running for the Illinois state Senate, Obama endorsed the Illinois handgun ban. He filled out a questionnaire and stated he supported legislation to “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns,” to “ban assault weapons” and to impose “mandatory waiting periods and background checks.”
- In the state Senate, he supported requiring the licensing and registering of gun owners.
- On a 1998 “Illinois National Political Awareness Test” from Project Vote Smart, he stated his support for a “ban [on] the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.”
- In 2000, he co-sponsored an Illinois bill to limit handgun purchases to one per month.
- In 2004, the liberal candidate for the U.S. Senate stated his anti-gun view pretty clearly, according to the Chicago Tribune, when he said, “I am constantly on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
- In 2005, then-Sen. Obama opposed a bill protecting firearms manufacturers from lawsuits for harm resulting from unlawful misuse of their products.
- At a 2008 fundraiser with a liberal, anti-gun San Francisco crowd, the left-wing candidate famously described Americans in rural Pennsylvania and the Midwest as “bitter” people who “cling to guns.”
- Also in 2008, when asked about the D.C. handgun ban, Obama indicated that he believed it was constitutional and supported it and that “just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right.”
This record—a record the anti-gun crowd loved—made supporters of the Second Amendment nervous. And it’s what makes them leery of many liberals in the Democratic Party.
THE SO-CALLED ‘PRO-GUN’ CANDIDATE
Though better than the Left’s stance on guns, Second Amendment supporters were not totally comfortable with their 2012 Republican presidential alternative—a situation indicative of the tenuous state of gun rights in America. Romney’s record on gun rights was somewhat inconsistent, to say the least.
While campaigning for a Senate seat in 1994 against liberal lion Ted Kennedy, Romney declared that he supported strong gun laws and that he did not “line up with the NRA.”
During a 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate, Romney backed his state’s restrictive gun laws, saying, “We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them. I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”
While governor of Massachusetts in 2007, he proclaimed his support for the Second Amendment, but just a few years earlier, he had supported a permanent “assault-weapons ban,” which was signed by his pen. At the 2004 bill signing, he said of the guns being banned, “These are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”
But by 2008, the Republican had fully changed his tune, having become a “lifetime member” of the NRA in 2006. He told the political blog Instapundit in 2008 that he does not support “any gun-control legislation,” including a new assault-weapons ban.
Though the pro-Second Amendment voters’ only real choice for 2012 was finally saying all the right things, it’s no wonder Americans are worried about their gun rights today.
USING ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ AGAINST GUN RIGHTS
The infamous federal gun-walking scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious was initiated in 2009 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The agency allowed more than 2,500 guns to “walk” across the Mexico border and into the hands of murderous Mexican drug cartel members. Officials claim the goal was to track the guns and dismantle some of the larger cartels. Instead, the guns were lost and not seen again until they started turning up at murder scenes, including that of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens.
So far, no heads have rolled as a result of Fast and Furious. In fact, while congressional investigators fight to get to the bottom of the failed operation, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has obstructed the investigation and President Obama has invoked executive privilege to ensure key Fast and Furious documents never see the light of day.
Liberal anti-gun members of Congress, the media and many on the American Left seized the opportunity to call for more gun control in the United States. …
CBS News found evidence indicating that ATF officials involved in running Fast and Furious used the gun sales they oversaw to call for gun control. “We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales,” ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait e-mailed to Bill Newell, the special agent in charge of Operation Fast and Furious in Phoenix. “[T]his case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”
Get the full report, including much, much more on city, state and federal legislation and movements to limit gun rights; the corruption behind Fast and Furious; the real records of the two men gun owners were forced to pick between for president in 2012; and the facts about gun control. Plus, a special analysis of how gun control has been working in Europe.
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