When the Seattle Times cheered passage 0f another gun control initiative this week, and immediately called for even more legislation banning so-called “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines, it may have surrendered any chance to argue that “nobody wants to take your guns.”
Banning an entire class of firearms amounts to taking, critics argue. It’s not the same as being disarmed by police, but it ultimately results in loss of the firearm. It can’t be sold or given to an heir.
As UPI reported, California’s Proposition 63, which passed this week, “outlaws the possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, requires background checks for those purchasing bullets, makes not reporting lost or stolen guns a crime, and offers a protocol for taking guns from those convicted of a felony.”
The California ban amounts to taking because it turns people into criminals for possessing what used to be perfectly legal. Failure to report a gun that is lost or stolen becomes a crime. Making someone a criminal can disqualify that person from owning or possessing a firearm.
Washington gun owners are furious that Initiative 1491 passed. That’s the “extreme risk protection order” measure that some folks are already calling the “extremist protection order” law. The concern is that it does not contain adequate due process provisions, instead allowing for someone’s firearms to be seized and then providing an appeal process. Translation: You’re considered guilty until you prove yourself innocent. If this dealt with any other civil right, it would never have gotten off the ground.
The Christian Science Monitor has a story about why Maine voters narrowly rejected a Michael Bloomberg-backed gun control measure that was modeled after Washington’s I-594, adopted two years ago. It called for “universal background checks” for all firearms transfers. Maine voters were not so quickly convinced this was a good idea as were Washingtonians living along the I-5 corridor.
But John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, wrote Tuesday in the Washington Post that, “Some think that background checks are the answer. Indeed, after each mass public shooting, President Obama calls for background checks on the selling of guns through private transfers. But these new rules wouldn’t have stopped the attackers. Since at least 2000, all of America’s mass shooters obtained guns without going through private transfers. Some of the attacks occurred in states that already have these background check laws.”
A more immediate demonstration of I-594’s failure to prevent “gun violence” happened last night on a Seattle street. Five people were shot near an anti-Trump demonstration. I-594 also did not prevent the Cascade Mall shooting in September.
Still, none of this causes gun prohibitionists from contending that more erosion of the Second Amendment is necessary.
The UPI report noted that voters in Nevada passed a measure similar to the one rejected in Maine. The story contained a quote that exemplifies the shallow logic of anti-gunners. The man who managed the Nevada initiative asserted that it is a “common-sense measure that can save lives while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.
No such measure respects the rights of law-abiding gun owners, not their Second Amendment rights or their Fourth Amendment privacy rights or the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.
Editorials are protected by the First Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights. Those ten amendments were written to delineate and protect rights of individual citizens. Eroding any of them weakens all of them.