Monday, February 18, 2013

Would Gun Laws Spark Civil Disobedience?

One of the memes I have seen recently is the prediction that gun control laws will spark civil disobedience. (See my prior posts here and here). Some even predict social unrest or civil war. If nothing else, gun control will breed black markets and defiance

So, it was interesting to me today to read yet another article predicting that new gun control laws will likely not be met with the compliance they have received in the past. Paul Hsieh writes at PJ Media (h/t Instapundit):
In his State of the Union address, President Obama doubled down on his gun-control proposals, again demanding that Congress ban so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines.” This is not a surprise. What has been a surprise are the increasingly open calls for defiance from gun owners, state legislatures, and local law enforcement. If the president’s proposals become law, he may move the country into turbulent waters we haven’t seen in many years.
Hsieh goes on to note three ingredients for civil unrest present this time around: (1) that gun owners and anti-gunners have taken irreconcilable positions; (2) gun owners are prepared to resist the laws, even by violating the laws; and (3) state and local governments and officials are also willing to disobey and resist such laws. He predicts:
In the worst case, we could see clashes between armed law enforcement officials at different levels of government, each regarding themselves duty-bound to enforce their respective understandings of the Constitution. Wide swaths of the country would likely thumb their noses at the central authorities — and get away with it.
... No one can know exactly how this will play out. This will depend on how strongly the central authorities wish to enforce the law in the teeth of the defiance, and how committed gun-rights supporters are to sustained civil disobedience. If history is any guide, violence is not out of the question, even if cooler heads on both sides do not wish it. New gun laws could be the political equivalent of a spark thrown onto dry tinder.
According to Politico, gun control is the most divisive issue separating the two major political parties. Passing the law would accelerate the already growing polarization of America.

During Obama’s first term, many on the Left who were frustrated by their inability to fully impose their political agendas repeatedly invoked the mantra that America was “ungovernable.” If the president’s gun-control proposals become law, they haven’t seen anything yet.
While we are on the topic, over at Guns Save Lives, they note that "the Obama administrations own research shows that an assault weapons ban would only be effective with mandatory gun confiscation and that universal background checks would only be effective with federal gun registration." (H/t Weasel Zippers).

1 comment:

  1. Gun owners have been compromising for eighty years, and that doesn't include innumerable executive orders, state and local laws, and other government actions that have infringed on the rights of gun owners.

    1934 - National Firearms Act
    1968 - The Gun Control Act
    1986 - Firearms Owners Protection Act
    1993 - Brady Handgun Violence Act
    1994 - "Assault Weapons" Ban
    1995 - Gun Free School Zones Act

    Gun owners have repeatedly knuckled under and obeyed the law, relying on peaceful protest, peaceful working within the legislative process, and peaceful court challenges to oppose gun control. But, the gun-grabbers keep coming back demanding even more "compromise."

    This time, the gun-grabbers are letting the veil slip, and exposing their ultimate goal - total confiscation of civilian firearms. We see it explicitly stated in gun confiscation bills introduced in several state legislatures. We hear it from the gun grabbers themselves in less guarded moments (thankfully, virtually everybody now has video capability, and have captured those less guarded moments on video - those statements cannot later be denied).

    This latest gun control push is not going to be a passing fad that burns itself out in a few weeks or months. Like the Stockton School Yard massacre in 1989, which resulted in passage of numerous state gun control laws, the "assault weapon" import ban, the Brady Law, and the "Assault Weapons" Ban, this gun control push is not going to go away any time soon. (Arguably, the only thing that stopped the last gun control push was 1994 mid-term Congressional elections, where a lot of Democrats who voted for the 1994 "Assault Weapons" Ban were voted out of office.)

    For the past year, the gun-grabbers have been trying to exploit a tragedy to restart their gun control push. They finally got traction with Sandy Hook. Back on the table is a reenactment of the "assault weapons" ban - this time more inclusive and permanent. The gun-grabbers also want mandatory registration of "assault weapons," and a "universal background check" law to close the "gun show loophole" (I believe these records would be retained, and become the foundation of a future firearms registration database.) More fringe proposals include background checks for all ammunition purchases. (Again, records of these transactions would feed into a firearms registration database.)

    So, back to the original question "Would gun laws spark civil disobedience?" I think the answer is a resounding "yes." Many gun owners are now aware of the gun-grabbers' ultimate goals. Obama's thuggish behavior over the past four years directed at other disfavored segments of the citizenry have put gun owners and others in a defensive posture. And, many gun owners are well aware of the historical precedence of gun registration leading to gun confiscation and tyranny.

    Gun owners are voting with their wallets. The inventory of firearms and ammunition has been decimated. A trip to any gun store, any other store that sells firearms or ammunition, or a gun show, illustrates this. Guns with tactical utility are gone. Ammunition is sold out everywhere. Firearms and ammunition manufacturers are operating their factories at full capacity. Nobody knows when there will be more inventory.

    Like someone else recently observed, "This isn't a society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war." (http://www.edsgunshop.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5911#p23088) Yes, there will be civil disobedience, and we will be lucky if that is all that happens.

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