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Pitfalls of legislated gun control

The title of this piece is a clever commentary about the state of affairs we currently face. But through the years, you might be interested to find the relevancy that this moniker has had for other civilian populations at other times.

It’s clear that gun control has become a hot topic of late.

Let me be clear: this is not a discussion about conspiracy theories or simply to whip you up into a fury about the degradation of constitutional rights.

This is to help put some perspective on the history of gun control, while maintaining a fair bias towards historical accuracy.

This is to explain the pitfalls of such “legislated control”.

Let’s be honest: Many one-off quotes and back-room conversations are hard to prove, and as such, often the open discussion between anti-gun contingencies and pro-gun contingencies, suffers.

There is a lot of conjecture, misinformation and “I-believe-it-so-it-must-be-true” concepts floating around the internet and in discussions between friends.

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So let’s do this: give our discussion some structure and make it clear we intend on maintaining the most verifiable and accurate conversation points only.

  1. The history of gun control measures, and how they set the scene for government led crimes
  2. Important points in United States history that saw implementation of gun control legislation
  3. Central figures in the gun control community
  4. What it means for us today, and what we should look out for

Given all of these different aspects, we should be able to determine the true impact on our populace of the gun control agenda.

Simple connections between gun control measures and bad things happening

I’m not going to use the infamous internet Hitler quote to frame this conversation.

This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”

(I don’t know if Hitler actually said that) In fact: I’m going to say, perhaps even this was not attributable to Hitler. I’m going to give that one to the anti-gun crowd.

But let’s talk facts:

There is an ominous correlation between gun control legislation and powerful regimes killing in genocidal fashion. This is a fact.

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You cannot dispute the 15+ times this has happened in modern history.

Admittedly, it’s a stretch to say that the gun control measures were THE CATALYST for the genocides. But it IS NOT A STRETCH to point out that in the event’s catalogued below, there were massive gun control efforts put into place prior to bad things happening.

This may not have forced the action of killing people, but there is no question it set the scene to allow it to happen.

Remember we don’t need to prove that gun control laws led to mass killings. We just need to show the timing, and link the concept. After all, bad, evil men led those countries, right? And we have been endowed with perfect and infallible, angelic leaders here in this country, right? So it could never happen here. After all, we have liberty; a Constitution.

He who has the guns makes the rules.

It won’t matter if we have a piece of paper to say we have rights, if we have no way to ensure those rights stay firmly intact.

In 1928, gun control legislation started in the Weimar republic, the forbearer for the Third Reich. In 1938, regulations against the Jewish population increased the chances Jews would not have access to personal protection devices.

Shortly following that period of time, some 12-15 million Jews were killed.

Call it coincidence, if you must. But the fact remains: in Germany, many people were killed shortly after gun legislation and population regulation made it nearly impossible for certain population demographics to own firearms.

You might have an argument that enactment of gun control laws do not lead to death if it hadn’t happened in 1911 in the Turk-Ottoman Empire (1866, 1911, 1915 legislation). In 1915-1917 (roughly), 1+ million Armenians were killed in a country where guns for their people were outlawed.

Again, one could chalk it up to coincidence.

Except it happened in China too.

(1951 and 1957 laws) with 20+ million Chinese being killed between 1949 and 1976 (roughly). Again, most counter-arguments explain that the people who were in charge of the country at the time did the killing, not the gun control laws.

But wait… isn’t that a bit hypocritical? I thought it was the gun that was bad, not the shooter. Isn’t that the rhetoric we get?

When a bomber bombs a crowd of people we blame the bomber.

When a drunk driver kills an innocent, we blame the driver.

When a tyrant kills a whole ethnic group, we blame the dictator. When a shooter kills another human, we blame the guns. It’s not about guns, it’s about control.

Control of the narrative. Control of the people. Control of the guns. If no one can stop you, you can do anything. Just ask Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Kim Jong il; et al.

Such scenarios where firearms regulation preceded mass killings happened no less than 10 times in the last 150 years. Was the gun control THE catalyst? Probably not, but it certainly set the stage for the potential, and eventually, the reality.

Important dates, legislation and historical facts

1933-34 brought about the NFA (national firearms act) which saw the tax stamp registration enacted and did away with sale of the automatic small arms and silencers (for lack of a better explanation in a short amount of space). We wrote about this earlier, if you are interested take a look here: How It All Started With the NFA.

1938 (Federal Firearms Act) saw a further erosion of the commerce clause, putting in place strict regulation of interstate firearms sales, etc.

1968 (Gun Control Act) removed the mail order scenario from the equation. Now (sold) long guns could not travel through the mail without strict regulation. It also made it impossible for certain gun owners to own guns.

1972 brought about the creation of the BATFE, a division of the Treasury department. This organization was put in charge of regulation of firearms on the federal level.

1994 saw the Brady Bill and the “assault weapons ban” which included strict regulation of magazine limits, gun configuration and waiting periods for purchase of certain firearms across the country.

After a poor showing some of the 1994 Gun Control Bills exercised their sunset provisions and were not reenacted.

In some way or another, all previous major legislation has remained intact.

The people who have perpetrated the gun control agenda

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This is not a partisan exploration. Both sides of the aisle are guilty, depending on where you look. But it is worth noting that there are a lot of politicians voting contrary to the majority of their constituents.

This is simply to explain the breadth of the gun-control agenda, through its various channels. Each person has the right to form their own opinion on the matter.

It is interesting to note that those who have so much control over the entertainment and media and political realms, however, are able to use their own opinions to push an agenda that is so counterproductive to liberty as presented in our founding documents.

How to apply this information to our own situation

It’s clear that gun control is not a figment of someone’s imagination. It has a legitimate and specific detriment. It does have odious connections to major crimes in history, perpetrated by the ruling powers.

Gun control clearly seems to be a topic that everyone is talking about. What’s important to know is this: guns are inconsequential. If swords were the arm of choice for our generation, it would be about sword control.

If forks were the weapon of most efficiency, we would have fork control.

It’s about being able to enforce laws, which ultimately weaken the population’s ability to compete.

I’m not saying any president wants to enact a genocide. I’m saying: rights have continually been eroded.

The only tangible protection against the erosion of rights, in the last resort, is the right to keep and bear arms.

It was startlingly good forethought by our forefathers to cling so closely to the guns. They seemed to know that there would come a time (again), where firearms were considered the only resort.

Is that happening now? I personally don’t think so (yet), but I certainly don’t want to let our rights erode to the point where it could someday happen. Which is why it’s important to understand the detrimental effects of the gun-control agenda.

Understand what your elected officials are doing and know their historical voting record. Pay attention to state and federal legislation, and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Don’t rely on scare tactics. It’s amateurish. It’s what the other guys do. Rely on cold hard facts.

Did you know that according to crime statistics by the FBI, in 2009 hammers (like ballpeen and claw hammers) killed nearly three times as many people as were killed by rifles in the USA? Find facts like these on reputable sources and explain the context. Facts speak for themselves.

What can you do about gun control?

Get informed, disseminate good, accurate information and align yourself with the types of organizations that epitomize your views on the gun issues and second amendment issues.

Organizations like the Gun Owners of America (GOA), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Between just those four organizations, there is a broad array of different specific projects and causes to get behind.

You can join, one, all or none, but it’s clear, you should be advocating for the things most of them advocate for.

Continue the discussion and make sure you vote, with an informed position.

Write the narrative. Be the spokesperson to those who trust you, and help them to find legitimate sources of information. Be credible and accurate and dispel rumors and media bias.

I’m probably preaching to the choir. Know at least that you have a proponent in me.

Who is creating the narrative?

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A final point:

We have been letting the gun control proponents create the narrative for a very long time. It puts pro-gun and pro-second-amendment advocates in a poor position for bargaining with the people at large.

Bargaining you say? We don’t need to bargain for God given rights!”

You’re right! We don’t. Or…we shouldn’t. But name one topic of contention over the past 150+ years that hasn’t ultimately had to go to the “court of public opinion” to help gain the necessary momentum to maintain its standing.

Communication, consistency and accuracy are key factors in how we present the benefits of the Second Amendment in the daily interactions we are likely to have in person, on forums over the internet, and to those we communicate with on a regular basis.

Quite simply:
The second amendment isn’t about hunting. It’s about protection against a (too) powerful government.
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“Well regulated militia” doesn’t mean that there are lots of regulations. It means that there are lots of preparations to improve the militia’s capabilities. It pertains to conditioning, provisions, rights and capabilities. Not regulation of assets. Look it up.

There are clear indications in the Federalist papers and in early colonial documents that explain how that phrase “well-regulated” was used in that time period.

“Assault Weapons” is an inaccurate descriptor.

This is just three of hundreds of misnomers and hard edged inaccurate pieces of information that are sneaking into the media outlets through channels with access, and with an agenda.

We must dictate what the truth is, and do it from a position of authority.

Disseminating commentary, without the background information to back it up, ultimately hurts the position in the court of public opinion.

Ready for some good news?

Here’s a bit of good news though: the more desperate they get in combatting the information we are putting out there, the worse they feel they are doing. If you’ve got an aggressive and fired up contingency of gun-control advocates: it’s because the public isn’t buying the stuff they are selling.

The right to bear arms shall not be infringed.


About The Author

Benjamin Worthen is a former Gunsmith of more than 20 years. He now works as a writer in the firearms industry and as a marketing consultant for several industries including the Political and Firearms arenas. He has worked in consulting capacities and as a contract vendor for the military and law enforcement agencies and as a firearms designer and engineer for proof of concept pieces and custom firearms. He is a vocal supporter of Second Amendment rights.