In Defense of Our Gun Rights
First in a series.
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
That somewhat famous quote from Ben Franklin came to mind as I was recently reading an account of Great Britain’s transition from being a nation that championed civil liberties and gun rights to one where those liberties, especially the right to defend one’s self, have been virtually stripped away.*
The process began slowly, and the causes diverse, but enacting “reasonable” gun laws, and administrative abuse of those laws played a major part. What made it all possible was that the lawmakers didn’t mount an all-out offensive on all types gun ownership at once, but targeted the most “dangerous” weapons to one by one. Things like automatic weapons had such a small constituency that it was easy to curb possession without paying a price at the ballot box. Additional licensing and registration schemes followed, which drastically reduced the number and types weapons in circulation.
When the Dunblane incident of 1996 occurred, in which sixteen children were murdered by Thomas Hamilton using handguns, the number of Brits who legally owned handguns was down to a mere 57,000. In the ensuing hue and cry, all handguns above .22 caliber were banned, and after Tony Blair was elected the 22’s went too. Britons who owned rifles and shotguns for hunting felt that they were safe, but severe restrictions would soon follow. British gun owners failed to see that an attack on ownership of one type of weapon was an attack on all types of weapons. It was a slowly tightening noose.
So it is in this state that the attack on so-called “assault weapons” is an attack on all gun ownership. In the past, the legislature has found that gun owners are complacent if their particular type of weapon is not under scrutiny, although many target shooters were quite surprised to find that their Pardinis and Walthers now fell under the recent expansion of the definition of “assault weapon”. Once the state was successful in enacting a prohibition of a certain type of weapon it was a simple matter of spreading the net ever wider. Many common semi-auto shotguns also made the cut. After recent the Navy Shipyard shooting in Washington DC, in which the perpetrator used a Remington 870 pump action shotgun, it’s only a matter of time before they make the list as well. All in good time.
And the reaction of too many CT gun owners has been complacency. If they didn’t own an AR15, or an AK, many sat on their hands. As long as their guns weren’t affected, why go to the bother of making a fuss. Let the other guy do it. Unfortunately the gun prohibitionists are not complacent at all. This is an election year, so they are laying low, but if the anti-gun lawmakers are sent back to the Capitol in Nov, then we can and should expect the worst. Many of them have called SB1160 a “good first step”. Our opponents are experienced and dedicated. Their end goal is to criminalize all private ownership of firearms, and they are simply not going to go away. The only way to put a stop to this is to band together regardless of our shooting preferences. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
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Hanging Together; In Defense of our Gun Rights (Word .DOC)