Editor’s Note: Today’s op-ed was written by our friend and colleague, Tom Gresham.
Sometimes understanding what's going on requires us to connect the dots on things that don't immediately appear to be connected. Looking at recent events, it's now possible to see the plans of the gun banners.
It's much worse than almost anyone imagined.
First, what happened?
- HR 8, a bill in the House, would end the private sales of guns, would end being able to give a gun to someone, and would criminalize even loaning a gun to someone -- unless you got the permission of the FBI each time you want to buy, sell, loan, or borrow a gun. In other words, there could be no legal transfer of a gun in the U.S. unless the government approves each transaction.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened that a Democrat President could declare a national emergency on gun violence.
- A separate bill -- HR 1112 -- would (according to the NRA-ILA) "...eliminate the 3-day safety-valve provision under the federal firearms background check system that prevents the government from enacting an indefinite delay of firearm purchases for law-abiding Americans."
Currently, if a firearms retailer submits the background check to the FBI, and it is delayed, after three days the dealer is free to legally transfer the firearm. This provision in the current law is the safety valve. It guards against the government shutting down background checks (through incompetence, technical snafu, or even political activism) and stopping gun sales from dealers. (Private sales currently would be untouched.)
Pelosi's threat didn't just pop into her head. This idea has been in the works.
Consider those three actions.
The expanded background check provision requires that all gun sales, and gifts, and loans -- any transfers -- must go through the FBI NICS system.
aHR 1112 would kill the protection of allowing retailers to sell guns when they don't get a "denial" from the FBI in three days.
aIf those two provisions were in place I fully expect a Democrat president to act after a highly-publicized shooting to declare a national emergency and shut down the NICS checks for 90 to 120 days. Maybe even a year.
That would be so that we could have a "national conversation" about gun violence. America's gun owners would suffer a "mere inconvenience" the banners will say. Except that most privately-owned gun stores could not survive three or four months with no gun sales.
This is not happenstance.
It's not an accident.
It's not coincidence.
The gun ban lobby is not dumb.
This has been the plan all along.
1. Kill off all private sales, forcing all legal gun sales to go though dealers.
2. Kill the provision in current law which protect gun owners from a government shutdown of the background check system.
3. Declare a national emergency and close background checks, which stops all legal gun sales.
Make no mistake. This is part of the larger plan to confiscate ("mandatory buy-back") your guns.
Naturally, there would be legal challenges. The current makeup of the Supreme Court favors -- ever so slightly -- the hope that the high court would stop such a thing. If it took months to work its way through the courts, however, massive damage would be done. Thousands of businesses would close and tens or hundreds of thousands of people would be thrown out of work.
Naturally, to the "if it saves one life" crowd, that's a price they are willing to pay. Well, they wouldn’t pay it. We will.
And that doesn't even touch on the subject that no one wants to talk about. We'll leave the very real possibility of armed resistance for another day.
How do we stop this?
We stop it the old fashioned way. We beat it at the polls. We beat it by speaking up in our churches. We beat it with peaceful activism in the streets. We join every single gun rights group -- even those which less "pure" by whatever standard is in vogue on any given day.
We spend money. A lot of money. We stop complaining about requests for donations. We donate annually an amount equal to the price of a new gun. How about a dollar a day? We actually do call the offices of our Congressional representatives monthly and talk politely with the staff there about our concerns on Second Amendment matters. We volunteer on campaigns. We go to school board, city council, and state legislature meetings and hearings. We show up.
Two things must happen.
First, you have to look in the mirror and admit you haven't done enough/much/anything. No one else can do this. Each of us must have the conversation with ourselves and take an honest look at what we have and have not done. And what we can do.
This is a total lifestyle change. It's a change in where you spend your money and your time.
Second, each of us has to bring along a friend into this activism. I'm not talking about taking someone to the range, though that's always worthwhile. I'm talking about convincing or more friends that each of you really must donate a buck a day. A lot of dough? Less than many of us spend on coffee. Times a million gun owners.
For us ... for our children ... for our grandchildren ... we simply must stop the gun confiscation movement now.
We win or we lose right here. Right now.
The solution is as close as your mirror.
-- Tom Gresham