Protecting the Second - VOTE!
After watching four evenings of the Democratic National Convention, I saw a lot of hype and hatred for Donald Trump and Republicans in general, but little substance about the Biden-Harris campaign platform.
Of course, there is an ongoing call from Kamala Harris and others to “reimagine policing,” whatever that might mean. As a former metro police employee, those words indeed scare me when I “reimagine” a society with defunded police and endorsement of “peaceful protests” that morph into mob rule, property destruction and violence.
A bit of Internet research does uncover some key issues gun owners need to consider before voting for Democrats championing the gun-control elements contained in their platform. I will admit up front that I am an arch conservative and supporter of the Second Amendment, and I vote for platforms, not the party flag-bearer.
As written in Joe Biden’s “Plan to End Gun Violence”, gun owners indeed need to be worried. I’ve added personal comments in parentheses. Check the website for specifics on each of the points below.
Key elements of the plan include:
- Hold gun manufacturers accountable. (Firearms victims can sue firearms manufacturers. In 2005, Sen. Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which did pass. This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products.)
- Get weapons of war off our streets. (What are “weapons of war?”)
- Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. (What is an “assault weapon” under Biden’s plan?)
- Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.
- Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities. (So how much will the mandatory “buy-back” pay me, and how will that plan be funded and enforced?)
- Reduce stockpiling of weapons. (I’ve seen references to five firearms per year, or one a month, as a maximum.)
- Keep guns out of dangerous hands. (Need a definition for “dangerous hands.”)
- Require background checks for all gun sales. (This must mean “private-treaty” sales and black-market sales. How will this be enforced?”
- Close other loopholes in the federal background check system. (Need a “loopholes” definition.)
- Reinstate the Obama-Biden policy to keep guns out of the hands of certain people unable to manage their affairs for mental reasons, which President Trump reversed. (As we’ve already seen from the U.S. House in the recent defense bill, the Democrats included certain veterans.)
- Close the “hate crime loophole.”
- Close the “Charleston loophole.”
- Close the “fugitive from justice” loophole created by the Trump Administration.
- End the online sale of firearms and ammunition. (Right out of California, is it not?)
- Create an effective program to ensure individuals who become prohibited from possessing firearms relinquish their weapons. (Whom are the prohibited individuals? Does this include non-citizens, illegal immigrants, drug dealers and gangs?)
- Incentivize state “extreme risk” laws. (Translate this as “red-flag” laws.)
- Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs. (Here is a bureaucratic revenue-generator for sure to restrict firearms purchases and ownership, possibly meaning you will need a license or permit to purchase a firearm, as now required in Hawaii and Illinois.)
- Adequately fund the background check system.
- Make sure firearm owners take on the responsibility of ensuring their weapons are used safely. (Wonder what training course this will be and at what cost?)
- Put America on the path to ensuring that 100% of firearms sold in America are smart guns. (Will we have to wait until this technology is invented and workable? Sure hope my wife never needs to use a “smart” handgun only I can fire.)
- Hold adults accountable for giving minors access to firearms. (This at least is common sense, but there does need to be a definition for “minor.”)
- Require gun owners to safely store their weapons. (Everyone will need a gun safe?)
- Prioritize prosecution of straw purchasers. (This too makes sense.)
- Notify law enforcement when a potential firearms purchaser fails a background check.
- Require firearms owners to report if their weapon is lost or stolen.
- Stop “ghost guns.” (Democrats plan to pass legislation requiring that purchasers of gun kits or 3D printing code pass a federal background check.)
- Reform, fund, and empower the U.S. Justice Department to enforce our gun laws.
- Direct the ATF to issue an annual report on firearms trafficking.
- Dedicate the brightest scientific minds to solving the gun violence public health epidemic. (Sounds like more funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote academic research that would have doubtful benefits. This has been tried before.)
- Prohibit the use of federal funds to arm or train educators to discharge firearms. (Think how this will work as schools continue to get rid of armed School Resource Officers (SROs) under police defunding in our “gun-free” schools. Can we reflect on the shootings February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when SROs failed a timely response?)
- Address the epidemic of suicides by firearms.
I cannot disagree with some of the platform contents, particularly regarding firearms safety. I do take issue with many of the platform elements as they simply seek to gut our Second Amendment and restrict firearms ownership and use of defensive and sporting weapons.
Contained in Biden’s plan is an expansion of the “National Firearms Act to include semi-automatic rifles and “high capacity” handguns, which would make the possession of these common and popular firearms a felony without registration and paying a license fee (tax). This radical proposal, if passed into law, would create millions of felons out of law-abiding Americans overnight.
“Thus, possession of a semi-automatic rifle, or handgun, with two magazines (10 or more rounds) would now require a $600 tax — on top of the cost of the firearm — or be subject to forfeiture under the Biden gun buyback. As a direct result of this policy, working-class American families could be forced to choose between owning a modern weapon for their self-defense or making ends meet with bills and other household expenses.”
Check this link: CLICK HERE for details. I did a quick calculation of my firearms and magazine stash, and I’m not a collector, but my “tax” total would be $6,400 just to be a non-felon under the Biden plan. See the accompanying photo for what an $800 fee—4x$200=$800—will allow me to keep (one hi-cap 9mm and three 16-round mags.)
I’m just wondering if my pending “stimulus check” from Congress will cover that cost? But I did forget that Biden and Harris will buy back my “assault weapons” and mags at a “fair price.” Right! For much of your voting needs gun owners can register, vote early, find your polling place or review the 2020 candidates by visiting GunVote. CLICK HERE to learn more.
There are ongoing and valid requests to vote in the Nov. 3 general election, and gun owners need to research and understand what is at stake with the Second Amendment, freedom and individual rights associated with a Democratic victory in the White House and Congress. I’ll not even attempt in this article to address other tax-hike elements, rights and business restrictions, Medicare for all and rumored “redistribution of wealth” contained in the Democrats’ 2020 platform.
For the 2020 Republican firearms platform, look at pages 20 and 21, CLICK HERE, to confirm there is continued support of the Second Amendment as specified in the 2016 Republican platform. My guess is Republicans will use the Democrats’ 2020 anti-Second Amendment platform as rebuttal talking points, and they should.
As a firearms owner and voter, I urge you to get the facts and understand all the issues at stake to Stay safe, be prepared before 2021 arrives. ~ Mike
Mike now calls Northwestern Arkansas home, but has lived and worked in several states. He has been an independent contractor and consultant since 2006 specializing in risk management, emergency management and training. In addition to work as a law-enforcement planner and technical writer with the Boise, Idaho, Police Department, he has experience in journalism, crop and animal agriculture, dryland farming for 20 years in western Kansas, plant and animal diseases, pandemic influenza, agroterrorism, bioterrorism, food safety and healthcare marketing.
He has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and has newspaper and agency writing and editing experience. At Washington State University in Pullman, he earned a master’s degree emphasizing adult education and communications, with minors in mourning dove, chukar partridge, pheasant and mountain quail on the breaks of the Snake River.
While living in Lander, WY, Mike provided photographic coverage of the One-Shot Antelope Hunt for three years, and got to meet and accompany folks such as Chuck Yeager, Carroll Shelby, Buzz Aldrin, Dale Robertson and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf on their hunts.
In addition, Mike is a Federal Emergency Management Agency certified instructor and has worked and taught for state and federal agencies. He has responded to seven presidentially declared disasters, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria when they struck Puerto Rico in 2017. He also has worked and taught in Africa and Southeast Asia. Check his website at www.sampsonrisk.com.