Mr. Everitt:

You display not only your ignorance of reality, but a chimpanzee-like penchant for throwing feces at a wall and hoping some of it sticks.

“NRA has now been revealed as a criminal and treasonous organization.”

Oh, really? By whom? Not by any law enforcement agency of which I am aware. Sure, there have been lots of smears (see chimpanzee above) but it seems things have gone from funneling millions of Russian dollars to the Trump campaign to providing a Russian gun rights advocate the opportunity to attend an NRA function and do exactly what other people were doing. Yes, the Russian was convicted of failing to register as an agent of a foreign government but the NRA wasn’t even involved with that.

You may not be afraid of the NRA (which is a puzzling boast all by itself), but we’re not particularly worried about you, either.

“No, the Supreme Court has not barred federal gun licensing and registration. In fact, Justice Scalia ordered the city of Washington, D.C. to license and register Dick Heller’s handguns in the case of D.C. v. HELLER (2008). Licensing and registration of firearms has a long history in the United States. For example, we’ve had federal licensing and registration of machine guns since 1934 through the National Firearms Act.”

You’re obviously a bit fuzzy on this whole federal/state issue.

The Supreme Court ordered the District of Columbia to grant Dick Heller’s petition. Do you know what the District of Columbia is? It’s not a state: it’s a federal district controlled by Congress. It does not have any sovereignty. States have sovereignty which means they have powers not granted to the federal government.

Licensing and registration at the state level has a long history. Big difference. Licensing and registration at the federal level has no history at all because there has never been licensing and registration at the federal level.

The right to keep and bear arms is a civil liberty. It’s just like free speech, freedom of religious choice, or the people gathering peacefully to petition for the redress of grievances. This is something not granted by the Constitution or subject to the whims of the federal government. In other words, it can’t be licensed by the federal government. In fact, depending on some cases making their way through the court system now, the government may not even be able to regulate the open carrying of firearms.

The states, because they have certain powers not granted to the federal government, can enact restrictions within their own borders. However, with the McDonald decision, the states’ authority to regulate the carrying of firearms could also be impacted by the court cases.

The National Firearms Act is only legal because the Supreme Court ruled in 1939 that it was a revenue instrument that was within Congress’ power to enact. Yup, that’s right: it’s a tax measure.

The registration requirement is to allow the proper collection of taxes by recording the taxable property and who owns it. Transfers of firearms included in the NFA are subject to the payment of a $200 transfer tax and the approval of the Attorney General of the United States. Congress, having passed the taxation act, was also able to set up a rule-making bureaucracy to implement the new laws.

There is no such thing as a license to own a machine gun.

As for compliance, that’s an issue with any law that’s passed, which is why you have laws in the first place. You can arrest, indict, convict and imprison lawbreakers and remove them as a threat to public safety.

In 2013, the state of New York, with which you may be familiar, passed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE). The new law contained a provision requiring residents of the state who owned certain types of firearms to register them with the New York State Police by April 15, 2014.

In 2016, following the loss of a court case pertaining to a Freedom of Information Act request, the NYSP released the compliance numbers. After two years, about 44,000 guns had been registered. Estimates of the number of firearms in the state ranged from 250,000 to a million, depending on who you asked. Even in the best-case scenario, the compliance rate was less than 18%.

That’s in New York state, which has a long history of gun regulation and owner compliance. How’s it going to work in Idaho? Texas? Any of the sixteen states with constitutional carry laws?

More important, the SAFE Act ran into resistance from law enforcement. Some upstate county sheriffs wouldn’t enforce the law, saying that it was impossible to proactively enforce.

As I said previously, you are one of those that believes a law is the equivalent of Captain Picard saying “Make it so.” You missed the episode where members of the crew flipped him the bird.

If enough people “flip the bird” they can not only make it not so, they can make it go away. Contrary to some fantasies, they can make go away without firing a shot.

Finally, I don’t see state/local officials who try to block gun licensing/registration laws lasting very long at the polls.

Not only are state, county, and local officials who oppose licensing and registration lasting at the polls, they are being reelected. More than half the counties in Washington state, with enthusiastic public support, have already said they won’t enforce the new Initiative 1639 laws. Voters in eight Oregon counties have approved measure that prohibit the county from using public funds or county employees to enforce laws the sheriff deems unconstitutional.

The Second Amendment sanctuary movement is growing. There is also growing division over gun control laws in several states, including California.

And here’s the kicker: the federal government cannot compel states to enforce a federal law. The federal government can still enforce the law in the states but it can’t require them to assist in any way. The same thing is true with regard to state compulsion of counties and municipalities within the state.

How well is licensing and registration working? Well, let’s start by looking at the place you mentioned, the District of Columbia.

The District has a higher homicide rate than any state. It also has the highest rate of mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The city has one licensed firearm dealer, CS Exchange, who does not even have a gun shop; it does nothing but broker legal transfers from gun stores, mostly in Maryland and Virginia, to the residents of the District. The rate of legal gun ownership is possibly the lowest in the United States. Yet the District is either at the top or near the top of the state rankings year after year.

In addition, the low statewide homicide rates in New York and New Jersey hide a nasty little secret: low rates of homicides outside of the cities masking rates of urban homicides that are even higher than Texas’.

New Jersey and New York run neck-and-neck in the race for the most rabid gun control regimes. New York City has a remarkably low homicide rate; one of the lowest of any major U.S. city. Yet across the Hudson River is Jersey City, which has a homicide rate more than twice as high as the big Apple; just beyond that is Newark, which has a homicide rate eight times higher than NYC.

Yes, you’re going to blame the flow of guns from other states for arming the killers in New Jersey and New York. But you’re overlooking the fact that the killers aren’t coming from other states. You are also ignoring the fact that, even if there was universal licensing and registration, there is such a huge pool of black market guns in circulation, that criminals can laugh at your gun control schemes.

The Department of Justice conducted a study of inmates in state and federal prisons in 2016. The study included about 260,000 prisoners and showed that many of the popular beliefs about how criminals get their guns are flat-out wrong.

Gun shows, flea markets and thefts were the sources of about 14.5% of crime guns (gun shows and flea markets accounted for slightly more than one percent). According to the ATF, criminals have moved from getting guns through residential burglaries to stealing quantities of guns from gun stores and even intercepting shipments of guns from manufacturers to distributors.

L&R will be incredibly effective and Americans are tired of being denied freedom from violence in our public places, including K-12 schools.

You just don’t get it: licensing and registration are not only illegal, probably unconstitutional, and definitely unenforceable, they don’t even work.

There is no right to a freedom from violence. Get over it; society has tried for thousands of years to prohibit murder and mayhem and it hasn’t worked yet. In addition, gun control laws don’t appear to have any impact on it.

Oh, and quit the fear-mongering: K-12 public schools are still the safest place for children. Kids are more likely to need those ballistic backpacks at home than they are in schools.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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