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Monday, December 20, 2010

Survival Firearms - A Basic Need Under Attack

The fundamentals for Surviving a collapse, be it an economic collapse, terrorist or nation-state nuclear attack or even a pandemic, are basically having Food, Shelter, Water and Protection. I know, I know,….. this doesn’t begin to describe the preparation and planning it takes to give any given a group a good chance of surviving chaos. But we do know that a gaping hole in any of these basic Survival areas will doom you.

Enter the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) who are attempting to get authority, not previously existing, that will at least dampen our ability to purchase firearms to fill the Protection basics of Survival preparedness.

The Legislative Alert I received from the National rifle Association is as follows:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed that it be given emergency authority for six months, beginning January 5, to require about 8,500 firearms dealers along the border with Mexico “to alert authorities when they sell within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines.” A Washington Post story reporting on the BATFE proposal described that definition as being applicable to “so-called assault weapons,” but it would also apply to many rifles that have never been labeled with that term.

The reporting requirement will apparently be imposed under the “authority” the BATFE has used in the past to demand reporting of other types of transactions from certain limited groups of dealers over the past 10 years, but the new proposal is far broader than any previous use of this authority. Of course, there's no law today that prevents dealers from reporting suspicious transactions (or attempted transactions) to the BATFE, and dealers often do so. The BATFE is also free to inspect dealers' sales records—either for annual compliance inspections or during a criminal investigation.

UrbanMan’s comment: I cannot help but see this as an invasive inroad to gun owners rights and therefore our ability to protect ourselves. The conventional wisdom that the Mexican cartels are armed from American gun shops is a lie.

Additionally, on Sunday, December 17, 2010, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer reminded Americans why it is important to vote for a president whose nominees to the court will likely be faithful to the Constitution, to vote for U.S. senators who will reject nominees who likely will not be faithful, and to vote for federal and state legislators who can check and balance justices like Stephen Breyer who don't believe the Second Amendment protects any meaningful right.

On Sunday, during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Clinton nominee Breyer, who dissented from the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), claimed that the role of the court is to interpret the Constitution flexibly, in light of ever-changing circumstances. Breyer argues that the court should give consideration not to the Constitution’s “words,” but to the “values” that the Framers had in mind. Fox News’ article on the interview can be viewed here.

The Framers’ “values,” Breyer suggested, would allow a total ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. “It’s not a matter of policy, it’s a matter of what those Framers [of the Bill of Rights] intended,” he said.

What Second Amendment author James Madison intended, Breyer said, was only to prevent Congress from nationalizing state militias. That, of course, is not what Breyer said in his dissent in the Heller case. Then, Breyer said that the amendment was intended to prohibit Congress from disarming state militias.

Regardless of what Breyer was trying to sell on Sunday, Wallace didn’t seem to be buying it. Pointing out the plain language of the amendment’s “keep and bear arms” clause, Wallace asked Breyer whether, in ignoring those words, he was assuming the role of politician or policy-maker, rather than that of a judge.

Breyer grinned smugly, said “no,” and sarcastically asked whether the amendment should be interpreted to allow the ownership of machine guns and torpedoes, as well as handguns. Wallace countered that at the very least, the amendment “certainly didn’t provide for a ban on all handguns, as we have here in Washington, D.C.” To that, Breyer, still grinning, asked Wallace, “Are you a sportsman? Do you like to shoot pistols at targets? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland.”

Realizing that Madison and the other Framers surely did not intend for the Second Amendment to mean one thing in Maryland and another in D.C., Wallace pointed out that allowing a ban on handguns in D.C. while not allowing it in Maryland would be “a policy issue, not a constitutional issue.” Breyer changed the subject.

UrbanMan’s comment: The liberal, left wing side of American politics has no given up; the fight to restrict American gun owning rights. My suggestion is to not only get into the fight by letting your Congressman and Senators know how you want them to vote, but you ought to consider getting the firearms you need now, before something happens to reduce the availability.

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