In a recent opinion piece published in my local paper on October 2nd titled “Gun control has become taboo issue” by Joseph Cotto, he details how the political winds have shifted with regard to the subject while dividing defenders of the 2nd Amendment in to two arbitrary groups based on nothing more than how much each group agrees with him.  Cotto’s entire opinion piece can be read in PDF here.

Joseph Catto

Joseph Catto

Cotto opens his piece by claiming that “Not many people are talking about gun control these days.” That statement is correct so long as we’re discussing politicians and discount the hysterics of groups like Mom’s Demand Action, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Everytown for Gun Safety.  All of which are faux grass-roots groups created by billionaire statist Michael Bloomberg.  Discounting those groups, I would agree, not many politicians are pushing unconstitutional gun control laws.  Catto’s asserted cause of this reluctance to press the subject is also likely accurate. After the Colorado state legislature passed a pointless law making the mere possession of a magazine which holds more than 15 rounds a crime, as well as criminalizing the private sale or transfer of a firearm without state permission, the citizens of that state decided to forcefully retire two sitting state senators via a recall election in 2013; a vote which Bloomberg threw $350,000 at to support the civilian disarmament lobby.

I also agree with Catto’s assertion that “[w]hile these were just state races, and the electorate in each was surely skewed toward highly motivated voters — in this case, anti-gun control advocates — a message was sent loud and clear on the national stage.” In deed it was Mr. Catto, politicians, more than anything, fear losing power and will avoid touching anything that could cause we the people to strip them of that power.

Catto’s underlying true beliefs on the subject begin to peak through when he writes “[i]t seems likely that fewer legislatures will take up firearm safety bills in the future, especially in states where recalls are constitutional.” Did you notice the misuse of the phrase “firearm safety”? If you haven’t been paying attention to the debate in the past few years, “firearm safety” has become the dishonest code words used by the civilian disarmament lobby in place of “gun control”.  A majority of the public now understands that gun control is in practice nothing more than people control. When the average Joe hears the phrase “firearm safety” they do not associate it with gun control, but that is exactly what they mean.

For example, what the anti-gun Colorado legislators passed into law was in no way related to firearm safety, it was just the same gun control nonsense that’s been around since the 80’s when Sarah Brady living high on the hog after her husband was almost killed.  The Colorado law stated that after July 1, 2013, the citizens of the state would be stripped of their right to purchase or possess a magazine holding more than 15 rounds.  Standard capacity magazines –which people like Cotto would incorrectly label Large Capacity – that were obtained prior to July 1, 2013 could be kept.

Catto considers that law to be a “Gun Safety” law, but what is it exactly about a 15 round magazine that makes it safe while the standard capacity mag that holds 30 rounds is somehow dangerous? If the 30 round magazine is so dangerous, why grandfather those in circulation?  Why are police still allowed to use such a dangerous item and why allow people from out-of-state to bring them into the state for personal use?  The answer is quite clear, limiting magazine capacity isn’t about safety at all; that’s a lie.  It is about CONTROL and a means to slowly erode the rights of the people.

All of this begs a simple question: What is gun control’s purpose? Or, more specifically, who is the intended target of gun control policies? Perhaps this is the basest, yet most prescient, question of all: Who should be allowed to own a firearm?

No sir, Mr. Catto, the question has never been “Who should be allowed to own a firearm?” because the premise assumes that the right to keep and bear arms is not a right but a privilege handed down by the good graces of government.  We don’t ask who should be allowed to speak in public or publish a books?  The question is “Who should be stripped of their right to own a firearm?” And the answer to that question has been settled law for some time and why laws stripping violent felons of their right to own firearms have been on the books for decades.

It seems obvious that early American senators and congressmen secured the right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense or hunting game.

I’m sorry Mr. Catto, that is not only wrong but shows either a willful ignorance of history or a dishonest revision of it.  The 2nd Amendment was not secured for self-defense or hunting game. Its purpose was clearly explained by those early American legislators.  Richard Henry Lee (Senator for the State of Virginia) wrote, “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”

Joseph Story, a Congressman from the State of Massachusetts, wrote in his Commentaries on the Constitution (1833) that, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”  No sir, the 2nd Amendment was most assuredly not secured merely for self-defense and hunting, but rather is a last resort check on government tyranny.

Cotto goes on to argue that “[The Founders] did not intend to give Constitutional protections to violent criminals. Therefore, it’s not in the spirit of the Second Amendment to say anybody should be given a gun for any purpose.” Well obviously they did not intent that but his claim that Second Amendment advocates want everyone — regardless of their criminal history — to possess a firearm for any purpose, is a straw man argument.

Decent people should not have their rights infringed on account of a troublesome minority. Surely, most of those who want to purchase a gun through the legal process are concerned about protecting human life or catching a few pheasants, among other wildlife.

This is where Cotto begins to set up his false dichotomy by dividing Second Amendment advocates into two arbitrary categories; people like Cotto who mistakenly believe gun rights concern shooting a mugger or birds, and what he pejoratively labels Second Amendment fundamentalist, which he imagines to be NRA loving lunatic red necks who, he claims, think that murderers and rapist should be armed. I’m not even exaggerating, he actually writes, “The Second Amendment fundamentalists, on the other hand, make no distinction between concerned citizens and homicidal maniacs. They believe that there should be no regulations of any kind insofar as the sale of firearms is concerned.”

Mr. Cotto conveniently fails to cite even one example of anyone actually stating such nonsense. The fact is his so-called “fundamentalists” are merely conjured up fantasies to make his statist views appear rational by comparison. He continues building up his straw man with the following.

Their ideology is rooted not in the concept of self-defense, but self-identity. Radical anti-gun control activists evaluate their own personal worth on the basis of firearm ownership.

This is how Mr. Cotto mentally dismisses anyone who dares attack his faith that gun-control laws actually affect criminals — who by definition do not obey laws.  I imagine anyone that provides evidence or rational arguments demonstrating the gun-control measures he advocates have and would fail are mentally placed in the “fundamentalist” column as a means to avoid defending his unfounded gun-control beliefs.

Their ideology is rooted not in the concept of self-defense, but self-identity. Radical anti-gun control activists evaluate their own personal worth on the basis of firearm ownership.

No Mr. Cotto, we so-called “fundamentalist” do not evaluate our own personal worth on the basis of firearms ownership. We begin with the premise that all innocent human life has worth and from that we derive the right to keep and bear arms as a natural right in order to defend that worth against those who might decide to exploit or take someone’s life.

For the radicals, owning a gun is not a precautionary measure, but a status symbol. This is why they tend to lose their marbles when any mention of firearm control is made. If practical restrictions are passed into law, then their race to own the biggest, most dangerous gun will be halted. Perish the thought.

I guess anyone who dares acquire a firearm of which Joseph Cotto disapprove is just a radical.  Why can it not be both a a status symbol and precautionary measure.  For example, I own multiple firearms for different reasons, precautionary measure being among them.  But I also own them as a status symbol of my liberty and living in a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people.  I also consider each firearm I own to be a symbolic middle finger to people like Mr. Cotto, who mendaciously demonize people for daring to own something they personally think others either should not possess or should beg permission from the State before acquiring.

The people losing their marbles are entirely on the side of gun-control. Only those who have had a complete break with reality would argue for the sort of nonsense being pushed by gun-control advocates like Mr. Cotto.  Sarah Brady, Feinstein, Boxer, Schumer, Bloomberg, and the other elitist gun-control power brokers are now having their asses handed to them by the very people whose rights they seek to slowly strip away.  They are the ones who lose their marbles when their agendas are thwarted.

That last sentence is a clear example of Mr. Catto’s ignorance regarding firearms, “biggest” does equal most dangerous.  Any firearm, regardless of size, is dangerous when in the hands of someone who has no clue how to operate it; someone like Mr. Catto for example.

Hopefully, more Americans will come to recognize that the Second Amendment is not to be trampled upon, yet ought to be interpreted in a reasonable fashion.

It should be pointed out to Mr. Catto that words have meanings and because “reasonable” means based on good sense, that term is not applicable to the types of laws he advocates. The laws favored by people like Mr. Catto do in fact trample the 2nd Amendment, but he and his comrades are blind to that fact due to their mistaken beliefs concerning the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms.

While the political debate over gun control is unlikely to improve during the foreseeable future, if enough people search for common ground and ignore extremist voices, then a new generation of legislators might come about.

The debate over gun control has been improving for over 10 years. Every year another State repeals laws that once criminalized the right to bear arms and the myths and lies spread by gun-control advocates are debunked, the debate improves. Every time a federal court strikes down an anti-gun law, the debate improves.  It is my sincere hope that the gun control debate improves to the point that the real extremist — those who assert stripping people of their rights is a reasonable — are seen for the irrational Statist they truly are.

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