Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Yes, "the sky is falling" is heard alot lately
And thats because when it wasn't the sky actually did fall a bit.
And a lot depends on your view of what "restricts" your rights. If the government required a background check before you bought a book, would that restrict your right to read? If they limited the number of pages allowed in the book, would that? If they said the book could only be a certain size and color, would that? If importation of foreign printed books was banned, would that keep you from reading?
1934 - National Firearms Act
places severe restrictions and taxes on ownership of fully automatic firearms, sound reducing devices (silencers), rifles and shotguns with short barrels, and pistols with sotcks. The original version of this act as proposed did not include silencers, but did include ALL handguns.
1968 - Gun Control Act (GCA 68)
requires serial numbers on all guns made after 68. Ends direct mail order purchase of firearms. Sets minimum age limits (21 for handgun, 18 for long arm) purchase from dealers. Establishes Dealer recordkeeping and license requirements (form 4473). Requires record logs be kept for ammunition purchase (later recinded), sets legal standards for import of firearms, allowing govt to ban import of guns "not suitable for sporting purposes". Codifies loss of firearms ownership rights for convicted felons, and those involuntarily committed for mental illness. And contains a lot of other things I'm not going to bother to list, but violations of which would sent you to jail.
1986 - Firearm Owner Protection Act (FOPA 86)
removes/recinds sections of GCA 68, to protect innocent violators from jail for mistakes, as opposed to intentional violation of law. Gives gun owners legal protection while traveling through juristictions with restictive laws, while on their way to somewhere else. And, as a last minute amendment, freezes the number of full auto firearms legal for private citizens to own to the individual guns already registered with the BATFE as of May 1986. No new guns may be added.
1994 - Assault Weapons Ban (AWB 94)
This misnamed law actually restricts no assault rifles. What it did was create a new legal definition for semi auto firearms, based on cosmetic features, calling them "assault weapons". Then bans private ownership of new made guns with combinations of these features. Also bans private ownership of new magazines holding more than 10 rounds. All existing guns and magazines are grandfathered, and legal. Bill contains a sunset provision and expires after 10 years (2004).
Those are the major laws restricting our freedom of choice in what we choose to own for firearms. Along the way in recent years, we also get the Brady Bill, which mandates a 5 day (Federal) waiting period for a handgun purchase (no matter what state law said, unless longer than 5 days) Brady Bill passed with provsion to default to an "instant check" for all firearms purchases when available.
Also a ban on "Cop Killer bullets" which, as originally proposed would have banned virtually all centerfire rifle ammuntion. Bill as passed restricts/bans ownership/sale of military armor piercing ammo, and steel jacketed ammo.
And the "Lautenberg Amendment", a law removing the right of firearms ownership from anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, ever, including all those "guilty" of the pleading to a misdemeanor before the law passed. Law does not exempt includes military and law enforcement personell in the pursuit of their duties. result; soldiers and cops who cannot legally even hold (posess) a gun. Many police forced from street to desk duty in order to comply with the law.
There is even more, all this is just off the top of my head, without checking exact details. (anyone, feel free to correct me, or explain further any of the points)
You can still go to a target shoot or hunt like your father did in the 1950s. But you cannot buy, or legally own some of the things he could. And for those things you still can buy and own, you must be investigated, fill out forms, and get government approval that he never did.
1968 was a huge wake up call, and it took until 1986 to undo some of the damage that law did. But we paid with further restictions on some things for the easing of others. 1994 AWB passed by ONE vote, and really, really upset a lot of people. So much so that in that years election the Democrats lost the majority in Congress that they had held for 40 years.
If you do some research into all the laws that have been proposed, up to, and including outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment and confiscation of all priviatly owned guns and or ammuntion, you will see that the main reason these bills have not become law is because of the NRA, and other pro-gun groups lobbying, and motiviating their members to vote, raising the money to be a political power by crying over and over that the sky is falling.
There are well organised, well funded groups and people in politics that are working as hard as they can to see that owning and using guns for sport and protection are as difficult and expensive as they can make them, as a prelude to eventual complete prohibition. Their strategy is to restrict what we can buy first, with the eventual goal of confiscating what we already own.
There are many of us who are single issue voters. For me, the issue is guns. Because that's what I enjoy, and laws about them have a direct, and immediate impact on my enjoyment of life. I may dislike Obama (or any other politician, of any party) because of his stand on other issues, but I will actively oppose/vote against them for their support of "gun control".
And just out of curiosity, where have you been hiding the past 30 some years?
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.