Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign slogan, “the audacity of hope,” should have instead been “the audacity of deceit.” After months of telling the American people that he supports the Second Amendment, and only hours after being declared the president-elect, the Obama transition team website announced an agenda taken straight from the anti-gun lobby—four initiatives designed to ban guns and drive law-abiding firearm manufacturers and dealers out of business.
“Making the expired federal assault weapons ban permanent.” Perhaps no other firearm issue has been more dishonestly portrayed by gun prohibitionists. Notwithstanding their predictions that the ban’s expiration in 2004 would bring about the end of civilization, for the last four years the nation’s murder rate has been lower than any time since the mid-1960s. Studies for Congress, the Congressional Research Service, the National Institute of Justice, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found no evidence that gun prohibition or gun control reduces crime. Guns that were affected by the ban are used in only a tiny fraction of violent crime— about 35 times more people are murdered without any sort of firearm (knives, bare hands, etc.) than with “assault weapons.” Obama says that “assault weapons” are machine guns that “belong on foreign battlefields,” but that is a lie; the guns are only semi-automatic, and they are not used by a military force anywhere on the planet.
“Repeal the Tiahrt Amendment.” The amendment—endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police—prohibits the release of federal firearm tracing information to anyone other than a law enforcement agency conducting a bona fide criminal investigation. Anti-gun activists oppose the restriction, because it prevents them from obtaining tracing information and using it in frivolous lawsuits against law-abiding firearm manufacturers. Their lawsuits seek to obtain huge financial judgments against firearm manufacturers when a criminal uses a gun to inflict harm, even though the manufacturers have complied with all applicable laws.
“Closing the gun show loophole.” There is no “loophole.” Under federal law, a firearms dealer must conduct a background check on anyone to whom he sells a gun, regardless of where the sale takes place. A person who is not a dealer may sell a gun from his personal collection without conducting a check. Gun prohibitionists claim that many criminals obtain guns from gun shows, though the most recent federal survey of convicted felons put the figure at only
0.7 percent. Prohibitionists also claim that non-dealers should be required to conduct checks when selling guns at shows, but the legislation they support goes far beyond imposing that lone requirement. In fact, anti-gun members of
Congress voted against that limited measure, holding out for a broader bill intended to drive shows out of business.
“Making guns in this country childproof.” “Childproof” is a codeword for a variety of schemes designed to prevent the sale of firearms by imposing impossible or highly expensive design requirements, such as biometric shooter identification systems. While no one opposes keeping children safe, the fact is that accidental firearm-related deaths among children have decreased 86 percent since 1975, even as the numbers of children and guns have risen dramatically.
Today, the chances of a child being killed in a firearm accident are less than one in a million.
Copyright 2008, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.