A few weeks ago I blogged an alternate-history story in which the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was abused and distorted in the same ways the Second Amendment has been in our history. The actual point of the essay, though, was not about either amendment; it was about how strategic deception by one side of a foundational political dispute can radicalize the other and effectively destroy the credibility of moderates as well.
Now comes the news that the head of the Department of Homeland Security officially thanked the Governor of Missuri for violating state law by illegally passing to the DHS Missouri’s list of concealed-carry permit holders. The Governor then lied about his actions.
The Feds, meanwhile, continue to illegally retain transfer records from federally licensed firearms dealers past the statutory time limit, among several other continuing violations of a 1986 law forbidding the establishment of a national gun registry.
The BATF also criminally violated its authorizing laws by transferring over 2000 firearms to Mexican drug gangs through illegal straw purchases (google “ATF gunwalking scandal”). Over 150 Mexican citizens and United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry were killed with these guns.
Meanwhile, following scandals about “drop guns” at the sites of police shootings, some big-city police forces (notably in LA and NYC) are strongly suspected of routinely using planted guns to frame suspects they can’t otherwise nail on firearms-possession charges.
Any trust that “gun control” will be administered with even minimal respect for civil rights is long gone, destroyed by the behavior of the enforcers themselves.
This is yet another way to destroy the middle. Anti-firearms activists speak of “common-sense regulation”, knowing that the agencies enforcing these have engaged in a series of criminal conspiracies to evade and ignore safeguards against abuse of such regulations. By doing so, they annihilate any trust firearms owners might have once felt that “common-sense regulation” is anything other than a prequel to those abuses.
In the absence of trust there can be no compromise. This is how you radicalize gun owners into the Second-Amendment absolutists most of us are today. After four decades of bad faith the only position left to us is “No more ‘gun-control’ laws. Ever.”