Another Attack on Our Second Amendment Rights
PR-USA March 1, 2008
Senator Edward Kennedy is at it again; trying to chip away at the Second Amendment Rights of Americans by making it harder for us to comply with federal gun laws. The Senator has been trying to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns in the Unites States for over thirty years and his latest bill, S-2605, is another attempt to accomplish his goal of achieving a national gun ban, one step at a time. An identical bill, H.R. 5266, has been introduced by Representative Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), called the “National Crime Gun Identification Act.”
The two bills seek to ban the manufacture, importation, and transfer (sale, etc.) of any semi-automatic pistol unless they have a microscopic array of characters etched into the breech face and firing pin of a pistol that will identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol. The process is called micro-stamping. It is a patented process that laser engraves the firearm's make, model and serial number on the tip of the gun's firing pin so that, in theory, once the gun is fired the information is imprinted onto the discharged cartridge cases.
Unfortunately, there are numerous problems associated with Micro-Stamping. Both the University of California (at Davis) and the Association of Firearms and Tool Marks Examiners on Long Island have found that Micro-stamping has repeatedly failed in tests. In these tests, the vast majority of micro-stamped characters in the alphanumeric serial number couldn't be read on any of the expended cartridge cases generated and examined. Micro-stampings can easily be removed, the firing pins can be easily replaced and millions of guns without stamping would still be available on the black market. In addition, most guns do not automatically eject fired cartridge cases and only a small percentage of guns would be micro-stamped. The people would be better served by increasing the funding for law enforcement agencies to fight the illegal trafficking in firearms rather than restricting the rights of American citizens by imposing faulty and unreliable technical requirements on them.
If American citizens want to be able to defend themselves, they should be free to do so. No person, not even a member of congress, has the authority to deprive American citizens of the means of effective self-defense, including the use of handguns. How many shootings at schools or malls will it take before we understand that people who intend to kill will not be deterred by gun laws that only restrict the rights of law abiding citizens? A person intent on committing a murder will not be stopped by the fear of being charged with a lesser crimes of illegally possessing a firearm or not having their gun micro-stamped.
Criminals always have the luxury of choosing the time, location and method of their crimes, but they will rarely attack people they know are armed. That’s why anyone thinking of committing mass murder is usually attracted to the gun-free zones of schools and malls because there’s a good chance that no one will be present at those types of locations who will be able to stop them. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed dozens of studies and could not find a single gun regulation that clearly led to reduced violent crime or murder. When Washington, D.C., passed its tough handgun ban years ago, gun violence rose.
As a former law enforcement officer, I know that criminals will always find a way to get guns. By disarming our law-abiding citizens or making it harder for them to comply with regulations, we take away the strongest deterrent to violent criminals - the uncertainty that their next potential victim might be armed and able to protect themselves. We know that law enforcement personnel can’t be everywhere, all the time. Lawfully-armed citizens routinely assist their fellow citizens by using their firearms to prevent robberies, rapes, and the murder of innocents. For example: In 1997, Pearl, Miss., a school shooter was stopped when the school's vice principal took a .45 from his truck and ran to the scene; In 2002, at the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia, after hearing shots, two students went to their cars, got their guns and restrained the shooter until police arrested him; In the February's 2007 Salt Lake City Utah mall shooting, it was an off-duty police officer who happened to be on the scene and carrying a gun who managed to stop the shooter from shooting more people.
The Founding Fathers knew that a government facing an armed citizenry was less likely to take away our rights, while a disarmed population wouldn’t have much hope. We can see this throughout the world today, as dictators and tyrants use deadly force against their own unarmed citizens. Without our Second Amendment rights, all of our other rights would not be inalienable. They would just be “on loan” from the government. Second Amendment rights belong to individual citizens, not to town, village, city, county, state or federal governments. The government has a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than trying to restrict the rights of American citizens. Gun control has been a proven failure in fighting crime and law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals who ignore gun control laws anyway.
I believe that the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. Our Founding Fathers, having endured the tyranny of the British Empire, wanted to guarantee our God-given liberties. Even though they devised a formal system of checks and balances for our government, they were still concerned that the system could fail and that we might someday face a new tyranny, not from a foreign government, but from our own government. They wanted us to be able to defend ourselves, and that’s why they gave us the Second Amendment.
For additional information, contact:
JOHN W. WALLACE
Candidate for Congress
NY’s 20th CD