AUGUST 21, 2000
Gun-grabbers go stealthy
© 2000

For years I have been warning gun rights supporters we are fighting battles on multiple fronts.

First, there is the incessant, continual legislative barrage of onerous anti-gun proposals -- from state bills that can and have turned into law, to city and county ordinances.

Second are the dysfunctional internal territorial battles of alleged gun-rights organizations sniping at one another for both member contributions and bragging rights.

Third, and arguably most insidious, is the executive arrogance and penchant for abuse of power under the color of authority in which the "process" and mechanisms "real or promulgated," incrementally chip away at the freedom and liberty the nation's framers established.

Those who argue for "reasonable gun control" are liars. The anti-gun crowd does not want "some" gun control, they want "total" gun control. I have had an item on my webpage for years entitled "Why we are paranoid about our Second Amendment rights." It lists just seven quotes from prominent gun grabbers in their own words. They want to remove private ownership from the people. The incremental chipping away of our right and ability to defend ourselves, family and property has become a constant.

However, as annoying and frustrating perpetual legislative battles can be, the reality is far more annoying and frustrating. The consistent flood of anti-gun ordinances and anti-gun legislation are merely jabs designed to keep our attention. We are so busy dodging and slipping the jabs we become vulnerable to that big right hand waiting to smash through an opening with the knock out punch.

That figurative big right hand is in reality the potential (perhaps, inevitable) threat of treaties. Even the most rabid of the usual suspect gun grabbers (Feinstein, Schumer, Waxman, et al.) realize that most reasonable Americans will resist legislative efforts to outlaw all guns so that only outlaws will have them. However, while we are busy skirmishing with the ubiquitous anti-gun legislation, the would-be controllers are plodding along the route of international treaties. What they cannot legislate (and make no mistake they want to register all guns so that eventually, inevitably, they can confiscate all guns), they expect to accomplish with voluminous complex treaties. And when they cannot sell the final nail as a "treaty" they will structure it as an "agreement" that has the weight and function of a treaty. Which, by the way, is exactly how the would-be controllers jammed NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) down our throats.

A recent ATF letter to gun dealers illustrates how perilously close we are to the controllers achieving their objectives. The letter was received by gun and ammunition importers from the Acting Chief of the Firearms and Explosives Imports Branch, Alan B. Graham.

"On April 18, 1998, at the second Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile, President Clinton announced that the United States would issue regulations implementing the 'Model Regulations for the Control of the International Movement of Firearms, Their Parts and Components, and Ammunition.'"

Keep in mind, these are "regulations," in effect executive decrees by fiat that -- while not law and not subject to the legislative process, which would make them vulnerable to congressional oversight and/or advise and consent -- nonetheless have the weight of law.

"The Model Regulations were drafted by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission ('CICAD') at the request of the Organization of American States. The purpose of the regulations is to provide standardized procedures for the international movement of firearms, their parts and components, and ammunition so as to prevent illegal trafficking in these items." Inter-American? Wait a minute, did we miss the memo rescinding the Constitution?

"To further these objectives, the President directed the U.S. Secretaries of State, Commerce, and Treasury to implement the Model Regulations. In response to the President's directive, on April 12, 1999, the Department of State published in the Federal Register amendments to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (64 FR 17531). The Department of Commerce published its amended regulations in the Federal Register on April 13, 1999 (64 FR 17968)."

Given the inability of our elected officials to dazzle us with brilliance, they have routinely resorted to baffling us with BS. However, this BS has consequences.

I'm not going to quote the entire document; you can see it for yourself (and please read it slowly) at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms website. However, inclusive in the open letter to federally licensed firearms importers they note, "This requirement applies only to commercial (i.e., imports by licensed and/or registered importers for purposes of resale) importations of firearms, firearms parts, and ammunition."

This is another of the incremental tools that has been so successful to date in lulling us into a false sense of confidence. Hey, this doesn't affect me ... only licensed importers. So what if they reduce the value of parts and/or components that can be imported without a permit from $500 to $100?

The ATF claims the new regulations aren't really new. "They merely improve the clarity of the regulations, simplify regulatory requirements, or implement foreign policy as directed by the Department of State." They include a litany of technical clarifications and amendments which include:

OK, so they need the name and address of any newly defined broker to "facilitate the import transaction." That sounds reasonable to anyone who hasn't experienced government facilitation. It also no doubt will assist when some subsequent "regulation" prohibits gun ownership and authorities need to track down and collect (confiscate) any item subsequently considered contraband.

Consider this another warning. The socialists/ fascists/ gun-grabbing/ would-be controllers want to deny you access to and ownership of guns. They will continue to harass any and all supporters of liberty and freedom who presume to assume the God-given inalienable right acknowledged (not gifted) by the Second Amendment. We must continue to fight the legislative battles ahead, but please do not become so consumed with the alligators that we forget the original objective remains to drain the swamp.

Treaties will be used as the finesse of the process to achieve objectives our wannabe masters realize they cannot win legislatively.

In "The Nature of Government" Ayn Rand observed, "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."