The Arizona Citizens Defense League expresses its ongoing sympathy to the families of those taken and injured in the December 8th, 2011 attack.
in a 1/8/15 Opinion piece, Ms. Sarah Garracht Gassen of The Arizona Daily Star, presents Patricia Maisch’s idea to a call the murders, a “taking,” rather than a “loss.” We agree. The question is, “should those actions be used as a predicate for more takings of peoples’ rights?”
Ms. Maich asserts that, “It’s such a small goal…that, “every gun sale requires a background check…” No, it is not a “small goal” at all, nor does it involve any “common sense.”
First, the Right To Keep and Bear Arms is a basic fundamental right, according to the Supreme Court’s “Heller Decision.” Firearms are legal, tangible, personal property. Requiring prior government permission to transact them, turns a right into a privilege. It is already a crime to transfer a gun to a prohibited person, per Arizona Law. ( ARS 13-3102. )
Second, it is absolutely impossible to enforce a “background check.” Such rules would only obtain the compliance of those least likely to misbehave, and the non-compliance of those most likely to do so.
Third, using the actions of a disturbed man as a position of cover from which to diminish the rights of others, is disingenuous at best, and evil at worst. The American ideal of justice does not involve the punishment of the innocent for the acts of the guilty.
Fourth, it is not rational to believe that the insane or the criminal will submit to a background check, or that it would stop them from such acquisition. The Tucson and Virginia Tech killers, both PASSED background checks, and the Sandy Hook killer, bypassed the process by an act of murder.
We admire Ms. Maisch’s actions to disarm the attacker that day, and her desire to prevent future attacks. Let us be clear though: a “background check” will not affect the criminal or the crazy. All it does is register every transacted gun. This gives government a fishing license and a fish finder, for every person with an alleged “disability,” such as the retired NY Sheriff who had his 4 handguns seized recently for seeking treatment for insomnia. ( http://dailycaller.com/2015/01/02/veteran-and-former-cop-sues-after-guns-confiscated-because-he-sought-treatment-for-insomnia/ )
U.S. Violent crime rates have been in decline since the 1990’s. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/08/us/study-gun-homicide/ ) Far more guns are used in America to prevent crime than to facilitate it, according The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, by more than a 5 to 1 ratio. The news cycle though, is driven more by blood than fact.
The recent killings in France, a country with strict gun control, demonstrate just how well that works. In a crisis, no one was equipped to stop the murderers or help the police.
Ms. Maisch asserts that “the gun lobby…remains deathly effective at confusing guns with freedom.” The Arizona Citizens Defense League IS the Arizona gun lobby, and we have no confusion whatsoever – guns ARE freedom.
We suggest several solutions. First, focus the personnel who would do “background checks,” on known offenders. They are the ones most likely to re-offend. Second, get known, violent mentally ill people the treatment they need. Third, make sure plenty of armed, trained citizens are present in society to neutralize the threat when it occurs. Last: leave us alone.
Charles Heller is Co-Founder and Communications Coordinator for the Arizona Citizens Defense League. You can visit them online at www.azcdl.org.