Friday, December 19, 2008

Then They Came For Our Guns...

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." ~ Thomas Jefferson

As you may remember, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the City of New Orleans ordered law abiding citizens who legally owned guns to surrender their weapons to the City, leaving the citizens unprotected against the thugs who were using the chaos of the hurricane to loot and ravage the city. Guns were confiscated, sometimes by force, by the New Orleans' police department and the National Guard. The National Rifle Association (NRA), to which we both belong, filed a lawsuit against the city over the unconstitutional confiscation of lawfully owned fire arms. The NRA prevailed in their suit and a permanent injunction has been issued against the city, the mayor, and the police chief. Under the terms on the injunction, New Orleans agreed to cease and desist confiscating lawfully-possessed firearms from all citizens and to make an aggressive attempt to return any and all firearms which may have been confiscated. This may prove difficult since the police refused to issue receipts for the weapons they confiscated; however, the NRA has promised their support to ensure that all of the weapons confiscated are returned to their owners.

One would hope that the ruling by the court in this case as well as the recent Supreme Court ruling that the second amendment guarantees an individual’s right to bear arms would put to rest the question of the legality of citizens to own guns. However, with Obama set to take office on January 20, our second amendment rights are still on the chopping block. After the Supreme Court agreed that the second amendment guaranteed individuals the right to own firearms, Obama said, "There is an individual right to bear arms, but it is subject to common-sense regulation…” Barack Obama will take an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and during his campaign, Obama’s ads declared that he is for gun rights; however, based on his past words and deeds, we fear that the second amendment will very soon be under attack. Obama’s cabinet picks are left-over anti-gun personnel from the Clinton cabinet. A December 17 post on NRA’s website by Wayne LaPierre entitled “Nothing to Fear?” raises some issues that every American should consider.

"Barack Obama says gun owners have 'nothing to fear' from his incoming administration. But instead of simply promising he won't support new gun-control legislation, which would actually mean something, gun owners get empty statements of support for 'common-sense gun safety laws.' Is a 500 percent increase in taxes on firearms and ammunition a common-sense gun safety law? What about a ban on Right-to-Carry? A ban on the most popular sporting rifles in America? These are just some of the laws Barack Obama has supported in his short political career. Millions of American gun owners disagree that these laws have anything to do with common sense, and that's why they're exercising their Second Amendment freedom now. They're afraid they may not be able to do so as freely or fully in the future. Given President-elect Obama's rhetoric versus his record, gun owners have every reason to be concerned."

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