Initiative 594 & the Perils of Being Reasonable
November 10, 2014
As was perfectly predictable, Mike Bloomberg and his merry band of gun-grabbers are reveling in their victory in Washington State, where 60% of voters approved Initiative 594, which mandates a background check for almost every firearms transfer.
That margin is disturbing, but what's even more disturbing is the fact that far too many gun owners regard it as no big deal. You can read what some of them had to say on SGN's Facebook page.
Let's break it down so even those who aren't paying attention can understand it. One of our most basic principles is that the state cannot know where all the guns are. If history teaches us anything, it is that if the state knows how to find the guns, it eventually will come to get them.
The fact you have to fill out a Form 4473 to buy a gun from a licensed dealer means the federal government can know where a lot of the guns are, but never all of them. In most states, if you choose to sell a gun to someone else, that's between the two of you. If you sell a gun you bought new, it disappears from the governmentÃs sight, unless they send men to waterboard you into naming the buyer.
Making all firearms transfers pass through a federally licensed dealer gives the gun owner three choices. You a) transfer through an FFL, keeping the gun on the government's radar, or b) transfer it without paperwork, making yourself a criminal or c) you say the hell with it and just keep all your guns.
Any of those outcomes is perfectly satisfactory to the antis. If you choose option a), you've created a new paper trail for the gun. If you choose b), you are liable to prosecution and probably wonÃt be engaging in a lot of noisy political activity. If you and thousands like you choose c), the price of guns goes up because the universe of guns for sale becomes smaller.
Now, there are a lot of deer hunters or personal defense users who possess only a gun or two and see this as no great problem. For them, buying may be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so what's a little paperwork?
We live in a society where we are constantly being told we have to be reasonable and willing to compromise. If you already have the one gun you think you need and don't plan to get more, it's very easy to be complacent about obstacles put in the path of those who like to buy and sell lots of guns. Why not be reasonable and accept this small concession?
Well, as we have seen, it is no small concession. It puts way too much power in government hands, and it also sets the stage for gun rationing, waiting periods and other favored goals of the antis.
And what has being reasonable ever gotten us?
Harlon Carter liked to say that compromise means I give something and you give something. His question for anti-gunners was always, "what part of existing gun law are you willing to give up?" in exchange for some new restriction on our rights. As he always reminded us, no anti had ever been willing to give up a comma of existing law.
We have a big job ahead in educating our own about the dangers of background check initiatives. Start with your shooting and hunting friends today. Tell them the hell with being reasonable. We want more rights and the other side can be reasonable about it. How about we start by taking the tax off SBRs and suppressors?