By Dan Shea
12 January 2001. Sitting at the SHOT Show in New Orleans.
I was curious as to what the mood would be. After the Eternal Election, and the accompanying uncertainty, most of us are wondering what the future of the firearms industry will be. If Algore had gotten in, we were certain of a mad rush of panic buying, followed by more restrictions on our freedom. If George W. was elected, and he was, we weren’t sure what to expect. Factor in the stock market roller coaster, the “Dot.Bomb” Internet collapse, and generally the Hillarization of the Senate, well, who knows….
I learned a long time ago that “Life goes on”. When it comes to our survival, we are more resilient than people generally think, and our freedom is as well. We can survive panics and lulls in markets, and even 8 years of the Clintonistas. What seems to do us in is negativity and complacency.
The complacency thing is what I wanted to touch on this month. Just because George W. Bush is new 43rd President of the United States, and we have a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and a substantive majority of Republicans in the Senate is no reason to think that we will make any gains in freedom. Remember that President Elect Bush’s father gave us the 1989 “Assault Weapons” import ban, and that even Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 ban on further manufacture of machine guns for private ownership.
If you are reading this magazine, then you are either a gun person, or working to undo the Second Amendment. When I say “gun person”, I mean you either work and live with guns, or enjoy them as a hobby- and military style firearms are the ones you care about. The few who read this in order to “Know their enemy”, and are working for the gun control forces, well, I welcome you to SAR- I hope you get some education about the fact that we are not the problem. Criminals are the problem, not law abiding armed citizens.
If you are a “Gun person”, then you know the anxiety of what the actions of various governments can do to your interest. The UK and Australia chopping up guns- the Canadians registering and rounding some up. The Clintonistas trying to chop up the guns in the federal museums. Then, the various things in the US- states banning this or that, ruining the values of private collections, or outlawing them altogether. One day you are a law abiding citizen with a legal gun collection, the next you are a criminal by government fiat. Additionally, you have the knowledge that the restrictions and impositions are a farce- a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Banning guns doesn’t accomplish the stated purpose of “Making things safe for the children”, it makes us all prey to the predatory criminals. On top of that, is the fear that these restrictions and impositions are a wolf in sheep’s clothing as well- tyranny masquerading as the care-bears. Ban the guns to “Save the Children”, rule a helpless people as a by-product.
Complacency is not our answer- activism is. We need to keep our organizations strong, and to present a united front to the anti Second Amendment activists in our government. They are still there, and still have their agendas. While the media tries to destroy the incoming Bush administration before their planes touch down- mortaring the airstrip as it were, there are people who are in the government who have private agendas to ban firearms, or to impede the private ownership thereof. Let’s keep our voices loud, stay united, and contact our representatives at all opportunities to ensure that they don’t forget that we value our freedoms- and we did, in fact, elect them to protect those freedoms.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N6 (March 2001)