Felons for Gun Control
Dishonesty is a hallmark of the anti-Second Amendment camp, as proven by the Million Mom March in 2000. This organization:
(1) Used 501(c)(3) tax-exempt money to promote House candidates on its website, and also the Mother's Day march that the NRA rightly called a thinly-disguised campaign rally for Al Gore.
(2) Solicited donor money, volunteer time, and corporate contributions under fraudulent pretenses, such as the assertion that firearm misuse kills 12 children every day. Numerous members of Congress, along with Senator Dianne Feinstein, made themselves parties to this falsehood. The group also told donors and contributors that the money was going to be used to promote "gun safety."
(3) Filed a Form 990 tax return that said the group engaged in no efforts to influence legislation, and spent no money to influence legislation or public opinion on legislative issues.
New York's Governor, Andrew Cuomo, more recently propagated the falsehood that the Second Amendment guarantees only the right to hunt. Barack Obama similarly implied that the Second Amendment has to do with skeet-shooting. Both men are attorneys, which makes these statements willfully dishonest. Cuomo, and former New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, aka Emperor's Club VIP Client 9, also promoted malicious lawsuits against gun manufacturers. None of these actions were illegal, but plenty of examples show how easy it is for people with their level of character and ethics to step over the line.
Indicted Defendants for Gun Control
Ray Nagin, the former mayor of New Orleans who ordered the illegal confiscation of firearms during Hurricane Katrina, was just indicted on twenty-one federal corruption charges. My position on attempted gun confiscation during natural disasters is, by the way, as follows: don't lie to a police officer by telling him you have no guns in the house. Say politely instead, "I do not wish to talk to you, Sir" (or Ma'am, or Officer). The officer cannot enter your home without either a warrant or probable cause that a crime is in progress.
Convicted Felons for Gun Control
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat, advocated a ban on all semiautomatic firearms along with a prohibitive gun owner registration fee. Blagojevich also promoted a ban on so-called "pocket rockets," or easily concealable high-caliber handguns. With regard to the latter, many states' concealed carry laws require the firearm to remain exactly that: concealed. Even if it is not illegal to expose or "flash" the weapon, it is generally poor judgment to advertise the fact that you have a weapon. When one deals with liars like the Violence Policy Center and criminals like Blagojevich, however, one should never expect truth, honesty, or common sense to come into play.
Mario Biaggi (NY) said that only police officers should have firearms. He had to surrender two firearms when he was convicted on felony corruption charges.
Bobby Rush (IL) is, like Andrew Cuomo and Client 9, an advocate of malicious and frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers. He also supports closing the so-called gun show loophole. Bobby Rush is also a convicted criminal because of his involvement with the Black Panthers. Rush referred to police officers as "pigs," whose murder his organization incited with language like "Off the pigs."
The bottom line is that the anti-Second Amendment movement is not only represented by, but is usually led by the dregs of society: common criminals who betray positions of trust, or even worse.
One Law for Elitists, Another for Commoners
Carl Rowan, the anti-Second Amendment columnist who wrote that anybody who possesses a gun should go to jail, avoided serious legal consequences for wounding a trespasser with a warning shot from an unregistered handgun. Use of deadly force against somebody who may have committed at most a nonviolent property crime is illegal in almost every jurisdiction in the country. It is doubtful that an ordinary person, as opposed to an influential columnist, would have avoided prosecution for aggravated assault, a felony, for using a firearm on a trespasser.
Jon Corzine (NJ) says that firearm ownership is not an absolute right. A firearm is obviously a danger in the hands of a criminal, or a reckless and irresponsible user, and so is a motor vehicle. Corzine directed the state trooper who was driving his Chevy Suburban to exceed the speed limit, and also to use the vehicle's emergency flashers for a non-emergency situation. The result was that the vehicle was going 91 mph in a 65 zone when it caused a serious collision with another vehicle.
It now seems clear that Mr. Corzine's own vehicle was responsible for the crash: the pickup trucks were pulling over to the right to make way for the speeding motorcade, and when Mr. Potts swerved left from the shoulder to avoid hitting a signpost, the white pickup swerved to avoid hitting him, but collided with the Suburban.
Pennsylvania's former governor, "Fast Eddie" Rendell, also was known for abuses of this nature. Rendell, who recently said that "the good thing about Newtown is, it was so horrific" (because this would mobilize the anti-Second Amendment camp), was known for driving his Cadillac, or ordering his drivers to do so, at up to 100 miles an hour on Pennsylvania's highways. That's more than 35 mph over the highest limit in the state. He is on record as then telling state troopers that he didn't want them to exceed 80 mph "unless they need to pass or unless there's some real exigent circumstance." In other words, the governor of Pennsylvania said it was acceptable to exceed the speed limit by more than 15 mph for the purpose of passing somebody. I doubt that excuse would go over very well with a state trooper who pulled an ordinary person over for speeding.
Last but not least comes the involvement of Barack Obama's so-called Justice Department in more than 2,000 gun-related felonies (straw purchases), and Mr. Obama's personal involvement in what looks a lot like illegal internet gambling to fund his campaign. Both are felonies for which an ordinary person would get jail time: 10 years in the case of a straw purchase. Ted Kennedy, meanwhile, used his influence to get his bodyguard out of trouble for carrying a pair of machine pistols into a government office building.
Many of the principal agitators for more gun laws are therefore proven elitists who believe that there is one set of rules for ordinary people and another set for themselves. Some, like Cuomo and Client 9, manage to stay on the right side of the law. Others like Rowan and Obama avoid jail because of who they are or whom they know. Still others like Blagojevich, Biaggi, and Rush step so far over the line that even their positions and influence cannot save them. These are not the right kind of people to tell the rest of us what kind of firearms, if any, we are allowed to own and use for lawful purposes.
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.