And they didn't even need black helicopters and Men in Black to pull it off.
Derided as conspiracy nuts, opponents of the New York state gun law passed by the assembly in the aftermath of Newtown were ridiculed for being concerned that the law could lead to gun confiscation.
Guess what: They were right.
The story dropped over the weekend and then was blown away by the Boston attack. But it deserves all the publicity we can give it, as I told Jazz Shaw, author of this piece at Hot Air, on my radio show last night:
We've heard it over and over again, particularly on shows like Morning Joe. Anyone who thinks that the government is "coming to take your guns" is a paranoid loon, watching for black helicopters and guarding their sheep from soldiers. Unfortunately for those formerly right leaning, Second Amendment minded folks who bought into this story, reality has come screaming up from behind well ahead of schedule.
Following the passage of "The SAFE Act" in New York State, Big Brother got busy pretty quickly grabbing up the guns. Of course nobody was reporting on it very much until they managed to collect them from the wrong guy and a judge made them give them back.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Thursday, a state Supreme Court Judge ruled guns seized from David Lewis, 35, must be returned to him after he was incorrectly identified as violating the mental health provision of the SAFE Act.
"We know that from the health care agency to the State Police, there was some kind of breach," said Lewis' attorney, Jim Tresmond.
I don't know how much more chilling that lede could be, really. This isn't some worry about the government possibly confiscating guns. These are guns that were already confiscated by the government. But if you think that's as bad as it gets, guess again. Here's why his guns were taken.
Tresmond says his client was ordered to turn in his weapons last week because he was once on anti-anxiety medication, which is a violation of the SAFE Act. Wednesday, State Police informed the Erie County Clerk's Office that it made a mistake when it said Lewis was in violation of the state's new gun law.
For all of our more liberal leaning readers who continue to ask "what's so bad" about universal background checks before we've even seen the specifics, this is your answer. In New York, you can be placed on a "list"of people with no Second Amendment rights on the say so of any doctor who has questions. And it already happened to David Lewis. Thankfully, he's getting his guns back... for now. But what is the larger effect of this if we put it on a national scale?
And that's the point, isn't it? Jazz asks how many other New Yorkers have had a authorities knock on their doors and demand their guns because they may have taken anti-depressants at some point in their lives, but didn't fight the order like Mr. Lewis.
Jazz calls it "chilling" and it most certainly is. The idea of keeping guns out of the hands of the truly mentally deranged is a good idea. But if the state is going to do that, there must be safeguards for the individual so that they can challenge any order to give up their firearms in court.
Any law that allows the state to take anyone's guns will result in mistakes like the one that happened to Mr. Lewis. And that is intolerable in our constitutional republic.