May 19, 2020
Twenty-Seven Words Protect Gun Rights, Not Hunting
U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) joined Everytown for Gun Safety’s vice presidential webinar forum where she trotted out her yarn about gun laws and Uncle Dick in the deer stand.
It’s time we get Uncle Dick down from there. First of all, deer season has been over for months; now, he’s just poaching. Second and most importantly, these gun control laws that politicians banter about have nothing to do with hunting. It’s time to make our elected officials read and understand the U.S. Constitution they swore to defend – including the Bill of Rights – and live up to the words that are written.
Hunting is certainly a beloved recreational activity by a large percentage of gun owners. For some, this might even be their reason for owning a gun. They are a means by which to harvest wild game and put food in the freezer and on the table. In 22 states, the right to hunt and fish is explicitly protected, but the idea that the Second Amendment has anything to do with hunting is a red herring and is completely false.
Not About Hunting
The hunting misnomer is a favorite of the gun control politicians. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked hunting as he unilaterally banned modern sporting rifles throughout all of Canada. “You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” he said.
To be fair, Canada doesn’t have a constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms. The United States does, however. It’s simple. It’s short, just 27 words. The Supreme Court held that it applies as a right of individual Americans – not the government, and nowhere in that short sentence does it once say anything at all about hunting.
Not once. Not even a hint. No innuendo. Nothing tongue-in-cheek. It’s so clear, even a politician can understand it. Or should at least. Never underestimate a politician, though, and Sen. Klobuchar wasn’t the first.
New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo bellowed at all Americans, “It’s simple, no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer…” That was as he jammed through the New York SAFE Act, a sweeping set of gun control laws in a midnight vote. New York’s SAFE Act was passed with no hearings, no testimony, no time for opponents to exercise their First Amendment rights and make a case to their legislators.
Former Vice President Joe Biden conflated the meaning of the Second Amendment in an interview with Field and Stream’s Anthony Licata in 2013. Licata asked him directly what the Second Amendment means. Biden agreed it is an individual right, adding, “But it also has ruled that it is constitutional to own a gun individually for purposes of sporting, hunting, and/or self-defense.”
In that same interview, Biden said he believes the government has a right to limit the firearms an individual can own, specifically, modern sporting rifles. He claimed the rifle was not protected because it’s not usual. “If you have to go up into the Poconos and go bear hunting or deer hunting with that weapon, and you need a clip that has 30 rounds in it, then you shouldn’t be hunting,” Biden said.
But there are nearly 18 million modern sporting rifles in circulation today. They are used legally every day for home defense, recreational shooting and, yes, even hunting.
Biden’s misapplication of Supreme Court rulings and his hyperbolic rhetoric continued. He goaded gun owners on the campaign trail comparing rifles to fighter jets and rocket launchers. He did this even as he argued for DNA-enabled technology for firearms, nationwide gun registries and exposing the firearm industry to harassing litigation that would threaten the entire industry.
What’s Not Said
What Biden, Sen. Klobuchar and the rest of the candidates that dropped along the campaign trail never talked about was the criminal. They didn’t talk about actually attempting to reduce crime. They never spoke about soaring crime in areas where there is the strictest gun control. Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore are all examples of cities that press for more gun control, but whose politicians refuse to address crime or the criminals perpetrating those crimes. During the coronavirus crisis, prisoners were turned out of jails, including murderers. Police were ordered to stop arresting for certain criminal charges. The results were growing crime rates.
Here’s what else the politicians refuse to address: these gun control laws they foist on law-abiding Americans do nothing to address crime because criminals don’t follow the law. Department of Justice surveys of prison inmates show, time and again, criminals overwhelmingly obtain firearms through theft and the black market. Universal background check laws, waiting periods, registration schemes and a list of other gun control ideas are only observed by law-abiding citizens. Felons bent on criminally misusing firearms don’t fill out background check forms in dark alleys. They don’t submit their names to the FBI to have them say they can’t posses a gun.
Politicians also ignore that gun ownership is increasing even as crime has steadily declined. Nearly 19 million Americans have concealed carry permits in the United States today. It increased by 1.4 million people in 2019. That doesn’t account for the 18 states where citizens have a constitutional right to carry a firearm for personal protection.
Gun control politicians hover and nod approvingly around Biden when he berates voters who question his gun control platform shouting at them, “You’re full of sh*t!” They believe the Second Amendment is a problem to be fixed. At campaign fundraisers, they speak of it only as a loophole or a privilege that should be reserved for a select few. They don’t see it as a right to be respected and defended. It’s a cancer. If they can excise it, cut it out, isolate it, it will wither and die.
The first step for these folks is to get America to believe that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with a God-given right. Instead, say it’s about hunting. After all, that requires a license.