Sons of Liberty

No 11

August 5, 1994

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Second Article of the Bill of Rights

S. 1882 [Senate Bill 1882]

Howard Metzenbaum (Dem - Ohio) has introduced a new piece of Crime Creation legislation: It"s short title is "Gun Violence Prevention Act of 1994".

Section 2 indicates the findings in support of the legislation. I will cite the more interesting of the lot.

(2) crimes committed with guns threaten the peace and domestic tranquility of the citizens of the United States and threaten the security and general welfare of the Nation and its people; [The Branch Davidians, Donald Scott, Gordon Kahl and Randy Weaver can attest to this.]

(3) crimes committed with guns, and especially handguns, have created a substantial burden on interstate commerce; [This is a rather interesting assumption. It appears that Metzenbaum is trying to rationalize jurisdiction even though it is clear that the "commerce" provision of the Constitution is to regulate, only to the extent necessary to establish fair trade practices. If the broad assumption continues, bubble gum, which is probably imported into your state, is a serious concern of the Congress.]

(5) guns and ammunition are easily concealed and transported across State lines in interstate commerce, and as a result, individual State action to regulate them is made less than effective by lax regulation in other States; [Back to the bubble gum. Concealed and transported is what government is trying to control. Taking my property with me is what I do.]

(6) in fact, even before the sale of a firearm, the gun, its component parts, ammunition, and the raw materials from which they are made have moved considerably in interstate commerce; [If Congress is allowed to step this low, you might find that your bread, soda, toothpaste, and even the meat you eat had "component parts" moved in interstate commerce.]

(7) while criminals move freely from State to State, ordinary citizens and foreign visitors may fear to travel to or through certain parts of the country due to concern about violent crime and gun violence, and parents may decline to send their children to school for the same reason; [This makes clear that the nature of the problem is local rather than interstate. Failure to enforce has resulted in Metzenbaum being able to make this ludicrous claim.]

(8) the occurrence of gun violence in schools has resulted in a decline in the quality of education in our country and this, in turn, has an adverse impact on interstate commerce and the foreign commerce of the United States; [The logic here seems a bit flawed. Since our schools are no longer able to teach our children, due to federal mandates, the gun violence in school (local problem) has an adverse impact on interstate commerce. Boy, that"s rather tough to swallow!]

(9) States and localities are finding innovative methods, such as gun exchange programs, of reducing the number of guns in their communities, but need additional Federal Government support; [Federal support to enhance existing "innovative methods". This may be a first. It seems more like the federal government will screw up whatever it gets involved in, or have they miraculously changed their nature?]

(10) States and localities find it almost impossible to handle gun- related crime by themselves due in part to the failure or inability of other States or localities to take strong measures; [Perhaps the real nature of the problem, and perhaps exacerbated by the federal court system hampering the application, and forcing the redirection, of justice.] and

(11) accordingly, it is necessary to establish national standards to promote the safe use of firearms and to reduce gun violence, including handgun licensing and registration, expanded prohibitions against firearm transfers to, or possession by, children and persons likely to misuse or commit crimes with firearms, requirements for gun safety and safe storage, strengthened regulation of licensed manufacturers, importers, and dealers, and prohibitions on the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons and other dangerous weapons. [This is hardly worthy of comment. It seems that the statistics that I read indicate that the guns used in most street crimes are out of the chain of proposed control anyway, and would probably continue to be so. The restrictions will hamper law abiding people from defending themselves, or their country.]

Let"s look and see if we can find historical reference to this type of legislation. In a resolution passed in Boston in September, 1768, reference was made to the guarantees previously made by the crown. The resolution, in part, read, "WHEREAS, by an Act of the Parliament, of the first of King William and Queen Mary, it is declared, that the Subjects being Protestants, may have Arms for their Defence; it is the Opinion of this town, that said Declaration is founded in Nature, Reason and sound Policy, and is well adapted for the necessary Defence of the Community." The resolution went on to declare that arms would be provided to every household, and that officers would be commissioned to lead the militia, and the this law must be observed. The determination of this resolution was necessary to protect against the encroachments which were to come.

An article in the Boston Gazette on September, 1768, stated, in part, that "It is conjectured 1st, that the Inhabitants of this Province are to be disarmed, 2d. The Province to be governed by Martial Law. And 3rd, that a Number of Gentlemen who have exerted themselves in the Cause of their Country, are to be seized and sent to Great-Britain."

Sam Adams, in a letter, said, "But there are some persons, who would, if possibly they could, perswade the people never to make use of their constitutional right or terrify them from doing it. No wonder that a resolution of this town to keeps arms for its own defence, should be represented as having at bottom a secret intention to oppose the landing of the King"s troops: when those very persons, who gave it its colouring, had before represented the people"s petitioning their Sovereign, as proceeding from a factious and rebellious spirit. . ."

On March 5, 1770 the Boston Massacre occurred. A resolution to disarm Bostonians was turned down for fear of a revolt. There was, however, a de facto policy against the sale of arms. People who purchased them and were found out by the British soldiers might be tarred and feathered. There were other cases where private arms were taken. One incident included the seizure of "13,425 musket cartridges with ball . . . and 300 lb. of ball. " by British guard.

On April 19, 1775 the British moved to seize the arms stored at Concord, Massachusetts. After the disaster that befell the British, General Gage, on April 22, made an offer to the populace. General Gage said that if the people were to turn in their arms, they would be allowed to leave Boston. Over two thousand arms were turned in at Faneuil Hall. Yet those who turned them in were detained at the same location. The citizens of Boston who refused to turn in their arms were advised that they "were to take the consequences."

On June 12, Gage declared Martial Law and agreed to pardon any who turned in their weapons, except Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Based upon Gage"s previous treachery, he found few takers. His actions did, however, indicate to all of the colonists that the right to keep and near arms was absolutely necessary, and that attempts to lull the arms away from the people would only lead to further loss of freedom and rights.

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