As evidenced by my post on Monday about pursuing gun control legislation at the state level due to the ineffectual and barely-there efforts of the congressional Democrats, I've been thinking about various ways to roll back the proliferation of guns and the gun culture without necessarily stepping all over the pro-gun interpretation of the Second Amendment.
And then the following news item hit the blogs and sparked another idea. Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of Gabrielle Giffords, attempted to purchase some assault weapons as a means of illustrating the pathetic background check system that's currently in place. After purchasing the weapons, Kelly's plan was to turn over the weapons to the authorities.
But then, Diamondback Police Supply, the gun dealership that Kelly visited to purchase a Sig Sauer M400 rifle (actual manufacturer slogan: "Built for Those Who Require No Introduction") has decided that Kelly doesn't actually have a constitutional right to own one and subsequently canceled the sale.
While I support and respect Mark Kelly’s 2nd Amendment rights to purchase, possess, and use firearms in a safe and responsible manner, his recent statements to the media made it clear that his intent in purchasing the Sig Sauer M400 5.56mm rifle from us was for reasons other then for his personal use. In light of this fact, I determined that it was in my company’s best interest to terminate this transaction prior to his returning to my store to complete the Federal From 4473 and NICS background check required of Mr. Kelly before he could take possession this firearm. A full refund was sent to Mr. Kelly, via express mail, on Thursday of last week.
Weird, isn't it? Kelly, an astronaut and national hero, isn't allowed to buy a Sig Sauer, but any pot-bellied hoople with a plastic, penisless novelty scrotum on the back of his truck and a camouflage trucker cap mounted atop his proto-hominid skull can buy as many as he wants. Diamondback is outright preventing Kelly from exercising his constitutional right to bear arms -- which the NRA tells me is absolute, especially for "good guys" such as astronauts -- because they'd like to block him from making an anti-gun statement (exercising his First Amendment right).
So clearly it's okay to prevent legitimate gun customers from buying weapons... just because. The Second Amendment be damned if a gun dealer, you know, doesn't feel like selling a gun.
Interesting. This is a huge loophole. The right to bear arms -- maybe.
Two other news items popped into my head as I thought about the Kelly situation. You might've heard the rumor that Homeland Security was buying up a crapload of ammunition. And if you read my post on Monday, you'd know that gun control financier Michael Bloomberg was buying $12 million in advertising in 13 states to convince conservadems to support the Senate gun control bill. Add the Kelly story into mix and BLAM! Here's an idea for tackling gun control that doesn't require a single law, and it uses the pro-gun argument against itself.
Instead of (or in addition to) spending money on advertising and lobbying, gun control activists should simply buy as many assault weapons as they can. Not all of them, of course -- that would be prohibitively expensive and logistically difficult. But just enough to take a respectable chunk out of the assault weapons and ammunition markets by owning a huge stockpile of each, and then making sure that those firearms are never discharged in anger by anyone ever. In effect, an assault weapons ban without passing any new laws.
From there, melt down the weapons and turn the metal into, say, Habitat for Humanity building materials, or stick the guns in a warehouse like the end of Raider's of the Lost Ark and forget about them. Hell, if possible, buy a fleet of dealerships, too, and refuse to sell the guns to anyone -- just because. If Diamondback can refuse to sell an assault rifle to Mark Kelly and be endorsed by 5,000 pro-gun Facebook followers in the process, then it's clearly permissible under the gun zealots' interpretation of the Second Amendment for Bloomberg and others to buy up gun dealerships and refuse to sell the inventory.
Michael Bloomberg's $12 million ad buy could otherwise be used to purchase around 9,200 SigM400s. Additional money could be used to buy back and destroy existing assault weapons from private owners. The guns and ammunition that remain in stores would become so rare that prices would become prohibitively high, partially fulfilling Chris Rock's brilliant idea for increasing the cost of bullets to $5,000 each. And on that note, if it's simply impractical to buy up the guns, then stick with the ammunition alone.
Now tell me, gun zealots, how is this unconstitutional? It's not. This is about private citizens buying as many guns as they want, thus operating under the purview of the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms (per the pro-gun interpretation of the Constitution).
In fact, not only should pro-gun groups like the NRA support such an effort, but hey -- it's a free market solution, too. Libertarians in particular ought to love it.
Again, if a sociopathic "sportsman" like Ted Nugent can own a gazillion firearms for whatever cause he sees fit to satisfy, while using the Second Amendment as a bulwark against attempts to stop him, why can't Michael Bloomberg and others do the same? And if they don't ever fire the weapons, who cares? There's nothing mentioned in any constitution requiring gun owners to actually use their weapons. Come to think of it, the only group that might have a problem with a few financiers buying up massive stockpiles of privately attained firearms, ammunition and dealerships might be the federal government. Yeah. Hmm. That's a pickle, isn't it? In this scenario, the pro-gun, pro-NRA people might have to team up with the big evil government to stop Americans from acquiring and keeping arms.
Activists have to think differently about how best to further the gun control issue, irrespective of whether an idea might seem far-fetched on paper. Why not turn the tables and confuse the opposition? Until guns are regarded as nothing more than a tool and no longer these sacrosanct totems of masculine domination and divinity, the gun control movement needs to become unapologetically creative and stir up the debate, otherwise the gun culture will grow increasingly entrenched and thus immeasurably more difficult to extricate from American tradition.