I remember a time, just 10 short years ago, when it seemed like the issue of gun control had died. In 2001, when the second Million Mom March was held, only 200 people showed up to protest Americans’ constitutionally-guaranteed right to bear arms.
After the hysteria of the first march against gun rights, the dramatic failure of a follow-up rally seemed like the end of a movement.
For supporters of the Second Amendment like myself, it appeared that the tide of anti-gun propaganda had been dashed against the rocks of constitutional wisdom. Sadly, the intervening decade has proven that such hopes were unfounded.
Though Americans’ freedom to bear arms has been upheld in several key cases in recent years, most notably in the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, this progress has inspired renewed animus among the anti-gun forces. And where the anti-gun lobby seemed scattered and intellectually bankrupt just ten years ago, we’re seeing new threats to our right to bear arms emerge on both the local and global levels. Knowing that they cannot overturn America’s constitutional guarantees to the freedom to own firearms, the renewed anti-gun movement is attempting to eat away at the practical applications of this fundamental constitutional right through all means available.
On the local level, we’re seeing municipalities trample federally-guaranteed gun rights, most notably in the case of New York City. A string of tourists have run afoul of New York’s draconian anti-gun laws, despite complying with all federal requirements. The most notorious example of this occurred just weeks before Christmas, when Marck Meckler was charged with possession of an illegal weapon in New York’s LaGuardia airport. Meckler had a concealed-carry permit from his home state of California, and complied with all federal regulations on traveling with guns, but now faces up to 15 years in prison for having a safely checked, unloaded handgun in his baggage. That cities like New York can trample guaranteed individual rights with impunity is just one example of how the anti–gun forces have found new insidious ways to infringe the rights of Americans.
And on the global level, we’re seeing a similarly surreptitious attempt to limit Americans’ rights to firearms. Though the UN Small Arms Treaty has grabbed the attention of the pro-gun media, the Initiative on International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) appears to be the more surreptitious and yet direct attack on private firearm ownership. Aimed at creating global standards for small arms tracking and regulation, and inspired by a similar effort at controlling land mines, the ISACS agenda includes items calling for the collection and destruction of small arms around the world. By creating “frameworks” and “international standards,” the anti-gun forces are attempting to covertly leverage the UN to subvert US sovereignty and abridge the rights of our citizens to bear arms.
Without the political support to overturn our constitution, the anti-gun lobby has turned from direct confrontation to a more subtle, but equally dangerous, campaign to ban the private ownership of firearms. Though less public, this effort is no less dangerous to our fundamental rights than it was when it was grabbing headlines and holding public rallies. To fight this movement and protect our rights, American patriots must take greater efforts to educate ourselves and fight this stealth war on guns. And, most importantly of all, we must never fool ourselves into thinking that our opponents have been defeated and that our Second Amendment rights can protect themselves. The battle goes on…