When I moved to central Florida in late 2014, I soon became intimately familiar with hurricanes. Unlike tornadoes, which strike with little or no warning, hurricanes start slowly, then gradually grow in strength and size. Savvy residents know this and take steps to prepare well in advance.
Unfortunately, too many people ignore the warnings or simply procrastinate until it is too late to take effective action. They’re the folks you see frantically scrambling to buy things such as water, generators, gas and flashlights at the very last minute.
I couldn’t help noticing the parallels to the fight for our Second Amendment right to own firearms and the ability to carry them for personal protection. Just like hurricanes, the threats to our liberties invariably start slowly, then expand and grow in power.
Incrementalism Is the Gun-Control Strategy
Joseph Stalin is sometimes credited (rightly or wrongly) with the statement observation: “If you try to take a man’s ham, he will fight you for it. But if you ask him for just one tiny slice, each day, he will wake up one day and find his ham is gone.”
Time and again, our opponents have successfully employed this technique. They invariably claim that they only want this or that “small change” in some law, arguing that you and I would be uncaring and even evil if we refused to accept minor inconveniences. But, hey, it’s for the children, right?
A perfect example is any law (whether federal or state) that bans or heavily restricts ownership of certain firearms or accessories. California’s infamous assault weapons ban started out focusing on several military style rifles (AR-15s, AK variants, etc.).
But soon after its passing, it was gradually expanded until it included almost 100 popular semi-automatic rifles and even shotguns. Today, there are restrictions on magazine capacity, and you even need to pass a background check to buy ammunition!
The Universal Background Check Myth
The push for expanded background checks is another example. Rational human beings don’t believe that gang members, drug dealers and convicted felons will ever submit to any background check. All legitimate research shows these individuals don’t get guns legally now … and no new law will change that.
A major element of such laws forces private citizens who wish to sell a gun to go to a gun store, police department or other government facility and go through a background check. The same is true if gifting to a relative.
This will do nothing to stop crime, but it will increase the cost of owning a gun. There are almost always fees attached to the background check. This is fine with gun-control activists who support anything that makes gun ownership more complicated and costly.
“Red Flag” Laws – Appropriately Named
In Florida, red flags on the beaches warn of dangerous surf and riptide threats. So-called “red flag” laws, already passed in several states, should likewise serve as a warning to all gun owners.
Such laws essentially suspend your constitutional right to due process. A complaint by an angry ex-spouse, an anti-gun neighbor or a fellow employee could easily result in a heavily armed SWAT team showing up at your front door. The potential for tragedy should be obvious.
Like the early stages of a hurricane, each new concession to the gun-control lobby fuels the storm and expands its size and scope. Stay informed and aware … our rights demand it.
About John Caile
John Caile, contributing writer for USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine, has more than 35 years of experience in concealed carry training and practical handgun shooting skills. As communications director for the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee, John was instrumental in passing Minnesota’s landmark concealed carry permit law. Certified through the NRA as an instructor of Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Home Firearm Safety and Personal Protection in the Home, John continues his lifelong activism for gun owners and their rights in Palm Coast, Florida. He has appeared on national talk radio and network and public television and is frequently published in the press.