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Threats against freedom

Posted By Tanya K. Metaksa On 06/10/1999 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

When a tragedy like Columbine High School occurs, our media covers
it, re-covers it, and dissects it to death. We hear from expert and
wannabe experts as long as their opinion conforms to the politically
correct point of view. If someone has an opinion that differs from the
host or interviewer, woe be unto him or her. A case in point was the
haranguing of Tom Selleck by Rosie O’Donnell.

Tom Selleck thought he was appearing on the Rosie O’Donnell show to
promote his new movie. What he thought obviously didn’t matter, because
neither he nor Rosie ever mentioned the movie’s name during the entire
interview. Rosie took the opportunity of his appearance to verbally bash
him because he had joined the NRA and appeared in an advertisement. Her
“interview” turned into an American television re-enactment of a KGB
interrogation. The transcript of that segment of the Rosie show is
available online.

However, the coverage generated by our watchful press is totally
absent when overzealous and ambitious politicians attack law-abiding
citizens’ Second Amendment rights. When William Doss, a citizen of
California for only two years received a letter from then-Attorney
General Dan Lungren, he didn’t know what to expect. The Nov. 24, 1997
letter, which had been forwarded from his old Florida address, informed
him that his SKS sporter rifle was no longer legal; turn it in to local
authorities.

In early 1995 William Doss, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a
Florida resident, contacted the California Department of Justice (DOJ)
to inquire whether he could bring his SKS rifle with him when he moved
to California. He promptly received an answer. In a letter dated April
5, 1995, DOJ wrote him that his rifle was indeed legal and could be
brought with him on his move to California. In fact, the DOJ even sent
along an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet with pictures showing which guns were legal
under California law and which were not. Thereupon Bill Doss moved to a
new job in a new state and brought his SKS along.

When Doss opened that forwarded DOJ letter, he wasn’t expecting to
receive notice that his gun had been banned. That letter signed by Dan
Lungren, which was sent to everyone who had registered or inquired about
the legality of SKS rifles, inaugurated the era of gun confiscation in
California and the United States. On Jan. 28, 1998 Bill Doss, Vietnam
vet and law abiding gun owner, walked into the police station and
surrendered his now-banned rifle to local authorities for confiscation.

In 1999, under a new even more hostile California DOJ, there is a
“sksbuyback” website to inform the gun
owner how to turn in her once legal, but now contraband firearm. The
webpage, like Lungren’s charts, even includes pictures to help those who
can not recognize the miniscule differences between good (legal at the
present time) and bad (illegal) guns. Check it out — with the current
Senate version of the Juvenile Justice Bill, about to be voted on in the
House of Representatives next week — a similar webpage might soon make
its appearance on the Treasury Department web site. And that’s what gun
owners fear most.

NRA in its most recent legislative alert to its members predicts that
the Senate passed legislation would “impose a cradle-to-grave massive
federal regulatory scheme on gun owners throughout America — and that’s
no exaggeration.” NRA members and gun owners across this country
understand that the ultimate goal is to confiscate firearms and that
registering them is only the first step.

Today it is no longer necessary to pull out musty history books,
watch the History Channel or listen to the few remaining refugees from
Hitler’s Germany to see concrete evidence of firearms’ registration
leading to confiscation. All we have to do is look across either the
Atlantic or Pacific Oceans at our English speaking global neighbors:
Great Britain and Australia. You can find it on the Internet. The
Sport Shooters of Australia
have a web page
that is informative about the history of gun laws and the current state
of banned firearms in Australia. The massacre of school children in
Dunblane, Scotland in March 1996 was the catalyst for the British
Government to confiscate all handguns and ban all pistol clubs. David
Brundle runs a website called The Great British Gun Ban Con, which covers all the events
since Dunblane. Intellectually we know that gun confiscation has
happened throughout history. But now it’s happening in California,
U.S.A.

The confiscation in California has its genesis in laws that are
drafted by clever gun prohibitionists. When the Roberti-Roos “assault
weapons” law was passed in 1989, the interpretation of the legal
definition of an “assault weapon” was put into the hands of the attorney
general. Thus, it was left to the attorney general, Dan Lungren, at the
time, to define which guns would be banned and which ones would be
legal. He didn’t include the now-banned SKS sporter because it had not
even been imported when the original list was developed. When it was
imported into the country, Lungren chose not to define it as an “assault
weapon,” thus allowing hundreds of thousands of Californians and William
Doss to own a SKS.

The Lautenberg amendment to the Senate Juvenile Justice Bill is a
similar piece of legislation. If it becomes law, it will be used by the
Clinton Administration to require registration of gun collectors and
those gun owners who sell any gun. In addition it will legalize the
maintenance of massive government records of all gun purchasers. It will
be one giant step in gun owner registration and one giant leap towards
confiscation. Bill Clinton knows that and he will do everything to keep
the Lautenberg amendment intact. After all, in an interview on ABC’s
Good Morning America, he at long last admitted that he supported
registering guns. Yet, when anchor Charles Gibson accused him of meowing
instead of roaring about the issue of gun registration, Clinton
responded angrily, “For you to say I shouldn’t take what I can get and
instead I should ask for things that I am absolutely positive will be
defeated in the Congress is quite wrong.”

Now, at the end of the twentieth century we have reached a watershed
on the issue of freedom, especially the freedom to own a firearm. An
American president is now talking openly about registering guns and gun
owners, while settling for backdoor gun registration schemes under the
guise of stopping “gun show loopholes.” In California gun owners must
turn in their rifles before Y2K or face criminal prosecution. And the
only time the Los Angeles Times even acknowledged that Spike Lee
suggested shooting Charlton Heston

with a .44 caliber pistol was when they printed Heston’s rebuttal on
their Letters to the Editor page this week. Mr. Heston’s comments
succinctly reflect the change in our culture: “In response, I feel some
irony. In ’63, when I was marching for the freedom of black Americans, I
was threatened by white men. In ’99, active now for the freedom of all
Americans, I’m threatened by a black man.” Become active for freedom
today. The time to call your Congressman is NOW.


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