A Fist Full of Dollars and Guns

On December 16, House Resolution 4269* was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. The title of the resolution is the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2015” and its stated purpose is “To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.”

Language is very telling when it comes to proposed legislation as is the intent of such legislation. The intent of this proposed resolution is clearly stated at its beginning: the banning of weapons because the Second Amendment is not unlimited, and for other purposes.

The resolution begins with what types of firearms will be banned and after a complete reading of all the firearms listed to include accessories, pretty much all firearms are included in the ban. To be fair, there is a long list of exempted firearms, but if those exempted firearms are “modified” in any way to include the “banned” accessories, the firearm becomes “illegal.”

However, and herein lies the true intent, there are exemptions to this resolution. As has become the norm for federal resolutions or legislation, the exemption applies to:

– The United States
– Department or agency of the United States or a State
– Department, agency or political subdivision of a State
– Qualified law enforcement officer employed by the United States or a department or agency of the United States
– Or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State for purposes of law enforcement (on or off duty)
– Or a sale or transfer to or possession by a campus law enforcement officer for purposes of law enforcement (on or off duty)

In plain language: only the government be it federal, state or local may possess, own or sell “assault weapons.”

The theory behind the resolution is that if the government makes it harder to purchase, own or use firearms – for the non-government citizen, that is – gun violence will be reduced. This might prove even a little accurate if it weren’t for cities such as Chicago. This city has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, yet somehow those laws haven’t stopped hundreds of Chicago residents from being murdered, year after year.

So here we are – under the guise of a feel-good resolution, the real intent is to increase the power of the government and decrease the liberties of the people. Of course not one of the sponsors or co-sponsors of this resolution would dare admit the truth because it wouldn’t serve their purpose. Instead, emotionally-laden arguments are used to persuade people to support such legislation. Should the same standard for “assault weapons ban” be applied to other areas, a good many things would be banned.

The standard for banning assault weapons is that elected officials need to ensure guns are not put in the wrong hands with the intent to do harm: Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Columbine, et al.

With this standard in place, when will a resolution be passed banning money because before a gun can be purchased, legally or illegally, a person must have some form of money to purchase the gun. So to ensure no “illegal assault weapon” is purchased, all money must be banned – thus eliminating any purchase of “illegal assault weapons.”

Well that’s just crazy many would reply, but not if the same logic applied to guns is applied to money. A follow on argument might be that money doesn’t kill people but guns do kill people. Again, the argument is illogical because money can kill people if the intent is there to do ill with money.

An oft-misquoted verse is money is the root of all evil; however, an accurate reading is, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10

As we can read, it is not money that is the root of all kinds of evil, but rather the love of money.

Imagine, if you will, finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk. That $100 bill has no power on its own. If you choose to leave it there on the sidewalk, there it will remain, causing no one harm or good. If you choose to pick up that $100 bill, your intent for the money will determine if it is used for harm or good.

Many a people have been ruined as a result of a love of money and the desire to possess it at all costs. Prisons are just as full of men and women who have conned others out of money for their own use as they are with people who have committed crimes using guns – both resulting in many ruined lives.

Revisiting Chicago: The desire for many to have money and lots of it have resulted in rampant criminal activities such as drug pushing, robberies or thefts, pimping, to the killing of innocent people.

Now imagine that instead of a $100 bill, a 9mm has been placed on a sidewalk. The gun itself is neither harmful nor good. Again, the intent of the person picking up the gun will determine if it is to be used for good or ill.

Going back to Chicago, the love of money has led many a person to illegally purchase a gun to commit acts that garner them money, and it is money that purchases the tool used to achieve perceived riches.

Returning to HR4269, this proposed legislation will have only the most negligible effect on gun murders but it will have a great effect on law-abiding Americans who have never committed a crime using a gun, or otherwise.

So my parting question is: who will stop any level of government from usurping more power and rights from the people should the people be disarmed? (More on that question and Second Amendment in another post.)

*https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4269/text

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