Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

No Guns for you. . .Just guns for me!

Posted by NRA - 8/29/2014
In recent years, American gun owners have come under unprecedented attacks from a few billionaires willing to spend some of their vast personal fortunes to deprive others of their firearm rights. The most recent example of this is in the battle over Initiative 594 in Washington State. This initiative would expand the state’s handgun registration scheme, increase the current waiting period from 5 to 10 days, presumptively outlaw the private transfer of firearms, and divert scarce law enforcement resources that could be better spent combating violent crime.

Joining the chief funder of anti-gun efforts, Michael Bloomberg, tech billionaires Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Paul Allen, as well as entrepreneur Nick Hanauer have thrown their resources behind I-594. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on August 25th that the Gates family has donated over $1 million in support of I-594. Earlier in the month, the Post-Intelligencer reported that the total contributions from the Ballmer family were $600,000. In addition, Allen donated $500,000. According to the article, with the help of these and other wealthy donors, the anti-gun activists have raised $6 million. (For an in-depth view of how the ultra-wealthy are bankrolling I-594 we encourage you to visit the website of Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission).

However, just because this handful of billionaires wants to make it harder for regular citizens to acquire the means of self-defense doesn’t mean they neglect to provide for their own security. A report from Seattle’s KIRO-TV regarding a 2014 break-in at the Gates’ mansion (often referred to as Xanadu 2.0) characterized the estate as, “[o]ne of the most secure private homes in the world.” An accompanying article stated, “The home has cameras, guards and sensors everywhere.” In 1998, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Gates “usually travels with a phalanx of bodyguards.”

Paul Allen also has an extensive and sophisticated security service. In a 2013 article detailing problems he, his sister and their company, Vulcan, Inc., were having with their personal security personnel, the Post-Intelligencer revealed details about the scale of the protective force. It notes, “At least 15 former members of the Allens’ personal security detail have brought civil claims against Vulcan and its leaders.” The article also states that some of the force were “veterans of elite military units or longtime security specialists.”

Hypocrisy aside, another reason Gates’ attempt to manipulate Washington politics is noteworthy is that it departs from his previous philanthropic ventures to fight disease or poverty or to promote education. Obviously, spending money to curtail your fellow citizens’ right to self-defense isn’t really philanthropic, but his donations to I-594 supporters are different in another way. The Microsoft founder claims to be a proponent of maximizing the impact of giving. This supposedly involves directing money where it can do the most good and encouraging philanthropic organizations to behave more like the business world. This is a noble approach to noble goals when applied to fighting polio or malaria, but Gates abandons logic when it comes to his anti-gun giving.

First, I-594 doesn’t pass a simple cost-benefit analysis. So-called "universal” background check proposals can never actually be universal, as criminals intent on violence will not subject themselves to government scrutiny. Instead, violent criminals will continue to acquire firearms in the ways they always have: theft, straw purchasers, and illegal street sales. No effect on the murder rate can be expected.

Moreover, recent history proves that the anti-gun activists these billionaires have funded are grossly overestimating the extent to which people engage in private firearm transfers, and therefore the impact of legislation targeting these transfers. Their website is littered with the indefensible claim that private transfers account for 40 percent of all firearm transfers.

In the time period surrounding the enactment of a private transfer ban in Colorado, a branch of the state legislature released a report which anticipated that law enforcement personnel would need to conduct 420,000 additional background checks in the law’s first two years. The legislature reached this conclusion by relying on the bogus 40 percent statistic. As an Associated Press report noted, however, in the law’s first year there were only “13,600 checks between private sellers,” a figure that only comprised “4 percent of the state total” for firearms transfers.

In short, I-594 would impose costs on law-abiding Washingtonians without providing the purported benefit of keeping firearms out of the hands of those intent on violence.

These individuals can buy almost anything, and it’s clear they believe that includes the rights of gun owners in the Evergreen State. It is imperative that freedom-loving Washingtonians work to protect their rights by getting involved in the NRA’s grassroots organization, informing their friends and family of this attempt to curb gun rights and the hypocrisy behind it, and most of all, by voting against I-594 on November 4th.

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