The Libertarian Party of Dallas County unequivocally condemns and opposes the sentiments of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings on the issue of additional federal gun control in the United States. Mayor Rawlings is on record saying that he supports the recent proposals of President Obama to further restrict the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms.
The specific bans and regulations which Mayor Rawlings has endorsed include a ban on certain modern rifles (aka “assault weapons”), magazine limits set to no more than 10 rounds, and even more restrictive background checks on American citizens before they may purchase a rifle or gun.
Above all else, no pragmatic issue usurps the gun rights of free people. The Constitution of the United States of America, the highest law of our land, encapsulates the basic civil and human rights of all American citizens, and among these most basic individual rights is the 2nd Amendment. The federal government has often used national tragedies as a tool to extract even more of our basic freedoms and liberties from us, and the recent mass shootings are just another springboard to that agenda. This cycle must end now.
Many of the “military-style” features of modern rifles which appear to the be subject of the proposed bans are merely “look cool” asthetics, or simply make the rifle easier to use or handle. The semi-automatic technology of these devices has existed for over 100 years and makes up the vast majority of all firearms currently on the market, civilian or otherwise. Destructive devices and fully automatic firearms are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and subsequent federal laws already on the books.
What about magazine round limits? A quick search of the internet will show just how quickly magazines can be exchanged by someone who practices the technique for a short period of time. (The practiced time is usually less than two seconds.) Magazine bans would only inconvenience home invaders, but render home defenders, who do not have the element of surprise on their side, much more vulnerable. The limit of 10 rounds is an arbitrary number anyway. Police, who most often arrive at the scene after a crime has been committed, will likely not be held to such round limits because it is assumed that they have a need for as many bullets as they can manage. Why, then, is that need not translated to the citizen who is imminently threatened and arguably even more in need of those extra rounds?
It is frightening – in the wake of new federal activity after 9/11 including the Patriot Act, NSA and FBI wiretapping, NDAA, the suspension of habeas corpus, a disastrous police state, and an interventionist foreign policy – that the federal government now wants to further restrict and screen the eligibility of gun ownership of American citizens through increased background check scrutiny. Since problems such as anorexia, ADHD, depression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder, among others, are now classified as “mental illnesses”, over 40% of Americans will now suffer from a “mental health issue” at some point in their lives by definition. According to present law, this can legally disqualify them from ever being able to own a firearm, regardless of any treatment or recovery. It is clear that increased background check regulations will only seek to further disqualify mainstream Americans from owning modern firearms.
In addition, the so-called “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror” have caused far more gun violence, both at home and overseas, than all lunatic murderers put together. Psychotic killing sprees are tragic, make headlines, and fuel the public debate, but it must be understood that these events represent a tiny minority of all violence. The government is violent and uses force as a matter of routine policy.
Finally, none of the proposed changes would have prevented tragedies like the Sandy Hook or Aurora mass shootings, because mentally disturbed individuals intent on random killings by definition do not obey laws, and will always work around the law to kill and create havoc. Outside of the law, the black market always has a supply of arms which have been banned or regulated by governing bodies, and therefore only the law-abiding citizen suffers from bad gun policy.
Mayor Rawlings acknowledged the diverse and firmly held opinions on this issue in Texas and across the United States, but then stated “All I’m speaking for are the citizens of Dallas”. No, sir, you are not.
We urge all rational and thinking citizens of Dallas to oppose Mayor Rawlings’ stance in support of Obama’s further gun control priorities. Considering the fact that over half of Texans are gun owners (including the mayor himself), we strongly feel that Rawlings is not representing the people of Dallas with his recent comments. We further urge every citizen to write their representatives in U.S. House and Senate to oppose all further gun control measures in the United States. Our liberty demands it.
Chair, Libertarian Party of Dallas County
The release can be found on the Libertarian Party of Dallas County website.