"Dissonance and Dissidents"
By John Taylor
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
My American Rifleman came in the mail today, and as usual, I
read it cover-to-cover as soon as I got back from the mailbox. In it
I found the usual quality articles about hunting tactics and
hardware, and the latest from the pens of our three chief officers.
Maybe I'm just too sensitized, but did anybody besides me notice
that every day in every way we're beginning to look less like "the
world's oldest civil rights organization" and more like "the world's
oldest 'gun control' organization"?
Let me explain. Wayne LaPierre's column, "Standing Guard"  is
devoted to "dissing" the Joseph Goebbels of the House of
Representatives, Charles "The F is for Fascist" Schumer. Schumer's
latest attempted rape of the Constitution is hilariously titled the
"Twelve is Enough Anti-Gunrunning Act" (HR12), and amounts to no more
than another version of the same old same old from the Enemies of
But perhaps more surprising than Schumer's sleazy attempt to gut
the Bill of Rights is Wayne LaPierre's response. In Wayne's World,
Schumer's bill is bad because it's unnecessary -- we already have
perfectly fine gun laws on the books that need to be more strictly
Excuse me? Do I read this right? The existing unconstitutional
code is more than adequate to maintain order, and should be used to
the fullest to accomplish Schumer's goals? And we're on whose side?
To quote LaPierre, "All states -- when it comes to criminal
commerce in firearms -- have the same law and it's there in black and
white for anyone to read, especially Chuck Schumer who ought to be
demanding that the U.S. Justice Department do its job and enforce the
law. It is a law which now -- today -- could be used to arrest, try,
and convict armed criminal predators who crawl our streets."
The law LaPierre refers to is the hideous Gun Control Act of 1968
(GCA '68), whose provisions have, for almost three decades, been used
to infringe almost exclusively the rights of honest citizens. This
act, relacing the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, imposed harsh
restrictions on the sale and transfer of firearms, allowed the
Federal government to determine what type of firearms you may
possess, and set in place the mechanism for all current "gun control"
GCA '68 is the Holy Grail of the anti-gunners. It is the law
about which Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (a real
pro-gun civil rights group) says "GCA '68 ties your hands and keeps
you from carrying out your legal duty to ensure your own
self-defense. GCA '68 thus undermines a pillar of U.S. law and helps
criminals to kill law-abiding Americans. Hitler would be pleased."
And GCA '68 is the existing law Wayne LaPierre refers to when he
says that "criminal sanctions under existing law" should be enforced.
LaPierre cites provisions of GCA '68 that would apply to a
hypothetical "gunrunner" who unlawfully buys and sells handguns. The
cumulative penalties are impressive in LaPierre's scenario -- 995
years in federal prison. (Of course Wayne cheats a little by making
the "gunrunner" a "multi-convicted felon; a drug user; a fugitive
from justice." And his "customers" are constructed as "... also
career criminals; all convicted felons; in the illegal drug trade;
two are fugitives." In addition to making them a presumably unsavory
lot, these conditions allow LaPierre to "pad" the firearms violation
penalties with a few extra years for drug and fugitive charges -- a
But perhaps more important, the entire construction is missing
one vital element that seemingly applies in every crime -- the
victim. None of the hypothetical charges involve a crime against a
person. There are no bleeding children, no grieving widows to enlist
in the cause of "gun control" -- no victims at all. Oh, well, I guess
one could argue that "society" was victimized, but that position
looks pretty feeble.
No, all the gun-related penalties are for crimes that are
nothing more than administrative creations of GCA '68. That's right;
no one stole anything, no one violated anyone else's rights, no one
initiated force of any kind against anyone else in this little
scenario. These "gunrunners" simply failed to comply with the law
whose model was The Nazi Weapons Law of 18 March, 1938.
And we (we're the NRA!) seem to think that we don't need any new
laws because this one will do just fine!
Moving on, we find an essay by Tanya Metaksa later in the same
issue of the "house organ", entitled "Sliding Down the Slippery
Slope". In it Mrs. Metaksa (quite rightly) asserts, "We will never
lose our civil liberties all at once, by dictator decree. If the day
ever comes in America when we lose our guns, it will be because once
we compromised our beliefs and started down the slippery slope of
waiting periods, gun bans, mandatory storage laws and the like. It
[sic] became easier and easier just to go along for the ride."
Yet, earlier in the article, Mrs. Metaksa is attempting to refute
the assertion of a Clinton official in the Department of Justice who
stated, "The current state of federal law does not recognize that the
Second Amendment protects the right of private citizens to possess
firearms of any type."
Mrs. Metaksa rebuts the official by referring to ... did you
guess it? ... GCA '68! Says Metaksa about that law, "Congress
affirmed the gun-owning rights of the individual citizen, stating
that the law was not intended to 'place any undue or necessary
Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect
to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms appropriate to the
purpose of hunting, trapshooting, target shooting, personal
protection, or any other lawful activity. ...'"
Are we so naive that we actually believe such hooey from
Congress? If we believed it in 1968, haven't the events of the recent
past proved that at best that intent has been subverted? Do we really
look so favorably on a law whose very presence lends credibility to
the Charles Schumers of this country when they propose their statist
Don't we oppose "gun control"?
 Wayne LaPierre, "Standing Guard", American Hunter, June 1997, pp. 10-11
[back to text]
 "The War on Gun Ownership Still Goes On!", 1993, bound in:
Jay Simkin and Aaron Zelman, "Gun Control" -- Gateway to Tyranny, 1993
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
2872 South Wentworth Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207
[back to text]
 Tanya K. Metaksa, "Sliding Down the Slippery Slope", American Hunter, June 1997, pp.44-45
Copyright (c) 1997 by John C. Taylor. The reader is encouraged to
circulate this essay widely. Permission to reproduce this essay is
hereby granted (and encouraged), provided its content is unaltered
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