Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why the Radical Right has to LIE about gun confiscation? - because it is not real!

The Radical Right subset of propagandists are in high gear.

Understandably, the main stream media is not joining in their hysteria mongering.   It is unique to the crazy right wing nuts that they need relentlessly to present themselves as victims when they are nothing of the kind; it is embarrassing what a bunch of pathetic, gullible, lying whiners conservatives have become.  Make no mistake, this is a radical right driven faux narrative, it is not bi-partisan.

The purveyors of prime red meat propaganda have been claiming gun confiscations in New York, New Jersey, and now Connecticut, with the fear-mongering that other locations will be next -- "COMING TO A STATE NEAR YOU, SOON." and "RUN AROUND WITH YOUR HAIR ON FIRE PANIC".  Without the lie, the "anti-gummint" rhetoric is just ludicrously silly pure B.S.

So, the radical right gun extremists LIE. Loudly. Often. They appeal shamelessly to the fact-averse and the willfully ignorant.

The only problem with the propaganda is that no such confiscations or legal seizures have taken place. (Confiscation is defined, for a working definition here, as a legal seizure involving due process in court.)

At issue are the gun control laws in Connecticut and New York. The propagandists are running around with loaded rhetoric and their hair on fire, claiming that "OH MY GOD! The GUMMINT IS COMIN' Ta TAKE OUR GUNS!", and that law enforcement is going to be going house to house, helmet and visor wearing, bullet-proof vests buckled in place, jackboots polished to a high gloss, kicking down the doors and tossing the house looking for your illegal assault weapon.  And .....maybe shooting your dog or kid, depending on the propagandist.

Here is the reality, which differs MARKEDLY from the propaganda on all points.

First of all, if you did not register your assault rifle and/ or your large capacity magazine, during the nearly nine month period available to do so to be grandfathered in,  you were stupid, probably that special kind of stupid unique to the delusional gun-obsessed, as distinct from normal people who have a rational view of their guns.

A letter WAS sent out, to people who tried to register their assault weapons and large capacity mags AFTER it was too late to do so.  THOSE people were informed that they were too late - because they were, and because the law as written had no late provisions in it- so people were informed of their alternatives which were:
1. VOLUNTARILY turn over the weapon or mags to law enforcement.
2. Take it out of state
3. Sell it to an FFL dealer
4. render it inoperable (aka treat it like a D-WAT [deactivated war trophy].)
If you do number 4, you could turn the former assault rifle it into a great desk lamp for the gun-nut man-cave....

Nowhere is the word confiscation used, nowhere is it implied, or suggested.  Calls to the CT Dept. of Public Protection Office, Firearms division indicate no such action or communication about action is contemplated.  Ditto calls to the CT AG. 

What I was told, and what I confirmed, is that the ONLY way for law enforcement to seize a weapon, ammo or a magazine is if a person is in imminent danger to themselves or other, due to apparent mental illness or if they are committing or CLEARLY about to commit a crime.  That is not the result of the post-Sandy Hook law, by the way -- THAT dates back to 1998.

The only way for seizure of an illegal assault weapon is through a court-issued warrant, and then only after a court hearing has ruled on the legality/illegality of the weapon.  Simply receiving a letter that your request for registration was too late is NOT grounds for such a warrant, because there are multiple options for possible legal disposal of the now-illegal firearms, etc.  That means that while you clearly had an assault rifle, etc. AT ONE TIME, there is insufficient basis to issue a warrant, because there is absolutely no information that shows you still have that firearm after receiving the letter, and the state themselves provided you with the information to act legally.  The assumption has to be that you are legal and law abiding, not that you are guilty and unlawful. Otherwise you have grounds to dispute the legality of the warrant, and anything that results from it - or so I have been told.  I'm not a lawyer, nor do I claim to be.  However there does seem to be ample support for the basis and success of such a challenge in other contexts, in the form of what is in legal terminology, a motion to suppress  under the exclusionary rule, and the protections of the 4th Amendment against unlawful search and seizure, as well as possible protection under state Constitutions.

So, if you are serious about wanting to commit civil disobedience to protest the law which made having an UNREGISTERED assault weapon illegal, you pretty much have to take your assault weapon with you into the nearest police station with you, and dare them to arrest you.

If you are not willing to engage in that kind of protest and to face arrest and prosecution, you are just another person who is a common criminal, a person who makes the choice to do something against the law, hoping you won't get caught and held accountable.

Those who did not register their now-illegal assault weapons and large capacity magazines so as to have them grandfathered in legally were pretty stupid.  They are now NOT law abiding gun owners, when they could have so.  But if an assault weapon owner did not do the smart and legal thing, there is absolutely zero reason to expect their door to be kicked in by storm-trooper gun-grabbing LEOs.  That has not happened, will not happen, could not happen.

We hear, often, from the gun-deluded, that the possession of firearms leads to a polite society.  Ordinarily I would strenuously disagree with that point of view, given our daily occurrence of road rage and other violence with firearms where people behave badly instead of better because of possessing weapons (legal or otherwise).  However, given that a person who commits domestic violence, resulting in the issuing of a restraining order, criminal or civil, might also address possession of guns, both legal and illegal, we might hope that before hitting a spouse or significant other, the domestic abuser might want to think about what will happen if his intended victim testifies under oath that he has an illegal assault rifle and/or illegal large capacity magazines.  Just maybe, in order to keep his dirty little secret a continuing secret, he will control that impulse to commit abuse.

I doubt it, but we can hope.

1 comment:

  1. You forget that the slogan "an armed society is a polite society" comes from science fiction (Robert Heinlein's "Beyond This Horizon"), which makes loads of sense that the rest of their line is also fictional.

    The problem is that public policy should be based upon facts, not fanciful fictions no matter how attractive.