Harold Hutchison / January 31, 2020

Crime, Punishment, and the Second Amendment

It’s not creating new laws that will save lives; it’s consistently enforcing old ones.

Patriotic Virginians should be furious. The state’s new Democrat-controlled legislature, which was elected in no small part thanks to a one-two punch of Michael Bloomberg’s cash and Andrew Cuomo’s campaign against the National Rifle Association, is now pushing for gun-control laws that clearly violate the Second Amendment and would punish law-abiding citizens for crimes and acts of madness they had nothing to do with. They would also ignore the failure of our government to enforce the laws already on the books — a failure that costs lives.

One need only look at Chicago to see that the laws being pushed by Bloomberg and his fellow gun-grabbers don’t work. In fact, Chicago enacted an outright handgun ban from 1983 to 2010, which was ultimately undone by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago. Of course, the bad guys still got their guns during the nearly three-decade ban, and they used them to murder thousands.

Why? Because criminals break laws, including 18 USC 922, whether by stealing them or by using a straw purchaser. Even the National Firearms Act provisions on short-barrel shotguns have been flouted for decades. Passed in 1934, that particular law boasts an 86-year track record of failure.

Believe it or not, actual enforcement of federal gun laws has been tried — and it worked. Project Exile began in Richmond, Virginia, which had sought to address its high murder rate. As the project took hold, aided by a PR campaign using ads on buses and billboards, the crime rate dropped, and crooks stopped using guns — because they knew they’d be put away for a long time.

Curious what a small gun-running operation can lead to in terms of prison time? The NRA ran a tab back in 1999, and the results are quite instructive about the state of current law. Imagine what could be done to those who make multiple runs — or a bigger run.

Yet despite the success of Project Exile, politicians representing Chicago at the local, state, and federal levels have responded over the years by demanding that other states (like neighboring Indiana) and the federal government punish law-abiding citizens instead of the Windy City’s criminals. Simply put, the enforcement of laws aimed at the misuse of firearms could save a lot more lives than so-called universal background checks or a ban on modern semiautomatic firearms. Instead, we’ve witnessed a stunning betrayal of law-abiding citizens, who are being scapegoated in place of proper enforcement of the current provisions of 18 USC 922, 18 USC 924, and 26 USC 53.

Thankfully, the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment groups are fighting for the rights of those citizens.

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