By Harley Austin | United States
In America, the government has been slowly taking away the natural right to own firearms for over a century. However, unlike popular belief, the Republican Party has been a long-time supporter of gun control. To those who realize the two parties are the same, this should come as no surprise. However, to those who are still divided by American partisanship, the Republican Party, the NRA, and blindly loyal Republicans themselves support gun control. From Nixon to Reagan to Trump, Republicans have been passing gun control legislation for decades.
The reason Republicans and their NRA lapdog have been pretending to support the gun rights while being active gun control supporters is one reason: votes. While Republicans support gun control legislation, either directly or through compromise, their voters are tricked into thinking they “support gun rights”. This means that every election cycle, Republicans continuously elect gun grabbers who take more of their rights. They then, because of blind partisanship, support gun legislation created by their own party. Despite their literal advocacy for gun control, Republicans will go on to say that “Democrats are taking our guns” when in reality both parties are gun-grabbing statists.
This blind loyalty to a party that actively erodes our rights is both appalling and a prime example of the divide and conquer tactic of the two-party system. To analyze the gun grabbers masquerading as gun rights supporters known as Republican politicians, we must take a look at the history of Republican gun control.
Ronald Reagan and the Firearm Owners Protection Act
While Republican gun control dates all the way back to Richard Nixon, we’ll start with a Republican favorite: Ronald Reagan. While Reagan tried to pretend he supported gun rights by opposing minor bills, he, like most Republicans, was a compromiser who embraced gun control. A lot of this was endorsements of gun control bills after his presidency. However, during his presidency, he passed one of the largest gun control bills to date: the Firearm Owners Protection Act (or FOPA).
For those who are unaware, the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 was a major gun control bill aimed at revising the Gun Control Act of 1968. While it removed some of the minor red tape around interstate commerce, it included one disastrous tyranny: the Hughes Amendment. This part of the law banned the selling of all fully automatic weapons created after 1986. Because the importation of these weapons was banned by the GCA, Americans were virtually banned from obtaining fully automatic weapons (the exception being the few ones remaining that predate 1986, which cost tens of thousands of dollars).
Reagan and the Republican Party has never been supporters of our natural rights to all types of firearms. So while the government created one of the greatest tyrannies of modern America, Reagan, the NRA, and Republicans sat back and acted like they achieved some great victory. However, the only victor, in this case, was the master that they really serve: government.
To add insult to injury, here’s a nice quote from Reagan:
I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense.”
But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.” -Ronald Reagan
This is an accurate reflection of the Republican stance on guns: protect sporting but not our rights. These types of people are commonly referred to as “Fudds”: aka gun owners who don’t support gun rights. These types are usually characterized by their use of gun grabbers fallacies such as “need”, “hunting”, or “assault weapons”.
George W. Bush’s Gun Control Support
This brings us to the Republican support for gun control in the early 2000s with President George W. Bush. Like most Republicans, George W. Bush was a big supporter of “enforcing the law” (no matter how wickedly tyrannical those laws are) and supported stronger gun control. Bush supported increased background checks, increased regulations on buyers and manufacturers, and increased restrictions on certain firearms given the made-up term “assault weapon”.
George W. Bush was also a strong supporter of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which banned certain types of firearms and attachments and was passed by Bill Clinton. In this former law, just like the anti-gun rhetoric of today, “assault weapon” is a made up term used to define anything the government, gun grabbers, and other tyrants dislike. It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual definition of an assault rifle, which is defined as a selective fire rifle with an intermediate caliber and box cartridge. These actual assault weapons were unjustly and tyrannically banned by the FOPA law mentioned earlier.
Bill Clinton passed a ban on these made up “assault weapons” in 1994, which was followed by a massive rise in homicides and mass shootings. When the bill expired in 2004, George W. Bush was actively in favor of making the law permanent. Luckily, all attempts to do this failed to pass Congress.
Donald Trump and Modern Gun Control Support
In our modern age, we now have our main focus: current Republican support of gun control proposed by President Donald Trump.
Trump’s first and most major attack on gun rights is against bump stocks, attachments that increase the fire rate of semi-automatic rifles at the cost of low precision and frequent jamming. Trump, the NRA, and the Republican Party have all supported a proposed ban on bump stocks, which have only been used as a response to the past infringements on our natural rights to own automatic firearms.
This is all heavily ironic for Trump’s supporters, who were heavily critical of President Barrack Obama for taking the same stance on guns. In the 2016 election, a common talking point was that Trump “didn’t support gun control”, which has now been proven absolutely false by both Trump and his own supporters. The gun control support from Trump and his base proves that Republicans’ anti-gun stance includes not just the politicians, but the voters too.
Another gun right that has been the target for the Trump administration has been 3D printed guns. While the rest of the federal government has been actively trying to stop Defense Distributed from making guns available to the public, something they have every right to, the Trump administration has taken a more hands-off approach. However, Trump has still voiced his opposition to American gun rights on Twitter, saying:
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
Based on Defense Distributed’s current legal debacle, direct action will probably not be immediate. However, once bump stocks have been banned by Trump’s blindly loyal supporters, 3D printed guns will definitely be a target for either Trump or a future president.
Anti Due Process
This brings us to Republican gun control in the legal system with Trump’s disapproval of due process and the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
After the Florida shooting, Trump voiced his support for forcefully seizing guns of anyone deemed “dangerous” without due process. Not only is this a sheer violation of our rights to due process, but it also shows Trump’s support for tyrannical gun control.
Here’s a quote from Trump’s statement:
I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,”
Followed by his most infamous line:
Take the guns first, go through due process second,” -Donald Trump
Anyone familiar with the Waco Massacre should know just what it means when the government “takes the guns first”. It means a militarized police/ATF seizing citizens’ guns without a warrant, without due process, and without any regard for our rights. The only result of this is tyranny, brutality, and the murder of innocent citizens by their government.
Finally, we have the most recent, and less overt, support for gun control: Brett Kavanaugh. While Brett Kavanaugh has proven that he has no consideration for our rights to privacy, his support for gun control has been a bit less obvious.
During the congressional hearing before his appointment, Kavanaugh stated that the government had the constitutional authority to regulate firearms in specific cases. The first of which was concealed carry: the practice of carrying a concealed firearm and a natural right of all people. Kavanaugh stated that Americans did not have a right to concealed carry and did not have the right to some supposed “dangerous and unusual firearms”. This can also be interpreted as anything our tyrannical government doesn’t want the citizens to have.
Kavanaugh has also previously written this nail in the coffin for our rights:
As to regulations on the sale, possession, or use of guns, Heller similarly said the government may continue to impose regulations that are traditional, ‘longstanding’ regulations in the United States. In McDonald, the Court reiterated that ‘longstanding regulatory measures’ are permissible. Importantly, the Heller Court listed several examples of such longstanding (and therefore constitutionally permissible) regulations, such as laws against concealed carry and laws prohibiting possession of guns by felons. The Court stated that analysis of whether other gun regulations are permissible must be based on their ‘historical justifications.’”
Despite his support for gun control, Republicans have still shown immense support for Kavanaugh. Because of his views on gun control and the previously mentioned spying, Kavanaugh is anything but a “constitutionalist”. Republicans have demonstrated through their support that they care more for party loyalty and the presidential cult of personality than about any of our rights.
Libertarians: The Only Supporters of Gun Rights
This brings us to the ultimate question: if both parties support and enact gun control, then who supports our rights? The answer is the true supporters of our natural rights: libertarians. Libertarians support all of our natural rights, including all of our rights to own firearms. Libertarians are not compromisers and gun grabbers like the Republicans and they support the full deregulation and decriminalization of all firearms. They also support the abolishment of unjust tyrannies such as the NFA, FOPA, and the ATF: things Republicans have refused to touch.
Those who support the right to own firearms must turn away from the gun grabbing Republicans and support real freedom. If we continue to vote for the two parties then they will continue to take away our rights until they have achieved the totalitarian state they desire. The American people must stop voting for the two parties and must start supporting actual freedom.
But most importantly, remember one thing: all gun laws are infringements.
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