Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"If its a firearm, we're taking it."

When the Nanny State cross-dresses in jackboots.

At the last gun show here in Birmingham, I had an interesting conversation with a machine gun collector about a new "assault weapons Ban," which of course is about semi-automatic rifles, not automatic weapons like his $20,000 Browning Automatic Rifle and his $15,000 Thompson SMG. He agreed that the next AWB would likely include confiscation for some class of weapons, if not evil semi-autos then fifty caliber rifles of all types. He even agreed with me that some of us "insane" (to use a comman Prag description) Three Percenters would resist and that the ATF would come for whomever they thought had a banned weapon.

But, he said, "they won't bother me because I'm legit," meaning that he had paid his transfer taxes, provided the ATF with a schematic of his home, submitted to inspections and all the usual inconveniences that go with complying with the National Firearms Act of 1934. I laughed in his face.

"Do you seriously think that if people are shooting at them in self defense over semi-auto rifle confiscation raids that they will leave your machine guns in your safe? They will come to you and say, 'We need to pick up your weapons for the duration of the emergency. You'll get them back someday, and if you don't I'm sure the government will reimburse you for them.'"

He looked slack-jawed at me, turning the idea over in his head. I interrupted his unpleasant thoughts. "Its all of us, or none us. They won't leave you alone. If you want to preserve your property and your liberty, you'll have to fight for it. Just. Like. Us." I drew out the last part, hitting hard on every word.

"But," he began and then fell silent.

"Think it through," I told him, "you'll see I'm right."

Last year, David Harsanyi wrote a book called "Nanny State" where he made the observation that the Nanny State, as grandmotherly as the name sounds, is really about control -- absolute control of the government over all individuals within its borders. And I would add, that when the Nanny State crossdresses in jackboots, you get the kind of control exhibited at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Finding the guy with the jackboots.

I got to thinking after my conversation with the machine gun collector that the same principle certainly applied to the hunting rifles of those members of the gun-owning public we Three Percenters refer to as "Elmer Fudds" who are perfectly happy if semi-autos are banned and to the self-defense weapons of the Pragmatists, or "Prags," who think us crazy for believing that the time has come where the old political remedies no longer apply.

To test this theory, I went in search of an anti-gun cop, looking for one of David Codrea's "Only Ones" who believes that only the "authorities" should have firearms. I needed to find the guy with the jackboots.

Living here in Alabama, that took some doing. But after a few weeks and on my twenty-third try, I finally ran into a Birmingham police supervisor (middle management type) who told me frankly what he thought. I started out asking him how Birmingham was doing with the ICE project that is run in cooperation with the ATF, which is supposed to be targeted at getting firearms out of the hands of street criminals. He was frustrated he said about how little impact it had on the number of murders in Birmingham (which are up) but he liked and respected the ATF and its agents. He had wanted to join ATF when he was younger, he said, but he didn't.

Aha, I thought, now we're getting somewhere. "So, if you had the ability, would you pick up all the guns in private hands in the projects?" He eyed me suspiciously for a moment, but then relaxed. "I don't know about all of them, but most of them, yeah?" We talked for a bit about accidental deaths from firearms and how he thought someone who didn't store it properly ought to have his or her firearm confiscated for "their own good." The line at the Wal-Mart service counter was moving forward so I went for the $64,000 question.

"So, if the order came down to pickup all assault weapons, would you do it?" He looked off into the distance for a minute and, then said, as if to no one in particular, "Yeah, I would." And what about his fellow officers? Would they? Now he looked at me in the face. "Yeah, they would. Some of 'em wouldn't want to, but they'd obey orders rather than lose their jobs." I nodded. "But if it came to that, wouldn't you have to pick up all the guns?"

He nodded in agreement and then said, "Look, if we're in somebody's house confiscating illegal guns, if its a firearm we're taking it." And what if the guy didn't have the assault weapon they were looking for, what if he just had a shotgun or something? "At that point, I'm taking it until he can prove that he doesn't have an illegal weapon hidden somewhere."

Bad news for the Emma-Gees, the Fudds and the Prags.

So here we all are, on the verge of more "reasonable regulation" that will strip us all of liberty and the right to property -- legislation that us Three Percenters will disobey at the point of a firearm. The Emma-Gees (machine gun collectors), the Fudds and the Prags should understand at least this. The bell tolls for thee as much as for me. If you want to keep your property and your liberty you'd better be digging your foxhole along the line that we Three Percenters have marked out. Because if we lose, so do you. If we're forcibly disarmed, so will you be. And after that, you're just so much meat to be ordered about by tyrannical butchers.

The Prags are vociferous that politics will defend us. If they truly believe that, they'd better be politicking like a one-armed paperhanger in a windstorm. Because the windstorm is coming to their doors whether they like it or not.


Qi Ji Guang said...

Many of these prags are simply completely uninformed of history.

Most of them probably never even learned about the constituent services and cock-sucking that the early Nazis performed for the Social Democrats and other so-called workers' groups in the beginning of 1930. However, once the Nazis finally achieved their goal of power, the Social Democrats and other independant activist groups suddenly found themselves staring down the barrels of the Fuehrer's Lugers.

Tam said...

"provided the ATF with a schematic of his home,"

In the interest of accuracy, you may wish to note that nobody asks for a "schematic of your home" with a Form 4.

I was the sales manager of a Type 07 SOT for years, sent plenty of buzzguns and cans out the door, and have never heard of such a thing, nor can I find any reference thereto in existing law or the CFR.

Please, the real dangers are plentiful enough without spreading old gun culture wives' tales.

Anonymous said...

I used to consider an NFA piece in the collection a prized Hall Pass.

After Waco Rules were observed I considered any papered item a liability.

Now I consider them canaries in the coal mine.

Just ask all those folks who bought previously legal Akin's Accelerators if they trust the regulators to follow the letter of the law.

If you aren't angry, you aren't paying attention.

Johnny said...

AFAIK Tam, the BATFE have right to inspect your home or premises at any time if you've paid a transfer tax on something or got an FFL / C&R of some sort. In the UK this is certainly the case for all certificated gun owners and the police come to your house and make inspections regularly (at the very least at the time of certificate renewal but it varies depending on what the local Police Authority has decided to waste its manpower on rather than real policework). So if they're too stupid to do a recce first and make their own schematic it's not for lack of legal powers to do so.

In the UK the excuse is the `safe storage regulations.' I presume the same `logic' is used by BATFE and could well be used in the quest towards, "making guns in this country childproof" to quote Der Schwarzerfuehrer.

Phil B said...

I recall a fictional film (British) about the First great Train robbery - when the robbers were caught, the Judge asked the question "Why do you rob banks?".

The answer was obvious "That's where the money is".

(I'm going to have to write a book called "The Wisdom and Philosophy contained in Films" one of these days).

So to confiscate guns, it helps if you know where they are first. And what better way of doing that than an Oh-so-reasonable registration scheme and licencing system.

Tam, just because something isn't specifically authorised under law doesn't mean that the people won't make up forms, questions, checks and other garbage not required under the existing rules. If you argue, you don't get a licence.

Here speaks a Brit who had his firearms certificate revoked after my wife died of cancer "in case I harmed myself".

I'm emigrating to New Zealand in january - and perhaps be reunited with my guns.

Vanderboegh and Friend said...


I was indeed told by a Class III owner that he gave such a diagram to ATF at their request, but here is what a long-time Class III owner sent me in response to my question on this subject:


Tam is correct per CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) or USC (United States Code). However....

Some Sheriff's or other CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) who MUST sign your application in order to possess the NFA firearm may require storage locations and methods of securing [How are you going to lock that up and keep it secure from theft?] He or She does not HAVE to sign, and it is at their discretion, and their terms if required.

Another fact for Tam to remember, is that just by getting your approved paperwork and possessing an NFA firearm you DO grant the ATF access to it if they require it. They can if they choose inspect it every 365th day for no stated reason other than they have the administrative right to under an inspection of the firearm(s). They can come more if they are investigating a bona fide case. For example the transcript of the Friesen case has several photographs discussed that were taken of other "registered Erb STEN's"...about thirty or so. They got these photos by knocking on doors asking owners to see the firearm, then photographing it for evidence against some other "registered Erb STEN owner"???? Some were subpoenaed [owners and guns] to come to the trial, some guns "lent" to ATF!!!! whether by arm twisting, I do not know.

Look, the layout of a residence is very common in the ROI's (reports of investigation) that ATF must fill out during the time they build a case. Schematics of a home do happen, not every time, most likely it is a small percentage...but it does happen, and given what I've seen, NFA owners are scared shitless of ATF arm twisting, and I have seen a great many act like a shark in chum infested waters toward a fellow NFA owners in court. Most times over hurt feelings or lost money....

NFA owners are marked, as we are at least noted by our local law enforcement. We have been weighed and measured by ATF. As a group: We are so glad they are not coming for us, we gladly throw whoever they need under the wheels of the bus, as long as it's not us....

There are few, possibly 3%, of us who do not "subscribe" to the above.

Dennis said...

One & All, please, it may seem like nit-picking but the difference is huge: the BATFU (govt) has no RIGHTS, it has AUTHORITY. We have rights and delegate authority to the government. Government having rights is Euro-thought and wrong.

Anonymous said...

Johnny, the ATF has no right to inspect anything if all you have is a tax paid transfer gun... If they need to see the gun or suspect you of doing something wrong they have to get a warrant to come in your home.
If you are an FFL holder, they can make an unannounced inspection of you licensed premises ONCE a year if they want, all other inspections have to be announced and coordinated with the FFL holder. They have no right to search the home of the FFL holder unless his home is listed as the licensed premises.

(non dealer, multiple Form 4 and Form 1 tax stamp holder)

Anonymous said...

The ATF does NOT have permission to inspect your home if you own a Class 3 weapon. They must have a legally obtained search warrant for cause. They are only allowed to inspect dealers on an annual basis. Fact.

Johnny said...

I stand corrected.

Judging by the way things are done here in the UK however, it may be wise to keep a close eye on this area of the law. I think it's safe to assume that your right to keep and bear arms won't protect you from intrusive measures, "to ensure you are in compliance with public safety laws (for the children)."

Anonymous said...

You are correct, both in the general and in the particulars.

However, I challenge you to think the unthinkable: Secession, Sir, Secession. To rebel in the hopes of turning back the Ship of State is futile. The greater numbers of our People fear liberty, and will betray us as the lickspittles they have shown themselves to be. If armed struggle it must be (even if such is by no means a surety), then let it be in pursuit of our own country. Let us not fight to defend liberties already forgotten in the bosom of our countrymen, ancient rights sacrificed on the altar of the silver-tongued tyrant.

Alaska holds the best hope for us. It is rich in natural resources, has a strong orientation to liberty, and has sufficient space for the growth of a large population. There is already a nascent secessionist movement in place: the Alaska Independence Party. Borrow the strategy and tactics of the Free State Project; utilize the political framework of the Alaskan Independence Party, integrating the energy and dynamism of newly-resident constitutionalists, conservatives, and classic liberals; and trust to the Principles that once made America great.

What say you?

The Gunslinger said...

I'm not sure it's "unthinkable" but, rather "unspeakable".

A lot of us have come to the same conclusion.

Alaska is cold. I'm old.

But your argument is good. Damn.