American gun-owners, en masse, are “casting their ballots” on how much they believe Barack Obama’s campaign-trail promise to “not take away your guns.”
They’re driving the price of ammo through the roof, swarming gun shows and leaving the pallets and floors of the ammo suppliers’ booths as naked as a wheat field after the locusts pass through.
My friend Glen Parshall, at Bargain Pawn in North Las Vegas, recently put up a single round of .380 (a most unimpressive handgun caliber) for sale online at AuctionArms, selling it for $17 to another dealer back East.
It was mostly a joke, of course. Glen says he’s sending the round in a little red velvet jewelry case; the buyer wanted a receipt that he could frame and hang on the wall to show his customers “How much this stuff costs these days.”
Handgun ammo isn’t really $17 a round … yet. But it’s a joke with a point.
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The gun-grabbers and hoplophobes — now nearing a veto-proof majority in Congress with the defection of Arlen “Magic Bullet” Specter to the Democrats and the likely success of the Democratic lawyers in “recounting till it works” to seat professional comedian Al Franken from Minnesota — don’t have to “take away our guns” if they can sign some kind of international treaty (bypassing and overruling U.S. statute) that bans ammunition reloading as “manufacturing without a license,” and then drives the price of both firearms and ammunition through the roof by requiring every bullet and brass cartridge to bear some kind of “matching but unique identifying number,” supposedly for the use of police in tracking “weapons used in crimes.”
(Naw, no bad guy will ever file off the numbers or simply use stolen rounds, the way they use stolen cars with stolen license plates as getaway cars. Why would they do THAT?)
Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, has words of warning about the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials.
“Remember candidate Barack Obama? The guy who ‘wasn’t going to take away our guns?’” Pratt’s GOA asked in a recent release.
“Well, guess what? Less than 100 days into his administration, he’s never met a gun he didn’t hate.
“A week ago, Obama went to Mexico, whined about the United States, and bemoaned (before the whole world) the fact that he didn’t have the political power to take away our semi-automatics. Nevertheless, that didn’t keep him from pushing additional restrictions on American gun owners.
“It’s called the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms. … To be sure, this imponderable title masks a really nasty piece of work.
“First of all, when the treaty purports to ban the ‘illicit manufacture of firearms,’ what does that mean?
“1. ‘Illicit manufacturing’ of firearms is defined as ‘assembly of firearms [or] ammunition… without a license….’
“Hence, reloading ammunition — or putting together a lawful firearm from a kit — is clearly ‘illicit manufacturing.’
“Modifying a firearm in any way would surely be ‘illicit manufacturing,’ GOA concludes.
“If these provisions (and others) become the law of the land, the Obama administration could have a heyday in enforcing them. Consider some of the other provisions in the treaty:
“* Banning Reloading. In Article IV of the treaty, countries commit to adopting ‘necessary legislative or other measures’ to criminalize illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.
“Remember that ‘illicit manufacturing’ includes reloading and modifying or
assembling a firearm in any way. This would mean that the Obama administration could promulgate regulations banning reloading on the basis of this treaty — just as it is currently circumventing Congress to write legislation taxing greenhouse gases. …
“* Micro-stamping. Article VI requires ‘appropriate markings’ on firearms. And it is not inconceivable that this provision could be used to require micro-stamping of firearms and/or ammunition — a requirement which is clearly intended to impose specifications which are not technologically possible or which are possible only at a prohibitively expensive cost.
“* Gun Registration. Article XI requires the maintenance of any records, for a ‘reasonable time,’ that the government determines to be necessary to trace firearms. This provision would almost certainly repeal portions of McClure-Volkmer and could arguably be used to require a national registry or database.”
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Meantime, the Libertarian Party points out even the statistics used by Mr. Obama to supposedly justify his “emergency need” to “block the flow of arms to Mexico” are bogus.
First off, let’s stipulate that if Mexico and the United States want to end the violence stemming from the trade in marijuana and cocaine, the answer is the same as when we wanted to end the bootleggers’ alcohol-related violence in 1933: legalize marijuana and cocaine.
Distributors of competing brands of whiskey — a much more socially and medically destructive drug than marijuana, cocaine, or the opiates — don’t have to resort to shooting it out in the streets to settle their contractual disputes, because their trade is LEGAL.
But the LP says Obama’s numbers are purposely faked to create the impression Mexico’s drug war would run out of arms if we could simply disarm all us gringos.
“Is Barack Obama ‘bitterly clinging to falsified numbers’ in his bid to push his anti-gun treaty?” asked the Libertarian Party in an April press release.
“This war is being waged with guns purchased not here, but in the United States. More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States,” said Mr. Obama in a face-to-face April meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Mexico City.
But that claim, the LP points out, “is blatantly false. According to information supplied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) the real number is closer to only 17 percent.
“There is a reason Obama is intentionally spreading false information about American firearm businesses,” says Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director. “He … promised anti-gun groups he would enact gun bans and is hoping to scare people into voting away their own rights. …
“Not only does Obama want to renew failed gun bans here in the United States and register all gun owners, he’s hoping to literally scare up enough support for an international anti-gun treaty the Senate has been rejected for over a decade.
The Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), requiring all guns to be marked and tracked by the government, was signed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997, but never ratified, Ferguson of the LP points out.
But Obama’s ‘90 percent’ talking point has absolutely no factual basis, the LP proceeds to demonstrate.
“ATF Special Agent William Newell tells Fox News that between 2007 and 2008, around 11,000 guns used in Mexican crimes appeared to come from the United States and were submitted to the ATF for tracing. Of those, only 6,000 could be successfully traced. Of those, only 5,114, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover, were found to have come from the U.S.
“Obama’s ‘90 percent’ number refers, not to the percentage of ‘guns recovered in Mexico,’ as Obama claims, but to the ‘percent of the traced firearms’ according to a BATFE spokeswoman.
“But Mexican authorities report that in those two years, a total of 29,000 guns were recovered at ‘crime scenes.’ That means 68 percent of the guns recovered by Mexican police did not even appear to come from the United States. That means only 5,114 out of 29,000 guns used in Mexican ‘crimes’ were found to have come from the United States,” the Libertarians conclude. “That figure would be 17 percent, not the 90 percent repeated by Obama.
Further weakening Obama’s case is the fact firearms manufacturers such as Colt legally shipped some of those United States-originated guns into Mexico for permitted uses, such as by the Mexican military.
“Research finds most of the guns used by Mexican criminals come from overseas black markets, Russian crime organizations, South America, Asia, Guatemala and even the Mexican army.”
Deserters sell their rifles, or simply go to work for the drug barons, bringing their service weapons with them.
During his term in the Senate, Obama earned an “F” rating from Gun Owners of America, as well as from the National Rifle Association. In an April 11, 2008 campaign speech in San Francisco, Obama claimed gun owners are simply “bitter,” racist people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
“Obama is ‘bitterly clinging’ to falsified numbers, hoping he can take away the constitutional rights of ‘people who aren’t like’ him,” The Libertarian Party concludes.