September 6, 2012

The 2012 Official Political Platforms of the Democratic & Republican Parties Regarding Gun Rights

by Jeff Quinn
photography by Boge Quinn
September 5th, 2012

As I sit here and hammer this out on my keyboard, the Democratic Party of the United States is meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the purpose of officially nominating President Obama to again represent their party in the upcoming US Presidential election. In addition to that, they have adopted their official platform, extolling their wants and visions for this nation. The official platform deals with subjects like abortion, same-sex marriage, and other social issues. I will touch briefly upon those two matters, before moving on to what concerns us as gun owners and freedom-loving Americans. Abortion is murder, and in this nation, it is done mostly for convenience, and it is wrong. Abortion ends an innocent human life. It seems pretty simple to me. On the gay marriage thing, I don’t care if they marry or not. It is a sin for a man to bed down with another man. It is also a sin for a man to bed down with a woman to whom he is not married. Therefore, if a couple of men are living as husband and husband, it is none of my business whether or not they have a wedding. They can have a big cake, throw a bouquet, and register at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Have at it. They might as well be as miserable as the rest of us. Now, onto the subject of gun ownership, and the control of such.

The rights preserved for us in our Constitution are God-given, and are not dealt out by a benevolent government. Our nation’s founders enumerated those rights in the first ten amendments to our Constitution. The Second was placed there to protect our nation’s citizenry from a tyrannical government. It had nothing to do with duck hunting. Had the patriots not been armed with the best weapons available, we would still be British subjects.

Today, we have a choice to make, and this upcoming election is important in many ways, but especially to our way of life. We have one party who wishes to control every aspect of our lives, and another party that only wants to control many aspects of our lives. There will be other parties represented on our ballots, but we are going to either elect the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate. Neither party is ideal. If you can’t bring yourself to vote for one, then go out and vote against one. I do believe that one of those two men is a better man than the other, morally speaking, but it is the philosophical differences between the two parties with which we are concerned here, regarding gun control.

Last week, the Republican Party adopted the following as part of their official platform, regarding firearms ownership:

"We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen’s God-given right of self-defense. We call for the protection of such fundamental individual rights recognized in the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago affirming that right, and we recognize the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. This also includes the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration. We support the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be, and we support federal legislation that would expand the exercise of that right by allowing those with state-issued carry permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such permits to its own residents. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend their homes and communities. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners. We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban. We condemn the reckless actions associated with the operation known as “Fast and Furious,” conducted by the Department of Justice, which resulted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and others on both sides of the border. We applaud the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in holding the current Administration’s Attorney General in contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with their investigation into that debacle. We oppose the improper collection of firearms sales information in the four southern border states, which was imposed without congressional authority."

The above is the strongest pro-rights statement to ever come out as the official platform of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney does not have a stellar record on gun rights, but within the framework of this platform, the party will hold his feet to the fire, and hopefully, he will do nothing to impede our civil rights.

In stark contrast, today, the Democratic Party adopted as part of their official platform the following:

We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements – like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole – so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.”

It starts off rather well, but reading the rest of that paragraph reveals that their first sentence is very much akin to the matter into which I stepped while out in the cow pasture today. They go on to state that our God-given civil rights are subject to “reasonable” regulation. They do not state who will do the reasoning and regulating. Maybe Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? Charles Schumer? Barak Obama? Those are the leaders of the party, and they want to “reasonably” regulate that which God has given us.

Next, they use the term “gun violence”, as if the gun is to blame. How about they regulate violence, which is the crime, leaving the tool of choice to be of no consequence? If I am killed by someone who uses a knife, or a club, or an automobile, or fire, I am just as dead as if I was killed by someone using a shiny new gun. However, in their carefully-worded document - and you can be assured that many people spent several hours working on the wording of this - they assign the violence to the instrument, and not to the user of such. The clincher, and the Holy Grail of their desires, is to reinstate their beloved “Assault Weapons Ban”, while having no definition of just what an “assault weapon” is. 

If I assault you with a sharp stick, then that sharp stick is an assault weapon. They wish to ban weapons. Like their interpretation of our Constitution, their definition of an assault weapon is ever-changing. If you ask a leader of the party to define an assault weapon, you will get a word picture of a semi-automatic weapon that can fire several shots without reloading. The mechanical definition which they give can fit more than half of the firearms ever manufactured in this country, and probably eighty-five percent of those sold in the past two decades.

Let’s move on to their “gun show loophole”. The gun show loophole is a farce. There is no gun show loophole. Every licensed gun dealer has the same paperwork and background check requirements, whether he is selling at a gun show, or at his store. It is legal in most parts of our nation for an individual to sell a firearm to another individual who resides in the same state, provided that the purchaser is not otherwise barred from purchasing a firearm. What their so-called gun show loophole fix would do is to make it illegal for me to sell a gun to a friend, a brother, sister, cousin, or other person to whom I can legally sell a gun to now. They want total control over who does and does not own firearms, within their definition of “reasonable” regulation. They also want to keep a list of what and how many firearms that each of us own.

The Democratic Party and the leaders thereof want control over the capacity of the weapon’s magazine. Their thinking is flawed. If it is necessary for a police officer, whom we hire to protect us, and who has other officers ready to come to his aid, to have a magazine which holds twelve shots, why must someone who is on his own against an attacker be limited to ten, or eight, or six, or eleven? If I have the right to shoot an attacker once, why do I not have the right to shoot him until the threat is stopped? Thinking on such matters, it is easy to see how silly and arbitrary their proposed “reasonable” regulations are. Why is it okay for me to hire someone to shoot for me against an attacker, but not okay for me to do it myself, and if it is okay, why does the employee (police officer) need sixteen rounds, but I have to make do with ten?

The leader of the Democratic Party, Barak Obama, has stated on record that he would support a semi-automatic firearms ban. He has called for a prohibitive tax on ammunition, making it practically unaffordable for most people (citizens) to buy, and he has also stated that he does not think that people should own guns. Is he to be trusted to impose “reasonable” regulations?

Financially, the Democratic Party is ruining this nation. Harry Reid should be charged with treason for not doing his Constitutional duty of even attempting to pass a budget. The party seeks to control every aspect of our lives. They are all for the right to choose, as long as it is only the right to choose to kill an unborn human baby. They do not want us to choose our own destiny, our own doctor, our children’s teacher, nor our own firearms. They seek, in this document that they have adopted, to disarm the citizenry of this nation, so that they can control without opposition every thing that we buy, eat, drink, drive, and own. 

They are counting upon the voters of this nation to selfishly vote for those who promise the most “free” stuff. Nothing is free. Someone pays for it, but they seek to divide us, to turn most of us against the "evil rich people"; to take that for which someone has worked and to give it to someone who won‘t. They are counting upon us to trade freedom and liberty for their promise of “reasonable” regulation, if we will only give them the control which they crave. They count upon us to be so self-serving as to ask our children and grandchildren to pay for that which we will not. They seek to make us subjects, instead of citizens, depending upon the government for all that we have, and all that we are. They label us, to turn one group against another. If we speak out against the President’s policies, we are labeled as racists. If we speak out against Socialist programs, we are labeled as haters. If we stand up for our gun rights, we are labeled as right-wing extremists. We are all citizens, with differing backgrounds, ethics, vocations, and dreams. We can disagree on many of the things mentioned above, and that is okay. Your voice and your opinion are just as important as mine. However, if we do not stand together now against those who seek to disarm us, then our American way of life is over. Never before has the difference between the philosophies of the two major political parties been so vast, nor the choice so clear.

Gun control is not about guns; it is about control.

Vote wisely, as if your life depends upon it, because it does.

Jeff Quinn

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