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President's Column

By James W. Porter II, President

Words Matter

When it comes to the never-ending fight to preserve the Second Amendment, words matter. Ours is a fight between the plain truth, and their lies.

Take the word “prevention,” a fundamental deception of the gun-ban movement.

In truth, a law cannot prevent any human behavior.

A law can’t prevent littering. Slobs still do it.

You can’t prevent addicts from taking drugs.

Drunk driving is a crime. Vehicular manslaughter is a crime. But there is no law that can prevent a drunk with a valid driver’s license from getting into a registered vehicle and going out and killing a nice family out for a Sunday drive.

As for “violence prevention,” there is no law on the books anywhere that can accomplish that. Were that the case, there would be no violence anywhere.

Thousands of times each day in our nation, murderers, rapists and robbers choose to commit violent criminal acts.

None of those acts can be prevented by any law.

Yet “prevention” is the soothing mantra of those who would steal our liberty.

Violence prevention can’t even be accomplished in prisons where every aspect of living is controlled. In one of the most high-security facilities in America, Pelican Bay in California—which houses that state’s most vicious, incorrigible offenders—inmates commit violence on other inmates and on prison staff. And they do it with weapons they fashion themselves. A toothbrush sharpened against concrete becomes a weapon. With all the 24-hour-a-day surveillance, with constant searches, inmates make weapons, they possess weapons and they do violence with them. Keeping weapons out of their hands in the most controlled environment in America is impossible.

If such a result cannot be accomplished in prisons, how on earth is that possible in a free and open society? It isn’t.

In truth, the only function of any law against criminal behavior is to provide for punishment after arrest, trial and conviction.

Words matter. Truth matters.

The word “prohibit” is another favorite of gun-banners and amounts to a half-lie, a convenient omission to hide the truth about existing federal law.

The gun banners never, ever say that simple possession of any firearm by prohibited persons such as convicted violent felons is a crime because they know that if the public understood the truth, there would be no reason for additional laws.

Fact is—and we can’t say this enough—it is a federal felony, punishable by 10 years in prison, for a convicted felon, drug dealer, or fugitive from justice to touch a gun.

Words matter. Truth matters. Take the “gun show loophole” or “private sales loophole.”

For felons, drug dealers and fugitives, any acquisition of a firearm is a federal felony. And that covers any gun: handgun, rifle, big-bore, small-bore, shotgun, semi-auto, bolt-action, big gun, little gun, guns that hold lots of bullets, or single shots. And that crime covers acquiring a firearm anywhere, by any means, under any situation—at a gun show, from a private individual or from a licensed dealer. And theft of a gun is a federal crime as well.

So for criminals, there is no loophole. Not at gun shows, not in any private commerce anywhere. Not under any circumstance.

So if it is a crime for prohibited persons to obtain a gun, all the gun-ban crowd is doing with their “universal” background checks is criminalizing the now-lawful commerce peaceable gun owners engage in every day.

The truth is—and billionaire gun-ban mogul Michael Bloomberg knows it—every convicted felon arrested anywhere for a crime of violence involving a firearm could be taken off the street by vigorous federal prosecution of existing federal law. But it doesn’t happen. Surely not in his New York City.

Words count. The truth counts.

As peaceable gun owners—as citizens most threatened by all of this—we know what the twisted words mean. But the general public does not. And that’s what Bloomberg is banking on.

And therein lies the profound danger we face from his strategic shift.

The reason he is using ballot initiatives to affect what he can’t get through reasoned debate in the legislative process is that he believes the general public is gullible.

The only way we can counter his lies is with the truth. Each of us can counter his fool-the-people scheme by explaining the truth to non-gun-owning friends, neighbors and co-workers. If you ask a thinking person how any of Bloomberg’s schemes “prevent violence,” or how they “keep guns out of the hands of criminals” and you are prepared with the facts, they will understand that those ends are impossible.

Explain the truth, define the deceptions, and we win one vote at a time.