I was struck by a comment from an anti-gun spokesperson over the NRA's lawsuit against California over its new restrictions on ammunition. The relevant bit is in bold, underlined text.
The lawsuit challenges specific restrictions like a requirement that ammunition sales be conducted face to face, and a mandatory background checks for those purchases – a component that many still don’t know how the state would implement.
. . .
In the lawsuit the NRA claims the ammunition sale restrictions violate the second amendment and the commerce clause of The Constitution.
Butchko, though an NRA member, has yet to make his first firearm purchase.
“What I don't understand is why I need one permit to buy a firearm and another to buy ammunition. I just worry that the state is going to keep going to the point where they make it inconvenient to buy a gun,” he said.
Wendy Wheatcroft with Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said responsible gun owners should not fear ammunition restrictions.
“Clearly being able to accumulate large stores of ammo is not beneficial to the general public,” she said.
There's more at the link.
A few questions for Ms. Wheatcroft:
- Why should "responsible gun owners" not fear ammunition restrictions? Every other restriction on firearms ownership has been intensified, strengthened or made more onerous over time. We're pretty sure these ammo restrictions will be, too.
- Why is "being able to accumulate large stores of ammo ... not beneficial to the general public"? As far as I can see, it's certainly not actively harmful to the public. In fact, it's got nothing to do with the public. It's the choice of the individual ammo owner. Furthermore, ammo in and of itself can do nothing whatsoever to harm or benefit the public. It's morally neutral, like a motor vehicle, or a hammer, or a calculator, or a gun. Any and/or all of those things can be used for good, or for evil, or for nothing at all - but it's always and everywhere the person who uses them who makes the choice of how and for what to use them.
Ms. Wheatcroft's attitude appears to be yet another version of the age-old conundrum: "We'll tell you what's good for you, and you'll damn well like it - or else!" Facts, logic and rationality are nowhere to be found in her argument. Frankly, she's on the side of those who say that "Unless it's permitted, it is forbidden" - and they want to deny permission whenever and wherever they can. The rest of us take the view that "Unless it's forbidden, it is permitted". We don't need Big Brother to boss us around any more than is absolutely necessary.
We are citizens, not subjects. Early American historian David Ramsay said of that distinction:
The difference is immense. Subject is derived from the Latin words, sub and jacio, and means one who is under the power of another; but a citizen is an unit of a mass of free people, who, collectively, possess sovereignty.
Subjects look up to a master, but citizens are so far equal, that none have hereditary rights superior to others. Each citizen of a free state contains, within himself, by nature and the constitution, as much of the common sovereignty as another.
The state of California appears determined to force its residents to be subjects, not citizens. I think most of my readers will have a ready (and none too polite) rejoinder to any such attempt.
An individual's ammo supplies, or those of anyone of sound mind, have got damn all to do with Ms. Wheatcroft, despite her all-too-nosy interest in them, and they certainly offer no threat to the public. If she believes otherwise, let her go to court, and provide evidence sufficient to persuade a judge and a jury of that person's peers that he/she is unfit to possess that ammunition, or the guns in which to shoot it. That would be constitutional - but it would also be impossible, because in almost every case, no such evidence will exist. That's why she and her ilk are choosing to ignore the rights of citizens and trample on the constitution, seeking to force citizens into subjection, denying their freedom. That's why she's in favor of draconian, dictatorial "one-size-fits-all" measures that won't solve the so-called "gun violence" problem at all, because they limit the tool rather than the person wielding it.
As we all know, if a tool-wielder can't find one tool, he'll adopt another. In this case, he won't even have to do that. Ammunition will be freely available by crossing a state line, picking up a few boxes, and going back. I won't be surprised to see a thriving ammunition smuggling business before long - perhaps exchanging grown-in-California marijuana for ammunition from the rest of the USA. Given the success (NOT!) of federal, state and local authorities in the so-called "War on Drugs", I predict California's authorities will be no more successful in the "War on Ammo" that they appear to be hell-bent on starting.