Not surprisingly, gun rights have been on everyone's minds lately. First the Newton, Connecticut, shooting, and then the weeks of reactionary moves by both the left and the right have been making headlines.
Of particular concern is the left's aim to create a "National Gun Registry." The thought has been proposed as a possibility for executive order by Joe Biden and was also part of the bill proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a bill that earned an angry (and viral) response from former Marine Joshua Bolton.
Let's forget all the different kinds of bans that are being proposed and focus on one key piece of the legislation being considered, the National Gun Registry.
This registry would be a record of every firearm legally owned in the country. Currently, some states maintain a record and some states do not. The federalized version of this would require that every gun over provide a detailed list of every firearm they own, where they keep these weapons, as well as submit to being fingerprinted and photographed.
The concept of a national registry may sound good (why shouldn't we know where all the guns are?), but after thinking about it for ten minutes, one quickly realizes it is an absolute farce that does nothing to keep us safe.
Connecticut does not have a requirement to register firearms. But lets pretend that it did for a moment. Somewhere in a government office, it is written down on paper that Adam Lanza's mother owns X rifles and Y pistols, and also lists the serial numbers for the weapons.
It is not illegal for her to own these weapons, so there is no reason for a police officer to hover around her house, watching her every move.
That said, what does the registry provide to promote safety? How would it have done anything to mitigate the Sandy Hook shooting?
The answer is, it doesn't. The gun registry does one thing, and one thing only, make a list. If a gun is used in a crime, the data might be useful for tracking down the criminal who did it... but the gun is already serialized and can be traced back to the store it was purchased at, and through the stores records (which it is required to keep for up to 20 years in some states), it can be traced to the guy who bought it from that store. It only gets fishy during private sales, but as most people in this country are law abiding citizens, I don't imagine they'd have any problem letting the police know the name and address of the guy they sold it too (often they are required to keep a record of it anyway, and sometimes pay a fee ranging from $10 to $50 to transfer the serial number to the new owner).
The benefit of the current system is, the government can only trace a gun back to you if it is necessary, as in it was stolen or used in a crime. However, if the gun has not been a part of illegal activity, then the government can't come find it.
The registry would allow the government to find and confiscate weapons that have not been used in illegal activity. There is no other conceivable use for this system.
The registry would also require the hiring of lots and lots of staff, all over the country, to keep records, do data entry, etc ... much like the DMV.
So what we get from a National Registry is a money pit whose sole function is to make it easier for the government to come find our weapons. The only reason they'd want to do that is to confiscate them.
For those who think this is alarmist rhetoric. The government has confiscated firearms before. One such instance was during Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans police, before the storm hit, went house to house and forcibly confiscated guns, sometimes violently, and without warrants. Likewise, the National Guard was also used to carry out these "law enforcement operations" which is totally illegal. One of the safeguards of our democracy is that the military cannot conduct law enforcement operations (another reason to be wary of the government, even in times of stability).
If one of the main reasons to own a gun is for protection, then the rampant violence and looting post Katrina is one of the main times in life that one buys a gun to prepare for. How else to defend well-provisioned homes from hordes of looters.
After Hurricane Sandy, residents in Brooklyn had to resort to swords and baseball bats to defend themselves, since gun laws here are extremely tough.
The National Gun Registry is a massive waste of money, does nothing to keep us safe, and takes us yet another step closer to forfeiting the one right we have that ensures we keep all of the other ones we enjoy daily.