Clinton and his control-freak allies have been particularly vigorous in going after the imaginary specter of "assault rifles," exploiting the external appearance of military-style guns to portray them as the "weapons of choice" of criminals. It has been shown by the government's own statistics that this is not the case.
According to the FBI Uniform crime reports, about 3% (three percent) of homicides are committed with rifles of any type, much less military-style ones. Military rifles are usually expensive, cumbersome and difficult to conceal. They are purchased mainly by collectors and recreational and target shooters. Bill Clinton should get the facts on crime and guns from his own agencies, not rap videos or Hollywood shoot-em-ups where the characters wield military-style weapons.
Apparently, the facts do not matter to an Administration hell-bent on extending government control to all areas of our lives.
In the recent decision to permanently halt imports of 58 types of rifles manufactured to comply with the Administration's own "assault-weapons"-ban criteria, President Clinton said "(E)veryone knows you don't need an Uzi to go deer hunting." No one has ever claimed that you do. A 9mm bullet fired from an Uzi carbine would probably not even kill a deer. But debating which guns to hunt with is not the issue here.
No matter how President Clinton tries to frame the debate, the Second Amendment isn't about hunting at all. The words "sporting purpose" do not appear anywhere in it. The militia consists of the people as a whole, and "well-regulated" is an archaic term for well-trained in marksmanship. The Second Amendment was written to guarantee that our government does not become a dictatorship. The Founding Fathers will back me up on this.
The right to own arms clearly applies to individuals, as do the rights to freedom of speech, assembly and the right to be secure in ones' person and property, all areas which the Clinton Administration, and the Justice and Treasury Departments have been whittling away at since day one. If the right to keep and bear arms did not apply to individuals, it would not have been enumerated in the Bill of Rights nor would it specifically mention "the people."
A dangerous weapon of any sort in the hands of a law-abiding citizen is no threat to anyone. Violent criminals should be locked up, not gun collectors.
Under the guise of fighting crime, President Clinton always introduces new gun control proposals by trotting out big-city police chiefs. This is appropriate, since he's leading us straight down the path to a police state. Restricting our gun rights restricts our freedom, and it also erodes the guarantee of all of our freedoms.
Tom Walls is the Executive Director of the Republican Liberty Caucus.