Three Letters Re: Why Civilian Disarmament in the U.S. is Just a Statist Fantasy

Mr. Rawles, 
I love the SurvivalBlog site and what you do. Many thanks to you and all contributors! I have some remarks on the letter: A Call to Action: The Impending Weapons Ban, by James M.
I agree on the fundamental points made regarding firearms, but it does sound like a re-hash of the red-herring debate from ’91 with the only “Call to Action” being that Congress should ban something else.  Maybe they should ban Murder. Oh, wait that’s been done…
I personally don’t think our Congressional leaders should really be banning anything at all, and when the subject of mental capacity & banning comes up together (within the context of forced medication or incarceration), my main question/concern becomes,….  who gets to determine which of us is mentally ill or unstable?   I already know that everyone is somebody else’s weirdo, and apparently we preppers are all completely nuts.  But, on the serious side I have a problem with limiting anyone’s rights based on thought crime or any interpretive means where there is no victim (especially where the result would be forced medication or detainment for “potential” criminal activity).

So, an interesting scenario to consider based on my perspective described above.    Let’s say some Psychologist/government agent convinces city council or some judge that Christianity is a mental illness.  You are now required by law to take powerful medication that most likely would ruin your quality of life.  That kind of control over anyone’s life is a terribly bad idea, because we all know that  it is unethical and wouldn’t stop there.
I also am getting frustrated with people saying our rights are granted by the Constitution.  That is completely wrong.  Our rights are God given and don’t change regardless of what the Constitution says (The document may still fail to list them all in some cases).  It was simply written to generally explain and provide a reminder to elected officials of what the people already have and what cannot be infringed upon.  In the case of slavery and women’s rights, I believe it was errant of the original crafters of the Constitution to have not recognized these as inherent rights for all people at that time.  So again, the “document” is just an imperfect representation of what God has already provisioned.
“There are certain principles that are inherent in man, that belong to man, and that were enunciated in an early day, before the United States government was formed, and they are principles that rightfully belong to all men everywhere. They are described in the Declaration of Independence as inalienable rights, one of which is that men have a right to live; another is that they have a right to pursue happiness; and another is that they have a right to be free and no man has authority to deprive them of those God-given rights, and none but tyrants would do it. These principles, I say, are inalienable in man; they belong to him; they existed before any constitutions were framed or any laws made. Men have in various ages striven to strip their fellow-men of these rights, and dispossess them of them. And hence the wars, the bloodshed and carnage that have spread over the earth. We, therefore, are not indebted to the United States for these rights; we were free as men born into the world, having the right to do as we please, to act as we please, as long as we do not transgress constitutional law nor violate the rights of others… Another thing God expects us to do, and that is to maintain the principle of human rights… We owe it to all liberty-loving men, to stand up for human rights and to protect human freedom, and in the name of God we will do it, and let the congregation say Amen.” – John Taylor, 1882,
The best thing for Congress to do in this case is nothing at all.  The only change needed is to allow the free responsible peoples of the USA to provide for their own defense – as was intended by God.  (Current rules apply with regard to all levels of assault, making threats with a firearm, etc.),  which would simply serve to reinforce responsible fire arms use by those who choose to carry.
IF, our leaders are serious about the value of a Gun ban, then I suggest they set the example and demand that their personal security force switch to Mace as their primary means of defense.  Lead by example or shut your mouth!
IF, a ban is passed we still have options:  Our judicial system was meant to provide protections from such unjust law, so we would still have the Sheriff (elected), Judges (also elected) and the jury (free peoples), who can respectively;  1) refuse to enforce, 2) refuse to try, 3) refuse to convict.  If that message is made clear in local government no State prosecutor would dare bring a case in the first place. [JWR Adds: All Americans should familiarize themselves with the details of jury nullification. This may prove crucial, in the near future.[

“Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?” –  Henry David Thoreau
You can only voluntarily give up/refuse to partake of your God given right (or blessing, but you can never ethically take away someone else’s (that is infringement/tyranny).
Thank you, – D.P. in Pittsburgh

Mr. Rawles,
The Letter Re: Why Civilian Disarmament in the U.S. is Just a Statist Fantasy written by Michael W. is a perfect example of the insidious nature of government over-reach.  They will take our guns the same inexorable way they stole the purchasing power of the dollar. And they will continue to press the gun issue until they succeed – even if it takes a hundred years.  Our inability to recognize and stop the fed over the last century, portends a similar outcome for weapons. – BigTexMarine


To make sense of this issue, consider the following in support of the percentage of compliance that can be expected if the Feinstein ban bill is enacted:

This is not The Truth. This is not even ‘back of the envelope’.

The following contains a bunch of assumptions, whose justification is feeble at best. Since almost all ‘assault weapons’ are rifles, I will ignore shotguns and handguns that bother CA.

Suppose, for discussion, that Californians bought rifles (that the state erroneously defines as ‘assault weapons’) in a number proportional to the share of the US population. Since this is just a guess, might as well use the current value: 37 million of 310 million, 12%. There’s no reason to believe this is true – California gun owners may actually buy more or fewer, and the distribution of the kinds they buy may be different from other states or the national average. And the year-to-year proportions may be very different. (I can easily get the CA/US proportion for all the years, but with such poor guesses, there’s no value to being more precise.)

And suppose the bulk of those were purchased between 1970 and 2000, when SB 23 did the ‘ban by feature’. I picked 1970 because the M16 went into service in 1963, so maybe 1970, just post-Vietnam for a lot of servicemen, would be a good place to start. Years that end in ‘0’ attract the eye.

I cannot easily find import numbers just now, so I’ll ignore them; they’re no doubt significant with AKs and FALs and HKs and such.
ETA perhaps Bloomberg is not entirely useless. There is a document giving some info on imported rifles here:…/Commerce_in_Firearms_2000.pdf, “Commerce in Firearms in the United States”. Imported rifles total a bit under 10 million 1970 – 1999. I suspect I could eventually get the export data by country, but I won’t bother.

ATF has the US manufacturing reports on line at the AFMER page. For each of 1998, 1999, and 2000 the manufactured number of rifles was about 1.5 million. Total long guns includes shotguns, and that adds about a million a year, so about 60% of long guns are rifles in those 3 years.

Kleck has numbers from the same source; the ‘net addition to stock’ for long guns is about 2.5 million per year, 1980-1994, so again, it is not entirely unreasonable to guess that about 40% of those were shotguns. 1970-1979, the numbers were over 3 million per year

So, for 31 years 1970-2000, something like 77 million rifles were manufactured in the US. (Some were exported – let’s ignore that detail, too.)

Using that 12% proportion, around 9 million of those might have gone to California [to match their proportion of the national population].

But, what proportion of those rifles were not lever actions and bolt actions and semi-autos that did not meet “Assault Weapon” (AW) standards?

I’m going to make a further guess by using the 1998 AFMER data. Toss out Winchester and Remington and Marlin and Weatherby and Ruger – but not Colt, oh, no! – and guess that most of the rest could have been AW types, and take that proportion. Very shaky, but anyway…

Throwing out those big non-AR-type manufacturers covers about 900,000 – about 60% of the 1.4 million in 1998. Let’s use the remaining 40% as the maximum possible proportion of the US production of rifles that might be AW types. That’s surely too high a proportion, but for a guess it’s a nice even number. (Again, numbers that end in ‘0’.) (I could look at more AFMER reports, but the recent proportion of AW types seems to me to be increasing, so the more recent data would seem to skew the results even more than I am certain they are already.)

Now, guess how many were ‘assault weapons’ if California definitions might be applied — 40% of 9 million rifles in California is 3.6 million. Only 166,000 are known to be registered.

Around 4.5% actually registered might be a supportable number.

With an estimated 10 million total imports, 12% for California is 1.2 million. 40% of those as ‘assault weapons’ (Too high? Too low? No information!) is 480,000. 166/4,180 is still only about 4% registered.