Another look at background checks

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As this writer has stated before about when I was a lad in the U.S. Army, my first sergeant claimed that the purpose of a pistol was to defend oneself until he could reach his rifle. And the rifle contained more than 10 rounds.

A previous Montana secretary of state has written [The guts to stand up to guns, Sept. 8] that “clips” (those of us who have actually used them in combat call them magazines) of more than 10 rounds are redundant, and that an expansion of “background checks” is not only necessary, but prudent and necessary. To someone defending their life and/or loved ones, having lots of ammunition is reassuring, not redundant.

He also implied that “red flag” laws would be another tool to help prevent “gun violence”.

With all due respect to the good people who are so concerned about “gun violence,” guns are not violent. Guns, firearms, weapons, etc., are inanimate objects that can be used for a multitude of uses. The intent of the person using these items determines the morality and its level of violence. Any attempt to portray guns as “violent” is a false narrative disguising their true intent. And make no mistake about it, the intent is disarming the American populace rendering them impotent in the face of danger.

“Background checks” introduce another legal question that has been ignored in the ongoing debate about the illegal use of guns. What “background checks” demand is that you get permission from the government before you exercise your Second Amendment rights.

This concept is known in law as “prior restraint.” The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently denied the right of the government to use “prior restraint” in restrictions upon freedom of speech, press and petitioning the government. Even regarding the “right of assembly.” any prior restraint must be minimal and reasonable. The ability to deny permission in advance of one’s exercise of a protected right is the ability to render that right unusable.

The clamor over “background checks” and “red flag laws” is a disguised attempt to get the people to accept the principle that the government grants your rights instead of protecting them. Accepting that would mean that the American people would overturn the American Revolution and the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

Consequently, I would remind the reader of the words of President Ronald Reagan when he stated, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on to them to do the same.” I urge the reader to do the same.

State Rep. John Fuller is Chairman of the Flathead Valley Republican Central Committee

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