Monday, August 4, 2014


Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair

     On March 30, 1981, former White House press secretary James Brady was wounded in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr.  On Monday Brady died at the age of 73.  His name became forever associated with gun control after the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law by President Clinton on November 30, 1993. The Brady Act requires that background checks be conducted on individuals before a firearm may be purchased from a federally licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer—unless an exception applies.
     The Brady Act was initially proposed in 1987, but the National Rifle Association and other second amendment groups were able to keep it from becoming law for six years.  After its passage, the NRA funded lawsuits that made their way through the court system to the Supreme Court challenging Brady’s constitutionality based on the tenth amendment- state’s rights.  The NRA argued that local and state law enforcement officers should not be compelled to do background checks.  The Supreme Court ruled in the NRA’s favor, but gave the option of conducting the checks to local law enforcement.  The vast majority continued doing business as usual and the net effect was no change.
     In an average year over seven million background checks are run on those purchasing guns with 120,000 a year turned down.(1.7%).  Has the Brady Bill been effective?  What has been its net impact on America?
     First, Brady Bill background checks haven’t reduced crime.  Crime rates have actually risen in the twenty years since the bill was signed.  Think about it- only a stupid or a desperate criminal would attempt to buy a gun to commit a crime and risk submitting to a background check.  He will buy his gun in some dark alley.  The background checks are nothing but an inconvenience and a hassle to the honest citizen.  The criminal is going to get his gun illegally.  The NRA is right when it says that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
     Second, every citizen has a God given right to defend themselves.  The founders knew this considered it to be an unalienable right.  The Declaration of Independence affirms that by stating that, "it is their [the people's] Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government [i.e., a tyrannical one], and to provide new Guards for their future Security." This statement presupposes a people's right of self-defense.  King George believed that the right of self-defense originated in government, not in the people. Our founders believed that right originated from the Creator.
     Third, the fundamental problem is the nature of man.  Man has a depraved nature- a wicked sin nature.  Without the regenerating work of God in his heart, he will be eternally separated from his Creator.  Sin is in the heart before it’s in the hand.  Cain killed Able before guns.  Good public policy must always recognize the fundamental problem with mankind is his nature.  George Washington understood it when he said;  “It is vain to exclaim against the depravity of human nature on this account; the fact is so, the experience of every age and nation has proved it and we must in a great measure, change the constitution of man, before we can make it otherwise. No institution, not built on the presumptive truth of these maxims can succeed."
     The Brady Bill simply wasn’t needed because murder, robbery, assault and other violent crimes were already illegal.  The Brady Bill has done nothing but erode the liberty of honest Americans.  James Brady may have been sincere, but he was sincerely wrong.  He may have been a good press secretary, but he was a disaster as a policy maker.  His legacy will be one that has made Americans less free. 
     Now every time some deranged individual kills unarmed Americans, the liberals proclaim we need fewer guns and more gun laws.  They want to disarm everyone, wrongly believing that will prevent violence.  The only person in American who has disarmed is the honest American who has a fundamental right to defend himself.

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