How to Eviscerate the Second Amendment

The lockdowns of businesses have, as the year 2020 comes to a close, sparked calls for resistance, for example this article in The Federalist from December 8, 2020. (My words which follow do not comprise an endorsement of every call for resistance. I approve civil disobedience in response to every unconstitutional edict of a government. I do not approve violence except in immediate self-defense.)

I’m concerned only that rebellion against covid lockdowns will dissipate the energy needed for resistance once the severe outlawing of liberty begins in 2021.  You don’t see licenses to publish in newspaper offices, because of the First Amendment.  But the license to publish is coming.  Before that happens, the already-eroded Second Amendment will undergo a full-frontal attack. (See another article at this site, A Well-regulated Militia.)

Ersatz-President Biden’s handlers will provide him with the text for many executive orders, on the premise that these orders will serve to implement existing law, or to restore practices, desirable to totalitarians, that were suspended by President Trump — the Iran Nuclear Agreement, the Paris Climate Accord, and such.  The latter category will be nothing different than was seen under President Soetoro/Obama.  But several executive orders will constitute new edicts with the force of law.

Early in his term, though, he will address his party’s issues with the Second Amendment.  Without presuming either the timing, wording, or sequence (except the first) of these orders, here is what this series of edicts will accomplish.

Executive Orders

Beginning with a certain ill-defined (in fact undefinable) class of rifles, and encompassing all handguns as well, owners of these firearms will be required to register them.  States will implement firearm registration under penalty of loss of federal funds to certain state agencies of government for failure to do so.

Citizens will refuse to register their weapons en masse at first.  The rule will be amended to provide mandatory penalties, of course, which by themselves will not motivate compliance.  

“Buy-back” programs will be tried, (never mind that the government can’t buy back something that the government didn’t buy and provide in the first place), and rewards will be offered for information leading to the discovery and “recovery” of “illegal” firearms.

Eventually the rule will provide that anyone found hunting with an unregistered firearm or who, when registering a big game kill, refuses to declare the weapon used or who falsely identifies the weapon used, will face crushing penalties.  In similar fashion, anyone who uses a firearm in defense of home or property, who might otherwise face no criminal charges for such self-defense, will face severe penalties for doing so with an unregistered firearm.

Defendants charged under these rules will enjoy some initial victories in court (while sitting in jail pending trial and while losing fortunes to their attorneys), but once the rule is signed and the battles begin, the Second Amendment will be under its death sentence.

A further serious blow will be an executive provision that no one may inherit, carry, display, buy, or sell a firearm of any kind that has not been registered.  Therefore, as old gun owners die and their collections, small or large, are handed down, cowering heirs will scramble to register them so they can sell them off quickly.  A prohibition may be added which prevents registration of inherited guns but requires their destruction instead.

The coup de grâce in this will be an executive order requiring, not merely suggesting, that victims of crimes and those shot by home defenders sue firearms manufacturers, ammunition manufacturers, and retail gun sales outlets for injuries.  Gun manufacturers and sellers will be unable to afford the insurance needed to remain in business.  The Second Amendment will remain on the books, since revising or revoking it will be politically impossible, but there will be no armaments left for a citizen, uninfringed, to keep and bear.

You read it here first.  I’m not quoting anyone else on this.  The writing on the wall is more plain than it was at Belshazzar’s feast.

=David A. Woodbury= 20 December 2020

Four Little Words

February 24, 2018

This article was originally published by the Foundation for Economic Education on Use this link to see the original article. It is pertinent as we cross over into 2021 because the new administration in the White House will have much to say about guns.

In the wake of yet another mass shooting in a public school, a host of familiar recommendations have resurfaced about how to “prevent this from ever happening again.” Predictably, both conservatives and liberals are looking to the government for a solution. Americans have somehow arrived at a point where they cannot conceive of human action that is not either prohibited, mandated, or, at the very least, centrally planned.

The first problem is the goal. It is absurdly unrealistic to believe any set of rules is going to prevent anything from “ever happening again.” If you doubt that, I invite you to examine the war on drugs. Many decades ago, politicians decided American citizens taking heroin was never going to happen again. They banned that drug completely. You aren’t allowed to possess or sell it under any circumstances. Not after a background check. Not with a doctor’s prescription. Not at all.

Today, that drug is at the center of what the same government calls an opioid “epidemic.” Epidemic. So much for heroin overdoses “never happening again.”

Yet, despite this evidence, liberals still suggest what they’ve always suggested: further restrictions on gun ownership. A good portion of them believes that only government employees charged with national defense or public safety should be allowed to carry guns. Ban them completely for the civilian population, they say, and mass shooters won’t be able to obtain them.

You know, just like drugs.

The conservative answer to liberal prohibition (oxymoron?) is to “arm and train the teachers.” While no one has come out and suggested mandating teachers carry firearms or be trained in using them, every suggestion seems to suggest “we” (i.e., the government) need to do the arming and training.

Here’s a little newsflash for both sides: the teachers are already armed.

No, not every teacher carries firearms and perhaps not as high a percentage of teachers do so as the percentage of the general population that carries. But there are over three million teachers in public schools and some percentage of them have concealed carry permits. It would be unlikely that there aren’t at least some members of every faculty in America that have a concealed carry permit.

It’s not a matter of arming teachers, but rather to cease disarming them when they report to work.

To the extent conservatives acknowledge this option at all, they seem trapped in the same box as liberals in feeling the need to point out there are teachers who are also retired military, in the reserves, or former law enforcement officers. That’s probably true. But there are also tens of millions of Americans, and likely tens of thousands of teachers, who both own firearms and never served in the military or police.

An armed civilian population constitutes that “well-regulated militia” the 2nd Amendment refers to. What makes a militia a militia is the members not being part of the regular army.

I’ve often said the greatest danger to liberty is not a foreign army, terrorists, or even a homegrown tyrant. It is four little words. And they aren’t, “Up against the wall!” That comes later.

They are, “Something must be done.”

Instead of the government “doing something” about mass shootings, it should stop doing something. It should stop prohibiting teachers from carrying into school the same firearms they are licensed and trusted to carry in most other places. It is the path of least resistance to providing realistic protection for schoolchildren. It requires no one to do anything they aren’t already doing.

No, this will not ensure that mass shootings “never happen again.” Nothing will. And not every teacher with a firearm, confronted with the pressure of an active shooter situation, will calmly dispatch the shooter. But as we saw in Parkland, FL, neither will every trained police officer.

Broward County Sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson was assigned to the school as a resource officer and was on the school grounds during the entire incident. He heard the shooting inside the school, but videos show he remained outside for four minutes during the six-minute mass shooting, which claimed seventeen lives.

Peterson wasn’t alone. Three other armed law enforcement officers were on the scene and failed to enter the school before backup arrived.

This wasn’t the only government failure in this case. Local police had been called to Nikolas Cruz’s home thirty-nine times over the past seven years, according to documents obtained by CNN. Members of the family he lived with after his mother’s death report he routinely introduced himself as “a school shooter.”

It wasn’t just local police who dropped the ball on Cruz. The FBI was warned multiple times about Cruz, including by “an unidentified woman close to Cruz” who called the FBI a month before the incident, warning of her fears he would “get into a school and just shoot the place up.” The FBI was also called in September 2017 by a video blogger who said a user named “nikolas cruz” had posted a comment on one of his videos, saying, “I”m going to be a professional school shooter.”

Hopefully, this will inspire more than mere outrage at government incompetence. Americans should take a long, hard look at how much of what should be personal and private they have allowed government to become involved in and how badly it has failed them. And if government can’t run education or health care, it certainly shouldn’t be trusted with something as important as the defense of one’s own life.

Thomas Paine began his pamphlet, Common Sense, widely credited with convincing a critical mass of colonists to support American independence, by making a crucial distinction:

“SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.” He went on to say, “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”

It’s time Americans remembered the miracles possible within that blessing called society and the limitations of an institution based on nothing more than consolidated brute force. Mass shootings are horrible situations under any circumstances, but they may be rendered less horrible if the victims have options other than to call the government and wait.

States that haven’t already should repeal any laws necessary to give the right and the responsibility for self-defense back to teachers and other school employees. Allowing them the option to carry firearms will both act as a deterrent to future shooters and give teachers a reasonable chance to defend their students and themselves the next time the need arises.

The government has had its chance. It has failed. It’s time to try a little freedom.

Tom Mullen
Tom Mullen

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? and A Return to Common  Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. For more information and more of Tom’s writing, visit