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Ronald Reagan on Gun control
Guns and Ammo Magazine ^ | September 1975 | Ronald W. reagan

Posted on 06/21/2006 8:27:22 AM PDT by tcostell



In our September 1975 issue, Ronald Reagan, then two-time Governer of California, penned this column. A man of conviction, Ronaldus Magnus was true to these words before and during his eight-year presidency.

There are tales of robbery victims that are shot down in cold blood or executed "gangland style." There are stories of deranged parents killing their children or deranged children killing their parents. There are reports of snipers. And now and then the headlines blurt out that an assassin has struck again, killing a prominent official or citizen. All of these stories involve the use of guns, or seem to. As a result, there is growing clamor to outlaw guns, to ban guns, to confiscate guns in the name of public safety and public good.

These demands come from people genuinely concerned about rising crime rates, persons such as Sheriff Peter Pitchess of Los Angeles, who says gun control is an idea whose time has come. They come from people who see the outlawing of guns as a way of outlawing violence. And they come from those who see confiscation of weapons as one way of keeping the people under control.

(Excerpt) Read more at gunsandammomag.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism
KEYWORDS: banglist; ronaldusmagnus
I'm confident this has been posted multiple times in the past but given the author and the subject matter I thought I might be allowed the indulgence of posting it again.

There are a dozen great 2nd amendment sound bites in this piece, and it is as applicable today as it was in 1975 when he wrote it. Once we had men like this leading the charge, now we have Mike Bloomberg.

1 posted on 06/21/2006 8:27:24 AM PDT by tcostell
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To: tcostell

This is my personal favorite:


The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed.


2 posted on 06/21/2006 8:32:04 AM PDT by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: tcostell
Nice screw up by Guns N Ammo:

A firm defender of the Constitution, Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, serving from 1980 to 1988.

3 posted on 06/21/2006 8:44:07 AM PDT by xrp (Fox News Channel: MISSING WHITE GIRL NETWORK)
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To: tcostell
"Ronad Reagan on Gun control"

It's a great speech and he was a great president...but argh, copy and paste! Maybe the Admin Mod can fix that for you.

4 posted on 06/21/2006 8:44:41 AM PDT by cake_crumb (One presidential visit to Baghdad is worth 1000 pathetic declarations of defeat from the left)
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To: tcostell

The good ol' days...


5 posted on 06/21/2006 8:47:45 AM PDT by AntiGovernment (A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.)
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To: tcostell

Didn't Reagan support the Brady bill some time later?


6 posted on 06/21/2006 8:50:04 AM PDT by Mac1
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To: tcostell
Truer words were never spoken!

R.I.P. Ronald Reagan.

7 posted on 06/21/2006 8:52:13 AM PDT by basil (Exercise your Second Amendment--buy another gun today!)
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To: Mac1

Yes, thanks to him there is no right to bear arms, only a government privilege. To buy or sell guns we now need government permission even to our own parents and children according to some states interpretation of this onerous legislation...


8 posted on 06/21/2006 9:12:50 AM PDT by LambSlave (If you have to ask permission it's not a right...)
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To: tcostell

Thank you for your post.


9 posted on 06/21/2006 9:14:43 AM PDT by 2ndClassCitizen
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To: tcostell
This thread has just added to the FreeRepublic "bang list" (firearms interest list) by adding the keyword "banglist".

Any time a firearms-related thread is created on FreeRepublic, please be sure to add the "banglist" keyword to it so that interested FReepers don't miss it.

Let Freedom Ring,

Gun Facts v4.0!

Click the pic to go to the Gun Facts v4.0 download page!

10 posted on 06/21/2006 9:16:28 AM PDT by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism. *NRA*)
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To: tcostell

A great speech by a great man.


11 posted on 06/21/2006 9:17:17 AM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: LambSlave

No, seriously - I remember it at the time being featured on TV over here; it stuck in my memory (as do many unusual things)because I was aware of how much of a supporter Ronald Reagan was of gun rights. I also remember this being the subject of criticism in "Peterson Handguns" magazine, a sister publication of "Guns and Ammo".


12 posted on 06/21/2006 9:23:16 AM PDT by Mac1
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To: tcostell

BUMP!


13 posted on 06/21/2006 9:58:15 AM PDT by PoorMuttly (A Muttly saved is a Muttly earned)
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To: tcostell

Unexcerpted:

Ronald Reagan: The Gun Owner's Champion
In our September 1975 issue, Ronald Reagan, then two-time Governer of California, penned this column. A man of conviction, Ronaldus Magnus was true to these words before and during his eight-year presidency.

There are tales of robbery victims that are shot down in cold blood or executed "gangland style." There are stories of deranged parents killing their children or deranged children killing their parents. There are reports of snipers. And now and then the headlines blurt out that an assassin has struck again, killing a prominent official or citizen. All of these stories involve the use of guns, or seem to. As a result, there is growing clamor to outlaw guns, to ban guns, to confiscate guns in the name of public safety and public good.

These demands come from people genuinely concerned about rising crime rates, persons such as Sheriff Peter Pitchess of Los Angeles, who says gun control is an idea whose time has come. They come from people who see the outlawing of guns as a way of outlawing violence. And they come from those who see confiscation of weapons as one way of keeping the people under control.

Now I yield to no one in my concern about crime, and especially crimes of violence. As governor of California for eight years, I struggled daily with that problem. I appointed judges who, to the best of my information, would be tough on criminals. We approved legislation to make it more difficult for persons with records of crime or instability to purchase firearms legally. We worked to bring about swift and certain punishment for persons guilty of crimes of violence.

We fought hard to reinstate the death sentence after our state Supreme Court outlawed it, and after the U.S. Supreme Court followed suit, we won.

Now, however, the California court that sought eagerly to be the first to outlaw the death penalty is dragging its heels as it waits for the U.S. Court to rule. The Chief Justice in California, whom I appointed with such high hopes, in this regard has disappointed many of us who looked to him to help again make our streets, our shops and our homes safe. I find it difficult to understand persons like President Ford's new Attorney General, Edward H. Levi. Attorney General Levi would ban guns in areas with high rates of crime.

Mr. Levi is confused. He thinks somehow that banning guns keeps them out of the hands of criminals. New Yorkers who suffer under the Sullivan Act know better, they know that the Sullivan Act makes law-abiding citizens sitting ducks for criminals who have no qualms about violating it in the process of killing and robbing and burglarizing. Despite this, Mr. Levi apparently thinks that criminals will be willing to give up their guns if he makes carrying them against the law. What naivete!

Mightn't it be better in those areas of high crime to arm the homeowner and the shopkeeper, teach him how to use his weapons and put the word out to the underworld that it is not longer totally safe to rob and murder?

Our nation was built and civilized by men and women who used guns in self-defense and in pursuit of peace. One wonders indeed, if the rising crime rate, isn't due as much as anything to the criminal's instinctive knowledge that the average victim no longer has means of self-protection.

No one knows how many crimes are committed because the criminal knows he has a soft touch. No one knows how many stores have been let alone because the criminals knew it was guarded by a man with a gun or manned by a proprietor who knew how to use a gun.
A firm defender of the Constitution, Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, serving from 1980 to 1988.

Criminals are not dissuaded by soft words, soft judges or easy laws. They are dissuaded by fear and they are prevented from repeating their crimes by death or by incarceration.

In my opinion, proposals to outlaw or confiscate guns are simply unrealistic panacea. We are never going to prevent murder; we are never going to eliminate crime; we are never going to end violent action by the criminals and the crazies--with or without guns.

True, guns are a means for committing murder and other crimes. But they are not an essential means. The Los Angeles Slasher of last winter killed nine men without using a gun. People kill and rob with knives and clubs. Yet we have not talked about outlawing them. Poisons are easy to come by for the silent killer.

The automobile is the greatest peacetime killer in history. There is no talk of banning the auto. With the auto we have cracked down on drunken drivers and on careless drivers. We need also to crack down on people who use guns carelessly or with criminal intent.

I believe criminals who use guns in the commission of a crime, or who carry guns, should be given mandatory sentences with no opportunity for parole. That would put the burden where it belongs--on the criminal, not on the law abiding citizen.

Let's not kid ourselves about what the purpose of prison should be: It should be to remove criminals from circulation so that they cannot prey upon society. Punishment for deterrent purposes, also plays a part. Rehabilitation, as many experts, including California Attorney General Evelle Younger, have discovered, is not a very good reason for imprisoning people. People don't rehabilitate very well in prison.

There is an old saying that slaves remain slaves while free men set themselves free. It is true with rehabilitation, also. Criminals rehabilitate themselves, there is little you and I can do about it. But back to the purpose of this article which, hopefully, is to make the case against gun control.

The starting point must be the Constitution, because, above all, we are a nation of laws and the foundation for our laws, or lack of same, is the Constitution.

It is amazing to me how so many people pay lip service to the Constitution, yet set out to twist and distort it when it stands in the way of things they think ought to be done or laws they believe ought to be passed. It is also amazing to me how often our courts do the same thing.

The Second Amendment is clear, or ought to be. It appears to leave little, if any, leeway for the gun control advocate. It reads: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

There are those who say that, since we have no militia, the amendment no longer applies; they would just ignore it. Others say nuclear weapons have made the right to keep and bear arms irrelevant, since arms are of little use against weapons of such terrible destructive power. Both arguments are specious.

We may not have a well-regulated militia, but it does not necessarily follow that we should not be prepared to have one. The day could easily come when we need one.

The nuclear weapon argument is even more silly. Many wars have been fought since World War II and no nuclear bomb has been dropped. We have no assurance that the next world war will be a nuclear war. But, regardless of any possible merit they might have, both these arguments beg the question, which is: Shall the people have a right to keep and bear arms?

There is little doubt that the founding fathers thought they should have this right, and for a very specific reason: They distrusted government. All of the first 10 amendments make that clear. Each of them specifies an area where government cannot impose itself on the individual or where the individual must be protected from government.

The second amendment gives the individual citizen a means of protection against the despotism of the state. Look what it refers to: "The security of a free state." The word "free" should be underlined because that is what they are talking about and that is what the Constitution is about--a free nation and a free people, where the rights of the individual are pre-eminent. The founding fathers had seen, as the Declaration of Independence tells us, what a despotic government can do to its own people. Indeed, every American should read the Declaration of Independence before he reads the Constitution, and he will see that the Constitution aims at preventing a recurrence of the way George III's government treated the colonies.

The declaration states this plainly: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new Guards for their future security."

There is no question that the first 10 amendments are a part of those "new guards" for their future security. And one of the most basic of those guards is the right to keep and bear arms.

There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism--government.

Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it. When dictators come to power, the first thing they do is take away the people's weapons. It makes it so much easier for the secret police to operate, it makes it so much easier to force the will of the ruler upon the ruled.

Now I believe our nation's leaders are good and well-meaning people. I do not believe that they have any desire to impose a dictatorship upon us. But this does not mean that such will always be the case. A nation rent internally, as ours has been in recent years, is always ripe for a "man on a white horse." A deterrent to that man, or to any man seeking unlawful power, is the knowledge that those who oppose him are not helpless.

The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all.

I am not ready to take that risk. I believe that the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive.


14 posted on 06/21/2006 9:59:54 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Mac1
Didn't Reagan support the Brady bill some time later?

Did he sign it though?

Politics, my friend...Brady was his close friend so Reagan felt obligated to speak out on his behalf.

15 posted on 06/21/2006 10:01:36 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Beelzebubba

Bump my BUMP.

Feeling rather bumpy today Muttly?

-Why, yes.


16 posted on 06/21/2006 10:02:23 AM PDT by PoorMuttly (A Muttly saved is a Muttly earned)
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To: Beelzebubba

Sadly, he signed the 1986 act, which forever denied the people the right to bear arms of the type actually carried by troops (machine guns.)


17 posted on 06/21/2006 10:04:07 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Mac1

I was being serious; the Brady Bill requires background checks, e.g. the states permission to buy and sell guns... this even applies in some states, such as mine, to sales from parents to children, or children to parents. Folks in Pennsylvania have had their right stolen by the state via this legislation JUST for selling guns without going through this process. When you ask permission, it is not a right; just a government privilege that can be revoked at any time... I despise Reagan for this; he was an honorable man of high ideals, yet he sold out many future generations of Americans by signing this into law.


18 posted on 06/21/2006 11:42:22 AM PDT by LambSlave (If you have to ask permission it's not a right...)
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To: PoorMuttly

Have I mentioned *BUMP*?

Me forgot.

People should remember what we already had in R.R.

T.R. too.

In the prosaic words of Tony Snow..: "BE Reagan!"


19 posted on 06/21/2006 3:22:14 PM PDT by PoorMuttly (A Muttly saved is a Muttly earned)
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To: PoorMuttly

That was very good Muttly.

BUMP to the TOP!


20 posted on 06/21/2006 3:23:43 PM PDT by PoorMuttly (FREE MEXICO - Repatriate the Refugees)
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To: tcostell

*


21 posted on 06/21/2006 3:28:24 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Delicacy, precision, force)
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To: LambSlave; Everybody
--- the Brady Bill requires background checks, e.g. the states permission to buy and sell guns... this even applies in some states, such as mine, to sales from parents to children, or children to parents.

CA's 'law' is even worse. Certain semi-auto firearms supposedly cannot be sold - period. When you die they are to be confiscated by the State.

[Reagan] -- sold out many future generations of Americans by signing this into law.

Look at it this way, Brady is not a law, it is a repugnant infringement, not worth the paper it's printed on. [see Marbury]
Most gun owners in CA are ignoring it, and it is not being enforced.
Other states citizens should follow suit.

22 posted on 06/21/2006 3:40:23 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: LambSlave

This sounds slightly similar to the UK: the major gun banning acts (semi-auto rifles (1988) and handguns which affected me (1997) were by Conservative governments. Things move on but am still bitter about it.


23 posted on 06/22/2006 1:41:18 AM PDT by Mac1
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To: tpaine

Fine. Obviously you know more about it then I do and all the same, obtaining firearms in the US is not the free-for-all its made out to be here in the UK.


24 posted on 06/22/2006 1:45:13 AM PDT by Mac1
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To: PoorMuttly
It reads: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The Great RR got it right. When he penned this he put the correct number of commas in the Amendment.

L

25 posted on 06/22/2006 1:54:12 AM PDT by Lurker (When decadence pervades the corridors of power, depravity walks the side streets.)
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To: tcostell

Didn't Reagan also sign the so called Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986 which closed the NFA registry for civilian owned machine guns? Sorry he was not the pure defender of the bill of rights many here think he was.


26 posted on 06/22/2006 6:31:41 AM PDT by activationproducts
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To: activationproducts

That prohibition was a last-minute voice-vote amendment to the bill. The problem with large bills is that stupid little things can be snuck in and signed off without being noticed. Nobody knows if RR knew the MG ban had been inserted.


27 posted on 06/22/2006 1:51:31 PM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: ctdonath2

Hmm...a President not knowing what is on a bill they are signing. Wouldn's surprise me one bit, looks like we get the governmenet we deserve.


28 posted on 06/23/2006 4:57:35 AM PDT by activationproducts
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To: xrp
Nice screw up by Guns N Ammo:

A firm defender of the Constitution, Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, serving from 1980 to 1988.

I see that a lot. Folks tend to forget that the president doesn't take office immediately after the election.

29 posted on 06/23/2006 5:01:18 AM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: Beelzebubba

Can't you own fully-automatic weapons so long as you pay a bit more money on them?


30 posted on 01/16/2007 3:32:44 PM PST by RWB Patriot
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To: RWB Patriot

No.
1. I can't own ANY such arms if they are modern (made after 1986).
2. If they were made before then, I MAY be able to buy a one (probably worn and with a kludge aftermarket system) for 10x what it would cost if newly made.


31 posted on 01/17/2007 5:56:44 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Beelzebubba

Well, I am going by Matt Bracken's "Enemies Foreign and Domestic." In one part, one of the President's advisor's tells him that civilians can own automatic weapons and silencers so long as they pay a $200 dollar tax on them.


32 posted on 01/17/2007 7:54:24 PM PST by RWB Patriot
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To: tcostell

I so wish we could find another Reagan for '08. Hell, even if it's someone who is half of what he was, it would be great!


33 posted on 01/17/2007 8:03:30 PM PST by KoRn
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To: ctdonath2
"That prohibition was a last-minute voice-vote amendment to the bill. The problem with large bills is that stupid little things can be snuck in and signed off without being noticed. Nobody knows if RR knew the MG ban had been inserted."

Yes, they do. The bill which became law was the "firearm owners protection act". The provision was discussed before the bill passed out of Congress and the NRA knew about it.

34 posted on 01/17/2007 8:13:20 PM PST by spunkets
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To: tcostell
I'm confident this has been posted multiple times in the past

Well I've been around here for a while and I've never seen it. Thanks for posting. It rounds out RR for me. I have always been unclear about his stance. Now I know that at least as early as 1975 he had proper respect for the 2A.

35 posted on 01/17/2007 8:15:46 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: RWB Patriot

Basically correct for silencers, but omits the fact that since 1986, full auto guns may not be made for civilian hands. There is about 2000 citizens per "transferrable" full auto firearm, thus making them preposterously expensive, and essentially worthless with regard to the intent of the 2nd amendment.


36 posted on 01/18/2007 5:44:23 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Beelzebubba

Well, a semi-automatic AR-15 (the first firearm I plan on owning, be it in the National Guard or as a civilian) is just as good as a fully-automatic one.

Besides, as "Enemies Foreign and Domestic" showed us, a single shot in the right person's head sends a good message to the anti-gun fascists.


37 posted on 01/18/2007 9:32:11 AM PST by RWB Patriot
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To: RWB Patriot

You make good points, except that the experts in our armed forces seem to think that full auto has benefits justifying arming most soldiers with such rifles.

If you had to cross a field with hostile shooters nearby, would you rather your pals have machine guns or semi-autos to provide supressing fire?


38 posted on 01/18/2007 12:50:40 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Beelzebubba

Machine guns to provide suppressing fire, semi-autos to take out the shooters.

Besides, if the Second Civil War ever starts, I doubt the military would be on the side of whatever fascist democrat was dumb enough to rip apart the Second Amendment.


39 posted on 01/19/2007 6:17:52 AM PST by RWB Patriot
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To: RWB Patriot
I doubt the military would be on the side of whatever fascist democrat

Don't bet on that. When the confiscation order came down in the Katrina aftermath, NG troops where right there with the confiscation squads. If Martial Law is declared after another National disaster or terrorist attack, the troops will by and large do as they are told.

40 posted on 01/19/2007 6:36:31 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Mac1
Didn't Reagan support the Brady bill some time later?

No. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed by Clinton in 1994. Reagan signed the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act that modified the Gun Control Act of 1968. While it made somethings easier, like transferring long guns across State lines, and outlawed other things, like tracking ammo purchases, it did hit us with a couple of hidden "poison pills" like the '86 limit on machine gun transfers.

Considering none of the Federal gun laws pass a Constitutional smell test, by anyone other than gun grabbing moonbats, one good SCOTUS case could clear the slate repealing everything back to the onerous National Firearms Act of 1934.

41 posted on 01/19/2007 6:42:52 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: tcostell

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new Guards for their future security."


42 posted on 01/19/2007 6:45:03 AM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: P8riot

I'm ready for the old "heave ho!" How about you?


43 posted on 01/19/2007 7:19:45 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Beelzebubba

With the Republicans being "punished" gun control forces are back up off the floor, re-energized and ready to go.


44 posted on 01/19/2007 7:25:30 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Dead Corpse

I think it is inevitable.


45 posted on 01/19/2007 7:48:30 AM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: Dead Corpse

Gun confiscation during a natural disaster is one thing. Gun confiscation for no reason is another. If the dems suddenly banned guns for no justifiable reason, our troops probably wouldn't do go through with it. They aren't the dumb idiots the RATs take them for.


46 posted on 01/20/2007 7:23:10 AM PST by RWB Patriot
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To: Dead Corpse

ammo dump and gun store delivered right to your home


47 posted on 01/20/2007 7:31:34 AM PST by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: tpaine
CA's 'law' is even worse. Certain semi-auto firearms supposedly cannot be sold - period. When you die they are to be confiscated by the State.

They can't be sold to another person in California. They can be sold to someone outside of California. If you fail to sell the firearm to someone outside California before you die, it will be confiscated and probably destroyed. Better to find a new home for a good firearm and recover the value of the asset for yourself or your estate.

48 posted on 01/20/2007 7:36:47 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: RWB Patriot
Gun confiscation during a natural disaster is one thing.

natural disasters are the times one would really need their firearms.....look at Katrina.

49 posted on 06/29/2010 9:03:49 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Vaquero

I was referring to the military following an order to confiscate guns.


50 posted on 06/29/2010 11:52:26 AM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be purchased and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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