A guy named Dan Simpson, who sits on the Editorial Board of The Toledo Blade has written a column wherein he takes a position I don’t think I’ve even seen Sarah Brady take; the complete disarmament of the American public.
[H]ow would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.
Hunters would be able to deposit their hunting weapons in a centrally located arsenal, heavily guarded, from which they would be able to withdraw them each hunting season upon presentation of a valid hunting license. The weapons would be required to be redeposited at the end of the season on pain of arrest. When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. In the process, arsenal staff would take at least a quick look at each hunter to try to affirm that he was not obviously unhinged.
All antique or interesting non-hunting weapons would be required to be delivered to a local or regional museum, also to be under strict 24-hour-a-day guard. There they would be on display, if the owner desired, as part of an interesting exhibit of antique American weapons, as family heirlooms from proud wars past or as part of collections.
Gun dealers could continue their work, selling hunting and antique firearms. They would be required to maintain very tight inventories. Any gun sold would be delivered immediately by the dealer to the nearest arsenal or the museum, not to the buyer.
It is, you see, quite easy. All you have to do is suspend civil liberties, forget about the concept of private property, ignore the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments.
But, of course, even Simpson’s efficient little police state will need it’s Gestapo:
The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.
Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for “carrying.”
No search warrants,Â no worries about probable cause, no right to a hearing. Just Dan Simpson’s gun-stealing Gestapo breaking your door down in the middle of the night. If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, I don’t know what will. Even the cops who killed Kathryn Johnston went through the motions of getting a search warrant.
But what, you might ask about the possibility that guns might be imported from outside the United States ?
Commandant Simpson has an answer for that one too:
America’s long land and sea borders present another kind of problem. It is easy to imagine mega-gun dealerships installing themselves in Mexico, and perhaps in more remote parts of the Canadian border area, to funnel guns into the United States. That would constitute a problem for American immigration authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard, but not an insurmountable one over time.
Of course, given the lack of success the Coast Guard has had at keeping drugs out of the country, I don’t doubt that gun running would become the next hot line of business in Mexico.
Halfway through reading this thing, I was thinking that maybe Simpson was playing devil’s advocate. Maybe he really does believe in gun rights and he’s trying to create for readers a nightmare scenario of what the world would be like if we tried to take away every gun from every law abiding citizen.
But, no, I think he really believes it. Why else would he have spent the first half of the column talking about how he’s shot guns himself in the past ? The only reason I can think of is the one that McQ noted — by mentioning that, he can deny being an anti-gun zealot.
Whatever his motives,Â Simpson has done us a great service, because he’s absolutely right. The only way that the forces who oppose the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms would able to truly accomplish their goals is to repeal not only the Second Amendment, but the rest of the Bill of Rights as well.