Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Have a Dream

Each day I read about people getting caught up in a myriad of laws and convoluted regulations governing firearms... you know, rifles, shotguns, pistols, revolvers... the run-of-the-mill tool used by police departments, hunters, homeowners, and businesspersons for good things like protecting the public from criminal actors, putting meat on the table, defending home and family and livelihood.

Just moving across state lines can make one a felon. Ask Brian Aitken.

So. I have a simple solution. Congress does its real job, in accordance with the Constitution, and in recognition that a firearm is merely a tool. Criminal use of a firearm is something altogether different than mere possession and "packing".

What think you of this?

A Bill for an Act

There being great disparity in the laws governing the possession and carrying of arms by the citizens of these United States, in obvious conflict with the Second Amendment to the Constitution of these United States, as well as with the various Constitutions of the Several States, Congress here sets forth, in accordance with the delegated Powers as described in Article IV of the Constitution of these United States, which grants unto Congress the Power to pass general laws and further requires each of the several States to acknowledge the Official Acts of the other States, the following Act:

Congress hereby affirms that the first Official Act of any of the several States is the formation of that State by adoption of a State Constitution, wherein has been recognized the individual and unalienable Rights of the Citizens of said State. Congress further declares that by joining The Union, each State cedes certain authority to Congress and binds itself to the provisions of the Constitution of the United States.

Congress, in accordance thereto, herewith declares that any and all laws contrary to this Act are null and void, whether previously enacted federal laws, existing laws of any State or laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations of any Political Subdivision thereof.

Any and all criminal convictions exclusively for the possession of arms are herewith declared null and void, and all governmental bodies and courts are ordered to release any persons in custody for the same, and to expunge any record of related arrest, detention, conviction, or plea, excepting those convictions which also involved the use of arms in the commission of another criminal act. Any crime, such as criminal trespass or disorderly conduct, which would not have been charged had the person not been in possession of arms, is included in those which are herewith null and void. It is the intent of Congress to fully acknowledge the Citizens’ Rights to Keep and Bear Arms, and to ensure that no person shall be held to have committed any criminal act whatsoever by the mere possession or carrying of arms in any place generally open to the public, whether public property or private property open to the public.

Congress herewith takes for itself, exclusively, the regulation of the possession of arms by the Citizens of these United States, and recognizes the States’ authority to determine criminal penalties for the unlawful use of said arms. Arms are defined as those man-portable tools, constructs, and material usable for defensive purposes, including but not limited to rifles, pistols, revolvers, shotguns, knives, clubs, and the like useful for both offensive and defensive purposes, and those items like helmets, vests, boots, gloves, and the like which are designed and used primarily to limit the effectiveness of attacks upon a person. Arms do not include ordnance, such as heavy guns, ships of war, self-propelled guns, cannons, or any other device or mechanism which is incapable of being carried or operated by any single individual, nor any explosive device or contrivance which is not, in its use, held by the user.

Nothing in this law or any provision of the Constitution of the United States or any of the several States shall prevent the passage of laws penalizing the use of arms in the willful commission of felonious acts, either to facilitate such acts, or to prevent others from defending against such acts.

Congress herewith notes that the following State Constitutions acknowledge the right for citizens to Keep and to Bear arms, specifically for the purposes of individual self defense:
Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Congress further notes that the following State Constitutions acknowledge the right of citizens to protect their property: California, Colorado, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah,

In any criminal action involving the use of arms against another, the defense of self, home, others, or property is an affirmative defense, which must be overcome by evidence of criminal intent or negligence of the accused, and persons found to be acting in a criminal capacity are prohibited from sustaining claims for injury as a result of their intended victims' use of arms in the defense of life and/or property.

No state or political subdivision thereof shall bar the ownership or possession of useful arms in any public place, or in any private place open for business to the general public, excepting prisons, jails, and courtrooms, excepting as a specific penalty for criminal acts upon conviction, nor prevent any person from keeping arms within their separate place of residence for defensive purposes unless previously found guilty of a felonious crime of violence against another. In the case of firearms, no law shall mandate that such arms be unloaded if carried within the reasonable control of the individual, including pistols and revolvers in holsters designed to both restrain the weapon and provide ready access to the bearer.

Henceforth, no State or political subdivision thereof shall assess any fee, license, or tax upon the ownership of arms. Any and all costs for the registration of such arms shall be paid from the general funds, and not by the owners of said arms. All federal registrations, licensing schemes, taxes, fees, and the like presently required by statute or rule are herewith repealed. No tax, other than an excise tax on the commercial manufacture of firearms and ammunition for interstate or international commerce shall be assessed. Such taxes shall not exceed five percent of the cost of said firearm or the bullet of any ammunition, whether sold as a ready-to-fire cartridge or reloading component.

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