This is why Michael Bloomberg and the gun control crowd have been pushing their disarmament agenda. We react, react, react, and they tell a bunch of lies to a population who mostly doesn't pay much attention. The long term prognosis for gun owners is not good.
And so we need a long term plan, one that will allow us to counter the gun banner's proposals with counter proposals of our own. Our proposals should be simple, easy to understand, and seem reasonable to the population that really hasn't been paying much attention. Bringing up this "Gun Owner's Bill Of Rights" will let us educate voters while making our opponents look strident and uncompromising. Since that's exactly what they are, this shouldn't be difficult. If they want, say, and "Assault Rifle Ban" then we should roll out one or more of these as demands. A compromise is a two way street, after all.
Of course, since they don't want compromise, these will be a poison pill. We will take the fight to them for a change.
Immodestly, I would like to offer a draft Bill Of Rights here. This list is by no means exhaustive, and could be fleshed out with even more (hint, hint: start fleshing out).
1. A concealed carry permit issued by any US State shall be valid in all other US States and Territories, just like State issued driver's licenses and marriage licenses. After all, these permits require a background check by the police, so what possible justification exists for not recognizing them, other than a desire to disarm lawful gun owners?
2. All States shall issue a concealed carry license upon application as long as the applicant passes a criminal background check. It is a long established principle to exclude felons from possessing weapons but since the Second Amendment explicitly recognizes the right to keep and bear arms, no other exclusion is permitted. After all, you don't need a license to go to church or to discuss politics with your neighbors - the First Amendment recognizes these rights and you don't have to provide justification to the Government to exercise them. As long as you're not a felon, you shouldn't have to justify this, either.
3. Citizens who hold a valid concealed carry permit from any State should be permitted to purchase a firearm in any of the 50 US States or Territories. This is currently illegal, but this is a holdover from the 1960s when the technology did not exist to do instant background checks and when very few States issued concealed carry permits. Since all firearm purchased from gun stores require an instant background check, there is no reason to prevent law abiding gun owners from purchasing a firearm wherever they are - unless the goal is not to reduce crime but rather to prevent people from buying guns. If you are on vacation in the United States then you should be able to exercise your rights.
4. The current $200 tax (and the very slow application process for the tax stamp) on noise suppressors is to be repealed. Hollywood and TV shows are wildly unrealistic about how quiet these make firearms - even with a suppressor a firearm is as loud as a chain saw. All the current law does is cause hearing damage to law abiding gun owners.
Each of these are sensible proposals to 80% of the population. These are common sense proposals that we can use bring those people onto our side. These all can be presented as restrictions only on the law abiding who (duh!) are not the problem in this country. These let us start going on the offense.
As I said, this is by no means a complete list. Anyone who wants to add a suggestion feel free in the comments. One thing that I would ask is that we keep suggestions to the following:
- Provide an explanation as to why the suggestion will reduce burdens on law abiding citizens
- Keep suggestions to what will get 80% support from the Great Undecideds. Sure it would be fun to have fully functional tanks, but this isn't the hill to die on