Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | March 31, 2010

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Becky FengerGunning for us

Guns are in the spotlight again. According to a report, whose veracity is unknown but is appearing all over the Internet, the U.S. Department of Education is buying shotguns. The same for the IRS. The rumor mill has it the IRS is buying riot guns to enforce the Health Care Bill. Then there is the report that the Heller v. District of Columbia case was overturned on what appear to be silly grounds that "the Supreme Court didn't say the Second Amendment is a fundamental right" (although they did).

The public's reaction seems to be: Oh, my god. The Department of Education has guns! And indeed, the 27 Remington brand Model 870 Police guns that they supposedly ordered are known as the most popular "riot" guns out there. But this is nothing new.

There are federal police departments everywhere. Many agencies have a policing contingent. For example, there are the print office police. This is not the treasury for the printing of money, mind you, but the printing of brochures. I checked with firearms expert Alan Korwin who said, "I'm not surprised that the Department of Education, which shouldn't exist under the Constitution, might decide it needs shotguns."

Korwin told me that Americans would freak out if we read the complete list of which government agencies are ordering what firearms. The IRS is already armed, and the 67 riot guns they may have ordered is nothing in the big picture. The reason folks are so excited is that the electorate is incensed over the passage of the giant Health Care Bill. The IRS would need to arm 16,000 agents to enforce the rules. That's the estimate that's being thrown around by statisticians. Health and Human Services is just one of the agencies that have responsibility for enforcing the Health Care Act. IRS has the power to enforce the provision that citizens must now purchase health insurance, as listed on their IRS forms, or face fines or jail time. "They'll enforce that to some extent," Korwin notes, "but they are not buying riot shotguns for that purpose."

The big issue here is that the government is increasingly arming itself, especially as the public is increasingly intolerant of the government's abuses. The report about the gun orders came from the National Association for Gun Rights. It's a fairly new organization about which not much is known.

Last Friday, District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, dismissed the NRA's case that challenged D.C.'s strict firearm registration requirements and its ban on "assault weapons." Judge Urbina claimed that the Supreme Court "did not explicitly hold that the Second Amendment right is a fundamental right" in their 2008 decision of District of Columbia v. Heller.

That is poppycock, and the judge is completely wrong. The Supreme Court said that the second amendment is a specific enumerated right. This phrase has legal weight, because a specific enumerated right is held in higher esteem than an implied right, an inferred right, or an interpreted right. There will be an appeal of this ruling, of course.

In Washington D.C., plans are being made for The Second Amendment March, which used to be called the Million Gun March. (The name was terrific, but probably too scary for the lily-livered politicians.) It will be a huge protest against the restrictions on people's right to keep and bear arms. For those who can't make it to D.C., there will be an event in Arizona at the state capitol on April 19 from noon to 2 p.m. There will be details coming soon, but put the date on your calendars. Start making your signs and plan for a picnic lunch on the state capitol grounds.

This will be real grass roots, Mrs. Pelosi. No sound stage with invited speakers, much less Obama-like teleprompters We will be celebrating our right to keep and bear arms, a right so fundamental and old as to predate the Constitution. You remember that ragged document, don't you?

Last Sunday there was a huge event at Ben Avery Shooting Range with hands-on displays and activities. I was there, but in a classroom for my Concealed Carry Weapons permit. It's good strategy to practice the "what if" scenarios in one's mind in order to know when one is justified in pulling the trigger and when one is not. It was an enjoyable eight hours I would recommend to everyone.