There’s something about the clear prohibition “shall not be infringed” in the Second Amendment that seems monumentally impenetrable to collectivists.
Case in point, the town of Brighton, New York, where the Town Board just passed new conditions on the right to keep and bear arms, and where some of those politicians and bureaucrats have the gall to claim they aren’t infringing on other peoples’ rights.
The story first circulated outside the town March 2, when a libertarian group on Facebook offered a link to a brief article -- an article released by NewsRadio WHAM, 1180, out of Rochester, that read, simply:
The Town of Brighton passed a new firearm law on Wednesday. The law addresses firearm storage. In Brighton it is now mandatory for gun owners to securely lock their guns in a safe or use a locking device that makes the gun incapable of firing. The new law also says that any missing or stolen guns must be reported to police immediately.
And, of course, anyone with any alacrity might ask why the term “addressing” appears in that paragraph.
Since “addressing” typically connotes solving or facing a problem, the implication is that there’s a problem with firearms and firearm storage in the town that is somehow inspiring people to use guns for violent purposes, rather than the nationwide reality as spelled out by the CDC, which states that civilians are 3.6 times more likely to use firearms to prevent crimes than to engage in them.
Regardless, the rest of the report, though lacking any reference to the fact that the new law stands in absolute contradiction to the Second Amendment, states the facts of the situation pretty clearly.
The town of Brighton is telling people that if they don’t store firearms the way politicians command, their private property (the guns) will be seized by armed agents of the government, they will be fined, and they possibly will be arrested if they don’t pay the fine or in any other way don’t comply with the politicians’ commands.
But there’s a great deal more.
According to Spectrum News, Rochester, one local politician felt the need to explain to people that this new law is exactly not what it actually is:
‘What this law does not do is in any way restrict gun ownership. What it does is promote responsible gun ownership,’ said Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle.
Placing conditions on how one will own something is in no way an act of restriction. It’s just that, well, you have to do it their way – which is a restriction.
Simply put, rights are unconditional. That’s the point. They are supposed to exist free of any state interference, otherwise, they’re not rights.
Only when we are voluntarily engaging in interaction can we, as individuals, decide if we want to self-attenuate our rights, say, for example, when a friend invites one over for dinner, but asks you to take off boots at the door and leave your firearm near them.
The cavalier falsehood, the Orwellian NewSpeak, of Supervisor Moehle’s statement is stunning and infuriating. The man actually wants to claim that politicians setting stipulations on how you will own your firearm is not somehow an infringement on your ownership of said arm.
If he told people they could only use the guns with their left hands, or store them in tunnels fifty feet below the surface of the Earth, or that people had to store them inside glass containers filled with vipers whose hissing could be heard three rooms away and sounded eerily reminiscent of his voice, would Moehle and his cohorts not be restricting the rights of others?
The town even trotted out Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson to spray-foam more verbal insulation in a “reassuring”, though ultimately self-defeating, statement, offering this insulting and logically inconsistent platitude:
The law talks about the immediate control of your firearm. It doesn’t say that you have to keep your gun locked at all times. It says you have to be in control of your gun at all times – your firearm. And, it doesn’t say that you can’t use it to defend yourself. It doesn’t say that you can’t use it to defend your home. The law is very clear on that.
Well, color me “lectured and informed.” I was under the crazy impression that the term “immediate control” is extremely slippery, and intentionally so. I was under the impression that this condescending statement from the Chief sets up a straw man argument, making it appear as if people believed the law mandated that they keep their guns locked at all times and never take them out – which isn’t the concern and source of the frustration, Chief.
People understand that they can still try to use their guns for self-protection and to defend their homes. The point is that the Chief is ready to enforce a law passed by his political commanders that is patently unconstitutional, sets conditions on how people can own a firearm, and leaves the door open to the government claiming that a person didn’t have “control” of his or her weapon at all times. Defining “control” is left to the government.
So if one lives alone and doesn’t want to lock up his or her gun? That is up to the individual, just like it should be up to the individual to not lock the steak knives in the kitchen, or the spare can of gas and lighter, or the rat poison. Any number of items in a house can be used to kill, and it’s the prerogative of the property owner, NOT THE CHIEF, NOT THE SUPERVISOR, to peacefully own them as he or she sees fit on his or her own property.
Is it any wonder why Brighton-area people who believe in liberty are angry?
They have a right to be, because the bureaucrats in town are attacking their rights.