On June 13, I reported for MRCTV that Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) was floating the idea of a 1,000-percent tax on so-called “assault rifles” – an idea that faux “American Indian” Sen. Liz Warren said she could get behind (despite disarmed Indians being slaughtered by the U.S. government at places like Wounded Knee, SD).
Now, we have a follow-up, and some media-related “wrinkles” to add in the bargain.
Beyer introduced the bill -- HR 8051, aka “The Assault Weapons Excise Act” -- the day after my initial report. It's being heard by the House Ways and Means Committee, and – SURPRISE! – it’s getting easy, almost glowing, coverage from some cadres of the collectivist press.
On Thursday, July 14, MSN carried a story from WZTV, Fox17, Nashville’s Adrian Mojica, that, in its first paragraph, pushed tiresome and loaded terminology oft-used by gun-grabbers to prejudice readers, viewers, and listeners against firearms and those who might own them. The word-choice jumps out like a jackrabbit to start the piece:
“A U.S. Congressman has introduced a bill which would place a 1,000% excise tax on the sale of large capacity ammunition feeding devices and semiautomatic assault weapons.”
Which, first, accepts the rhetoric Don Beyer employs in his bill. Second, it assumes that you, the taxpayer forced to pay Beyer’s salary and that of his staff, understand what Beyer and Mojica mean by “assault weapons." And, third, it assumes that there is a solid definition of “assault weapon” in the first place.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, which already has embraced wokeness and an Orwellian approach to communication about guns, defines “assault weapon” as:
“any of various automatic or semiautomatic firearms especially: ASSAULT RIFLE”
and “assault rifle” as:
“any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire also: a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire”
Which is ambiguous, and isn’t really helpful.
And is precisely what people such as Beyer seem to like.
And, as TacticalGear points out, in 1994, the federal government forced its own arbitrary (and, in some respects, ambiguous) definition onto a whole host of firearms that previously were not considered by actual gun owners to be “assault rifles.”
“Within the military and firearm manufacturing communities, an assault rifle is defined as an automatic rifle. However, the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 adds additional features typically associated with military firearms to define certain firearms as assault weapons. The ban expired on September 13, 2004, but many still use its criteria as a basis to define assault weapons.”
And even “automatic” and “semiautomatic” usually go undefined by the politicians and pop media. An “automatic” gun allows the wielder to keep the trigger pressed and release multiple rounds, while “semiautomatic” implies a lot more than it does. It implies that somehow, it can fire more than one round per trigger-pull, or could be put into this “beast mode” when the shooter chooses.
It can’t. It’s one round per trigger pull, but – in three variations, Single-Action, Double-Action/Single-Action, or Double-Action -- can allow for more ready positioning of the hammer and rounds, cutting down firing time.
Of course, all the nitpickery about what the term “assault weapon” means merely serves as tacit acceptance of an illegitimate presumption: that the government can employ its vast, ill-gotten, resources to attack your natural right to keep and bear arms in the first place.
Politicians like Beyer don’t call it that. This is a 1,000-percent tax, intended to have the same effect as a ban (by raising the price of an AR-15 to as high as $20,000), but carried out via the federal government’s constitutionally-granted power to initiate excise taxes on goods sold within the U.S.
“Rep. Beyer says since the bill is a revenue measure, the Senate could pass it with a simple majority.”
Ah, yes. A “revenue” bill.
Because most feds care “so much” about balancing their cosmic expenditures with their intake of seized cash, that, surely, “revenue” is the impetus for HR 8051. The history of central bank purchases of US bonds to facilitate both federal debt and government expansion far beyond tax intake stands as a manifest contradiction to this implication.
Clearly, it’s about making firearms like the AR-15 prohibitively expensive.
As I mentioned in June, Beyer’s bill does comport with the “power to levy excise taxes” granted to Congress by the US Constitution, but, also as I noted, the Constitution actually contains no explicit method of collecting said tax. As a result, when, in 1794, Alexander Hamilton thirsted for money from a federal excise tax on whiskey that rural whiskey-makers would not pay, and which the states would not collect for the feds, he conspired with a judge to claim that the western Pennsylvania whiskey-makers were engaged in “insurrection” and spurred George Washington to send an army bigger than the Army of the Potomac to strongarm the “Whiskey Rebels” into compliance. None of the judicial or military activity was constitutional, and Washington later pardoned the “rebels” whom the feds had prosecuted, but one can’t help thinking that Beyer has been inspired by Hamilton.
He certainly has not been inspired by Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty, whose opposition to British taxes, mandates, and invasion of privacy and commerce led them to engage in smuggling and the Boston Tea Party, on December 16, 1773, which, itself, contributed to the move for American rebellion from Great Britain.
And have no doubt, any such tax, on anything, IS an invasion of privacy. Excise tax victims must keep sales records that they make accessible to government eyes. If they do not, then they are entering the black market…
Which is precisely where more gun sales will migrate if insane tactics like Beyer’s bill hit them.
Of course, he, like King George, is prepared to threaten anyone who wants to exercise the inherent right to own a firearm and to engage in peaceful commerce. WZTV’s Mojica tells us:
“There is also an exemption in the bill for federal, state, and local governments so that armed services and law enforcement agencies would not be affected.”
Because agents of state coercion and threats must be better armed than the people. Ol’ King George certainly tried to make sure of that when, on April 19, 1775, he sent British troops to collect private weapons stored in Lexington and Concord.
Imagine: nearly 250 years have passed since that confrontation, and yet authoritarians like Congressman Beyer have not learned the fundamental lessons about ethics, rights, and morals that lie at the heart of the American Revolution.
Or, perhaps he has, and he has chosen to oppose those ethics, rights, and morals.
Just like King George.
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