Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, President Obama announced that he’ll bypass Congress, by executive action, in an effort force more gun sellers to get licensed federally and to increase the amount of buyers required to undergo background checks.
While the federal government attempts to limit Americans’ access to guns, the American arms industry has had no such impediments placed in its way as it sells deadly arms to tyrannical regimes and terrorist groups across the globe.
The American defense industry is the undisputed champion of the global arms market, as the U.S. exported over $36.2 billion in weaponry in 2014, accounting for over 60 percent of the total arms sold worldwide, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
Trailing the U.S. in weapons receipts is Russia, with $10.2 billion in sales in 2014, followed by Sweden with $5.5 billion, France with $4.4 billion and China with $2.2 billion, reports The New York Times.
It seems logically inconsistent to condone being the merchant of death to whole of the globe, while at the same time pushing to curtail or limit American citizens’ right to own a gun in the name of stopping killing.
Even though the U.S. Constitution’s 2nd Amendment gives Americans the right to have arms, a right that is defended fiercely by many of its citizens, the U.S. government has continually attempted to limit and usurp gun ownership under the guise of making Americans safer.
Republican presidential candidates have already weighed in, promising to reverse Obama’s unilateral executive order if they win the White House in 2016, and legal challenges to the new guidelines are a virtual certainty.
According to a report by Reuters:
Under the changes, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will issue guidelines intended to narrow exceptions to a system that requires sellers to check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine whether buyers have criminal records, are charged with crimes or have mental health conditions that would bar them from owning a gun.
On the surface, the guidelines seem benign, but the intention is a slow and steady creep towards the eventual disarming of the general American public, with special exemptions and costly permits for those deemed worthy to qualify for what was intended to be a right of all Americans.
Where are the background checks for the “moderate Syrian rebels”?
The American government apparently thinks it’s acceptable to allow U.S. companies to sell weapons to despotic regimes, such as the Saudis, who in turn supply those same weapons to Islamic fundamentalist terror groups, but wants to make it harder for American citizens to buy a gun.
Have Americans also forgotten that under the Obama administration, countless innocent civilians have been blown to shreds by US drones firing hellfire missiles.
In October, an aerial bombing in the Afghan city of Kunduz was conducted by the United States. During the bombing raid, a hospital was hit multiple times by US bombs.
The bombardment left more than 20 members of staff and patients dead and dozens more injured. Information released after the attack revealed that the US knew the target was, in fact, a hospital occupied by unarmed patients and staff. If anyone needs to be checked before obtaining dangerous weapons, it the U.S. government.
So, the guy who sells guns from our government to radical Syrian rebels lectures law-abiding Americans about selling guns to each other.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 5, 2016
What most of the gun grabbers fail to understand is, as John Locke stated — “self-defense is the first law of nature,” as each person owns their own life and no other person having a right to take that life.
Those who would attempt to stop you from defending yourself are attacking the very right from which all other rights are derived; protection of one’s own life.
It seems that many politicians have a vested anti-gun agenda, as they act willfully ignorant of the fact that gun deaths and violent crime in America are at near historic lows, with the homicide rate being cut nearly in half. In fact, although most Americans think the number of gun crimes has risen, the nation’s overall gun death rate, which includes suicides and homicides, has declined 31% since 1993, according to Pew Research.
Instead of demonizing the one hundred and fifty million people in America who legally own guns and who don’t go around shooting up churches, schools or children, or vilifying a simple tool, perhaps we should work to identify the root causes of violence in our society and then attempt to address them.
Until Americans educate themselves on the cause of this violence, uninformed and corrupt lawmakers will continue to focus on controlling the symptoms.
Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.