A law that would prohibit some people from owning a gun cleared the Oregon Legislature on Thursday. Now, if at this point if you think our leftist neighbors are the only ones looking to pass laws in defiance of the U.S. Constitution—think again: Idaho lawmakers are advancing similar legislation as that of Oregon.
On Thursday, House Bill 585 cleared a committee and it heads to the full House of Representatives for a vote. HB 585 will affect those individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault or battery. A two-year post-conviction moratorium would be put on their Second Amendment right to own or possess a gun. Under HB 585, those convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault or battery charges would not be required to surrender their guns. However, simply having a weapon in their possession would trigger the criminal offense.
As concerns the legislation Democrat Melissa Wintrow states, “We’re just casting a little wider net to make sure we capture the most dangerous folks out there.” The Boise state representative is the bill’s sponsor. Her proposal won the support of both Republicans and Democrats on the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee. Passage came on a voice vote, so it isn’t entirely clear who on the committee will support or oppose the legislation in the next several days when it comes to a vote.
I’ve often wondered why legislators, even those in Idaho, believe it’s acceptable to suspend this specific constitutional right—the right to keep and bear arms.
These bills have life because few are willing to appear to be sticking up for people who have been convicted of a crime, especially one as odious as domestic violence. Proponents will contend, mostly without evidence, such a laws will prevent future crime. But, if that’s legitimately the case, why not suspend other constitutional rights as well?
Shouldn’t abusers also be denied the right to free speech? The right to a trial by jury? Heck, why not suspend the Fourth Amendment and institute random searches of the homes of suspected and convicted societal miscreants? Wouldn’t that be as useful as a firearms ban? And, why would Wintrow settle for just a two-year ban? Why not 10 years? Or 20 years?
Wintrow asserts that her legislation would save lives. Researchers contend she’s wrong: A study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, published late last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine, claims possession laws like Wintow’s don’t do anything. The impact of such laws on additional acts of violence is negligible. Rather, research scientists argue, relinquishment laws—which require domestic abusers to surrender their firearms—are what have an impact.
The study’s authors wrote, “Our findings suggest that state laws restricting firearm possession by persons deemed to be at risk for perpetrating intimate partner abuse may save lives. Laws requiring at-risk persons to surrender firearms already in their possession were associated with lower [homicide] rates.” Read the slowly: Surrender firearms.
You see, preventing people from possessing a gun is not enough on the part of the folks that oppose individual ownership of weapons. The real brass ring the anti-gun crowd is straining to grab: Make people give up their guns. That, my friends, is what the gun grabbers really want. Make no mistake, Wintrow’s bill is part of a larger campaign to make people give up their guns, and that campaign is just getting started.