A CONGRESSIONAL ACT CALLING THE AR-15 RIFLE THE NATIONAL GUN OF THE UNITED STATES IS A SENSELESS GESTURE, HAVING NOTHING TO COMMEND IT AND MUCH TO FAULT IT, ON MANY LEVELS
DISCUSSION OF H.R. 1095
In our initial article on H.R. 1095, Part One, posted on the AQ website, on February 26, 2023, and reposted on Ammoland Shooting Sports News on February 28, 2023, we pointed generally to problems with H.R. 1095, a bill declaring the “AR-15 Rifle the National Gun of the United States.” In Part Two, posted on the AQ website, on March 2, 2023, we looked at flaws with this bill from a basic pragmatic/practical perspective.
In this article and in the final article, we deal in depth with flaws in the bill, from three other perspectives: logical, legal, and Congressional procedural/mechanical.
In this article, Part Three, we look at the principal problem with the bill from a logical standpoint.
By “logical” we mean both “reasonable/rational” in a layman’s sense, as well as “logical” in the academic, philosophical sense.
From the reasonable/rational, commonsensical standpoint, does the bill have any positive feature or features to commend it? And, if so, do those positive features outweigh the negative aspects? And, what are those negative aspects? What works against it? Many things.
Some comments by Ammoland readers of our first article on H.R. 1095 suggest there is nothing wrong with a bill declaring the AR-15 to be the National Gun of the United States and, that, if nothing else, the bill serves as “pushback” against those elements in our Country that rail against guns and bemoan the ubiquity of the AR-15 and bemoan the popularity of semiautomatic weapons generally among Americans.
Undoubtedly, the sponsor and co-sponsors of H.R. 1095, fed up with this endless assault on guns, and sanctimony, sought, through this bill, to goad these antigun fanatics.
Anti-Second Amendment propagandists, providing fodder for members of the Press and leftist media sites and leftist Cable and Broadcast news anchors and commentators, incessantly and uniformly refer to the AR-15 as “a weapon of war,” an “assault weapon,” a “military-style rifle,” “a weapon having no use in a civilized society”—and so on and so forth.
Constantly parroting each other, the public gets a daily dose of the same simplistic, noxious message, droning on endlessly, hypnotically.
Public policy propagandists and psychologists create and then drill these viral memes deep into the psyche of Americans.
These engineers of mind control hope to inculcate into the psyche of most Americans a pathological fear of firearms, a rabid abhorrence of them, and contempt toward those Americans who exercise their natural law right to keep and bear them. It is in this climate that Americans who are inured to the seduction that has worked its charm on so many, wish to fight back. But, is H.R. 1095 an effective mechanism upon which to resist? Is it not akin to lobbing ping-pong balls back at those who throw grenades?
Another Ammoland reader asserts in his comment to our article of February 28, “The sponsor of the AR bill [Representative Moore] was simply making the statement that the AR is here to stay! Because there’s plenty of people that seem to think it’s temporary.”
Those are two points raised by some readers as criticism of our article. But, there is a third, not mentioned, although it might have been raised as a rebuke to our criticism of H.R. 1095.
We had hazarded a guess that Moore didn’t just happen to come up with the idea for H.R. 1095 out of the blue but probably got the idea from articles appearing in the January and February issues of America’s 1st Freedom, an NRA publication we refer to in an earlier article on H.R, 1095, posted on AQ on February 26, 2023. Id., supra. If so, isn’t this a good thing—an argument favoring the enactment of H.R. 1095? No, it isn’t.
The authors of the articles mentioning the popularity and utility of the AR-15 among Americans in their NRA essays didn’t assert, or suggest the need for a Congressional Statute, declaring the “AR-15” the National Gun of the United States.
One is therefore left to ponder whether the authors would favor such a Congressional Declaration if they were asked. The bill does nothing tangible to strengthen the Second Amendment. It simply enrages those on “the Left” who detest firearms and who visit contempt on those who cherish the natural law right to armed self-defense, codified in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
And if the bill enrages those who hate guns, inviting retribution, then that is hardly a constructive reason to introduce a bill.
Further, if the bill is merely innocuous, not inviting attention good or bad, then why waste time, money, and effort on it?
This bill isn’t a good idea, and it isn’t simply innocuous. It is deleterious to the import and purport of the natural law right to armed self-defense.
It was a bad idea in the inception. It was worse yet when Representative Barry Moore introduced it in the House.
The bill spurred the Press and Anti-Second Amendment politicians, such as New York Governor Kathy Hochul, to use it as a cudgel against the Second Amendment, proclaiming the bill to be an “insult to those people killed and wounded in mass shootings and their families.” See the article in Newsday.
See also the article by Steve Benen, MSNBC Columnist, and producer of the Rachel Maddow Show.
One need only look to bills that Anti-Second Amendment Congressional Democrats fashion to see what a properly tailored bill includes.
The recent House bill, H.R. 698, “Assault Weapons Ban of 2023,” introduced by David Cicilline, Democrat, Rhode Island, on February 1, 2023, provides an example.
This bill has one, a stated purpose and rationale; two, a definition, explaining precisely what the sponsors and co-sponsors of H.R. 698, intend to ban; and three, a description of where it is to be placed in the United States Code if the bill were enacted into law.
Then there is H.R. 1095. It is vacuous. If the sponsor and co-sponsors of H.R. 1095 intended to enact a law to counter the Democrats’ push to ban “Assault Weapons,” (Semiautomatic Weapons”), H.R. 1095 doesn’t do that.
It has no text, and Barry Moore, the sponsor of it, evidently never intended for the bill to include text. It is a naked, empty declaration. What clarification could he give?
What content could there be that might otherwise give weight to a bill that serves merely as a declaration of something that Americans already know: that the AR-15 rifle, particularly, and semiautomatic weapons generally, are in “common use.”
On cursory musing, a person knows that semiautomatic weapons are a national emblem of a sort. No Congressional declaration of that is required to make emphatic something that is common knowledge.
Had Representative Moore introduced a bill that sanctions, approves, entitles, and “legalizes” civilian citizen use of semiautomatic weapons, including the AR-15, or, had Moore introduced a bill that excludes all semiautomatic firearms from State and Federal regulation, such a bill would have a substantive, positive effect.
Such a bill would be a marked improvement over a banal declaration that does nothing to secure Americans’ right to use such weaponry but merely taunts Anti-Second Amendment proponents and fanatics. If that were the intention of the sponsor and co-sponsors, they succeeded in the endeavor.
But the H.R. 1095 makes light of the legislative process.
The bill is bratty and puerile if all that its sponsor and co-sponsors expected it to do, and if all that its sponsor and co-sponsors intended for this bill to do, was to provoke, goad, and tease supercilious legislators on the other side of the aisle, along with a dementia-riddled President and his arrogant Cabinet, members of the legacy Press and of leftist cable and broadcast news shows. And that is the only thing, as written, that this bill is capable of doing. And the sponsor and co-sponsors of it appear remiss in not giving this bill more thought before putting pen to paper and affixing their names thereto. Better it would be had they done nothing.
Neither H.R. 1095 nor Democrats’ H.R. 698, though, has any chance of passage, anyway. But that is beside the point. H.R. 1095 is senseless, whether enacted or not, but H.R. 698 is dangerous to the sanctity of the natural law right to armed self-defense if enacted.
But suppose both did pass the House. Is that theoretically possible? It is. That points to a logical flaw in the bill from an academic standpoint.
Logically, BOTH bills can exist side-by-side. They can both be given effect: one as a declaration the AR-15 Rifle is the National Rifle of the United States—a blanket and bold assertion with no impact—and the other positing a ban on civilian citizen ownership and possession of that rifle, a bill that, if enacted, would have a decisive and negative impact on the sanctity and inviolability of the Bill of Rights.
The enactment of a wholesale Congressional ban on AR-15 rifles is consistent with the enactment of a law declaring the AR-15 to be the National Gun of the United States.
So, calling the AR-15 Rifle the National Gun of the United States does not mean the “gun is here to stay” contrary to the assertion of one Ammoland reader.
One can yell it till the cows come home, and all the while there could still be enacted a bill, or ATF ruling, or, perhaps, an executive decree that no civilian citizen can lawfully own or possess an AR-15 Rifle.
So, a mere declaration that the AR-15 is the National Gun of the United States does not mean that the AR-15 is here to stay. That is false even if H.R. 1095 was passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by the U.S. President. And, that illustrates the vacuousness of asserting or acknowledging the AR-15 is the National Gun of the United States. It comes to naught.
A declaration to that effect, enacted into law, is a meager reward to those who cherish the fundamental, unalienable right codified in the Second Amendment. And it is no reward at all, if, at the end of the day, Americans cannot lawfully own and possess that rifle.
- The AR-15 is the National Gun of the United States. [Republican sponsored Statute]; and
- The AR-15 is banned. No civilian citizen can lawfully own and possess the AR-15. [Democrat-sponsored Statute]
So, then, the AR-15 remains the National Gun of the United States and IT IS still outlawed. Wonderful. What, then, is one to make of the claim that the AR-15 Rifle is our “National Gun?”
Side by side, with the two bills enacted into law, the silliness of H.R. 1095 becomes painfully obvious. Anti-Second Amendment Democrats would get a good chuckle over that. In fact, that might be reason enough for Democrats to urge Biden to sign the thing into law just to illustrate the idiocy of a declaration that becomes a National joke if, at the end of the day, no civilian citizen can legally own and possess this “National Gun of the United States.”
Now, suppose Congressional Republicans had drafted H.R. 1095 as the obverse of H.R. 698. That means only one or the other bill would pass and could be given effect. The one is incompatible with the other, as a matter of ice-cold logic.
A Congressional Statute that proscribes, i.e., makes illegal ownership and possession of the AR-15 Rifle contradicts a Congressional Statute that prescribes, i.e., legalizes the ownership and possession of the AR-15 Rifle.
Of course, at the moment, fortunately for a free Constitutional Republic, no federal ban on ownership and possession of the AR-15 Rifle, or of any other semiautomatic firearm exists.
And this is so even as several States do ban ownership and possession of AR-15 Rifles and/or many other kinds of semiautomatic handguns, rifles, or shotguns, or otherwise, stringently regulate civilian citizen possession of such weapons.
But, if Republicans did control both Houses of Congress and the U.S. Presidency, then Americans could see a law passed by Congress and signed into law by a Republican President, sanctioning civilian citizen ownership of all semiautomatic firearms.
Such a law would prevent States from banning ownership/possession of such weapons.
Congress would have to repeal such a statute as a condition precedent to a ban on ownership/possession of such weapons.
The point of our remarks here is that Congressional Republicans should carefully think through their actions before spending time, effort, and tax-payer dollars on fruitless enterprises and escapades that do nothing to preserve our free Constitutional Republic and that fail to strengthen our Nation’s Bill of Rights. That didn’t happen with this bill.
What remains of H.R. 1095 is something that seems, at first glance, to offer gun owners some comfort, but, on balance, doesn’t have a pretense of that either.
H.R.1095 does nothing from a practical/pragmatic standpoint or from a logical/reasonableness standpoint to commend it.
In our concluding article, we look at the procedural/mechanical problems of H.R.1095, and, most importantly, its legal flaws.
Copyright © 2023 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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