Weapons are unique in the lineup of the items typically banned or regulated by governments. They are the only contraband that can be used to fight the enforcement of the ban on them. Neither a bottle of rum, nor a cigar, nor a bag of salt, nor any of the other things that governments control or ban are good for defeating a team of revenuers. Firearms and other weapons are, and that makes them the subject of special ire from those who wish to control others. Disarm the population, and all other items on their wish list fall into place.
In going after rifles, prohibitionists are more concerned about politically significant firepower than they are about crime. The authoritarians aren’t comfortable with constituents who don’t need state services, however unwanted those “services” may be. This is why shotguns with short effective range remained legal in many countries where rifles were banned from private ownership.
Those of us who hope to hide behind legal definitions, such as the items above being nominally pistols…that’s not how the other side plays this. One, there’s nothing to stop states from re-defining a pistol as a banned rifle. For example, until 2014 Ohio defined any firearm holding 31 or more cartridges as a “machine gun” (“Automatic firearm” also means any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than thirty-one cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 caliber short, long, or long-rifle cartridges.”) Words mean what politicians and their enforcers want them to mean. Further, the various prohibitions simply cover appearance (pistol grip or thumbhole stock), performance (such as muzzle velocity), specific calibers (the way California bans 50BMG), specific actions (ATF banned open bolt semi-autos by an administrative ruling) and, the most encompassing of all, by the political affiliation, sex, age, economic status, medical condition, country of origin or some other attribute of the potential owner. Combined, these bans get the other side their dream of dominance.
Our best hope of stopping this without bloodshed is winning the hearts and minds of our generation and of the next one. Some states and many foreign countries prohibit teaching kids to shoot. Their aim isn’t the achievement of public safety but rather the denial of education and freedom.
What have you done to preserve your own rights lately?