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Tone Deaf: They Want Your Guns
What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

Editor's note: this is the sixth of a multi-part series recounting how the party in power is thwarting the will of the people. There is also a downloadable companion brochure

The Second Amendment prevents the government from infringing on U.S. citizens' inalienable right to self-defense. The right to bear arms “shall not be infringed” was ratified in 1791. The controversy comes from fear and that many people believe it to be extremely dangerous enabling mass shootings. When gun restrictions failed at the national level in 2013, the gun prohibitionists coordinated and ramped up events at the state level in many states and Oregon was no exception. Oregon may have been a target because we have been a solid gun-rights state.

The approach has been to nibble at the edges and claim it is not really infringement. Gun rights are something people have beyond the government and the government is there to protect - similar to freedoms of speech and religion.

Every session more gun control bills are introduced, no matter how many have passed before and regardless of the lack of evidence that any previous law affected any crime rate. In the wake of Portland riots, Portland reports a 327% increase in arson based on June’s report compared to a year ago, a 63% increase in vandalism, and 46% increase in burglary. Even before the riots, Oregon State Police conducted 40,000 background checks in March, nearly doubled from 2018 and 2019. What probably disturbs lawmakers is that in the U.S. only 6,058,390 guns are registered out of 393 million owned. These were broken down by state with Oregon ranking 33rd having 74,722 registered guns in 2019. That’s an estimated 40,500 unregister guns in Oregon that are targets for legislation.

Universal background checks were the Holy Grail, and that passed in Oregon in 2014 despite overwhelming opposition. A “Red flag law” passed in 2017, allowing reporting of dangerous gun owners, again under massive opposition and in an undercover move they held a hearing and committee vote on short notice on Monday July 3, when everyone was away for the weekend and couldn’t show opposition.

Now Democrats propose to end statewide preemption, which would allow local restrictions and thus make it difficult or impossible to know if you conceal carry legally. Citizens and law enforcement overwhelmingly opposed all of these, supporting Second Amendment rights. Cities and counties are already free to limit public possession of loaded firearms by individuals who do not have an Oregon Concealed Handgun License, and the cities of Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Oregon City, Salem, and Independence, as well as Multnomah County have banned loaded firearms in all public places for those without a license.

Oregon gun laws focus on the sale and background checks of those purchasing through legal means, and requires a concealed carry permit if not carrying openly. A gun owner can be held liable in civil court if a firearm injury is caused by negligence, and can be held responsible for damages in a wrongful death claim if the firearm is used to kill someone. I n 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that public universities cannot prohibit firearms on their grounds; however, they may prohibit them inside buildings.

There were four initiatives that failed to gather enough signatures this year, but set the stage for the 2021 legislature.

Does expanding regulations on gun controls really help in reducing gun related crimes? Think about this, “There is no First Amendment without a Second Amendment.”


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-08-21 13:03:13Last Update: 2020-08-08 16:16:58



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