As we approach the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., the events of September 11, 2001 are still etched firmly in the minds of many Americans. Sadly, the post-9/11 era has become a statist’s wet dream as the President and Congress continue their reckless expansion of the federal bureaucracy. Legislators on Capitol Hill have been engaged in an unprecedented flurry of spending and lawmaking, all justified as being necessary to combat the "War on Terror." The result is an alphabet soup of new federal bureaucracies and programs that sound benign, but pose a serious threat to the freedoms of every American. The Office of Homeland Security. Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS). USA Patriot Act. It’s no coincidence that the warmer and fuzzier the name, the greater its threat to liberty. I’m sure the "Women and Children Act" is not far behind.
Eventually, the politicians had to return to their traditional pre-terrorist freedom-stealing ways, and they’ve done it with unabashed fervor. John McCain--the cantankerous senator from Arizona and noted anti-self defense advocate--and socialist co-sponsors Charles Schumer and Ted Kennedy introduced legislation last week to further restrict the ability of peaceful citizens to purchase weapons.
Aptly titled the "Our Lady of Peace Act" (I just love these names!), the bill requires states to tattle to the Feds on anyone who is disqualified from buying a gun during a background check. The reasons for disqualification are many. Any history of mental illness gets you an automatic lifetime ban. Illegal aliens are prohibited from buying guns for self-defense. Anyone convicted of felony drug possession is out of luck, no matter how small the amount of illicit substance involved. Anyone who has been the subject of a domestic violence restraining order is denied the ability to purchase a firearm--despite the fact that some local jurisdictions throughout the country automatically issue restraining orders when couples file for divorce, even if there is no previous evidence of domestic abuse. The bill is simply another step towards abolition of private gun ownership in the United States.
As an "incentive" for states to abide by the new regulations, the bill imposes noncompliance penalties that include withholding of federal funds for crime prevention. Additionally, the bill will lighten the wallets of taxpayers to the tune of $250 million annually for the next three years--chump change in the Beltway world of multi-billion dollar subsidies and multi-trillion dollar national debts.
Why do so many members of Congress harbor such a deep fear and animosity regarding the individual’s ability to keep and bear arms? One would assume that they would be just as concerned about their own safety and the well being of their families as ordinary Americans are. Yet, closer inspection reveals the hypocrisy of the Capitol Hill Mafia.
Like most Americans, Congressional members spend much of their day at work. But the Capitol building is unlike any other workplace in the country. In fact, it is probably one of the most heavily guarded places in the world. Even prior to September 11, the building resembled a fortress. Nonetheless, Congress and the President passed a $20 billion anti-terror bill that included extensive funding for a massive security overhaul of the Capitol soon after the terrorist attacks.
The transformation included a $600 million security plan to protect Congress members, employees, and visitors; the installation of an anti-vehicle perimeter around the 276-acre Capitol complex; the addition of 151 officers to the 1,300 member Capitol police force; a new police command center and headquarters; the addition of 72 agents in a new chemical and biological response team whose duties include increasing protection for Congress members and their families; and $65 million for anthrax testing, decontamination efforts and new mail handling procedures.
The latest indulgence--on the taxpayer dole, of course--is the stockpiling of 25,000 special gas masks designed to provide immediate protection to members and staff in the event of a chemical or biological weapons attack at the Capitol. The cost? $100 apiece.
It is no wonder that these elitist bureaucrats are not concerned about any individual responsibility for self-defense. They have ensured themselves a level of protection that is far beyond that of any ordinary American. Yet, their endless crusade to deprive citizens of their own right to defend themselves should serve as a grim reminder of the oppressive nature of those who seek power through government.