Part of New York State’s emotionally motivated, hastily concocted new gun control law requires persons owning ugly-looking guns—semi-automatic rifles—to register them with the government.
Officials may protest that they don’t intend to go rounding up the ugly-looking guns. They may also insist that the new law makes it harder for a newsroom to publicize the names and addresses of gun owners (as the Journal News of White Plains, New York recently did).
But a registry that exists is a registry that can be accessed, and abused, despite any official’s alleged good intentions. Many advocates of gun control, including the Senate’s chief sponsor of a new assault weapons ban, admit that if they had their druthers, they’d outlaw all privately held guns. How would the registry be used then?
Many New York owners of ugly guns are up in arms, so to speak. Why? Because they don’t see themselves as criminal suspects properly tracked for exercising constitutional rights. There are good reasons why good people might refuse to voluntarily add their names and addresses to a list of targets.
Brian Olesen, president of one of New York State’s largest gun dealers, says he’s heard “from hundreds of people that they’re prepared to defy the law, and that number will be magnified by the thousands, by the tens of thousands, when the registration deadline comes.”
It’s not just some guns that look ugly. Turning peaceful people into criminals by a mere act of legislation is ugly in the extreme.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.