In the arguments over the nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court, the subject of gun registries has taken center stage. Garland joined the majority opinion that held that the Brady Act’s retention of background check records for the purpose of audits was not a de facto registry of who owns what guns. In typically disingenuous fashion, advocates of gun control keep telling us that retaining records of who has bought which guns is not a registry, leaving me to wonder what they would apply that word to.
But the discussion also makes me realize it’s a good time to state precisely what is wrong with a registry. After all, we register cars, and we register to vote. Why not register guns?
I’ll address cars and voting first. As I’ve discussed before, guns and cars are different things, but more than that, the registration of cars is all about raising revenue. Registering your vehicles every year ensures that you pay taxes on those vehicles. A better approach might be a tax on gasoline which would reflect actual usage of roads, saving us the annual tedium of the D.M.V., but that’s something to be worked out at a magazine devoted to cars. The car registry hasn’t been used to prevent legal ownership of motor vehicles, though, and that’s a key point.
Voter registration is to have a list of how many voters live in a particular district and to confirm that the voter is participating in the right election. This is a subject of contention, as well, since the claim is often made that voter ID laws, for example, are designed to suppress participation The right to vote is as important as the right to own and carry firearms, and as supporters of gun rights, we need to show that we are also in support of other rights, if for no other reason than building coalitions to protect all our freedoms.
I’m sure that all of these points are a case of preaching to the choir, but as I was told once, even the choir needs to hear a good sermon now and then. In the battles over gun control, we risk letting some things slip through when confronted with a flurry of demands, and it’s up to us to make sure bad ideas are not converted into laws.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.
While few of us ever thought we’d have a blacked-out lever-action hunting rifle on our wish list, here we are with not one, but two. The Marlin Dark series was followed by the Henry X-Model, both American-made levers.