Government Overreach: The New Normal
California, you never cease to amaze me.
On Tuesday, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell introduced an ordinance that would require all FFL dealers to videotape gun and ammunition sales and share ammunition sales data with police.
Now, before I begin, as an FFL dealer ourselves, we highly recommend recording all transactions. Than again, if you are a dealer, I encourage you to record everything that goes on in your store. Just like any gas station or retail store, I do recommend that you have a video surveillance system to ensure that your customers are safe and your store is secure as possible.
The problem arises when the government mandates that you record all transactions and maintain those recordings for one year. When did the government have a right to pull your own private video recordings without having a warrant? Would this not be classified as violation of the fourth amendment?
Additionally, the proposal contains language that would require that dealers also record ammunition sales. Furthermore, the ordnance would mandate that all records of ammunition sales be stored for up to five years and sent to the government once a week. From buying a single box of ammo to a pallet, your name would be recorded and transmitted to the local government. From there, you have no control on what state and federal agencies are able to tap into.
Now, if you own a small business, this means two things for you. Additional time to send the sales every week and additional equipment to store all this video footage. Is the government going to pay for that? Or is the financial burden going to be passed onto the owner?
The counter argument from the anti-gun crowd is that well if you have nothing to hide, why do you care that the government knows how many firearms you have or how much ammunition you have purchased?
Well let’s put it in a metaphor that all Americans, regardless of their stance on guns can understand. Lets say that every time you went into the doctor, whether it was for a check up, an accident, an STD, or any other sort of medical condition, the doctor was required to report that information to the government. Would you feel comfortable with over 25 million people (a low estimate on the number of government employees in this nation) potentially knowing that information? Even if you have nothing to hide?
As you can tell, I am an avid gun owner and gun rights supporter, and I am most certainly on many a government list somewhere for things that I have said in the past, but that does not mean that I want to be a part of a list that tells the government what firearms and the quantity of ammunition that I have. That is my own personal information. That is my constitutionally protected right.
The anti-gun crowd seems to think that governments are not susceptible to corruption. Or that they are completely neutral in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, as history has taught us for thousands of years, that is far from the truth. What makes America’s government different? Why should I just trust that the government wouldn’t use that information against me?
Additionally, this ammunition policy could certainly be viewed as a back door gun registry. Think of it this way. Lets say that the government didn’t mandate that you register your vehicle because it is a constitutional right (I know that it isn’t, but just play along.) One day, after a madman, who passed the government’s NICS car check because he didn’t have a criminal record, drives his vehicle into a crowd of people, killing 25. Cry’s ring out to ban cars and the government wants to know who all owns vehicles.
Well, since they cannot force registration of the vehicle, they pass a law that requires gas stations to report all fuel purchases. Shortly, the government will be able to get an idea of if you own a vehicle, how much you drive, what your daily habits are, the whereabouts of where you live, where you work, friends you visit, and whether or not you own a SUV vs a Prius.
If I am required to report ammunition purchases to the government, they can, by the quantity, caliber, and frequency of my purchases, have a good idea on what firearms I own and how often I go shooting. Additionally, they can start using that data to determine where the most ammunition is being sold and start passing ammunition taxes (like Chicago and Seattle that already have these taxes on the books) to increase revenue and decrease the amount of ammunition I am able to purchase.
Once again, people might say that they do not care if the government knows those things, and that is certainly thier opinion. For me, I consider myself to be a free person. As long as I am following the law of the land, I answer to no one else but myself. No government should have that intimate of knowledge about my personal habbits or lifestyle. They should know that I am a legal citizen and that I pay my taxes, anything outside of that is a slippery slope.
My mother once told me that trust is earned, not given. Well, the government should earn my trust. Every time something like this bill is passed, it becomes harder and harder for them to earn it back.
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