LicensesThat last is a line for the ages; one I intend to steal and use liberally in the future.
[Virginia's Crime Commission] hopes to find out (a) how many guns sold at gun shows are sold by individuals who do not have a federal firearms license, and (b) how many of the guns from that pool are then used in crimes. What if it turns out that only a tiny fraction of them are? The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reports, for instance, that 57 percent of the guns used in crimes are sold by 1 percent of gun dealerships.
An honest study might help clear up some common misconceptions. Even Del. David Albo, the chairman of the commission, says he doesn't understand "why one person who sells guns has to be federally licensed and another person doesn't. And I imagine no one else in the House of Delegates does, either."
That's easy: Just as not all vendors at gun shows sell guns (some sell knives, books, gun safes, tasers, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other paraphernalia), not all the gun sellers are in business. Some people at gun shows bring a weapon or two from their private collection to sell or trade. They are no more "gun dealers" than a person who sells his car through the Auto Trader is a "car dealership." Such non-commercial sales might merit background checks, but requiring a federal dealer's license is absurd.
So are the remarks of Del. Kenneth Melvin of Portsmouth, who gripes, "It might as well be the public policy in Virginia that if you're not a convicted felon, we want you armed to the teeth." Open hostility to the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens offers a bracing reminder that those who grow complacent about their liberty are printing a license for others to steal it. (link)
"Those who grow complacent about their liberty are printing a license for others to steal it."
Here's to the gun show. Long may it be there for the common law-abiding citizen to sell and trade his wares free of heavy-handed government interference.
It's them vs. us, fellas. Don't ever forget it. That license is yours to deny.