Every time the gun rights debate flares up, gun control advocates engage in this transparent charade where they insist, “We just want ‘common sense’ gun control. We don’t want to take your guns!” And then they turn right around and propose policies that would, most certainly, literally involve attempting to take guns from law-abiding gun owners.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is the latest to play this deceitful game, as Stephen Gutowski at the Washington Free Beacon noted:
The American Medical Association announced on Wednesday it would back strict new gun-control measures including banning and confiscating certain firearms.
The measures, which the group called “common-sense,” include outlawing not only the sale of what the group referred to as “assault-type” weapons but also their possession, outlawing the possession of any firearms by adults under 21 years old, a national gun registry, requiring a license to own any firearms, and gun buyback programs among a number of other proposals…
The positions backed by the AMA are stricter than those backed by most gun-control organizations, which have tended to shy away from calling for outright bans on the possession of any firearms.
The AMA has attempted to wrap their proposals in the cuddly blanket of the term “common sense,” but simple logic exposes the fact that actually enacting these policies would entail an abusive overreach of government power, far beyond what has already been rejected by the courts.
Gun control advocates have trouble defining what exactly an “assault weapon” is, pointing to devices on a gun that merely look scary to the uninformed but don’t increase the deadliness of the bullets, like heat guards or scopes, and ignoring how certain hunting rifles fire the same bullets with the same firepower.
Assuming the AMA could settle on a definition that would pass legal muster, past laws restricting guns — the previous assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 or the federal ban on automatic weapons — all applied to the sale of new guns, and did not target possession by current owners.
Just looking at the AR-15 alone, NBC News reported Americans currently own an estimated 15 million AR-15s, and one out of every five firearms purchased in the U.S. is an AR-15 style rifle.
The vast, vast majority of those millions of guns have never and will never be used to commit a crime, and, not to be overly graphic, but people rarely attempt suicide with rifles because of the practical difficulties; it’s simply easier to aim at your own head with a handgun.
The suggested ban on firearm possession by anyone younger than 21 years old is similarly problematic. The right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution, and any attempt by the government to restrict such a fundamental right must pass a high level of scrutiny. The government can prohibit 19 year olds from drinking alcohol because having a beer isn’t a constitutional right; to restrict a law-abiding and mentally capable 19 year old from possessing all firearms would be an extraordinary expansion of government power and I can’t see any way it survives a court challenge, considering past case law precedent.
What the AMA is proposing is a government confiscation of millions of guns from law-abiding Americans who have never and will never harm any innocent person. There’s no sugarcoating it: there is no way to ban “possession” of a gun without giving the government the power to come into your home and forcibly take it from you. That is what the AMA is proposing, plain and simple.
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a group representing pro-gun rights physicians, slammed the AMA’s proposed gun control measures. As Arthur Z. Przebinda, M.D., their project director, told the Free Beacon:
There is nothing “common-sense” about agitating for depriving 330 million people of their fundamental human rights of due process, advocating for creating a category of second-class citizens (18 to 20 year old “non-adults”), apparent confiscation of property used to exercise a constitutional right (in order to enforce a ban on possession), advocating for policies equivalent to poll taxes (proficiency testing, etc.—whose only purpose is to be an obstacle to exercising a fundamental right), and policies that have been historically proven to create more victims and carnage, not less (gun-free zones, no concealed carry).
What is worrisome, however, is that this action flies in the face of the principles of physicians being nonpaternalistic consultants. Instead, with this vote, the AMA is revealing itself to be a group of busy-body control freaks either ignorant of, or outright rejecting, principles of human rights, self-determination and liberty. It’s a massive scale boundary violation.
This latest anti-gun stance seems to be part of an ongoing shift into liberal advocacy for the AMA, as they issued a statement in May “strongly object[ing]” to the efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s depressing that a medical organization is willing to ignore the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” — ripping the limbs from a viable unborn child or burning it to death with chemicals is most certainly doing harm — to play politics, but their outrage over Planned Parenthood funding doesn’t even make sense from the viewpoint of providing medical services.
As we’ve reported at RedState, the number of comprehensive health care clinics in the U.S. outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics by 20-to-1 ratio, and those clinics are distributed around the country in the exact same communities where Planned Parenthood clinics are present, so denying funding to the nation’s largest abortion provider need not deprive anyone of needed medical services.
To recap: the American Medical Association “objects strongly” to ending taxpayer funding of killing unborn children and to a law-abiding twenty-year-old woman who lives alone owning the gun of her choice for self-defense.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.