Gun Laws & Legislation

Korwin: There’s lead in the amnesty ointment

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By Alan Korwin,

Immigration reform being debated in Congress will have a major unintended consequence on gun rights in America. Neither political party has anticipated the effect. With the stroke of a pen, millions of people will suddenly find themselves eligible to buy guns.

The law that currently bans them from gun ownership or possession only affects them as illegal aliens. With citizenship that disability evaporates. The freedom to keep and bear arms, which the Bill of Rights guarantees the rest of us, will instantly be theirs. This will cause a reordering of the political landscape beyond anything Congress has imagined.

When the Minutemen brought the illegal-alien problem to our attention in 2004, we were led to believe their numbers exceeded 20 million. They were members of a class, one of nine groups of federally prohibited possessors, banned under 18 USC §922(g) from owning or using firearms. Illegal aliens are the largest single class of people banned from exercising the Second Amendment right to arms, with mental cases and convicted felons in second and third place.

The 20 million illegal aliens somehow became 11 million as fluidly as the “news” media changed watermelon juice (what Trayvon Martin bought one fateful night last year) into ice tea, a politically correct beverage that had absolutely nothing to do with that case. The media has become unapologetic and unconstrained by reality when dealing with facts.

Whatever the actual number, democrats, with media in tow, presume the illegals are theirs, and are salivating at the prospect of acquiring this massive voting bloc. That would deliver an impenetrable hold on Congress for, well, forever. Have they jumped the gun?

Republicans are stressed out, awash in fear that democrats have locked up the Hispanic newcomers’ loyalties, as champions of amnesty, which is a main reason republicans can’t get behind immigration reform — their base won’t stand for it. But the hidden hole card is this gun thing. Democrats can’t lay a hand on that deadly third rail without alienating their essentially anti-gun-rights base.

Suddenly, these teeming masses yearning to be free will discover the awesome power of personal sovereignty and with it, the ability to enter licensed dealerships and purchase liberty’s teeth. Whatever postures politicians and the media take, free markets will be sprouting signs in Spanish to encourage… shopping. The NRA — and every local gun-rights group — will suddenly discover a need for entire Spanish-language divisions.

Gun ownership and the shooting sports are decidedly conservative right-of-center pursuits, anathema to the left and democrats, generally speaking of course. When voting on gun issues, party-line votes are the norm, that’s just a fact. Republicans will discover a driver’s seat they didn’t know they had.

How far these newcomers to American liberty will be swayed by the physical artifact of freedom in hand remains to be seen. After all, while gun ownership is a horrible ugly thing to many on the left — just ask the Sharpton-Jackson cheerleaders — the opposite is true for the gun-owning public. Basically, game on.

Illegal aliens come largely from a culture where gun ownership is controlled by two privileged elites, the ruling government class and the lawless criminal class, sort of what our own left wing (unknowingly perhaps) seeks here. Those are not groups most illegals hold in high esteem, or to be blunt, they are reviled. Now emancipated, 20 million newly freed citizens may turn away from those in power who counsel them against the freedoms the Second Amendment represents. Certainly, some of them will.

A strong gun culture is not unknown south of the border, or for Latinos up north for that matter. At American shooting ranges, Hispanics share the lanes with a rainbow of citizens, and while we may not be singing Kumbaya (pretty hard with hearing protectors on), we don’t shoot each other either, and marksmen are famous for sharing guns, ammo and knowledge in a cooperative spirit that is a decidedly beautiful multicultural lesson that the hoplophobic (gun fearing) don’t get to see.

Steel-silhouette target shooting, one of the most demanding and thrilling sports, actually has Mexican roots, and siluetas metalicas competition uses Spanish commands: Listo! (ready) Fuego! (fire) Alto! (cease fire). The anti-gunners have their work cut out for them.

This may encourage democrats and amnesty supporters to suggest some form of limitation on gun rights for new citizens, preventing these amnestizos full access to all the guns and ammo their hearts desire, in an effort to (canard alert!) protect the children and increase public safety. It’s only reasonable, we will hear, since they are unaccustomed to the dangers of so-called assault weapons and the madness we crazy Americans pursue, defying the rest of the civilized world.

But this is a dreadful Dred Scott solution, granting partial citizenship to newly freed Americans. Making them three-fifths of a person, with only some of the Bill of Rights “for their own good” is not a position even the Sharpton-Jackson takings coalitions can successfully defend. These people have already been virtual slaves in their home countries. They walked across miles and miles of blazing snake-infested desert seeking freedom to get here. They deserve better.

Old wisdom says you can’t arm slaves and expect them to remain slaves.


Alan Korwin runs and is the author of ten books on gun law, including his latest, Your First Gun — Should you buy one and join 60 million safely armed American homes, soon to be released in Spanish. His company, Bloomfield Press, established in 1988, is the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country.

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