Sunday, September 20, 2009

SB2099 AND THE BLAIR HOLT BILL- Don't Forward These Internet Rumors

It’s called “going viral,” and it refers to what happens to information that is of interest to a large number of people when it is published on the internet.
Suddenly, with no checking whatsoever, thousands, hundreds of thousands of people forward this information to anyone they think might be interested in it.
It can be an amazing call to action, this going viral--getting people involved in a grassroots movement that can affect how politicians vote--or it can be a real pain in the neck.
Such are the shrill warnings forwarded to me daily on SB-2099, a purported bill in the United States Senate that will require listing of all your firearms on your 1040 income tax form. I have personally received hundreds of warnings by concerned readers and friends who forward the different versions of this foolishness, frequently adding their own warnings of doom unless we all get active and call our Congress-Persons.
Of course, these well-meaning individuals have done their good deed—they got involved—they sent the warning on. Surely the people they are sending will get involved, and they will contact their elected representatives, right?
A pox on whatever idiot wrote this sensationalized piece of poppycock. It takes a small grain of truth and a lot of exaggerated tales and makes it sound as if the jack-booted thugs are only a short time from standing on your porch, beating on your door to demand your guns.
According to the most widely disseminated version of this urban legend, SB-2099 will do the following:
1. It will require listing of all your firearms on your 1040 income tax form.
2. It will become public knowledge within 30 days after it is voted into law (whatever that means.)
3. It is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986—which means the Senate Finance Committee can pass this into law without the Senate voting on it at all (didn’t he just say it would be voted into law?)
The idiot that composed this false call-to-arms even gives a link to as proof the bill exists—and asks you to check it out.
Obviously, no one bothers to check Snopes, or if they do, they fail to read further than the first paragraph, because Snopes points out that no such bill currently exists.

Back in 2000, anti-gun Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced S-2099 which would have included handguns as registered firearms under the National Firearms Act’s tax and registration provisions.
The bill went nowhere, receiving the sponsorship of only two other senators, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) neither of whom ever met a gun control proposal they didn’t love.
But now, with the re-introduction of another bill by Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill), a former Black Panther from the Chicago area who did time on a weapons charge, S-2099 has been blended into a warning about HR-45, a real bill that likewise went nowhere when it was introduced in 2007, was referred to committee with no other sponsors, and died in committee.
Rush reintroduced basically the same bill in the current Congressional session, and even though it has absolutely no chance of ever being brought to a vote, those that love to cry “Wolf” have caused this ridiculous piece of ill-conceived gun legislation to go viral, and stir up the gun community.
Back in 2007, a 16-year old honor student named Blair Holt threw himself in front of a female classmate when a hoodlum drew a gun on a Chicago-area school bus and began shooting as a result of a gang war. Blair Holt died a hero, and the shooter went to prison.
At Blair’s funeral, Bobby Rush stated he would introduce gun control legislation in the boy’s memory, and did so a short while later. As previously stated, it died in committee, and Rush re-introduced basically the same bill in the current session.
His bill, titled the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 would require licensing of all handguns (and other forms of firearms as well), sales of such only through licensed dealers, federal record-keeping, and various police-state measures to control ownership such as thumbprints of buyers, etc.
Such draconian gun-control bills get introduced in every session of
Congress, and probably in every legislative session of every state legislature every year. Here’s what happens:
Congress-Person meets with ill-informed, easily-led constituents.
Said constituents are A. Tired of crime B. Irate over some threat or criminal act that has upset the community.
Congress-Person promises to introduce a hugely restrictive gun-control bill, get it passed, and thus save the community from the horrors of criminal acts.
Congress-Person (or state representative) draws up bill, and with much fanfare, covered well by the media, promises to get bill passed, and solve the problems of today’s society.
Bill is referred to committee, never seriously considered, and dies a natural death.
Congress-Person then can tell his constituency: “You see? You see? I tried to get reasonable gun-control legislation passed for you but those rednecks/conservatives/gunnuts (choose one) just wouldn’t let it pass.”
He fails to mention he didn’t expect it to pass in the first place—he was simply grandstanding for a vocal minority of his constituency.
Here’s why: Remember Al Gore, he who invented the internet?
It is well-remembered by the Democratic Party that Gore’s liberal stance on guns and gun control was a deciding factor in his loss to George Bush for the Presidency.
The Democrats now hold a majority in Congress—but it is a tenuous hold, made possible only by a large contingent of “Blue Dog” Democrats. These are mostly Southern, conservative Democrats, to whom any form of gun control legislation is anathema—because it is anathema to their constituency, and they know it.
Remember back in February, when newly-appointed Attorney-General Eric Holder made the statement that while they didn’t intend to subvert anyone’s Second Amendment rights, the administration intended to do something about “assault weapons.”
Remember Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, stated shortly thereafter that No, they were not going to do anything like that, actually making a public statement that could only be seen as an embarrassment to Holder.
Pelosi made this statement because 65 Democratic Members of the House (not a Republican in the bunch) wrote a joint letter to Holder, telling him they would not consider any form of assault weapon legislation sent to them. Pelosi was treading a fine line the Democrats have had to walk since gaining the majority in Congress.
The issue of gun control is seen as a “poison pill”—a subject not to be broached, or the shaky coalition maintaining their edge will fall apart. The “Blue Dogs” will vote the party line on most issues near and dear to the Democratic Party, but if they want to go home and face their voters, they cannot vote in favor of gun control bills.
In addition, the National Rifle Association is sending campaign donations to conservative Democrats—and once any politician has supped at such a trough, he is not going to strangle any golden egg-layer.
This is not to say we should become blasé’. The Schumers and Feinsteins, the Lautenbergs and Kennedys, they are all waiting, perched like vicious birds of prey, ready to swoop down and destroy your personal rights and liberties.
But forget about HR-45 and SB-2099. They’re non-issues—and like the boy who cried “Wolf “ one time too many, and when the wolf actually came, no one listened, and he was eaten--these internet rumors get our ire up unnecessarily.
And when a real threat is introduced, as they always are, folks who might have gotten involved, and written their Congress-Persons, won’t—because they will be burned out by false rumors that have gone viral on the internet.


Xavier said...

Thank you for this Gordo!

Anonymous said...

Ah, but this is the internet, where an endless stream of boys will shout "Wolf" at every hour of the day, and an endless stream of villagers (and town criers) will grab their pitchforks and torches to investigate every single time. And the wolves? You only see one, to distract you from his jackal cohorts who are slinking into the village, unnoticed.


Cadien said...

I love these emails I get if only to find the truth in them and debunk them for the next group down the line.
We have far too much to worry about concerning our Second Amendment freedoms than to have to don hip waders and slog through this crap. Folks should spend thier time forwarding links to the shootist instead.

R T said...

Just today at the local gun shop, a guy came in visibly distraught with a print out of this. I told him it was bogus. As much anti-gun crap as there is going on here in California, I’m not really sure if he believed me or not.

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