Military and Police

Oregon Democrat-Proposed Senate Bill Effectively Bans Self-Defense

According to Guns.com, Oregon State Sen. Rob Wagner, along with Rep. Andrea Salinas, submitted one of the most anti-gun bills I’ve ever seen. SB 501 will be taken up in the next legislative session. Wagner’s bill would require gun owners to obtain a permit before the government allows them to buy a gun. It would prohibit magazines with capacities of over five rounds. And it would limit individuals from purchasing over 20 rounds of ammunition in a 30-day period.

Punishment for violations of this law includes imprisonment of up to one year and/or thousands of dollars in fines. A violator could receive a year in jail and a $6,250 fine for possessing a magazine that is capable of holding more than a measly five rounds of ammunition. This proposal is not only insane, it is pure, government oppression.

This is truly chilling in how much it reveals about the ignorance of anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment bullies. They don’t know the first thing about the thing they wish to ban, and they do not believe you have a right to self-defense.

Just consider the five-round limit alone. Every cop and gun enthusiast can tell you stories about people, police and civilians who needed many more rounds to defend themselves—especially against multiple assailants. Not to mention the myriad stories of criminals shot more than five times who just kept coming. And what about the anti-gun folks who are always demanding gun owners be “properly trained”? If they think 20 rounds every thirty days will do it, they’re nuts. Except for specific exercises, anyone who shoots regularly knows a shooter goes through 20 rounds at a range before you know it.

The anti-gun, Bloomberg-endorsed Democrat admits his bill doesn’t have much of a chance of passing. But we all know this is how it starts. Oh, Sen. Wagner also said he sponsored the bill on behalf of a group of students (it’s for the children) who are promoting gun control legislation.

The measure would also require a 14-day waiting period, a fine for failure to report lost or stolen firearms, and require people to lock guns away when not in use. Something every gun owner knows compromises the ability to use the weapon in a self-defense situation. Gun owners should not be held responsible for crimes committed by gun-toting criminals. Isn’t that just a big, Duh!

Also, by not grandfathering “high-capacity” magazines (though, calling more than five rounds “high-capacity” is a joke on its face), the State of Oregon would turn thousands of law-abiding gun owners into criminals overnight if they did not comply with the state’s magazine confiscation law.

Now, can anyone have read to this point and not admit if Oregon’s leftist politicians were to enact such a law it would infringe on the Second Amendment? The left has become so radical they no longer fear raising confiscation, which so obviously infringes on the people’s gun rights and, therefore, on their inalienable right to self-defense. Make no mistake, this is not just about taking away property. This is about taking away your right to self-defense, which denies you your liberty and could very well threaten your life.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clearly spells out.

Okay, I was an English major, so I’m supposed to know what infringed means. And I do, or, at least, I thought I did. If you talk to anti-Second Amendment bullies, you’d swear none of us knows what infringed means. They apparently don’t know what it means or, more likely, don’t care. But I also know infringed is not a hard word to understand.

Now, before we explore a few definitions, let’s note that infringe is a verb—an action word. It most often describes a negative action. Infringe is not something that just happens; infringe is something someone does to someone else. So, now that we’ve noted that to infringe means to do something negative to someone, let’s look at some common definitions for infringe:

Merriam-Webster.com– Infringe: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another. Infringe on a patent.

Dictionary.com– Infringe: to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule; to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon): Don’t infringe on his privacy.

Dictionary.cambridge.org– Infringe: to act in a way that is against a law or that limits someone’s rights or freedom: Copying videos infringes. The senator is opposed to any laws that infringe on a citizen’s right to free speech.

So, when government infringes on your rights, government makes an action harder to do than it was previously. If you could do something regarding your guns yesterday that government is saying you can’t do today, they are, by definition, infringing on your rights. At what point do you take seriously the phrase shall not infringe? Many on the left believe you are silly to take the Constitution seriously. But then again, they don’t like the Constitution and would scrap it and start over if they could.

But the U.S. Constitution does decree that government “shall not infringe” on the people’s inalienable rights? Am I supposed to lie down and allow the government to take away my rights—to infringe on my constitutional, God-given, inalienable rights? Well, I don’t think we should make it easy for the anti-gunners.

Inalienable is how the founders described our God- or nature-given natural rights, as opposed to government-given rights, such as to social security or other entitlements, correct? So, let’s define it: Inalienable rights are “secured by law, unable to be bought, unable to be disposed of, unforfeitable, and untouchable.”

Therefore, if God or nature gave you those rights, how can a government comprised of men and women take them away? Oh, I can already hear the anti-gun folks shrieking that no one is born with a right to keep and bear a gun. That’s not the point. The founders understood how future generations might attempt to weaken or even usurp our inalienable rights. So, since the right to self-defense is embedded in the inalienable right to life, the framers enshrined the most efficient means to self-defense firearms into the Constitution.

God or nature gave you the right to self-defense, which includes the defense of others. You have no right to life if the government won’t allow you to effectively defend yourself against someone who would take your life. So, of course, to properly defend yourself, you must have a right to keep and bear the most efficient, common means to that defense. The most efficient means for personal defense in 1787 and today is a firearm. If this weren’t true, law enforcement and the military wouldn’t issue guns to warfighters and cops.

Now, I’m not the first to discuss the concept of inalienable rights and government infringement of those rights, and I won’t be the last. But as with any subject, you never know whose words you will read or hear that will cut through the informational white noise and speak to you.

Again, to infringe is an action one takes that violates the law and/or the rights of another person. So, if a government inhibits my right to keep and bear arms as they are commonly manufactured and understood, the government has infringed on my inalienable, constitutional right. They’re making it more difficult for me, today, to keep and bear arms and to defend myself and my family against criminals, than it was yesterday. Is it right that the government would take an inherent right away from law-abiding people because outlaws don’t obey gun laws? There’s something eminently disgusting about government doing such a thing to the people whose rights it has been specifically created to protect.

The framers used infringed to convey a specific meaning to obtain a particular purpose. Going back to before the American Revolution, to the meaning at the time for infringed, consider this definition:

mid-15c., enfrangen, ‘to violate,’ from Latin infringere ‘to damage, break off, break, bruise,’ from in- ‘in’ (from PIE root *en ‘in’) + frangere ‘to break’ (from PIE root *bhreg- ‘to break’). Meaning ‘encroach first recorded c. 1760. Related: Infringed; infringing.”

Forgive the minutiae, but I think it’s important to establish a historical context.

Hence, the framers intended the Second Amendment to mean “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” In other words, shall not be violated, encroached on, weakened, broken, or otherwise damaged by government.

How could a people who’d just depended on their firearms to defeat an oppressive government not mean exactly what the Second Amendment conveys? That Amendment was never primarily intended to protect a person’s right to hunt, target practice, or collect guns. The Second Amendment was intended to provide the people with a means to defend themselves, their friends and family, and other innocent people from criminals and to act as a bulwark against any future oppressive government.

Which brings up an interesting ancillary, though poignant, note. OpsLens Media’s quick-witted Experience Matters host, Drew Berquist, seen on BlazeTV, made a thought-provoking quip on an episode a few months back. Berquist was talking about the anti-gun left’s efforts to infringe on American’s gun rights, from oppressive regulations to confiscation. In this duel between right and left, Berquist concluded with something like, “Well, good luck with that. We have all the guns.”

Now, shrill gun rights opponents would probably call this talk threatening. But the left has done its own hyperbolic threatening. For example, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) went just a tad over the top when he seemed to threaten nuclear annihilation against those who refused to surrender their guns during a confiscation.

According to the Washington Times, in a response to Joe Biggs’ tweet that, regarding the Second Amendment, Rep. Swalwell “wants a war,” Swalwell tweeted, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.”

Rep. Swalwell went on to pay lip-service to finding common ground and he denied threatening to “nuke” anyone. And, no, I don’t think Rep. Swalwell wants to nuke anyone. But it shows you where his head’s at. He wants you to know the government has more power than you do, and he would use government force, as much as necessary, to get your guns.

I’d suggest he’s making a huge mistake if he assumes the government will have an easy time getting cops and the military to violate the Second Amendment and actually take guns from ordinary Americans. They know they’re fighting for the exact opposite of that. They serve their nation and communities to defend the Constitution, not violate it. Like Berquist said, good luck with that! Talk about tearing our nation apart at the seams.

And you can’t deny the reality of Berquist’s comment. The Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2014 to assess gun ownership by political party. The study found these percentages of the people who own guns: Republican 49 percent, Democrat 22 percent, and Independents 37 percent. The percentages for conservative, liberal, and moderate were nearly identical.

So, we know conservatives, libertarians, and many moderates tend to own guns. But liberals, leftists, and progressives tend to oppose not only guns but also gun rights. But there’s also a well-kept secret. Some lefties and liberals (I know some) also own and carry guns. But they sure ain’t telling their comrades who don’t condone anyone straying from leftist orthodoxy. So, shhhh, don’t tell anyone I told you. I wonder how left-on-left confiscation will go. I think I’d pay to see that.

Still, one advantage the gun-grabbing bullies have is people on the right, or who lean right, are generally law-abiding. They support equal justice, the rule of law, and they believe in obeying the law. They don’t pick and choose which laws to obey as the left does. However, even law-abiding Americans like this, or maybe especially Americans like this, know when their government is pushing them too far. There comes a breaking point. I just don’t think the anti-gun bullies understand this consequence of their totalitarian tendencies toward law-abiding gun owners.

Such is the case in Oregon with SB 501. If the gun-grabbing bullies in this mostly rural state, ruled by the heavily populated, corrupt Portland progressives, get their way, overnight, law-abiding Oregonian gun owners will become outlaws in their own state and in their own homes. And what effect would such a law have on criminals? None!

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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