“There is lots of law for the law-abiding. There is practically no law for the lawless — and few consequences for lawbreaking.”
Gun-control advocates sometimes complain that, when it comes to guns, it’s the Wild West out there. And they are right — but not in the way they think they are.
There is lots of law for the law-abiding. There is practically no law for the lawless — and few consequences for lawbreaking.
There isn’t anything about voting in the Bill of Rights, but the right to keep and bear arms is right there in the text — no extraction from some dodgy penumbra required. But exercising that constitutional right requires a little administrative work, if you are a law-abiding type. You need government-issued photo ID, and the information on the ID has to be correct — having your last address on your driver’s license after you move will not fly. You have to fill out some paperwork, including sworn statements to the federal government, the falsification of which is, on paper, a serious crime. Your immigration status will come up. When the paperwork is done, you will be subjected to a federal background check, during which time you can just cool your heels while Washington gets around to deciding whether you still have your civil rights. In the past year or so, I’ve had background checks clear in as little as a few seconds, I’ve had checks that went days and days, and I’ve had checks that were never approved, even though I am eligible. Why the variability? No one knows.