Bill Clinton’s Half-cocked Gun Control Idea (January, 2000)

[Near the end of his second term, Bill Clinton floated a proposal for a federal permit to own a handgun. This was my counter-proposal. – TC]

Bill Clinton’s proposal to issue federally-mandated licenses to handgun owners is another in an endless series of fraudulent, unconstitutional efforts to limit the possession of firearms to government-approved persons. While it will make it more difficult to own a handgun legally, it will, of course, do nothing to limit the use of handguns in the commission of crimes. Bill knows this, but it doesn’t matter. Making the lawful possession of firearms by private individuals impossible is exactly what he intends to do.

Here’s my counterproposal to this useless measure. Let’s license violent criminals. Any criminal must obtain a picture ID from the federal government that certifies he (or she; let’s be fair) is a government-licensed criminal. Before committing any violent crime involving a firearm, the criminal must present a valid Criminal’s License to the intended victim. Failure to do so would subject the criminal (if caught, if prosecuted, and if convicted) to severe penalties, such as denial of all but basic cable service while in prison.

Skeptics will heap scorn on my proposal. They will call it naive. Why would a violent criminal go to the trouble to obtain a license to commit crimes, when he is completely capable of committing crimes without it? Why would a criminal intentionally incriminate himself by applying to the government for a license to commit crimes? Why would any criminal, even a complete idiot, tip his hand to his intended victim by presenting his criminal credentials before his attack?

I submit that any criminal stupid enough to apply for a firearm license (or stupid enough to believe that the above is a serious proposal) is stupid enough to apply for a criminal’s license. Law-abiding people will not commit crimes with or without a gun license, because they are, well, law-abiding. The only practical use of a federally-mandated gun license obviously has nothing to do with “fighting crime,” and everything to do with providing the government with the name and address of every firearms owner in the country.

What happens when the federal government decides to quit pussyfooting around, and makes any private citizen without government connections a criminal, simply because he or she owns a legal firearm? Why, all the local law enforcement agency has to do is print out a list of gun owners, and send the SWAT team out to knock on your door. If you don’t answer your door, and let the troops walk off with your firearms, they can kill you, put your spouse in prison, condemn your house and auction it off, and put your children in (“gun-free”) foster homes. Why? Because you’re a criminal.

Who’s that at the front door?

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