In Jody Benson’s “An Open Letter To The New Mexico Delegation” she sets up several straw man arguments only to knock them down. Let’s look at them one by one.
1. The “No-Fly-No-Buy Bill”. The No-Fly List is a secret list maintained by the government with no oversight and there are many instances of law abiding citizens being erroneously added without their knowledge. As House Speaker Paul Ryan noted, “I think it’s very important to remember people have due process rights in this country, and we can’t have some government official just arbitrarily put them on a list.”
The ACLU also noted, “There is no constitutional bar to reasonable regulation of guns, and the No Fly List could serve as one tool for it, but only with major reform. As we will argue to a federal district court in Oregon this Wednesday, the standards for inclusion on the No Fly List are unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error. Our lawsuit seeks a meaningful opportunity for our clients to challenge their placement on the No Fly List because it is so error-prone and the consequences for their lives have been devastating.”
2. 54 Percent of Americans. Ms. Benson quotes a Politico.com article about CNN’s survey in her assessment that “54 percent of Americans” favor more gun control. If we look at the details of the survey, we see that CNN/ORC International (http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2016/images/06/20/cnn_orc_poll_june_20.pdf) called 1,001 adult Americans to get their results (without noting who or where the sampled “Americans” were). Ms. Benson, 1,001 out of 318 million is hardly 54 percent of Americans.
3. Gun Rights vs. Driving Privilege. Ms. Benson states she wants to be reasonable when she notes that gun-safety classes equate to driving safety classes and wants to make gun-safety classes a requirement for gun ownership. Unfortunately, Ms. Benson confuses a constitutionally guaranteed right with a state-issued privilege. We have no right to drive on the road, whereas we do have a right to gun ownership.
3. Reasonable Gun-Restrictions. Why does Ms. Benson bring a person’s personal belief in God into the argument? She states that if you’re a good Christian you should support new gun-control legislation and by opposing “reasonable gun restrictions” you’re a “so-called” Christian. I would like to remind Ms. Benson of Matthew’s words, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1-3
4. Pointing a Gun in Your Face. I agree that having an open discussion is a sign of a healthy family. However, Ms. Benson obviously believes that the 15,000 gun laws presently on the books aren’t enough and adding more gun-control laws that will go unenforced is a sign of a healthy discussion. Understanding another’s point of view and agreeing with them are two completely different things.
Finally, I would like to remind Ms. Benson that only the government can point a gun in your face and tell you to sit down and shut up. For the rest of us mortal citizens, that’s against the law.