Perspectives: Why Connecticut’s fight matters to Utah

Photo courtesy of M. Glasgow

OPINION – The storm clouds building over Connecticut signify an approaching moment of decision.

Peaceful gun owners from the Constitution State are being forced to choose between obeying the law and maintaining their natural right to self-defense. It could prove to be a national turning point.

Following the Sandy Hook murder spree, opportunistic state politicians pressed for stricter gun control laws. Acting with the moral authority of a lynch mob, legislators threw caution to the wind in their attempt to punish gun owners.

Their Orwellian titled law, “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety,” bans the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms and accessories. It also requires the current owners of the banned items to register them with the state police or get rid of them.

Now tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of peaceful firearms owners have been transformed into potential felons by state law.

Images of long lines of gun owners lining up in the waning hours of 2013 to register their rifles and magazines appeared to point to success on the part of the law’s supporters. But appearances can be deceiving.

Connecticut officials claim that even though nearly 50,000 individuals registered their firearms and magazines, they represent but a tiny fraction of gun owners who could have. That leaves scores of thousands of residents who have chosen to defy the law.

Now the ball is in the state’s court, so to speak, as to how it intends to deal with mass defiance of its law. Legislators have just created a new class of outlaws out of individuals who have never harmed another person. They seek to deprive residents of property and to infringe upon the natural right of self-defense without having provided due process.

It’s ironic that the gun owners who submitted applications to register their guns and accessories but missed the Jan. 1 deadline are the first ones to be targeted for compliance. There’s a lesson in there for anyone who’s paying attention: Registration always precedes confiscation. Always.

Are these leaders foolish enough to send armed agents of the state to the doorsteps of these individuals to forcibly take what was lawfully owned property before Jan. 1? Are those who wear the state’s uniform foolish enough to carry out such official aggression against peaceful individuals?

The most dangerous part of the situation in Connecticut is that the options for peaceful redress are nearly exhausted.

Bad laws are nothing new. For centuries American Jurisprudence has affirmed that unconstitutional laws are void. But as Mike Vanderboegh states in his Open Letter to the Men and Women of the Connecticut State Police:

The tricky part is how do we make that point when the local, state and federal executive and legislative branches as well as the courts are in the hands of the domestic enemies of the Constitution.

Are Connecticut’s state leaders so arrogant as to presume that if they passed an outrageous law requiring men to geld themselves that many, if not most, would refuse to do so? Do politicians mistake themselves for being masters rather than servants of the people of their state?

King George made a similar mistake back in the late 1700s when he sought to bring the noncompliant colonists back into line through a series of official acts and laws. When the legitimate authorities of the day attempted to forcibly disarm the colonists in April of 1775, the colonists, in defiance of the law, forcibly resisted.

Were they wrong to do so? Think before answering.

In the eyes of the tyrant king, they certainly were. His orders were law. But the actions of the colonists were motivated by righteous self defense against the official aggression of the agents of their government. They had no duty to submit. Is this something we’d like to revisit?

Like King George, the leaders of Connecticut don’t care if their edicts lead to bloodshed. They place the risks of their folly squarely on the backs of the members of law enforcement who will be required to act the part of the Redcoats.

The situation in Connecticut underscores the fact that if there was ever a time to be grateful for our elected sheriffs here in Utah, it’s now. Last year 28 out of 29 sheriffs took a strong public stance against unconstitutional gun laws.

Hopefully, Utah’s political leaders will never develop a appetite for tyranny like their Connecticut counterparts. But if they do, we’ll have the advantage of knowing there are members of law enforcement who will refuse to do their bidding.

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Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of M. Glasgow
Photo courtesy of M. Glasgow

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