On April 17th, the Senate rejected a plan to expand background checks for gun buyers. The plan to extend background checks to gun-show purchases and online purchases failed to get the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate, receiving only 54 votes in favor and 46 against it. The proposed ban on military style assault weapons also failed to pass.
The background check amendment drafted by Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was President Obama's best hope to pass gun-control legislation after the massacre of 20 children and six educators at an elementary school in Connecticut. He had hoped that this amendment would offer enough of a compromise so as to pass in the Senate. Most Republicans and four Democrats voted against the amendment.
Gun rights and gun control are certainly contentious issues in the United States that continue to divide public opinion. Opponents of the Manchin-Toomey amendment have emphasised that it only served to infringe upon the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment and would do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or mentally ill.
Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JFPO) is a non-profit educational civil rights organization that was founded in 1989. Its initial aim was to educate the Jewish community about how Jews had suffered in history when they were disarmed. It welcome and expanded its aims to educate people of all faiths on what it views as potentially dangerous victim disarmament policies.
The following is an interview with Charles Heller, Executive Director of JPFO, on his thoughts and feelings about the failure of the gun-control legislation to pass in the Senate and the work of his organization in the realm of gun rights.
1. How do you feel about the rejection of the Senate of the gun-control legislation?
We think it's a good thing. Criminals have a tendency not to go to legitimate sources for guns. As such, restricting private sales via a prior restraint, strikes us as just a reversion to Jim Crow. If you liked segregation, you will love gun control.
2. What message would you send those in the Senate who supported this legislation?
Go home, and let freedom ring. Help elect someone to replace you who grasps the concept of individual liberty.
3. Do you think that maybe what is truly needed is to simply keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have access to them (e.g. the mentally ill) rather than make it tougher for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms?
Yes. Devote all the resources that would be used on prior restraints, and focus them on criminal and insane misuse of arms. Also, be open to the lawful arming of people in sensitive places, such as schools.
4. What are some of the accomplishments of Jews for The Preservation of Firearms Ownership?
We discovered and published the fact that our 1968 "Gun Control Act," was based largely on the 1938 Nazi Weapons Law, and that the work was done to translate that law by our State Department at the behest of Thomas Dodd, a prosecutor at Nuremberg.
We created a movie, "Innocents Betrayed," which shows the history of genocide by government outside of war in the 20th Century. It illustrates that the predicate act in every case was disarmament of the victims.
Our Rabbi, Dovid Bendory, has done a video with us called "The 10 Commandments of Self-Defense," stating the biblical principles as to why gun control is evil.
We have published "The Kosher Gun Laws," showing exactly which gun laws are moral.
We have engaged medical professionals to openly discuss the progression of irrational hatred of guns, and investigate possible cures.
We have produced a DVD called, "The Gang," documenting some of the dishonest acts of the BATFE.
We have published "Dial 911 and Die," written by Arizona Attorney Richard Stevens, documenting the Supreme Court cases which relieve the police of the duty of protecting the individual citizen of the U.S.
We have produced the DVD "No Guns For Negroes," with The Congress of Racial Equality, about the history of violence and suppression of the rights of Blacks.
We have produced the DVD "No Guns For Jews," showing the history of oppression against Jews, via arms control. We have produced several music albums about the Bill of Rights.
We have translated the Bill of Rights into 10 other languages for all the world to adopt.
5. What are some of the future plans for the JPFO?
We plan to continue to publish the facts about gun control, its evils, and lawful methods that can be used to end it.