Gun Confiscation & Political Repression

“If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government’s ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees.” President Bill Clinton

As the left becomes even more bat-ass crazy, with unprovoked threats and assaults against the right, it only stands to reason that their effort to destroy our 2nd Amendment right to defend ourselves would grow. Gun confiscation, after all, holds a special place in the halls of political repression.

The Soviet Union left its mark as one of the deadliest political regimes in the history of mankind. However, it could not get away with such atrocities without having a complete monopoly on the use of force. With the creation of the Military Revolutionary Committee in 1917, Lenin’s dreams of power came to be. What started as a “genuine people’s militia” easily morphed into another enforcement arm of the state which Lenin used to maintain his iron grip on the people. On December 10, 1918, the Council of People’s Commissar mandated that all Soviet citizens, with the exception of the Communist Party elite, turn in their firearms under penalty of prosecution.

Once World War II came to an end, Eastern European countries took after their Soviet overlords and started implementing gun confiscation, as detailed in Firearms Possession by ‘Non-State Actors’: The Question of Sovereignty. Several countries stood out during this time period: Bulgaria, once communism took power in 1944, confiscated privately owned firearms. East Germany banned private gun ownership for everyone with the exception of agricultural collectives for government sponsored and supervised hunts. Hungary’s Communist rulers dissolved all pistol and hunting clubs and dismantled organizations that they believed posed a threat to government power.

Although the numbers are highly disputed, Robert Conquest contends in his book The Great Terror that at least 15 million people perished under Soviet rule.

The history of Nazi Germany should never be forgotten. Once the “enemy of the state” had been neutralized, Hitler signed a new Gun Control Act that liberalized the Weimar government’s gun laws, allowing a few favored German Nazis to keep firearms, but banning 22 hollow point ammunition and prohibiting Jews not only from owning firearms and from working in the firearms industry. In sum, the Jewish populace was disarmed and had no way of defending themselves itself against the increasingly militant Nazi political operatives.

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.”  Adolf Hitler

Cuba succumbed to the siren song of socialism when Fidel Castro took power in 1959. Similar to the Nazis, Castro took advantage of firearm registration lists established by the previous government after dictator Batista was deposed. Castro exclaimed: “Guns, for what? To fight against whom? Against the revolutionary government that has the support the people?” He followed through by targeting rival revolutionary groups who were not Communist affiliates and then broadened the definition of “rival revolutionaries” to disarm more of the populace.  And, like other socialist programs, the Cuban experience has been filled with death and economic destruction. Estimates point to 141,000 Cubans murdered at the hands of the Castro regime, with millions of Cubans fleeing to the United States in search of greener pastures.

It’s no secret that the Venezuelan government has eviscerated property rights and fundamental civil liberties in the crisis beleaguered country. They have been able to stay in power because of the Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law. The law has been modified several times to broaden the scope of the firearms regulated by the Venezuelan Armed forces, who have the power to register, control, and confiscate firearms. The day of reckoning came when Venezuela banned the sale of firearms and ammo in 2012, under the guise of fighting crime. Despite the gun ban in place, crime rates continue to skyrocket.

Today, Venezuelans have no way of defending themselves against a government that is free to muzzle their speech, expropriate their wealth, debase their currency, and starve them to death. And if that weren’t enough, the average Venezuelan must contend with the constant threat of common criminals and Venezuela’s infamous pro-government paramilitary units.

What began with the passage of the Firearms Control Act of 2000, which featured an extensive system of gun registration, South Africa recently embraced gun confiscation on June 7, 2018, when the Constitutional Court of South Africa ordered the confiscation of about 300,000 firearms. To say political tension in South Africa is mounting would be an understatement. The government is now pursuing land redistribution in order to address so-called racial justice.

It’s easy for anti-gun entities to identify gun owners and confiscate their firearms in the long-run when they have their information on the books. With the wrong political actors in power, yesterday’s “common-sense” gun control could be tomorrow’s vehicle for gun confiscation.

Time will tell if South Africa will descend down the path of tyranny, but its gun control experiment may prove to be fatal should the country take a turn for the worse.
Gun confiscation is an egregious form of gun control that allows authoritarians to steamroll their subjects at will. The way gun confiscation enhances the consolidation of state power is undeniable.

Gun rights might not guarantee victory against tyrants, but being deprived of them all but guarantees submission.

Source: A Brief History of Repressive Regimes and Their Gun Laws, Mises Institute


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