A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Draft title’s right: Creating criminals

Written April 24th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

Under IP 43, magazines for these pistols, displayed at an Albany show in 2017, would be illegal unless registered with the state police.

The Oregon attorney general’s ballot title drafted for Initiative Petition 43 gets right to the point: “Criminalizes possession or transfer,” it says, of certain weapons and ammunition magazines.

It’s a point I made in a previous commentary on this initiative. The proposal would create a whole bunch of criminals, making prospective felons out of countless Oregon citizens who have done nothing wrong and endanger no one.

The initiative’s proponents are pushing the measure as a way to increase public safety. It’s good to see that the state lawyers who drafted the ballot title that came out Tuesday did not fall for this scam.

Whether enacting this law would make anyone safer is impossible to say, so the attorney general properly ignored this angle and concentrated on what the text actually says. It would force owners of certain common weapons and magazines to destroy them, give them up, or register them with the state police and not be able to use them for any currently legal purpose except using them at a range. Unless owners complied with this confiscatory mandate they would be guilty of a Class B felony.

There are many good reasons not to sign this initiative and to vote it down if it makes the ballot in November. One of them is that it does exactly what the attorney general says: It criminalizes something that is legal and poses no threat. (hh)

31 responses to “Draft title’s right: Creating criminals”

  1. Terry says:

    I expect the sheeple at large to vote this in. It will do nothing to prevent violence but that is not their true agenda.

  2. Taxpayer says:

    It’s becoming harder and harder to feel like this is a free society for law abiding, hard working Oregonians. So few people in this socialist state understand that with every new restrictive law passed and every new burdensome tax forced on us, our lives become more oppressed, less free, and more owned by the government. Maybe that’s why so many Oregonians get stoned everyday. They don’t want to see or understand what’s going on around them. The nanny state suits them fine…and all the sheep say baaaaa…,,,

  3. Jason says:

    Speaking of sheeples…
    According to the staunch gun fanatics, there is nothing that can be done to prevent people from using guns to kill other people. Certainly don’t try and fix loopholes or modify unfettered access.
    Clearly their 2A rights are more important than another human’s right to life. It is disgusting to watch and read these 2A fanatics decry anything that even attempts to prevent some of these tragedies from happening. They never have an actual plan other than to point at mental health or some other “red herring” fallacy.

    Take the shooting in Tennessee this last weekend, the father of the suspect should arrested for murder, he gave the weapons back to his son. We have to do something and pointing at other shiny objects, rather than actually restricting gun ownership, is foolish.

    *Restriction of gun ownership doesn’t mean take guns away or prevent people from buying them. However being able to walk into the gun show at the Linn County fairgrounds and walk out with any weapon that very same day is ludacris.

    • Tony White says:

      Ludacris is a rapper.

    • Steve says:

      Jason –
      It has been the law for quite some time that gun buyers at gun shows must go through the exact same background checks as buyers at any other location. Just trying to inform you of the rules. Please educate yourself on the multitude of laws already on the books before asking for more.

      • Jason says:

        Thanks for the educational point of reference. However I never said they don’t have to do a background check.

        You seem fairly well educated or up-to-date on your gun law. You just didn’t read my original comment very thoroughly

        They still can walk out with a gun the same day, same as at a gun store. My contention is that buying a gun should never be an urgent or emergent situation.

        So a two – three day wait could be appropriate.

        If you own a gun you are responsible for it, if it used in a crime you are responsible.

        • Eric says:

          So if I break into your house and steal your lawn mower, run over your kids, you think you should be responsible for the murder?

  4. James Engel says:

    In all the anti-gun protests and laws trying to be forced on us NOT ONCE has the mental health issue of these shooters been addressed! To a person these were nut cases pure & simple. There were “signs” prior that were simply ignored. It is a issue that also NEEDS to be dealt with & faced, not more restrictions.

    • centrist says:

      Careful JE, you’re steering toward Orwellian territory. At what point do we take folks into custody for thoughts and non-criminal behavior?
      Oh yeah, folks got plunked in the mental asylum for “behaving oddly” with little chance of proving fitness.
      By the way, the CDC is prevented from studying what you bring up, so there’s no objective basis. Thanks Wayne laP.

  5. J. Jacobson says:

    Hasso is right. Just because AR-15s are military weapons, designed to kill large numbers quickly and efficiently, doesn’t mean people not in the military shouldn’t be able to own and operate said weapons.

    I’ve heard it said that the 2nd Amendment is written as it is so that Americans would be well-enough armed that they could take on a rogue government coming for them.

    First, that members of the US military would take-up arms against the general US population is inconceivable. Your average soldier would turn on any commander who would issue an order to attack Americans in their homes. This argument is laughable at best. Disgusting at worst.

    But,for the sake of discussion, let’s assume a squad of trained soldiers has surrounded your average AR-15 owner’s house, threatening to bust-in and confiscate said owner’s gun. The soldiers are well trained, unafraid to “shoot-to-kill” and armed with weapons more deadly than the AR-15. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. How many citizen AR-15 owners are going to stand-up to this threat?

    Most 2nd Amendment yokels talk real tough because talk is cheap. When push comes to shove, these big talkers will largely melt into a puddle of cowardice, afraid to return fire.

    America is overrun with more than 300-million guns in private ownership. Yes, most owners are law-abiding types, but they aren’t the folks who will shoot back because killing another human requires intestinal fortitude, sorely lacking in the gun-toting, loud-talking crowd.

    The sheer volume of weapons available makes the current insanity that is America inevitable. The only real solution is to do what Australia did…ban most if not all guns, buy them back so folks don’t lose money, and then destroy the guns so they cannot be used by anyone. By the way, Australians are still a “free people” and the government there is not imprisoning anyone anymore often than when guns were still legal.

    The American fascination with guns is an infantile reaction to John Wayne movies. Americans might consider a different genre to admire.

    • Ron says:

      “Laughable” that the military would take up weapons against civilians? You should pick up a history book my friend. The revolutionary war that made this country comes to mind, as well as the civil war that separated this country into north and south. And yes the military did as it was ordered and took up arms against civilians. Those are just examples in this country.

    • Ron says:

      Sorry I missed the ridiculous notion that Australia is a perfect example of gun restrictions working. The geographical location of Australia and the US alone lend themselves to two completely different outcomes. Australia is an island, all alone in the middle of the ocean. No countries border it. The United State is physically bordered by Canada and Mexico. If you think the war on drugs in this country has been an issue? Wait till you outlaw guns. Mexico and everyone else is chomping at the bit, just waiting to flood the United State with illegal guns. Who is going to have access to those guns? The law abiding citizen? No! The criminals. We can’t combat the drug issue in this country and you want to now create an opportunity for a gun issue. I respect people’s opinions and thoughts on the subject. Like most guns owners we want things to change and our schools and everywhere else to be safe too. If you think taking guns from legal law abiding citizens, taking away our constitutional right, is going to solve the problem, you’re misguided.

      • J. Jacobson says:

        Yes, I am fairly convinced that Mexico and Canada will form an alliance to invade the United States of Commerce once the gosh-durn Liberals take away private ownership of guns.

        Imagine a not-so-distant time when you graciously comply with the wishes of Dudley DoRight from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, sent to Albany, Oregon to manage the political situation in that small, inconsequential burg in an even less-consequential state.

        You, a once-proud owner of weapons that can literally suck the preciousness of life out of tens-of-people in mere seconds, are now going to be answerable to Rocket J. Squirrel and his Canadian sidekick, Mr. Moose.

        When will the gun-apologists realize their concerns are misguided at best and metaphysically absurd at worst.

    • Doug Klinkebiel says:

      When you say, “When push comes to shove, these big talkers will largely melt into a puddle of cowardice, afraid to return fire,” are you referring to the Broward County Sheriff’s Dept. of Parkland, FL.?

    • Adam says:

      The military doesnt use Armalite Rifle model 15. Opinion must not be confused with fact. You stated many things here but its all opinion. I say this because i couldnt find facts.

    • centrist says:

      The thought that the amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves from a “rogue government” is a revisionist perversion of history. The amendment speaks of a ” well-regulated militia”. Seems that was written to allow Southern states to have the tools to put down a slave revolt.

      • birdieken says:

        With numbers you could pass a law making conservative speech, a hate crime, punishable by prison. Would you still have choice, would you be free? The constitution protects “we the people” from the law.

  6. Doug Klinkebiel says:

    And when the killing and crime continues, they’ll then come after the handguns and everything else. Vladimir Lenin was right: “Give me just one generation of youth . . . “

  7. Taxpayer Too says:

    Opinions don’t equal reality.
    Here are a couple of truths that are easily found on the internet:

    The AR15 has never been, nor will it ever be a military grade weapon.
    The term AR does NOT stand for assault rifle. It refers to the manufacturer’s name.

    If you repeat a lie often enough, It becomes the truth to those who want it to be truth.

    The United States’ militarized police force definitely has turned on American citizens on several occasions. Our leaders have a way of presenting it so that it doesn’t sound so rejectionable.
    Socialism (the precursor to communism), depends on the compliance of the masses.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Speaking of precursors, one step from Republicanism is Fascism. ….at our doorstep….

      So I would not be one to bash the incredibly popular Socialistic programs such as Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security. Gets uglier after Fascism.

  8. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Even if the measure passes, would law enforcement agencies enforce it? Probably depends on where you live.

    I suspect many citizens, perhaps even Hasso, would commit civil disobedience.

    This would force law enforcement agencies to make a choice:
    – create perpetual fear in the minds of citizens that “the jack boot” is coming for them, or,
    – declare their unwillingness to impose tyranny.

    I suppose living in Linn County when this measure passes will be advantageous. For all you North Albanians…well…”good luck” is the best I can say.

    • J. Jacobson says:

      Atta boy, Gordon. It is good to know there are still people out there who believe it is their god-given right to be able to massacre as many of their own species as possible in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort. Your logic is a sort-of gunpowder birth control.

  9. J. Jacobson says:

    As anyone who’s been paying attention, the govmint is now retarding gun sales. The weapons worshippers purchased firearms like someone obsessed when President Obama was in the Oval.

    But, now that Spanky Trump is on his throne, the firearms frenzied have finally exhaled.

    As a result, Remington Firearms, an American icon where it comes to killing machinery, has been forced into penury, begging for debt forgiveness from the very govmint agencies Spanky Trump operates.

    The problem was created by, and the problem’s solution lies in the hands of the gun-purchasing public. The market is in a lull because the gun-buying audience is sated, certain Spanky and his Court won’t diddle with weaponry.

    Looked at from another angle, consider that Spanky and His Gang are pure theater. Their only job is to create conditions where gun-owners get lazy, failing to fling enough cash at gun dealers. At some point, once-alert gun-toters will be stupefied (it may already have happened) and the govmint will swoop-in to hijack your gun stash. America will never be the same.

    Buy more guns! 300-million already in private hands may NOT be enough.

  10. Curious Citizen says:

    Let’s ban cell phones. Texting and driving is killing many innocents. Young people under 21 years of age shouldn’t own a cellphone or anyone else. Not everyone has self control to not check their phone when driving. How do we determine who is a responsible cell phone owner and should have the right to use this device? People are addicted and lives are being ruined.

    Social media is too important. The social pressure is intense. Those with mental health issues can’t stand the strain of being rejected on social media. They are obsessed and in danger of having a psychotic break. Children have committed suicide as a result of social media bullying 24/7. Cell phones make access to social media portable and constant. Access to cell phones is too easy. We should only use land lines and PCs. Let’s ban cell phones!!

    There is no constitutional right to cell phones. Freedom of speech does not allow us to use any make or model or mode of communication we want. Cell phones should be locked up in the home and should only be used in designated calling centers.

    Tongue firmly in cheek, kind of, sort of, I guess.

    • jenny says:

      The hilarious part of this comment is that you’re trying to equivocate cell phones and guns – but the obvious flaw is that it’s not the cell phones doing the harm, it’s the CARS in your metaphor. And operating a motor vehicle requires a license. You have to take a test and prove your fitness, and renew it periodically. If you use it inappropriately (like using a cell phone while driving), break the law too many times, or are otherwise proven unfit, you can be prohibited from driving. There are regulations and penalties surrounding automobiles. You need different types of licenses to operate different types of vehicles. You have to have your vehicle registered, and renewed regularly, and in many states you must undergo inspection to prove that it is roadworthy. I think most people find these sorts of regulations to be entirely reasonable, because operating a motor vehicle carries with it inherent dangers and responsibilities.

      I don’t see why we shouldn’t be applying the kind of same logic and oversight to guns.

      • George Pugh says:

        And so, Ms Jenny, because “cars” injure and kill so many more people than guns in the USA, we have a demonstration of how ineffective registration and licensing are in preventing mayhem on the roads. Could it possibly be that people, not the machines, are the weak link in this debate ?

  11. Kenneth Walter says:

    During civil unrest, natural disaster, or war, the police won’t be coming to help you or your family. During the second Watts riot, people who protected their property kept it; while those who didn’t, lost everything and were at the mercy of the unlawful. We are so concerned with the constitutional rights of non citizens, how about the same level of concern for the constitutional rights of citizens. My constitutional rights are not dependent on how you feel about them or on the present political trend. Our constitutional rights were paid for in blood. Limiting rights for political gain is unworthy of the people who fought and died for our liberty and freedom.

  12. ean says:

    The 2nd Amendment guarantees us a right to bear arms in order to prevent tyranny and ensure a free state. That is why I advocate for removing all restrictions on weaponry. There is no reason civilians shouldn’t be allowed to own tanks and artillery or even fighter jets and bombers. I am tired of both parties infringing on my constitutional rights and freedoms.

  13. centrist says:

    To the point of the lede—
    The measure, if adopted, criminalizes a behavior.
    Individuals have two options — comply or violate the rule.
    A law doesn’t cause criminal behavior, personal choice does.


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