MORRIS: Second Amendment rights under attack

Greg Morris
March 24, 2012
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MorrisI’ve had some interesting conversations recently with various folks about our right to keep and bear arms in this country. The topic has been on my mind, because frankly I’m worried that, if given a second term, our sitting president will launch a full-scale attack on our Second Amendment rights.

Many people believe President Obama, his U.S. Supreme Court appointees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen, Attorney General Eric Holder and others in the anti-gun camp are waiting in the wings for the opportunity to strip us of our right to own and carry a firearm. When President Obama doesn’t have a re-election to worry about, all bets will be off in the gun control battle, many predict. His current strategy of flying under the radar will change and his real gun-control agenda will finally be out in the open.

Some readers will likely think this an extremist conspiracy theory view. But I’m concerned. I strongly believe in the rights and freedoms given by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. However, Mr. Obama has shown on occasion that he has a disregard for these documents when they conflict with his own views.

A popular sentiment in the country is that you need to buy guns now, while you still can. I worry we’ll return to the Clinton-era gun ban. Firearm sales have been brisk since Obama took office. In fact, the day after Thanksgiving last year produced a single-day record 129,166 federal background checks for the purchase of guns, about a third more than the old record.

Along with distrust of the Obama administration and fear of a changing U.S. Supreme Court view, other reasons come into play for increased gun sales. State, city and county budgets have been shrinking steadily across the country. That means fewer police officers on the streets in many cases. Citizens are wary of emboldened criminals and are taking action to protect themselves and their families. About a quarter of all gun sales are to first-time buyers.

We’re lucky to have favorable gun laws here in Indiana. Our Legislature and governor have seen fit to make sure our Second Amendment rights are also extended as state rights. There’s no gun registration in Indiana that unnecessarily duplicates federal law, no waiting period to purchase a gun, and local community laws do not trump state law. Permits to carry concealed weapons are issued to residents who meet defined common sense qualifications, provide proper government ID and fingerprints to their local police agency, and pass a State Police background check.

In contrast to Indiana’s favorable gun laws, Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Let me put it this way: In terms of gun laws, Illinois is like a foreign country compared with Indiana. And once you hit the city limits of Chicago, there are additional laws to abide by.

In Illinois, local community gun laws trump state law and they can be even stricter. Who’s the current mayor of Chicago? Does the name Rahm Emanuel ring a bell? Wasn’t he President Obama’s former chief of staff? And Emanuel’s a big anti-gun crusader. What a surprise! Birds of a feather stick together. Illinois press reports indicate Emanuel is calling for even more repressive laws for law-abiding citizens and he’s seeking statewide gun registration. Chicago is a perfect place for Emanuel’s anti-gun crusade, but it’s just not big enough for the mayor. He wants his control over guns to be felt statewide.

Remember this, please. If citizens are not allowed to arm and protect themselves, the only people who have guns are the police and the bad guys. And there will never be enough police to protect us from the criminal element.

If you are so inclined, it’s time to exercise your Second Amendment rights and purchase firearms while you still can. Your rights to defend yourself are in extreme danger with this current Washington crowd. Don’t forget that a gun without ammunition is no more effective than a small brick. Take a firearm safety class and learn how to shoot your gun(s). Be sure to lock your firearms safely away from children and unauthorized users. Finally, please know and obey all laws and be a responsible gun owner.

See you at the shooting range.•


Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to gmorris@ibj.com.


  • You are Correct
    I stumbled upon this and it seems all of the people commenting against you sir are going to be proven wrong. Obama is after our guns. You idiots can sit back and do nothing and hate on guys that writ thins like this but in the end you are wrong and this guy is right!
  • Let congress know how you feel.
  • More Fear!
    This is just what the IBJ needs- a nut job trying to sway votes to his party preference with baseless fear mongering. We went through this in 1992 and 2008, and both were false attacks just as this is today. Publishing this garbage really hurts your credibility IBJ.
  • Indeed!
    The total lack of evidence is all the evidence I need.
  • What can he do?
    Though he may want changes to the state of federal gun law, I don't see that he has any opportunity to change the law, unless get gets a majority in the House and 60 votes in the Senate. If the election swings this far against us, we have many more problems than just Obama himself.
  • As usual, Colbert said it best
  • Ridiculous indeed
    Exactly. After this ridiculous nonsense, I immediate canceled my IBJ subscription. No need to use my monies to support an irrational publisher.
  • Hasn't happened
    We have enough problems to worry about without making up new ones....
  • Hogwash
    That's ridiculous.
    I remember hearing all that alarmist nonsense before the 2008 elections. "Oh no! The evil Democrat is going to take our guns! You better go out and buy a bunch and start to stockpile them!" Ya know what? You all still have them. Piles of them. Nothing has been done or even suggested that would make anyone with a shred of common sense think the President would wage a war on the 2nd Amendment. If you want to say the President has or hasn't done what he ought, fine, but I am personally getting sick of hearing all this made up fear mongering.
    I often wonder what would make people, who on the street seem to be level headed and rather well put together, just make things up to get their fellow citizens worked into a lather. It's my very real belief that the Republican Party has been increasingly less able to find credible candidates for President of the United States. If I was a Republican these days I'd be very concerned about the direction the Party was going. I would think instead of exhausting all that energy in fabricating sensational headlines meant to insight fear, anger, division or just plan paranoia you would work harder to find candidates who didn't play with mercury as children.
    There are plenty of real reasons to not like this President or any other, but please, once you've collected your check from the gun manufacturers lobby, can we all agree to be adults and stick to the facts?
  • Absolutely Agree
    You're right on target, and Obama'z target is the 2nd Amendment. He must not get re-elected.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.