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GUNS Magazine May 2010 - Page 60
VIEWS NEWS AND REVIEWS RIGHTS WATCH • DAVID CODREA • A HeAltHy Republic Needs MoRe tHAN GuNs I www. AMeRicAN cop ANd AMeRicAN HANdGuNNeR oNliNe! AMeRicANcop.coM AMeRicANHANdGuNNeR.coM 60 t wasn’t just the anti-gunners pointing derisively at Gun Owners of America for raising flags on the “federal health care reform” bill wending its way through Congress. But the talking points started at the very top. From a GOA alert: “On the official White House blog, deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer denied the health care bill would affect gun owners. After all, he writes, ‘there is no mention [of] “gun-related health data” or anything like it anywhere in either the Senate or the House bills.’” The Internet is where much of the criticism of GOA’s concerns was sounded—including from some in the “pro-gun” camp hostile to GOA’s hardline approach to politics. We were told the “no-compromise gun lobby” was seeing things that weren’t there. Besides, no less a Second Amendment luminary than NRA-endorsed Harry Reid was pushing the health care bill. And GOA’s protestations that provisions of the bill could be interpreted to accommodate gun registration, expansion of prohibited persons, and the consideration of firearms ownership for insurance premiums, were dismissed by some as unfounded hysteria. So it was with no small amount of vindication that GOA claimed a victory when Sen. Reid introduced a concession. “Gun Owners of America Wins a Skirmish on ObamaCare,” read their alert headline. “Senator Reid was pressured by GOA and his constituents into making a face-saving move. He wanted to silence the progun community’s objections, so he took steps to strip the bill of any gun rights concerns.” Reid’s amendment to the health care bill ostensibly forbids required disclosure or collection of gun information for wellness and prevention programs, puts limitations on data collection and data bases, and prohibits determination of eligibility and premium rates based on gun ownership. It would, indeed, seem a vindication and a victory for GOA. And it is. But the health care bill still poses a danger to gun owners. How? Per the Committee on Ways & Means Republicans, citing the House of Representative’s Joint Committee on taxation, “Failure to comply with Democrats’ mandate can lead to 5 yrs. in jail.” That’s because US Tax Code would come into play, and “felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” Which means resisters could become prohibited persons. Also consider Reid’s amendment applies to “the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.” That means there is nothing in it to protect a gun owner who is caught up in the web of any of the innumerable state and local antigun edicts, and that could put the feds in the business of further punishing even inadvertent violators. Ultimately, it boils down to the entire health care scheme having no foundation in the legitimate powers conveyed to Congress and the President under the Constitution. And we deviate from that essential truth—even if it seems we can cherry-pick some gun-related benefits out if it—at our peril. Visit David Codrea’s online journal “The War on Guns” at waronguns.blogspot.com or visit DavidCodrea.com to read his Examiner column WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MAY 2010