Last week I received an email from one of my readers asking me my viewpoints on comparing a Voter ID to a Gun permit. She had come across an article I had written back in 2013 entitled:
It’s not a bad read if you have the time 😉
As I was responding to her question in an unfettered stream of consciousness I abstractly thought that it would make a good article. Instead of rewriting it though, I figured I would just give you the glimpse of the unpolished mind your your faithful 2nd Amendment advocate. My reply to Alex is as follows:
Thanks for reaching out, more than happy to help.
While I have covered the notion of Voter ID in a few articles I believe that it was mostly in passing this is the one that probably answers your question most specifically: http://bulletsfirst.net/2013/08/20/the-disenfranchisement-of-the-american-gun-owner/
With that said, here are my fuller thoughts on the matter. To start off, the 2nd Amendment has always been more permissible in who it applied to than voting has been. The fact that the 2nd Amendment was IN the bill of rights lends credence to that while the 15th Amendment was only ratified in 1870. That first 80 years or so the people who could vote was very limited, mostly to white male land owners. Yet the right to keep and bear arms even taken at its most narrow of perspective applied to pretty much every man able to serve in the militia. In the north, that included blacks.
And when we take it at the more accepted notion at the time of its ratification it pretty much meant any free person.
We need look no further than George Mason for this as he is quoted as saying: I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.
So the 2nd Amendment applied to every free person. Yet in 1789 only 6% of the population had the ability to vote.
So first and foremost, the 2nd Amendment was always far and ahead of the right to vote.
You had brought up other licenses and i’d like to take a moment to delve into them. Driving and marriage are actually privileges and not rights. The former was such an obvious thing to the founders (riding a horse is riding a horse after all) that they never gave it any thought to protect it and the latter was not a state issue but rather between a couple and their God. I argue that the right to get married was taken away the moment the government decided to issue a license for it. Then again, any two people can get married, all it really is is a promise between the two and if the need for government approval isn’t required than the right remains. But I digress.
Let’s focus on the requirement of licenses for rights such as it pertains to the 2nd and 15th amendment.
Requiring a license to purchase or to carry a gun is akin to a poll tax for voting. It took 92 years from the 15th Amendment to eliminate Jim Crow laws with the 24th Amendment but yet such taxes on firearms are converse in their application as such charges were unheard of for the first 120 years of our nation but in the past century have sprung up more and more. In some places, in order to get a concealed carry permit you need to pay a few hundred dollars (training, fingerprints, application fee etc.) and the authority in charge can STILL deny you without refunding your money. Though in recent decades the right to keep and bear arms is on the comeback as Constitutional carry states and open carry states grow in number.
To another level though, if you ask the government for permission and get it, you still have told the government that you are a gun owner and that you have at least one gun (unless your state requires to know all your firearms for the license). It is that knowledge that runs the risk of tyrants misusing that information to confiscate your firearms in order to oppress. This is an important distinction between a Gun license and a voter ID license.
A voter ID card should be free, in fact according to the 24th amendment is MUST be free, at least the first one, I can understand a charge being applied if you lose it. But I believe that they should be issued. Why? Because you all ready have to register in order to vote. The government has all the information that you submitted and they even send you a voter card. Tyrants don’t stop individuals from voting, they stop voting in order to oppress the masses and take away that right.
So long as a voter ID card is free, then it is not a poll tax, there is no charge being attached to voting and since voters are all ready being sent a voter registration card after they register, all this is doing is adding a photo to it.
The numbers that people like to inflate in order to ask how many REAL voters this will effect is laughable. Because when you think about it, how many people DON’T have ID’s to begin with? You need one to board a plane, for driving, getting married, interacting with the government on any level (welfare, social security, dmv, hospitals etc), so in fact the majority of people voter id laws will effect the most will be people not allowed to vote in the first place. Illegal aliens, dead people, practitioners of voter fraud and the like.
Now, if the government says that everyone needs some super hi tech voter ID card and it costs $50-$200 then I say bull and that is some voter suppressing right there. But if its free, you are simply adding a photo to the card that the government gives you for free to begin with so I do not understand how that is an infringement in any way.
Whereas with requiring licenses for the 2nd Amendment, forcing people to pay for them, and then giving any authority the right to deny the right for no valid reason is an infringement of the highest order.
But that’s not even the worst part, even if the gun licenses were free, and every state was shall issue the notion of registering firearms is inherently ripe for abuse by tyranny. Like I said, for a tyrant to oppress voters they simply stop having votes. For the tyrant to oppress gun owners, they use a list and go door to door to get the guns.
And gun licenses are as effective as gun free zones. Criminals simply don’t follow them. Yet voter ID laws actually stop the crime (voter fraud) from taking place because while a criminal can carry a gun without an ID a fraudulent voter won’t be able to vote without one.
For as you see, a criminal is not going to try and get a license, they will simply get a gun regardless so a gun license is pretty much worthless. Yet, when you require a voter to produce ID it actually stops someone who not legally allowed to vote to do so.
Those are pretty much my thoughts on the subject.
I hope that helps with your research. I kind of went stream of consciousness with this reply so I hope it makes sense.
If you have anymore questions please feel to contact me whenever you like. I would also like to hear your take on the topic if you care to give it.
Send this to friend