Bill O’Reilly agrees with Bob Costas. America needs gun control. At least, gun control regulated by the Federal Government. This seems evident by the statements he made on his Fox News television show.
“All gun crimes in America should be federalized and that includes illegal possession. There should be mandatory federal prison time for any person convicted of having a gun illegally, and if you commit a crime with a gun, that mandatory should be ten years.”
The fact though, is that federal gun laws would be unconstitutional. While O’Reilly seems to agree that the Federal Government cannot regulate the airwaves, giving them complete control over the right of citizens to bear arms seems just. Talk about hypocritical.
And he’s even advocating to give the Feds complete control regulating that which is supposed to protect citizens from government. Talk about ignorant. The point is apparent. Whoever advocates federal gun control has no understanding of our Second Amendment, the intent of our founders, or the Constitution itself. When it comes to guns, the real threat is not citizen ownership, but an ever increasing centralized power – and a complete disregard for our Constitution.
It seems simple. “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms….shall not be infringed.” It’s the words from the Second Amendment. What it does not say is, “The right of citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, unless Congress – or Bill O’Reilly – deems it necessary.” Or “The right of citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, unless advances in technology allow for the prolific purchase and use of advanced weaponry.” Or “The right of citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, unless the public safety requires their limitation.”
Hey Bill, here’s some news for you. No, the federal government is not authorized to do what you want. The Second Amendment is clear; never does the Federal Government have power to limit arms in any way, for any reason. Any attempt to do so should be questioned. It should also be stopped. If there be any question about the founder’s views of the Second Amendment, then we can look to their words. Thomas Jefferson stated that, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny and government.” James Madison agreed. “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed-unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” The founder’s views on rights of citizens to bear arms are obvious. However, the issue isn’t whether or not people have the right to guns, but a federal government attempting to regulate weapons expands their power, makes a mockery of the Constitution, and eliminates defenses for American citizens.
The right is there. The founder’s intent is noticeable. But the real concern with O’Reilly’s statement is that it continues to advocate for more centralized power where it shouldn’t be. As Thomas Jefferson said, “When all government… in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” The founders understood that a strong Federal Government was dangerous. And allowing the nationalization of gun laws, as O’Reilly puts it, strengthens their position.
Like Bob Costas, Bill O’Reilly is either ignoring the Constitution, or just doesn’t like it.
Matt Renquist is a blogger for the Tenth Amendment Center. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Colorado State University and currently lives in Colorado.