Your History

Ken Blanchard

If you think history is boring let me show you how our lack of knowledge has hurt Maryland residents. , Our legislation is again promoting a ban on anything they call an assault weapon. Using the image of the Bushmaster rifle used by Beltway Snipers, Muhammad and Malvo, politicians are adding more restrictions to its law-abiding residents under the auspices of safety. George Santayana was quoted as saying, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Maryland has a history of being more prohibitive than most of the states in America and this attitude have not stopped any of the deaths you hear about on the evening news. The prohibitionist blame Gun Shows, federally licensed small business owners and law-abiding citizens as the scapegoat for criminal acts that occur in the Free State. The state doesn't allow its citizens to carry concealed firearm for their personal protection as does thirty-five others in America. We have a system that is near impossible for a woman to obtain so that she can protect herself from a crazed former boyfriend or spouse. Maryland passed the seven-day waiting period conveniently during the Civil rights era in 1966. The state was sued in a class action suit in 1976 by a group of African Americans that challenged the right to carry. Maryland enacted a restriction on the types of firearms that are allowed to be sold in the state that in essences limits what is available similar to the "Louisiana Black Codes" created after the Civil War. Maryland's "Saturday Night Special" laws, which have racist origins, also raised the cost of the firearms available to residents so that the honest poor are not able to afford what is available.

The truth is this upcoming Assault Weapons Ban or any new gun laws our politicians create to make a name for them do not affect criminals. This change in the gun laws would not have stopped the Beltway Snipers. Real military firearms are fully automatic and have been already banned from sale and are heavily regulated by the US government. Many traditional hunting rifles can be cosmetically made to look "scary" or fit the ideal of what a "so-called" military assault weapon" is supposed to be. A brick in the hands of a criminally insane person can be an "assault weapon." The definition is loose and the implications are broad. It is this reason that knowledgeable law abiding gun owners are up in arms about this issue. It is our rights that are under attack for the sake of someone's career. Blindly banning so-called assault weapons as it is written and perceived jeopardizes the rights and traditions of generations of good hard working firearm owners. We are passionate about this because of the laws and hoops we already have to contend with in order to comply with what is absurd.

President Dwight Eisenhower said, "the history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice -- their choice." Itís time to stand against the foolishness of Annapolis and make a positive contribution to history.

Kenneth V. F. Blanchard

Upper Marlboro, MD

Mr. Blanchard is a former federal police trainer, anti-terrorist specialist and author of "Black Man With A Gun, A Responsible Gun Ownership Manual For African Americans".

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Most recent revision February 2004