This year,” thundered the great leader, “will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.”

He was right in part. In the decades that have followed, nation after nation has required its citizens to either register, or turn in, their handguns. Now, Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) has introduced the Handgun Safety and Registration Act (S.2099) that will force gun owners to fill out a registration form and pay a fee for any gun they own. On every form will be the gun owner’s fingerprint and a photo of himself taken within the last year. Every gun registrant would find himself or herself in an online database of gun owners. The agency that will administer this program, should it pass and be signed into law, is the infamous Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) of Waco fame.

Unregistered gun owners – commonly known as criminals – would not be included in the database.

Reed, the sponsor of the bill, is confident that it will pass either during this congress or the next. John Velleco, a spokesman for Gun Owners of America, believes the bill will die on the Senate floor. He views the bill as simply “too scary” to pass at this time.

The Australian Precedent

From its inception, this has been a “scary” Administration. It has subtly and incrementally moved the United States closer and closer to a socialist police state. Soon we may be reading here copy like that which came out of Australia Wednesday, August 23. “Having forced Australians to surrender their guns, thereby increasing the crime rate markedly, the Australian government now wants to give the Army the power to shoot unruly citizens and allow it to use the military in civilian emergencies” ( These citizens would, of course, be unarmed.

Early in 1999, the Australian government, following the example of the United Kingdom, implemented a total ban on handguns. Australian authorities confiscated – sometimes using deadly force – some 640,000 personal firearms.

Did this move reduce crime? No it increased it. Nationwide, homicides are up 3.2 percent. Assaults rose by 8.6 percent and armed robberies increased by a whopping 44 percent! In the state of Victoria, homicides involving firearms rose by a staggering 300 percent. Until the ban, figures for the previous 25 years had shown a decrease in robberies with firearms.

What was the net result of Australia’s confiscation of personal handguns? The government was empowered, and law-abiding citizens were disempowered. Before whom were they disempowered? Before the government and before criminals who have firearms. Once governments and criminals know that the people do not have firearms to protect themselves, both are emboldened to violate their rights.

Now, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the government, having disarmed the populace, now wants the power to mow down protesters during times of civil unrest. In view are the upcoming Sydney Olympic Games and the World Economic Forum to be held in Melbourne. Shades of Tiananmen Square!

There is no doubt in my mind that the Clinton Administration has been moving inexorably in the direction of a complete ban on handguns in this country. Clearly the vision the Founding Fathers had of what this nation should be is breaking up and dispersing in the winds of change that are blowing with increasing force. It seems to be nowhere in view among those who are running the show. If you ever read The Federalist Papers you’ll know what I mean. As George Washington, America’s first president, said, “Government, like fire, is a good servant, but a fearful master.” Government in our time is making the shift from servant to master with frightening dispatch.

For additional information on this topic, read my two previous columns on the subject. And if you want to do something about the impending bill, write your Senator and give him your opinion of it.

By the way, if you are wondering who was the “great leader” who made the statement recorded in the first paragraph of this article — it was Adolph Hitler.