No More Sugar Coating: The Nation is in Trouble


I have been writing gun-rights columns for decades, defending and explaining our rights to arms. I’ve always assumed the laws we enact are meaningful and matter. It seems to me the truth of that may be fading. If the legislature has been corrupted, along with the judiciary and the executive, the wording of our laws does not matter. It’s said, “A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge.” We’re witnessing this. The political parties, where only one is perceived as the pro-gun-rights party, look more like a uni-party, not fully on the right side.

I’ve become adept at reading legislative language, understanding the legislative intent and communicating that in plain English for gun owners. Lawyers, politicians, journalists, activists and friends have called on me to help understand the now insane panoply of gun laws we have. We have way too many incomprehensible, self-contradictory and worse, often total infringement laws. Who your judge is counts for too much.

People have told me my books, like the Arizona Gun Owner’s Guide, are really doing the states’ dirty work by telling people what they cannot do. On balance, my books also tell people how to arm up, own a machine gun, travel safely armed and shoot bad guys legally (but only when they need shooting), so it’s a mixed bag.

Law? What Law?

It hurts to say, but today the rule of law barely applies. Our Constitution is all but abandoned. Speedy trial? Fuggedaboutit. Most criminal court results are now from coerced pleas, and jury trials are rare. Constitutional defenses? Laughed at, rarely allowed. How long has it been since warrants, “particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized” (4th Amendment), have been fairly applied? People in legislatures do whatever suits them and don’t even pay the lip service of, “Let’s see if the courts will allow it.” If there’s a question, they ought to know better than to try. When I wrote the unabridged Gun Laws of America, in my naiveté, I thought here, at last, we have all the federal statutes controlling guns, all 271 of them. To quote a failed candidate for president, what difference does it make if the rules are suspended by fiat, ignorance and a lawyer cabal?

The rule of law now barely applies to citizenship. Now anybody can become a citizen, which implies a right to arms (by sneaking in and going to states that issue papers). Worse, everyone interested seems to be a natural born Citizen — the specifically spelled out constitutional requirement for who can run for president. Only full Americans can do that, but candidate after candidate lacks an American parent or was born elsewhere. No one watches or cares. Citizenship means allegiance to one country, subject to armed military service and the place where you vote.

Good For The Goose ...

The effect on your gun rights is monumental. The U.S. Supreme Court has clearly and repeatedly determined “the people,” as in the Second Amendment and (four other places in the Bill of Rights) is essentially the body politic, those of us legitimately here and subject to our laws, military service, paying taxes, you know — citizens. The idea that foreigners (or partial foreigners) can run for president raises the issue — can illegal aliens legally own guns here? Why not? Aren’t there controls any longer? The largest single category of prohibited people in the NICS background check system are migrants, undocumented workers, paperless people, foreigners — illegal aliens.

I fear this question is no longer meaningful. If a person can sneak in, then go to New York State, where new law enables them to vote — then on what basis can they exercise (or be denied) the right to arms we prize so highly? You think January 6 was an insurrection? We are building the foundation of a real insurrection, a revolt of rights-denied wannabes with no fundamental attachment to this land the rest of us adore.

Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Adams and the rest wanted us armed for that dire emergency when resistance to tyranny and the fate of the nation depended on an armed populace (“the people”) capable of repelling invaders, stopping tyranny, enforcing law in the absence of law enforcement and preventing Old Glory from being discarded for flags of cartoons, rainbows and unicorns. We are perilously close.

At the risk of repeating myself, it’s Barack’s surprisingly salient remark, once again, “… cling to your guns and Bibles.” Faith gives strength, but power, that comes from the barrel of a gun. Government exercises that power without qualms, as mass-murderer communist Chinese dictator Mao Tse Tung demonstrated. President Reagan wisely added that power comes from the barrel of a pen, which is what I’m using while any guns near me rest idle. And we need all of these powers more than yet another Supreme Court decision or another statute.

Author and pundit Ken Royce, writing as Boston T. Party (Boston’s Gun Bible, Javelin Press, 2002), pointed out if you depend on the Supreme Court or legislatures for your rights, you’ll be sorely disappointed. They can turn on a dime and ignore rule of law. The only real power is what you personally hold and exercise. It’s no longer Democrats vs. Republicans. It’s government vs. you.

Award-winning author, writer, consultant and musician Alan Korwin has written 14 books, 10 of them on gun law, and has advocated for gun rights for more than three decades. Now writing his 15th book, Why Science May Be Wrong, see his work or reach him at

Subscribe To American Handgunner

Purchase A PDF Download Of The American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2023 Issue Now!