America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 56

PA R T I N G S H O T

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
By Charles C.W. Cooke

W

hat happens when the government
limits the right to keep and bear arms
to those who " need " it? If the rhetoric
of those who favor stricter gun control
is to be believed, the answer to this question is that
all-knowing and exceedingly wise local bureaucrats are
able to benevolently look into the souls of all who step
before them, and so, by this divine insight, only give
carry permits to the right people.
If, by contrast, all of human history is to be believed,
may-issue laws do this: The government keeps its guns,
the criminals keep their guns and a few people with
elite " connections " get to have guns, whereas the rest of
the populace-you and me included-become a disarmed, subservient class.
For evidence of this, one need look no further than to
corruption currently brewing in California. According
to the district attorney of Santa Clara, Jeff Rosen, the
head of global security at Apple, Thomas Moyer, was
involved in an attempt to circumvent California's draconian " may-issue " carry standards, as Moyer allegedly
tried to bribe the sheriff 's office with $70,000 worth
of iPads in exchange for four concealed-carry permits.
Moyer has been indicted, along with Undersheriff Rick
Sung and Captain James Jensen, the two state employees
alleged to have been involved.
This case should remind readers of a recent scandal out of New York City, in which police officers in
the firearms licensing division were granting permits
to high-profi le and unqualified applicants in exchange
for gifts. In 2018, one of the figures in that case, a man
named Paul Dean, who had been second-in-command
of the licensing division, told a judge that the rules were
" thrown out of the window " at the first sign of a bribe.
Indeed so.
It is worth remembering that government corruption
takes many forms, and not all of it is as grubby or as blatant as what has been alleged in California. Once a citizenry is obliged to have a " reason " to buy, own or carry
firearms, their government has been empowered to play
favorites. And, once a government has been empowered
to play favorites, it will do just that. A quick glance at
New York City shows us that, when broad " discretion " is
permitted, only certain sorts of people-state employees, celebrities, the wealthy-will be able to obtain guns.
Everyone else? Nope.
In part, this is because strict " may-issue " processes
are designed to be so convoluted, time-consuming and
expensive that only a handful of people end up being able
56

FEBRUARY 2021 I AMERICA'S 1 ST FREEDOM

to navigate them. In part, this is because actors, industry
giants and socialites are able to leverage their contacts in
government in a way most people cannot. But it is also
because public officials who have been told to limit the
process tend to be more convinced by the claims of people who may have a large megaphone than by the claims
of the " invisible. "
The actor Robert De Niro is licensed to carry a firearm in New York City on the grounds that, as a prominent person, he is liable to be threatened. Which,
okay, he probably is. But here's the thing: So are tens of
thousands of other people in New York, almost none of
whom have De Niro's resources or celebrity status. It is
nothing short of a scandal that, in a city of seven million
Americans, the only people who are allowed to exercise
their rights are the ones who can afford private security
and a life separated from quotidian risk.
Illustration: Gary Locke



America's First Freedom - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - February 2021

Contents
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW2
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Contents
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 3
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 4
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 5
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 6
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 7
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 8
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 9
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 10
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 11
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 12
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 13
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 14
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 15
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 16
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 17
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 18
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 19
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 20
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 21
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 22
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 23
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 24
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 25
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 26
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 27
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 28
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 29
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 30
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 31
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 32
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 33
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 34
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 35
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 36
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 37
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 38
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 39
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 40
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 41
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 42
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 43
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 44
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 45
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 46
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 47
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 48
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 49
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 50
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 51
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 52
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 53
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 54
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 55
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 56
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover4
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW3
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW4
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