Mustering the Savvy to Defend the Second Amendment

My Congressman, Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), has a new video available on his official Congressional website, and his defense of Second Amendment rights is excellent . . . if you can only remember what he is saying.

Unfortunately, his long-standing sincere passion for conservative values is not very apparent in his performance before the camera. 

And make no mistake about it, however honest, however sincere, an appearance before the public is a performance. 

The current situation in Washington demands a performance that sticks in people’s minds.

Certainly if AOC, that waitress/jaleo-dancer-turned-Marxist-Kewpie-Doll, can use her media performances to spread more leftist poison than a gypsy crop duster on a windy day, Alex Mooney can do better to counter the progressives. 

After all, he has a well-ordered mind, a Dartmouth degree in philosophy, and is married to a brain surgeon, while AOC merely has various “Justice Democrat” handlers who take turns shoving a hand up her spine to make her lips move in the greatest ventriloquist act since Señor Wences.

AOC has learned that television transfers information by perception of images and sound, a critically important fact that Congressman Mooney has yet to fully embrace and act upon.

In his latest video, he chose to stand in front of Nancy Pelosi’s seven-foot-tall concertina-topped Capitol fence, but the cameraman had him badly framed: It seemed he was wearing the Capitol dome like the Pope’s Mitre Auriphygiata. (Actually, he looks good in a mitre; and, given that he’s being redistricted out of a job next cycle, there’s always the Vatican.)

But back to the video: Dressed in his default, nondescript charcoal gray suit, the sun angle had him squinting in the general direction of the camera, while half his face was overexposed and his eyes were in shadow and not making contact with his audience. His staccato speech pattern made it difficult to focus on the points he was making and remember them. 

It is most ironic that his unpolished delivery belies his important hard work in defending against efforts to erode the Second Amendment by the leftist Biden Administration and its progressive (read communist) lackeys in Congress. 

It is, after all, the right to keep and bear arms which was the proximate cause, exactly 246 years ago, of the showdown on Lexington Green that heralded the start of the American Revolution and all that has followed. 

While Congressman Mooney did delineate several bills he is sponsoring or co-sponsoring in his video—particularly his effort on H.R. 1132, intended to ensure the privacy of gun owners whose purchases are run through the National Instant Check System or NICS—unfortunately, because the byzantine maneuverings of Washington Swamp Creatures may have already outflanked him, this co-sponsored bill may already be a non sequitur

Those wonderful folks at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have put a bureaucratic spin on the phrase nacht und nebel

These fine, upstanding, number-crunching bb-stackers recently put on their green eyeshades and distributed an “administrative update” of good old Form 4473, called, guess what? Form 4473-5300-9.

The form changes the way information about gun buyers is documented. While NICS is only supposed to retain the new Form 4473-5300-9 data for successful background checks 24 hours and delayed background checks for only 90 days, BATF has a completely different set of rules for Federal Firearms Licensees.

Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) must use this form each time they access NICS to transfer guns between buyer and seller. The new update, yawningly dismissed as just another piece of federal paperwork, tends to lob privacy right out the window. 

Here’s why:

While the old Form 4473 had sworn statements on page 1, signature on page 2, and gun information and the gun serial number on page 3, the new Form 4473-5300-9 has gun information, serial number and your personal identification all together on page 1. Only the signature is on page 2. 

Here’s where it gets interesting: Because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reserves the right to “audit” each individual FFL’s complete ledger of transfers at any time, the FFL must also keep the original hard copies of the various Forms 4473 indefinitely.

Thus, while the legislation behind the old Form 4473 essentially created a de facto National Gun Registry (but a very clunky one, because all the multi-page applications are in each individual FFL’s possession and not on a government electronic database) the new Form 4473-5300-9 makes it a lot less clunky to get gun serials and owner information from the FFL in one glance. So much for privacy. 

Imagine what the Biden Administration could do to Second Amendment rights with an executive order requiring a “national audit” of all the FFL ledgers to “insure their integrity” (copy them) as a firewall against “right wing domestic terrorism.”  

It also would be interesting to have Congressman Mooney muse upon the meaning of block 18a of Form 4473-5300-9. 

In view of the fact that he is half Cuban, does he check “Hispanic or Latino” or “Not Hispanic or Latino”?  

Either way, some hardened bureaucrat at BATF could conceivably charge him with making a false statement (a felony) because his last name is Mooney. 

(One can assume with great certainty that it wouldn’t be the same guy working on the Hunter Biden Form 4473 imbroglio). 

At this writing, David Chipman, a former career BATF agent and, by observation, a moonraker so daft that other moonrakers would swear he’s giving them a bad name, has been nominated to be the Director of BATF. Perhaps Congressman Mooney should hold a hearing and ask him how the good Congressman should correctly answer Box 18a?

One last thing Alex, next time you do a video on Second Amendment issues, why don’t you do it at a gun range. In West Virginia. With West Virginians. Like me and thousands more who are as passionate about the Second Amendment as you are. Maybe the flash and report of gunshots, the smell of cordite, and the zeitgeist of other West Virginians will help fire up your video.


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About Chuck de Caro

Chuck de Caro is a contributor to American Greatness. He was CNN's very first Special Assignments Correspondent. Educated at Marion Military Institute and the U.S. Air Force Academy, he later served with the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He has taught information warfare (SOFTWAR) at the National Defense University and the National Intelligence University. He was an outside consultant for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment for 25 years. A pilot since he was 17, he is currently working on a book about the World War I efforts of Fiorello La Guardia, Giulio Douhet, and Gianni Caproni, which led directly to today’s U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command.

Photo: (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)