Sponsors Try Sneaking National ID Card onto Iraq War/Tsunami Aid Bill
-- National ID card is bad for gun owners, bad for constitutional government
"Republicans swept to power in Congress 10 years ago championing state prerogatives, and one of their first acts was to repeal federal speed-limit requirements. Another was aimed at ending unfunded state mandates. So last week's House vote to require costly and intrusive federal standards for state drivers licenses is a measure of how far the party has strayed from these federalist principles."
--Wall Street Journal, Feb. 19, 2005
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place Suite 102
Springfield VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
Thursday, March 3, 2005
It's now time to shift our focus to the U.S. Senate.
You may remember that the House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 418, the National ID card bill. But the bill has been met with a lukewarm reception in the Senate.
So House sponsors are now trying to increase the bill's chances by sneaking it onto a politically popular piece of legislation -- the Iraq War/Tsunami relief bill.
H.R. 418 was largely supported in the House because it purports to deal with illegal immigration and terrorism.
Too bad that H.R. 418 does not do what it is supposed to do:
* Illegals will still be able to get a driver's license without proof of citizenship in those states that permit it (about 11).
* Illegals will still be able to pour across our southern border because funding for only three miles of the 1,000 mile border was provided in H.R. 418.
* And terrorists will be able to fly with a driver's license or a passport -- and pilots are still largely unarmed thanks to the refusal of the federal government to comply with two laws enacted by Congress.
H.R. 418 is Bad for Constitutional Government
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
So, what part of "States" don't they understand? Or, to put it another way, where is it that the Constitution mentions federal control over drivers' licenses?
Yet, a faction of usually pro-freedom representatives in the House seem determined to put the federal government in charge of who may or may not get a driver's license –- perhaps the last major prerogative retained by the states.
This is the same group that is embracing a $2.57 trillion federal budget –- almost three times the level of federal spending only 25 years ago. They have simply lost their way.
Under section 202(b) of H.R. 418 –- slated to be added to the "supplemental appropriations bill" –- the federal government gives itself the authority to determine every feature on your driver's license. Some features are explicitly listed, but these enumerated features are “A MINIMUM.” In addition to these, the government can require your fingerprints, your retina scan, your concealed carry status, or any other requirement it chooses –- by executive fiat.
Backdoor Gun Control
Under section 202(c), the government grants itself the power to determine what you need to do to get a driver's license –- and who may or may not get one. Some requirements are listed, but these enumerated requirements are "A MINIMUM."
The government can impose any requirements it chooses by executive fiat. If, under a Hillary Clinton administration, a militia group –- or GOA or NRA –- were determined to be a "terrorist organization," your driver's license would be gone.
But that's not all: Under section 203, your personal information could be turned over to a non-secure database accessible to, among others, the corrupt and crime-ridden Mexican police.
And, under section 202(a)(2), the federal government would solely determine "whether a State is meeting the requirements" imposed by that very same federal government!
Spurious Arguments in Favor of H.R. 418
So what are conservative politicians saying about this monstrosity?
They say the bill mentions nothing about retina scans. And that's true. Instead, it gives the federal government an unlimited grant of power to determine every feature on your driver's license –- and it demands that you trust the government not to abuse its powers.
Have these people been asleep for the last thirty years? Have they not heard of Ruby Ridge? Or Waco? Or Elian Gonzalez?
How Officials Abuse Records on Honest Citizens
Columnist Paul Craig Roberts has been critical of the unconstitutional growth of federal police power. He found out after having been "randomly" pulled aside for intensive screening at airports that he had been put on the No Fly List.
Every time he flies he has to prove he is not a bomber by submitting to intensive screening. And this is what they do to an ex-Marine and ex-cop!
Roberts' case illustrates the kind of abuse that a national data base is already being used for.
Gun owners have long experienced the unconstitutional requirement of proving who they are when they buy a gun. The problem becomes more than theoretical when a buyer's name is the same as a prohibited person.
The buyer usually -- even if it takes a few days -- is able to prove who they are. But the records, like the No Fly List, are not permanently corrected. The citizen-suspect must prove his innocence each time he buys a gun or flies.
More Spurious Arguments
In the 9/11 bill last year, Congress included some scary National ID card provisions. Those same Congressmen are arguing that H.R. 418 would limit the scope of those provisions. However, the simple fact is that a LIMITLESS grant of power does not limit anything.
The politicians argue that the problem of illegal immigration is so profound that it overrides the provisions of the Constitution.
We agree that the problem is severe. But H.R. 418 would not bar states from issuing drivers' licenses to illegal aliens –- particularly those who have applied for asylum or status adjustment. Instead, it penalizes American citizens, while coddling illegal aliens.
ACTION: Please write your two United States Senators and ask them to reject any effort to add National ID Cards to the Iraq/Tsunami Relief bill.
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