Guns don’t kill people. We hear that a lot but in today’s society they sure seem used by others to get the job done. Most recently we’re all aware of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting where 20 children and 6 adults lost their lives at the hands of 20 year old Adam Lanza. This is a heartbreaking event and many have called for stricter gun control laws. But is that the answer? In looking at this event on its own, Lanza was refused his request to purchase a gun. Why? He didn’t want to wait 14 days for the background check.
So now the law did in fact stop someone from purchasing a gun. Did it stop him from getting a gun? Obviously not. Instead he went to his mothers collection as she had several guns she used on the ranges and for her own hobbies. Adding insult to injury, Lanza kills his mother before the rampage then himself at the end.
Following the tragedy, people understandably want to know how to prevent this in the future. But how many people actually understand what gun control laws are already on the books? Does anyone look or just scream “SOMETHING MUST BE DONE”? until politicians politicize the horror for their own gain. Unfortunately the laws vary from state to state in what it takes to get one. For Sandy Lake, there was the 14 day background check. In Texas, it’s about a 14 minute background check.
Then trying to define what an “assault rifle” is to begin with clouds the picture even more and every modern feature of a gun now falls under a broad classification so things like >10 round clips may be “illegal” soon. Iowa, however, isn’t even happy with that. They want to retroactively take all semi-automatic weapons away from their legal owners and destroy them.
Iowa State Rep Dan Muhlbauer flat out wants your semi-automatic weapons taken from you.
“We cannot have big guns out here as far as the big guns that are out here, the semi-automatics and all of them,” Muhlbauer told the newspaper during a December 19 audiotaped interview. “We can’t have those running around out here. Those are not hunting weapons.”
“Big guns”? Pray tell, what is a “big gun”? Makes it pretty easy to regulate it if you use words broad, vague and without merit. However, it gets worse.
“We should ban those in Iowa,” he said, adding that such a ban should be applied retroactively.
“We need to get them off the streets — illegally — and even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them,” Muhlbauer told the Daily Times Herald. “We can’t have those out there. Because if they’re out there they’re just going to get circulated around to the wrong people. Those guns should not be in the public’s hands. There are just too many guns.”
Illegally? Did a State Representative just say it would be ok to “illegally” take away legally purchased guns? This is typical overreaction to either appease voters who are likely hurting or someone is a lot more liberal than should be tolerated.
Then again, we do have Judges who feel differently. Judge Andrew Napolitano recently posted this on facebook: (see his page)
The second amendment wasn’t written so we could go hunting. It was written so we could shoot at the government if it was ever taken over by tyrants.
Is it coming to this? Well, it’s being reported that the White House may implement Gun Control via Executive Action. You know, bypassing Congress and not even taking up for debate. (reference) To take it a step further, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo now wants to enact the toughest assault rifle bad in the nation. Period. How he defines these moves are pretty mystifying as well.
1. Enact the toughest assault weapon band in the nation, period.
2. Close the loophole of private sales
3. Ban high capacity magazines
4. Tougher penalties for illegal gun use
5. Keep guns from the mentally ill
6. Ban direct internet sales of ammo
7. Check *all* ammo purchases
Wow. Some of these are a given, such as mentally ill, but how is this defined? Who gets to make that determination? What penalties are already in place for illegal gun use? Just what *is* illegal gun use? How can you stop the private sale of guns? 6-7 of his list are just ignorance in motion.
All this controversy over “assault rifles” – just what *is* an “assault rifle”?
Military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire. Light and portable, yet able to deliver a high volume of fire with reasonable accuracy at modern combat ranges of 1,000–1,600 ft (300–500 m), assault rifles have become the standard infantry weapon of modern armies. Their ease of handling makes them ideal for mobile assault troops crowded into personnel carriers or helicopters, as well as for guerrilla fighters engaged in jungle or urban warfare. Widely used assault rifles are the U.S. M16, the Soviet Kalashnikov (theAK-47 and modernized versions), the Belgian FAL and FNC, and the German G3.
This would seem to cover it, and this would already disqualify most of what the politicians are out to regulate. You see, the trick is “semi-automatic and fully automatic”. Fully automatic weapons are highly scrutinized in the US and have been since 1934. So now the move switches to semi-automatic guns that have the look and feel of the military automatic weapons.
Only, semi-automatic can be anything from a 9mm handgun to a .22 rifle, to well, just about any modern rifle is semi-automatic. That would be a huge issue to get through much less enforce, so they start banning the “traits” of the gun. These traits would include a collapsible stock, pistol grip, no more than 10 bullets in a clip, where would it end? Apparently where Government wants it to.
There have been bans before, notably in 1994 when it was illegal to manufacture an assault rifle for use by private citizens. Any weapon made before this ban were legal to own and sell. But did this have any actual effect on gun violence? There is no real proof the ban accomplished anything at all. Also consider only 2 to 8 percent of gun crimes utilized an “assault rifle” (reference)
It’s obvious clarity needs to be provided in what is being asked for vs. what we already have in place. There *are* more sane measures that can be taken to help with the problem. It’s unlikely there will ever be a 100% iron clad way to define “assault rifles” (other than “they look military!”) and even harder to define them without also classifying standard hunting rifles in the mix. Measures that would seem to make sense include
1. Education. Simply put, before you should be allowed to purchase a gun, you must take a class going over guns, their safety, cleaning, and a set number of hours on a training range to practice the use of weapons. This is similar to CHP (concealed handgun permit) laws that you need in order to carry a pistol on you in public.
2. Education leads to certification. This process should allow not only learning the weapon, but a thorough background check as well. Once the process is successfully completed, you will have your permit that will allow you to purchase guns without additional checks.
3. Refresh permit every (2) years. This shouldn’t require additional classes or training, but it should rescan your background to ensure you still qualify for gun ownership. If not, then you would be required to turn your guns into the local police until the matter can be cleared up. If it can’t be resolved, the guns could be sold at auction and the funds turned over to the previous owner.
4. Better mental health programs and treatment for those exhibiting questionable behavior. This one is broad based to be sure and also subject to interpretation, but it’s something to consider as this country fights a never ending battle of just what to do.
Measures that track ammo purchased, makes the sale over the internet illegal and the like wouldn’t resolve a thing but would only be used to “build cases” for further regulation. For example, if someone is found to have purchased several thousand rounds of ammo would it “flag” them? What if they do a lot of target practice and participate in events that do in fact go through a lot of ammo?
Then again, our own government would have a huge red flag itself as they’ve purchased over a billion rounds of ammo in the last year. (reference) What on earth do they need this ammo for?
Makes you wonder why they’re so strict to control the private citizen use of guns, yet they load up for what could be interpreted as an impending “unrest” of these proposed changes.
Stay strong, Judge Andrew Napolitano. Stay strong for us all.0