This is the second installment on the gun rights issue which I started yesterday. It is obvious that words cannot adequately express the horrific shooting rampage that occurred in Las Vegas. The time is now past when we fail to take action to enact measures that may help to prevent such carnage in the future. We can no longer accept the unwillingness of Congress to address this matter in an effective way. The far right extremist members of The National Rifle Association cannot be given any more credence. This cannot just be another sad and terrible story that goes away after a week or so. The time is now!
First of all let me say the overwhelming majority of NRA members are not fanatics. Most are sportsmen and sportswoman who enjoy hunting and the hunter and gun safety programs the NRA offers. Most do not see the need for semi-automatic assault rifles such as the AR-15, AR-16, or AK-47.
The purpose of these rifles is for one thing – to kill another human being. It is a tool of war. They have no place in our society with a couple of exceptions which I will explain later in this post.
Having said that, my next comment may be a bit of stretch. Resistance against those who seek to maintain their same old arguments with the same old cliches (“guns don’t kill people. People kill people”). But people don’t kill people with fly swatters! The Resistance could include not only Progressive Democrats, but also Democrats who feel the issue cannot just fade away. In addition it could also include like-minded Independents, moderate members of the NRA and other persons of hunting and sportsman interest groups who disagree with the gun lobby. Indeed this may be a stretch, but a stretch worth taking. The Resistance needs to keep the pressure on Congress to do the right thing for the country and not necessarily for their own political futures. Let’s take a look at what might be
- Insist the current administration to more diligently enforce the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986’s prohibitions:
Anyone who has been convicted in any court of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, excluding those crimes punishable by imprisonment related to the regulation of business practices, whose full civil rights have not been restored by the State in which the firearms disability was first imposed
Anyone who is a fugitive from justice.
Anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substances.
Anyone who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.
Any alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a non immigrant visa. The exception is if the non immigrant is in possession of a valid hunting license issue d by a US state and/or has been granted a waiver from the Attorney General.
Anyone who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
Anyone who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship
threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner. (Added in 1996, with the Lautenberg Amendment.)
Anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. (Added in 1996, with the Lautenberg Amendment)
A person who is under indictment or information for a crime (misdemeanor) punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding two cannot lawfully receive a firearm. Such person may continue to lawfully possess firearms obtained prior to the indictment or information, and if cleared or acquitted can receive firearms without restriction.
The Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agency is responsible for administration and enforcement of this act. We should ask for an accounting of how well they are doing and if the current administration supports their work.
- The Resistance Coalition for Responsible Gun Reform (there I just named the Resistance) needs to insist Congress reinstate the assault weapons ban which would effect new sales of assault weapons. No all of you paranoid gun fanatics this doesn’t mean the 82nd Airborne is going to invade your house and take away the assault weapons you own. In your case you don’t need a gun, you need a psychiatrist! Paranoia is a serious mental disorder.
- The Coalition should call for assault weapons to have only ten shot magazines. This provision doesn’t effect gun owners who already multiple shot magazines, but you won’t be buying any new ones. For those who like to go to a gun range it shouldn’t effect your enjoyment in shooting your new assault rifle.
- Congress should enact universal background checks. Allowing people to purchase guns at gun show and over the internet without a background check is ridiculous. Why is there any resistance to this from the gun lobby? I wish someone could enlighten me on this one.
- Congress should definitely enact (like maybe next week) the outlaw of “bump” or butt stocks that potentially can convert a semi-automatic assault rifle into a machine gun which are outlawed in the first place. This a no brainer folks.
This a short list of what needs to happen now! Tomorrow in the third and last installment of this discussion we will discuss why this will be a difficult task. There are plenty of obstacles as we will soon see.
I would appreciate reading your thoughts on this post and what you might agree or disagree with.
Please scroll down to the comments section if you wish to do so. Thank you for your interest.