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December 28, 2012 - John Stack
Its time for meaningful gun legislation. First, I am not for banning guns. But, regardless what I say, many will come back with some comment about ‘if you take guns away from law abiding citizens, only criminals will have guns”. That may be technically true, but it’s a straw man argument. No one is trying to take away everyone’s guns. Let me state again – I am not saying we should ban all guns. Almost everyone one in my family owns a gun, or has fired a gun. My sister works for a gun seller. My brother and his son are national caliber trap shooters. I personally believe in concealed carry for the right people. I am wholly in favor of keeping sporting guns, having grown up near Remington Arms, with many friends and parents of friends working there. Next, what is ‘gun control’? Is it any limit on gun ownership? YES yells Wayne LaPierre. But wait, we should allow 5 year olds to carry loaded Glocks? Well, no. First limit would be a age restriction. It IS gun control, but we all agree with it. Wayne LaPierre – “But that’s it!!”. How about felons? VIOLENT felons? Mentally unstable individuals? Wayne LaP – Okay, maybe … Seems like even the Exceutive Secretary is for some gun control.
How about the argument about “law abiding citizens’ ? Say I want to buy a gun at a gun show. In 33 states, if you buy a gun at a gun show, you do not have to go through any type of background check whatsoever. You show up. You prove you are 18. You walk out with a gun. Was that buyer just released from 10 years in prison for armed robbery ? Was he legally able to buy the gun? Who knows! Not the seller’s problem. How does this jive in any way with the argument about denying law abiding citizens to buy guns? The few minutes it takes to run a background check is too cumbersome? We need permits/licenses/registrations to drive a car, to hunt, to build our homes, to vote – but it is too much of a hassle to wait a couple minutes for a background check to buy the most efficient killing weapon ever made? It takes often a year for a respected business to get a liquor license!
Why do we need large capacity bullet clips? 15? 30? 100 is not enough for….what? What valid reason does someone have to have a 30 round clip on their 9MM? One of the most talked about mass killings was the Gabriel Giffords shooting. The shooter had multiple high capacity bullet magazines and stopped shooting only when he ran out of bullets in these magazines. I keep hearing the argument ‘if he didn’t have a large capacity magazine, he would have just reloaded 5 times’. Really? Everyone who goes on a killing spree is also calm, cool collected and swift with reloading gun clips? Talk about stretching credulity. Even a sociopath gets nervous, shaky, unclear. They mess up. If I was at a mass shooting, and I got to choose between a nut with 2 guns with 30 round clips, or 2 guns and only 6 bullets fit in a gun, I would take the latter –EVERY .SINGLE. TIME. So would you. I really can’t think of a scenario where the benefit of having a large capacity mag outweighs the increased killing capacity by a violent gunman.
Finally – although the NRA speech last Friday seemed to most logical people to be among the worst possible responses for responsible gun ownership ever, many gun rights activists are using his words as mantra. ‘Only an armed good guy can stop an armed bad guy’. This takes the tack that there is absolutely nothing we can do, crazy people will have guns, and we must kill them when we can. Except, know what also stops that bad guy? Him having no access to guns. Adam Lanza’s mother was a ‘good guy’ with a gun. She was killed by that very gun. Then 20 children and 6 others died because of Adam Lanza’s easy access to awesome killing implements. Is it not logical that if we somehow convince more and more people to own more guns, there will be more Adam Lanza’s? More Nancy Lanza’s – who was NOT a responsible gun owner? More mentally distressed individuals would have more easy access to even more weapons?
My two cents? No valid reason to own an assault weapon. By definition, its not used for hunting, nor would it actually work as well as a pistol to defend yourself. Limit magazine sizes for guns. More background checks on gun sales, and more penalties for gun owners who do not keep their weapons safely locked away. These are – in the words of Sarah Palin – common sense solutions. Will they stop all gun crime ? No they won’t. Would it mitigate a mass shooting? Most likely. Could it prevent a mass killing by removing the ease of access to certain guns? Yes. Would it keep pistols, and sporting arms out of the hands of law abiding citizens? No….
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