Guns, part 2

Below are some of the ideas that have been put forward to deal with gun violence:

  1.  Background checks

There are several major bipartisan bills drawing renewed attention in the Senate at the moment, aiming to expand background checks for gun sales.

The Fix NICS Act corrects failures in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, provides more funding to states to improve their background check systems, and “penalizes political appointees at federal agencies if they don’t take steps to maintain their records.” ( Hah!)

Since 22% of sales online and at gun shows are conducted without background checks, legislation would close the gap. A previous bill proposed by Sen. Susan Collins to do just this was opposed by the NRA and, amazingly, a bill restricting gun sales to people on a terror watchlist. (patriotic, eh?)
2. Raising the age to buy rifles from 18 to 21

Hand guns can only be purchased at 21, so why not rifles? Missing not a heartbeat the NRA opposes this, calling it “gratuitous gun control”.

3.  Assault weapons ban

One Republican politician, Rep. Brian Mast, R-FL, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, has said that the AR-15 and like weapons gave mass shooters “the best killing tool the Army could put in my hands.”

After a series of high-profile mass shootings, President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which restricted features on semi-automatic pistols, rifles and shotguns. It expired in 2004 and the odds of it being passed again in Congress are remote.

4.  Bumpstock ban

Bumpstocks increase the rate of fire to resemble an automatic weapon. Bi-partisan efforts to ban them were effectively nixed by the NRA, which wanted to “regulate” them, not ban them. What regulation actually meant is dubious. However, some state and local governments have advanced their own bump stock bans.

5.  “ Red flag” laws

This involves giving courts more authority to confiscate weapons from people who are considered a threat to themselves and others. Five states have “red flag” laws that allow a judge to issue an extreme risk protection order that temporarily restricts a person from owning a gun if family, household members and police can convince them they’re a danger. This could reduce suicide rates and contain potential violence early on.  Since this idea targets individual behavior rather than control firearms themselves, this proposal does have some bi- partisan support. But, guess what? the NRA thinks such a red flag laws  would “deprive people of their Second Amendment rights without due process of the law.”!   ( It’s o.k, lads – just go on killing!)

6.  Arming teachers

Possibly the most stupid proposal to do with guns in the last century .

7.   My take:  I have the dubious experience of having a .303 military rifle bullet fired at me by one of my own soldiers, carelessly cleaning his rifle with a round up the spout. The bullet grazed the top of my head, passed through my hair and lodged in the door behind me.  I have told this story before, but I repeat it because it explains why I believe that all guns should be licensed, locked away (when not being used for hunting), and that all gun owners should be trained and certified as safe owners.

This annual massacre of the mostly innocent is obscene and disgusting, not to mention contrary to all known christian teaching (except the unique type preached in the US).   It is certainly un-Epicurean. It also misunderstands the intentions of the Founders with regard to militias, but then so few people know any history and emascúlate what they do know.


One Comment

  1. #1: I have no problem with better background checks.
    #2: If you’re old enough to vote and old enough to go to war, you should be allowed to buy guns and alcohol.
    #3: The AR-15 is a sixty-year-old design. The military could certainly put a better killing tool in the hands of soldiers, and I’m sure they will. But the civilian AR-15 lacks automatic fire, making it much less deadly than the military versions.
    #4: Bump-pull stocks are already illegal:
    #5: I don’t object to red-flag laws.
    #6: Yes, that’s silly.
    #7: There’s no way to legislatively prevent bad people from doing bad things. If we ban “assault” rifles, they’ll use something else. If we ban all guns, they’ll use knives. Or bombs. Or cars. Or fires. Or… So should we ban all the dangerous things and make 99.9% of the population suffer, or should we take reasonable precautions but accept the fact that tragedies will happen, and maybe that’s another price of freedom?

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