I’ve Had Enough!

I’m tired of a special purpose “media” castigating an inanimate object (a gun) and raging about “gun violence”.
And I’m tired of the fickle finger of blame being cast at a “vast right-wing conspiracy” of “gun-loving NRA members” with cries to “just do something”!

The recent shootings at a Texas elementary school, the Buffalo, NY shooting, and one in Tulsa are unacceptable! The fact, as we all know, is that the root cause of such events is pure evil!

Meanwhile, a headline in The Chicago Sun Times declares “51 People Shot Over Memorial Day Weekend1 – comprised of 43 injuries and 9 deaths, with most taking place in the same police district in which there had been two previous mass shootings.  

Plain and simple, all these events, dating back to Columbine in the ‘90’s, are acts of human evil and violence. We all know the stories. but seldom do we get the facts from our news sources. The politicians, news media, and uneducated (to firearms) elite mandate upon all of us that “common sense” gun control has got to be enacted NOW. Nowhere do you hear a word about ending violence, or crime in general.

I’m don’t want to beat the same drum I did in a previous Bob’s Blog post, Really, Come on Man!!! (8/24/21) but I really think we (law-abiding firearm owners) sometimes are missing the boat. Just as the anti-gun crowd has a common rhetoric and mantra, all too often our common retort focuses (rightly so) on our 2nd Amendment rights and defensively saying “come ‘n get ‘em” about our firearms. It’s about time to change this mantra into one about action focused on the root causes – crime, violence, and mental health. We need to start being proactive and not reactive.

The current response to these tragedies in Congress is being debated in House Judiciary Committee hearings2. The bill in question is House Bill HR.7910, currently being reviewed in the House Judiciary Committee.  

In that hearing, Florida Congressman Greg Steube (R. Fla) addressed his fellow committee members (chaired by Congressman Jerry Nadler (D. NY)) remotely from his home. He exposed the idiocy and hypocrisy of the past & proposed legislation for attacking legal firearm owners as opposed to proposing meaningful actions focused on crime and violence. If you haven’t seen or heard his five-minute contribution, you can give it a listen HERE

(updated 6/6/22)  Sponsored by 116 Democrat representatives and 1 Republican, with Mr. Nadler, the primary sponsor, cited the “constitutional authority” for this legislation as, you guessed it, the “commerce clause” – 3rd Paragraph, Article 1, Section 8, which covers regulating commerce with “foreign nations, and among the several states,…”!

While this was just posted on the Congressional website, I have only taken a quick scan of the 42-page bill. That said,

NO WHERE in its content is there any mention of evil criminal activities nor the perpetrators of the acts of “gun violence”  While addressing sale/manufacture of “ghost guns”, “high” capacity magazines (>10 rnds), and raising the legal age to purchase semi-automatic center-fire rifles and shotguns, it does nothing to keep firearms our of criminal hands, nor increase penalties for commission of a felony using a firearm, which would be “common” sense to me.  

I was surprised however, at least in my read, that no action is taken to regarding background checks, however there is language addressing “straw” purchases.

You can access the complete legislation at the US Congress web site HERE.

Interactions With Gun Control Advocates

Despite the direction Congress takes, there are a few simple steps we can take in our daily discourse on the topic:  Whenever discussing proposed and existing legislative actions, don’t immediately refute the initiative in a condescending manner. Instead, agree with the other party that something must be done about violent crime, then ask simple statements & questions:

  • Can you tell me exactly how that (bill, law, regulation, policy) applies to reducing the evil intent of criminals that act in this way?”
  • “In nearly every “mass shooting” the perpetrator is already violating one or more existing federal, state, or local laws or ordinances. How would this additional proposed law have changed the shooter’s evil behavior?”

Another point gun control advocates most always bring up is the “gun show loophole” and the need for “universal” background checks3.  We generally attempt to explain this “myth” by telling them little about gun shows and background checks, and more about how BGCs do exist and how effective they are.

A better approach is to start off by agreeing with them. Admitting there indeed is a “myth” about BGCs – not necessarily specific to gun shows, but rather regarding the transfer of private property among private individuals.  

  • What do you mean by “universal” background checks?” (let them explain, then expand on their response)
  • “You do have a point about such transfers.  Whether it be at a gun show, a local park, or a private home, the federal government currently has a mechanism, (used by the States), to regulate such a transfer as has been law since November 1998.”
  • “Yes, that’s true. But tell me, as a law abiding individual, should you be required to contact an agent of the federal government when selling your car, or even loaning your keys to a friend, or buying a kitchen knife, or another item of personal property to a neighbor, family member, of acquaintance?”

Legal Authority

The 2nd Amendment prohibits the US Government from establishing any “infringement” on a citizen’s right to bear arms.  Even Wikipedia (not a gun-loving conservative source) explains that the “gun show loophole “is a political term in the United States referring to the sale of firearms by private sellers”. Key word – “political.” Not legal!

In such situations the 10th Amendment then applies as it states that “powers NOT delegated to the US by the Constitution …are reserved to the States, or to the people”.

As shown at left, currently 16 states require (VA since 2020) background checks for firearm transfers between private individuals.

In practical application, the instant check program (NICS), initiated by the 1968 Gun Control Act, the Federal Government, provides access to the database by individual states, however, the individual states (usually State Police) conduct the NICS check by accessing the federal crime database. The US Government is not currently, nor historically, conducting these checks themselves 

The bottom line?  When in a discussion about firearm laws acknowledge that the proper authority to control such purchases and transfers are the States themselves.  Even the uneducated (gun control advocates) would benefit from first knowing & understanding local existing laws.

A Resource

The United States Concealed Carry Association4 compiles and keeps current, complete state-by-state information on all firearm laws using a freely accessible color-coordinated map. Using Virginia as an example, the image at right shows (in green) those states welcoming Virginia Concealed Handgun Permits. Further, clicking on any individual state populates the space below (scroll down) with the state-specific firearms laws. Keep scrolling for complete firearm law specifics. Click on the map to be taken to the USCCA tool.

DISCLAIMER:  I am a member of and recruiter for USCCA.  If you are interested in the many benefits they offer in education, training, and self-defense insurance, click HERE to learn more.  Joining using this link provides me with merchandise gifts I can us in my training classes.

Well, that’s enough for this today – time to prep to train a few more folks on being a “responsibly” armed American!

Bob

Footnotes:

  1. Chicago Sun Times article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2022/5/29/23146412/chicago-shootings-memorial-day-weekend
  2. Roll Call: June 2nd, 2022: “House Judiciary Committee advances gun control bill”;
  3. Gun show loophole;  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_show_loophole
  4. USCCA Web Site https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/referral?id=MDAxajAwMDAwMTdRYWtvQUFD&tID=6282203b583db

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