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What the Moms say they want...
What a Gun Guy says it really means.

Written by Marv Stenhammar for Mothers Day 2000

Organizers of the so called Million Mom March are calling for a range of gun-control measures they argue will prevent violence.  The National Rifle Association and other critics counter that stricter laws will hinder law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and have little or no impact on criminals who ignore gun laws.

Here are the MMM demands and the NRA position on the issues.  The bulleted responses are my own opinions on what it really means. 

Licensing and Registration -- The MMM wants mandatory licensing of all handgun owners and registration of all handguns as a way to hold gun owners accountable for their weapons' use, just as licensing drivers helps enforce traffic laws.  The NRA argues that such laws don't work because gun-toting criminals ignore licensing laws; only responsible citizens would end up standing in line to be fingerprinted.
  • A gun guys concern:  Firearms registration will lead to firearms confiscation.  This is the ultimate goal of Handgun Control International (HCI) and may anti gun groups including the leadership of the Democratic party.  They make great sounding blanket statements like "It is bad when someone gets shot".  An easy to agree with statement, that really says nothing about the pervasive social and economic problems that lead to most gun crimes, and the masses nod their collective heads in agreement.   What they mean "We are going to get the guns".  They say it all the time and fortunately they have been more open about their ultimate goal, the out right banning of firearms for "normal citizens", in the past few years.  

  • They will start with politically incorrect firearms like the AR-15, the STG-58 and the popular sporting arms that look like military rifles, but are in fact just semi-automatic sport and defensive rifles.  Then they will be in a position to dictate the type and style of the features that are "acceptable" to the political masters and soon we are left with arms that are ineffective for most sporting activities and are wholly inadequate for self defense. 

  • Sounds like the ranting of a paranoid gun nut:  This scary confiscation scenario is already happening in California so it is not a paranoid delusion of a crazed gun nut.  The government of California swore that registration would not lead to confiscation and yet a mere 5 years later the legally owned, lawfully registered sport rifles are being confiscated by the state.

  • The MMM promotes registration as a way to keep track of guns and bad guys, 
    however it is not only impossible to enforce registration with criminals, it 
    is also unconstitutional.  Making someone who is prohibited by law from owning a 
    firearm register that firearm is in fact forcing them to incriminate themselves, thereby violating their fifth amendment rights. Thus, even if such a law passed and you caught a felon with an unregistered firearm, they could not be prosecuted for failing to register an illegally obtained or possessed gun. 

Safety training -- The MMM wants mandatory safety training for all handgun buyers.  The NRA says it's the leader in voluntary safety training and that its program has been successful.  The NRA also contends that requiring training creates an unfair obstacle to gun buyers.

  • Another feel good, all nod your head, sounds like common since gun law.  In fact it is another way for the state to decide who can have a gun and when you can get it.  Administrative impediments to immediate access to a firearm can and do cost people their lives.  Using the state imposed waiting periods as an example, there are hundreds of people, mostly women, who are killed or gravely injured while waiting to fulfill this administrative requirement.  A scenario could be created at the local level where the training needed to get your safety class and certification are manipulated and made hard to get, in an attempt to further limit the lawful firearms purchaser from being able to have a firearm when they think they need it.  

  • Sounds like more ravings of a paranoid gun nut:  This tactic is already being used in many communities to limit or completely stop any new Conceal Carry Licenses or Gun Permits and is currently used in anti gun jurisdictions to restrict or limit purchase permits that already require a letter of authorization from the CLEO [ Chief law Enforcement Officer].  In several North Carolina counties, the CLEO does not authorize any CCL or new gun purchases, and the state has a CCL Law.  Another example of an administrative abuse of the system that currently effectively prohibit law abiding citizens from purchasing or carrying a handgun.  In many cities, some that have the highest gun crime rates in the world, handguns have been administratively banned for several years.

Safety devices -- MMM wants all new handguns to have child-safety devices, such as trigger locks or "smart technology" that recognizes the owner.  Critics say safety locks can prevent gun owners from using their weapons quickly for self-defense.

  • Under current state and federal law, adult firearm owners must keep there firearm secured, if they don't they can be jailed and fined.  As adults they should have the right to determine a firearms security plan that effectively suits there personal situation.  Built in safety devices can get you killed.  There is no technology available that works in all situations.

Background checks -- MMM wants these checks for all handgun purchases to make sure criminals and the mentally ill cannot buy firearms.  The NRA supports background checks, even at gun shows, which are now exempted for individual person to person sales.  The NRA argues that recent proposals in Congress to require such checks, however, were crafted by opponents who truly aimed to shut down gun shows.  The NRA wants to make sure gun shows thrive as a way for collectors to trade guns.

  • The antis will tell you that guns sales at gun shows are currently exempt from the background checks or the NICS [National instant Check System], the so called "Gun Show Loophole" but this is just a lie.  Most gun show sales are conducted by Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers or FFL's.  They must under current federal law perform a NICS check on all buyers of all guns they sell and all handgun buyers also have to have a purchase permit signed by the local CLEO.  This permit requires a background check and a medical records check.  In many counties this permit is very hard to get if not impossible.  As far as the "Gun Show Loophole" Only individual sales, from non-gun dealers to other private non-dealers are exempt from the background check.

  • The NICS was not set up and makes no provision for an individual gun owner to run a background check on another private individual.  The requirement could be used to track gun owners for future confiscation and could even prevent a mother from giving a shotgun to her 22 year old son for a birthday present.  Most gun show promoters do not allow private citizens to set up a table and sell guns at gun shows.  This is a recent development that has occurred to protect gun show promoters and gun dealers from the antis who want to close all gun shows.

  • A Gun Guy tells the truth:  The Government does not want you to know the truth about gun show sales.  The Department of Justice did a two year study on the source of firearms used in criminal activities and on guns used by professional criminals, in an effort to show that gun shows were a pox on civilization and were just evil arms bazaar's used by criminals and anti government nuts.  When the study showed that less than 2 percent of the firearms used by criminals were bought by someone at a gun show, they quietly shelved the report with no public announcement of fan fair.

Purchase limits -- MMM wants handgun purchases limited to one per month per buyer, contending that this measure would make it riskier and less profitable for black market gun dealers to hire straw purchasers (with clean backgrounds) to buy large caches of guns in states with lax gun laws and then resell them in New Jersey and other states with tough restrictions. The NRA says it is unfair to ration a legal product that way.

  • This is just another attempt to keep firearms out to the hands of law abiding citizens.  It stupid and it is my least favorite type of enforcement.  Here is how it goes.  Instead of enforcing an existing law we make a new one that is intended to do the same  thing.  We already have a law against straw purchases and illegal gun running.  Instead of cracking down on the criminals who break those existing laws, the anti gun types want to create an all new law to do the same thing, that in fact would only hurt people who already abide buy the current laws.  

  • The ravings of a gun nut:  What make one think a person who will ignore the laws on murder will follow the laws on guns?  Keep in mind that by definition a criminal is one who does not follow or abide by the law.  All the new laws in the world will not change that.  Only strict enforcement of well written laws and policies that change our social problems at the root of those problems will change the crime rate and reduce gun violence in America.

Federal regulations -- MMM says guns should be subject to consumer safety laws, as are toys, food, and other goods.  The NRA says firearm makers are already heavily regulated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and state agencies.

  • The gun manufacturers are already liable for damages and injury caused by a malfunctioning firearm.  If your Smith blows a chamber and takes off your pinky finger, you have a right to sue S&W in court and would win a settlement.  What the anti gunners want is a law that says if a criminal uses the gun to commit a crime and shoots your pinky finger off during the comision of this crime, that the gun manufacturer should be responsible for any damages caused by the criminal misuse of the firearm.  In no other case is this applicable law.  

  • You're just gun crazy:  If a car nut takes a Ford Explorer and drives over 16 ducks and a little old lady (a duck herding little old lady) we do not hold the Ford Motor Company liable for damages.  So if this makes sense for Ford, why should we hold a firearms  manufacturer responsible for the criminal misuse of their product.

Enforcement -- MMM and the NRA agree that existing gun laws must be better enforced.

  • The Clinton administration has failed to enforce current firearms laws and the rate of prosecutions of firearms laws is down more than 80% under this administration.  All the while vilifying lawful gun owners, firearms manufacturers, pro firearms organizations and the NRA.  They will never tell you that 99.89 percent of the over 200 million firearms in America will never be used in a crime or that over 1 million American use lawful firearms to defend themselves and there loved one every year.

  • A socially liberal gun nut speaks:  We have it in our power as a great country full of smart and well meaning peoples of all creeds and colors to beat this problem of gun violence.  It has to start with people taking care of other people and with the family in what ever flavor the family is defined as these days.  Strict punishment and long prison sentences for the small percentage of hard core repeat offenders would eliminate 95% of the crime in America.  We have to create a social system that lets people know that violence against others will not be tolerated in any case, except for the case of self defense.  This edict must be stressed and it must be backed up by laws that keep men from beating women and parents from beating children.  We must take care of our poor and abused children and create social systems to help the poor and disadvantaged in our society.  Until we do we will be faced with violent youth and criminal behavior.  We must have a national policy against violence, poverty and social injustice, not a policy against guns.

Written by A Gun Guy who cares.  Regards and happy Mothers Day,

MarV Stenhammar
Marvin V. Stenhammar
Founder / Director
The Gunnery Network

On the Web at http://www.GunneryNetwork.com

For more information on the so called Million Mom March see the Gunnery Network article

More Like a Quarter-of-a-Million Moms.


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