| 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
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
- 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.
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
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,
Marvin V. Stenhammar
Founder / Director
The Gunnery Network
On the Web at http://www.GunneryNetwork.com