Gun Owners Must Support Sensible Gun Laws

Posted By Levi

July 23rd, 2012 4:23pm

Category: Guns

UPDATE BELOW

I am not against individuals owning guns so long as there are sensible restrictions in place. It’s one thing to own a gun in rural Alabama or Arizona but another to own guns in urban centers such as New York City where they contribute significantly to criminal activities.

 I simply don’t understand why the majority members of the National Rifle Association allow its leadership to oppose just about every sensible law that has been proposed to curb gun violence yet pushing the passage of outrageous gun rights laws in various states. It is time for the rank and file membership to demand that is leadership stop scaring people by telling them that the Obama administration is planning to take away their guns. Polls have shown that the majority of gun owners are moderate and do not support the leadership on many of its policies. For example, in one recent poll

•  86 percent of all gun owners believe the country can “do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.”
•  78 percent of NRA members support “requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen.”
•  82 percent of NRA members support “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns.”
•  69 percent of NRA members support “requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns.”

According to the New York Times this morning, the suspect in the Colorado shooting was able to build a 6,000-round arsenal legally.  

“Unhindered by federal background checks or government oversight, the 24-year-old man accused of killing a dozen people inside a Colorado movie theater was able to build what the police called a 6,000-round arsenal legally and easily over the Internet, exploiting what critics call a virtual absence of any laws regulating ammunition sales. With a few keystrokes, the suspect, James E. Holmes, ordered 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun — an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police. It was pretty much as easy as ordering a book from Amazon.’

What kind of decent, civilized society allows ithis sort of thing to take place. According to this story, since 1982, there have been at least 36 mass murder  carried out with firearms across the United States. For those in the NRA who are not aware of what your leadership is doing, think about these. Cliff Schecter writes at AlterNet:

1. Gun Show Loophole
Currently, in over 30 states, one can walk into a local gun show and purchase a weapon from a “private seller,” who does not have to conduct any kind of background check. For example, a .50 caliber sniper rifle, which can take down a helicopter. The NRA has fought to block any and all efforts to pass a federal law closing this infamous gun show loophole, as well as any efforts in the states. (But remember, they are anti-crime!)

2. Terror Gap
If you are put on the U.S. terror watch list you cannot board an airplane. You can, however, still purchase guns and explosives. According to the Government Accountability Office, “From February 2004 through February 2010, 1,228 individuals on the watch list underwent background checks to purchase firearms or explosives; 1,119, or 91 percent, of these transactions were approved.” NRA members understand this even if their leadership stubbornly tries to protect the gun-ownership rights of terrorists. Eighty-two percent of NRA members think this gap should be closed.

3. Tiahrt Amendments
Named in honor of former Kansas Republican Congressman Todd Tiahrt, this is part of the NRA’s constant effort to hamper, harass and harangue any government effort to get to the bottom of how guns came to be used in a crime. These amendments, attached to federal spending bills, do their best to severely limit law enforcement’s ability to access, use and share data that helps them enforce federal, state and local gun laws.

4. Reporting Lost and Stolen Guns
Supporting provisions requiring this would seem to be only common sense. But there is not much of that present among the NRA’s leadership. For example, the NRA has not only fought all efforts to make reporting lost or stolen guns to the police a requirement, but in Pennsylvania, where scores of cities and townships have picked up the slack by passing these measures themselves, the NRA have actually threatened to sue to overturn these laws.

Update:
Bill Moyers has harsh words for the NRA. Watch

 

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