A modified and rather weak gun bill Amendment, requiring background checks, went down to defeat 54-46 in the Senate April 17. It couldn’t garner the needed 60 votes to override a Republican filibuster. Ninety percent of Americans supported this legislation making it more difficult for criminals and the insane to purchase guns frequently used in mass murders. The Senate also failed to even consider a ban on military assault weapons. Wimps.
Four cowardly Democrats joined 41 Republicans, including Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, in selling out the American people to the gun lobby. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s no vote was procedural to allow him to bring this up again. They basically told the friends and families of those killed at Newtown and the 3,513 victims of gun violence since Newtown, to get lost. A few actually told the relatives of the dead that this was none of their business. Rand Paul’s comments, calling the victims families “props” was disgusting. That’s like Judas telling the Christians that the death of Christ was none of their business.
Three Democrats — Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Begich of Alaska and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — need to be voted out by Democrats in the primaries the next time they run for office. Max Baucus of Montana won’t run again. All of them repeated the willful lie of the NRA which said the bill would prevent private gun sales. They knew it was a lie. My gun collector friend in Arizona knew it was a lie and was upset about it. He thought the Senate bill was OK.
A spokesman for the NRA, recently on the Chris Matthews’ show, actually said, “No one would knowingly sell a gun to a criminal.” Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, a strong supporter of the background check bill, said on Matthews’ show that most all guns found in possession of criminals were purchased, not stolen. The truth is gun dealers don’t give a damn who they sell a gun to as long as the check doesn’t bounce. That’s the only check they’re interested in. Between 1982 and 2012 there were 60 mass shootings in the U.S.; in 48 of the cases the guns were purchased, not stolen.
Gang members in Chicago and other major cities buy AR15s, AK 47s and cartridge magazines that hold 30 rounds from those folks the NRA claims would never sell guns to criminals. Opportunists in the suburbs and rural America buy guns at shows and peddle them for twice the money to gangs in major cities. Now gang members can buy what they need over the Internet. It has to stop.
Trafficking in firearms is a major problem, I’ve always tried to listen to gun people and reach a middle ground on gun regulations. I have generally taken a soft approach on banning some guns although it makes perfectly good sense to ban military type weapons from our streets.
Requiring background checks is just plan common sense and a reasonable approach. It doesn’t make sense to vote this down. The NRA and its supporters have always said the problem is not the guns, it’s people. Right. So why not have background checks to help keep guns out of the hands of people who kill people? The problem is not just people; the problem is too many people shot dead.
Now the NRA and its paid representatives have left me with no alternative but to aggressively support the ban on military type assaultweapons and magazines that carry many shells. If the NRA and members of Congress and the Senate won’t accept an approach which targets felonsand the mentally ill, then all we can do is ban the weapons frequentlyused in mass killings and the killing of our children on city streets.
Here’s a somewhat flawed but intriguing idea that would send the NRA up the wall. Let’s say every firearm sold must be fired and where possible, the shell kept for a possible match in the event the gun is used in a killing. This would require that we know the purchaser of the weapon and that, my friends, would cause the NRA to go totally bonkers. But, if they won’t even compromise on background checks, to heck with them.
“With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases. And it’s just plain common sense that there be a waiting period to allow local law-enforcement officials to conduct background checks.” — Ronald Reagan
“There is no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying a loaded weapon.” — Ronald Reagan.
Glen McAdoo is a Churchill County resident who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.