I think it most appropriate that I publish this on the day in which the world’s reputedly most deliberative body (Uh, that would be the US Senate, don’tcha know?) is voting on some form of gun ban, background checks, or whatever else they’ve talked themselves into at this point, which will inevitably, if it passes, further restrict our Second Amendment rights but probably will not address the real, underlying problems behind mass killings, to wit, reforming our mental health care system. And all this, just so congressional liberals, Democrats and RINOs alike, can say they did something to which they can point with pride and about which they can feel good when they go to sleep at night. (But, the road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions, isn’t it?)
Especially is this so, given the multiple instances of this or that liberal in recent months demonstrably showing that they don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to guns, ammo magazines versus clips, semi-automatic versus full-automatic weapons and often conflating and confusing a military STYLE weapon with a REAL military weapon. The examples of liberal gun ignorance, or intentional disinformation, are simply too numerous and diverse to list here.
Having said that, it seems to me that the so-called gun show loop hole is a red herring, as is the alleged Internet buying of firearms.
I live in Virginia and have attended gun shows, bought a firearm, and had to fill out the ATF form and wait for the electronic background check to clear before I was allowed to pay for and take possession of the firearm, so I don’t know what gun shows don’t follow this same procedure but they don’t seem to be in Virginia. And it makes me wonder how many of all those politicians who talk about the so-called gun show loop hole have ever actually attended a gun show anywhere. Any? Or are they merely operating off of second- or third-hand information provided by one of their obedient staffers?
As to the Internet purchase of firearms, I have not visited any websites of any weapons manufacturers/sellers which do not make crystal clear that the weapon will be sent, not to your front door in a box as some liberals would like to pretend but instead, to your local licensed gun dealer of choice, which you are required to provide the info on, and you must go there, confirm your identity, fill out the ATF form and still clear the background check before that licensed dealer will let you take possession of the firearm.
The so-called gun show loop hole and alleged unchecked Internet purchases of firearms seem about as truthful as Mr. Obama has been (once again) on his latest gun ban campaign around the country (because all he knows how to do is campaign), citing the 1997 telephone “survey” of only 250 people which allegedly revealed that 40% of firearms were bought without background checks, despite that the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 (that’s way back in 1934, folks) severely restricted the sale of real assault weapons (those capable of full automatic fire) and began requiring background checks, and that the NFA has been modified/augmented since then by the following:
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
Gun Control Act of 1968
Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (1986)
Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990) (ruled unconstitutional as originally written; has been upheld repeatedly after minor edits were made by Congress)
Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993)
Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994–2004) (now expired and FBI statistics and subsequent studies confirm it had no measurable effect on gun violence while it was in effect)
Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (2005).
And, even with all those laws about guns and bans and background checks, here’s a timeline of mass shootings in the US since Columbine (sources: ABC News and Reuters), first of 2012 alone:
February 22, 2012 — Five people were killed at a Korean health spa in Norcross, Georgia, when a man opened fire inside the facility in an act suspected to be related to domestic violence.
February 26, 2012 — Multiple gunmen began firing into a nightclub crowd in Jackson, Tennessee, killing one person and injuring 20 others.
February 27, 2012 — Three students at Chardon High School in rural Ohio were killed when a classmate opened fire.
March 8, 2012 — Two people were killed and seven wounded at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when a gunman entered the hospital with two semi-automatic handguns and began firing.
March 31, 2012 — A gunman opened fire on a crowd of mourners at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home, killing two people and injuring 12 others.
April 2, 2012 — A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, walked into his former school and killed seven people, “execution-style.” Three people were wounded.
April 6, 2012 — Two men went on a deadly shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shooting black men at random in an apparently racially motivated attack. Three men died and two were wounded.
May 29, 2012 — A man in Seattle, Washington, opened fire in a coffee shop and killed five people and then himself.
July 9, 2012 — At a soccer tournament in Wilmington, Delaware, three people were killed, including a 16-year-old player and the event organizer, when multiple gunmen began firing shots, apparently targeting the organizer.
July 20, 2012 — James Holmes entered a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in a gun free theater in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon; 12 people are killed and 58 are wounded.
August 5, 2012 — A white supremacist and former Army veteran shot six people to death inside a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before killing himself.
August 14, 2012 — Three people were killed at Texas A&M University when a 35-year-old man went on a shooting rampage.
September 27, 2012 — A 36-year-old man who had just been laid off from Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota, entered his former workplace and shot five people to death and wounded three others before killing himself.
October 21, 2012 — A 45-year-old man, Radcliffe Frankin Haughton, shot three women to death, including his wife, Zina Haughton, and injured four others at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, before killing himself.
December 11, 2012 — A 22-year-old, Jacob Tyler Roberts, killed two people and himself with a stolen rifle in Clackamas Town Center, Oregon, motive unknown.
December 14, 2012 — The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 26 people, including 20 children, were killed before the gunman killed himself.
And now for those earlier than 2012, in reverse chronological order:
October 14, 2011 — Eight people died in a shooting at Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach, California. The gunman, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, killed six women and two men, while one woman survived.
September 6, 2011 — Eduardo Sencion, 32, entered an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, Nevada, and shot 12 people, of which five died.
January 8, 2011 — Former US Representative Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head when 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire on an event she was holding at a Safeway market in Tucson, Arizona. Six people died, including Arizona District Court Chief Judge John Roll, one of Giffords’ staffers, and a 9-year-old girl. A total of 19 were shot. Loughner has been sentenced to seven life terms plus 140 years, without parole.
August 3, 2010 — Omar S. Thornton, 34, opened fire at the Hartford Beer Distributor in Manchester, Connecticut, after getting caught stealing beer. Nine were killed, including Thornton, and two were injured.
November 5, 2009 — Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire at Fort Hood Army post, killing 13 and wounding 29 others. His court martial, after much delay, is still ongoing.
April 3, 2009 — Jiverly Wong, 41, opened fire at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York, before committing suicide. He killed 13 people and wounded four.
March 29, 2009 — Eight people died in a shooting at the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina. The gunman, 45-year-old Robert Stewart, was targeting his estranged wife who worked at the home and survived. Stewart was sentenced to life in prison.
February 14, 2008 — Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, killing six and wounding 21. The gunman shot and killed himself before police arrived.
February 7, 2008 — Six people died and two were injured in a shooting spree at the City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri. The gunman, Charles Lee Thornton, opened fire during a public meeting after being denied construction contracts he believed he deserved. Thornton was killed by police.
December 5, 2007 — A 19-year-old boy, Robert Hawkins, shot up a department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. Hawkins killed nine people and wounded four before killing himself. The semi-automatic rifle he used was stolen from his stepfather’s house.
April 16, 2007 — Virginia Tech became the site of the deadliest school shooting in US history when a student, Seung-Hui Choi, gunned down 56 people, of which 32 died.
February 12, 2007 — In Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall, five people were shot to death and four others were wounded by 18-year-old gunman Sulejman Talović.
October 2, 2006 — An Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was taken over by 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts, who separated the boys from the girls, binding and then shooting the girls, of which five died, while another six were injured. Roberts committed suicide afterward.
March 25, 2006 — Seven died and two were injured by 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff in a shooting spree through Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington.
March 21, 2005 — Teenager Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend before opening fire on Red Lake Senior High School, killing nine people on campus and injuring five, then killing himself.
March 12, 2005 — A Living Church of God meeting was gunned down by 44-year-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ratzmann was thought to have had religious motivations and killed himself after executing the pastor, the pastor’s 16-year-old son, and seven others. Four were wounded.
July 8, 2003 — Doug Williams, a Lockheed Martin employee, shot up his plant in Meridian, Michigan. He shot 14 people, most of them African American, and killed seven.
September 15, 1999 — Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire on a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He killed seven people and wounded seven others, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook committed suicide.
July 29, 1999 — Mark Orrin Barton, 44, murdered his wife and two children with a hammer before shooting up two Atlanta day trading firms. Barton, a day trader, was believed to be motivated by huge monetary losses. He killed 12, including his family, and injured another 13 before killing himself.
April 20, 1999 — In the deadliest high school shooting in US history, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold shot up Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. They killed 13 people and wounded 21 others. They killed themselves after the massacre.
I would bet that most of you weren’t even aware of some of these mass shootings, in which some of the shooters obtained their firearms legally and some did not, but the point is that none were stopped by having those laws mentioned earlier on the books and in most cases, it is clear the shooters were suffering from some form of mental disorder.
It can be argued that anyone who commits mass murder is, almost by definition, suffering from some kind of mental disorder, so why don’t our politicians try reforming our mental health care system to identify and stop these mass murderers before they obtain weapons or use those obtained from others to carry out their murderous acts?
Because, it’s politically harder, that’s why. Despite some of them admitting that the real loop hole is that laws don’t require that mental health information already existing on many of these shooters be included in background check information and used to either get them treatment or have them committed, it’s (a) easier to go after the guns, ammo and magazines of law abiding citizens, (b) more flamboyant and therefore more “newsworthy” (it’s like “extra credit” for a politician), plus (c) it’s just more in line with the liberal agenda of ever-increasing government intrusion into every facet of our lives, to include the abrogation of as many of our rights as they can get away with. (See my companion article: “Tyranny’s Creeping Incrementalism — and the Second Amendment”)
As I said in another article, while you or I may be in the business of selling cars or doing yard work, for example, never forget that politicians are in the business of getting elected, then reelected and doing the business of government — and the bigger they can grow government, the more justification they have for their existence and our supposed need for them. Another reason for term limits, but I digress.
So, the 40% figure Obama has used in his gun ban campaign is bogus and seemingly so are liberal claims of gun show loop holes and Internet sales of boxed weapons shipped straight to your front door. But, you know, anything to sell the snake oil…
By the way, have you ever heard anyone claiming these things provide even one, concrete, factual example of such a gun show or Internet purchase, instead of just claiming that since they’re saying it, it must be so? Yeah, me either. Facts always seem to get in the way of liberals making whatever their point du jure is about whatever their latest cause celebre is.
But, if you do have an example of one of these gun ban “experts” actually using a real, factual example, please let me know — and I will publish that, too.