Monday, April 4, 2016

Election could determine direction of gun control!!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair

The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."    
     In December 2015, Senator Bernie Sanders, (D, VT) said, “I will take the following concrete steps to reduce gun violence: strengthen and better enforce the instant background check system; close the gun-show loophole; make 'straw man' purchases a federal crime; ban semi-automatic assault weapons which are designed strictly for killing human beings; and work to fix our broken mental health system.” 
     In January, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “More than 33,000 Americans are killed by guns each year. It’s time to act. As President, I'll take on the gun lobby and fight for commonsense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers, and other violent criminals—including comprehensive background checks and closing loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.”
     The 2012 Democrat platform states, “We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements--like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole--so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.”
     The 2012 Republican platform states, “We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen's God-given right of self-defense.”
     After President Obama issued an Executive Order in January that requires any sale of a gun by done through a federal licensed agent, the 5 million member strong National Rifle Association issued this statement: "President Obama failed to pass his anti-gun agenda though Congress because the majority of Americans oppose more gun-control.  Now he is doing what he always does when he doesn’t get his way, which is defy the will of the people and issue an executive order.” What wasn’t publicized in the EO was the order to the Pentagon to research the possibility of having future weapons for the military to be less lethal.  It is clear the two major political Parties differ on this issue, so does gun control reduce crime? 
      First, criminals and terrorists don’t obey the law.  California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in America, yet the San Bernardino shooters were still able to get guns.  Paris has some of the most stringent gun laws in the world, but they have experienced large two mass shootings in the past two years.  Every 3 hours, someone is shot in Chicago, despite the city’s strict gun laws.  Restricting gun ownership just makes honest citizens sitting ducks.  None of the reforms proposed by Clinton or Sanders would have prevented a mass shooting.  Since the ISIS attack on Paris, private gun ownership is up for debate all over Europe.  Even Europeans recognize they have a God given right to defend themselves.  When someone is shooting in the marketplace, what would you rather have- an umbrella or a gun?
     Second, private gun ownership actually reduces crime.  Criminologist Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida State University did a study and found that there are approximately 2.1 to 2.5 million instances annually in which individual Americans use a gun to defend themselves.  In a study of seventeen industrial nations conducted by the International Crime Victims Survey of what percent of their population had been victimized by crime, Australia led the list with more than 30 percent of its population. England was the second worst with a rate of 26 percent. The United States wasn’t even in the top 10.  Australia and England have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, but that hasn’t reduced crime.
     The next president will appoint at least one justice on the SCOTUS.  The current make-up of the court regarding the issue of the second amendment makes this appointment critical to both sides.  If Clinton or Sanders wins, it’s a lead pipe cinch the court will be further restricting private ownership of weapons. 
     The Motor City Madman, rocker Ted Nugent says, “When the law disarms good guys, bad guys rejoice.”

1 comment:

S. Russ said...

Great article! It's true, restricting gun ownership will NOT reduce crime but allow it to operate more freely!