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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    QoTD: On Sounding Radical Comment
    Gregory Morris, 1/12/09 8:29:47 am
    From yet another op-ed asking why people are stocking up on guns and ammo:
    The incoming president has little to say about guns, except that he supports "commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners." Obama also supports closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof.
    ...
    None of that sounds radical.
    The author probably doesn't realize the importance of that sentence because he/she clearly isn't informed on the issue and hasn't thought deeply about it.

    "None of that sounds radical." Indeed. It is intended to sound reasonable. Otherwise generally reasonable people wouldn't buy it. The problem is that "closing the gunshow loophole" is a politician's way of saying "backdoor gun registry".

    No politician is going to seriously push for a nationwide gun registry, because that would be political suicide. But closing a loophole that, in theory, allows bad people to get guns... well who wouldn't support that?

    I would be remiss not to mention the fact that the "gunshow loophole" implies that the laws at a gunshow are somehow different than the laws elsewhere. This is, as is most anti-gun propaganda, blatantly false. Gun dealers are required to perform background checks at gun shows. It is as simple as that.

    In looking at the potential good in ending private firearm sales, the author clearly hasn't considered to bad things about it. First of all, I say "potential good", because A) criminals rarely get guns at gun shows, and B) with the "loophole" closed, they will be able to get guns anyway (hint: they'll do it illegally.)

    As for the bad... it has been well documented elsewhere, but I'll cover the basics. First, the "gunshow loophole" is a misnomer. The people pushing this want to end private person-to-person sales altogether. The only way to effectively ban private sales at gun shows is to ban private sales everywhere. There is no way for an individual to run a NICS background check on another individual, so all sales everywhere would have to go through a dealer, which means increased fees, hassles, and the aforementioned national registry. The goal of this legislation isn't crime prevention, it is shutting down gun shows, and destroying culture and heritage of gun ownership which centers around these shows.

    Next, I have to address the concept of "childproof guns". It sounds good to make something as dangerous as a gun "childproof", right? Who would oppose that? Unfortunately, these are simple new weasel-words for another "feel-good" law which only affects law-abiding gun owners.

    Currently, gun manufacturers are required to ship a locking device with their products. I don't have a problem with gun locks. I don't have a problem with laws, like the one in Florida, which makes the gun owner responsible if a child accesses a gun. There are already good laws to handle child welfare issues, so long as they are enforced.

    The problem with the phrase "childproof guns" is that it approaches the problem from the wrong direction. The correct approach is to "gunproof children". Teach them about gun safety. Teach them what to do if they find a gun. The NRA's Eddie Eagle program has undoubtedly saved far more lives than any safe-storage law, which can only be enforced after a tragedy anyway.

    The second meaning of "childproof guns" is a so-called biometric "smart" gun technology. While I don't have a problem with companies developing and selling these products, there is no reason for them to be mandated by the government. Every time a state has voted for "smart guns", law enforcement has been exempted. The reason is that the technology (which doesn't even exist right now) isn't foolproof enough for a police officer to trust. If a cop won't trust a smart gun to defend his life, why should I be forced to? There are other issues as well, namely the fact that the technology doesn't even exist, and there would be no market for it anyway, unless mandated by the government.

    When the author accuses the evil gun lobby of scaring people for the sake of the almighty dollar, he/she fails to consider that gun-control proponents (such as companies designing smart guns, ammunition encoding schemes, microstamping technology, etc.) may have a financial stake in this game as well. None of those technologies can exist in a market that doesn't want them without the government forcing them on us, so there is clearly a big dollar sign behind a significant amount of the gun control lobby's agenda.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: QoTD: On Sounding Radical
    Billll, 1/15/09 9:52:23 pm
    Rep Bobby Rush has introduced an omnibus gun law featuring everything you mentioned, and more. I have commented on this:
    http://billllsidlemind.blogspot.com/2009/01/support-your-local-gangsta.html

    It's only political suicide if you represent an informed constituency, which lets out anyone from Chicago, I guess.
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