- Posted January 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
I am the 90%
Lets start this discussion on gun control by highlighting some of the 10%. Piers Morgan is an entertainer and not a newsman however he is on national TV and he gives airtime to those who are so far away from reality instead of having individuals on with real ideas that can help solve the very real problems we face. Piers is not alone, many so called news shows have on individuals with extreme views because they know those individuals will increase their ratings.
Wayne LaPierre and the NRA are extremely disappointing, the leadership of the NRA has chosen to stick their collective heads in the sand instead of getting out in front of the issue at hand. Further they almost guarantee that any gun laws enacted in the near future will be more restrictive than they would have been had they come out with a reasonable response. The NRA could have endorsed background checks for all firearm transactions, they could have said all firearms shipped from the factory must come with a gun lock. They could have mentioned anyone of a dozen reasonable changes to existing guns laws but instead they chose to point the finger at others. Real leadership looks for real solutions to real problems, Wayne LaPierre is lacking in problem solving and understanding of our current reality.
Diane Feinstein wrote the original Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, it was a poorly written law with many loopholes largely regarded as being ineffective. Senator Feinstein is going to reintroduce a stricter version of the original law in January and it too is poorly written. Take the example below, the AR-15 in the first picture was legal before the 1994 ban, the AR-15 in the second picture was legal after then ban. See a difference? You probably don’t, yet there is a difference in the eyes of the law that let the AR-15 be sold nearly unchanged and it’s the “butt” or stock (the end of the gun that doesn’t shoot) must be fixed or non collapsible.
Any law regardless of it’s subject should be effective, it should be well thought out, argued about with input from all sides and that is how you make a difference. Senator Feinstein has failed to perform due diligence in the past and should not be the primary author of new legislation.
Here are 10 changes to existing gun laws that can make a difference without treading on the 2nd Amendment.
1. Universal Background Checks – The receiver of any firearm must undergo a background check, there are no exceptions so members of a family or those inheriting a firearm must go through a background check. This prevents a criminal from California from traveling to Arizona and legally purchasing a firearm under current law in the parking lot of a gun show.
2. Secure Guns – All firearms when not on your person or in use must be secured in a locked container meeting federal standards or secured with a trigger lock. All firearms must come with a trigger or other lock installed from the factory. Violation of the law is a felony.
3. Do Not Buy List – A national database with the names and social security numbers of any individuals deemed unfit for gun ownership due to mental illness. Individuals can be added to the database by mental health professionals, school administrators, law enforcement and other appropriate parties. Any individual on the list has the right to appeal by submitting to a psychological evaluation.
4. 20 Round Limit – It will be illegal to own or manufacture magazines or firearms that can hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition. Existing magazines and firearms will not be grandfathered, they must be modified to remain legal or be destroyed.
5. Gun Safety and Education Tax – A $10 fee will be added to all new guns purchased from a FFL (Federal Firearm License) Dealer for the sole purpose of providing public awareness and gun safety education.
6. Gun Turn In Tax Credit – Any firearm turned in for destruction to local law enforcement will receive a tax credit, $200 regardless of condition or working order up to a maximum of $1000. Any firearm that is unwanted is more dangerous than a firearm that is secured and respected.
7. Right to Audit – All licensed firearms dealers must submit to an audit when requested by the ATF. The purpose is to prevent a dealer from conducting illegal firearm transactions.
8. Online Background Check – Individuals purchasing a firearms may start the background check online provided they have the make, model and serial number of the firearm they are purchasing. Once the mandatory 10 day waiting period has expired the physical transfer of the firearm must be conducted at FFL Dealer. This reduces the cost and complexity of firearm purchases while maintaining strict regulation of the sale.
9. Secure Classrooms – Within 3 years all public K-12 schools must have installed or retrofitted doors that when locked provide reasonable protection against firearms and forced intrusion. The goal is to keep students safe long enough for first responders to arrive.
10. Large Caliber Restriction – No rifles with a caliber over .41 can be sold or manufactured, existing rifles will be grandfathered in.
Gun violence is a complex issue, the debate should include more than gun control, issues like mental health services, violence in movies and video games, media sensationalism should all be part of the larger discussion.
I respect President Obamas decision to not change existing law through executive order and to bring many of the concerned parties to the table including the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, victims of gun violence, The National Sports Shooting Foundation, Wal-Mart and the NRA. It is my hope that the input from all sides of the debate will result in a balanced, fair and effective law to reduce the chances of further gun violence.
I am a father, a gun owner and I am the 90%.