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TIME FOR RESPONSIBLE GUN SENSE?

January 8, 2013

Mike Barnacle, a contributor to the MSNBC television show, “Morning Joe,” made an important observation.  Remove the term “gun control” from our vocabulary.  Instead, use the term “gun sense”. While this is a worthwhile endeavor, I believe it needs to be extended to include a strong look at the control the National Rifle Association (NRA) holds over our elected representatives with the massive amounts of money they spend keeping individuals who are not totally and absolutely in agreement with NRA’s interpretation of the Second Amendment from being elected.

To those who say “Just enforce the laws that are presently on the books,” I would remind them that we must first elect officials who will fund the agencies responsible for enforcing those laws. This applies to both federal and state legislators.

A little-advertised survey was conducted by an under-advertised organization, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG). This organization, on November 15, 2011, issued a “First-of-its-Kind Survey of 50 States.  Results of that survey indicated, “Lack of Leadership and Funding Keeps Critical Records Regarding Dangerous People Out of our National Do-Not-Sell Database.” Although this report was issued after the deadly Tucson, Arizona shooting, state and federal agencies are still ignoring federal law and failing to report records of dangerous people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS). The FBI has released data showing millions of records identifying seriously mentally ill people and drug abusers that are missing from the NCIS database because of lax state reporting. The data also showed that 52 of 61 federal agencies, required to submit records, have not done so. The state of Oklahoma, while not at the bottom of the list of those states making feeble attempts at reporting, is among the 17 states reporting fewer than 10 mental health records. As of October 2011, Oklahoma had reported only 2 to the NCIS index. After interviewing an Oklahoma state official, Mayors Against Illegal Guns concluded, “Lack of political will appears to be the only barrier to submission.” They do not believe that any state privacy laws or logistical hurdles block records submission. This state has not enacted a Gun Rights Restoration Program, so it is ineligible for NCIS Act’s Record Improvement Program funding to improve record sharing. While Oklahoma has submitted 108 records to the NCIS index for substance abuse, the state’s reporting procedure for doing so remains unclear. The interviewed state official expressed a similar lack of will and/or infrastructure regarding the submission of substance abuse records.

The NRA’s hold on our legislators is comparable to the hold Grover Norquist has on taxes. This is another example of why there needs to be stronger laws against political contributions either directly to the candidate or through the so-called “Super-PACs”. The NRA has long held sway over our elected officials. They have so distorted the true meaning of the original intent of our Constitution’s Second Amendment that a deep and thoughtful definition of the term “to bear arms” must be established. No longer do we have a citizen militia requiring individuals to keep their firearms at home, in the closet or hanging over the fireplace due to lack of proper facilities to maintain an armory.  Today, we have a well-regulated militia that the Second Amendment actually calls for in the forms of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

If you take time to study gun or weaponry logistics, you will realize that, except for boasting purposes, there is no need to possess a semi-automatic rifle or pistol capable of shooting more than 7 to 10 rounds without being reloaded. These weapons with extended magazines and bullets designed to penetrate armor were not manufactured for pleasure or hunting. They were designed to maim and kill people. Let’s get them off the streets, out of the closets and out of the back windows of pickup trucks!!

 

 

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