Stop the Killing - Let’s Get Smarter!
The beginning is dry, however, it is important to have some idea of what is.
Our first actual gun laws were state and local laws. Some of these were like NYC’s Sullivan Law. This was enacted to keep guns out of the hands of the political opposition by the Tammany Hall Gang.
In 1927, the US Postal Service made it illegal to ship concealable firearms.
In 1934, was the National Firearms Act of 1934-5 (It seems to be called the National Firearms Act of 1935 but was signed by FDR in 1934- it probably didn’t go into effect until 1935). It restricted ownership of fully automatic firearme, rifles over 50 caliber, silencers (sic- supressors), set mimimum barrel lengths for rifles and shotguns 18” , later this became 18” for shotguns and 16” for rifles. In 1938 , Record keeping began. It was illegal to sell / ship guns to felons, fugitives, the mentally diabled, and - - -.* I believe this is our present Form 4473. There were no penalities for the sellers, but for the receivers who lied on their forms it was a felony. Records were to be kept for 6 years (this was changed to 10 years in1958) by the dealers. All of this was controllerd by the IRS (the fees involved) but were to be enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Firearms were to have a serial number, however .22s were exempt. Gun sellers (FFL) had a $1 fee and gun makers fee was $25.
In 1972, there was a government reorganization. The IRS was no longer the parent organization for the BATF. The BATF got to include explosives in their title, hence BATFE?
Charles Whitman, in August of 1968, climbed to the 28 floor of the Texas’s University Tower and opened fire on the people below. This was our first “modern” mass shooting.
In 1968, there were the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK. The gun control Act of 1968 restricted the interstate sale of firearms. This wiped away mail order sale of firearms and my favorite reading material, my grandfather’s Sears Gun Catalog. (For clarification: You can still order a gun “on -line”, however, it must be delivered to a licensed firearms dealer where you must fill out the Form 4473 and under go a background check.) If your state has signed a reciprocity agreement with a contiguous state long guns can be purchased across state lines, not handguns.
In 1990 the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 was passed and then modified in 1993
In 1993 the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed after an attack on President Ragan paralized his press secretary. This gave us instant background checks.
In 1994 there was an assult weapons ban passed. It prohibited many foreign imports and high capacity magazines (new centerfire magazines were limited to 10 rounds). This law sunset in 2004. In 2003 and 2007 reports from the FBI showed more people killed by “blunt objects” than rifles. Law enforcement felt it wasn’t necessary.
2005 brought us the Protection of Lawful Commerce law to protect firearms manufacturers from lawsuits because someone misused their product. ( Can you imagine the auto industry going to court every time a car or truck killed or injuted someone?)
` In 2008,SCOTUS, the Supreme Court, ruled that the Second Amendment was an individual right in the Heller Case.
In he McDonald Case of 2010, SCOTUS ruled the 2nd Amendment was “incorporated”, it applied to the states as well as the Federal Government.
Lastly, in 2016, SCOTUS ruled that the 2 nd Amendment applied to “bearable arms” even those not in existance at the time of the founding.
footnote: The list of “prohibited persons” includes people who are under inditement, convicted domestic abusers and people charged with domestic sbuse, and people ”red flaged”. I’m not sure how this holds up to “innocent until proven guilty”. Hurry in and report a neighbor. Wasn’t this how the Soviets kept control for so many years?
Lies and More Lies - Short Explainations for "It Ain’t So"
Along the way we have seen great increases in things like the cost of FFL licenses, they have risen to a point where less than half of the people who once held FFL licenses still do now.
Remember it is illegal for some people to attempt to purchase a firearm and the attempt to do so is a felony! Remember that killing people is and has been against the law!
I am in favor of stopping “gun violence” and “mass shootingsI Passing a law hasn’t worked, it isn’t working now, so - why would it work tomorrow?
“The registration of gun owners”, it may sound good , but - - -. SCOTUS has ruled that felons are exempt. Remember it is a felony for a felon to own a firearm. So a felon is arrested for having a sawed off shotgun that is not registered with the BTAF as a dangerous weapon. The court ruled that it is against the Constitutional prohibition of self-incrimination to require someone to confess to a felony., register a firearm. If you are law abiding and have such a dangerous weapon it must be already registered and the federal fees paid. Law abiding , you must register dangerous weapons. ( I like that we have freedom from self-incrimination.)
If a gun- owned at one time - by you is traced to you, it appears that you must prove you are innocent
Let’s ban the semi-automatic AR-15 and the AK-47. Rightfully, the Supreme court has ruled the 2 nd Amendment applied to “bearable arms” that weren’t available at the time of the founding.
Red Flag Laws, should an individual be convicted of a crime before they commit a crime? At one time, we as a nation strongly believed in the ”innocent until proven guilty”. Sarcasticaly speaking- let’s find a gene that shows someone may have a propensity to commit a crime and test everyone. If they have that gene, lock them up before they hurt someone!
Only the police and military should have firearms. The police have no obligation to protect you as an individual. Receintly in Portland, OR, the police were ordered not to engage rioters, In Charolettesville, VA police were ordered to stand down during rioting. Have you forgotten the vivid pictures from Fergason, MO? I live rural, my next door neighbor was murdered several years ago. Our local ambulance crew was there, from 3 miles away, in only minutes with the sheriff’s department quite a while behind them. No, it wasn’t their fault because it is a small department with the whole county to cover.
We need more gun free zones. How many mass shootings occur in gun free zones? Over 98% of all mass shootings occur in gun free zones. Three mass killerrs. in their autobiographies, have stated they searched out gun free zones before their shootings.
The gun show loophole When the law requiring background checks was passed Congress added a provision so that people not in the business of selling guns could do so without doing the backgroung checks. For a time, I attended 8 or 9 gunshows a year,. If you attended a gunshow you may see one or two tables that someone was selling off a part of a collection and two or three people wandering about with a firearm over their sholder with a placcard advertising their gun.. Some states have or are attempting to pass legislation that would require a licensed dealer and background check if a gun is used by a relative, a neighbor, a friend, or a grandfather should wish to pass on a gun to a grandson.
Prof. John Lott, has shown that terrorism is not just a US problem, it is world wide. The US does not hold the record for the most people killed in one mass shooting, nor does it hold the dubious crown for the most mass shootings in one year. Please, take the time to look it up!
What is the Solution?
!) Enforce the existing laws. In the Twin Cities Federal Court, only one case out of 60 brought before it resulted in prosecution of a felon attempting to “legally” purchase a firearm.
2) Make it a crime to publish the shooters name or interviews with the shooter’s family. Be serious, by placing a really heafty fine on the reporter , news anchor, or other media person, as well as a 6 month suspension . Tripple the fine for ths person’s employer with a FCC license suspension. This removes the, ”I will be famous!” Please note, I did not say don’t report the incident! (Yes, I know. Now, I an suggesting a law. )
3) While I’m at it, decreasing the death toll in schools can be done. Airports across Europe were hit by trrrorists. A partial solution was see-through sheets of bullet proof glass placed to limit the field of fire from the the shooter. Large open spaces offered no cover.
Sheets of heavy plywood (2) on a frame like the walls of a house made from 2X8 s wih heavier end posts and an heavier bottom cross piece, the empty space filled with sand will stop most light ordinance. Remembering fire exits enough space must be left to rapidly exit te building. The normal flow of students must be considered.
Keeping the up-right end posts a foot longer at the base will allow for easier cleaning for custodians. It will move the cover fron four feet high to fivr feet.
Using 2X6s as he bottom foot outside each verticle post. at 90 dgrees to the plywood. (The longer these pieces get, the more likely students are to trip on them. This could be mitigated by 10 “ out from the up right posts taper the feet outward. Make the feet long enough to avoid them being tipped over by students. If you’re worried about them tipping run a brace from the foot to the upright 8X8s.
If you place these 3’ from a wall perpendicular to the wall and stagger them across a hallway, you understand. And you’ve put the plywood up a foot with your posts you are providing cover 5’ tall and removed students from a shooters field of fire - aspecially if they just duck!
Is there a down side? Yeah, teachers would have to stick their noses out into the hall on occasion- kids are kids.
A doubter, try this u-tube video.
The Box O’ Truth #7 – The Sands O’ Truth
Yes, I would substitute plywood for drywall and increase the thickness by using 2 X 8s instead of 2 X 6s (instead of 5 1/2” of sand to 7 1/2”). In dealing with firearms a larger safety margin is not a bad thing. The new plywood walls could be brightly painted and used for displaying student art, posters for school spirit. Bright colors would help most school hallways.
4) There is one nation that having been granted its independence in 1947 was set upon by its neighbors and despite having few weapons managed to defeat all three. Israel defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Undefeated on the battlefield, it came under attack by terriorists. It was attacks on the civilian population in schools, on buses, in market places, anywhere people gathered that needed to be dealt with.
Israel is a country that has universal military draft, yes, for both men and women. One and all are trained in the use of weapons. They began issuing Uzi submachine guns (yes, real ones like those used for time to ptotect the US President) and handguns to citizens. If you were a terrorist attempting to shoot up a car, those in the car would shoot back. If you attempted to shoot up a school, the students wouldn’t be the ones to die. Then, those crazy people built- you guessed it, a wall! It has chain-link, it had razor wire, it had ground sensors, and guard towers. Dare you ask what happened tp terrorists trying to enter Israel? Did it stop all the terrorrists? The answer is- almost. Now, they mostly face rocket attacks or mortar .attacks from afar. Should things become intolerable, they send in their air force or there is an incursion that brings along engineers with dinamite and bulldozers. Terrorists do not play nice.
On the lighter side: Can you name a US pollitician who favors an armed citizen and wants a wall?
Hiring guards for schools isn’t a workable solution. Minnesota, not a very populous state, has over 400 school districts. Many of these districts have schools on multiple sites. If you attempted to place a LEO (law enforcement officer) at each site the costs would be prohibitive. Their time, equipment, and training would be prohibitive. Time is a problem. Schools are not an 8 to 4 proposition, Add an hour to the start time and how many hours after the 4 P.M? Using a pool of retired LEOs might work, but it is no guarantee looking at the one sheriff’s dept. officer in FL. CCW holders have an excellent record of keeping out of trouble with less than ,1 % losing their permits for careless use of a firearm. But, are they really shooters? Ex-military perhaps-if you only looked at ex-shooters that are stable. We don’t need the, ‘“See, I gotta gun!” people.
We are approaching another election. Every canidate from one political party wants more gun laws. What do you call it when a person keeps doing the same thing over and over again- expecting a different result? Seriously, in the last 50+ years the number of gun control laws has gone steadily upward. Has it done anything to stop children and adults from dying?
The importance of respect for the “Rule of Law” (ROL)’ can not be overstated. In college we were taught that the rule of law only works when the majority of people believe the rules apply to everyone. When the FBI and the Justice Department don’t follow the rules and they escape the penalities for breaking the law. What do you think will happen to the “Rule of Law”? Protesting unjust laws is good, but it is not an excuse to break other laws.
There was a Chief Justice, who when his front door was knocked on by reporters after dark answered it with a gun in hand. Ronald Reagan while dressind was asked why he was carrying a gun by a Secret Service Agent.
“ Mr. President, you have the Secret Service to protect you.”
“I know, it’s just incase you boys should need a hand.”
Trying to be Legal
Last Christmas our family decided to visit our eldest on another state. I decided to travel by AmTrac, the train. In an attempt to do things the “right way”, I contacted AmTrac’s security to find out the ins and outs of how things work. I wanted to take a handgun with me. I was told to deal with the ticket agents. Okay, I did!
My daughter called and made reservation and even a special ticket for the firearm. I was off to purchase a new deluxe hard-side gun case. The night before we were to leave, I, being older, called AmTrac to insure everything was good to go. It was affirmed, we were good to go. An hour later, I received the first call back telling me that the station we wished to depart from had no baggage check to accept the firearm. So we set it up for another larger station that did have a baggage check. About 11:00 P.M., I received a second call saying that although our secondary station did have a baggage check, there was no baggage master to check us in at the time of departure. So we needed a third departure depot. The representative was very polite and I tried to be the same. We could drive to the Twin Cities or LaCross, WI. I explained that one was 70 miles away in the center of a city and the other was 120 miles away. I cancelled the firearms ticket.
The next day we arrived at our departure depot. It was a beautiful old depot, the lights were on, the door was unlocked, but there were no people! Gradually passangers began arriving until there were about twenty of us. Still, no RR personel. We boarded , having no tickets, we simply showed our phone e-mail. No, I wasn’t carrying.
With n one there, a person could have boarded with “ma-duce”, a 105mm, or whatever.
I wrote this last part to show that rules (laws) only affect law abiding people. We had a good trip. AmTrac’s equipment is a little dated, but their help was super, with the exception go security. Yes, the ticket agent, calling back twice was great.