Yes, another gun post. Sorry, but the fact that everybody is still talking about this is a good thing. And may I personally thank Wayne LaPierre, the NRA, and other gun nuts for making my case to the American people. Keep up the good work.
David Frum has a piece today that asks a lot of pertinent questions. Go read the whole thing, and then ask yourself why the NRA is pro-criminal. Not one of the steps Frum lists would lead to gun confiscation, but they sure do make killing someone or getting away with murder/crime easier.
But here are two things that can make a real difference — without a vote in Congress.
First: The president can direct the surgeon general to compile a scientific study of the health effect of individual gun ownership.
Remember… “Congress in the mid-1990s forbade the federal government to fund its own research into the health risks presented by guns.” This always strikes me as absurd, especially given the way gun enthusiasts are always citing (questionable) examples of how owning a gun makes you safer. If they really believed that then they would welcome research. But they don’t. Why not?
There are other steps that could be taken – steps that wouldn’t lead to a single gun being confiscated.
So many gun accidents occur because guns almost never indicate whether a bullet is present in the chamber. A gun owner might remove the gun’s magazine and believe the gun unloaded, when in fact it still contains one potentially deadly shot. Why not require guns to be equipped with indicator lights? Why not require that guns be designed so that they will not fire if dropped? We have safety standards for every consumer product, from children’s cribs to lawnmowers, except for the most dangerous consumer product of them all. Not only that, Congress has actually immunized makers of that product against harms inflicted by unsafe design.
Gun makers often design their weapons in ways that present no benefit for lawful users but that greatly assist criminals. They don’t coordinate the issuance of serial numbers so that each gun can be identified with certainty. They stamp serial numbers in places where they can be effaced.
They reject police requests to groove barrels to uniquely mark each bullet fired by a particular gun.
They sell bullets that can pierce police armor.
They will not include trigger locks and other child-proofing devices as standard equipment.
Why? Why? And why?
Why? Because the NRA and gun manufacturers do seem more concerned with assisting criminals. How else do explain their being actively against all the suggestions above – suggestions that would greatly benefit lawful users?
Sure looks like the black market is a profitable avenue for the NRA and gun manufacturers. Being able to identify guns and bullets, knowing if a gun is loaded, no safety standards (and given all the stupid gun owners accidentally shooting themselves and others this industry desperately needs safety standards), body armor piercing bullets, trigger locks, making guns inoperable to anyone but the approved purchaser are all common sense approaches that wouldn’t result in a single gun being taken away, but would greatly reduce accidental shootings. But, I get that it would also put a crimp in their black market sales.
I’m with Frum, the NRA and gun manufacturers aren’t representing lawful gun owners. They aren’t defending the 2nd Amendment – they simply use that amendment as a way to keep their black market open for business… and after they make life easy for criminals they turn around and tell lawful citizens that they need to buy more guns to protect themselves from the very criminals the NRA has armed.