Senator Dick Duribin and Tim Macy, Vice Chairman of Gun Owners of America square off.
No More Silence on Gun Limits
An opinion piece by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), originally published in the Chicago Tribune 12/17/12, 3 days after the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Durbin is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.
What will it take?
What will it take for a majority of Americans to speak out for a sensible firearms policy in our nation?
It will take more than a congresswoman being shot point-blank in the face as she gathers for a town meeting in Arizona.
It will take more than a deranged gunman with a hundred-round magazine spraying bullets into a crowded movie theater in Colorado.
It will take more than the kids who die playing with guns carelessly stored.
It will take more than killings on the university campuses in Illinois, Texas and Virginia.
And it will take more than 26 victims, including 20 children, in a Connecticut grade school.
What it will take is for the majority of Americans, and the majority of thoughtful gun owners and hunters, to agree that there must be reasonable limits on gun ownership and weapons.
The U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged that our Second Amendment rights are not absolute. So can we come together and agree that Americans have a right to own and use firearms for sport and self-defense within certain limits?
We must institute reasonable, common-sense limits, such as barring those with a history of mental instability, those with a history of violent crime or adjudged dangerous and subject to restraining orders, and those whose names have been placed on a terrorist watch list from owning weapons.
And those “straw purchasers” who are literally fencing for drug gangs as well as the gun dealers who look the other way must be dealt with firmly.
Certain classes of weapons that are strictly military and have no useful purpose in sport, hunting or self-defense should not be legally sold.
Magazine clips with more than 10 rounds should be prohibited from civilian use.
No one should be allowed to purchase more than two firearms a month.
And those who own firearms that are within the reach of children should have protective locks on their weapons.
What holds us back are political organizations that are well-funded, well-organized and determined to resist even reasonable limitations. There is a close political parallel between the gridlock in Washington on dealing with our economy and national debt and the eerie silence in Congress as the list of horrific gun crimes grows by the day.
Too many of my colleagues just shrug their shoulders when gun issues come to the floor for a vote. They have made Grover Norquist-like pledges and feel duty-bound to vote “right” on every score card issue.
My wife and I grew up in families of hunters. We know the rite of passage when a father can take his son or daughter out hunting. I know the fun of watching the sun come up on a duck blind and hearing a seasoned hunter calling them in over the water.
The hunters I know are good people who love the sport and hate the people who use firearms to terrorize and kill. We need for these hunters to join with many Americans who have never owned or used a firearm and call for a reasonable standard for gun use and ownership.
Until we do, the number of victims of gun tragedies will continue to grow and the silence of their funerals will be matched by the silence of those who have the power to change it.
Let’s Let Facts Guide the Gun Control Debate for a Change
By Tim Macy, Vice Chairman of Gun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members. Posted Thursday, 20 December 2012 at http://www.gunowners.org/news12202012.htm, 9 days after a federal appeals court in Illinois struck down the state’s ban on carrying concealed firearms.
With the recent horrible shootings around the nation, the left-wing - led by President Obama, some members of the Senate and House, and most of today’s media - are screaming for new gun control laws.
But what would the consequences of such laws be?
A study done by the Justice Department in 1999 analyzed the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban and concluded it did nothing to reduce crime or shootings. The Justice Department stated, “The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun-murder incident or multiple-gunshot wound victims.”
No wonder the Congress allowed the useless gun ban to “sunset” after ten years - it didn’t work, period!
Despite the fact we have these new incidents where innocents were murdered, gun murders themselves have drastically dropped over the last two decades. Why?
Noted gun-crime author and statistician, Dr. John R. Lott, attributes much of this to the increase in “concealed carry” permits issued nationwide to ordinary citizens, which now allow them to carry weapons for personal protection and the protection of others. These laws have reduced crime because potential perpetrators don’t know who’s carrying for personal protection. In fact, according to FBI data, U.S. murders dropped nearly 40% to 14,478 in 2010 -- a significant drop from 23,440 in 1990 -- even as the overall population grew by 24 percent!
This may be why Dr. Lott’s most famous book is titled “More guns, less crime.”
So, if Congress really wants to reduce crime and to stop shootings at so-called “gun-free zones” like schools, movie theaters and other places, maybe they ought to pass laws making it easier for citizens - especially teachers and school administrators - to get the training they want to be proficient in gun safety and proficient in hitting their target with a concealed handgun.
Most freedom-loving Americans understand that this administration and many in Congress are radical anti-gun members of the Left. They know America and our Constitution are much safer when the Second Amendment is in full force. And that is exactly what they want to change. They are in this for the power, plain and simple. They want control over every aspect in American life, and they are moving at break-neck speed to attain their goal.
Many nations that have given up their rights to gun ownership have suffered by the hand of their own government shortly thereafter. Over 170,000,000 (that’s one hundred and seventy million) human beings have been slaughtered by their governments in the 20th Century after they gave up their guns.
WHY ON EARTH WOULD AMERICANS FOLLOW THIS PATH?
I pray they don’t. That’s why Gun Owners of America was formed to fight the anti-gunners in Congress and in every state house in the nation.