Friday, February 23, 2018

The Gun Show Loophole Has to Go

I haven't read or heard a whole lot about the gun show loophole. This is important, because without closing it, there is nothing that will keep anyone from getting a gun. You might read about, for example, how terrible Chicago is, how they have the toughest gun laws, and how no law will keep it safe. But most of the guns in Chicago don't come from Chicago.

Now sure, it might be a minor inconvenience to leave your city when you need a gun. But if you're set on having one, you'll do it. NYC has pretty tough gun laws too. However, I drive in and out of New York City every working day of my life. If I want to buy a gun in Floral Park, it's a ten-minute drive. And if I don't like the New York State gun laws, I can always drive to a gun show in another state, like Vermont, and get whatever I want.

People who tell you gun laws don't work are right, in a way. The Florida legislators wouldn't even discuss an assault weapon ban, but declared pornography dangerous. They evidently want to protect their young people from pornography but not assault weapons. I'm not entirely sure why they feel that way. After all, it's 2018, and most people I know, outside of professional DJs, don't even own a pornograph any more.

Assault weapon supporters, though, have a good point when they say an assault weapon ban in Florida might not have much effect. Floridians could always take a road trip to, say, Kentucky, and buy one over there. If you're a lunatic set on killing a lot of people, you're probably willing to spend a few hours in your car to get the necessary tools.

So here's the thing--President Trump and the other people who take money from the GOP are outrageous hypocrites if they say regulation doesn't work. This is because they are now under so much pressure that they're proposing regulations. The only major issue is the regulation they're proposing won't work. I wouldn't be surprised if they had sat around, decided to enact regulation that wouldn't work. That way, when it didn't work, they could say, "See? We tried it your way, but it didn't work."

In this, they remind me of no one more than Bloomberg's DOE. I distinctly recall going to an out-of-building PD and hearing about a new program. I don't remember anymore what it was, but I remember thinking it was plainly ridiculous. I objected to the presenter, and his defense was, "Well, we had to do something."  I also remember my response. I said, "We don't need you to do just anything. We need you to do something that works." The DOE hack had no response for that.

Trump is proposing better background checks, but as long as the gun show loophole is open, anyone can get whatever they want without one. I don't believe mental illness makes people violent, and I read somewhere that only 3% of those who suffer from it are violent. Nonetheless, people who suffer from mental illness ought not to have access to military weapons. You might find that discriminatory, but it's not. No one but the military ought to have military weapons.

The game the NRA and the politicians owned by it is playing is saying that those who suffer from mental illness ought not to have access to any firearms at all. Maybe they're right, but what they're really saying is those who don't suffer from mental illness ought to have access to assault weapons. That way, they sell more assault weapons. And frankly, the NRA is not just a group of gun owners. It's a lobby for gun manufacturers.

What's more important, gun sales, or our safety, and the safety of our children? That's a pretty easy answer for me. In America, in 2018, we need to ban the sale of assault weapons, buy back as many as we can from existing owners, and arrange for fewer guns out there. The notion of arming teachers does precisely the opposite, and every other proposal Trump is now talking up serves only to maintain the status quo while feigning action.
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