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11.4.13

GUN VIOLENCE VICTIMS DESERVE A VOTE!!!






Many in the US seem to think their gun rights are under attack. They feel that the federal government is trying to take their Second Amendment rights away. Even more seem to think that president Obama's call for gun control reform is simply code for some sort of socialist power grab. This is not the case by any stretch of the imagination. Many appear to just simply being misinformed on what the president has really asked for. 

President Obama never called for anyone to have their guns taken from their homes. However, he did call for a ban on the manufacture of assault weapons and limit on the size of magazines. As most know an assault weapons ban is nothing new to the US. One was in effect between the years of 1994 and 2004 when the Bush administration allowed to lapse. During that 10 year period we did not see the end of the world as gun owners knew it, the federal government didn't come in and steal everyone's guns, and in some instances crimes involving these particular weapons went down. So I so weapons ban would not be the end of the world nor would it affect current owners of these type weapons. This type of legislation does not appear to be on the docket anytime in the near future. What is on the table now you may ask?


On the table currently in Congress is simply a plan to close all loopholes in the background check system. The aim is to prevent criminals and those with extreme psychological disorders from obtaining any kind of firearm, whether it be an assault rifle or pistol. The NRA seems to feel that this is an infringement on the Second Amendment forgetting the fact that the Second Amendment does state in its first three words the phrase "Well Regulated" ("A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"). At last check overall 90% of the American public supported universal background checks. So why should we allow the NRA to use their money and their lies to continue to shape the gun laws in the United States?






The answer is that we should not allow the NRA to continue to write our gun laws. The sad fact is that the NRA does not support American gun owners, as they once did, they simply support the American gun manufacturers. The NRA receives massive amounts of money from the makers of guns in order to lobby Congress and other officials to cut down all gun regulations in the country to increase gun sales. In the end  they are simply no better than any other lobbyist group. 

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre even testified before Congress stating that background checks don't keep all criminals from obtaining a gun, so why should we have background checks all? This is the most asinine argument yet. Under this illogical thinking we should not have any laws on the books because we can't stop everyone from breaking the law. It's like stop signs, occasionally somebody will run a stop sign, does this mean we as a society should stop having laws about stopping at stop signs. This is by far the worst argument the NRA has made to this point to block background checks

If over 90% of Americans support universal background checks why can it not be done? Prior to the events of this week 13 Republican senators had stood in support of filibustering a vote on this exact proposal. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul seemed to be leading the charge on that idea. Even with these 13 senators threatening a filibuster it now appears that the filibuster will not happen. This vote is slated for later today to start the debate on a bill for Universal background checks. The fact is this bill with all the support it has with the American people it deserves a vote in both chambers of Congress.  

Recently, president Obama has spoken in places like Colorado and Connecticut on how important expanding background checks to all gun sales is if we want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the criminally insane. In Connecticut, Mr. Obama reiterated his position he had stated in his last state of the union address. As he said then the children and teachers of Sandy Hook deserve a vote.


On the other hand we have people like Sen. Inhofe of Oklahoma who feels entirely different about the victims and the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. He attempted to shame the president for involving these families in the debate for universal background checks. He claimed that the gun reform bill, heading for a vote in the near future, has absolutely nothing to do with the families or their deceased loved ones. This kind of view is absolutely repugnant. This bill has everything to do with these families and the families of every victim of gun violence. It doesn't matter if it was in a mass shooting or in a single one-on-one confrontation. All the victims of gun violence deserve a vote and deserve to have their voices heard.
I can already hear the detractors screaming what about mental illness, what about the video games and what about violent movies in Hollywood. The truth is sure these must all be dealt with maybe with stronger rating systems on video games and movies and more support for people and families dealing with mental illness. 

There is really no proof that violent movies or video games are the root cause of gun violence in America. That said, more should be done to keep our children away from violent movies and violent video games. This all starts at home. Parents must do a better job of monitoring the video games their children play as well as what they see on TV or in movie theaters. These two industries could still do a better job of informing parents on what exactly each rating in their rating systems mean. 

The mental health issue is not one that can be ignored but also it is not something easily controlled. The best we can do is keep guns out of the hands of those with severe mental disorders. This can be easily accomplished through a universal background check system. As of now if you are a criminal or you are mentally ill you can simply go to a gun show and find a weapon or buy one from a buddy and use it to commit crimes.

Many say that all background checks to this prevent legal law-abiding citizens from having guns, this couldn't be further from the truth. The fact is millions of convicted felons or folks otherwise not allowed to have guns have been blocked from purchasing firearms since background checks were first instituted. Plus, background checks cannot possibly prevent law-abiding citizens from having firearms. After you fill out the background check information and you pass the background check being a law-abiding citizen you are then able to buy the firearm you are wanting.

All this said, don't let the fear mongering from folks like the NRA and other like-minded groups scare us away from passing universal background checks because of the boogie monster under the bed.

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