Wednesday June 19, 2013
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An article about New York State gun laws prompted me to write this. I realized that you could read that article and come away without the slightest idea how things really are back there.
First, before I say another word, let me tell you a few things about myself that you need to know.
I am NOT someone who has any great interest in guns, nor have I ever been. In fact, the only guns I have ever bought are a single barrel shotgun in 1953 (I was living in a country house and wanted it for shooting rats coming from a nearby dump), a Winchester .22 rifle in 1954 (same purpose), and a foreign made rifle in 1957 (for something to hang on a wall as a decoration). I never got to use either the shotgun or the rifle for the reason I bought them, and they lay unused until 1957 when I took them in the country in Texas one day and fired each of them. They were never used again.
In 1964, when the packers were packing up my household goods for an overseas move, I realized that I had forgotten to tell them to get the three weapons out of the heater closet where I kept them because it was dry and warm and a good place to keep something safe from rust. What did I do? I hadn't fired any of them in 7 years, so I just took them over to a neighbor and gave them to him. Never bought another gun.
BUT, that does not mean that I am not a seeker of the truth, and if someone tries to wheedle you into thinking that the purpose of "gun control" laws is not actually to remove all weapons from the hands of the public, you had better think again. My advice is go to Amazon, buy a book or two on the subject, ones which deal fairly and honestly with the issues, and read them. Be sure to read the book reviews first so that you are buying books that are not biased either way.
Now for some plain words.
I often read comments made by people who feel that there should be more "gun control" laws, and even some comments made by people on the opposite of the issue, that show me that many people do not really understand the impact of gun laws. Because I was born in New York and actually lived there, in a place where one of the very first "gun control" laws was ever passed, I'm going to tell you about the way they actually work.
We'll talk only about one state, and only about handgun rules. That's all it will take to help you to understand the basic truth.
The law in New York State is advertised as a "registration and may issue permit" law, which is always taken to mean that you may own a handgun for any legitimate reason, but it must be registered, you must apply for a license to own or buy it, and you must have a reasonable reason for owning it.
So what is reasonable? Here's a quick list: Hunting, target shooting, security guard, armed guards, and anyone who has a specific reason to need one (an example would be someone with a store who feels he needs one to protect himself and his property).
That doesn't sound bad, does it?
But try, as many millions of people have done, to get such a license. You may as well forget it. In the first place it is usually the police department which is the licensing authority, and you have only to read this quote from totally neutral Wikipedia to understand what that means.
"In New York City, the licensing authority is the police department, which rarely issues carry licenses to anyone except retired police officers, celebrities, or others with political connections."
That is a direct quote, and I can tell you from first hand experience that it is not an exaggeration. You can apply all you want, but because the law says that the agency "may" issue a license, not that it "will" or "shall" issue a license, you will not get one.
Now that is the truth of the matter, and you should understand it before you even consider opting for any gun control law which requires a license or permit for any weapon of any kind.
The other thing you should realize is that is many places where some agency is put in charge of registering or approving weapons, they simply never get around to doing the paperwork, so the law means nothing. A "may issue," or in some cases even a "will issue," law becomes meaningless when the issuing agency chooses to do nothing.
What are you going to do, sue? When the issuing authority is almost always the Superior Court, as it is outside New YorK City?
The reality is that a "gun control" becomes a "gun ban."
If that's not what you want, be careful how you vote.
Thanks for the information Tom.
If the law gets passed, who will have guns? Criminals and killers.
Three things drive "gun control" laws. Four if you count honest, caring people who are concerned about violence, who don't read the studies done by the FBI, the CDC, the Secret Service, and the Attorney General's Office, and who are folled into thinking that laws about clip sizes, barrel length, and ammunition purchases will stop crazy people from doing crazy things, drug dealers from shooting each other, and bullying-crazed kids from seeking revenge--which they won't.
The first thing is politicians who are afraid of voting their conscience because they will lose votes. The second is other politicians, ones who sneer at "we the people" as lan ignorant mob not capable of ruling themselves, a mob which has to be disarmed. The third--and most dangerous of all three--are wealthy elitists who think that they "know better" and that they were born to rule the ignorant, foolish masses.
You might say that there is a fourth group, made up of college educated journalists and men and women trained in the social sciences, along with a smaller body of men and women educated in hard core sciences, but I do not agree with that. I believe that perception comes about because of political issues such as the environment, which are used by elitists to recruit journalists and the educated.
What the elitists do is pit themselves against business interests in areas were businesses are, or may be, on the wrong side of the equation. They yell about an environment they care nothing about, causing the press and many oridinary people to side with them. Why? Because they are right. But they don't actually care about those issues. Someone like Al Gore, born rich and caring nothing about "carbon footprints" could do more good by reducing his own waste of precious resources--four hundred times that of yours or mine by the way--than by lying about his true beliefs.
Elitiists also use moderate social issues to recruit the educated and the press. Take social security and Medicare as examples, two perfectly natural expressions of the desire of the people to come together as a whole and ensure against an always impossible to predict future. If you were to put either of those programs to a straight up vote of all Americans there is not the slightest doubt that the vast majority of us--perhaps as much as 80 to 90 percent of the nation--would vote to keep what we have.
That is a settled issue. So a good question is why the elitists keep bringing it up when there is NO chance that it will be changed? To keep the people scared, that's why.
As for the "gun control" laws we are now seeing, they are either window dressing, bait-and-switch moves, or very dangerous attempts to undermine the nation by fooling honest voters into thinking that requiring licenses will merely keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, when their actual purpose is to keep guns out of YOUR hands.
It is not guns which need control. It is teenage thugs who will never stop shooting each other over drug turf. It is harassed and brutalized high school kids who seek revenge for years of bullying. It is poor sick people who become monsters when for no fault of their own they are no longer able to cope.
Those are the three causes of violence cited in study after study. Instead of cranking up the smoke machines and polishing political mirrors, we need to do something to address the genuine causes of our problems. If we don't do that the problems will still be there long after "gun control" laws have become gun bans, and you no longer can buy one to protect yourself in your own home.
All I am saying is this: When you consider any law, consider what it will really do. Will it in any way stop violence? Is there any proof of that? Does any unbiased agency in the nation believe that? If not, why should you support its passage?
How does it help you? Does it make you any safer in your home?
Will you feel safer in your car as you drive through the streets of Phoenix where drug dealers stand on street corners with cell phones in their hands, keeping in touch with lookouts? Will you feel confident you are safe if you have to change a tire?
Will your kids be any safer in a school where bullying takes place in PE every day? Are you sure you are not sending your kids to a potential Columbine? Have you ever asked your kids about the bullying they see? Well? Have you?
And that man standing in the shadows and watching you as you walk across a store parking lot at night. What's he thinking about? Is he worrying about whether or not he can afford a 30 round magazine for the $1,500 AR-15 rifle he owns? One for the $2,000 Colt? The $4,000 Heckler & Koch? The $5,000 Styer? Or might he be thinking that strangling you will get rid of one of "them?"
Want to stop violence? Address the causes of violence.
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