C. David Durkee
Recently, a poll was taken and it demonstrated that approximately 92 % of voters, including 92 % of gun owners and 86 % of Republicans, support background checks prior to all gun sales, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University. See Blog on The Hill Website. This is a significant result. Number one it shows that almost all Americans understand the need for and want reasonable gun control. Number two it shows that most American’s do not equate an individual’s 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms to be absolute. In other words, most American’s believe that the constitution allows for reasonable gun control. Number three, the fact that 92% of Americans support background checks for ALL gun sales demonstrate that Americans support a system where the federal government can investigate every gun sale whether the sale occurs from a retailer to an individual or whether it is from individual to individual.
However, in our current political system, where money rules the day, even an issue that is supported by 92% of the electorate will never be passed. Even a measure that will help protect the weakest among us, our children, from gun violence, will never get passed. Why??? Lobbyists and lobbying groups like the NRA.
The NRA sounds like an organization that every red blooded American should join. It is for freedom. It is for self reliance. It is for your constitutional right to “bear arms!” You have cool slogans like, “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” You have cool real men like Charlton Heston, before he passed away, as your spokesman. In American it has always been easier to be Rambo than Al Gore. However, basically what the NRA does is to lobby for gun makers and ammunition manufacturers. The more guns sold, the stronger the NRA, the stronger the NRA, the more guns are sold. It is a self fulfilling prophesy.
The NRA is against ALL gun control. The NRA is in a propaganda war and this is how it works. If any legislator dares to raise his hand and propose any form of gun control, the next voting cycle the NRA will spend thousands and thousands of dollars helping to support anyone that runs against that particular legislator. Most likely by the end of the next voting cycle the gun control bill that was proposed will have been killed by the Congress and that particular legislator that proposed the bill will no longer be a legislator. This targeted approach by the NRA assures that no gun control measure will ever be introduced, let alone, pass.
However, we need universal background checks. We need background checks on every transfer of a gun. The current system has so many loopholes it simply does not work. That is one of the “talking points” the NRA loves to use…we already have background checks – and they do not work – so we should get rid of them all. What a false pretense!!! In reality, good universal background checks are proposed, the NRA waters these proposed bills down, and then the law does not work because there are too many loopholes. Then, once the NRA has made the law completely ineffective because of all of the loopholes, the NRA will then use the line, “these laws don’t work.” Again – a self fulfilling prophesy.
The American Acadamy of Pediatrics has taken a stand against gun ownership since 2010. They published a groundbreaking study that showed scientifically that a home without a handgun was far more safe than a home with a handgun. However, this call for reasonable gun control is not only coming from left leaning organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even front line, hardened, crime fighters, are calling for tougher gun laws. Grizzled crime fighter, Chicago’s Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy, who has fought crime in both New York and Chicago is adamant about tougher gun laws. This crime fighter said, “if the community wants gun violence to lessen on Chicago we have to do something about guns, and criminals that carry guns.” He is actually frustrated that people can’t see this, “I don’t know why this is such a deep concept.” And he said this is “obvious” and “clear”! He was also asked what the difference between Chicago and New York he said, “guns, the proliferation of firearms [in Chicago] is overwhelming.” He explained how New York got a handle on gun violence – stricter gun penalties – that was the solution. In Illinois, illegal possession of a firearm is not even considered a violent crime. The penalties are so light in Illinois that at the end of the day only 4% of those who are incarcerated in Illinois are for gun crimes while 26% of those incarcerated are for narcotics. On the street a criminal will not drop his gun because the sanction from his own gang is worse than the sanction he will get from the criminal justice system. Please listen to this crime fighter pleading for justice. Here the frustration in his voice.
The scary part of this article is not that we have a gun problem in the United States. The scary part of this article is not that our lack of gun control will continue to contribute to our children being gun downed by crazy people who still have access to firearms. The scary part of this article is that under our current political system, where money controls all, we are powerless to change it. We are powerless to enact reasonable gun control. We do not have a gun problem. We do not have an electorate problem. We have a money problem. When organizations can lobby and stand up against the will of the people, when 92% of America wants background checks on all gun sales and we cannot get that passed, we have a money and lobbying problem.
Be afraid – be very afraid. Organizations like the NRA are far scarier than any make believe ghost or goblin.
Law Enforcement Veteran: Locking Up Minor Drug Offenders Makes Us Less Safe - http://www.npr.org/2015/10/21/450464658/law-enforcement-veteran-locking-up-minor-drug-offenders-makes-us-less-safe
Background checks on gun sales: How do they work? - http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/10/politics/background-checks-explainer
by C. David Durkee