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Old March 13, 2013, 04:35 PM   #38
Senior Member
Join Date: May 8, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,149
I consider myself both moderate and independent. I look at issues on their merit.

On other social issues, I would probably raise the ire of many people on this board, but on the current proposals for gun control I think almost all will agree with me that they are all ineffective.

We had a ban on assault weapons, as defined by gun control advocates, for ten years, and we saw no significant change in crime statistics. The reason is clear if you look at FBI crime statistics. More than twice as many murders are committed with bare hands than with all types of rifles combined. When all rifles account for around 2% of murders, banning certain types of rifles cannot be expected to be a game changer.

Magazine size limits? If I show a new shooter where the magazine release is, he or she can easily change a magazine in under two seconds on the first try. It takes only a little practice to get it under one second. Such a brief pause in the rate of fire cannot be expected to be a game changer in a mass shooting. The guy who shot up Virginia Tech has been reported to have used multiple ten-round magazines, yet the media does not remind us of that in the campaign to ban the magazines that are standard capacity for most full-sized pistols.

Background checks are already required for any transaction with a licensed dealer. The checks suffer from two serious deficiencies. First, they check for mental illness against a database that contains almost no data regarding mental illness. Our society values patient privacy more highly than firearm safety, to the extent that mental health professionals can be liable for civil damages, administrative action against their licenses, and in some instances criminal charges for divulging patient information. Secondly, officials as high as the vice president have stated publicly that straw purchases are not prosecuted, even though the form filled out for every gun purchase clearly states that it is a felony. Without correcting those two deficiencies, increasing the number of background checks is just generating more paper.

So as a moderate who examines issues on their merit, I find no merit in current gun control proposals because I expect them to be completely ineffective.

If there is a way to decrease the access of those with criminal intent and mental illness without compromising the rights of the citizenry to bear arms for self defense and other lawful purposes, it has to my knowledge not been proposed by politicians of either party now in office. A good start might be to enforce the current laws regarding background checks, but I haven't heard anyone in Washington propose that.
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