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Old January 13, 2001, 12:20 AM   #1
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Gun laws should at least make sense
See, this is the problem with sequels. They are rarely as good as the original.
Or maybe it's the nasty residue of what occurs when people get too heady with their own sucess.
What SAFE Colorado did last fall — at least the majority of us agree — was a very good thing. They grabbed the gun-show loophole by the neck with an initiative and killed it spectacularly.
I am still applauding. Buying a weapon at a gun show without having to register it always seemed strange to me. I always thought it the equivalent of buying a car and not having to register it in one county, when in the next one over they'd make you.
The show SAFE put on at the Capitol the other day, I just didn't get it. OK, I didn't get half of it.
I've said it here before: I think all gun owners should be required to store their guns under lock and key. It seems such a natural. Maybe it's the large volume of stories I've reported and read of children killing themselves or others with guns they've snatched from their parents' bed table.
SAFE held a rally Monday on the Capitol steps pushing lawmakers to enact legislation requiring such safe storage, a measure they killed only last year.
It also seeks to raise the minimum age of handgun ownership from 18 to 21. Now, I hate guns. This one, I think, goes too far. Maybe the pro-gun folks finally have gotten to me.
I figure if you're old enough to be drafted, vote, be lethally injected, you're old enough to own a handgun. Besides, I don't think that many 18- to 21-year-olds do that much gun buying. I checked it out.
"None," Ronald Bryan, a salesman at the Gun Room in Lakewood, replied when I asked how many handguns he'd sold to people under 21 years old. "You have to be 21 to buy a handgun from a federally licensed firearm dealer. It's a federal law."
Wait a second. If I bought a handgun as a present for my 19-year-old, it would be against the law? "If I knew of it, I'd have your butt put in jail," Ronald Bryan said.
About a half-dozen over the past two years have tried to buy a handgun. "I think it was out of ignorance or some foolish belief they could pull the wool over my eyes."
Naturally, he is a pro-gun guy. All the talk of restricting access simply bewilders him. For example, he says a kid under 21 can buy shotgun shells, "but I can't sell him handgun ammo. And both will kill you just as dead."
He tells me what everyone tells me when the issue of safe storage is mentioned. He almost spits. "If you can't get to your gun when you need it, what the logic of owning one, anyway?
''Let's say you hear a rumbling outside your house late at night. Your guns are locked. Where's the key? you ask. Are you going to say, 'Wait a minute, burglar'?"
A lock box, he'll give me. "I'm more inclined to say people should use one, especially if they have young children in the house," is as far as he will go.
I tell him of the dead kids and grown-ups I've written of, who were killed by careless storage of their handguns. He doesn't flinch.
"Look," Ronald Bryan says, "if this were a perfect society, I'd say ban them all, ban all handguns. But this is not a perfect society we live in."
And I say as long as there remains unfettered access to handguns, it can never be.
Bill Johnson's column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. [email protected] or (303) 892-2763.
January 10, 2001
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Old January 13, 2001, 09:06 AM   #2
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Bill Johnson seems to be a dyed-in-the-wool anti. Admittedly, he hates guns.


He thinks that 18 year-olds should be allowed to own them since they can be drafted. Hmmm.... This could be significant. This anti actually is thinking for himself. Not buying all the tripe that HCI is selling as filet mignon anymore.

I hope that this is a harbinger of things to come. Eventually, HCI and their cohorts will eventually push the American public too far. They will call for more and more outrageous laws, more, eventually, than people can stomach. Then they will begin losing support. One at a time.

We, the responsible firearms owners of the world, need to be there when this happens. We need to be the conduit that carries these people, whose eyes are open just a bit, to the rational light of reason. This is how we will gain people to our own side, the same way that HCI loses them.

One at a time.
-Dave Miller
NRA Certified Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Personal Protection.
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Old January 13, 2001, 11:18 AM   #3
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Although the authors gun dealer explained the why fairly well….. Thomas Paine did a far better job..

I am thus far a Quaker, that I would gladly argue with all the world to lay aside the use of arms and settle matters by negotiation, but unless the whole will, the matter ends, and I take up my musket and thank Heaven He has put it in my power." ﷓﷓ Writings of Thomas Paine 56 (M. Conway ed. 1894)

This applied equally with the criminal element.


The debate is not about guns,
but rather who has the ultimate power to rule,
the People or Government.
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Old January 13, 2001, 06:49 PM   #4
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Bluesman, I think we've already seen HCI et al lose support for their proposals. But they just repackage them. In the late 80's they realized that support for restricting handgun ownership was waning, so they found the "assault weapon" bogeyman to sell. With people now not particularly concerned about violent crime (other than the spectacles of mass homicides), our anti friends need to package their proposals in terms of health and safety. Witness that the public discussion has moved from one of criminal use of guns to the "problem" of guns themselves. For us, a "gun problem" is either related to one not functioning, or not having enough of them. For our allies in politics, not addressing the "gun problem" is a millstone with three TV talking heads sitting on it.

I fear the public will never think the anti's have gone too far. I always point to the cigarette analogy. Thirty years ago it would have been considered conspiratorial to predict what we now have: cigs at over $3 a pack, of which over $2.25 goes toward taxes and smoking re-education; cigarette manufacturers prohibited from advertising their product, even putting their logos on race cars; an 800 number to call the Feds to report a retailer who sells a pack of cigarettes to someone who appears to be under 21; prohibitions against smoking in bars, hotels, restaurants, airplanes, and even in commercial 18 wheelers; bans on smoking within x number of feet of public and private buildings, and now a proposal to ban smoking in one's own apartment;
billboard campaigns, paid for by smokers, which depict smokers
as filthy slime; vice squad officers going undercover in bars to arrest smokers; bans on smoking in outdoor stadiums; bans on smoking on outdoor public property such as parks and sidewalks.

HCI is years behind the tobacco nazis, but I fear that the number of years is not that great.

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Old January 13, 2001, 08:11 PM   #5
Zak Smith
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The article is fuzzy with regard to the ownership issue.

It is illegal by federal law for someone under 21 to buy a handgun, but it is not illegal by federal law for them to "own" (ie, possess) one.

This restriction can be set by states, but I know that in many cases it is not. For example, my brother asked the WI AG if it was legal for a 19-year-old to own a handgun, and the response (which I posted here a while ago) is that it *is* legal, as long as they don't buy it from an FFL. They could receive it as a gift, for example.

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