The Lynchburg News & Advance asks in an editorial “Will debate on guns be one-sided?” The debate they are referring to of course is the gun-control debate. They use the recent killing of a VA Tech cop to resurrect the specter of the massacre and ask if gun laws have been fixed since then. By fixed, of course, they don’t mean recognizing the natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right of students and staff to own and carry the weapon(s) of their choice. Instead, they’re asking, “have laws reducing the flow of guns and the number of guns floating around the state been tightened since then?” They then answer their own question…
Hardly. If anything, the more widespread use of concealed weapons permits has increased the number of guns in public venues, including bars.
And some say the pro-gun conservatives in the General Assembly are setting their sights on repealing a gun control law that has made much sense during the decades it has been on the books.
The law they are referring to is Virginia’s 18 year-old “one handgun a month” (OHM) law. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership states that OHM laws prevent gun trafficking:
By limiting handgun purchases to one per person per month, a gunrunner is unable to obtain many handguns at one time, dramatically reducing the profitability of gunrunning. Quite simply, these laws put most gun traffickers (and their straw purchasers) out of business.
What both the Brady Bunch and the News & Advance staff fail to address is why two states with OHM laws, South Carolina and Virginia, rank sixth and seventh highest in terms of “gun exports” while two states without OHM laws, Texas and Minnesota, rank 39th and 45th respectively. Indeed, according to the tracetheguns.org website, Texas has zero, nada, niente, hичего, of the “Ten Key State Laws That Curb Illegal Gun Trafficking” yet still ranks below Maryland which has eight of the ten and a OHM law.
All of which makes it really hard to see how exactly the N&A staff can conclude that the Commonwealth’s OHM law ‘has made much sense’ over the last 18 years. The N&A then trots out the classic “but why would anyone need…”
No one has ever satisfactorily answered the central question that underlies the law, which is this: Why does anyone need to buy more than one handgun a month? Gun proponents will say that the Second Amendment offers the right to buy as many guns as you want, but that ignores the question of need.
Hey guys, you know what? No one has ever satisfactorily answered the central question that underlies all gun laws which is this: Why do I need to justify exercising my rights in as free and unfettered a fashion as I choose?
The N&A folks then trot out the eee-vil Gun-Show Loophole®
Also, the prospects of closing Virginia’s so-called gun show loophole don’t appear to be great. That loophole allows anyone — even convicted felons and those with a history of mental illness — to buy weapons from a private dealer without a background check.
Background check? How about a reality check. There is no such thing as a “private dealer.” Anyone who is engaged in the business of selling firearms is required to get a FFL. Someone who is selling uncle Bob’s hunting rifle isn’t (unless uncle Bob had a lot of rifles).
Furthermore, the way ‘gun show vendor’ is defined in the proposed legislation, I’d be committing a Class 6 felony (whatever that is) if I sold, offered for sale or transferred any firearm at a gun show without having registered with the organizer. Since the legislation neglects to define the term transfer that means if someone sees my peace-bonded pistol in its shoulder holster and says “Is that the FN FiveseveN? Cool! Can I see?” and I hand it to them, I may well have just committed a felony.
Private dealers at many of the open air gun shows do not have to abide by the same laws, including background checks, that apply to dealers selling weapons from licensed shops. Since the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, families of victims have tried unsuccessfully to close the gun show loophole. That would require gun buyers to submit to the same background check required of buyers at federally licensed shops.
Oh no, it’s the massacre again. Of course the Tech shooter didn’t get either of his weapons at a gun show, nor did he violate Virginia’s OHM law which makes talking about the killings at VA Tech A) irrelevant and 2) offensive. I don’t bring up the Medford Pitchfork Murders every time I talk about getting onstitutional carry passed somewhere because I consider it to be in very poor taste to exploit tragedy for the sake of furthering a political agenda which is completely unrelated to the issue in question.
Rahm Emanuel once said that you should never let a good crisis go to waste; the motto of the antis seems to be “Never let a pool of innocent blood go uncelebrated.”