Here’s the set-up: “A few days ago, a new family moved from California into our neighborhood with a four year old. As they passed by the gun shop here in my neighborhood, the child asked, ‘Why is there a gun shop here, when there aren’t any animals to shoot?'” According to gun control campaigner Shane Claiborne, a man who is very special to CNN, it’s “A beautiful question. May that question haunt us and inspire us to transform the Jericho road, or Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia, so that our streets look a little more like the world we all want to live in.” Whoa, hang on a moment Mr. Claiborne. What’s your answer to that question?
For professional gun control advocates and their camp followers, there is but one answer to the question of gun crime: get rid of the guns. But the people who wholeheartedly hold to this position steadfastly refuse to admit their goal and put that recommendation in front of the American people. Instead, we get a lot of blather about “common sense laws” and “reasonable restrictions.”
One of the pieces of legislation that seems like a no-brainer is sometimes called the “One Handgun a Month” law, which would not get in the way of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms but simply says maybe 12 guns a year are enough.
It rests on the premise that if folks are buying more than a dozen guns a month, they are probably doing something other than giving them away as Christmas presents.
The sad thing is that powerful lobbyists are against some of these sensible laws, which is why folks can still buy fifty guns at a time… some of them undoubtedly landing on the streets and killing 19-year-old kids like Papito, the kid we held back in February as he died.
Interesting that Claiborne uses the word “seems” when calling the gun-a-month restriction a no-brainer.
More interesting still: self-professed “moderate” gun owners (need I mention any names?) don’t see this “sensible” purchase restriction as the proverbial camel’s nose in the metaphorical tent. If it’s not, why do gun control advocates keep returning to it, despite the fact that the bluest of blue states (Massachusetts) couldn’t get it done?
Obviously, it’s their most ostensibly defensible suggestion. Truth be told, gun control advocates and their institutional supporters favor far more “extreme” regulations than a Dirty Dozen law. In Rhode Island, anti-gun police chiefs are considering psychological evaluations for law abiding citizens who apply for a license to carry a gun.
The Chicago City Council replaced their unconstitutional gun ban with draconian restrictions, such as not allowing a homeowner to carry his legally registered weapon outside of his house onto his own property (i.e. a porch or garage). They also restricted handgun ownership to one functional weapon per household.
Gun control advocates preaching to the unconverted know that the majority of Americans don’t agree with outright gun bans, or measures that achieve the same result. The Brady Campaign and Mr. Claiborne realize that they can’t get what they really, really want. So they pretend that they don’t really want it.
There comes a point where we start to ask deeper questions, like “where are they getting the guns?”
As we dug into that question, we began to discover that there are a handful of irresponsible gun shops that illegal guns get tracked back to.
I’ll admit, my first instinct was not to try and push for legislation and laws and regulation. That is why I was excited to learn about a “Code of Conduct” drafted by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns. These are 10 steps of ethical business that several hundred mayors agreed would cut down gun violence if gun shop owners would commit to them.
I guess common sense overcame Claiborne’s instinctual response. But the question must be asked: why doesn’t Claiborne list these 10 Steps? He takes time out to publish the Brady Campaign’s favorite stats re: gun deaths worldwide. If the ten steps are so great, Claiborne should share them with the group. Or at least link to them. CNN? Bueller?
Let’s leave that for a moment. Here are the MAIG’s top ten things gun stores should do to stop the flow of guns into the hands of criminals, a platform which forms the basis of a new group, the . . .
RESPONSIBLE FIREARMS RETAILER PARTNERSHIP:
A 10-Point Voluntary Code
1. Videotaping the Point of Sale for All Firearms Transactions. Participating retailers will videotape the point-of-sale of all firearms transactions and maintain videos for 6 months to deter illegal purchases and monitor employees.
2. Computerized Crime Gun Trace Log and Alert System.Participating retailers will maintain a computerized log of crime gun traces relating to the retailer. Once the program is in place, if a customer who has a prior trace at that retailer attempts to purchase a firearm, the sale will be electronically flagged. The retailer would have discretion to proceed with the sale or stop the sale.
3. Purchaser Declaration. For sales flagged by the trace alert system, participating retailers will ask purchasers to fill out a declaration indicating that they meet the legal requirement to purchase the firearm.
4. Deterring Fake IDs. Participating retailers will only accept valid federal- or state-issued picture IDs as primary identification. Retailers will utilize additional ID checking mechanisms.
5. Consistent Visible Signage. Participating retailers will post signage created by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership to alert customers of their legal responsibilities at the point-of-sale.
6. Employee Background Checks. Participating retailers will conduct criminal background checks for all employees selling or handling firearms.
7. Employee Responsibility Training. Participating retailers will participate in an employee responsibility training program focused on deterring illegal purchasers. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership will create an online training system based on Wal-Mart’s training program.
8. Inventory Checking. Participating retailers will conduct daily and quarterly audits. Guidelines will be based on Wal-Mart’s firearms audit check procedures.
9. No Sales Without Background Check Results.Participating retailers would prohibit sales based on “default proceeds,” which are permitted by law when the background check has not returned a result within 3 days.
10. Securing Firearms. Participating retailers will maintain firearms kept in customer accessible areas in locked cases or locked to racks.
Participating retailers will phase in the provisions of Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership over time.
Number 1: Videotape all gun sales? You don’t have to be excessively paranoid about government intrusion to consider that one a non-starter—even before you consider the fact that it runs contrary to federal law banning a gun registry. (Don’t get Aaron Zelman started.)
Ditto number 2.
Number 3? Already a requirement.
Number 4: A gun purchaser must present valid ID to buy a gun. What part of that don’t gun stores or the MAIG understand? And if the MAIG’s in favor of a gun store Real ID policy, do they support a Real ID requirement for residents applying for local, city, state or federal aid? I don’t think so.
Number 5: You want to talk about slippery slopes? Gun shops have to agree to put up signs created by The Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG)’s seemingly innocuos sub-group, a self-appointed non-governmental organization? Forget the First Amendment (apparently). Who died and made them King? Can you say “shakedown”?
Number 6: Why not?
Number 7: Another blatant attempt at a power grab by the MAIG. It is not their business to tell gun shops how to run their business, aside from urging them to follow applicable laws and regulations.
Ditto Number 8.
Number 9: The law in question—“default proceeds”—keeps the FBI’s feet to the fire, forcing them to conduct criminal background checks in a timely manner. What’s wrong with that? Besides, does MAIG know that these check are now instant?
Numer 10: Despite that scene in the Terminator where the robot visits a gun shop, loads his gun and kills the owner, unsecured firearms walking out the door is not what you’d call a big problem.
Again, if Claiborne feels so strongly about the MAIG’s recommendation that he’s willing to organize demonstrations in front of gun stores to force owners to adopt it, why wouldn’t he highlight an example from the MAIG’s manifesto?
Because that’s not his goal. Claiborne wants to get rid of guns. The majority of Americans want to keep and bear arms. For Claiborne, democracy sucks. For you and me, it’s a godsend. As is the Internet, where the truth will out.
Meanwhile, did you know that Wal-Mart has signed on (perhaps literally) to the MAIG’s Orwellian Responsible Firearms Retail Partnership? Are they paying for the privilege? If so, do you want to buy guns and ammo from them? TTAG is investigating.