*NOTE* The author is a life long hunter, shooter, and gun collector. He supports Second Amendment rights for all law abiding citizens. He is the owner of multiple assault-style weapons and hand guns.*
Even with nine out of ten polled voters supporting legislation making back round checks mandatory and more effective it has failed. Even with bi-partisan support and the support of our President, it has failed.
And I think it's a mistake. At the risk of sounding like a broken record I have owned guns all my life. I have a large collection though more than three-quarters of them are antiques that are never fired. I own and employ assault rifles as light, handy, effective tools ideally suited for long distance camping. I am a fanatic about gun safety, my guns are so securely stored as to be nearly theft proof. I have never been in trouble with the law and never once violated a gun law. I believe gun ownership is a right and a privileged. I am not a "gun nut" who believes we should be able to do as we please, own what we want.
There must be reasonable laws to protect us from people attaining guns who should not have them and any improvement to the back round check system would have been a good first step. With a good nation wide system in place the inconvenience to we law abiding owners would be, at worst, negligible. I've always believed closing the gun show loophole (though it's not as big a hole as people think it does exist) needed to happen. Where I did not agree was that the proposed legislation would have exempted inner family transfers. My opinion is that any time a gun changes ownership a back round check should be done, even with bequests in wills.
When I read the article regarding the laws failure to advance I was blown away by one of the reasons it's believed it didn't. Mid term elections. So...it's come down to political survival has it? Politicians caring more about getting re-elected than the safety of their constituents. Even with every poll saying those people on both sides of the argument overwhelmingly support the idea the politicians care more about their own well being.
They are afraid of the NRA, and that is exactly why I pulled my NRA membership decades ago. I joined them when their focus was introducing people to the sport and making sure they were taught to do so safely. It was a goal I admired so much that I spent several years as a safety instructor. Then we watched it all change. The NRA became more about political clout, influencing legislators, and working to guarantee the profits of manufacturers.
We elect these men and women to represent us yet they spend the majority of their time planning voting strategies they think will gain them another term. They allow organizations such as the NRA to scare them with their "grading system". They ignore the very voice of the people they want to re-elect them. In my opinion these people, groomed to their posts, need to be voted out. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves at what our system has become. The people that represent us, Congressmen, Senators, Representatives on down, were not meant to be lawyers raised at the teat of power.
The elected men and women were always meant to be drawn from the pool of the common man!
Instead, over time, we were trained to believe that only lawyers (as almost all elected figures who reach high status are) could understand the complexity of the workings of government. Over time we became convinced that an election was as much about being a beauty contest than anything substantial. We've simply come to accept that the formula is to take the number of promises made during a campaign, divide by .33, and you will arrive at the true platform the candidate it running on. Which promises will be kept is more than likely decided with a cork board, thumb tacks, index cards, and pub darts...over drinks.
And now, for at least some political considerations, they have shot down this, the most common sense piece of gun legislation to be introduced since prior to the GCA of 1968...to keep their cushy office, their travel privileges, their nice homes and expense accounts.
If this bill is meant to stand on its own we need to be heard on it. Write, email, call every politician who has sway in your life and tell them...this needs to happen. If they don't respond we need to teach them that we don't care about the NRAs "grades" as much as they think...by voting them out next year! Perhaps we even need to urge the federal government to allow what has never been done and allow we the citizens, in a common vote, to decide if this should go forward.
No, I would never support legislation that would take my guns. They are all legal, they all do serve legitimate civilian purposes, and I have never and will never break a single law with them. I obey those laws to the letter and I take the responsibility of gun ownership seriously.
Now we need to step up and tell our Government we support any law that allows us our freedom while making great inroads in keeping those guns out of the hands of the Adam Lanzas of the nation!