I have a friend who is a gun owner working with our local and state gun violence prevention groups who has said many times that guns don’t fall from the sky. They all start out as legal purchases. As proof, this recent arrest shows why this is true. Mind you, this is just one of many many similar stories about how crime guns enter the illegal or maybe even legal market. From the article:
A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection watch commander in Southern California has pleaded guilty to illegal gun-selling and unlawfully possessing more than 40 machine guns.
What the heck? Machine guns are strictly regulated for very good reason. They fall under the 1934 National Firearms Act that requires a lengthy background check process and a fee as well as registration. So how did this guy get machine guns? Good question. But they had to have started out as a legal purchase by someone who went through the process required.
All guns should go through the same process.
Embedded in the above article is another article of a similar vein about a convicted felon in possession of many guns using one in a road rage incident.
Police went on to search two residences associated with Trantham, a convicted felon who is barred from owning guns, and found several firearms, police said. Officers confiscated at least seven seven handguns, two shotguns, two rifles, numerous gun parts and thousands of rounds of ammunition that were seen in a photo posted by police to Facebook on Saturday, July 13.
The thing is, the guns this man had in his possession he could not purchase legally. How did he get them? And a photo on Facebook displaying the guns? I thought Facebook was going to stop this practice. They are not doing what they should be and said they would do.
And speaking of Facebook and guns they will now allow on-line blueprints for how to make 3D guns which, of course, anyone can make if they have the 3D printer. No background checks required and mostly plastic parts that can make it through metal detectors. From the article:
The social network said it would let “legitimate” gun shops and online vendors offer instructions for printing so-called “downloadable guns” in places where it is legal to do so.
This is insanity itself. What is wrong with Facebook? We should all rise up in opposition to this one. Blueprints for buildings and other things are not dangerous. Blueprints for guns are.
Think of airport security, metal detectors in government buildings, etc. It will take just one bullet from one of these 3D guns at a Congressional hearing before the public understands the danger.
Where is common sense?
Another article in my local paper reveals that a recently released felon, convicted of shooting someone, on the day after his release, stabbed and beat his wife for the crime of not being home when he was released from prison:
Daniel Kriesel, 45, has been incarcerated for much of the past decade after he was convicted of shooting another man in the East Hillside in 2008. He’s now facing the potential of another long prison term after the Monday incident that left the victim with injuries that a prosecutor described as “brutal.”
Why oh why. Let me remind you that in many states felons can purchase guns legally because it is not illegal to buy from private sellers at gun shows, flea markets or on-line sites like Armslist.com.
If we are to prevent and reduce gun violence we must use a multi faceted approach. Stronger background check laws, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, Safe Storage laws, gun trafficking laws, allowing more research into gun violence, promoting programs such as ASK and End Family Fire, and making our voices loud and clear ( as the majority have already do) that it is NOT NORMAL for our country to be in the midst of a national public health gun violence epidemic.
Much like cats and dogs, guns don’t fall from the sky. But it is really raining guns in America. We need to drain the ponds formed by the guns flooding our country and stop them from falling into the wrong hands.
Education. Energy. Emphatic support for common sense gun laws. Expedite passage of gun safety reform laws. Expert evidence about the risks of guns in the home. End Family Fire. Explaining the risks to leaders and the public. Explain and expose the truth about how the NRA has become a corrupt organization. Expose “bad apple gun dealers” where some crime guns get into the hands of people who should not have them. Elucidate the public about the danger of straw purchases of guns.
And eager engagement.