Who says Congress isn’t efficient? It has taken Congress less than 90 days to capitalize on the tragedy in Connecticut. In case you are not fully following me, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee cast the first votes on measures backed by Obama to tighten gun control laws. The Democrats control the Senate Judiciary Committee, so I do not hold out much hope for a reasonable outcome. On Thursday, the committee voted on four different bills that make up the gun-control package, so brace yourself. The next assault on our Second Amendment rights has begun.
The crux of the combined bills is to expand background checks and ban Modern Sporting Rifles, otherwise known by the incorrect and inflammatory rhetoric of the anti-gunners as assault weapons. While to some, an expanded background check is seen as a measure aimed at making our streets safer, others have delved a little deeper. Let’s take a look and see what makes sense and what does not.
The committee’s top Republican is none other than Senator Charles Grassley from Iowa. Sen. Grassley has pledged soft support for the measure to strengthen background checks stating it would toughen statutes against “straw purchasers.” Straw purchasers are people who profit from buying guns then selling them to those prohibited from owning firearms.
It’s that last part that gets me. I would not have an issue with a stronger background check if that were the intent, however it isn’t. It is already illegal to make a straw purchase. Question 11 a. of ATF’s Form 4473 clearly states, “Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you.” The penalty is 10 years in the Federal penitentiary.
So, it is already illegal to make a straw purchase, but Grassley, Feinstein and a few other shallow thinkers in the senate believes passing another law will suddenly change the actions of criminals. We are talking about criminals who obviously broke the law, with full intent because they checked the “yes” box adjacent to questions 11a of the 4473, will magically abide by a new law when they disregarded the law currently on the books. Please forgive my suspicious nature, but I do not have much faith in another law. “The practice of straw purchasing is used for one thing—to put firearms into the hands of those that are prohibited by law from having them. Many are then used to further violent crimes,” said Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy on Tuesday.
He is absolutely correct; that is the purpose of a straw purchase. It is also the reason that “straw purchases are already against the law and carry a 10-year prison sentence!” What does the purposed legislation really do? It does nothing to prevent straw purchases or reduce gun trafficking—if that was the goal they would investigate Eric Holder and the Justice Department first—it sets up a system to register firearms. No longer would the paperwork be a system to check on the individual, it could easily lead to a system where the government has a record of each firearm you own, by make, model, caliber and serial number.
Another bill focuses on strengthening school security. California’s Democratic Senator (that was redundant) Barbara Boxer has strong support for her measure to add $40 million a year for 10 years in matching federal grants to schools to strengthen security.
I am in favor of making our schools as safe as possible for our children. However, I also believe it would make more sense to save that $400 million to hire more school police and install more security cameras in favor of adopting the NRA’s solution of allowing teachers to become trained and certified to carry concealed on campus. That would cost a whole lot less and last longer than 10 years.
Oh wait! I forgot something. Barbara Boxer, an uber-liberal democrat, is spearheading this measure. In truth, the additional $40 million would not be used to add security to the schools. Instead it would be used to create another governmental bureaucracy! It would authorize the Justice Department to create a National Center for Campus Public Safety to serve as a clearinghouse for best practices and information.
“Congress spends hundreds of millions a year to protect its members. It can certainly spend $40 million a year to protect our children,” said Boxer on Monday. Yes, that’s right folks. 635 members of the House and Senate are worth “hundreds of millions a year” with lots of secret service and capital police with guns, but for our children we need another governmental (emphasis on mental) organization to waste $40 million a year to come up with the “best practices and information.” Are you getting a warm and fuzzy regarding the safety of your children yet?
Hey, Barbara Boxer! I’ll give you the answer for $20 million a year and save the taxpayers some coin. Quit trying to stop legislation that gives citizens the right to defend themselves and those around them and start supporting our Second Amendment rights. First, let our teachers carry weapons on a voluntary basis to protect our schools. Second, eliminate murder zones—better know to you as gun-free zones—because the only person safe in a gun-free zone is the lunatic who has illegally acquired a gun and traveled to your gun-free zone to cause mayhem without the fear of anyone stopping them by having the ability to fight back.
Better yet, take half of my $20 million and use it to train the teachers how to use a firearm to defend against a threat. At least that would be taxpayer money that was well spent for a change.
Currently, the Senate Judiciary Committee is controlled by the Democrats 10-8, which does not give us much hope. However, they need 60 votes to clear gun control legislation in the 100-member Senate where they have only a 55-45 majority.