Monday, February 25, 2013

Utah Senator Evan Vickers and stealth gun control

The state senator for my little corner of the State of Utah, Evan Vickers, published part of the results of a survey he conducted recently. The survey results show how poorly informed the typical voter is (not that a politician would ever exploit that ignorance). Here we go:

Ban automatic assault weapons

The National Firearms Act of 1934 essentially did that in umm, 1934 with a tax, background check, registration, and government permission to own any automatic firearm.

Additionally, civilian ownership of any automatic firearm made after 1986 has been completely banned since the Gun Control Act of 1986 in umm, 1986. Apparently, 28.94% of the senator's constituents are unaware of this.

This restriction violates the Second and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution and must be repealed.

Ban the use of high-capacity magazines

High capacity magazines are magazines (clips to those too lazy to know or use proper nomenclature) which hold more cartridges than the gun was designed for. A 9mm Springfield XD pistol (one of my favorites), for example is designed to hold 15 cartridges in the magazine. The magazine is completely contained within the grip. The grip is designed to fit in the human hand. That is NOT high-capacity -- it is normal or standard capacity.

Only a magazine that extends beyond the grip to hold, say 30 rounds, would be a high-capacity -- and clumsy -- magazine. Gun banners chose an arbitrary number of 10 (now 7 in New York) and decree that a magazine that holds anything more than that is a high-capacity magazine when in reality; it is a politically-correct, crippled magazine.

Clearly, 27.48% wouldn't know a high-capacity magazine if they saw one.

Make our schools gun-free zones

All public schools (and neighborhoods within 1000 feet) in the US were decreed gun-free zones by the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 in umm, 1990. With some exceptions, all persons who enter those zones are required to be defenseless against violent attackers who violate the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. How's that working out for the 15.65% of survey respondents who think this is a good idea?

This restriction violates the Second and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution and must be repealed.

Require hands-on gun training with Concealed Weapons Permit Training

Senator Vickers reveals his lack of knowledge that Utah does not have a "Concealed Weapons Permit." We have a "Concealed Firearm Permit." Other weapons (eg a pocket knife) may be carried concealed without a permit in Utah. That basic ignorance is important considering that the ignorance is held by a state lawmaker, but not it's essential to issue he's addressing.

Some states require no permit or training (eg Arizona). Some require a permit with no training (eg Washington). Some require a permit with classroom-only training (eg Utah which does require "hands-on" training but no live-fire). Some require a permit with classroom and live-fire training (eg Nevada).

There is no significant training-related difference in accidental shootings, wrongful shootings, etc. by responsible adult civilians carrying concealed firearms between any of those groups (although civilians are statistically less likely to wrongfully shoot someone or to miss the target or commit a crime than are cops).

This shows that mandating a permit or mandating training of any kind has no measurable effect other than to impose an unnecessary and unconstitutional bureaucratic burden on responsible adults.

Should people voluntarily get some good training in gun safety and the laws of lethal force? Absolutely! Does it make any difference? The statistics say no.

Support the NRA's position to have more armed officers in our schools

Here, I must differ sharply from the NRA (of which I've been a life member since the mid '70s). I oppose the central government taking on another unconstitutional role as the NRA recommends – in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Armed officers in schools will likely be the first targets in any attack on a school. Now who’s gonna protect the kids?

Utah has the best possible school protection system in place. When they have a Utah Concealed Firearm permit, our public-school teachers and other staff have their right of self-protection restored. They don't need the permission of a principle, school board or anyone else. That permit constitutes permission from the central government and the State of Utah to have a gun in the classroom. They don't even need to, nor should they, tell anyone they are armed.

Their job doesn't become that of SWAT officers. They are not equipped or trained to run to the sound of gunfire. When a Utah public school is attacked, the armed teacher's (or janitor's, or secretary's) sole responsibility to protect self. By doing so, he or she, by default, protects all the students around him or her.

The beauty is that there is no single person (an armed officer) to eliminate before having free reign over the school. The attacker has no clue which rooms have the guns. That uncertainty is a very significant deterrent.

But, it's not enough. We need even more teachers and staff to carry guns in school. If they're responsible enough to be trusted around our children, they're responsible enough to have a gun too.

Encourage teachers, staff and administrators to receive concealed weapons training and arm themselves while in our schools

See the above paragraph. However, I oppose any mandate to receive training and I oppose designating specific individuals to have the gun.

Require background checks on individuals purchasing guns at gun shows

All firearms dealers are already required to run background checks for all gun sales regardless of whether the sale is in the store or at a gun show.

Only 2 percent of criminal guns come from gun shows. Yeah, that's 2 percent too many. But criminals rarely get their guns from gun shows or other legal sources. They can't! They steal them or buy them on the black market.

It also is already unlawful for anyone to transfer a firearm to a restricted person (felon, addict, illegal immigrant, mentally incompetent, etc.).

The gun show "loophole" is only a sinister ruse to divert attention from the real goal: A background check on all private firearm transfers which would be permanently recorded in federal records. That includes a gift of a .22-caliber rifle from father to son or a woman allowing her husband to shoot a couple of rounds from her pink revolver.

The gun-banners know that the so-called "loophole" is fiction. That's why even they put quotation marks around the word "loophole"! Most voters are idiots and don't know or understand how they're being manipulated.

There is no authority in the US Constitution for the central government to do anything to restrict the People in owning and/or using arms. The Second Amendment specifically tells the government to never infringe the ownership and use of arms (including firearms and pocket knives). The Tenth Amendment clearly prohibits the central government from doing anything not specifically authorized in the Constitution. The Utah Constitution also restricts the imposition of any of the above gun-control schemes.

The results of Senator Vickers' survey clearly show that Utah needs smarter voters. But, that'd be inconvenient for politicians and other power-mongers. We need smarter voters.

To become a smarter voter, sign up for news alerts from the NRA and join the NRA!

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