Another mass murder And another call for more gun control By Ron Heppner

The blame game of for the mass murder in Orlando is in full force. Making political hay out of human suffering is pretty low, but I suppose that’s where we are these days. The statements pretty much run along partisan party lines, with democrats clamoring for tighter gun control and republicans touting stricter terrorism control. Most law abiding gun owners agree that guns should not fall into the wrong hands and we have plenty of laws on the books to prevent that.

 Automatic weapons were banned before Bernie Sanders was born by the National Firearms Act of 1934. Since an automatic weapon was not used in the Florida attack; one would wonder why the candidate is so concerned about machine gun sales. Automatic weapons can be purchased in some states, but federal licensing requirements make it next to impossible for the average, law abiding gun owner of modest means to buy one (the ammo cost is out of reach for most folks).

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN, that the assault weapons ban should be reinstated, and criticized Florida Legislators for not regulating assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines. She further blamed Florida for not requiring a permit to purchase a gun, not requiring gun registration, and not requiring gun owners to be licensed to carry a shotgun or rifle.

New York has among the strictest gun control laws in the country. Even with the S.A.F.E. Act and all of the other federal, state, and local laws you don’t need a permit to purchase guns (except handguns). In N.Y. you must register handguns and certain high caliber, semi-automatic rifles, but you don’t need a license to carry a shotgun or rifle. There is no registration requirement for long guns, although you do need to have a NICS check for every gun purchase in New York and the information is on file with the FBI.

Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump mentioned that if there had been more people carrying concealed arms in the Orlando club, that lives might have been saved. I know a couple who are retired law officers that like to dance at night clubs, when they go out, they take turns being the designated driver. The DD also conceal carries a compact firearm. Most of Trump’s response has been more about immigration policy and monitoring foreign and domestic threats.

It was reported that the murderer’s ex-wife’s family had to rescue her, because he was a violent wife beater. Assume that this citizen was never arrested for domestic violence; the reports show that the couple divorced because he was unstable and violent. Wouldn’t this abused wife have been represented by a lawyer who would have pursued a court order of protection from a judge? The killer possessed Florida security guard and concealed carry gun permits. Considering his violent history, the state permitting agencies should not have issued those permits and allowed him to buy firearms.

This murderer was on an FBI watch list, yet the ATF confirmed that he bought the guns legally; the National Instant Check System check should have prevented the purchase. Even though he was interviewed by the FBI for communicating with known terrorists, he was cleared by the NICS check which is run by the FBI. During press releases, the FBI Agent in Charge in Orlando seemed to wash the FBI’s hands of any responsibility. He said, “There wasn’t enough to charge him with, so the case was closed and he could legally buy the guns.” J. Edger Hoover would be appalled.

I have talked to law abiding gun owners and most say that anyone who has had intentional contact with known terrorists on any occasion should not be allowed to buy guns. They also believe that violent wife beaters, who have proven that they are unstable, should not have guns. Law abiding gun owners are not pro-massacre, they do not want legal guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, and they do not advocate for anyone to possess illegal guns.

FBI statistics show that many more innocents are killed by blunt objects or drunk drivers or medical malpractice than are killed by maniacs wielding high caliber, semi-automatic rifles. The government had good reasons to keep firearms out of this man’s hands and they blew it. Their attempt at damage control is to throw up a smokescreen for more gun control. 

Law abiding Americans don’t need more gun control laws or increased restrictions on their constitutional freedoms. Our government officials need to stop shirking their responsibilities, better execute our nation’s existing laws, and do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

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