Saturday, July 18, 2009

What's the Matter, Paul?

Seems that Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership is a little PO'd that there aren't very many gun laws on the "federal level".

He enlightens us on the three big ones, NFA '34, GCA '68, and the Brady Law of '93. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a couple more he missed: the Hughes Amendment of 1986 which banned civilian ownership of newly manufactured machine guns after the effective date of the law-ensuring that owners of transferrable machine guns had a nice little nest egg as it put layman ownership of these weapons effectively out of reach for those without the disposable income to afford them.

Another law Paul forgot to mention at the federal level was the Lautenberg Amendment of 1996. This little gem made even misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence a no-go on ye olde form 4473. It also was (and continues to be) an ex post facto law, making people who were convicted of MDV before the law was enacted a criminal overnight.

And lets not forget the most famous one of the last 15 years, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, otherwise known as the "Assault Weapons Ban". This piece of work banned an arbitrarily defined classed of weapons based completely on their cosmetics. It also limited the capacity of rifle and pistol magazines to only 10 rounds and shotgun magazines to 5 rounds. Thankfully, this abomination on the books of law was allowed to expire after its renewal in 2004 failed.

Evidently, Paul thinks the 20,000-odd state laws aren't enough. Laws concerning how many guns you can buy a month, a ridiculously short time period to report lost or stolen firearms, microstamping, dictates mandating 'smart gun' technology, limits on where/when firearms may be carried and used, and outright bans on possession of firearms are 'inadequate'.

Of course, Paul and his lackeys, along with the Violence Policy Center and the Joyce Foundation who funds them will tell you all day long they are only interested in 'sensible' gun laws. Their definition of 'sensible' is that you shouldn't have them, period. Naturally, their definition differs greatly from mine, as my idea of a 'sensible' gun law is a lack thereof.

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