THE RIGHT SIDE BY BUDD SCHROEDER SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
SLOGANS ARE NOT SOLUTIONS
Another senseless murder happened recently and as expected, there has been a huge outpouring of “more gun control” by the liberal left. The advocates of gun control are determined to destroy the protections of honest citizens afforded by the Second Amendment which says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” One of the main definitions of the term “infringed” is “violated.” Speaks for itself.
First of all there should be a better definition of the problem. The liberal media and politicians use the term “gun violence.” A better and more accurate description would be “criminal misuse of firearms.” The problem is with the criminals, not with the tool, the gun.
Let’s look at the facts of the murders. It was an African American shooting two Caucasians and yet the media has not labeled it as a racist hate crime. This seems to be the battle cry when an African American is murdered by a Caucasian. It should be considered both ways. The liberals keep calling for “equality” so why not insist that it be included in crimes?
The killer bought the gun after passing a background check, so that is not the problem. It is proof that evil people can pass background checks. This opens the door for some real intrusions into background checks. We also know that the government is exempt from HIPPA laws and can get any information they want.
With the New York SAFE act the government invades medical records to determine if a person might be “a danger to himself or others” and runs the data against those who have pistol permits. If a person in some defined medical occupation like a doctor, nurse or even a social worker has an opinion that a person fits into that category they can file a report. The State Police end up with the chain of data transfers and can have the pistol permit suspended and all guns confiscated.
This doesn’t require an arrest; just a line in a report of the opinion and then it is carried out without due process. The bureaucrats and State Police think this is due process. It is time consuming and expensive to challenge the information in the report. What happens is that the person (who is not notified that the report is being made) gets blind sided with the notice of confiscation.
There is no hearing by a judge or at least a psychiatrist or psychologist to verify that the report is true and that there actually is a problem with the person. Just the opinion of a semi-educated person in a medical facility can cause the State Police (or local law enforcement) to confiscate all the person’s guns. A serious breach of first, second, fourth and fourteenth amendment rights should have all the protections necessary to maintain and retain those rights.
However, as a federal bureaucrat said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Therefore the anti-gun vultures hover around and keep looking for more opportunities to diminish Second Amendment rights. They will call for stricter and more background checks as the answer, maybe even try to amend the law to actually require a letter from a psychiatrist or psychologist to go with the background check. That should diminish the number of people who are willing to do that in order to buy a gun. The liberal left would count that as a huge win.
Their objective is to have fewer people owning guns thinking that would reduce gun violence. They are wrong. It won’t work because criminals don’t obey laws and if they can’t pass a background check they get their guns illegally. This is a fact of criminal life.
How much of a problem is there with criminal misuse of firearms? Let’s look at the data. There are an estimated one hundred million gun owners in America. We do have a high per capita ownership of guns. The estimated number of deaths (including suicides which amount to about half the deaths) is under 40,000. That means that more than ninety-nine and three quarters percent of gun owners are not criminals. Most Americans wish we had that high a percentage of honest politicians.
To address the problem properly, we have to define the problem. It is not a gun problem, but a criminal problem and this should be the focus of the laws. Felons cannot legally own firearms, so it stands to reason the focus should be on the criminal.
We need more and better mental health care and facilities, but that is an expensive undertaking and doesn’t meet with much enthusiasm in the legislative chambers. It may be that the liberal politicians and media will continue with lots of slogans and very few (if any) solutions. If they can make the voters think they are doing something about the problem that is good enough. In politics perception IS reality. If it gets votes the politicians are satisfied.<