By Budd Schroeder Chairman Emeritus
As we would expect, when a mass shooting is committed by an evil person, the media and liberal left cries for more gun control. What is interesting about this case is that the killer bought his guns after passing background checks.
This should not have happened because of the past history of the murderer, who had numerous interactions with the military and the law. This should have made him ineligible to purchase firearms. Unfortunately, the government fouled up both in the military and civilian arena.
The killer received a Bad Conduct Discharge from the Air Force, and his penchant for domestic violence got him in trouble while in the military and with local law enforcement. He served time in prison, yet with all of these violations, was not reported to the FBI and placed in the NICS data base.
Compare this with New York and the SAFE Act where people who are falsely reported are automatically placed on the NICS data base and they are unable to legally buy or possess guns. Go figure.
Predictably, the liberal leftist politicians are calling for more gun control laws. Some want a law that would call for an ex parte confiscation of firearms like the Lautenberg Law that requires people who may have had a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence to lose their Second Amendment rights.
This is a federal law, yet a bill in the NY Assembly has been submitted that would do the same thing with a mandate attached to require law enforcement to confiscate the guns even if the officers decide that there is no danger to the people involved.
A person may have had the conviction before the law was passed and may have purchased a gun legally at the time. However if it was recently discovered that if by some quirk in the law requiring a background check, like for employment, and it showed the misdemeanor conviction, all of a sudden, he is required to turn in all his guns because he is not eligible to possess a gun.
He might have gotten the misdemeanor conviction by bad advice from his lawyer. Let’s say that he had an argument and he asked for a divorce. His wife wanted to hurt him so she accused him of a violent act and the police were called. They took the report and he is charged with domestic abuse.
Now, he is faced with an expensive court case, so the lawyer suggested that he save several thousand dollars by pleading to a misdemeanor which could end up in an affordable fine and a reasonable legal fee. So, that is what he did.
He was a fine, outstanding citizen after the divorce, forgot about the incident and went on with his life until the misdemeanor showed up in his record. Now, his property has been confiscated and he has little chance of getting it back. An honest citizen is turned into a person who has lost a constitutional right because of this law.
It is thought by many that the liberal left is looking for every opportunity to make gun ownership difficult for all citizens. We know that only about one quarter of one per cent of American gun owners misuse their guns. The proper way to deal with the problem is to deal with the cause. It is not guns that cause the mass murders. They may be a tool used by evil or deranged people.
We think of Timothy McVeigh who killed three times as many people as Pollock in Las Vegas by using a truck with a bomb made of fertilizer and fuel oil. We have to be convinced that the only real common factor in any mass murder is the person doing it.
If all guns could be confiscated we would still have mass murders. This was shown recently by the terrorist in New York City using a rented truck and mowing down people in a bike path.
It is easy to obtain a vehicle. No background checks outside of credit checks. A driver’s license is necessary and once the finances are approved the guy drives a vehicle. If he doesn’t have money, how hard is it to steal a car?
The liberal news media is also for confiscating guns and looking for any reason to do so. They don’t care that the person may not know they are in violation of any laws until the police come knocking on the door with an order to take all firearms from the person. In a family home, they may remove the guns owned by other family members.
Then there is a huge problem getting them back. The “due process” can take years, require legal assistance and reduce the family bank account. The SAFE Act is a good example of that, too.
People have had their constitutional and civil rights violated by false reports by hospitals who can report a person as involuntarily admitted when the person came in totally voluntarily. If the report was made as an involuntary admission, it goes to the Office Of Mental Health. From there it goes through a series of bureaucracies and ends up at the County Clerk’s Office in Upstate New York if the person has a pistol permit.
The accused person must surrender his pistol permit and all his guns, including rifles and shotguns. There is no hearing or due process connected with this law. When this happens, the state gives the FBI a reason to add that name to their NICS base.
Then, the accused person is considered guilty and he or she has to hire an attorney to start a process to investigate the false report to prove innocence. If successful and the aggrieved person wins, they get an order for the return of their suspended pistol permit and the handguns. The long guns are not returned.
In order to get the rifles and shotguns returned, the person must file an Article 78 to a Supreme Court Judge and needs the assistance of an attorney. The costs involved can be more than the value of the guns, so the person has the loss of property without compensation.
The anti-gun politicians are happy to see this happen and look for more ways to confiscate guns from honest people. Since criminals don’t obey laws, they passed one that will be obeyed. They like this idea. The politicians will submit such laws and the liberal left will write editorials supporting these infringements on the right to keep and bear arms.
In New York, assemblymen, senators and governor will be running for office next year. For those who believe in constitutional law, the right to keep and bear arms, property rights, due process and fairness in law will have the opportunity to vote for the politicians who agree with them. We get the government we deserve. What do you deserve?