SCOPE NY

Ghost Guns and Gun Control

07/22/2020 10:40 PM | Anonymous

Both the Constitution and the Gun Control Act allow Americans to manufacture their own firearms for their own personal use. “Personal use” is the key.  Such guns are often referred to as “ghost guns” since they have no serial number and do not need to be registered. 

  • The fact is only 5 out of the 50 states require registration of firearms which might fall into this category. New York is one of these states. Counties have long been established as the centers of handgun registrations and the system works well. Let's leave well enough alone. 

    There is no registration system [nor should there be] for long guns in New York. Unfortunately, NY State became involved in the registration of rifles following passage of the so-called “SAFE” Act in 2013. These are commonly owned semi-automatic rifles misconstrued as “assault weapons” by many. Statistics show that the most common “assault weapons” utilized in crimes are actually body parts…hands, feet and even sneakers according to a judge in one Upstate county.  

    The state lost a court case and was forced to divulge that a mere 5% of the estimated number of so-called “assault weapons” in NY were registered. Undoubtedly this was an embarrassment to state officials. 

    Law-abiding NY State citizens are not fond of registrations, regardless of the item being registered. Firearms are considered private property and these citizens resent any government regulation of such. 

    “Ghost gun” parts can be used to fabricate a handgun or even an AR-15. The parts are widely available across the country in stores and online. Law-abiding citizens can legally buy an unfinished lower receiver without a background check. Ghost guns have been mainly popular with gun enthusiasts but have also become a weapon of choice for criminals. But such behavior is not the fault of law-abiding citizens. 

    Criminals by nature do not obey laws. Why make law-abiding citizens pay the price for criminal behavior? Why must layer upon layer of gun control laws be passed when many are never enforced or are valueless?

    Legislators commonly ask: “what type of gun control laws can I support.”  Sorry, but this is the wrong question to ask. Consider the following as an aid to decision making:

    1) Start with principle:  No one’s freedom should depend on the behavior of the lawless or the ineptitude of government.

    Liberals, the Left, Progressives offer one solution — ban “assault weapons” which, in video clip after video clip, they cannot define.  The Florida shootings show the failure of government agencies at every level:  federal, state, and local.  And the proposed fix is to give more power to the institutions that drove the truck into the ditch?  

    2) So what can we do?  Address root causes of violence — but this requires hard work!  Remember “assault weapons” were banned under President Clinton, with no impact.  Begin with facts:

  • §  “More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of gunscan reduce gun violence,” states David M. Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  Check the source:  “The Assault Weapon Myth,” The New York Times, Sept. 14, 2014  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/sunday-review/the-assault-weapon-myth.html?_r=0
  • §  Harden the Schools — we protect airports and government buildings, don’t we?  Here are specifics:  7 Simple Steps to Eliminate School Shootings Overnight,  Townhall, Feb. 18, 2018  https://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmccullough/2018/02/18/how-to-eliminate-school-shootings-overnight-n2450380                                                                
  • §  Raise your voice about the connection between media and violence — here’s a secret: the news industry knows there is a connection when it comes to teen suicide, because all evidence indicates such coverage triggers more suicides.  They don’t talk about it; so ask them.  For years, the news industry has followed a self-imposed restriction to NOT give extensive coverage to teen suicides.  If you acknowledge that, the rest of the train comes with it (i.e., hyped news coverage of other violent acts triggers more violence).  Reference:   http://reportingonsuicide.org/
  • §  Be proactive:  Recommend where society should put its resources — that is a teachable moment.  For example, if we assess social risk factors, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) does not even list homicide among its top 10 causes of deaths.  According to the CDC, the top 3 causes of all annual deaths (about 2 million) are:      
  • o   Heart disease (633,842)  
  • o   Cancer (595,930) and  
  • o   Chronic lower respiratory diseases (155,041) -- bronchitis, emphysema, COPD.  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
  • §  What about firearms?  According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2016, there were an estimated 17,250 total homicides (by all means).  How many homicides were committed with a firearm: 15,000 (in round numbers).  Reference link:  FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 2016 https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/topic-pages/murder
  • §  What about other risk benchmarks — such as prescription drugs and lethal medical mistakes.  If society wants to target significant public health risks, the combined estimate of deaths due to lethal medical mistakes and overdosing on prescription drugs is as high as one-half million per year — 33 times greater than total homicides (by all means).  A staggering public health risk.
  • §  Prescription Drug Painkillers — DEA link: http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2015/hq110415.shtml
  • §  Lethal medical mistakes — Reference link: Journal of Patient Safety -- http://patientsafetyamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/A_New_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.pdf

  • 3) What about the news media?  Worried about negative coverage if you don’t get in line?  In fact, the news industry has more to worry about — collapsing trust & collapsing business model.

  • §  Sixty-eight percent of Americans now say they have little or no trust in the press, according to Gallup which has tracked response to this question annually since 1997 (long before President Trump’s tweets, by the way).  Tracking polls are a big deal.  Gallup calls that “a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.”   Polls often make "front page" news — except this one.  Why?  Reference link:  http://www.gallup.com/poll/195542/americans-trust-mass-media-sinks-new-low.aspx

Finally, looking for a role model for how to respond to questions when you defend freedom?  Watch Governor Bevins of Kentucky handle a question about “school violence.”  No dancing, no bluster, but a firm, polite response — bone-deep belief.  Wow.  We need more like him in office.

http://www.kentuckynewera.com/multimedia/video/news/youtube_c2674705-960f-52ed-b8d8-9d2c34d514e4.html

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

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East Aurora, NY 14052

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