I was so impressed by the President's speech last night. It was absolutely pitch perfect. What I got was the complete recognition and commitment that even if we fail to enact sensible gun laws, we have an obligation to at least try.
I already e,mailed my congressman, Hensarling (R-TX-05) last Friday and got back a BS email the same day that criminals, not guns, or the problem. Sorry that BS is not good enough anymore. I intend to write back to him and tell him his response and position is unacceptable. Doing nothing, maintaining the status quo, is not acceptable.
"A well regulated militia ..." implies regulations and training.
More down there
I own a hand gun, and I use it on my ranch to put dieing animals down humanely. Also to make a big noise to chase away wild boar tearing up the pasture, coyotes and stray dogs that might take down my livestock. I don't shoot wildlife myself; I trap and release the raccoons, snakes, and possums that get into the barn. God, I even found a snake in the kitchen one morning (non-poisonous) and shooed it out the door.
But there are plenty of hunters around here, who hunt for sport and to put meat on the family table. Most sensible people understand that there IS a place for guns. But for god's sake there is no reason whatsoever for a civilian to have an assault weapon or a bullet clip that shoots more than 9 or 10 bullets. If a hunter can't bag a deer or boar in one or two shots, too bad. Try another time.
The only way things will change is, as POTUS pointed out, that first we must change. And Change only occurs when public opinion reaches a critical mass. For that reason, I have decided to keep demanding that my congressman change his position. I shall send him endless emails week after week demanding that he change his position on gun control.
You must do the same also! Demand over and over and over that your congress person and senators change. That your state and local gov officials change. Because only when there is critical mass agreement on gun control will change occur.
At a Minimum
1. A national database that supports background checks must be 100% performed for anyone wishing to buy a gun. For those politicians like my Congressman Hensarling, who think criminals are the problem, a background check should be a no-brainer. But such a law must have teeth. That means stiff penalties, including jail time, for people lieing on a permit application and a dealer selling a gun without first doing a check. A side benefit (that's really off-topic) would be moving LEOs (law enforcement officers) from the drug war over to gun regulation enforcement. (Hey I can dream, can't I?)
2. Assault weapons for civilians must be outlawed. As must extended bullet clips. Hey if the Fed gov can afford to buy back clunker cars, we can afford to buy back assault weapons and handguns. There are plenty of people, who own multiple handguns. Why anyone needs more than 1 each of handgun, rifle, and shotgun is a mystery to me, but they do. However, there are many people with large gun collections, who could use extra cash, and would be happy to sell back at least some of their guns. So that would mean more guns off the streets and out of homes.
3. Some of us, even the absolute no guns whatsoever folks, need to join the NRA and take it over. Vote in a new board of directors, who advocate for real sportsmen, not greedy gun manufacturers. Most NRA members and most folks who own guns support sensible gun laws. This is a harder nut to crack, because it costs $1000 to become a voting NRA member. But at the least, we need to keep an open dialog with our gun owning relatives and neighbors. This dialog must be without anger because anger just holds the gun nuts in denial and obstinancy. You would be surprised, I think, at how very many gun owners want to see an end to assault weapons.
The dialog should be that no one wants to take away their hunting gun, but by god, they can no long buy an assault weapon or extended clips.
4. Concealed weapons for civilians must be outlawed. If you're not LEO or in some security job, you don't need a concealed weapon. Weapons must be carried in plain sight (e.g. if you're a jeweler), and you need a permit to carry it. State and local laws must outlaw guns in bars, restaurants, parks, schools, churches, etc.
5. I could make a case that POTUS, as Commander-in-Chief, is also commander of all citizenry "well regulated militias." As such, he has the right and duty to issue an executive order to regulate firearms. But I know such an argument would not fly far. Still I can dream.
Please contact your congressman and demand that he support and enact sensible gun laws. If he, or she, sends you a BS reply, keep sending more emails.
We can't stand this anymore.
-- Barack Obama