Lot of extraneous numbers to justify a position. But lots of other numbers don’t support it.

We don’t have “unbridled” access to firearms. We have thousands of federal and state laws, county statutes and municipal ordinances dealing with who may manufacture firearms, how they must be tracked from factory to point of sale, who may sell firearms as a business, who may buy firearms, who may own firearms, what types of firearms may be owned, where and how they may be carried, circumstances in which they may be legally discharged, what types of firearms may be used in sporting activities, how firearms should or must be stored, parental responsibility requirements, to name just a few.

For those who violate these laws we have penalties on the federal and state level ranging up to ten years in prison for a prohibited person possessing a firearm. Use of a firearm in commission of a crime is usually an aggravating circumstance and often a separate offense with a minimum prison sentence.

Sound unbridled to you?

The use of firearms in suicides is declining, even among white males who commit the majority of suicides and use firearms most frequently. Since the suicide rate continues to climb, that would indicate to anyone that people are simply resorting to other methods to end their lives.

Gun control laws that don’t work shouldn’t be passed. The background checks we already have were passed by 76% of mass shooters that committed their crimes since they went into effect in February 1994 (were the source of the firearm was reported). A so-called assault weapons ban that doesn’t include the 18 to 20 million of such firearms already in civilian hands is pretty worthless, especially when it is so poorly written that it exempts guns equally lethal or more lethal than the guns it covers. The AWB in effect from late 1994 to late 2004 was allowed to expire because it could not be shown that it had any major impact on crime. Remember, relatively few people are killed in mass shootings compared to the total number of homicides.

Magazine restrictions are a joke: there are no serial numbers, they are available in any quantity by mail order, there is no record kept of who buys them. They’re pointless, anyway. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that three ten-round magazines have as many bullets as one thirty-round magazine.

Gun registration will fail because citizens won’t cooperate. Case in point, the SAFE Act passed in New York state in 2013, which required all owners of a wide range of firearms to register them with the state police by 2014. After two years, compliance was about 4.4%. There are at least 80 million gun owners in the U.S. and they own an estimated 310 million firearms ranging from single-shot, bolt-action rifles to .50-caliber heavy machine guns. In most states, the government doesn’t know who the owners are and what guns they own (the government does know where the machine guns are).

Gun buybacks won’t work: the Constitution prohibits the taking of property without just compensation and courts have held that just compensation is equal to fair market value. For those who point to Australia, it’s worth noting that the Australian government had a 90-day amnesty last year in an effort to round up some of the estimated 260,000 illegal guns still in circulation. That may not sound like much but that’s about 22% of the total estimated number of prohibited guns in circulation before the Port Arthur Massacre.

Some of your points are very good. There are deep-seated problems that drive violence and until those are addressed, the violence will continue. Stumping for old, snake-oil remedies that have proven unsuccessful just shows just little imagination is being exercised while chasing a fantasy.

Oh, and the NRA is not a shill for the gun companies. The interests of its members overlap the interests of the gun companies and the NRA gets the majority of its money from its members.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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