Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recent handgun survey doesn’t ask most important question

The Gallup poll found a new low of 26 percent of Americans who favor banning handguns in the U.S. other than law enforcement and other authorized users.  This is compared to 60 percent back in 1959.  What was surprising was the change in attitude to banning assault rifles, 53 percent to 43 percent.  To me this is sheer lunacy; who the hell needs an AK-47 other than the cops and the military?  The finding is a near reversal from 1996.

But the question that is never asked in these polls is: “Do you favor banning concealed weapons for anyone but law enforcement and authorized users?”  And I don’t mean any Dick and Jane off the street who just wants to carry a gun to prove their manhood or womanhood.  This includes those exhibitionists who walk around with one in a holster.  I don’t want these malcontents, many of which have no training at all, acting as vigilantes. 

These are my two problems with the gun issue.  Concealed carry and assault weapons in the wrong hands.  People should be able to keep a gun in their home for protection, a right backed by the 2nd Amendment.  But no where in the 2nd Amendment does it say you can carry a handgun around on your person mimicking law enforcement, nor is it even implied.  As far as walking around with an AK-47, common sense tells any thinking person this is not something meant for the average citizen.

And now the House has OKed a bill to allow concealed guns to cross state lines.  The Wild West is turning into the Wild USA.  The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, House Resolution 822, would make the concealed-carry permit valid in all states but Illinois and the District of Columbia, where more sane minds have prevailed in the passing of laws to forbid concealed carry. 

“The version of the bill that was reported out makes it very clear that if someone has a concealed carry license in a state with very few restrictions they will be allowed to carry that gun into a state where they would not even be allowed to possess a gun, much less carry it,” Dennis Henigan, acting president of the Brady Campaign, said.  An example is Arizona where most anyone can buy a gun and carry it concealed with no permit or training.  A prescription for disaster.

Along with the incompetence factor of those who walk around armed but untrained, Henigan says the states are doing a lousy job of making sure that dangerous people don’t get guns.  The best example of that is Jared Loughner, in January of this year, who killed six injuring 14 including Rep. Gabby Giffords, also in the loosest gun law state in the country, Arizona.

Gallup comments on its findings in light of the regular incidents of handgun killings in the U.S. citing Loughner’s Arizona massacre.  Hardly a day goes by in that state that a shooting isn’t reported, many resulting in death.  The Brits, who are accustomed to around 600 murders per year don’t quite understand the 12,996 murders in the U.S., 8,775 of which were caused by firearms.  Gun crimes are actually down in most states but are up in New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi, Missouri, Arizona, Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Connecticut and several of the smaller states.

If it is imperative for the gun nuts to carry their firearms around with them everywhere, then it is time to challenge the 2nd Amendment to determine if the right to possess a weapon really includes this right.  Or does the meaning of a “well regulated militia” imply an organized military group, not a bunch of insurgent bubbas running around with their glorified equalizer?

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