Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) uses Super Bowl to launch latest drive for more gun control

The Giants beat the Patriots 21 to 17 in the 2012 Super Bowl where no one turns down the sound on commercials that can sometime be as interesting as the game itself.  One in particular stood out on February 5, showing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino vying for their local teams, food etc.  But the real focus of the 30 second commercial was a new push by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) for more gun control.

Bloomberg and Menino co-founded the organization in 2006 which currently has more than 600 mayors nationwide participating.  Their main thrust is to keep criminals from getting illegal guns. 

A good example of their work is the recent sting by MAIG at an Arizona gun show, a state where gun laws are the loosest in the nation.  MAIG investigators bought guns from a private weapons dealer there without anything but the money it took to make the purchase.  They even told the seller they probably could not pass a background check.  The seller simply laughed at their comment and sold them the guns, which is illegal.

MAIG plans to keep the heat on for more gun control right through the November election, although the Democrats still cringe at the thought of supporting any gun discipline legislation.  Unfortunately, there are more people in the U.S. with guns now and these newly created National Rifle Assn. gun worshippers are fixated on no control so anyone can buy a gun and take it anywhere.  And there lies the problem.

Arizona gun show sting

According to a Reuters report, “Members of the MAIG says it is not trying to take guns away from their legal owners, just to close loopholes that allow criminals to get guns and move them around undetected.”  Although murder is down in New York and nationwide, the mayors also comment that they still see too many killings of cops and teens.  It is rare for a day to go by in Arizona without a shooting, some of which end up as deaths.

This gun show loophole/background checks issue is one area that needs fixing.  But another is required education and training before you can own a gun.  Arizona has nothing, zip.  Most states don’t.  I decided to ask an expert so I contacted Ladd Everitt, Director of Communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and asked the following question: “Can you tell me the average gun training/education a gun owner is required to have?”  His answer below.

“If they're simply purchasing firearms, none whatsoever.  If they are going to be carrying that gun in public, they MIGHT be required to have training.  In 28 states you can now openly carry a loaded gun in public with no permitting, screening or training.  Four states now require no permitting, screening or training to carry a concealed firearm in public. 

And even in ‘Shall Issue’ states that require one to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public, several have no training requirement.  In Arizona, it is wide open.  Law enforcement would have no idea what the background of a gun carrier is until he opens fire (unless that individual voluntarily obtained a permit to carry a firearm into certain sensitive public spaces).”

Phew!  That means a mentally unstable person from Arizona could walk into a gun store there and buy a Glock 19 with a 15-round clip, hop in his car, and assuming Congress passes HR 822, the federal open-carry bill, with a carry permit drive to any state and commit mass murders like Jared Loughner in Tucson and Seung Hui Cho at Virginia Tech.  Assuming he wasn’t caught, he could be on his merry way to another state to commit more mayhem.  Only in America.

More on MAIG later.

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