Facts. Most online sites are missing facts. Lots of misplaced passion and outrage, but very few facts. Here are some facts that are bothering the hell out of me today.
An 18-year-old kid, a resident of Florida, flew from Miami to Denver, bought a shotgun and ammunition, and walked out of the store the same day. Colorado Law allows out-of-state residents, 18-years-of-age or older, to purchase rifles and shotguns along with their ammunition, but not handguns. She then threatened the students of Columbine High School, apparently online. She allegedly took her own life before she could carry out the threats.
I have legally carried a handgun for decades. I keep weapons, including a handgun and shotgun loaded with full magnum load 00 buckshot for home defense. I regularly go to the range to make sure I hit the threat I’m aiming at. Obviously, I am a supporter of the right to bear arms, but I’m fine with background checks. I bought a new .22 caliber target rifle and had to take a written test, answer a boatload of questions, wait until they performed a federal background check and then wait 10 days to pick up the .22 “plinker.”
I have no problems with this kind of scrutiny. I don’t want any lunatics or unstable people owning guns. What’s wrong with Colorado? You can do as much if not more damage with a rifle or shotgun than you could with a handgun. My shotgun will most likely blow a human being in half at close range. I’m fine doing that to anyone who breaks into my home and threatens my family and/or me.
I feel that American have the right to own handguns and rifles. That’s not the issue here. I’m not convinced that anyone needs semi-automatic, large-caliber rifles, but that’s another issue.
I believe the issue is that no one should be able to walk into a store and walk out the same day with any kind of gun. I think 10 days is a reasonable amount of time. I’m also fine with people having to pass a test before they can buy. When I bought my last rifle, they told me that a lot of people failed the test several times before they were able to get a passing grade. Considering how simple I thought the test was, that frightened me a bit. Especially since I got all 30 questions right. But there are a lot of stupid people everywhere. Always have been.
Just like a bartender has the right to refuse to serve a drunk, someone selling guns should be able to refuse to sell to someone who appears to be openly crazy or disturbed. This will probably generate many lawsuits. Better that than a lunatic buying a gun and ammunition.
All states need to have a uniform system and waiting period for purchasing firearms. And no out-of-state sales. Why do you need to buy a weapon in another state? It just sounds suspicious. These steps would have stopped this crazy teenager, or at least slowed her down until they could locate and arrest her. And when someone makes a direct threat of gun violence, they should be institutionalized immediately and then never be allowed to own a gun, even if and when they are released. Sadly, people are probably way too concerned about litigation these days to do that. But it would make for a safer country.
This is not a gun control essay. If you think it is, you probably aren’t smart enough to own a weapon.
© 2019 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.