Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Thursday, February 25, 2016


In the Beloit Daily News:

Streets awash in stolen guns

UNDER THE OPEN RECORDS law the Beloit Daily News asked for and obtained information on how many guns have been stolen since 2013 in the city.
The answer is 66.
THAT’S NOT TO SAY this newspaper is against any and all adjustments in gun laws. There are sensible reforms that may be worthwhile. No one needs assault-style rifles with extra-large ammunition magazines. No one needs armor penetrating ammunition. Government should consider closing sales loopholes for gun shows and perhaps even private parties that evade background checks. We think last year’s repeal by state leaders of Wisconsin’s 48-hour waiting period for handgun sales was a mistake and should be reinstated.
Case in point: Christopher O’Kroley is charged with gunning down a 24-year-old Stoughton woman the day after he bought a handgun legally without a waiting period. If O’Kroley had to wait one more day to obtain the gun would he still have killed the woman? No one can say one way or the other, but the case ought to give state legislators something to think about.
While we are very skeptical more gun laws will make criminals change their behavior, we’re also skeptical that making guns easier and quicker to obtain and carry will make us safer.

MEANWHILE, WE GIVE the Beloit Police Department credit for initiating a program to track stolen guns used in the commission of crimes. More data is a good thing.
The numbers of stolen guns here — and, by implication, the thousands of others across Wisconsin — ought to suggest to policymakers and law enforcement that more attention needs to be directed toward the black market for weapons. Undoubtedly, this is a key source for guns being used to shoot up our streets.
One more thing: Part of being a responsible gun owner is to keep your weapons secured. Lock up your guns so they are harder to steal.
I left a comment:

No one "needs" to be able to read anything they want to, whenever they want to. Perhaps we should regulate people's access to philosophy texts that might cause them to think in ways that we don't agree with.

The Second Amendment is very clear in it's wording. If you understand the thinking of the Founders, you realize that the "arms" mentioned are precisely "assault-style rifles with extra-large ammunition magazines: and "armor penetrating ammunition".

There is no "gun show loophole". All sales from Federally licensed dealers must be cleared through the FBI E-Check system, and in the case of handguns in Wisconsin, through the "Handgun Hotline". Sales between private parties are not regulated, but the BATFE takes a very dim view of private parties "dealing" in firearms.

If you look long enough, you will always be able to find a case where someone did something that would have been prevented if only that person had "obeyed the law". The trouble, as pointed out in this same editorial, is that criminals DO NOT obey laws. If someone is so without an internal moral compass that he or she will commit premeditated murder, a waiting period won;t change things. On the other hand, there have been cases of women killed by persons bound by restraining orders while they waited for that same (the BDN website truncated the comment here - had to post the rest as a second comment) waiting period to expire - they were rendered defenseless by the law meant to "protect" them.

Laws are not the answer. Follow the Constitution. Teach children history and respect. Teach children how to properly handle firearms - this should be as much a part of public education as physical education is. Allow law-abiding people un-infringed access to the arms that are their right to keep and bear. Accept the fact that some persons will be criminals or deranged regardless of any laws - and that we need to be prepared to defend against them at any time.

The police are second-responders. The victim of a crime is the person there first. Give him or her a fighting chance, or at least the right to decide if they want to be capable of defense!

Almost every "mass shooting" in this country has been in a "gun free" area. Think about that. Perhaps there's a really useful law that could be enacted - make anyone who posts a "no guns" sign responsible for any act of violence committed with a firearm on their premises.

As far as "tracking" stolen guns - how does that help the victims? Unless you can tie the gun to the shooter under legal rules of evidence, where it came from is irrelevant.

By the way - where is it outrage over President Obama's administration's "Fast and Furious" operation, where hundreds of those evil "assault rifles" were purposely allowed to be sold - illegally - to Mexican drug dealers? How about we enforce some of THOSE laws before saddling good citizens with yet more useless - and illegal - waiting periods and limits on private sales?

Read that Second Amendment again. And, if you own a gun - keep it secured. If you are not carrying it or within arm's reach of it -KEEP IT LOCKED UP.

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