Gun Control 2016
So, you might be wondering who the hell I am and why you should care what I think about gun control. As a card carrying member of the NRA, there will certainly be some on both sides of the issue that will attempt to marginalize my position I take in this letter, but I feel the need to take it none the less.
I am a 20 year retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant Law Enforcement Officer with seven tours in the Middle East and four years living in that area of the world, who first learned to shoot weapons when I was about 6 years old. I’ve used guns ever since, carry them to this day, and currently own a gun store in San Antonio, Texas. I’ve been in the business of selling firearms for the last seven plus years, with over thirteen thousand gun sales during that time period.
So, here are my ideas for the gun control debate:
- Give gun dealers the ability to verify whether a gun being offered for sale or trade-in is actually a stolen gun. Giving gun dealers access to an instant national web-based database of stolen weapons, which is currently available only to law enforcement personnel, would give gun dealers this capability. Stolen guns could be confiscated by the dealer and turned over to ATF or local law enforcement immediately and the suspect immediately dealt with. Interesting thing is… I got a letter recently from the ATF stating they wanted my store to start notifying them of all purchases of used guns on a quarterly basis, including who we bought it from, and all information on the gun, including the serial number. This basically means they are looking for stolen guns, but waiting up to four months to receive information on a gun that we may have already sold. (Note: Does anybody else realize the ATF has just started a national registration of used guns?) The question is, why does it take four months or more to get this information?
- Document every felon’s driver’s license with the word FELON. Make it illegal for a felon to be anywhere where weapons are bought or sold. That means a felon could not be at a gun show, or at a gun store, or at any store that sells weapons… period. Make it a federal law that any felon caught attempting to enter a business selling weapons would get a minimum of a 5-year sentence in federal prison. See, the deal is, a felon walks into a gun show or store with an associate. The felon has already talked the associate into buying a gun for the felon. The felon picks out the gun, and the associate completes the sale as if the gun is going to be owned by the associate. As soon as the sale is completed, the felon takes possession of the weapon. This is just one of the ways a straw purchase is conducted. In fact, maybe there should be another question added to the form 4473…”do you have anyone living in your house who is a felon or who has been found to be mentally ill by a judge?” Make the ownership of guns in households with those people illegal.
- Speaking of straw purchases. You want to end straw purchases… enforce the law that is currently on the books with one addition. Violation of a straw purchase means both parties get a 10-year sentence in federal prison and a $10,000.00 fine. Make all gifts of guns… the buying of a gun without a background check of the final purchaser illegal. I’ve seen it too many times where someone wants to buy a gun for someone else. After I talk to them, I find out they are attempting a straw purchase and I decline the sale. If at a gun show, later I see the exact same people with the gun they were attempting to purchase from me. See, they learned what not to say to the next dealer and went off and made the deal with someone else.
- Those that talk about closing the gun show loophole are actually attempting to shut down gun shows themselves. They would never admit it, but if you think about it, making 100% of the old used guns that are currently not tracked at all (or barely at all) from exchanging hands by forcing a background check, that currently hasn’t been done at all, ever. It just isn’t going to fix the real issue. How many of the mass shootings in recent history involved a gun show loophole gun? The Answer: zero. I also think it was very interesting how, about a year ago, President Obama said that anyone who sells more than two guns per year at a gun show should have a federal firearms license. Generally speaking, what he is talking about is elderly men who are trying to sell used, hunting type, rifles and shotguns. Well, maybe they do sell a few guns per year. Frankly. In my opinion, they represent such a small part of gun sales, I don’t see them as a problem. Next time you’re at a gun show, go look at what these folks actually sell. I would surmise that 98% or more of the guns in their collections are used. The sad thing is, most of the people out there just don’t understand the issues and may actually believe that ending the “gun show loophole” will fix all the ills of the world. Unfortunately, that just won’t happen. Why, because you can’t stop the transfer of a weapon from one party to another without gun registration, which can never happen with over 200 million guns already on the street… and gun owners believing registration is one step away from gun confiscation. You will just never get that to happen. Pigs will fly and hell will freeze first.
- End all gun free zones. Gun free zones only help mass killers bent on killing because they are too much of a coward to walk into a police station and take on a team of SWAT officers. They look for the weakest possible target and use some form of slight to make their target a viable one. I think I can state that over the last thirty years, the vast majority of people killed in a mass casualty with a gun were all in a gun free zone. Or if you have to have a gun free zone, like a bar, the owner better have more than the lone off-duty police officer at the front door to attempt to thwart a gunman bent on killing.
- Fix the mental health issues and gun ownership. Why is it possible for a nutcase to walk into a gun store and purchase a weapon legally, when everybody who knows him, after the fact, says he was crazy and shouldn’t have been allowed to purchase a gun? Yet, of the people that knew him, nobody did a damn thing to stop him. It’s time to make those responsible for the lunatic’s actions responsible. A wife who drives the husband to buy the bullets for his rampage is responsible… even if she pleads she begged him not to do it as she pulls into the gun store parking lot. She could have stopped him with one phone call. The fact that the wife of the Orlando shooter still walks this earth without being in a jail cell and on death row just shows how far off center our society has become. Law Enforcement has the evidence she knew of his plan prior to the attack, yet she did nothing to stop it? Something like 60% of family members or friends knew of the attack planning prior to the attacks of these psychopaths… yet most of them still walk the earth with no charges filed?
- And finally, President Obama and the left believe a ban on “assault” weapons is what we need to pass right now. It wasn’t a terrorist act on his watch. It’s all because we have these evil guns on the street. They make good people do bad things. They are the reason why too many people were shot and killed. If we only pass this legislation, then these weapons will all go away. Reality Check. How many of these weapons are already on the street? How many high capacity magazines exist right now? If a terrorist really wants to find a gun, he or she will find one. No legislation will stop that. The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The more good guys with a gun… the better. Why is it, I feel as though the left only wants to disarm those of us who just want to protect our families and protect ourselves while we are out in public. I would hope I would never have to use any form of force against anyone, no matter how slight. It’s that absolute last thing I would ever want to deal with. I’m sure most of the people I know and most of the people who own weapons are right beside me in that situation… because using force, especially deadly force, will change you forever. You have to live with that fact, and live with the potential outcome. Only monsters, terrorists, and psychopaths truly don’t care. The rest of the world needs to be able to protect ourselves from these fiends. I hope it never happens to anyone… but if it does… would you want to be armed or begging the police to show up to help you?
Sparks Firearms LLC