By JAMES PEELE
Special to The SWT
For the record let me first state that I own multiple weapons including semi automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Each of these weapons was purchased through a licensed federal firearms dealer or family heirlooms passed down from grandfather to father to son. I also have a concealed carry permit (CCP), am a member of the NRA, support safe and legal use of these weapons for self-defense, hunting, sport shooting, and the very reason that our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, to protect us from a tyrannical government. If one finds the need to argue this last point, please read the Federalist Papers No. 28 and 29 by Alexander Hamilton and Federalist No. 46 by James Madison. It is clear from their writing that the Second Amendment is an individual right, not a collective right controlled by the government.
After Virginia’s gubernatorial election, many may question where the new governor stands on hot button issues. Gun control is not one of those issues as Governor-Elect McAuliffe has stated his position and confirmed it many times. After the November results were in, McAuliffe wasted no time with his anti-gun agenda by appointing Lori Haas to his transition team. Ms. Haas is the Virginia Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), an extremist group seeking to enact harsh and restrictive gun laws. While I have sympathy for Lori Hass as she lost her daughter in the Virginia Tech shootings, she is misguided in thinking that gun control will eliminate these tragic events. Mental health was the issue at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and most, if not all, of these mass shootings. Mental illness is related to the majority of these indiscriminate attacks, not lack of gun control. Investigation following the tragic events often uncovers witnesses to years of unstable behavior, both teachers and fellow students, and evidence that the individual needed mental health intervention to protect society and that often, the parents were aware of that need.
In September 2013, prior to the election, McAuliffe’s website promoted Colorado style gun control for Virginia. If you are not following events in Colorado, two Democrat Colorado State Senators who promoted the bill and used bullying tactics to get the bill to the floor were recalled and replaced by Republicans who actually believe in the Second Amendment. McAuliffe’s proposal would bring back the one gun a month limitation, limits on magazine capacity, and universal background checks. Many will ask the question “What is wrong with those, they seem harmless enough.” Personal property, guns included, can be sold or transferred to friends or family members without government intervention and this provision would allow government intervention and is the first baby step to eliminating every subsequent sale, even the transfer to a family member. Another naive question is why does one need so many bullets in a magazine? The correct answer to that question is always just one more than the criminal.
The FBI reports that less than 4 percent of all sales at gun shows are through private citizens that are not required to do background checks. Many activists, including the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg and his group Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), tout that figure at 40 percent. This claim is factually untrue and been debunked many times, even at the liberal internet site Factcheck.org. The survey that produced that figure was conducted in 1994; (prior to the law, Brady Act, requiring background checks to have any effect on the outcome) and consisted of surveying 2,568 households about the origin of any guns in the household. The revealing fact about this survey is that only 251 households responded. There were no follow up questions on the survey about family transfers, just whether the gun purchase was through a licensed dealer or other means. Duke University Professor, researcher, and co-author stated when asked about the reliability of Bloomberg and MAIG statements, “The answer is I have no idea. This survey was done almost 20 years ago … It’s clear there are a lot of transactions that are not through dealers. How many, we’re not really clear on it … We would say it’s a very old number.”
In an article in the Washington Times, Emily Miller reports even more disturbing news (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/23/terry-mcauliffe-election-gun-control-means-beretta/). After the McAuliffe win, Beretta Arms eliminated Virginia from the list of six remaining states where they would relocate their manufacturing facility. Beretta Arms is currently in Maryland but leaving the state after Democrat Governor Martin O’Malley signed radical gun control into law. The article cites many facts, one of which stands out. McAuliffe accepted one million dollars in ad support from Bloomberg and MAIG. “The anti-gun ads that McAuliffe ran in northern Virginia were particularly offensive,” Jeff Reh, general counsel of Beretta USA, told Emily Miller in an interview. “And the fact that he could gain a voting advantage by doing so caused us additional concern.”
The argument that escapes this writer is a simple one. Gun control laws target those who obey the law. Limiting magazine size, types of guns available, purchase limits, and expended background checks only applies to those who obey the laws. Criminals, by their very nature, do not obey these laws and anyone who contemplates assaulting or murdering someone is certainly not going to comply with any gun control law. These mentally ill perpetrators target gun free zones, as they know in their demented capacity that they will not meet armed resistance. An armed school resource officer stopped a December attack in Arapahoe High School just 80 seconds into the attack when she cornered the shooter who then took his own life. How many lives saved by the officer’s action? Is it ironic that this occurred in Colorado, the state that just passed draconian gun control laws or a clear demonstration that gun control laws do not stop attacks by deranged individuals who have mental issues? McAuliffe wants to pass these laws in Virginia, beware and fight against this usurpation of our Second Amendment protections. When a gun-wielding intruder threatens your life and seconds may determine the outcome, the police are only minutes away.