“Imagine the deaths if the shooter [Las Vegas] had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get. Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”
“Durn tootin’, great shootin’. Cool dude sertin’ he’s 2nd Mendment rahts. Hell yeah! Every country has its psychopaths. In US they have guns.” [Mocking misspellings in the original].2
Richard Dawkins, author and famous atheist.
“The NRA, a vile organization with a sinister, deadly grip on America’s lawmakers, bought Trump’s silence when they backed him during the election campaign.”3
“After Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, what is the rationale for any civilian owning an assault rifle and high capacity magazine?”4
“How long do we let gun violence tear families apart? Enough. Congress & the WH should act now to save lives. There’s no excuse for inaction.”5
Joe Biden, former Vice President
“I’m not an ordained minister; I’m not a theologian, but these guys [NRA] are going to hell.”6
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, sixth grade teacher, Utah, and Vice President National Education Association [NEA] the nation’s largest teacher’s union.
Television news reporters often refer to semiautomatic rifles as “assault weapons,” say guns “go off accidentally,” infer AR15s are capable of full-automatic fire, employ the phrase “gun violence,” and display background screen icons (Browning High Power for example) in reports on violent assaults even when the weapon used was a knife. If journalists are going to bang on authoritatively about something, shouldn’t they know what they’re talking about? Considering network news is for many people their sole source of information, isn’t it important for journalists use proper terminology? Improper use of terms can confuse and mislead the public with respect to laws, regulations, and the types of firearms owned by citizens. I’ve dropped notes to journalists apprising them of proper terms when they used them incorrectly and all responses were cordial. Scott Goldberg of ABC News who incorrectly claimed bump stocks turned semiautomatic rifles into machine guns, refused to respond. Chris, a reporter in the Kansas City news market, agreed that news reports employ biased terminology. He revealed when discussing firearms, incorrect terms are actually provided through press releases issued by Police Public Information Officers relative to a crime under investigation and in scripts written by producers. Journalists are also guided by playbooks listing approved vocabulary that reflect political bias. For example abortion supporters are called “Pro-Choice” even though the choice promoted is abortion and opponents, who call themselves Pro-Life, are instead labeled “Anti-Abortion” or “Anti-Choice” hardly neutral or objective. Chris revealed he was chastised by his boss for saying “illegal alien” instead of the approved term “undocumented immigrant.” Job security enforces compliance.7
Perhaps at no time in American history has the meaning of words mattered more. Consider how for the past 50+ years the Left’s agenda driven political ideology has shaped America. Their control over public education is monolithic, they own pop-culture, the movie, music, and entertainment industries, dominate print and broadcast journalism, influence Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish denominations, and have invaded professional sports. In public education, they write the narrative and point of view allowed to be taught to such a degree, classrooms are little more than indoctrination centers. As a teacher I came up against the Liberal’s hegemonic sway over what kids are taught and their ‘Edstapo’ goons on constant prowl for heretics and dissenters (especially true in SocialIST studies departments). There are ways of being burned at the stake without using fire. Spoon feeding a biased curriculum to an unknowing gullible captive audience is bad enough but perhaps worse is what they leave out. Political Correctness, invented by Stalin,8 dictates what kids are taught on every issue from global warming, immigration, economics, the Constitution, and gender bending, to the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. Not taught the other side? They don’t even know one exists!
For years I’ve warned regardless of how many 2nd Amendment victories are won, America is always a mass shooting and Supreme Court appointments away from losing everything. Fewer Americans than ever today grow up exposed to firearms whether through hunting, target practice, or competition. Their source for information on firearms comes from pop-culture, news and social media, and public education all dominated by liberals hostile to the 2nd Amendment. At some point in their life, an individual is responsible for searching out the truth on any issue. But it doesn’t work that way. Americans are too intellectually lazy to bother. Rather than the rebuke so richly deserved for indolent self-inflicted ignorance, with patience and perseverance the great-unwashed must be educated. Hence this primer. Based on statements in the news and social media, to some degree non-gun owners seem to believe anyone can walk into a gun store, hand over cash, and walk out a few minutes later with a firearm. Is this true?
Only those legally eligible can purchase firearms and only in the state of their residence. Age requirements apply; 18 for rifles and shotguns, 21 for handguns, and they must present a valid drivers’ license. If expired, suspended, revoked, or they moved without updating the address on their license, purchase is denied. Everything is in order, can they now buy a gun? No. They must complete federal form 4473 providing identifying information; name; date and place of birth, social security number, and so forth. Next they’re required to answer a series of questions including who is the actual purchaser of the firearm. Buying it for someone else, a “straw-purchase,” is prohibited. Additional questions include; are they a convicted felon, under felony indictment, a fugitive from justice, drug user, dishonorably discharged from the military, renounced their citizenship, in the country illegally, not a U.S. citizen, subject to a restraining order, or if they have been convicted of domestic violence, misdemeanor or not. A yes answer to these questions means they cannot buy a firearm. An untruthful answer is a felony punishable by federal prison, fines, and loss of the right to own firearms, vote, and hold state or federal jobs…forever. Suppose they lie?
Once form 4473 is completed and signed by a customer, gun stores must call the F.B.I.’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Police agencies and the military are required by law to provide information on prohibited individuals to the F.B.I. who, in turn, enter it into a centralized data base. Upon receiving a request for authorization to sell a gun from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder, the F.B.I. searches its data base determining if the intended purchaser is not legally prohibited. It’s the F.B.I. who authorizes or denies sales. Suppose a buyer has no criminal record but is mentally unstable? Information on those adjudicated through a legal process as “mentally defective” or having been institutionalized, is also entered into the F.B.I.’s data base and they will be denied purchase. Can’t an FFL just skip all this?
Commercial gun sales can only be made by FFLs. Information on each firearm they receive through purchase, trade, and so forth, must be entered into a logbook along with information as to whom it is ultimately sold. Logbooks are subject to random inspection by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, and Firearms [BATF]. Whether storefront or homebased, FFLs must be able to account for every gun taken in and or sold. Data entry discrepancies may lead to revocation of the FFL and felony prosecution. If the business is sold or closes, logbooks and all 4473 forms are transferred to the BATF, a form of registration. If denied purchase at a gun store, can’t prohibited persons buy firearms at gun shows through some kind of “loophole?”
Gun show promoters lease venues for their events in turn renting space to FFLs, often gun stores. All laws and requirements with respect to buying and selling guns apply at gun shows. Private sales may occur but typically comprise hunting rifles, shotguns and relics. Police officers and AFT Agents are often on hand supervising compliance. Only a miniscule number of criminals purchase firearms at gun shows. Typically they obtain them through burglary and theft. But what about these machine guns we keep hearing about. Can’t anyone walk in and out of a gun store with machine guns?
In 1934, Congress passed the National Firearms Act [NFA] regulating various firearms and devices commonly known as “silencers,” but its main focus was submachine guns, those capable of firing continuously with one pull of the trigger. Submachine guns were not banned. Instead, owners paid a $200 stamp tax and registered the firearm with the federal government.9 The Gun Control Act [GCA] of 1968 was interpreted by the BATF to prohibit the importation of fully automatic firearms by civilians. In 1986, the GCA was amended by the Hughes Amendment (Representative Charles Hughes, Democrat New Jersey) prohibiting civilian possession of full-automatic firearms manufactured after 19 May, 1986. To sell and or purchase firearms covered by the GCA, individuals apply for and obtain a special license from and register the firearm with the federal government paying required fees.10 Title I FFL’s pay a Special Occupation Tax to sell full-automatic firearms. This elevates them to title III hence the common but inaccurate term “class III license.” GCA applicants must meet all legal requirements for ownership, submit to a 6 to 12 month BATF criminal background investigation, provide finger print cards and passport sized photos, pay a $200 stamp tax, and register the firearm with the BATF. Because no full-automatic guns produced after May of 1986 may be sold to civilians, their pool is extremely limited translating into stratospheric prices.11 The idea, as my son says, that “some edgy teenager” can afford one is preposterous. Although not an edgy teenager, add me to the preposterous list.
Yes, the sear portion of an AR, and other semiautomatic rifles, can be cut and modified to allow for full automatic fire. But, there will be no selective fire option. It can now be fired only fully automatic. Anyone caught with such a modified weapon faces 10 years+ in a federal prison, loss of the right to ever be in possession, let alone own, firearms, loss of the right to vote, and hundreds of thousands in fines. May I make a recommendation to anyone considering this modification? Don’t. You will get caught. It’s possible to modify or buy an already modified sear. It’s a small piece of metal and, as long as it’s not installed in a rifle, no problem, right? Wrong. Mere possession of a sear, modified to allow fully automatic fire, is considered the same as possessing a fully automatic rifle with all the same penalties. You will get caught. Once again, don’t do it. If you must fire one, patronize a gun range that rents these rifles. They’re fun but you’ll probably leave realizing how impractical they are for self-defense. Sustained controlled accurate fire? Yeah, sure.
Not every gun owner in America supports let alone belongs to a pro-2nd Amendment organization or gun club, not even close. Nevertheless, when the Left attacks and besmirches these organizations, they serve for liberals as surrogates for all gun-owners and that means you. The Left works off an old and well established ideology and doctrine; the will of the individual must be bent to and subordinated to will of the state. Private ownership of firearms has no place in such a world view and neither do inalienable rights. It’s our job to educate family, friends, and neighbors about the truth because it will not happen in tax payer financed public schools and universities.
33 Peter Hasson, The Daily Caller, “All-Out War Against The NRA Begins After Las Vegas Massacre, 2 October 2017, at http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/02/the-left-is-using-the-vegas-massacre-to-wage-all-out-war-against-the-nra/
55 Alexander Kacala, “From Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift, Celebrities Respond to Yesterday’s Las Vegas Attack,” at http://hornetapp.com/stories/las-vegas-attack/amp/
66 Todd Woodward, Editor, “Downrange: “Teacher, Leave Gun Guys Alone,” Gun Tests 8 (August, 2013), 2. Lily Eskelsen Garcia is the vice president of the National Education Association, America’s largest teacher’s union which is also a major donor and supporter of the Democrat Party. She was speaking before a Netroots Nation Conference attended by 3,000 “progressive activists” leaders in the drive to forge a Leftwing consensus in public education curriculum in the classroom and political activism without.
77 Email from Chris, “AK-47 ‘Assault Rifle,” KCTV 5 News, 6 December, 2007 to the author.
88 Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel, The VENONA Secrets (Washington, D.C., Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2000), 58.
99 David Higginbotham, “Gun Laws 101: Nations Firearms Act of 1934,” Guns.com at ww.guns.com/2013/01/03,
1111 NFA Class II Weapons at http://www.oldglorygunsandammo.com. A brief online check found average prices for used pre1986 Colt M16s going for $31,000 to $39,000 thousand dollars. Others were; Price On Request, Yeah, that’s right. Only The Best Guns at http://www.onlythebestfirearms.com/nfa1.html.