Mayors want to pass gun safety laws, but the NRA and our state legislatures won’t let us
Nearly everywhere gun violence can happen, local leaders are blocked from taking action to help prevent it, And as recently highlighted by the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, the consequences of defying the state can be grave.
Oh dear. Our brave mayors can’t protect us because state preemption laws tie their hands. Sounds terrible, eh?
As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now for the rest of the story.”
Some 64% of murders have prior felony convictions, typically for prior violent crimes. That means that –under existing, enforceable — laws, they are prohibited persons unable to lawfully possess firearms. Yet somehow they are free to walk the streets and kill.
Some 88% of firearms used to commit crimes — including murder — are stolen. Theft of a firearm is a felony under existing, enforceable — laws. Possession of those guns — regardless of prior criminal history is a crime under existing, enforceable — laws. Yet somehow criminals are free to walk around with stolen property.
Murder, of course, is also illegal. Raise your hand if you’ve read a news report about a murder with a prior conviction for killing someone else. Raise your other hand if you wondered why that person was on the streets.
Now ask your mayor (and chief law enforcement officer) why.
Then ask them why they want to end preemption of laws targeting those who haven’t committed crimes against victims, when they will not or cannot do anything about existing violent criminals with the tools they have.
“Mr. Mayor, you want a local law making my rifle illegal even though I’ve never committed a crime, much less one with that rifle? Even though rifles are almost never used in crimes according to the FBI? But you’re willing to ignore the criminals with stolen guns? Why is that?”
Yeah. Why is it that they want to — continue to — ignore the known class of violent offenders, and go after honest folks?
Oh hell. Never mind their motivation; ask yourself if you really want to give more laws to incompetent clowns who are incapable of using what they have now. Ask them why you should hand a chainsaw to a moron who failed to use a hacksaw correctly.
Prediction: They’ll likely tell you that those existing laws against murder, theft, possession of stolen property, probation violations, and so forth are… incomplete, and that laws punishing honest folks who get their property stolen are needed to catch the bad guys.
Answer: Bull shit. They do catch the real criminals.
And let them go. Because trials and incarceration are expensive, and locking up your voter demographic isn’t conducive to reelection. Letting feral predators roam free is much cheaper (and ensures more votes), so long as they only prey on the little people who don’t matter to pols in plush offices.
And then something like Mandalay Bay, Sutherland Springs, or Parkland happens, and the wrong — i.e.- politically inexpedient — prey is slaughtered. So it’s time to arrest the offenders call for more laws making atrocity-of-the-day even more double-plus ungood illegaller.
And to regulate the ones who didn’t do it.
Why’s that? Pretend you’re a Coward County Sheriff’s deputy. You can go after someone with a long history of violence, or you can sleep in your car. If you simply must [be pried out of your air conditioned vehicle with a crowbar to] go after some miscreant, would you choose to pursue known violent offenders who might hurt you (and whose arrests might impact the mayor’s vote totals come the next election), or would you rather go after those with no criminal history? Who are more likely to comply without violence, ensuring you make it home at the end of your shift.
And if you scream, “We need new laws!” loudly enough, you might distract folks from the fact that you and your glorious city leaders aren’t doing your effing jobs.