GarandThumb Control – On Current Events

Our favorite flanneled gun reviewer, Garand Thumb, has come to throw some good informative fuel to the intellectuals fires of the now raging gun control debate. We know a variety of proposals are being pushed, from universal background checks to a renewed assault weapons ban.

Yes a new assault weapons ban is in congress as S. 66 and because of the current public and political climate it has the greatest chance of gaining momentum in recent history.

This bill makes it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).

The prohibition does not apply to a firearm that is (1) manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action; (2) permanently inoperable; (3) an antique; or (4) a rifle or shotgun specifically identified by make and model.

The bill also exempts from the prohibition the following, with respect to a SAW or LCAFD:

  • importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession related to certain law enforcement efforts, or authorized tests or experiments;
  • importation, sale, transfer, or possession related to securing nuclear materials; and
  • possession by a retired law enforcement officer.

The bill permits continued possession, sale, or transfer of a grandfathered SAW, which must be securely stored. A licensed gun dealer must conduct a background check prior to the sale or transfer of a grandfathered SAW between private parties.

The bill permits continued possession of, but prohibits sale or transfer of, a grandfathered LCAFD.

Newly manufactured LCAFDs must display serial number identification. Newly manufactured SAWs and LCAFDs must display the date of manufacture.

The bill also allows a state or local government to use Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program funds to compensate individuals who surrender a SAW or LCAFD under a buy-back program.

homicide stats by method pistol rifle blunt force sharp object shotgun

S. 66 is looking to impose a massive sweeping legislative change and drastic violation of the individual right to firearms ownership in a completely ineffectual manner. This either won’t be the last law they pass because it will be ineffectual (assuming it passed in the first place) or they really don’t understand how to effectively influence the homicide rate.

The legislation is looking to permanently hamstring millions of gun owners in order to curb a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of annual homicides. I don’t know how to get it through to people just how hail mary a pass this is to actually lower deaths, but imagine it’s a pass in a field 10 times as long, in hurricane level crosswinds, while blindfolded.

Nothing in these measures will save lives. This assault weapon ban and the other bread and circus proposals currently in Washington and the states have no realistic chance of impact. This isn’t “gun loving NRA lifer” talk. This is realistic analysis of rates of general criminal determent, non-compliance, societal outlook on violence, and ineffective removal of method. This law doesn’t remove rifles as a method, not even close. The tens of millions in circulation will remain so and still contribute to that small segment of total homicides for decades. The hundreds of millions of magazines will still be around too.

When you run incredibly generous numbers (like say the buyback proposed would pay $1.50 on the $1.00, MSRP, to remove these weapons and we get 50% compliance with the magazine ban) how would the law actually track a positive decline in homicides, mass or otherwise? Projected influence under ideal circumstances is less than year to year fluctuations, far less than the 2016 to 2017 difference.

Instead of focusing on keeping violent offenders incarcerated, especially those with criminal enterprise (gang) affiliation, which would actively cut into all those numbers, not just the rifle one, we use terrifying events to make ineffective policy. Great job guys… way to “do something” more than thoughts and prayers. Expecting this to work seems like a very cynical attempt at real earthly thoughts and prayers, as the politicians pray they can point to a number that says this hairbrained thought really worked.

Those that push these policy concepts are either completely ignorant or have a final agenda. Total firearm ban and confiscation by force is the only logical conclusion of their line of reasoning, regardless of what the gun controller camp says about their “respect for the 2nd Amendment.”

We are at the soap, press, and ballot box stage of this fight. I don’t expect us to leave that area anytime soon, and that’s a good thing. But we must be certain we stand firm against bad policies and actively support and promote good effective policies. We must keep speaking about why the bad policies will fail and why the effective policies will push the numbers they claim to want to influence.

Be the voices of reason even with an unreasonable audience, folks. This is going to be long fight.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.