I wonder where the two white supremacist militants who murdered two police officers and an innocent bystander were able to purchase their guns? Maybe they went to one of Las Vegas’ bi-monthly gun shows?
In keeping with the recent tradition of a mass shooting weekly in America, Seattle Pacific University was the site of last week’s latest gun tragedy. How and when did it become so easy to obtain guns and ammo? Simply look back a few decades and it’s obvious what has aggrandized gun ownership: the re-branding of firearms as a hobby.
There have always been fatal shootings in American history: most notably President McKinley, JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King; but they were not every day occurrences. So Congress tried to enact some sensibility with the Gun Control Act of 1968.
…enacted prohibitions on the importation of firearms “with no sporting purpose.” Among the other major provisions of the GCA were the establishment of minimum ages for firearms purchasers, the requirement that all firearms (domestic and imported) be affixed with a serial number, and the expansion of the categories of prohibited persons.
One would think the assassination attempt on President Reagan, a lifetime NRA member, would have helped strengthen prohibitive laws on the sale of firearms, but that’s not what happened at all. A law was passed in 1986 called the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) and FOPA really opened the floodgates of gun proliferation. Here are a few of the provisions of the fairly unknown bill (also known as the McClure-Volkmer Act):
- It prevents the government from creating a list of gun owners from dealer records.
- Allows ammunition shipments through the US Postal Service.
- Allows FFL (federal firearms license) holders to engage in business away from their normal business location. I.E. at a gun show.
- Eases the interstate sale of both rifles and handguns. It eliminates the requirement that gun dealers notify police of handgun purchases and preempts state and local laws to ease interstate travel with handguns as well as rifles for any legal purpose.
- It eliminates the need for many gun sellers to obtain a license and keep records of their gun sales.
- Eliminates the record-keeping requirements for ammunition sales involving less than 1,000 rounds.
- Permits gun sales at certain gun shows
- Allowed individuals not federally licensed as gun dealers to sell their personal firearms as a “hobby.”
How about we stop the madness by ending the gun shows that began during the Reagan Administration? Gun shows have turned possession of lethal weaponry into a ridiculously risky hobby, and I’m sure we can find better things to do with our spare time.