Saturday, February 20, 2016

More twists from the NRA

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Before you get another word into this blog, I MUST lay out a disclaimer---I AM A LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION.  I have been since 1990 when I paid the first $25 payment on my lifetime installment.

Today I feel I must rant on a topic that has been largely shoved down the throats of all Americans—possession of guns.  Whether it be the “right” to own a semi-automatic rifle capable of firing 30 or more rounds a minute and has the potential to empty TWO 100 round clips in less than 3 minutes; or owning a handgun that might also have the capacity to hold 15, even 20 rounds, Americans have been manipulated to accept guns as part of everyday life.
Again, in the interest of transparency, I do own several guns.  And if truth be told, I would own more if circumstances allowed.

Then last month, I see one of the cover stories on my NRA magazine is about suppressors (December 2015).  Then I read an article in my local Detroit paper (January 31, 2016), also about suppressors.
So I am extremely curious as to why silencers, aka suppressors, are suddenly so beneficial.
Since both are so similar, I will use Jeff Johnston’s article dated December 15, 2015 as my primary reference and identify Lydia Lohrer’s article dated January 31, 2016 when I refer to her article.
Both articles put up a straw-man argument that in parts of Europe, silencers are readily available over the counter for the asking and require no special licensing—paper work—tax—or wait period.  Just set your money down, pick a silencer and in less time than it takes to shoot 30 children in an elementary school—you can have a silencer to call your own.  Those liberal loving Norwegians sure know how to run small government while looking out for their citizens’ rights to be armed.  BUT WAIT…while it seems t be so easy to get a silencer, buying a GUN is an entirely different story in most of Europe--

Both the NRA article (5 Reasons to Consider a Suppressor) and the Detroit Free Press article (On Suppressors, Lend Me Your Ears) note that in Norway, all one has to do in walk into a gun store and buy silencer—no paper work, no wait period, no bureaucratic red-tape.  But what they do not tell us is that it is NEARLY impossible to buy a gun in Norway—

The purchase, possession, and use of firearms are tightly controlled in Norway, whose laws and regulations were made more stringent with amendments to the Firearms Act in 2009 and the adoption of new Firearms Regulations in that year.  Permission to acquire a firearm must be obtained from the local police chief and is limited to persons of “sober habits” who have reasonable grounds for having a weapon.  Fully automatic weapons, some semiautomatic weapons, and firearms disguised as other objects are banned under the law. Certain types of weapons not covered by the Firearms Act’s definition of firearms, such as stun guns, are also generally banned.  In addition, the National Police Directorate may issue regulations prohibiting the acquisition, ownership, or possession of firearms deemed through their design or operation to be especially dangerous or inappropriate for use.
There are also legal provisions, among others, on the licensing of firearms dealers and exporter/importers, the maintenance of a central firearms register, and the mandatory safe storage of firearmsThe police have the authority to conduct inspections of privately stored firearms, after notifying the owner.
Nearly 10% of Norway’s populace own firearms, which are used chiefly for hunting purposes.  The gun laws were apparently not extensively amended in the aftermath of the 2011 massacre in Oslo and on a nearby island in which seventy-seven people were killed, chiefly through the use of firearms; however, the country’s Mental Health Act has been revised to include a new chapter on enhanced security in institutions that accommodate the severely mentally ill or persons at risk for serious violent behavior.

SO, one does not simply walk into a gun store, pick out a military assault style weapon—because these weapons are NOT SOLD in Norway.  There is also something called the CENTRAL REGISTRY of GUNS—and local law enforcement can INSPECT gun owner homes to assure the weapons are safe and secure.

So while the NRA grasps at straws to make a PROGRESSIVE and extremely LIBERAL country like NORWAY appear gun crazy and so much more advanced in their weapons of mass destruction mentality—giving the appearance that America is backwards and has a draconian view of guns, the reality is that European Countries RESTRICT access to weapons – have an extensive background check for those who want a gun – have a CENTRAL REGISTRY for ALL GUNS --  and has safe guards in place to prevent those with mental illness and the proclivity to commit violence from getting guns in the first place.

So let’s all tell the NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION, that if they support the over the counter purchase of silencers and they believe countries like NORWAY are doing the right thing---then we MUST sign into law similar GUN LAWS IMMEDIATELY—then we can get on with the business of selling silencers.

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