Gun Control Debate Heads to Districts During Recess
Gun Control Debate Heads to Districts During Recess

Gun Control Debate Heads to Districts During Recess

In quiet tones, they read names “… Ismael Moya, aged 17, killed with a gun December 15, 2012, Clayburne County, Alabama … Jeffrey Ray Tyson, aged 20, killed with a gun December 16, 2012, Washington, D.C. … Officer Jeff Atherly, 29, killed with a gun, December 16, 2012, Topeka Kansas.”

The names were from a list of over 7,000 Americans that have been killed with guns since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012.

The names were read in Oak Creek, Wis., where a large crowd gathered for the anniversary of the shootings in a Sikh temple, Aug. 5, 2012, that killed six people and critically injured others.

A reminder of the daily loss of life to gun violence in America, the name reading was not a singular event. Supporters of gun control legislation carry it out in other towns and cities across America, part of a bus tour organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. 

The No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence began in Newtown, Conn., June 14, and will, at the tour’s completion, have visited 25 states in 100 days. The 950 mayors in the group, gun violence survivors, and community organizations support the tour. 

The bus tour is just one of the activities gun control advocates are using to lobby members of Congress during the summer recess. 

They want to change the minds of lawmakers who voted against gun control legislation in the Senate this year. No More Names called on supporters in Fargo, N.D., to urge Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) to reconsider their votes against comprehensive background checks. 

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According to most surveys, a large majority of Americans support expanded background checks. But legislation has not been passed. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told a pro-gun control group that looming budget battles will prevent Democrats from trying to enact background checks legislation this year. 

“I think sometime next year we’ll revisit that issue. I’m almost certain of it,” Reid told the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, according to The Nation. 

Background Checks in Focus

A new study has raised alarms, finding thousands of guns are bought online. Online sales now supersede the gun show loophole as a way of avoiding background checks.

Conducted by Third Way, a Washington-based public policy think tank, the study tracked gun sales on one website across 10 states during June and July, and found that at any given moment, more than 15,000 guns were offered for sale without background checks. Around 5,000 of the guns were semiautomatic.

“In 2,000 Web ads in these states, buyers were intentionally seeking private sellers where background checks are specifically exempt from federal law,” Third Way stated on its website.

Pro-gun control groups have not been deterred by recent legislative setbacks. Many have campaigned for years on the issue.

Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said they are focusing their attention on Virginia during the recess and on two key House members, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va).

They have spent money on billboard and newspaper ads, and have already held rallies in the two representative’s districts. 

They hope Cantor will introduce a vote in the House on background check legislation and that Rigell will co-sponsor HR 1565, a companion bill that will ensure those who should be prohibited from purchasing a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 

Everitt was upbeat, noting that HR 1565 already has 183 co-sponsors and he believes the “magic number,” 218, is attainable.

“It is something that is going to take hard work,” he said, offering the long view as an option. “It might end up being something we need to go into the 2014 midterms and reward some people who have voted the right way and end the political careers of some folks who haven’t.”

The pro-gun lobby will also be active. Gun Owners of America (GOA) in a number of mailings asked supporters to fight for gun rights and “defund anti-gun Obama care.”

“The very assumption that the federal government has to ‘do something about guns’ violates the Constitution, which guarantees that our right to keep and bear arms ‘shall not be infringed,’” said GOA spokesman Erich Pratt.

  • williamdiamon

    Funny, I just took the poll up there and 83 percent said “no more gun control”.

    To the “universal background check”,

    The NICS record tells us that gun sales are at record highs. Store shelves tell us that lead is the new precious metal. Do the math and use common sense, the reason the Federal gun control bill failed is lack of public support. People like guns and the safety they can provide.
    Public support for “universal background checks” was never at 90 percent. That number came from a poll by Quinnipiac University, a institution well know for it’s biased and “progressive” ideology. The questions asked of participants were phrased to give these numbers. Rasmussen came out later showing only 49 percent replied they thought background checks even make any difference to crime rates. They are right. Would a criminal even buy a gun? Why would they if their job description is to “rob and steal”? Their “homies” would probably laugh at them.

    Interviewed incarcerated criminals report getting -2- percent from legal sources, that includes gun shows.

    Would a criminal pay $400-$900 dollars for a handgun to rob a store for $300? Maybe but I doubt it. They steal guns and buy them from other criminals.

    It is also evident stopping crime and mass murders are not the reason for the bill as it would not have stopped any of the mass murders. It cannot stop crime either. Witness laws on the books now against drugs, murder, rape or any crime. If you want to make a difference in crime rates go after gangs. Mass murders? Address mental health care.

    The only way we can effect the desired change through law abiding citizens is to liberalize concealed carry laws and remove the “gun free zone” as this is where mass murders happen. Crime has gone down across the USA. It has gone down faster in states with “shall issue concealed” laws faster than “discretionary” laws. And not at all in places like Chicago, Detroit or DC, with draconian gun laws. Had the current gun control bill addressed these issues it would have made a difference to our safety. It was obviously crafted for other reasons.

    The DOJ told Eric Holder the bill can’t work without a complete registry of gun owners in the USA. This is the danger of this bill and why there is so much resistance to it. The NICS is set up in a certain way, You can trace a gun to it’s owner but not a owner to a gun. If a weapon is found at a crime scene, we call the FBI with the serial number, they have a record of who sold the gun, they call the FFL and they will search their records for the buyer. This way no one can look up your name and know what guns you own, then persecute in some way. This system was set up this specific way to prevent what happened in Nazi Germany. Still, All it would take is someone keeping a copy of the checking list to know who has what. Don’t think it could happen? Neither did the disarmed Jews. Or the other 6 million undesirables. This is why it will never happen in America. Read History, it hasn’t been kind to those who’ve been disarmed, we know them as “victims”.

    • Frank Jaeger

      Technically there’s no gun show loophole. Fraudulently purchased guns from gun shows or online, “not loophole but fraudulently” that are used in crimes is a whopping 1% There is no legislation that will stop a person from criminally trying to acquire a gun illegally
      Out of the 5800 (fifty eight thousands) known straw purchasers in the US only 44 (Fourty four) have been prosecuted. NICS isn’t the problum its the enforcement, its proven that it works good. They just refuse (Yes thats refuse) to enforce it.

  • TopCat_Texas

    This idea of a “loop hole” is very mis-leading. There is only one case where a person can purchase a gun with out NICS (or state equivalent). That case is where a private citizen, not involved in the business of gun sales, sells his privately owned gun to another citizen in a one-on-one relationship with both parties in their same home state. On the “face-to-face” sale the seller still has the legal responsibility to not sell to anyone known to not be eligible or “should have been known” to not eligible. Now, if the anti-gun crowd wanted to actually have background checks on these sales, all they would need to do is to open the NICS phone service to non-FFL calls. However, anti-gun groups never support that option, mainly because it does not get closer to a federal gun registration database.

  • Frank Jaeger

    There is no loophole, Gun shows and the internet are subject to the same laws, regulations and background checks as buying from a store/dealer.
    NICS; Felonies are. So what you’re saying is we need more laws that the government won’t follow or enforce wow that sounds like a great plan,
    puts my plan to follow or enforce the current one to shame.

    On January 16, 2013 obama issued 23 executive orders and
    #14 a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to
    research the causes and prevention of gun violence, well it proves that all the BS
    obama and mayors against safe citizens have been saying is just that BS and flat out lies
    and backs all of the pro gun 2nd amendment freedom loving Americans.

    Here read it for yourself!

    • williamdiamon

      No sir, I’m not saying we need more laws. I am saying we should follow the Constitution and 2nd Amendment. Specifically the “shall not be infringed” part.
      The people who are calling the fact that citizens can exchange weapons privately, a “loop hole” are forgetting this is the way our Founding Fathers intended it to be.

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