Friday, September 13, 2013

A Win in Missouri, A Loss in Colorado, and Raffles in Bixby

In the United States, according to federal law, it is illegal to possess, or acquire a firearm if:

1, You are under indictment or have been convicted of a felony.
2. You are a fugitive from justice.
3. You're an illegal alien.
4. You are using or addicted to controlled substances.
5. You are subject to a domestic violence restraining order. (there are some exceptions)
6. You are a veteran who has been discharged under dishonorable conditions.
7. You have been adjudicated mentally defective, or been committed to a mental institution.
8. You've renounced your United States citizenship.
9. You've been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.

Yes, I know. Those restrictions sound pretty darn reasonable don't they?

Apparently not to republicans in Missouri. The GOP controlled legislature passed a law that stated, "any federal policy that infringes on people's rights to keep and bear arms shall be invalid." It also included a clause which stated any agent of the federal government who tried to enforce said regulations pertaining to weapons was subject to arrest by state authorities. In addition it threw out any and all background checks and made it illegal to publish a gun owner's name.

Another by-product of the law would, in effect, eliminate all federal restrictions and taxes on fully automatic weapons--thereby allowing any rube on the north side of St. Louis who has a grudge to go out and buy something along the lines of say, a pre-owned M-60 machine gun.

Jay Nixon, the democratic governor of the state, vetoed the legislation for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the notion every drooling psychopath and convicted gang banger in the country could now come to Missouri and legally buy a gun. The republicans tried to override his veto, because--well--they're nuts They came up one vote short, but promised to keep trying.

I'll have to admit that even considering legislation like that seems utterly insane to me, but I suppose we should take our victories, no matter how small, and celebrate them. After all, look what happened in Colorado this week.

After the mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, CT, the democratic controlled legislature there passed a bill which limited ammunition clips to 15 rounds and expanded background checks to include private and online weapon sales. The governor signed it into law and the, Can't Get An Erection Without My Gun crowd went wild with anger.

Recall petitions were circulated targeting four senators. Supporters failed to get the required number of signatures in two districts, but managed to set up a vote in two others. Both of the targeted democratic state senators, Angela Giron and John Morse were unseated on Tuesday.

Despite huge amounts of money spent on the campaign by both sides the turnout was small. In Giron's district only 30% of the voters went to the polls and in Morse's a mere 15% showed up. Normally Colorado allows mail in ballots, but didn't in this case.

A news photo showed one recall supporter holding a sign that read, "Guns Save Lives." It is unclear if the person holding it also believes there is no link between smoking cigarettes, heart disease and cancer.

Closer to home, a Bixby, OK youth sports program held a raffle the other day. According to the tickets being hawked by the group and it's youngsters, the grand prize was a hand gun. Later Jason Clark, the president of the program, said the tickets had been misprinted. The actual prize was a nice fat gift card to a gun store. Clark also assured everyone he had checked with authorities about "liability issues" and the winner could indeed buy a hand gun after passing the required background check. He said he was puzzled by the attention this year's raffle had garnered because the group had done the same thing previously. He advised the media that $3,800 had been raised and the money would go to a fourth grade football team.

Slate and @GunDeaths are reporting that as of yesterday at least 8,041 Americans have been shot to death in the last nine months. However the study notes, when factoring in unreported suicides and accidental firearm fatalities, the true number is estimated to be triple in size.

Total U.S. combat deaths in both Afghanistan and Iraq, after twelve years of war, stands at 6,441.

But hey, we're free. At least that is what the NRA says.

sic vita est


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