By Jeff Garvas
Ohio –-(Ammoland.com)- For the past four years President Barack Obama has arguably been the best thing to happen to the firearms industry since the expiration of the assault weapon ban.
Sales have soared on fears of the potential for new anti-gun legislation. Shortly after he was elected Obama even signed legislation that made your state issued license to carry a concealed handgun recognized by most national parks across the country.
Those of us who are skeptical of a proven anti-gun politician figured Obama was simply waiting for his lame duck session to pass gun control. Democrats learned from the mistakes of President Bill Clinton and the Congressional power shift that has always been attributed to the 1994 assault weapon ban.
Following every tragic shooting event in recent memory Obama has steered clear of extremely aggressive calls for gun control – almost as if he's walking on political egg shells. What happened Tuesday night during the second presidential debate is probably a damaging excited utterance that reveals President Obama's true colors. Consider these statements derived from transcripts of the event from Federal News Service:
“And so what I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced…”
The Assault Weapons Ban, which President George Bush and Congress allowed to expire, was a colossal failure:
The United States Department of Justice National Institute of Justice found should the ban be renewed, its effects on gun violence would likely be small, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement, because rifles in general, including rifles referred to as “assault rifles” or “assault weapons”, are rarely used in gun crimes.
This conclusion isn't just a pro-gun opinion, but a fact that has been admitted by the most non-biased research organizations. Anyone who has done any bit of research on the assault weapons ban knows that it banned certain firearms based on the appearance, their model number, or other irrelevant factors.
Two nearly identical caliber rifles sitting on a shelf could be exhibits A and B of a legal and outlawed rifle – the fact is the ban was the first attempt to pass even greater gun control. Like most gun control endeavors the AWB was nothing more than the beginning of what gun ban proponents envisioned as the first step in even more aggressive limitations.
We saw this tonight because President Obama did not stop at re-enacting the failed federal rifle ban. He is coming for your handguns too:
“…part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence, because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence, and they’re not using AK-47s, they’re using cheap handguns.”
Our current president, who moments before saying these things stated he believes in the Second Amendment, revealed just how out of touch he is with our firearms laws (or how much he wanted to confuse the audience) when he dropped the automatic weapons line:
“Part of it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.”
There isn't a gun owner I've met in my life who feels that a criminal or a mentally ill patient should be able to obtain a firearm for nefarious purposes — but for the President of The United States to imply that fully automatic weapons have not been aggressively controlled and in extremely limited supply since the 1980's demonstrates exactly where he stands on misleading the public about gun control. Seconds later, Governor Romney addressed that fact, but unfortunately without a complete understanding of the law:
“We of course don’t want to have automatic weapons, and that’s already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons.”
Well, not really on two counts. First, I'd love to have a couple automatic firearms in my collection. Second, I believe what he meant to imply is that there are in fact laws that strictly regulate how you can possibly own a fully automatic firearm. But what he said overall is incredibly promising to gun owners:
“Yeah, I — I’m not in favor of new pieces of legislation on — on guns and — and taking guns away or — or making certain guns illegal… …What I believe is we have to do as the president mentioned towards the end of his remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have and to change the culture of violence we have.”
This is exactly what I said in response to a Phillip Morris column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer earlier this month where Morris asked the day before the first debate for this very discussion on gun control.
The children killing each other in Chicago, Miami, Washington D.C. don't care about an assault weapons ban or any law for that matter. They kill each other over things as simplistic and irrelevant as which block of the neighborhood their perceived enemy lives on. They've fully accepted the fact that they will die at an extremely young age — so what exactly do they have to lose in life by killing each other? Nothing – because of a culture that has accepted this as normal.
Romney strayed into how to fix this, how to improve our society and moderator Candy Crowley forced him back to the subject of guns, the expired assault weapons ban, and the her position that he signed an assault weapons ban while Governor. His response is quite impressive:
“Well, Candy, actually, in my state, the pro-gun folks and the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece of legislation, and it’s referred to as a — as an assault weapon ban, but it had at the signing of the bill both the pro-gun and the anti- gun people came together, because it provided opportunities for both that both wanted.”
Unfortunately, neither the moderator or either candidate took the opportunity to explain why the Clinton era assault weapon ban did nothing to prevent violence, violent acts, or the death and mayhem that exists in some of our poorest neighborhoods.
Instead, those people in the audience or watching at home who don't know better or care enough to research the truth were left with the idea that fully automatic firearms are widely available in this country and in the hands of every mentally ill criminal. They also likely left thinking Obama's challenger isn't willing to do anything about that.
Edited to reflect the 1986 Hughes Amendment. Automatic weapons came under federal control with the National Firearms Act (1934), while the Gun Control Act of 1968 banned the importation of automatic weapons covered by the NFA. It was the 1986 Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Act that, for the mere civilian, effectively froze all fully automatic firearms to those which already existed in the country.
Ohioans for Concealed Carry, founded in 1999, is a grassroots political activist organization. When founded, the primary goal of OFCC was getting concealed carry passed into law in Ohio. With that accomplished, our mission became to refine the concealed carry law and to expand and preserve the rights of all gun owners in Ohio. Visit: Ohioccw.org