Letter: Know the facts first: A response to Felicia Muftic’s Oct. 11 column
Know the facts first: A response to Felicia Muftic’s Oct. 11 column
In order to have a discussion, both parties must have knowledge of the facts. Only then can any serious discussion take place.
Semi-automatic weapons fire one round with one pull of the trigger. Automatic weapons fire more than one round with one trigger pull; as in machine gun. There are no such things as “nearly automatic machine guns.” A gun can’t be equipped with a clip. A repeating firearm, all firearms except single shots, double barrel and revolvers, have a magazine. Some are detachable, and some are not. Clips are a form of ammunition packaging used to quickly fill a magazine. Detachable magazines have made them obsolete except for a few applications.
Semi-autos can NOT be easily converted to automatic, and the ones used in Las Vegas were not converted to automatic. Bump stocks were evaluated by Obama’s BATFE and deemed legal because they did not change the way the gun functions, one pull one round. I would say that maybe a bump stock skirts the spirit of the federal law, but Ms. Muftic thinks it skirts federal regulations. The BATFE did their job correctly (for a change) and found that bump stocks complied with the letter of the law. If we want to outlaw bump stocks, it is up to Congress to craft legislation using factual data.
Now, let’s talk about silencers, properly called suppressors. They do not make a firearm silent as portrayed by Hollywood gangster movies. They do reduce the sound as felt behind a rifle to a level where hearing protection is not needed; hence the wish to use them while hunting. The sound coming out of the barrel is still quite loud. Not to mention the sonic boom of the bullet and gas. The report downrange would still be heard.
Obama did not sign an order to better ID those with mental health problems. He signed a wide sweeping order to investigate all social security recipients with representative payees to decide (that will be unilateral) if they are “of substandard intelligence” among other dubious and open ended phrases. It also said to turn in the names of people adjudicated by state or federal courts as mentally incompetent. They are already prohibited persons. The order puts many people in a bind. Apply for disability and lose your rights, or keep your rights and give up your disability income. It is a slap in the face by the Obama administration to people on Social Security disability, and it is kicking while down for Ms. Muftic to characterize people that the SSA unilaterally said were “of substandard intelligence” as mentally disabled.
Now, the final whopper. That the NRA leadership disregards 74 percent of their members. The only organization that has ever polled NRA members is the NRA. They have elections and if the leaders were unresponsive to the members, they would not be elected. A sampling of the data showed that if the percentage of people who answered the poll that they were NRA members, “considered themselves NRA members” or agreed with the NRA on most issues, were applied to the general population, it would far exceed the 5 million and more that actually belong to the NRA. The polling is blatantly false.
Now that we have established the lack of facts and understanding by Ms. Muftic let’s go on to one of the anti-gun crowd’s claim that they want common sense gun laws. One of the first things Bill Clinton did was to push an “assault weapons ban” and a large capacity magazine ban (more than 10 rounds) through Congress. The “assault weapons” were characterized by largely cosmetic characteristics, such as a prominent pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, and adjustable stock. A pistol grip makes the gun more comfortable and has been evolving for a century. Early guns didn’t have them. Thumbhole stocks serve the same purpose as pistol grips. Adjustable stocks are great for hunting. They can be shortened to fit while wearing thick clothing. As the day warms up they can be lengthened to fit as clothing is shed. Proper gun fit is an important part of safe firearm use. Common sense gun laws should require an adjustable stock. Two others were a custom trigger, and a full floated barrel. Both enhance the accuracy for hunting and target shooting. Assault rifles are fully automatic and are available after a long, bureaucratic process.
The law was passed by reconciliation, and it’s effect on crime was studied by the U.S. Department of Justice for the 10 year period as required. The study (no, it was not flawed) found it “had no discernible impact on crime” so Congress let it sunset.
To try the same thing over and over and expect different results is one definition of insanity. Common sense says if you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else. Seems to me common sense ain’t so common.
Jeffrey Ward, Kremmling
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