Guns, Gun Control and Fear in America
9 months ago
Why Americans need to fear a future full of guns, instead of one without them
Guns, and Fear. This time on the Cross Section
In addition to stores, there’s a multitude of regulated websites that make it easy to legally buy guns across the country.
Additionally, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a team of city officials uncovered the ease with which someone could illegally buy firearms, with no background check, from second-hand dealers and unregulated websites.
Bloomberg’s team showed that in addition gun show loop holes that allowed illegal sales, one could easily buy a firearm off Craigslist, for the price of an ipod.
These second hand sales of guns often circumvent already lax laws that are in place across the country.
If you want a gun, you can get a gun. They’re out there. Everywhere.
There are well over 270,000,000 total civilian firearms in the United States, with the gun industry churning out thousands more each year.
Not surprisingly the U.S. ranks first in the world in gun ownership. If the production and import of guns stopped at this moment, we could still arm every man and woman of voting age and have hundreds of thousands of weapons and ammunition left to stockpile.
Now, in 1994 congress passed a significant piece of gun control legislation called the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
It barred the importing or manufacturing of a multitude of semi-automatic weapons for use by civilians, including a gun called the AR-15. The AR-15 was one of four guns reportedly used by James Holmes in the recent Aurora Colorado movie theater massacre.
It’s modeled after the U.S. army's M-16 Automatic weapon. How did he get ahold of one since it’s illegal? Well it's no longer illegal. That weapons ban was allowed to expire in September 13, 2004, as part of the law's sunset provision.
There’ve been many attempts to renew the ban, but it's stalled in committee. The ’94 legislation also banned high-capacity magazines, that feed large numbers of bullets into a gun. The legal number of bullets in a given magazine became 10.
Police assert James Holmes had a 100-round drum magazine clipped into his Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifle, he used to kill and maim innocent civilians in the Colorado movie theater.
He reportedly had legally purchased 2 Glock hand guns, the aforementioned AR15 assault rifle and a shot gun to do his killing.
In the 2011 Tuscon shooting that ended U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords poitical career and nearly her life, Jared Lee Loughner, was accused of shooting his Glock 19 into a crowd of people, killing six and injuring many others.
His gun was loaded with a 33 round magazine. Both Holmes’ and Loughner’s magazines would have been illegal, had the Federal Assault Weapons ban still been in place.
The reported 6000 rounds of ammunition James Holmes stockpiled for his killing spree is far from abnormal. The amount is so ordinary it sent up no red flags to law enforcement.