Reasonable

A gun guy. Imagine having that phrase attached to you.

Well, if you are a regular reader, apart from being amazingly unique, you know that I am a gun guy. A good bit of the story is told in the posts, “Guns Not Butter”, “The Amazing BATFE”, and “Nana’s Gun”.

There is a constant paean for “reasonable” gun laws coming from the anti gun folks. Whenever some terrible tragedy involves a gun, out they come with, “We need REASONABLE gun laws.”

How can anyone object to that?

As noted in the other posts, there are over 20,000 gun laws on the books across the country. They are quite different from state to state which make travel between states quite challenging for a gun guy wanting to carry a gun for self defense (I have carry permits for 41 states) or for a competitor wanting to transport a gun across state boundaries for the purpose of traveling to a competition. These laws are also quite ineffective at least at their stated purpose of lowering crime rates. An NYPD officer was recently killed by a fellow with repeat gun offenses on his record (meaning the gun he killed the officer with was illegal) and whom a judge had recently set free without bail.

The story that inspires this post also comes from New York City. A Tennessee woman with a permit to carry in TN (giving her reciprocity in 40 states) was visiting the new World Trade Center memorial. She had driven to NYC to search for a job and was carrying her, legal in TN (and 40 other states), pistol in her purse. She demonstrated a great deal of naiveté to the differences in state laws, when she saw a sign stating that firearms are not allowed in the memorial and asked a NYPD officer where she could check her firearm.

She was immediately arrested.

Reasonable?

A gun guy like myself especially with my experience living in NYC, knows to never bring a gun to New York state and especially to NYC. They have LOTS of gun control laws which I am sure they think are reasonable. The above examples kinda point in a different direction. The gun crime guy goes free on zero bail and the law abiding but naive Tennessean is jailed, has to pay $2,000 bail, and is being ferociously prosecuted.

There is a federal regulation that attempts to make interstate transportation of a firearm possible. The gun must be unloaded and in a locked case in the trunk of the vehicle or in checked airline baggage with appropriate documents. Any ammunition must be in a separate locked case also in the trunk or the checked baggage.

The slight problem is that when passing through states like NY, you can’t stop except for gas and food. Don’t even think about visiting your relatives or staying overnight to rest.

God forbid your airline flight is redirected to NY and you have to stay overnight. Wham, bam to the slammer you go.

In fact, if you are going to a shooting competition in NY, be careful what guns you bring. Even if you drive ceaselessly, shoot in the competition, and leave, exhausted, to rush for the state border, if you bring that high capacity magazine or your favorite tricked out AR-15 you could be in trouble and might be arrested. NY still has a state level assault weapons/high capacity magazine law! The federal law sunset, but undaunted, the NY folks retained their law in the face of substantial evidence of the federal law’s ineffectiveness.

So the high capacity magazines that I routinely use in competition must not be brought into NY. My great AR-15 has all five of the evil characteristics that the assault weapons law uses to protect New Yorkers. It has a pistol grip, a bayonet lug, an adjustable stock, a muzzle brake, and a high capacity magazine. Phew, dangerous!

Let’s see, am I going to slide on a bayonet and go wild? Is anyone? The pistol grip helps control the gun as does the adjustable stock and muzzle brake (a recoil suppressor). The hi-capacity magazine is very helpful in competition as is the one in my pistol.

Reasonable?

There is a great event sponsored by my old gun club on Long Island every year. The range is minutes from my sister’s house. Can I visit her? NO! Can I compete with my best prepared guns? NO! Why go… NY wins and their citizens (subjects?) are safe from me.

I had a license for my handguns and long guns when I lived in NYC. This at least let me transport them to competitions and visit my sister. They cancelled my permit when I moved out of state.

Carry? In NYC? Are you kidding! This “right” was reserved for the privileged likes of Senator Charles Schumer (a rabid anti gun senator and obviously a hypocrite), state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, Howard Stern, Don Imus, Donald Trump, Ronald Lauder, Robert De Niro, etc.

Me, carry? According to the language of my permit, I could keep the guns in my apartment. I guess outside my apartment everything was completely safe and inside my apartment was a very dangerous place.

Reasonable?

When I moved, why was I not permitted to switch my NYC permit to a non-resident one? With a non resident permit at least I could visit friends in NY without having to leave my guns home, maybe…

My old NYC permit said I could take my guns to a range (with no stops in between… don’t leave hungry). They had to be locked  and then locked in a case, the ammo locked separately. So if I got mugged on the way to the range, the mugger could take my valuables and the gun! Perhaps even unlock it and shoot me. Amazing.

Reasonable?

Let’s go back to the gal from TN. Now, it is her responsibility to know the laws of the states to which she wants to travel with her gun. She is just a regular gal, though, not a gunny like me. She is most likely properly trained in gun safety and the safe use of her pistol. She is or at least was respectful of posted rules. She merely suffered from an excess of comfort that comes from a state that actually does have reasonably managed gun laws. She did not realize that you do NOT bring a gun to NY or NJ or IL or Washington DC or CA or…

Perhaps a fine, confiscate the gun and mail it back to TN at her expense. That sounds…  reasonable. Three and a half years in jail, not so much.

I suspect the anti gun folks’ “reasonable” will never match mine. It took me a while to realize that they wanted to eliminate guns not “control” them. Sorta like the Palestinians and the Israelis drafting a peace agreement when the Palestinians want the Israelis to disappear from the face of the earth, ain’t gonna happen.

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4 Responses to Reasonable

  1. Rob says:

    Peter, I suspect that you and I could agree on reasonable gun laws. I don’t tow the NRA line, but I do think that some classes of people should not be allowed to purchase guns. The patchwork of laws is not effective, as you point out. In the end, for ‘reasonable’ gun policy to come about, we would need to get the various stakeholders together for a come to Jesus session, come to consensus for the goals of ‘good gun regulation,’ and design effective national legislation. Unfortunately folks on each side are very inflexible, to the point where compromise is unlikely. It would be tough sledding, for sure.

    • admin says:

      How about if a place like the clinic I use says no guns allowed they have to provide a safe room and lockers?

      How about if a gun free zone is declared then the declarer is liable for any gun violence in the zone?

      Tough sledding for sure…

      • Rob says:

        Open carry, concealed carry , gun storage, training requirements, background check efficacy and policy, are all issues that would require tough compromise from both “sides” (again, I am on neither “side”). Another problem is that those that could be called “pro-gun” are often very suspicious of Federal limits – and support the rights of states like Texas to determine their own gun laws – thereby making it maybe inevitable that a patchwork of gun laws will be reality.

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