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Gun control back as national issue
Star-Telegram ^ | Aug. 12, 2007 | ANNA M. TINSLEY

Posted on 08/15/2007 11:29:17 AM PDT by neverdem

FORT WORTH -- Don Burrows needed some cash for a recent scuba diving trip.

So the East Texan drove to Fort Worth, taped a "For Sale" sign to his back and walked around a gun show, hoping to sell extra ammunition he had stockpiled.

"I needed some extra beer money," he said with a grin.

There, he was among gun aficionados privately peddling guns and ammo, saying it's a good way to cash in on belongings they want to unload.

But in the wake of the Virginia Tech killings and other gun violence this year, critics are calling for more regulations on everything from gun shows to background checks.

The battle over gun control is back, and it's reaching into city halls, state legislatures and the halls of Congress. Presidential candidates are talking about it, Jesse Jackson is talking about it, and Congress is on track to possibly pass the first federal gun control legislation since 1994.

Part of the push is for tougher restrictions on gun shows, which have been popular in North Texas for decades. Gun advocates like Burrows believe that's misguided.

"These are law-abiding citizens here," Burrows, marketing director for a nonprofit in Tyler, said at a recent High Caliber Gun and Knife Show at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

"If there are undesirables, most people won't sell to them. Criminals will always get guns" and don't care about gun control laws, he said.

Rising concerns

Each year, countless guns change hands at thousands of gun shows nationwide.

A recent study of gun shows cites a continuing problem of illegal transactions, including gun sales by unlicensed dealers and "straw purchases," in which people with no criminal or mental-illness history buy guns for people with records. The recent study by Garen Wintemute, director of the violence-prevention research program at the University of California, Davis, contends that police presence at the shows is too small to discourage illegal activity.

In 2005 and 2006, Wintemute attended 28 gun shows in Texas (in Dallas and Houston), Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California -- areas where he said guns are acquired and later used in crimes in California. Afterward, he urged lawmakers nationwide to put more restrictions on gun shows.

"I would like to see a policy change that makes direct private-party transfers of guns illegal," Wintemute said. "And I'd like much more vigorous law enforcement presence at gun shows. I noticed the illegal stuff was conducted right out in the open.

"Bad guys had no concern they might be caught."

Local controls

While Congress and state legislatures debate the issue, officials in communities such as Colleyville and Arlington say gun control isn't on city council agendas right now.

The most recent major debate was in Fort Worth in 2000, when city leaders considered putting more restrictions on gun shows held at city facilities. Fort Worth officials talked for months about proposals to encourage federal lawmakers to require background checks at gun shows or even restrict the leasing of city facilities for gun shows so that only licensed dealers could sell firearms.

For now, that debate is unlikely to be revived, some say.

"We have plenty on our plate ... to keep us busy," Mayor Mike Moncrief said.

In fiscal 2005-06, the city picked up more than $122,000 in revenue from 11 gun shows at the Will Rogers Memorial Center and one at the Fort Worth Convention Center, city records show.

Proposed laws

Proposed changes to federal firearms laws are on the table in Congress, where gun control advocates have failed to toughen regulations since 1994.

One measure calls for strengthening the national background check system. It also includes spending $400 million a year for five years to help states automate lists of people barred from buying guns, including the mentally ill and convicted criminals, and report those lists to the FBI. That is part of the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act, prompted largely by school shootings.

A Senate committee approved the plan this month. Officials said they hope to prevent another tragedy like the Virginia Tech shootings in April, when Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people before shooting himself. A similar House version approved this summer set aside $250 million to help states with the background check system.

Several groups, including the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center and the Legal Community Against Violence, say they support the overall goal but see problems in the Senate bill.

That version, they say, may create loopholes that could rearm drug dealers and sex offenders and make veterans who had been prohibited from owning guns because of mental-health issues eligible to have them again.

"The bill's original intent ... is an important objective that would improve enforcement of federal laws governing persons prohibited from possessing firearms," said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Legal Community Against Violence. "The amendments ... risk undermining those laws."

Also pending in Congress is a "Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007," geared to require criminal-background checks for all firearm transactions at events where guns change hands.

This has drawn criticism from groups such as the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, which said the measure "masquerades as reform -- imposing bureaucratic restrictions aimed at shutting down gun shows -- without fixing real problems." The NRA, however, has supported some of the proposed federal changes.

Political platforms

Jesse Jackson is going to trial in November on a charge of criminal trespassing after he refused to move from a gun-shop entrance in Illinois. He stood there this summer in support of stronger gun laws.

"No jail cell can break our spirits," Jackson told a church congregation. "We have never lost a battle we fought; we have never won a battle we didn't fight. So we must fight now to plan our children's futures, not their funerals."

Jackson has also declared Aug. 28 -- the 44th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington -- a national day of protest for tougher gun laws.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has likewise called for a day of action, in support of what its members consider their Second Amendment rights to own firearms.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is criticizing the Bush administration for not banning assault rifles after nearly three dozen children were killed with them in Chicago during the past year.

"Our playgrounds have become battlefields," the Illinois senator has said. "Our streets have become cemeteries.

"I'm sick and tired of seeing our young people gunned down."

Supporters of another presidential hopeful -- Ron Paul -- showed up at the recent gun show in Fort Worth, handing out fliers stating that the Surfside Republican believes in the constitutional right to bear arms.

To spread the candidate's message, they also carried signs, including one that said "Ron Paul Thinks Your Guns Are None Of His Business."

Local shows

At the show in Fort Worth, crowds perused everything from guns and knives to Western wear and flashlights.

A line grew at the entrance as police unloaded and secured guns and rifles being taken in for possible sale.

Inside, people milled around, looking at Tasers, gun safes, sunglasses, hunting knives, belt buckles -- and guns.

Among them was Don Wright, an X-ray technician from Waco.

He was trying to sell an extra Colt .45, but he said he enjoys gun shows so much that he now does his grocery shopping on Fridays so he can travel around to shows on the weekend.

And he's not worried about security or illegal gun sales.

"If somebody really wants a gun, they can get one," the 52-year-old said as he watched police officers walking around the show. "When people go around shooting people, it's not because of the gun. It's because of the psycho holding the gun.

"More restrictions are not needed. People will go around getting [guns] anyway."

Staff writers Susan Schrock and Bill Teeter contributed to this report.

Gun laws

New gun restrictions proposed in other parts of the country include:

Illinois: The governor called a special session for lawmakers to work on a gun control bill geared to prevent a "large-capacity ammunition-feeding device" from being made or sold in the state.

Philadelphia: Lawmakers recently approved a gun control bill compelling police to trace illegal firearms confiscated from people under 21 and report the guns to a registry.

San Francisco: Leaders created city ordinances banning possession of firearms or ammunition on county property, following the lead of Los Angeles County. They also required privately owned handguns to be stored in a locked container or with a trigger lock.

Ventura County, Calif.: A new rule in several communities requires owners to report the loss or theft of their guns within 72 hours or face misdemeanor charges.

Martin Luther King and guns: a history lesson

Both sides in America's long-running dispute over gun control have declared a national day of protest on Aug. 28, the 44th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the historic civil rights march on Washington.

Gun control advocates plan marches in at least 25 cities, including Dallas, to demand tougher restrictions on firearms purchases and possession. Gun rights advocates are scheduling counterdemonstrations and urging their backers to buy weapons and ammunition and visit gun ranges that day.

Both sides are using King's legacy to bolster their arguments.

Jesse Jackson, the chief organizer of the demonstrations for stronger controls, points to King's crusades for nonviolence in rallying support. "We have the right to live safe and secure, no matter where we live in America," said Jackson, who was with King when he was assassinated in 1968.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said: "The great hypocrisy here is that Dr. King's historic march was to promote and defend civil rights. What Jesse Jackson is planning is designed to crush America's most important civil right -- a right that Dr. King exercised by owning a handgun."

Did King own a gun?

Yes. In his writings and in interviews, King, the object of many death threats, acknowledged once owning a gun in Montgomery, Ala., and seeking a license to carry in a gun in his car. In The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., he wrote that the issue of armed protection arose after a bombing at his home. He ultimately rejected armed defense, however, because he decided that it was inconsistent with his message.

The explanation in King's words

"After the bombings, many of the officers of my church and other trusted friends urged me to hire a bodyguard and armed watchmen for my house. When my father came to town, he concurred with both of these suggestions. I tried to tell them that I had no fears now and consequently needed no weapons for protection. This they would not hear. They insisted that I protect the house and family, even if I didn't want to protect myself. In order to satisfy the wishes of these close friends and associates, I decided to consider the question of an armed guard. I went down to the sheriff's office and applied for a license to carry a gun in the car; but this was refused.

"Meanwhile I reconsidered. How could I serve as one of the leaders of a nonviolent movement and at the same time use weapons of violence for my personal protection? Coretta and I talked the matter over for several days and finally agreed that arms were no solution. We decided then to get rid of the one weapon we owned. We tried to satisfy our friends by having floodlights mounted around the house, and hiring unarmed watchmen around the clock. I also promised that I would not travel around the city alone.

"I was much more afraid in Montgomery when I had a gun in my house. When I decided that I couldn't keep a gun, I came face-to-face with the question of death and I dealt with it. From that point on, I no longer needed a gun nor have I been afraid. Had we become distracted by the question of my safety we would have lost the moral offensive and sunk to the level of our oppressors."

-- From The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol
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To: Sender


61 posted on 08/15/2007 1:10:07 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

“..and make veterans who had been prohibited from owning guns because of mental-health issues eligible to have them again..”

STUPID LIBERALS..Picking on Veterans yet again..(You) Idiots-Liberals, Hippies, Commies are the one’s that made many of these vets have “mental-health” issues in the FIRST place!

Since when is the last time you saw a “Vietnam Veteran” shoot up a school..NO, it’s the nutty culture infested youth that do this..Stop picking on Legal gun owners, and Veterans” DEMOCRATS!

62 posted on 08/15/2007 1:15:18 PM PDT by JSDude1 (Republicans if the don't beware ARE the new WHIGS! (all empty hairpieces..) :).)
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To: neverdem

These bastards are not going to give up until they confiscate all guns and ammunition from law-abiding citizens and deliberately leave them in the hands of criminals.

63 posted on 08/15/2007 1:18:03 PM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged

The problem is there are many so called Republicans who personally believe there is no reason for citizens to own guns. Some even say there is no reason for a citizen to own an “assault rifle”. (no clue what they mean by that themselves)

I remember hearing this from republicans during the 2006 election. Most of them do not have an educated clue about the second amendment. In fact most of them have erroneous knowledge based on left wing revisionsim about the second amendment. (the whole second amendment is in a vacume theory of law)

64 posted on 08/15/2007 1:59:20 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: neverdem

Democrats = Gun Grabbers

I hope the voters remember that in 2008.

65 posted on 08/15/2007 2:04:09 PM PDT by DesScorp
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To: longtermmemmory

“Most of them do not have an educated clue about the second amendment.”

This applies to educators too. In the gun-free zone at school, they are so paranoid they won’t let anyone wear anything that refers to guns.

One of our children regularly wore jeans with a 2nd amendment patch. Nobody at school ever said a thing about it. I’m sure they don’t even know what 2nd amendment means.

They probably thought it was a rock group.

66 posted on 08/15/2007 2:14:51 PM PDT by Califreak (Go Hunter!)
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To: Puppage

Your’re welcome...sorry but I forgot how to post an active link to the thing. I like the Nuge.

67 posted on 08/15/2007 2:30:38 PM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: neverdem
"I would like to see a policy change that makes direct private-party transfers of guns illegal," Wintemute said.

And how would that stop criminals from getting a gun from his friendly neighborhood burglar?

68 posted on 08/15/2007 3:04:18 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: cripplecreek

Interesting point.

And I’ve always maintained that the NRA and Brady Bunch need each other in order to exist.

69 posted on 08/15/2007 3:20:38 PM PDT by Eagle Eye (If you agee with Democrats you agree with America's enemies.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Wintermute is trying to make regulation so onerous as to have people “self disarm”

This is like that insane campaign for women to ask if a home owner has a gun and then do not let your children play there.

The goal is to create stigma, oppression, so people just give up like rats in an electrified cage with no escape. They just suffer and take it.

70 posted on 08/15/2007 3:27:51 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: neverdem
Illinois: The governor called a special session for lawmakers to work on a gun control bill geared to prevent a "large-capacity ammunition-feeding device" from being made or sold in the state.

THAT is complete bullshit, an outright LIE.

'my' ijit Gov called the special session because HE didn't have a friggen budget worked out and the state would've stopped.

Then when the General Assembly did meet he threw out (verbally) some proposed BS gun law because he still didn't have budget proposal - except RAISE TAXES on business - then HIS OWN rat party went freaking NUTS. They were ready to go native on him and kick his ___. And there still isn't a budget. An emergency spending bill was passed and that was it. So 'special session' for gun control my a$$.

And I swear, he is the stoopidist elected official in the country, the mope needs a GD keeper.

71 posted on 08/15/2007 3:30:14 PM PDT by Condor51 (Rudy makes John Kerry look like a Right Wing 'Gun Nut' Extremist)
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To: Puppage
"So he broke the law. Doesn't mean that there ISN'T a law. "

It depends on the state. Federal backgound check laws only pertain to dealers with a Federal Firearms License (FFL), not private sales between individuals. Here in Texas, and many other states, there is no background check or other paperwork required for a private sale at a gunshow or anywhere else. A guy that has a few guns to sell from a private collection can rent a table and sell without a background check or federal paperwork. (This is NOT so in California, where state law requires all sales go through an FFL dealer.)

When I am selling firearms from my private collection, I only need to know the purchaser is age 18 or over and a resident of Texas (I ask to see a TX drivers license) and I'm legal. No paperwork required.

72 posted on 08/15/2007 4:08:39 PM PDT by weaponeer
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To: Eagle Eye

And you would be wrong.

The gun issue is only a part of what the NRA does. If gun control would finally end, The NRA would be involved with more ranges, competitions and collector associations. High schools might have shooting teams again. The towns and cities might stop building ball parks for once and start public gun ranges.

73 posted on 08/15/2007 4:19:28 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Hunter '08)
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To: cripplecreek
At this point I don’t think either party wants this settled. It makes such a handy campaign issue that they just can’t bear the thought of not being able to use it any more.

It wasn't an issue in 2006. The neoCOMs recruited RKBA candidates. They took over the Congress. Now they're stuck on stupid again. It's fine by me.

74 posted on 08/15/2007 4:25:50 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: B4Ranch
I would hope that you have enough brains to write up a bill of sale and put both signatures on it when you make a private sale or purchase.

That protects both parties.

I agree. That establishes a mutually agreed upon transfer between parties and acknowledgment that the seller was paid for the merchandise and the buyer received it. A date and time would be good too. Just in case the buyer does something improper on the same day, but at a later time than the sale took place --OR-- the seller did something improper before that date/time.

75 posted on 08/15/2007 4:33:18 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Joe Brower

They just can’t get past the big old cow pie in their path to a socialist utopia.

They come away with crap all over em every time......:o)

DNC lets this polidiot parade towards gun control continue they lose the congress and the white house in 08 IMHO........

Stay safe Joe !

76 posted on 08/15/2007 5:00:34 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Joe Boucher
If you let the dems take over the presidency as well as the senate and congress yo uWILL lose your ability to have guns and AMMO.

77 posted on 08/15/2007 5:01:39 PM PDT by xrp (Republicans Message: Vote for us, we suck less than Democrats.)
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To: Shooter 2.5

They might like to but they probably make so much money from opposing gun control issues that they couldn’t quit if they wanted to.

78 posted on 08/15/2007 5:19:38 PM PDT by Eagle Eye (If you agee with Democrats you agree with America's enemies.)
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To: Eagle Eye

Wrong again. Why would they be unhappy about throwing money at politicians?

If you have ever competed, you might have noticed there are competitions where one has to be a member of the NRA to be there. Consider if there were competitions like that in every town and city. I have to drive about three hours to get to a decent High Power Match that doesn’t use reduced distances. Imagine if that sort of range was in your town and not a dozen or so towns away. There are a number of states that don’t have the facilities that Texas has.

The Second Amendment Sisters and the Gun Owners of America would be gone a lot faster than the NRA. For the NRA, it would be the 1880’s all over again when shooting was the national sport.

79 posted on 08/15/2007 6:02:51 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Hunter '08)
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To: neverdem

It is amazing that the feds to not have enough “resources” to track illegal immigrants, but have more than enough to violate the constitution in tracking legal guns.

One would think that they are on the dark side of the force...

80 posted on 08/15/2007 6:24:15 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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