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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Kent Bush: More problems left on the table

  • Gun owners have no reason to fear President Barack Obama.
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  • I don’t know what all the fuss is about.
    Gun owners have no reason to fear President Barack Obama.
    After watching a Congressional Representative get gunned down at an event, mall patrons scrambling for their lives as gunmen went on a rampage and a couple dozen children murdered in their classrooms, Obama said he was making new, effective gun control legislation a focus of his administration. The National Rifle Association and its minions made preventing any meaningful gun control legislation their priority.
    Guess who won.
    The NRA has painted Obama as an ultra-liberal gun hater who is hell bent on seizing every deer rifle out of every pickup truck in middle America.
    The hyperbolic response to even the most reasonable legislation led to Obama staging a photo of him shooting targets earlier this year.
    If that didn’t prove that he was gun-friendly, his latest attempt at gun control should finish delivering the message.
    I knew Obama wasn’t serious about getting anything passed when he made Vice President Joe Biden the point man on the project.
    Any attempt at legislation was shot down.
    Now Obama used his privilege as President to issue executive orders. One policy would prevent the reimportation of military grade weapons for sale to private citizens. He issued that order because about a quarter of a million military-grade weapons have been brought back into the country and are owned by private citizens legally.
    That is more than 5,000 per state.
    That means there is a really good chance one of your neighbors has one. Think about that before you play your music too loud this holiday weekend.
    Obama also issued an order that would close a loophole that allows trusts to own guns. When I worked in the office of Rep. Dave McCurdy (D-Okla.) in the early 1990s when the Brady Bill was being passed, we got a lot of calls from angry people who didn’t want to register guns or sit through 7-day waiting periods.
    If they only knew they could form a trust to own guns, I doubt they would have even called to complain. The beauty of that loophole is that it allows felons or anyone else to own guns of almost any type. A private citizen can’t get a machine gun or silencer in many states. But a gun trust can, without any background check.
    What’s the worst that could happen?
    The Los Angeles police officer who went on a month-long killing spree jumped through that loophole and used Quicken bookkeeping software to create a trust that allowed him to amass an arsenal that left several dead, including himself and more wounded.
    Page 2 of 2 - If Obama is the enemy, the NRA and its supporters should be fine.
    I agree that Obama closed some loopholes and it should help. But it did not go far enough.
    I don’t want to take away guns for hunting or personal protection. But I also don’t believe that we are safer with dozens of people packing heat when they go to pick up a few things at the grocery store.
    I live in this fantasyland where people can work together to solve problems. I think intelligent people can see shades of gray while their ignorant friends see every issue as black and white.
    I think there is common ground between the man who wants to hunt ducks and deer, the woman who wants to protect her home and the person who doesn’t want guns proliferating the public square. Fighting every issue on principle with the slippery slope logic fear of one action having causative effect on another in the future is not backed by history or reality.
    Executive actions are nice, but Obama under-reached and left more problems on the table than he addressed with these two.
    I hope Obama was right when he told Americans after the Newtown, Conn. massacre, “someday we will get it right with gun control.”
    So far, we haven’t.
     
    Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: kbush@augustagazette.com

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