Gun control legislation doesn't have to be a dirty word in the pro-gun community. All we really have to do is take the focus off the firearm and put it on affecting the criminal mind and also concentrate on diminishing the sources of actual crime guns.
I think that if gun control legislation was specifically designed to affect crime and not just guns in general and honest gun owners, it would garner widespread support in both the pro-gun and law enforcement communities.
First, let's address the criminal mind and how we can change the criminal's decision to choose a gun to commit a crime with.
We must add penalties to a violent criminal act if a firearm was possessed, brandished, fired or used to injure. I believe that if we had mandatory sentencing guidelines in place nationwide, that specifically punish criminals for choosing a firearm, it would greatly affect the violent criminal's decision making process.
I believe that if a gun was possessed, brandished, fired or used to injure, the criminal should receive an additional five, ten, fifteen and twenty year penalites attached to a violent criminal act. I.E. if a convenience store is robbed at knife point, and there is a conviction, the perpetrator should receive X number of years for the crime. However, if the same criminal during the same robbery, brandished a firearm to commit the crime, he should receive X+10 years or X+15 years if the gun was fired.
Studies have shown that 85% of all violent criminal acts such as robbery, rape and murder are routinely committed by only 7% of the criminal population. In other words, 93% of the people with criminal records are not habitually committing violent criminal acts. We must focus legislative efforts on this most violent 7% of the criminal population.
We must have laws in place that will actually make an impact upon the criminal's decision to commit a violent crime. Simply making laws that have to be obeyed by lawful, honest and upright gun owners and merely have to do with firearms will not affect rates of violent crime and never have.
The crimes that I'm referring to, that need this type of sentencing are the traditionally recognized set of violent crimes, such as rape, robbery and murder.
Contact your state and federal legislators today and ask them to begin to develop and implement "felon-focused" legislation and stay away from useless and unconstitutional laws that control the lawful ownership and carry of firearms.
Now, let me switch gears for a moment and ask the reader how he/she thinks criminals are actually gaining possession of guns that they use in criminal acts.
Where are felons actually getting guns? Let me first tell you where they're not getting them. They're not getting them from lawful, honest and upright gun owners peddling their cherished gun collections on street corners. But most gun control laws seem to assume such a ridiculous scenario.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) did a comprehensive study of more than 18,000 state and federal inmates and attempted to ascertain where they got the guns they used to commit their crimes.
Here is what they found:
39.6% of the guns used to commit a crime with came from friends and family members of the felon.
39.2% of the guns used to commit a crime with came from illegal sources, such as on the street, through the narcotics trade and through burglaries and robberies.
8.3% were purchased fraudulently through properly licensed retail outlets. These purchases were made by misrepresenting themselves, lying on forms and providing false identification.
3.8% of them were obtained through a pawn shop. Again, bought by falsifying documents and identification.
1.0% of the guns used during the commission of a crime came from yard sales and flea markets.
0.7% came from gun shows.
With this very powerful and enlightening information, we can begin the see where gun control legislation should be properly aimed.
Let's look at the biggest source. Friends and family members of the felon. Now, with this information, we could develop legislation that would specifically punish people for knowingly providing a firearm to a known felon. How about a mandatory sentence of five years, living in the general population of a state prison for providing a firearm to a known felon.
How about the second highest source? An almost equivalent 39.2% of guns used in crime came from "on the street" purchases, through the narcotics trade and through robberies and burglaries of homes.
There is plenty of opportunity to enact meaningful laws to curtail these transactions. Illegal gun running is not currently punished harshly enough in either state or federal law in my opinion. If someone is convicted of trafficking in illegal firearms, they should not be able to plea-bargain a lighter sentence under any circumstances whatsoever. We must shut down this primary source of guns used in crime.
Now what about home burglaries? Yes, here is another primary source that we should focus on. Burglaries of homes and robberies of sporting goods stores are some of the biggest sources of guns used in crime. Let's implement penalties of five additional years of prison time for each and every firearm stolen during a burglary or robbery. I don't know about the reader, but if I knew there was a probability of an additional five years of real prison time added to a burglary, I would leave that gun right there and just take the television, stereo and silverware.
Let's move onto the other lesser sources of crime guns. 12.1% of guns used in criminal acts were purchased at lawfully licensed retailers and pawn shops. The vast majority of which I can safely assume were bought through fraudulent identification and by falsifying documents. I don't think it's too much to ask a retail firearm purchaser for at least two forms of positive identification. Another way to diminish these types of illegal firearm acquisition is to follow through on penalties for attempted unlawful purchase of firearms at retail.
The remaining 1.7% were obtained through yard sales, flea markets and gun shows. There was been a lot of noise lately about gun shows being virtual bazaars for violent criminals, but at 0.7%, the truth has been told. But even here, we can ask for more positive identification and increase penalities for fraudulent purchases.
There you go reader!!! I advocate for what I'm calling "Felon-focused" gun control. I think you'll easily find that most lawful and honest gun owners won't mind coming up with an extra method of positive identification. That is the only burden that my suggestions place on the good guys.
I've done my job. Now it's time for you to do yours. Contact your elected officials, e-mail them this article. Tell them to pass more "Felon-focused" laws and no more laws that regulate and burden the lawful and honest gun owner.