U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., is hoping to pass a firearm-licensing bill that will significantly rewrite gun-ownership laws in America.
Among the more controversial provisions of the bill are requirements that all handgun owners submit to the federal government a photo, thumb print and mental heath records. Further, the bill would order the attorney general to establish a database of every handgun sale, transfer and owner's address in America.
The bill claims its purpose is "to protect the public against the unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of firearms to criminals and youth." It seems that in May, 2007 a young man was shot and killed on a public bus when he used his body as a shield to protect a young lady after a criminal boarded the bus and opened fire. You can read the whole article at the link above.
That's terrible. I agree that this was a crime that ought not to have happened. This young man is a hero, he died saving another, but I agree that this was highly preventable. Rep. Rush thinks that the answer to preventing more crimes like this in the future is to make it more difficult and onerous for law abiding citizens to own guns. The fact seems to have escaped him that criminals, by their very nature, do not abide by such laws.
It seems to me that the obvious frequently escapes such protectors of our "safety". For instance, if the young man who intended to board the bus and open fire had a reasonable assurance that there would be several armed persons aboard the bus, would he have been as inclined to pursue that particular course of action? And if he had, perhaps he would have been shot before the innocent young man lost his life.
It makes far more sense to me to require that all adults carry a firearm and be trained in how to use it. It seems to me a more likely deterrent of violent crime. Those who desire weapons to do harm will always find a way to obtain them. The only thing bills like the one proposed by Rep. Rush accomplish is seeing to it that no one can do anything to protect themselves. I believe the biggest deterrent to crimes like these is the gunman knowing that any time he pulls his weapon, he is likely to be staring down the barrel of another.
I also believe we have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones. I think this school district in Texas got it right.
PS: I don't think gun ownership should actually be required. I just think that if you are going to make laws concerning the owning of guns, that's a more sensible one. I do think gun ownership should be encouraged though.
They're Just Looking Out for Us
This makes me so mad.