After we watched in amusement Governor Cuomo shove a hasty gun restriction bill down the throats of NY citizens many wondered, is he doing this for political gain or is this a part of a broader coalition of gun legislation?   Looks like we have our answer, Massachusetts did not hesitate to follow suit and proposed extremely similar restrictions:

  • It reduces access to high-powered rounds of ammunition.
  • It better tracks weapon sales by (1) requiring dealers at organized gun shows to connect to the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS) when conducting a sale of a firearm; and (2) requiring private sales of firearms to occur at the business of a licensed dealer so that the sale can be tracked electronically.
  • It limits gun buyers to one firearm purchase per month and prevents the furnishing of a machine gun to any person under 21 years of age. 
  • Finally, this bill would allow a rebuttable presumption that an individual charged with a felony involving firearms and physical force is dangerous for purposes of pretrial detention.

The language above comes from the Governor, similar legislation was filed by Representative David Linsky:
  • Having one standard of the issuance of all gun licenses, giving local police chiefs the ability to evaluate all aspects of an application for a gun license.
  • Requires proof of liability insurance for possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun.
  • Requires that all large capacity weapons and grandfathered assault weapons must be stored at gun clubs or target ranges.
  • Requires live shooting as part of the curriculum for a basic firearms safety course; this is not a current requirement.
  • Requires all applicants for gun licenses and FID cards to sign a waiver of mental health records for review to be destroyed after decision.
  • Imposes 25% sales tax on ammunition, firearms, shotguns, and rifles; dedicates funds towards firearms licensing, police training, mental health services, and victim’s services.·         Brings Massachusetts into compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
  • Limits gun buyers to one firearm purchase per month. 
Even though Massachusetts is already considered to be one of the toughest States to obtain, buy and own guns the politicians have decided to crank down even further.  Connecticut incidentally is also an extremely difficult State and yet the Sandy Hook tragedy unfolded anyway.  

The idea is that by imposing the following restrictions we will have a reduction in gun violence, but lets examine the restrictions and determine whether something like Sandy Hook would have been prevented.  After all, most legislation IS reactionary, but in this case the proposals are so badly off the mark as to wonder what the ulterior motive here is. 

1)  25% excise tax on all purchases.  Due to various restrictions, rules and laws, on average all purchases in MA are extremely expensive.  Slapping an extra 25% tax on that acts as a direct punishment for gun owners under the guise of community aid.  There are 300 million registered guns in the United States, that means that 99.99% of all guns are never used in malicious manners.  Why should responsible gun owners looking to protect themselves be responsible to pay for licensing, police or mental services.  These are NOT related.  This will do nothing to stop mass shootings, it just makes it more expensive for responsible people.  One good way to restrict anything is to inflate the price artificially, politicians are doing just that. 

2) Restricting magazine capacity.  By randomly and arbitrarily reducing the magazine sizes the politicians are rendering the entire point of the gun useless.  What good is it for me people to pay money and spend time training, learning and practicing when in real life they may never have enough ammunition to protect themselves.  Why 7 rounds?  Where did this number come from?  Where does it stop?  The next proposal can be 5 or 3.  Why not?  Meanwhile, lunatics like the Sandy Hook shooter will just bring multiple guns or more magazines.  Those looking to defend themselves are compromised, those intent on evil will just work around it. 

3) Reduction to high powered ammunition:  This is vague and unclear, but presumably something like hollow points will be harder to get.  Studies upon studies show that ammunition makes a huge difference in stopping power.  If you have a 9mm and want to stop 250lb man busting in your home you can fire several standard 9mm rounds and still fail to stop the intruder.  You must be an excellent shot and have plenty of ammunition to be successful, or you can get ammunition that is designed to stop a human.  By making the purchase of this illegal or difficult the politicians are further compromising the millions of RESPONSIBLE gun owners.  The lunatics will just get it illegally anyway, much like criminals do these days anyway.  Because you can have 1,000 laws of the books or 10,000 laws, criminals could care less. 

4) Require all large capacity to be stored in a club.  This is extremely scary and unclear, but because the term "larger capacity" is a term that is defined and redefined by politicians it can currently mean that 75% or more of all current handguns CANNOT be stored at home.  Anything ranging from the standard police issue Beretta or M1911 is now suddenly illegal.  By not being able to store it at home, people are now defenseless.   Not sure how this can be viewed as anything, BUT wholesale disarmament and whether this is even legal after recent supreme court decisions.   Presumably, since the Sandy Hook shooter stole the guns from his mother that something like this would be prevented?   Again, this is a very serious punishment of responsible individuals and a massive restriction of over 75% of all handguns that are currently in people's homes.  A gun stored at a range, is of little use to anyone and defeats the purpose of having guns in the house. 

5)  Limiting gun purchases to once a month.  Why?  What does that accomplish?  Other than a massive inconvenience  more red tape and more politicians - who does this benefit?  A mass shooter will either steal the guns anyway or wait a bit longer to carry out the crime.   This is just random central planning that looks good on paper, but provides zero practical assistance. 

6) More complicated background checks.  These are all good in practice and theory and in a sense they worked in Connecticut.  After all, the lunatic tried to buy a gun from a store and was told he would have to wait for two weeks - at which point he killed his mother and used her guns.  So how do more complicated background checks solve the problem?  They do not.  The side effect is that more and more guns are purchased and/or obtained in hard to track ways.  By reducing the complicated check system more guns would be obtained in straight forward fashion and would actually be more easily tracked, but that is not the kind of logic I expect politicians to understand or embrace.

The list really goes on and on.  The take away is this. 

We had a crisis, a very serious crisis.  Our Government, in a predictable fashion responded to this crisis, by clamping down and punishing those that are not responsible.   In the case of Massachusetts, a group is being targeted and discriminated.  This discrimination imposes unfair, expensive and time consuming restrictions on gun owners.  Gun owners in this state are already akin to sexual offenders, as the only other group of people who must announce their presence upon moving into a new town.  Yes, even though 99.99% of gun owners who move into a new town/city actually bring law, order and safety - they must, like a lowlife sexual offender register with the local police action.  

Yet that is not enough, soon waivers of mental stability, extra liability insurance, crushing excise taxes and obnoxious restrictions are coming down the pipe.  

The end result will be the following:

- Black market activity:  If a 25% excise tax comes through, instead of pursuing legal avenues to purchase and obtain gun parts/ammo/etc people will seek other mechanisms.  I can't even predict how many will buy ammunition from NH.  Ammunition already costs an arm and a leg, it can take 30 minutes to go through 150-200 rounds at a range for practice.  That can cost 60-80 bucks depending on grade!  Slap a 25% extra tax on that and suddenly gun owners are paying up to 20 dollars in taxes just to practice?!?

- People will either give up guns in MA or move.  This State is already bleeding people and losing its Congressional voice, but now the State will be more disarmed.  How many more studies do we need to see to confirm, that YES, an armed population is a safer population.  Don't believe?  Looks at Kennesaw, Georgia where gun ownership is mandatory.  Just like Switzerland, more guns apparently made the place safer and is considered to be the top 10 best towns for families! 

- Mass shooting will continue.  Why would they stop?  Mass shootings are not a function of guns, or video games or Hollywood or whatever other idiotic explanation.  Mass shooters are sick and disturbed people, as long as those exists, there will be tragedies.  IN fact, America's gun ownership is #1 in the world.  Yet over the past many decades gun violence and violence in general has gone down and down and down.  America is less violent now than it was in the 70s, 80s, 90s.  According to gun ownership and production is up, but gun murders/assault and robberies are down.  Until we solve the problem of why we have seen a rash of crazy people come out and murder innocents, we will not solve the problem. 

The solution.

The solution has to be thee-fold.  

First, stop disarming responsible civilians.  The police cannot be everywhere!  There are thousands of laws on the books, it is a massive ball of red-tape that does not and cannot stop criminals.  An armed society is useful until the following is solved:

- Drug war.  How many illegal guns and murders occur because of the drug war?  Countless.  End the drug war and legalize all drugs, this action alone will eliminate a massive portion of the guns on the streets.  This will make gun ownership less necessary. 

- Mental illness:  Crazy and violent people should be either treated or locked up.  Instead of having our prisons overflowing with folks who sell marijuana, we should house individuals who pose a threat to our society.  Removing lunatics and violent people from the streets will make gun ownership less necessary. 

- Apply the same gun restrictions to the police and military as you do to civilians.  The history of the United States is quite specific.  It is the protection from tyranny.  While gang violence and would-be robbers attempting to kill and steal private property is tyrannical, so is a legally armed group of men who are capable of destroying your life.  As long as we are on equal footing, gun ownership is less necessary.   The police of course will resist, after all, they need to protect us from criminals.  But if criminals will always exist, then civilians should be armed as well.  This is a catch-22 that cannot be solved.  The truth is, most gun owners would rather NOT carry.  Most gun owners would rather NOT use their guns.  Who wants or needs that?  This is just a function of our society. 

Make our society safer and gun violence will drop. 
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"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - M. Rothbard