Banning the guns (or the iPods) can't replace common sense
By Steve Loos
In this latest example of the nanny state mentality comes a ridiculous story.
New York State Senator Carl Kruger has proposed banning iPods and the use of
other electronics at crosswalks. The reasoning behind this feel-good
legislation is the claim that pedestrians are increasingly distracted by iPods, cell
phones and Blackberries, allegedly resulting in a rise in traffic accidents. Although
Kruger did not produce any statistics, he cited a recent death of a 23 year-old
Brooklyn man who, while listening to an iPod walked into the path of a bus.
Kruger stated "I think it's necessary if we just look at the statistics that
bear out the argument that people while being too into their electronic
gadgetry are tuning out the rest of the world. They are becoming a statistical
fatality, they are being part of an accident scene. They are basically
jeopardizing their well-being as well as the well-being of others around them."
No matter how well-intentioned this legislation is, it cannot take the place
of common sense. One of the first lessons children are taught is too look
both ways before crossing the street. If we ignore this basic safety precaution
then we may have to suffer the consequences. As an NRA instructor I always
teach my students to be situationally aware at all times. This is a mindset
that must be developed. Walking around in condition white, oblivious to ones
surroundings, is a dangerous prospect. More unnecessary laws will not save people
If we agree that stupidity cannot be cured by legislation, then we must ask ourselves what might be the real reason behind this kind of law?
Click 'Read More' for the entire commentary.
Dare I say the actual purpose
of this ban, not unlike the red light cameras, is to create revenue? You see, if this becomes law, violators would be subject to $100 fines.
But are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Little by little, our rights are being chipped away. Smoking bans, trans fat ban in NYC, cell phone bans. How
about fireworks? Remember those? They're banned for civilian use most places. Oh
you can buy them in Ohio, but you have to promise that you'll take them across state lines before you set them off to celebrate Independence Day!
As foolish as the proposed ban on iPods is, we know this is the same tactic
employed to restrict our Second Amendment rights. Because of the poor
decision of a few, the many are punished.
Take for example HB1022. The most recent bid to reauthorize the '94 Clinton Gun Ban. Also known as the federal "Assault Weapons Ban", HB1022 goes even farther then it's predecessor in subverting our rights. If this bill were to become
law, any semi automatic rifle derived from a military design would be subject
to being banned. Yes, even the WW2 vintage defenders of liberty, M1 carbines,
would not be immune.
The original '94 Clinton Gun Ban sunsetted in September 2004, thanks to a clause put in place in
order to evaluate the effectiveness of the ban on reducing crime. The Ban was not
only ineffective at preventing crime, but a comprehensive 2001 study from the
Bureau of Justice Statistics found as follows:
- "Looking at the broader picture of all gun use in crime, it becomes clear that "assault weapons" are a minor part of the problem. Police gun seizure data from around the nation finds that "assault weapons" account for less than 2%
of guns seized by the police; more typically, they account for less than 1%, according to data compiled from 24 major jurisdictions."
In fact the assault weapons ban seeks to remedy a problem created by the legislature - that of gang violence. According to renowned economist and pro-gun author John Lott, 90% of gun crime happens in only 3% of US counties - those
large urban counties where gangs fight hardest to secure turf for power and influence fueled by drug sales.
Currently HB1022 has 33 sponsors, while HR1096, "An act to restore the Second Amendment rights of all Americans", introduced by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, has garnered little support.
For gun owners looking ahead to 2008 Presidential primaries, the future may
seem bleak. Democratic front runners Clinton and Obama never met a gun ban they didn't like. Leading Republican hopefuls aren't measurably superior.
Guns owners will be the big losers if we don't make our voices heard loud and clear. Contact your Representative today, urge them to support HR1096 and oppose HB1022!