War against guns shows will intensify this year
By Tim Inwood
On the weekend of January 6th 2007, the Ohio Gun Collectors Association had their first show of the year at the Roberts Centre in Wilmington Ohio. As I walked the aisles admiring the displays of Colt’s from the American Civil War and Winchesters of the “Old West”, the PA system came to life, and the voice over my head began talking about how the OGCA was celebrating seventy years in 2007. It made me stop and think to myself.
“Will there be another seventy years?”
The reason for this pessimistic thought is rather obvious. While I was strolling those aisles admiring firearms that were used in the American Revolution and played their role in creating our country, an insidious plot is being hatched in Washington D.C. to kill gun shows.
For some time now, various plots have been in the works to effectively snuff that great American tradition of the weekend gun show. Senators John McCain, Jack Reed and Joe Lieberman have a bill in the works to “close the gun show 'loophole'”, among other things. A cosponsor of that bill, Senator Mike DeWine, now sits in his home in Cedarville, still puzzling as to why he was voted out of office last November. I doubt it has occurred to him that had he not back-stabbed the gun owners of Ohio he would have been reelected. Or perhaps he does. Mike had the audacity to proclaim in his reelection literature last year that he was a strong supporter of the Second
Amendment. So maybe he knew he needed us and just wanted to bluff his way through with lies. Such a man deserved defeat, and I hope his political career is as dead as Julius Caesar.
The new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, now known as “Queen Nancy” in some circles, has a scary number of anti-gun plans in the works. Among them is a bill for an automatic 72-hour waiting period for anyone buying a gun at a gun show. Never mind that a gun show lasts much less than 48 hours. UPS and Fed Ex will make money shipping guns and the general public being forced to leap one more hurdle to own a gun, and thus will be less enthusiastic about attending a gun show, let alone buying anything. This is not crime fighting, but a nuisance to the law abiding.
The point of these bills is essentially to kill the gun shows. They proclaim it is to stop criminals from procuring their weapons at these shows. The theory criminals in bulk get their firearms at gun shows is a myth. Very few crime guns come from gun shows. Federal statistics themselves say this.
• The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) 2001 report "Firearms Use by Offenders," the largest such study ever conducted by the government, found that less than 1% of U.S. "crime guns" come from gun shows.
• A 2000 BJS study, "Federal Firearms Offenders, 1992-98," found only 1.7% of federal prison inmates obtained their gun from a gun show.
• A National Institute of Justice 1997 study, "Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities," reported less than 2% of criminal guns come from gun shows.
Statistics show criminals get their guns from family, friends and most are stolen. Granted some of those are stolen from gun shows, and I have been at a few Bill Goodman and PRO shows where guns have been stolen. This is not the fault of the promoters but of the boldness of these thieves. Luckily most of them stupid and are caught on the spot. The Promoter of the PRO show has gone to the new measure of adding a colored strap to the guns as they are checked in by patrons. If a gun is sold at the show, a strap is added by the dealer. The patron on the way out is required to show all guns to security. You better have that strap on it or they will assume you have a stolen gun. I applaud Mike Duve for adding this security measure and for also promoting a very good show. PRO Gun Shows are a fundraising program of Peoples Rights Organization, the statewide firearms rights advocacy group founded in 1989.
The point of this article my friends is that yet another measure is brewing in Washington D.C. to take another simple pleasure from you and me that will be done in the name of fighting crime. In reality all it is another battle in the war to destroy gun ownership. The authors of these and other bills know this has nothing to do with reducing crime. They do know that making obtaining a gun more difficult will cause people not to buy them. Humans are always guilty of looking for the path of less resistance. If obtaining a gun is too much of headache they won’t do it. These folks know passing gun prohibition will be easier if there are fewer gun owners. At the same time they try to convince us we don’t really need a gun anyway. The police are there to protect us after all. Sadly, too many folks buy this and eventually many regret it.
Too many are convinced they don’t need a gun to protect themselves. They are brainwashed by news broadcasts telling them they don’t need a gun and if they have one, or that they are 10,000 times more likely to use it on a family member or the family goldfish, or some other such rubbish. I laugh when I see the commercial for Brinks Home Security. We have all seen it - the bad guy kicks in the door or breaks the window and the little family runs upstairs and gets the phone call from Brinks and all is well… In a world where the average police response time is 15 minutes or more, I think not. Now I am not bashing home security systems. In fact, I have one. But I view it as an early warning system that tells me if it goes off, I need to grab the old Colt AR 15 and see what is going on. I bloody well know it will not protect me. Sadly many others think it will save them. I hope they come around to reality before that theory is tested.
So my friends I urge you to write and call your legislators in Washington D.C. and tell them you enjoy our gun shows and you want them to be left alone. While you are at it tell them you want them to protect our gun rights not attack them. I know Senator Voinovich has not been a strong supporter of gun owners, but seeing Mike DeWine’s bloody scalp now hanging on the wall he might realize this is one group of people he does not want to anger if he wishes to remain a U.S. Senator.
I also urge you all to support the gun shows. You have to remember the Gun show is not only a reflection of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, but the shows have 1st Amendment implications as well. Prohibitions or severe restrictions on gun shows should also be viewed as infringements on the 1st Amendment right to assemble. That is unacceptable. Among the shows open to the public PRO in particular has been a strong advocate and defender of gun rights in Ohio. They have played major roles in fighting anti gun legislation in a number of cities and have been an ally for years in defending our gun rights. I urge you to go to the show and thank Mike Duve and the team for their efforts.
The Ohio Gun Collectors Association is a private club founded by Miller Bedford in 1937. It is the crème de la crème of gun shows. Though there is a mix of modern and antique firearms you certainly will see more antique guns there than at any other show in the state of Ohio. The quality is amazing, as is the historic content of these national treasures. To attend that show you must know a member and get a guest pass. Even on a guest pass you can not buy any firearms. However if you know two members and they will vouch for you, then you can join one the oldest and most prestigious gun collecting organizations in the United States. The OGCA is a close ally of the NRA and has long been a supporter of your Second Amendment rights. I hope you will endeavor to seek out a member and attend the show. They are truly an event to be experienced. As I frequently and fondly say to friends “It is like going to a museum where all the exhibits are for sale.” I think it will be something you will always remember. So ask your friends and family if they are members and go to what is truly and event you will never forget. I want to pass on congratulations to OGCA President Joe Pittenger, Vice President Hal Ferrell and the rest of the Officers and Board of OGCA on 70 great years and I pray they never end.
I also remind you to make those calls, write those letters and if you have not already done it, please renew your membership in the NRA, GOA, BFA and do your part in protecting your firearms rights. We can not do it without you.
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, a Life Member of the NRA and OGCA, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.
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