Last December, Rep. Peter King, a Republican, and Sen. Diane Feinstein, a Democrat, asked Congress to consider legislation that would have given the FBI the ability to prevent gun sales to people it had reason to believe might be connected to terrorism, some even on the watch list. The bill was based on a Bush administration proposal, and versions of it have been pushed for years, but the Republican House and Senate voted it down. They obviously were doing the bidding of the NRA and other gun rights organizations. The NRA has long been a shill for gun manufacturers.
If Feinstein and King had been successful, the bill becoming law would have given the FBI at least a chance of preventing Omar Mateen from carrying out the massacre in Orlando. Mateen had been on an FBI watch list and was only recently removed prior to purchasing a handgun and an assault rifle.
What does it say when a woman can’t bring a bottle of shampoo on an airplane, but a guy who had been on the FBI watch list can buy, legally, a handgun, an assault rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition?
The NRA has made its position clear in supporting gun lobbies and exploiting fear among Americans with a siege mentality with the sole purpose of selling more guns.
The NRA knows full well that the fear they instill among law-abiding citizens that their guns are going to be taken away by the Obama administration is a red herring and that the Supreme Court has upheld the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment. In fact, 74 percent of NRA members favor universal background checks, but disappointingly enough, the members, many of whom are life members, have allowed the NRA to oppose even gun show loopholes and private sales with their resounding silence, given the appearance that they do not want any changes to close these gun show/private sale loopholes, or halting the sale in this manner of assault rifles.
There are more gun deaths in the U.S. than any of the other 27 developed nations. The overall firearm-related deaths among U.S. children under age 15 is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized nations combined. The United States also has the highest rate of youth suicides and homicides.
The New York Daily News reports that gun deaths are on the rise, and soon more people will die from gunshots than in car crashes.
Every citizen should be allowed to purchase a gun as long as it does not constitute a threat to the community, and every citizen should realize that the exercise of their Second Amendment rights should not deprive his neighbor of his personal safety and security.
I believe that the loophole allowing anyone to buy and sell weapons at a gun show without a background check constitutes a threat to the community and abridges a reasonable and expected right to personal safety and security.
Richard Nielsen, Royal Palm Beach