Friday, March 15, 2019

The Battle for Our Guns

As an outdoor journalist I receive a lot of information from the outdoor community. Some of it is just junk mail, others are alarming and convicting. Over the past few months, it seems there is an influx of information pouring in regarding the legislators push to tighten gun ownership laws.

If you watch the news at all, you have probably heard of some of these proposals. Many of which are advertised on the news and in press conferences by left wing leaders who grandstand to the anti-gun owners of this country. While these are alarming, very alarming. What concerns me (along with many other journalists and gun CEO's) is the apathy from the gun owners.

In many conversations around campfires and tailgates I have heard comments like; "its in the Constitution, they can't take our guns". Or, "let's see them try and take my guns, they will have a fight on their hands." When in all actuality, the majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens, and if the law changes, they will surrender their guns BECAUSE they are law abiding citizens. And if the law says we cannot own guns, they will turn theirs in.  Secondly, if it came to an actual fight where people are dying because of gun ownership, I question how many people will actually start killing one another over this topic. I pray it never comes to this.

In America today, recreational shooters comprise roughly twice as many gun owners as hunters. You read that correctly. Most of the gun owners do not hunt, but shoot recreationaly or have them for personal protection. All of the hunters who profess to be able to withstand an all out attack on confiscation of guns are out numbered by people in their own ranks.

Today the hot topic is modern sporting rifles, also known as AR style platform rifles. Semi-auto rifles in various calibers that are designed for high capacity and fast shooting. If you have ever shot one, they are fun! But mostly, they are accurate and dependable. One of the best selling features of the AR rifles is their simplicity, accuracy and dependability. While they are the hot topic today, tomorrow it is your grandfathers Browning A5 semi-auto 12 gauge. One of the ploys the politicians are doing is lumping all similar style or action guns into large categories.

A ban on semi-auto guns, that is being presented as assault guns, covers ALL semi-auto guns. Shotguns, pistols, hunting rifles and the AR style of guns. This type of law would virtually make illegal every personal carry gun, every pistol, most shotguns and many rifles in America.

Similar in action are the new magazine capacity bans. While it is targeted towards high capacity (over 5 rounds) used primarily in AR style rifles. Included in these bans are virtually all pistol magazines! Even the small .380 pocket pistols hold 9 rounds of ammunition in many cases. This new magazine capacity ban would make every pistol with a magazine capacity over 5 rounds illegal.

The angles the anti-gun groups are using are impressive. Magazine capacities, action styles, and even purchasing methods. In a recent resolution (HR 8) the congress is trying to pass what is known as universal background checks. What is pronounced as simply making it tougher for criminals to get guns, it is really an attempt to halt all gun transfers between individuals.

On the surface this sounds fine. But let's break this down into practical implications. With the universal background checks, I cannot legally buy a gun for my son and give it to him without a background check. My fathers gun that was willed to me would be illegal because I did not get a background check to receive it. The friend from out of state who is visiting and wants to go shoot some squirrels with me cannot borrow the gun for the day, without a background check!

What can you do? With the all out assault on gun ownership it is time for gun owners to speak up. Quit talking around the tailgate and start calling your congressmen and women. Let them know you oppose this bill and all others like them. Join forces with groups like the NRA, SCI and others who are fighting to protect gun ownership and hunting opportunities. Participate in gun training and let it be known that the 2nd amendment is not negotiable and we will not allow our rights as American citizens "...The Right of the People to keep and bear arms SHALL not be infringed."