A commentary by Lois Stark was published in The Northwestern on May 5th and sources our Freedom States Alliance affiliate, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort.
Why don't we have better gun control in this country?
We had a federal ban on certain semi-automatic assault guns passed in 1994. When the 10-year ban was set to expire 1,100 police chiefs and sheriffs around the nation called on Congress and President George W. Bush to renew and strengthen it. But with a wink from the White House, the gun lobby prevailed and the ban expired.
So now those of unsound mind, bent on a personal vendetta can wipe out police officers, students, and any random person at their will. To make it easier for them the ATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) has virtually lifted all restrictions on imports of foreign made assault weapons.
Thus we have a flood of cheap Eastern European AK-47s entering the country. Even the ban that was in place had a big loophole allowing people to purchase guns at gun shows without background checks. Go figure.
The violent drug cartel killings going on in Mexico and ever increasingly spilling into the U.S. use high-powered assault weapons purchased at U.S. gun stores for their animal-like slaughter.
So why no ban on these guns? It's a matter of politics, lack of courage, and NRA propaganda. The NRA (National Rifle Association) uses "scare tactics" and wrong information to put fear into every person that loves to hunt as a sport.
They get their $35 per year membership and with that money and the backing of the firearms industry, have become the most powerful lobby in Washington. They not only have bought out all the Republicans, but also most of the Democrats who should know better and have the courage to take a humane stand. Even Obama knows it's a battle he can't win right now.
With their ill-gotten power the NRA is behind the amendment to the recently-passed budget bill that reverses a post 9/11 policy and allows passengers to bring guns in checked bags on Amtrack trains. Amtrack officials pleaded safety concerns to no avail.
I have nothing against hunters having guns. My husband hunts, my brother has hunted all his life as do his sons. Our grandson, age 15, shot an 11-point buck last fall and just won a badge for "75 straight" (clay pigeons) at a Conservation Club. His dad hunts on our farm land, as do several other responsible, considerate, and safety-minded people. But they don't use assault weapons and no on else needs them either.
The NRA has their members so spooked that they are stockpiling not only guns, but also ammunition, for fear that "Obama will take away our guns." Simply not the case.
Then we have our Wisconsin Attorney General, J. B. Van Hollen, coming out with the memo last month that openly carrying a gun should not result in a disorderly conduct charge, as long as the person is not creating a disturbance. Once the "disturbance" occurs—then what? We all go to the funeral and morn, "How tragic that this happened." The Milwaukee Police Chief, Ed Flynn, who has to actually deal with the violence on the streets, ignored the memo, instructing his officers to take away the gun first and then decide if the person has a right to carry it.
The WAVE (Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort) group states that 450 people are killed by guns in Wisconsin every year.
Not everyone who carries a gun understands the risk and responsibility that goes
with it. People make mistakes. They get drunk. They get angry. Current stress
levels cause more to reach for a gun for the wrong reason. More guns mean more