By: Joe D’Amore – May, 2018
The Federal Assault Weapon’s Ban (AWB) enacted in 1994, prohibited the manufacturing, for civilian use, a variety of fire-arms loosely categorized as assault weapons, as well as detachable, large capacity magazines. It was a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The aim was to curtail dissemination of dangerous, military weapons to the general public. Effectively, it was a 10-year ban. Remarkably, the ban – as similar measures today – did not apply to previously manufactured weapons, just new ones.
It had a “ sunset provision” which meant it could be allowed to expire. I want to know why did Congress fail to renew these legally vital controls to promote public safety to stay in effect past 2004? Why did Congress not continue on a path to use this 10-year reprieve to build additional comprehensive measures to protect the general public?
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, known as the “Brady Bill”, mandated federal background checks on firearm purchases and imposed waiting periods. The legislation was a major legislative victory for President Clinton and it was named after James Brady, the former press secretary of President Reagan who was shot in an assassination attempt on Reagan by John Hinckley on March 30, 1991. Later versions enabled a system of background check’s reporting to federal agencies. The legislation provides key protective elements and later versions enabled a national system of background checks reporting to law enforcement authorities.
I want to know why there are numerous loopholes for dangerous gun purchases with the disconnect in our legal system such as gun show purchases and transferring of fire-arms by purchasers to non-registered owners. The legal framework for public protection is a mass of confusion, with states pursuing their own controls, completely uncoordinated with either federal provisions (some non-existent ) or other states. In some states for example, all you have to do is cross the border into the state next door to purchase, possess and use guns in a manner that is illegal in your own backyard.
Additionally, there is also virtually unrestricted marketing allowed by gun manufactures like Smith and Wesson that promote dangerous elements of militancy and sophomoric manhood as qualifications to own a weapon of war.
There isn’t a modern nation anywhere in the world where children are being slaughtered in what otherwise would be considered safe locations such as schools, play grounds and other public places.
I want to know why is Congress incapable of understanding that the priority of remedies for preventing these tragedies is approximately in reverse to what, collectively as a failed governing body, they continue to pursue today. The poster child for this idiocy is President Donald Trump who 24 hours after the Parkland tragedy espoused the principals of mental health treatment sources and security for schools. The silence on the central method of preventing the tragedy – gun control- was as deafening as gun shots.
Priority one must be that the killer at Parkland should have never been allowed to purchase and possess a dangerous weapon of war with high volume, detachable magazines. PERIOD.
There is no universal and comprehensive set of federally mandated laws coordinated with state laws that firmly shut loopholes that creates the condition for dangerous, mentally challenged or those motivated by money, fame or evil be stopped in their tracks.
And the original checks in the Federal Assault Weapon’s Ban directed to gun manufacturers for guiding sound marketing and manufacturing principles that reduce the flow of these weapons to bad people are simply not in existence. The profit motive and unchecked growth of fire arms production and distribution and the void of comprehensive protections of the general public support environments that will continue to generate tragedies. These tragedies as we saw at Parkland will accelerate with frequency exponentially.
Congress is debating increased resources for mental health treatment and turning schools into armed camps. They will spin every idea as primary remedies instead of the only idea that deserves the most compelling attention and will provide the greatest force of eliminating the current threat. I want to know why.
In the United States it should be near impossible for you to own, possess and use a dangerous weapon of mass destruction for sport. And it should be completely impossible if you are mentally unstable, have a criminal background and fail to qualify with strict purchase and ownership standards.
Joe D’Amore , writes from Groveland