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Response to greiner3 (Reply #29)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 03:13 PM

44. Pandora's box can't be closed again

If the manufacture of firearms ended today, there would still be an estimated 100 million in private hands in the U.S. alone.

Outside of the battlefield, guns generally last a very long time. Some gun manufacturers warrant their products for the lifetime of the owner and nobody yet has gone out of business because of that. The weapons manufactured today are descended from those made more than 100 years ago. The Smith & Wesson revolver that is the pattern for every S&W revolver made today was introduced in 1899. The Colt .45 semi-automatic pistol was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1911. Many of the guns manufactured in those days are still perfectly capable of being fired today.

There are already laws in place designed to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. In addition to state laws, some dating back to the Nineteenth Century, federal laws in effect since 1968 prohibit the sale or transfer of a firearm to a convicted felon, a fugitive from justice, persons judged to be mentally incompetent, persons addicted to, or habituated to, drugs, persons under the age of 18 (21 for handguns), persons in the country illegally, persons convicted of domestic violence or abuse. It is also a federal offense for someone who is legally qualified to purchase a firearm to purchase one for someone who is not.

Incidentally, before anyone brings up the so-called "gun show loophole," the truth is that someone who is not licensed as a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) is not only not required to conduct the instant background check required by the Brady Act, they can't! Use of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is restricted to FFLs so even if a seller wanted to check out a potential buyer, there is no way for them to do so.

So how is it that criminals have guns? Simple: they're criminals - breaking the law is what they do. Even in countries with very strict guns laws, a determined criminal seems to have very little difficulty obtaining one. For the first time ever, there are armed British police officers patrolling in London and various other parts of the country and there is even talk of arming all British police who have traditionally not carried firearms since the Metropolitan Police force was created 200 years ago.

And why should there be a restriction on the manufacture of firearms for those who want them and a legally qualified to own them? they have done nothing wrong.

Guns are purchased for a variety of reasons: hunting, target shooting, self-defense, collecting and just because a person likes them. The overwhelming majority of firearms are never used in a criminal act of any sort: not even out-of-season game hunting.

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