by John Ohman
The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of Coast Rifle & Pistol Club or the National Rifle Association
Please contact me at JMOLSU@hotmail.com with questions or comments
The nomination of David Chipman as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reportedly been withdrawn by the White House within the last couple of days. This is good news, great news, but should only be gratifying for about 90 seconds. Massad Ayoob won’t be this Administration next nominee. That individual is sure to be a progressive (that’s “liberal” spelled with a “p”) who approaches “radical” without Chipman’s public record. Likely nominees are busy covering their tracks as I write.
Some CRPC members can be justifiably proud of their recent activity in defense of the Second Amendment. This has included financial contributions, letters, phone calls, texts and emails to Senators and other elected officials along with online comments to ATF regarding its recent proposed rule
changes aimed at harassment of American gun owners. Those rule changes amount to making law by fiat as opposed to Congressional action
as per the U.S. Constitution (a document with which many Congressmen appear to be unfamiliar). No decisions have been announced but the
Attorneys General of twenty states, our Lynn Fitch among them, have already initiated legal action against one proposal
(so-called “Ghost Guns”) and others can be expected as necessary.
So here and there pro-gun activists have won a skirmish or two. Most of the organizations claiming these victories, some rightfully so, will be announcing that more funds are necessary to continue in this vein. Also correct, but I for one am not independently wealthy and can’t contribute financially to every email or other correspondence for the causes I support no matter how legitimate or worthwhile.
There are however some valuable opportunities open to us all that allow us to make real contributions without a checkbook or credit card. The anti-gun forces make legitimate points regarding firearms use in accidents, suicides and stolen guns getting into the wrong hands, criminal or otherwise. So many accidents can be avoided by strict adherence to the three fundamental rules of firearms safety – briefly, muzzle consciousness, trigger finger discipline and awareness of loaded condition. Not far behind is securing your firearms from unauthorized individuals, children in particular. Several states have laws with serious penalties for gun owners who fail to secure their firearm(s) against such access by others. Smokey the Bear used to say “Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.” Well, nobody but you, we, us, are responsible for firearms security within our homes.
Taking precautions against theft is equally important. It is incredible how many firearms in our area are stolen from UNLOCKED vehicles. A large percentage of those guns end up in the hands of other criminals, literally here and there. Most of those thefts are so easily avoidable that it is unforgiveable for a gun owner who disregards his or her obligation to save guard the gun. Either take the gun with you (if legal) or lock the car, secure the gun, or LEAVE IT HOME if you’re not willing to take routine precautions.
The sale and/or transfer of firearms between individuals is controlled primarily by the Gun Control Act of 1968, a law (for the younger crowd) passed as an answer to the Kennedy assassination five years earlier, followed in 1968 by Martin Luther King, Jr., then the late President’s brother, Robert. Please learn what the rules are before buying, selling, giving or loaning a firearm to anyone including a family member, close friend or acquaintance. Individual states may have additional restrictions. The common disclaimer phrase regarding advice about such laws is “Consult your states' Attorney-General.” Know this, when buying, selling, giving or receiving a gun if you don’t execute a Bill of Sale, Act of Donation or other document that doesn’t include, at a minimum, information about each individual’s residence (generally as per driver’s license), description of the gun and serial number, date including time of day,
you’re creating a potentially dangerous situation. Such a Bill of Sale may be the only proof of ownership available, without which a gun confiscated by law enforcement might not be returned to you after the dust settles.
The ATF supported by state and local law enforcement have recently made some significant arrests among a number of very active “gun runners”
for which all agencies involved deserve public credit. Hopefully, they will continue to make inroads against illegal gun trafficking. But when they run
out of relatively easy targets of large dealers and don’t produce the headlines wanted by their bosses, pressure “may” be applied to make arrests without regard to any real impact. This is where and when you’ll want your paperwork in order before the Mayor of Chicago claims that the .22 target pistol you gave cousin Ernie has been responsible for dozens of shooting deaths in her fair city.
The majority of the CRPC members reading this are well-acquainted with most, if not all, of these advisories. To those folks, please make yourselves available to some of those millions of new gun owners and new CRPC members who could perhaps use enlightenment, direction or good advice.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) for over twenty years has produced some skewed gun use research which it has attempted to employ in furthering
the notion that suicide by firearm and accidental shootings constitute a public health crisis that CDC should waste, sorry, expend a lot of time with an eye
to supporting some of their other agenda items. I’m not trying to make light of either tragic situation but if CDC wasn’t so sad it would be funny. Shooting accidents are eminently avoidable, as briefly touched upon earlier; constant attention is paramount.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month (elsewhere Suicide Prevention Week is shown as September 5th to the 11th(?)). Suicide is not a subject with which I have experience, training or other than general knowledge but at this link,
can be found Firearms and Suicide Prevention, an eight-page “Flipbook” published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It is graphic presentation, large type, well organized and very basic, clearly aimed at somebody like me as opposed to a mental health care professional. Topics covered include risk factors, warning signs, recommended actions and attitudes plus contact information for appropriate agencies. Further, related material from NSSF is available at https://www.nssfrealsolutions.org/programs/suicide-prevention/