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Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker is as horrified about the recent mass shootings as any other red-blooded American. It seems as if every few days we have another tragedy caused by a sicko with a gun. Yesterday, a lone gunman killed seven and wounded another 22 innocent people in Odessa and Midland, Texas – including two law enforcement officers (LEOs). This latest shooting in Texas taking place just more than three weeks after the El Paso shooting left 22 dead and another 24 injured.
Unfortunately, the liberal media and politicians wasted no time using a tragedy to promote their narrative that guns kill and need to be restricted by “common-sense” gun reform. Here are a few of their most recent pronouncements from the gun grabbers on the Left:
From the Politicians
From the Media
Common Responses from the Left
There is a common theme perpetuated in many of these Twitter posts. Stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA), gun manufacturers and if you are Beto O’Rourke, “This is fucked up!” The media is expounding how Texas laws just taking effect have loosened gun regulations and Congress just “needs to act.” But is there anything any liberal is expounding which would prevent one of these mass shootings? In the humble opinion of Grey Beard, the answer is a resounding NO! Not one of the politicians, talking heads or opinion writers has proposed one idea which would do anything to prevent the next mass shooting.
Commonalities in Mass Shootings
Reflecting back on recent mass shootings, there are commonalities.
Warning signs witnessed by people that knew the shooter
Manifestos or social media posts which should have tipped authorities off
The shooters were loners or had been scorned or bullied
Mental health issues
While these four bullet points certainly are not all inclusive, each of these mass murderers most likely exhibited one of these things. Maybe more.
What Is Being Proposed
The list of things being proposed by the politicians filling the Twitter and Facebook timelines are worn out and very tired:
Require guns and gun owners be federally or state licensed
Enact an Assault Weapons Ban
Enact bans on high capacity magazines
Enact bans on semi-automatic weapons
Confiscate assault weapons
Let Grey Beard dissect these. First, the NRA does not support, defend or otherwise turn a blind eye to mass shooters – or for that matter, any criminal. Nor do the manufacturers of firearms. Universal Background Checks will not close any “loophole” which exists – because there are no loopholes. These background checks require gun registration in order to know if a gun is being transferred between private citizens – which will never happen. Federal and state licensing of guns and gun owners is nothing more than a feel-good proposition which would only serve to create another bureaucracy which can’t get out of its own way. High capacity magazine, assault weapon and semi-automatic bans could be enacted, but without confiscation what good would a ban do? And confiscation will Never. Ever. Happen.
I have purposely saved the Red Flag Law bullet point for last. While they may seem “commonsense,” these laws are an assault on the Bill of Rights – specifically illegal search and seizures of property and due process. To learn more about this, please read my previous post on these laws: Red Flag Laws – What You Need to Know.
Grey Beard Biker Knows What Will Work
Being that I am the Grey Beard Biker, and he is very wise with regards to firearms, here are the list of things which will help prevent the next mass shooting.
End the non-stop stream of 24 hour news on these events. Never name the suspected gunman. Many of these people are incredibly narcissistic and want to become famous – even if it’s for being a mass murderer. It is at least refreshing that the Midland shooter was not named for over 24 hours and you can count on me never giving the assknozzle any publicity.
If a friend, family member or fellow student is threatening to kill or maim people call the police. This is common sense. We do not need Red Flag Laws to make this an effective tool to stop the next killer.
Enforce all existing Federal and state gun laws – especially those dealing with obtaining and purchasing a firearm. ATF Form 4473 provides severe criminal penalties for someone trying to purchase a firearm illegally. You are an illegal purchaser if you are: purchasing the gun for anyone but yourself (straw purchase), felon or under an indictment for a felony, fugitive from justice, unlawful drug user, mentally defective, were dishonorably discharged from the armed forces or convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Lying on Form 4473 can carry a five year prison sentence.
Require every state to provide the FBI with all voluntary and involuntary mental health commitments on a timely basis. These records are what allows the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to deny gun purchases to those with a background of mental illness. Mental health issues are the very root of mass shootings. These shootings are not crimes of passion. They are perpetrated by mentally ill individuals that should not be allowed to own firearms. Unfortunately several states submit few, if any, mental health records: Rhode Island, Vermont, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana, New Hampshire and Alaska. Others report sporadically. This will inevitably be the cause of another tragedy.
Our current FBI/NICS system is a very good system. It has its flaws, but with proper state reporting, it will be vastly improved. But none of these improvements to NICS will help if the Department of Justice does not prosecute violators immediately – and to the fullest extent of the law. A September 2016 DOJ Inspector General report showed that from 2008 through 2015 only 254 violations of Form 4473 were even considered for prosecution by the local U.S. Attorney’s Office. These are people trying to buy firearms illegally. The actual prosecution rate revealed by the IG Report was 0.04%. This is beyond abysmal. Get these people off the street and prosecute them!
Together, we can help prevent these saddening mass shootings.
Your whiskery, ever lovable Grey Beard Biker does some of his best thinking early in the morning while sipping his coffee. And while he may not be very talkative early in the morning, he thinks he is quite wise at this time of the day. This morning, reflecting on last week’s Democrat Presidential Debates, one thing which kept spinning around the cobwebs of his mind was their prophetic calls for “Commonsense Gun Reforms.” This group of 20+ wannabes are so damn predictable. Whether it’s student loan forgiveness, healthcare for all, reparations for the downtrodden, government funded abortions or commonsense gun reform they all spout the same stupid talking points.
But the Grey Beard is getting ahead of himself. Having read the linked article yesterday, on Personal Defense World, he was reminded of the Bullet Points article he wrote for the July issue of Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine. You see, when GBB wrote this article in mid-June, he was obviously being quite prescient about what would be said in last week’s debates. Let’s examine the July 2019 Bullet Points article (reprinted here with permission)….
Second Amendment – Danger On Our Flanks
Hello, fellow bikers. Greetings from middle Tennessee. Today, as I write my monthly article for Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky, I am preparing to take a Father’s Day ride. Father’s Day is among my favorite holidays, only being surpassed by Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. It is a day to reflect on our fathers and grandfathers.
Speaking of reflecting, all of us Second Amendment loving Patriots need to reflect on the current state of political duress facing each of us. We definitely need to be involved in our political process as we are currently facing a serious threat on our flanks. Look no further than the current slate of 23(?) Democrats who have officially announced their candidacy for their party’s presidential nomination. All of these candidates will have a chance over the coming months to state their positions – and all of them have a position on the Second Amendment. Let’s look at some:
Joe Biden’s (D-DE) official position on guns is that he wants universal background checks, bans on “assault rifles” and adoption of finger print activated “smart guns.” While on the stump, in May, he admitted that the “Second Amendment exists,” but it doesn’t mean, “[everyone is] entitled to own a gun.”
Corey Booker (D-NJ) is proposing a national (Federal) gun licensing program which would impose minimum standards for gun ownership across the country. Prospective gun owners would have to apply for a license, and sit for an interview, in much the same way one applies for a passport. Additionally, universal background checks and assault weapon bans are part of Booker’s wish list.
Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) is also promoting far reaching gun regulations including such “common sense” reforms as holding the gun industry responsible for gun violence, banning “military” assault rifles and the establishment of a nationwide gun licensing system.
Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) is proud of her NRA “F” rating and touting it on her own campaign website, where she calls for passing universal background checks – which would inevitably require national gun registration – closing gun sale loopholes (which don’t exist) and banning assault style weapons.
Kamala Harris (D-CA) is making executive action the centerpiece of her plans on gun control, where she would implement “near universal background checks,” revoking gun manufacturers’ licenses (which they don’t need today) and require anyone selling more than five guns per year to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
John Hickelooper (D-CO) also promotes his NRA “F” rating, promoting a policy on gun reform which will include universal background checks, national gun licensing, raising the national age for gun purchases to 21, restricting magazine capacities, banning all assault rifles and providing Federal grants to states which pass “Red Flag” laws.
Eric Swalwell (D-CA) states that he will no longer turn a blind eye to gun violence, proposing “truly” universal background checks, for guns and ammunition, push states to enact “gun violence restraining orders” and remove all “weapons of war” (code speak for those scary black assault rifles) from our communities, “once and for all.” This created a Twitter firestorm, where Joe Biggs Tweeted, “So basically Swalwell wants a war… You’re outta your fucking mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power.” Swalwell, in true gun grabber speak, quickly responded to Biggs, Tweeting, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.”
Now, this is nothing new for leftist politicians. They have been after our guns for a very long time. But the biggest threat is that they are listening more carefully to a media which is unhinged when it comes to guns. A media which neither understands gun owners, how guns work or the current Federal requirements of background checks. This is setting up a very dangerous dichotomy which blurs what we have today to what their Utopian societal dreams truly are. They cloak most of their proposals in the grossly overused phrase, “common sense gun reform.” But please don’t be fooled by anything any one of these candidates refer to as common sense. They totally prove the adage, “common sense is not so common” today.
The Grey Beard Biker realizes that the General Election of 2020 is still a long way in the future. Do not be lured into thinking their proposals are not an imminent threat. The politicians running to lead our state and Federal governments are attracting growing numbers of supporters who believe government should be larger. That the government should provide the things we have provided ourselves for generations: health care insurance, free college tuition, free abortions and student loan forgiveness. These people also want a country free of any reference to God, a country where free speech is limited to those whom they agree with, a country where the government sanctions killing babies – even after they’re born, a country where everyone – including the dead and illegal aliens – can vote – as long as they vote for them. But most importantly they want a country free of guns – unless you are an ultra-rich celebrity, politician, athlete, philanthropist, or Democrat/Socialist donor. Then you can own guns for the times you leave your walled compound with your armed gestapo. Do not let them take our country, brothers and sisters. Act today. Talk to your children and young people around you. The fight is here. Entertain your Grey Beard Biker as he dissects some of their stupid ideas:
Universal Background Checks
Every time a heinous crime is committed with a firearm – be it a pistol or rifle – the gun grabbers reiterate their call for universal background checks. These anti-freedom politicians never even wait for the victims’ bodies to cool before they step up to a supportive press to call for “commonsense gun reform” – which is followed immediately by a fresh call for universal background checks.
So what would a universal background check bill entail? First, universal background checks would require background checks on sales of firearms between individuals. Today, private sales do not require a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer to perform a NICS (NationalInstant Criminal Background CheckSystem) be run by the FBI before the transfer. With a universal background check bill in place, a father could not give his son a shotgun for Christmas!
What those Leftists proposing universal background checks know, but will never admit, is that universal background checks cannot work without one very critical component: a gun registry. Without the gun registry the government would have no idea who owns which guns. They would have no way to enforce background checks between individuals without the registry.
You must recognize they position new regulations as commonsense, knowing they will have to come back and enact more stringent laws to enforce their simple, commonsense gun reforms. This is their way of slowly moving further to the left, one little commonsense gun reform at a time. It’s kind of like dropping a frog in boiling water. He will jump right out. But if you put him in water and slowly bring it to a boil, the poor frog won’t realize he is the main course until he is well on the way to be cooked. Sooner or later, that dripping faucet will fill a pool. Drip, drip, drip, drip…
Never forget that their ultimate goal is to get rid of all guns. The universal background check will lead to a gun registry which is necessary for them to create their Utopian Society – free of all guns. Without the gun registry, they do not know where the guns are. With it, they know exactly where to send their gestapo to confiscate all of our guns.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO)
While not part of every Leftist wannabe president’s platform, they all support Extreme Risk Protection Orders – better known as Red Flag Laws. Several states have already passed such laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. No surprise here. These leftist states are all against personal freedom when it comes to the Second Amendment. Designed to temporarily remove guns from someone who poses an immediate threat to themselves or a spouse, these laws may seem “commonsense.” Everyone can agree that someone can suffer a temporary lack of judgment during a breakup, financial crisis or custody fight. This could lead them to do something horrendous which they would never normally do. The problem with these ERPOs is how they are obtained.
ERPOs are obtained by a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance going to a judge and asking for the order, Ex Parte. Ex parte means that the person being accused is not present. The judge will make a decision to remove someone’s firearms based solely on testimony of an individual without speaking with the accused being interviewed. This is fraught with pitfalls. What if the person requesting the ERPO is themselves a gun owner and is actually the person planning to use the firearm illegally? By obtaining the Red Flag order, the police will go and remove the only protection the accused has against the person who is a risk, leaving them with no means of protection. Lastly, who decides when the person deemed an Extreme Risk can get their property back. Without equal protection under the law, these ERPOs are dangerous. The Grey Beard Biker could get behind these laws if they offer both parties parity in protection.
Assault Weapon Bans & Restrictions on Magazine Capacities
These two gun grabber proposals do not need a lot of examination from your Grey Beard Biker. First, the scary black assault rifles the leftists propose to either ban or confiscate are no different than the common semi-automatic hunting rifles in gun safes across the country. They want to define them by simple cosmetic accoutrements like pistol grips, forearm stocks or collapsible butt stocks. But, at the end of the day, these two guns operate the same – one bullet fired with each trigger pull. A true assault rifle – or “weapon of war” – has a select fire switch – offering single shot, three round burst or fully automatic fire. These firearms are already highly controlled and have not been used in any mass shootings.
Restrictions on high-capacity magazines are not affective in reducing the body count of a determined madman. With practice, swapping magazines can be quickly done – even in an extreme stress situation. One need just remember the Virginia Tech shooter who used common semi-automatic pistols to kill 33 people! Pushing either of these commonsense gun laws will prove folly and will do nothing to prevent the next mass shooting.
Ammo restrictions are something which were nearly unthinkable three years ago. Today, several states have enacted laws which require background checks to purchase ammunition, limits on how much can be purchased, how often purchases can be made and how much ammunition you can possess at one time. The states with the most restrictive ammunition laws are California and New York who require background checks at the point-of-purchase. But other liberal states are not missing the chance to limit your personal freedoms. Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey all require ammunition purchasers to pass a background check to obtain a license to buy ammunition. These are prime examples of leftist gun grabbing laws designed to keep law abiding gun owners from exercising their rights, as codified by God and the Second Amendment. The current laws in these states will do absolutely nothing to prevent gun violence.
Interviews with murderers and gangbangers in prison have proven that these people are not buying guns and ammunition legally at a local gun store or big-box retailer. They get their stuff illegally on the street. But, mark Grey Beard Biker’s words, every one of these candidates will support background checks on ammunition sales and limits on how much ammo a person can possess. Swalwell has already come out and said he supports this restriction. In fact, his state, California has already passed such a law. These laws are more about taxing people than making our streets safer.
Grey Beard Biker Recommendations
Ranting about stupid leftist gun grabber proposals is not something Grey Beard will do without offering recommendations which make sense and which will reduce potential body counts. So here are some Grey Beard Biker Approved Commonsense things our legislators can do now:
Enforce current laws regarding FFL background checks and prosecute everyone who lies on form 4473 to attempt an illegal gun purchase – this includes straw purchasers, those who lie about current orders of protection, previous felonies or previous dishonorable discharges from the military
Require every state to immediately report commitments to inpatient mental health facilities, whether they are voluntary or involuntary. These records should be instantly available to the FBI and stored in one FBI database. Currently, at best, these are reported to the NICS system sporadically – or worse yet – not at all!
Require all schools have either SROs, specially trained teachers or armed forces veterans present and fully armed in our schools. It is well documented that those bent on killing large quantities of people stay clear of “gun-free zones.” – not necessarily because they don’t want to die – but because they do not want their death toll diminished because an armed good guy kills them too quickly.
Provide firearms safety training in all public schools – by taking away the curiosity young children have with guns they will learn to respect them and use them safely
Together, legal law abiding gun owners working with their legislators can make our children and innocent people safer in our streets. An armed public, is after all, a polite public and a good guy with a gun is the best protection against a bad guy with a gun.