Beyond the typical tragic litany of gun violence victims this weekend, two other headlines appeared. The first was a story about a Florida man driving down the highway shooting an AK-47 at other cars.
One other driver was injured, thankfully not seriously. Another car was also hit by the gunfire.
FL Man Shoots AK 47 While On Highway
The other headline was a Pennsylvania man being arrested at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. after law enforcement officials reportedly found a Bushmaster AR-15 assault-style gun and dozens of rounds of ammunition in his vehicle.
Authorities said officers acted on a tip and saw the weapon in plain view in the vehicle, which the driver had turned over the hotel valet. Police said a Glock 23 was also found in the glove box, with 90 rounds of ammunition.
Man Arrested for AR-15 at Trump D.C. Hotel
Clearly, some of our citizens are finding uses for semi-automatic assault style rifles beyond visiting the target range or hunting. Where will you see one next?
We were pleased to be with residents from the Kennett Square area on May 25th for our “Guns around Town” presentation. It’s always interesting to hear what brings people to the event and to learn about their experiences and perspectives.
I got talking with someone who described themselves as a gun owner and National Rifle Association member. Interestingly, they said they could support virtually all of the legislative items we had covered during the presentation. This included universal background checks before gun purchase, keeping guns out of the schools (unless carried by trained law enforcement or security personnel) and continuing restrictions on gun silencers. The participant’s comment reinforced the polling statistics we had presented, which showed a high level of support among gun owners for these types of policies.
This conversation is a perfect example of why Gun Sense Chester County promotes “building bridges” as part of our efforts. There IS substantial common ground among gun owners and non gun owners alike as to what represents common sense regulation.
Now, we just need to convince our elected officials to pass those regulations. To achieve that, we need to all join together… those who would prefer to never hold a gun to those who are gun enthusiasts, to make our wishes known. Unfortunately, gun owners have been told by some Second Amendment advocacy groups not to trust what they describe as “gun control gun grabbers.” (For the record, Gun Sense Chester County does not seek to take away anyone’s gun who is a lawful owner. We do encourage responsible ownership practices such as securing the gun in in a locked storage area within the home.)
Each open, respectful conversation we have helps build understanding and trust. Hopefully this will help members of the gun owning community who agree with some additional regulations to feel comfortable that talking with their elected officials to make some changes will not result in a complete loss of gun rights in the U.S. We are building toward this understanding and trust one conversation, one step, at a time.
On this Memorial Day Weekend, we thank current members of our armed forces and veterans for being willing to take up arms in the service of our country. We owe you a great debt.
Ann Colby-Cummings, Chairperson
The Radio Times program this morning ran a very thoughtful program on the challenges of gaining insight into other people’s viewpoints by listening to those with whom we disagree. Worth a listen to understand how our human nature affects “what we hear” and how we value information we process. Similar themes to the “Building Bridges” program we have been offering in local communities.
You can download a podcast from this site: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2017/05/23/breaking-ideological-battle-lines/
As we approach the anniversary of the horrific Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, consider listening to an excellent piece by the New Yorker Radio Hour entitled “How the NRA Uses Fear to Sell Guns.” The interview features a conversation with “Mike the Gun Guy,” a prolific blogger and former firearms dealer, on how the role of the NRA has evolved, approaches used to market handguns, and the difference between perceptions and reality regarding guns and personal safety.
Wow. It is really pretty remarkable when the world’s best known terrorist organization tells its recruits to purchase their guns in the United States due to easy access through gun shows and online sales.
Check out the latest article about this at the Washington Post.
Perhaps it’s time to re-examine gun sales loopholes? In PA, you can purchase a long gun without a background check by engaging in a private sale at a gun show. Long guns include AR-15 semi-automatic rifles. A pre-purchase background check, which most often is completed within minutes, gives law enforcement officials the opportunity to flag, and stop, illegal purchases. See our “PA Bills” page for more information about the Universal Background Check legislation that has been filed. Agree it’s time to close the loophole? Let your PA Rep or Senator know.