The NRA (and their brainwashed subjects) go on and on about how we don't need NEW gun laws, we need the ones we have to WORK.
Well, the NRA has made sure the ones we have DON'T by "helping" our elected officials.
One Congressman, Rep Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), in 2003 introduced a series of riders to federal spending bills. These amendments prohibit the ATF from publicly releasing detailed gun trace data and limit its ability to share this data with other law enforcement agencies.
Tiahrt said "I wanted to make sure I was fulfilling the needs of my friends who are firearms dealers." NRA officials, he added "were helpful in making sure I had my bases covered."
Think about that! He wanted to help out the gun SELLERS!! Not victims of gun crimes. And the NRA kindly helped him out.
What does this mean? Well, in the Mother Jones article I read, it means:
- because a registry is outlawed, all the documents are scanned and must be stored as static images that cannot be searched digitally!
- because gun manufacturers and dealers were sued because their guns were recovered at crime scenes, the Tiarhrt Amendments were passed, now the ATF is only allowed to provide a specific trace information when a local law enforcement asks for it, and only that particular jurisdiction!
- the ATF can't tell reporters which brands are the most commonly trafficked or used in violent crimes.
- the ATF is forbidden from requiring gun dealers to conduct inventory checks, something it had proposed after an audit revealed that nearly half the dealers it reviewed couldn't account for all their weapons
Think about that. The ATF has to hand-read each registry form. What if your loved one was killed or disabled by gun violence? Would you be comfortable about these facts? And, what if before the gun was identified and led to an arrest, others were killed? Well, in my point of view, that makes everyone who voted for these Amendments and the NRA accessories after the fact!!!
But, no, because it's guns we have to turn away. If you serve too much alcohol to someone and they kill someone while driving drunk, the bartender and bar are deemed culpable.
And meanwhile the NRA controls our Congressmen. They even make sure that the ATF has no permanent director and is underfunded.
I am appalled that my member of Congress makes sure his first re-election ad features him with a gun. He has been bought and paid for, as have many of his fellow Congressmen.
What can we do? Call our Congressmen (and women)! Insist that the laws we have are unfettered by riders. (If they want to limit things, make them introduce a single bill.) When your Congressperson is up for election, review their voting record closely.
Also, work to reform the Senate confirmation process. Ensure that one or two Senators cannot hold up confirmations. Require a vote!
This is YOUR government. VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION!!