When you reside in Arizona, firearms are part of the culture. Hunting, recreational shooting and cowboy reenactments are casual events. Reloading, gunsmithing and even lead smelting are not uncommon past times. Concealed carry with permit is legal, as well as something we call “Constitutional Carry”, a more controversial state wide right to carry a concealed weapon without prior instruction, requiring no permit. And although the Phoenix Metropolitan Area is home to over 3 million citizens, the Wild West is alive and well, since open carry has always been legal without permit in this desert Southwest state. Arizona is also home to a world class Gun Manufacturer: Sturm,Ruger & Co.

With all that said, it is time to buck a trend and speak about gun regulation. Outlawing additional classes of weapons would be ineffectual and erode respect for authority. However, I believe registration and licensing of Weapons of Mass Murder (WMM), to be a sound policy and a worthy assistance to police interdiction, for exactly the reasons many find it offensive. It would help in the rapid identification of (WMM) owned by persons of interest in a civil disturbance.

Arguments for anonymous ownership of WMM, as deterrence from a tyrannical government are a ludicrous claim. Which hand held weapon is a legitimate defense against cruise missiles, predator drones or Apache helicopters? Why is ownership of fully-automatic weapons restricted? The answer is fear of wholesale massacre during civil disturbance or criminal activity. Yet with the ever burgeoning population of the US, the law of large numbers has made the fear of human slaughter by the hands of maniacs a growing problem. It is no coincidence that the Mafia wars of the 20s and 30s occurred in the populated Midwest and led to the outlawing of automatics.

Outlawing weapons is contrary to the American way and a surefire means to promote a criminal black market. But with growing population and prosperity in this country, I find it reasonable to suggest renewable licensing for large capacity magazines and WMM. Tracking ownership will never stop all carnage, but it might deter a borderline crazy who must face examination before making a purchase. Registration of WMM would not prohibit ownership of such weapons by law abiding citizens. But unregulated ownership of WMM is neither warranted for self defense nor sport hunting and should be classified alongside fully-automatic weapons in a sane society.

I further maintain that the NRA, the most vocal advocate for unrestricted gun ownership, has become a lobbyist for weapons manufacturers and no longer speaks for sportsmen. How else can one explain NRA advocacy against legislation to coordination lists of known terrorists with background checks before the purchase of weapons. The link is from the NRA website, and I maintain their response is pure legal bull. If the real argument against database sharing was for the protection of law-abiding citizens, then the NRA could help craft the language for a more acceptable bill. Instead they choose to obstruct and oppose attempts to secure a citizenry from terror. Why? Because for them, any restriction placed on firearms sales is automatically wrong-headed from their point of view. They are shills for weapons manufacturers. This is but another example of money buying power, with potentially lethal results.

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