Commentary: The government isn’t coming after your guns

For a short period last month, gun lovers and NRA members began to circle their wagons. The Democrats were coming after your weapons, infringing on your Second Amendment rights, and finally the government is coming to take over U.S. citizens after they are disarmed.

At least that’s what one gun advocate said at the Delaware State Senate hearing recently comparing the state Senate’s action to the days of Hitler and I quote: “Gun registration has always has been a prelude to gun confiscation, and gun confiscation has always been a prelude to, let’s see, just a few minor blips such as the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the killing fields of Cambodia and more recently the socialist destruction of Venezuela. Hitler, Abdul Hamid, Pol Pot,(Hugo) Chavez, (Nicolas) Maduro, those are big shoes to fill indeed.”

Then the blockbuster, “I suppose if I were a politician, I might be a wee bit more comfortable with a disarmed citizenry too. It’s sad that you are nervous, but take my word, You will not disarm us.” Where did these bills say anything about disarming your Second Amendment rights?

Really, is this what our country has come to? They really think our government is going to disarm its citizens? Trump has pulled some wild ideas, but I don’t think this is on his agenda, quite the opposite.

Frank Calio

But gun lovers, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The Senate Committee voted not to let the three bills out of committee, and the possibility of them being brought up this year are a no go. Guess who controls the Senate committee? Democrats!!! Can you believe that? Even after the chairman of the committee promised the governor and the public he would bring the bills to the floor for a vote this year!

And he mentioned a majority of Democrats opposed the legislation. Hail to the NRA. Republicans as usual, opposed all gun legislation along party lines but offered no legislation of their own. My research found a majority of members in Congress are members of and on the take from the NRA when it comes to contributions. So I assume a majority of members of the state legislature in Delaware are also.

One of my jobs as former state election commissioner was to follow campaign contributions to members of the legislature. When gun bills came up I liked to follow the money. I could count the votes. The same with the tobacco industry.

What does it take to get people to understand no one wants to take away your Second Amendment rights? Legislation is only meant to put weapons in safe hands, hopefully to eliminate or at least reduce the number of mass killings.

Even watching the outdoor show on WBOC-TV I don’t see hunters using a grenade launcher or a repeating rifle in their hunt for wildlife. They appear to be able to put food on their table with normal weapons.

I don’t know of one state which says you can’t own a gun for protection or hunting nor has introduced legislation to take away Second Amendment rights. No state that I know of has legislation stating you cannot own a gun. I just don’t want my body riddled with bullets or blown to bits by a grenade launcher should one want to come after me. One shot, one small bullet will do the trick.

I suspect most people don’t read gun legislation. The NRA gets people fired up, their membership rises and the words “gun control” comes to the minds of gun activists. You can bet someone from the NRA was involved in the recent legislation. I suspect what bothers most about gun legislation is making it more difficult to purchase a fire arm.

You should have a gun for home protection, but not an assault rifle, or a gun with a 15-round clip. Nor does a hunter need to possess a firearm with a magazine of 15 rounds. Those weapons have been used in the mass slayings and should be sold only to our military and law enforcement.

There three bills were up for consideration; SB 68 mirrors Maryland’s ban on assault weapons; SB 70 would bar possession of a magazine containing more than 15 rounds with the exception of military and police officers; SB 82, the qualified purchaser card bill, would require a person fist apply to he Department of Public Safety, and Homeland Security before buying a gun.

The synopsis for SB 68 prohibits the manufacturer, sale, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, receive possession or transport assault weapons in Delaware, subject to certain exceptions. Some of the legislation grandfathers those who have these guns in heir possession. What is wrong with that?

A question asked by one Republican legislator during the debate, “Why are you pushing the assault weapons ban when no mass shootings have taken place in Delaware and nearly every shooting in the First State involves a handgun?”

The correct answer that comes to my mind was the same answer given by the bills sponsor; “Whether you agree or disagree with various aspects of the bill, I don’t think particularly it’s a persuasive argument to that say we should wait until someone is or isn’t killed with regard to this kind of firearm. Debate should be on whether these specific kinds of fire arms should or shouldn’t be publicly available,” said the sponsor.

All people fighting for gun legislation want is to assure weapons don’t get in the wrong hands, tighten up the loopholes, which allow the purchase of guns illegally.

I wonder — should a mass killing occur in this state with assault rifles, would the legislature do anything to keep those weapons out of the hands of people or do nothing but respond with, “You are in our prayers.” I think the latter … unfortunately.

Frank Calio of Laurel, and was former Delaware state election commissioner.

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