ACTION ALERT: Gun Control Is Possible: Venezuela Acts to Reduce Gun Violence
August 22, 2016 Frank Jack Daniel / Reuters & The Pen & The Peace Team
Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries. With a critical presidential and congressional election coming up, it's time to take a stand on reasonable gun regulation: The Pen and the Peace Team provide an Action Page.
Venezuela Crushes 2,000 Guns in Public,
Plans Registry of Bullets Frank Jack Daniel / Reuters
(August 18, 2016) -- Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.
Venezuela has the world's second highest murder rate and the street gangs that plague its poor neighborhoods have become increasingly heavily armed in recent years, at a time when a deep recession has reduced resources available to police.
Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or buying them from corrupt officers, experts say.
With inflation of 185 percent in 2015 and a currency collapse, police salaries have fallen far behind rising prices creating more incentives for corruption.
President Nicolas Maduro promoted Reverol this month, days after the United States accused the former anti-drugs tsar of taking bribes from cocaine traffickers.
"We are going to bring disarmament and peace," Reverol told reporters, while police officers drilled and sawed at rusty shotguns, home made pistols and some newer weapons.
Other guns were crushed in truck-mounted presses. Some members of the public watched, although more danced to a nearby sound system playing salsa music.
Venezuela has also bought laser technology to mark ammunition, Reverol said, in an attempt to keep a registry of the bullets given out to the South American nation's many state and municipal police forces.
Experts say that much of the ammunition used in crimes in Venezuela is made at the country's government munitions factory and sold on by corrupt police.
(October 5, 2015) -- With a critical presidential and congressional election coming up, it's time to take a stand on reasonable gun regulation: Here is an Action Page.
And here is the action page text: For those capable of reading even a single, intact and complete sentence from our Constitution, the Second Amendment says this: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
What we have in America today does not even resemble a well-regulated militia. Instead what we have are seemingly endless supplies of lone wolf lunatics senselessly murdering our family members again and again.
Our founders intended arms bearing as a collective right, for the protection of the community, NOT an individual right to be claimed by every mentally ill criminal. And that was during a time when we had no systematic police forces or even much of a national army.
And yet Congress, perpetually beholden to the murder weapons manufacturers of America, adamantly refuses to even put in place even reasonable regulation of who can acquire NEW deadly weapons, entirely apart from those already sold to people who should not have them. In particular, any nutcase can walk into a free for all gun show and walk out with a family member grabber. So-called "unlicensed private sellers" can do anything they damn well please.
There isn't another deadly anything in this country as unregulated and with so many gaping loopholes as this. The actual word in our Constitution is "regulated," and it's time we did something meaningful about it, starting with comprehensive instant background checks. And no gun transfers except through strictly regulated dealers, just like we do for a bottle of beer.
You cannot even drive a car without a license. Why should gun ownership be any less regulated?
We are already hearing from our participants about doing a bumper sticker on this. Please send us your suggestions about what the text should be and we'll jump all over it. All the Republican candidates for president are being quoted for their do nothing positions. Jeb Bush says, "Hey murder happens, whatever."
In the meantime, though the mainstream media will not report it, Bernie Sanders is expressly calling for stronger instant background checks and closing the gun show loophole.
Gun Regulation Proposal Action Page
(October 5, 2015) -- From most of our timid politicians we've heard much hand wringing after one gun massacre after another, from some various constructive proposals, but no actual comprehensive plan frankly from anyone.
After much input from our participants, here's our own proposal in the form of an action page, which no law-abiding gun owner should have any objection to, though it is bold, and novel in a number of aspects.
1) All gun ownership must be registered, which can be done perfectly well at the state level in every state. Currently this is done in only six states, but that alone demonstrates unquestionably it is constitutional. Without mandatory registration in all states there is no sound foundation on which other proposed reforms many operate, because now lax states are the source of most illegal gun traffic.
2) If states, having been given a reasonable time to implement their own gun ownership registration programs, fail to do so, the federal government by default should implement its own registration program applicable for those states. That should provide more than ample motivation for any states fearful of federal power to do so themselves, with strict limitations on how the federal government may access state records.
3) All gun registrations must be associated with a ballistics test on file. Had such a system been in place, the recent freeway sniper in AZ could have been identified after the first incident. If someone turns up dead with a bullet in them, it could be traced back to the gun owner responsible for the registration. This will also tend to discourage straw buyers.
4) After a grace period for all law-abiding gun owners to register their deadly weapons, possession of an unregistered gun must be a crime, and the weapon itself subject to immediate confiscation, tending to get unregistered guns off the street. If any gun is stolen, it must be reported promptly to the registration agency.
5) No person may acquire ownership of a registered gun without a background check, instant or otherwise, and transferred by a licensed gun dealer, whether sold through a store, at a gun show, or otherwise. If a private party wants to transfer a gun to another private party, licensed gun dealers must offer to facilitate such transfers for no more than a modest fee as a condition of their own right to be a licensed gun dealer.
And while the above may suffice, we happen to also believe there is no justification for a private citizen to have a military type assault rifle, anymore than they are permitted to have a land mine or a surface to air missile. This can be defined in terms of ultimate firepower capability, including as modified. Clearly there are some arms that those outside of the military have no constitutional right to bear, and this point is not even subject to debate. The only debatable question is where to draw the line.
The bleeding in Oregon had barely stopped before the news broke that an 11-year-old boy in Tennessee just blew away an 8-year-old girl with a shotgun because she would not let him play with her puppy. What's an 11-year-old child doing with a shotgun in the first place? Are guns so loose in this country that even children are killing other children with them?
We would love to hear your suggestions about the best text for a bumper sticker on this issue, and we'll pick one with a participant vote, just like we did for the Bernie sticker we've already shipped 12,000 of. And we are still doing it.
I Love My Guns Mark Carman
(October 3, 2015) -- To All Responsible Gun Owners!