20 December 2007

NICS Bill Headed To President Bush For Signature

Both houses of Congress have approved legislation that would modify the National Instant Check System (NICS), making it (depending on whom you talk to), either better for firearms owners and all Americans, or, a disastrous change that either: a) takes away more rights from lawful firearms owners, or b) gives the evil gun lobby everything it wanted.

Whew! With me so far?

Here is how the National Rifle Association described the outcome:

"After months of careful negotiation, pro-gun legislation was passed through Congress today. The National Rifle Association (NRA) worked closely with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to address his concerns regarding H.R. 2640, the National Instant Check System (NICS) Improvement Act. These changes make a good bill even better. The end product is a win for American gun owners." Read the full text here.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) stated the following:

"The bill also will allow for individuals who are now unfairly prohibited from owning guns to appeal their prohibition and have their Second Amendment rights restored. This is currently not possible, and tens of thousands of Americans of sound mind, including many veterans, are permanently barred without due process from possessing firearms."

On the statement above, I heartily concur. The very idea that a veteran, who perhaps once saw a mental health professional for some counseling and today leads a normal, productive life, could be permanently banned from owning a firearm in the name of safey by the banners, is more than insulting and intellectually dishonest. The real purpose of those who support such nonsense is an eventual full ban of all firearms ownership -- via incrementalism. The language in the bill rights this wrong with regard to our military veterans and others.

Now, some would say that the NRA caved on this issue, and should have done more to stop any kind of bill from moving through. Others note that there was too much momentum after the tragic shootings on the Virginia Tech campus for some sort of tightening of controls regarding mental health records for firearms buyers.

Those who would deny Americans the right to self defense see it another way. They are aghast at a legislative process that did not install controls for one-a-month purchases, background checks on private transactions, and what they describe as closing the non-existent, so-called gun show "loophole." They are more than whining today. They are in daze, of sorts, wondering how the process for change they pushed backfired so dramatically in their faces.

Here is what the grabbers have to say (though the Brady Bunch, interestingly, is pleased):
Violence Policy Center
Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.)

From the mainstream and online media:
All Headline News
USA Today
New York Times (updated AP story)

Statement From Politicos:
Anti-gun House Speaker NancyPelosi

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