In her June 2 AFN commentary, Ellen Davis states that “AZPASS is asking only for sensible laws.”

Between her letter and a recent letter from Bryan Brinkley, also an officer of AZPASS, my arguments are: verbose, silly, absurd, contradictory, and intentionally misleading. Does that mean my application for membership in AZPASS is likely to be rejected?

Once again, my condolences to the victims and their families. But should we enact legislation that affects 300 million people’s ability to defend themselves as an emotional response to a terrible tragedy? Shouldn’t we enact legislation based on good public policy and in accordance with the “rule of law,” as Brinkley suggests?

I’ve written 16 commentaries that explain my positions in excruciating detail, perhaps even verbose. They’re specific and use real world examples of how the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 proposed by California Sen. Diane Feinstein will do little to reduce gun violence.

When AZPass was introduced to us in the April 12 issue of AFN, “Ahwatukee residents petition encourages ban on assault weapons,” there were four proposals put forth by the group. If these are still the same goals, then please tell us how they’ll reduce gun violence.

Simply stating that your proposals are “sensible” doesn’t make them so, no matter how many times you say it.

Please include some specificity around these questions:

How would they impact the criminal? How would they impact the victims? How would they be enforced, and by whom? If the proposals had been in place, how would they have prevented Newton? Aurora? Or any of the 56 mass shootings Brinkley reports have happened in the last four years? How do these proposals support the “rule of law?”

As reported on April 12, the four proposals were:

1. Implement the “assault weapons” ban. What’s an “assault weapon?” How many deaths per year are due to this type of firearm? The FBI reports that in 2011 72 percent of firearm murders were committed with a handgun; only 4 percent were committed with rifle. They don’t even track the number of murders with an “assault weapon.” If saving lives is the goal, why not ban handguns? What happens to all of the “assault weapons” held by the public today? Are the guns that are considered acceptable for Americans to own not dangerous?

2. Restrictions on high capacity magazines (they’re not “clips” by the way). What’s an acceptable capacity? Why? How does a magazine limit prevent gun violence? Or even reduce the number of casualties? What happens to all of the magazines held by the public today?

3. Universal background checks. How many guns used in a crime were obtained in a private party transaction? How many criminals will submit to a private party transaction background check? How would we enforce this?

4. Straw purchases. This is already illegal. I’m not sure why we need to make it more illegal.

And finally, Davis states clearly that “Newtown might have been prevented.”


Bill Richardson

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