The new administration and the gun show loophole
With President Barack Obama about to be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, it's pretty clear that thousands of liberals will be in charge of things in Washington, DC. They are certain to pass a great deal of "sensible gun control" legislation. One of the first priorities is likely to be closing the so-called gun show loophole. The loophole, as gun enthusiasts and opponents alike see it, is the current ability for private citizens to buy a handgun at a gun show without any background checks, paper work or regulation.
The Federally licensed dealers who exhibit at a gun show still need to go through with the phone call, social security numbers and all when selling guns, but private parties, with an adjacent table full of guns, can sell you a gun without all of that! The gun show loophole.
Nearly 6,000 gun shows are held yearly in America. Many have 1,000 or more guns traded in a day or two. If you are a buyer or seller in a transaction at a gun show, one of the parties may have a criminal background and wouldn't be able to clear the requirements if the trade was with a Federally licensed dealer. Unquestionably, some gun purchases made at gun shows will pass a gun into the hands of a criminal, or mental case, or a person who might use the piece in some criminal or anti-social manner.
In California, the law requires that gun show deals must follow the same guidelines as the Federal Gun Control Act -- paperwork, background checks and all. Not many gun deals by private parties are made at California gun shows.
There isn't any question that the liberals will close down private transactions between citizens at gun shows. "Hobby gun Dealers" who sold 20 to 50 guns a year will now be curtailed. We once had 300,000 gun dealers in the fifty states and now we have 50,000. Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops, Gander Mountain and Sportsman's Warehouse now sell used guns.
Bt next fall, the gun show loophole may be non-existent, and private deals for handguns will not be made at gun shows.
An alternate to gaining control of a resisting offender is now often the electronic taser instead of a 9mm bullet. Law enforcement has quickly adopted the taser and is using it daily in subduing a person with a handgun, knife, or other weapon in many household disturbances, robberies, or hostage takings.
A taser shoots a metal prong backed by 50,000 volts. It generally doesn't penetrate the skin, but incapacitates an individual in seconds, but generally does not inflict a wound. It appears to be a safe alternative to a bullet. But not always! Tasers are used in 44 countries. The "guns" are made by Arizona based Taser International, supplying about 4,700 law enforcement agencies.
More than 350 persons have died in North America since 2001 from being tased. Whether the taser was the cause of death in these cases isn't clear, because certain psychological reactions may be prompted in the human body. The taser has replaced the police baton or the pepper spray. In many cases when death occurs in a tasing, something else may be going on. Most persons who are subdued by a taser during an arrest come out of it without lasting effects. It is a safer alternative to a policeman's handgun, which is used only in extreme circumstances.
Tasers are coming into more common use by private citizens who don't want to carry a concealed handgun for personal protection. Most will not ever have to employ the taser, or do any shooting, for that matter.
I personally have had the experience of being shot -- in a hunting accident, not a criminal encounter. Believe me, it isn't pleasant. I've also seen a woman tased on Hennepin Ave. when city police were unable to persuade to surrender. She collapsed in seconds and it took many minutes before she was able to stand up. I don't think that the Minneapolis cops were about to use deadly force (gun) in the instance I observed, but they did use a taser quickly. Whether a taser is the correct alternative for personal protection, I don't know. In any case, I'm not about to begin concealed carry either, but I believe that this is a reasonable, and necessary measure that many citizens are confronting and solving every day. Arming one's self in today's ever more violent society, well, it's a personal choice, a personal decision.
Hunting the trophy animals
It is always the aim of a hunter to take the biggest animal he can find. It is with a great deal of satisfaction that the buck with the most points or the biggest spread ends the chase. Whether it is the Rocky Mountain Elk or a trophy in Africa, the hunter wants a trophy. Shooting of the best animal on the game field has come under scrutiny in recent years. It is the weaker animals that are left to breed. Whether in Asia, Africa, or North America, with the strongest of the males removed, the continuation of the species will be taken up by less virile bucks, if the taking of the best continues.
Researchers see the practice as evolution in reverse, with the prized animals gone. If we continue to take the best mountain goats or sheep, it leaves breeding to smaller horned rams. "Losers" tend to be less desirable breeders.
Researchers and biologists in game departments throughout the world are becoming concerned. In some locations in America's west, continuing to take the sheep with the greatest curl is now frowned upon. Yet, trophy hunters still seek out the grandest trophy.
It is a problem with no easy solutions. It is about impossible to change hunter attitudes. We're likely to continue with the problem as long as there are hunters in the field.