Drunk On Mystery, on 28 January 2013 - 02:02 PM, said:
The ATF president must be ratified by the Senate, despite existing entirely outside of Congressional jurisdiction, due to a rider put into the Patriot Act that was written by the NRA, and NRA backed Senators have blocked every attempt to install a new president. There hasn't been a full-time ATF president in years.
The ATF is also not allowed to require gun shops to maintain an inventory, is only allowed to inspect gun shop inventories for proper handling once a year, and is so defunded that they now have the same number of active ATF agents in the United States as they had in the 1970s: roughly 2500, or an average of about 50 per state.
Process that for a second: the government agency in charge of regulating alcohol, tobacco and firearms in this country has fewer employees in the entire US than McDonald's has in most mid-sized cities.
Sidenote: this conversation about gun control and gun violence would be a lot easier to have with people if they realized that the NRA is a lot less interested in being a gun club or defending the right to bear arms, and a lot more interested in being a paid lobbying firm for gun manufacturers.
Question, The NRA tells the ATF they cannot maintain the inventory and that they are only allowed to inspect gun shop inventories for proper handling once a year, correct? If thats the case then it points back to our politicians and the fact that they really do not want to change anything with regardings to firearms. A minimum of random inspections twice a year should be the norm.
With regards to the number of ATF agents, they arepretty under funded. Even if there were 100,000 agents, I would still say the would not have enough given the broad scope of the agency. There are currently 129,000, license gun dealers between shores, pawn shops, and collectors (who are licensed to sell and buy guns), 1200 gun manufacturers, 42,000 liquer stores etc. That number does not include the import and export number for both firearms, and alcohol and tobacco and explosive manufacturers and sellers, which I failed to look up. Also from what I read the FBI helps out in this area as well, though I am sure to a very small degree.
To get back on the gun market, while there are I am sure a few bad apples out of that number of gun dealers, the majority of illegally obtained guns would still come from black markets (including guns brought accross the mexican boarder) and the stolen type. But I agree, more inspections would at least help the issue.
Now to you last point. There are 4.3 million or so NRA members and 80 million gun owners in the USA, which basically equals .5 % of gun owners (not all of which share all the views of the NRA). While there influence I am sure stretches outside of there members say to 10%, its still a small portion. I for one have never followed the NRA other than knowing who they are and reading an article from time to time that mentions or is about the group. Lastly, whatever there purpose is (good or bad), does it not come back to defending the right to bare arms? Even if they are defending that right so the gun manufacturers can make money are they not defending the right for private guns owners in the process? If the right to bare arms goes away, the gun manufactures dry up a lot (still there because of wars etc).
Back to the other item I do not agree with you with on. How would a gun registry help prevent gun violence in your opinion?