Clarence Page: My quest for 'common-sense' gun laws

BY CLARENCE PAGE Published: July 27, 2012
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They tried similar bills, you may recall, after last year's shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, in which six were killed. The bills went nowhere and aren't expected to get much further this time. Democrats want to widen their tent and back away from gun-control fights. But, really? Ten rounds per magazine should be enough for any civilian who is not planning a government overthrow.

Besides, the debate is worth having. Otherwise, Congress tends to read the absence of outrage as total consent.

Third, limit gun purchases to no more than one per month. Virginia put a good pinch on East Coast gunrunners by passing such a law in the 1990s, without putting an unreasonable burden on legitimate collectors and sportsmen. Nevertheless, the state's current Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell and GOP-led legislature repealed that law earlier this year. The law should be reinstated — nationally!

Finally, close the federal loophole that still allows weapons sales at many gun shows without background checks. The best recent argument I have heard for that move comes from an unlikely source, al-Qaida spokesman and recruiter Adam Gadahn, the first U.S. citizen since 1952 to be charged with treason. On YouTube, just watch him praise America's lax gun laws — for all the mayhem they can bring.

“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms,” he chirps. “You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check and, most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

Right. That's what I say to politicians who claim to want sensible gun laws. What are you waiting for?

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