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Column: We Have a Right to Bear Arms; We Also Have a Right to Live

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

I’m all for the right to bear arms.  The constitution says we can.

That being said, guns and semi-automatic rifles are a dangerous enough commodity — like prescription morphine and oxycodone — that they need to be regulated — particularly when they end up in the hands of the violent Mexican cartels.

I bring this up because the NRA and other gun rights groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation are up in arms over a newly implemented ATF regulation that requires U.S. gun dealers in U.S. states bordering Mexico to report the sale within five business days of two or more  semi-automatic rifles capable of using detachable magazines.

The problem is that many of those guns from those states like Texas and Arizona are flooding into Mexico and into the hands of drug cartels, who are committing mass murder at a staggering rate. The cartels have also spread their tentacles into the U.S.

The new ATF regulation is not magic bullet to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico. But every little bit helps. And reporting multiple sales of assault rifles raises a red flag. Sorry. But if you buy 10 assault rifles in two days, the government should have the right to ask WHY?

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has filed a lawsuit to try and block the regulation, which took effect Aug. 14.  It says it abhors the violence in Mexico, but says ATF is violating peoples’ rights.

NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane issued a statement this week about the ATF requirement for border states:  “This is the proverbial ‘slippery slope.’ Our industry abhors the criminal misuse of firearms, whether on the streets of El Paso or in Juarez, Mexico. Though we can understand ATF’s motive is to try to curtail violence in Mexico, Congress simply has not granted ATF regulatory carte blanche.”

It’s hardly carte blanche.

Maybe Mr. Keane should head to  Juarez, Mexico and see what carte blanche really is.  Carte blanche down there is what the Mexican cartels have, killing at will, intimidating and murdering police, thanks, at least in part, to the steady flow of our American guns that wind up in Mexico.

That’s carte blanche.

Sure, we as Americans have a right to bear arms. But we as Americans have a right to live — as do our neighbors to the south.


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Comment from Jim Burdick
Time August 29, 2011 at 3:40 pm

It’s a mystery to me how anyoen in their right mind could complain about this kind of minimally invasive regulation. What legitimate gun owner could need multiple assault weapons at one time, and still worry that the g would kmnow in five days about the purchase? If the guns are legal, does anyone buy the silly argument that regulation means confiscation? I mean, don’t they wonder why it hasn’t happened yet with all those “burdensome” restrictions that have been around for decades? They’ve got to stop drinking the Kool Aid!

Comment from Jim Burdick
Time August 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm

And this fellow from the “Shooting Sport” club? What does any of his members need multiple assault weapons purchases for “sport” shooting that the government’s knowledge of the sales could POSSIBLY hinder??

Comment from JoeT
Time August 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Have “we” already forgotten that it was under “our” President’s direction that these gun shops were instructed to sell guns to people that were knowingly bringing them across the border?

The “steady flow” of guns is not from law abiding Americans… Please google “atf fast and furious”… here’s just one story
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-08-08-ATF-guns-Operation-Fast-and-Furious-Congress_n.htm

It’s easy to blame gun owners, it’s easy to blame gun shops. Instead of taking the easy way out of pointing fingers, look and see what “our” government is doing

Comment from JJSwiontek
Time September 3, 2011 at 12:45 am

I respectfully disagree. Having our executative branch of our Federal government write laws is a clear violation of the seperation of powers. I only partially mind the regulation of that which “shall not be infringed”. I just want it to come from the branch that is meant to create the laws. Until then, I consider the ATF to be in clear violation of the law of the land.

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