-By Steve Sheldon
For someone whose mantra is, “The spin stops here,” Bill O’Reilly couldn’t have spun more on the gun issue than the Tilt a Whirl at next week’s county fair. Yes, we in the hinterland still go to county fairs. And, if we encounter a mass killer there, we will shoot him, (in the face if he is wearing a gas mask).
On Monday July 24th’s Talking Points, Bill made some outrageously erroneous statements about guns and gun purchases, so misleading, that one would be led to believe that Michael More might have penned them. Sadly, many in even the ‘Conservative’ media have no idea when it comes to guns and the Second Amendment.
Mr. O’Reilly’s gets a good start by suggesting that, “(Bill) Moyers has no clue, no clue at all. He apparently believes that federal and state governments can actually control gun crimes. That’s so dumb it hurts.” But then, he follows up this statement with some of the most ignorant and uninformed talking points that I have witnessed on his show, and yes, I am a regular viewer.
Here’s the first gem. O’Reilly, “Anyone who sells a heavy weapon or ammo should be compelled to report the sale to the FBI. It’s a felony if you don’t. That’s what we should have in the U.S.A. and it just makes sense in this age of terrorism. Right now some gun dealers do background checks but nobody reports the sale of heavy weapons like AK-47’s to the feds. That’s insane.”
Bill, if you would go and purchase an AK-47 today at your favorite corner gun store, you will be required to fill out Federal Form 4473. On this form, you will answer a barrage of questions about your criminal history and citizenship. A side note: Maybe one could be added stating that you do not intend to use the gun in a mass shooting, because that would surely stop mass killers. On page 2, section D, the form lists type of firearm, model number, manufacturer, serial number etc. that is being purchased. If a licensed gun dealer did not accurately complete this form, he would face penalties up to and including prison time! And, all dealers are REQUIRED to complete this for EVERY firearm purchase! This form is a BATFE form and if they do not talk to the FBI, then that is a problem between those departments and not gun purchasers.
As it relates to purchases of ammunition, the idea that one would report the hundreds millions of rounds of ammunition sold yearly would take a virtual army of federal employees to process the information. And, I would wager that they would catch as many criminals as the TSA has caught potential terrorists by feeling up Granny. However, they would be able to compile a great list of people like me who shoot regularly and buy their ammunition in bulk. That list would include my cowboy action shooting friends, trap shooters, prairie dog hunters (because we use a LOT of .223), individual police officers, military personnel, gun collectors, and so on. Keeping lists of law abiding citizens does not stop insane mass killers bent on anarchy.
The next statement is so outrageous that it is near impossible to comment without laughing. O’Reilly, “Terrorists could just move in here, buy bazookas and the FBI doesn’t know about it. Here is how crazy this is. If you take a flight lesson, the feds get a heads up. But you can buy a machine gun and they don’t know.” Bazookas and machine guns are commonly referred to as class III weapons and/or destructive devices which require a very special license to own. The ‘Feds’, have been licensing machine guns since 1934! To own a machine gun, one must first live in a state where it is legal, then complete a Federal licensing process which as I understand, takes several months. And, on top of all else, be prepared to spend in excess of $10,000 to start because the manufacturing of new guns has been banned for years. To the best of my knowledge, only one legally owned machine gun has been used in a crime since 1934 and the owner was a member of the law enforcement community.
Finally, I can’t resist the reference to an AK-47 being referred to as a “heavy weapon.” I’m picturing a scene in Afghanistan, where Taliban leaders upon being pinned down by superior American Forces call for back up and ask for “heavy weapons.” Upon receiving the order, Muhammad comes to the rescue with his AK-47. Even the Taliban would find this humorous. I could write a book on the misinformation spread by the likes of Mr. O’Reilly’s Talking Points and the main stream media about so called “assault weapons”, but will leave that discussion for another day. Perhaps Mr. O’Reilly would join me at the NRA Range in Virginia where I could arrange a demonstration of various types of firearms and fully explain all the current regulations regarding their purchase. I have some former colleagues from the National Firearms Museum who I’m sure would be happy to help.
The ONLY thing that would have stopped the mass shooter in Aurora and anywhere else for that matter would have been a return of accurate firepower by one or preferably more armed citizens who in this example were legally banned from carrying in the theater. For those of you who doubt that a concealed carry holder could have stopped such mayhem, you have an open invitation to the next cowboy action shoot where men many years older than me will clean a station with an old west six-shooter in a matter of seconds with a level of accuracy that will astonish even experienced shooters. If they can do that with a primitive firearm, imagine what can be done with something a little more modern like what I carry.
Stop spinning Bill and get your facts straight. I’m looking out for you.