Soft-target terrorism: Readers favor enforcement of existing gun laws

| January 13, 2016

Gun Control Hot ButtonA majority of Overdrive readers (56 percent) responded to polling in the wake of the San Bernardino, Calif., killings late last year with favor for maintenance of the status quo as far as gun laws were concerned. As the issue of just how to combat such “soft-target” acts of terrorism emerged, that majority agreed with Congress, which took no direct action relative to gun laws.

Gun laws: What is the most appropriate near-term U.S. move to help prevent ‘soft-target terrorism?’

President Obama subsequently announced a series of executive actions aimed at stiffening enforcement of purchaser background checks required to be conducted by anyone in the business of selling firearms, aiming particularly at Internet sellers the administration believes are shirking the responsibility.

Despite rhetoric coming from several current Republican campaigns for President, however, Obama’s proposal would do nothing in the way of requiring one-off/private sellers of firearms to conduct a background check on the buyer.

Two of the guns used in the San Bernardino terrorist act were not purchased by those doing the shooting but rather by a neighbor. Other firearms were obtained legally under the current system by the attackers.

A fifth of Overdrive readers (21 percent) supported the notion of truly universal background checks, which would require Congressional action to extend beyond those in the business of selling firearms.

Overall, a 38 percent minority of readers favored at least some additional restriction on firearm sales.

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In related news, James Lamb of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition reported continuing work toward garnering support for his proposed “Mike’s Law” draft legislation that would allow workers in commercial transportation to carry firearms across state lines without fear of running afoul of local jurisdictional restrictions. Named after slain trucker Mike Boeglin, Lamb’s proposed bill, in his words, “would expand the existing Federal ‘Interstate Transportation of Firearms’ statute into a right-to-carry law for all Americans engaged in crossing state lines whether working — or engaged as consumers — in interstate commerce.”

Lamb says he’s as yet unsuccessfully worked for National Rifle Association support of the effort. He adds that there have been more than “500 workers in the transportation industry murdered in the past decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

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