by Brandon Jarvis (@jaaavis)
The day I went to buy my first pistol – I failed to have all of the required paperwork for the purchase. To be specific, I didn’t have the required number of papers to prove my home address. The dealer looked at my father and I and said – “Is this your dad? He can just buy it and legally gift it to you.” He then went on to tell us that you don’t have to register your weapons in the state of Virginia. So it doesn’t really matter who buys the weapon or who possesses it. (There will be a state police record of who purchased the weapon.)
I truly appreciated at the time how he was helping me get around the paperwork so that I could purchase the weapon. I now have a gun to protect my family. That was my original goal, and I met that goal. I wasn’t concerned about the manner in which I purchased the weapon – mainly because I know I don’t plan to do anything illegal or dangerous with it.
But, how am I to know that someone that might not be so confident in themselves; and the fact that they won’t cause unnecessary harm with that weapon. What if someone is looking to hurt people – and they realize that they don’t even have to tell the dealer where they live in order to purchase a weapon?
In 2015, there were 946 firearm deaths in the state of Virginia. 374 of those deaths were homicides. 2014’s numbers were slightly lower at 889 and 339. Those numbers are not in the top 10 for leading causes of death in Virginia during those years, but it’s worth noting that 3 percent of gun deaths in the United States in 2015 took place in Virginia.
I started this by saying I am a Democrat who loves my guns – and this is still true…. with a caveat. I think it was too easy to get my gun, and I think that needs to change. I should not have to go through more paperwork and background checks to rent a $40 storage unit than I did to purchase a weapon. I know that it is not just as easy as snapping a finger and putting policy into action. If things were that simple then 25 million people would be losing healthcare right now.
The NRA claims to support new regulation on bump stocks – The attachment that can turn a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon. But a few months after the shooting we still haven’t seen any pressure from Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan called for a regulatory fix for bump fire stocks earlier, instead of passing legislation that was proposed in the House and Senate.
“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix,” he said when asked about how to address the devices. But the agency in charge of these types of issues (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ) has yet to take any steps in that direction.
The NRA and their allies along with the gun control groups both spent millions on the 2017 Gubernatorial election in Virginia. Ralph Northam – the Democrat and eventual winner – has always claimed to want to tighten up gun laws.
“In his first weeks in the Virginia Senate, Ralph met Virginia Tech survivors who came to Richmond to advocate for commonsense gun safety reform, and he has been partners with them ever since. He proudly voted to close the Gun Show Loophole and to keep the One-Handgun-A-Month limit.”
Outside of healthcare, I don’t think you can find another issue that is as hot and sensitive as gun control. I do support the right to bear arms – but it should take more effort to actually purchase and own a firearm.