Fight in Nebraska

Nebraska is considering a whole host of bills, according to this article that contains a number of inaccurate statements.

Action Three News has obtained a “get tough on guns” plan that was in the works even before last week’s shooting. The plan, that will be fought out in the legislature next month, aims to keep guns out of the hands of minors.

But it stops short of banning assault weapons, the kind of weapon that left 8 innocent people dead. According to investigators the rapid fire inside the Von Maur department store, came from a weapon that was bought legally and did not have to be registered in the State of Nebraska.

Police Chief Thomas Warren says the suspect, Robert Hawkins, stole the weapon, an AK-47 military style assault rifle, from his stepfather.

It was purchased legally, but he stole the weapon. I’m having a difficult time parsing that.

State Senator Brad Ashford tells Action Three News he is now pursuing a new law that would force gun owners to store their weapons securily away from minors, and to report a lost or stolen gun to police within 48 hours of detecting that the weapon is missing. However, Ashford’s new legislation falls far short of a ban on assault weapons.

OK, Hawkins wasn’t a minor, so that wouldn’t have helped anything here. We don’t know the father knew Hawkins had the gun. If he did know, he already committed a felony by allowing a felon possession of his firearm, so again, I fail to see how this would help. You’d almost think they were using a tragedy to push a political agenda that pre-existed.

In 1994 former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey took on the National Rifle Association, defending his vote to ban assault weapons. In a political ad back then Kerrey said, “During the War in Vietnam, people hunted me. They needed a good weapon like this AK-47, but you don’t need one to hunt birds.”

He’s right about this. Birds are hunted with shotguns, not rifles. Duh. Of course, deer can be hunted with rifles.

The ban ended in 2004, and since that time there have been 118 similar shootings. 88 innocent people have been wounded, 111 murdered.

The gun the killer use wasn’t covered by the federal ban, or under several of the state bans, so I don’t see how that’s relevant.

Finally, since the federal ban on assault weapons ended seven states have enacted thier own bans. But according to Ashford, who sees absolutely no need for an AK-47, trying to ban them in Nebraska even after the Westroads massacre, is a political fight he can’t win.

No states have enacted assault weapons ban since the federal ban expired. Is a little research too much to ask for? All those states had bans that either were in effect before the federal ban, or were passed shortly after the federal ban.

The reporter has an e-mail address at the bottom. Someone might want to try to educate him on what he got wrong.

UPDATE: Mad Rocket Scientist asks whether this reporter drives a lot more car than he might ‘need’ 

4 thoughts on “Fight in Nebraska”

  1. Out on the western prairie (everything to the left of Omaha) and up in the sandhills Nebraskans hunt a whole lot, with rifles and shotguns – they know the difference between guns. But it’s a weird state politically since it’s half immigrant, liberal-motivated Swedes and Norwegians, while remaining conservative farmers – but those who need subsidies know on which side their bread is buttered, especially if they’re dairy farmers…

  2. Gosh, if banning assault weapons would have prevented the mall shootings, why didn’t the laws against murder prevent the killings? Could it be that a crazed psychopath IGNORED the law? And could it be that no one could stop him cause they all OBEYED the laws saying they couldn’t have guns in the mall? And aren’t people dead because they obeyed the law? And aren’t you being a total fool for recommending something that simply cannot work?

  3. I bet an AK-47 might have helped these poor folks, but Kenya is a model of gun control, and no law abiding citizen may carry any firearm.

    “In broad daylight, a crowd of Kenyans set a church filled with hundreds of terrified families on fire and listened to their screams as flames engulfed them. ”
    “They had fled to the church on Monday night, seeking refuge after mobs began torching homes.”,25197,23000292-601,00.html

    To say that an AK-47 has no legitimate use in Self Defense, is to expose a blindness or ignorance to human conflict around the world and throughout history. Certainly we are blessed that events which would require such weapons to defend peace and freedom are so rare here. We dare never forget however that so long as some have it in their hearts to dominate and slay others, people must have the rights and access to weapons sufficient to defend themselves and their communites.

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