Friday, November 14, 2014

Put Them Away!

Photo from the dedication of the Brad Fox Memorial. 
As many of you have read on this blog in the past, I am not a proponent of gun laws that don’t make any sense. Specifically, laws that go after those who LEGALLY purchase and own firearms. The people that we need to go after are those who hold the law in complete disregard. This is why I was thrilled to read the news this week that a woman was sentenced under the Brad Fox Law. We don’t need ‘gun laws’ we need criminal laws like this one.

Just over two years ago, in September 2012, Plymouth Township Police Officer and Marine Corps veteran, who served two tours in Iraq, Bradley Fox was shot and killed in the line of duty. The criminal behind the heinous act illegally bought the murder weapon in a straw purchase. The law, signed by Governor Corbett in January 2013, establishes a minimum five-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of multiple straw purchases.

This law is a step in the right direction and is already having a positive impact on the judicial system. However, this law, while well intentioned, is tremendously flawed. If we are to honor Officer Fox and all those who fall victim to criminals, we must change this law and truly make the penalties a deterrent.

The first issue that I have with this piece of legislation is that it applies to ‘multiple’ straw purchases. The penalties should be applied to every straw purchase. If you buy a single firearm for someone who is not allowed to legally own a firearm, you should be put away for a long time.

This brings me to the second issue that I have with the law… the sentencing guidelines are too lenient. Five years is not enough. If someone violates federal gun laws (specifically referring to the ATF) there is a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and up to a $10,000 fine. While much of the ATF regulations and NFA laws are outdated and complete crap, the penalties are in line with what should be handed down to someone who knowingly violates laws involving firearms.

In the end, the problem does not lie in the inanimate objects or the law abiding citizen, it is in the black hearts and twisted minds of individuals. These people, those who commit the crimes and, as in this instance, those who help to facilitate these crimes, need to be deal with and done so harshly. After all, we don’t have a ‘gun problem’ in this country we have a people problem and a public that is too willing to blame anything and anyone else rather than looking the problem right in the face and sending them to prison for a very long time.