The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

May 9, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, May 9, 2013

Read proposed gun law; decide for yourself

In the past few weeks I have contacted Sen. Manchin’s office several times with one question about the firearms background check bill which I still haven’t had answered: How will the law be enforced without a registration system to track guns?

I know the law expressly prohibits registration, so if you can’t or won’t enforce the law, what’s the point?

The day before the vote, I received an e-mail with a link to the 49-page bill. After reading it several times, most of what I understand makes sense, but now I have new questions.

The first part deals with funding, ($400 million over four years to be distributed to the states through grants). After each year, if a state does not reach certain benchmarks, a portion of the funding will be withheld. The attorney general is to coordinate  the implementation. Is this the same AG that should be enforcing the laws already in place?

From what I can find the rate of prosecution for breaking current law is less than 1 percent, so that leads me to believe the AG needs some required benchmarks to retain all of his funding. Laws that aren’t enforced only burden the law-abiding citizen.

The last 13 pages deal with the establishment of a National Commission on Mass Violence, the purpose of which is to study the availability and nature of firearms, including the means of acquiring firearms; issues relating to mental health and all positive and negative impacts of the availability and nature of firearms on incidents of mass violence or in preventing mass violence. I thought we had the FBI, HSA, ATF, CIA, and probably other agencies that we don’t even know about to do this work.

Joe, have your struggles with the EPA not opened your eyes to the fact that our government has already created so many agencies with authority to enact regulations without congressional approval, and that Congress cannot rein in and that Congress is steadily making itself irreverent.

I would encourage everyone to go to Sen. Manchin’s website and track down the link to the law and read it. Don’t rely on Sen. Manchin, the NRA or the news media to get the whole truth. Then contact your representatives and let them know where you stand. With what I understand, l oppose the bill as it is written.

Editor’s note: to check out the bill, go to and follow the links.

Glen David (Dave) Gutshall


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