Posts Tagged ‘sniper rifle’

Gun Owners Oppressed? Depends On Your Definition of Oppressed

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Sometimes the gun lobby’s rants sound like they are out of the Onion. Despite the Heller decision, the defeat of universal background checks and assault weapon/ high-capacity magazine bans after Newtown, despite the legalization of concealed carry in every state, gun owners are still “oppressed.”
 
Why can’t “carriers” carry in schools or churches? Bars? Courtrooms and government offices? Why can’t carriers bring their gun to work? Why isn’t their carry permit honored in other states? Why can’t they “carry” at Chuck E. Cheese and Toys R Us? Oppression!!
 
oppress
 
Of course, in truth there is almost no legislative battle the gun lobby has not won from legalizing guns on Amtrak and in national parks (the same government “trying to take your guns”) to defeating one-gun-a-month purchase limits and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns laws. The gun lobby has even pushed through laws prohibiting the names of gun owners from being published. Guns keep their owners so safe—they don’t want anyone to know they have them?
 
But the string of legislative successes has created another problem for the gun lobby: how to convince followers they are still persecuted when it’s easier to buy a gun than Sudafed. Seven years ago “Obama’s gonna take your guns” galvanized the troops and sold a lot of guns, ammo and NRA memberships. Now crying “CONFISCATION ” is like crying “WOLF.” No one believes it anymore and the NRA looks irrelevant.
 
Enter new forms of “oppression” that gun owners did not even realize they were suffering from–like the oppression of waiting two days to procure a lethal weapon. Wisconsin’s 48-hour waiting period to buy handguns violates gun rights and amounts to a “time tax” charged Republican state Sen. Van Wanggaard this week. Why should “an individual that is able to lawfully possess a firearm,” be so restricted??
 
Laws against silencers also oppress gun owners’ rights. Why should gun owners have to endure ear damage when firing their weapons? Watch for bills legalizing silencers–which the gun lobby prefers to call “sound suppressors”–sailing through state legislatures in 2015.
 
Finally, the call for a ban on civilian sales of sniper weapons like TrackingPoint’s “Smart Scope” Military-Style Precision-Guided rifle which hits a target the size of a soup can from 1,000 yards away is another instance of gun owner oppression. “If we start banning technology like this, what’s next? What scope is next? What firearm is next?” wrote a Florida gun columnist. “We have to stand together to prevent this kind of erosion of our constitutional rights.”
 

Constitutional rights? To own a sniper weapon, silencer and endure no gun waiting period? In seeking new areas of gun rights “persecution,” the gun lobby sounds a lot like the boy who shoots his parents and cries he is an orphan.
 

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct

What the Charlie Hebdo Attack Reveals About U.S. Gun Law Insanity

Friday, January 9th, 2015

 

By Elliot Fineman

CEO of National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC)

 

As French police went house to house the day after the Charlie Hebdo terror attack, news outlets reported that suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi were on the U.S.’s “no fly” list.

 

The brothers were entered into the U.S. government’s Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) system, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center watch lists and finally into the U.S.’s “no fly” list, reports Yahoo News. The “no fly” list prevents people who are considered a “threat to civil aviation or national security” from buying any ticket for commercial aircraft in the United States.

Terror suspects in Charlie Hebdo massacre were on U.S. Ôno flyÕTerror suspects in Charlie Hebdo massacre were on U.S. Ôno flyÕ

Yet, because of the U.S.’s insane gun laws, the brothers, if they lived here, could amazingly have gone into any licensed gun dealer and legally bought as many guns as they wanted because being on the “no-fly” list does not make someone a prohibited gun purchaser in the United States!

 

People who are on the U.S.’s “no-fly” list but are still allowed to legally buy guns in the U.S. is why, at NGVAC, we do not ask for common sense laws–we ask for sane laws. U.S. gun laws are not lacking in common sense–they are insane.

 

Other examples of insane U.S. gun laws include gun manufacturers being the only consumer industry exempt from liability lawsuits, guns not being required to be registered or their owners licensed and no background checks conducted for gun show and private sales.

 

As the U.S.’s largest gun victims’ group, NGVAC is baffled and infuriated at how such insane gun laws remain on the books, despite shooting after grisly shooting. There is only one reason. When any sane gun law is proposed, the gun lobby, led by the NRA, plays its “confiscation card.” A new gun regulation, like universal background checks, will lead to the government taking everyone’s guns, it shouts. Both paranoid and insulting to the intelligence, the “confiscation card” allows the NRA to defeat sane gun laws at the same time it widens its guns-everywhere-all-the-time agenda with more insane laws.

 

One example is the NRA actually agitates for laws that allow soldiers diagnosed with PTSD and people with severe dementia to legally purchase guns. What could go wrong? And, recently, the NRA got guns legalized in national parks and on Amtrak trains–ironically on the property of the same government it says wants to confiscate guns.

 

The gun lobby also defends sales to civilians of TrackingPoint’s “can’t miss” sniper rifle which has no defensive use and is ready-made for terrorists, insurgents and hate groups. Its ads show a 12-year-old girl hitting a target 1000 yards away–ten football fields–every time.

 

As international terrorism increases, we in the U.S. should not feel exempt or safe. Certainly there are cells in the United States ready to commit the type of barbarism that happened this week in France. And, even if such terrorists make the government’s “no-fly” list, thanks to the gun lobby they can still legally buy guns. Allowing this situation is not a lack of “common sense”–it’s insanity.

National Gun Victims Actions Council is the U.S.’s largest gun victims group. Join our effort to get corporate America to take a stand against gun violence. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. @GunVictimsAct

 

No-Skill Sniper Weapons That Can’t Miss From 1,200 Yards? It is Our "Right" To Own Them Say Gun Advocates!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

It sounds like a depraved videogame come to life. A “smart scope” military-style sniper rifle that allows someone who has never fired a gun to hit a target the size of a soup can from 1,200 yards away is now available to civilians. TrackingPoint, a gun manufacturer in Austin, Texas, is legally selling the weapons whose “smart scope” applications are amazingly distributed by Apple and Google. What?
 
NGVAC Tell and Compel Initiative
 
NGVAC and its partners, the Newtown Victims & Clergy for Corporate Responsibility, Faiths United To Prevent Gun Violence, PICO National Network, United Physicians of Newtown, Newtown Action Alliance and 100,000 Poets for Change have called for a ban of the weapons which have no valid use in shooting sports or self-defense and are ready-made for insurrectionists, terrorists and hate groups.
 
Yet rather than acknowledging the no-skill, mass-kill weapons are an attack waiting to happen on peaceful civilians, TrackingPoint spokesman Anson Gordon feels the gun maker is under attack.
 
“We really believe this is a direct attack on our guns and our freedom,” Gordon told the Herald-Tribune. “If we start banning technology like this, what’s next? What scope is next? What firearm is next?”
 
Maybe Gordon is right. First they ban no-skill sniper rifles that kill from 1,200 yards and then they ban grenades and ricin! It is a violation of our Second Amendment rights.
 
It is said that bullies always think they are the real victims and the remarks of TrackingPoint’s Gordon are a case in point. The manufacturer of an extreme military-style weapon actually states it is under attack from religious leaders and families of gun victims! “We think it’s time to stand up against the NGVAC,” says Gordon. “We have to stand together to prevent this kind of erosion of our constitutional rights.” What kind of a country doesn’t let a civilian own a no-skill weapon that always hits its target from 1,200 yards away?
 
Daniel Terrill of guns.com also sees NGVAC and our clergy partners as “attackers.” “Last week’s rallying cry by the National Gun Violence Action Council for TrackingPoint to ban the sale of its products to civilians was the first major attack on the company, but nonetheless it provoked a standard 2A response: an attack on guns is an attack on freedom,” he writes.
 
There used to be a division in the gun owner community in which hunters and sportsmen resisted the siege-mentality and militarization of weapons which have little to do with “sport.” Some even resigned the NRA. But not anymore.
 
“TrackingPoint’s innovative product has application for long range target shooting competitions and for the hunting market where it could improve the ability of hunters to have successful hunts,” Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation said of no-skill, high-kill weapons.
 
While John Snow of Outdoor Life concedes that the weapons do not “fit my definition” of “Fair Chase” and ethical hunting, there is a larger issue, he says: Confiscation.
 
“Getting frothed up about ‘deadly accuracy’ and issues of ‘legitimacy’ are the fallback position of those who seek to take our guns. And, believe me, if they could they would take them all. What gun, after all, would satisfy their definition as acceptable?” he writes.
 
Besides, the Safari Club is a big user of the TrackingPoint weapons, says Snow as if the ghoulish lobbying group which promotes killing of elephants and rhinos, lends credibility.
 
A no-skill, can’t miss weapon that will kill from 1,200 yards away? Insurrectionists, terrorists and hate groups thank you, TrackingPoint.
 
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Elliot Fineman CEO Of National Gun Victims Action Council Says We Must Ban “Smart Scope” Military-Style Precision Guided Sniper Rifles From Being Sold To The Public- July 25, 2014

Friday, July 25th, 2014

 
July 25, 2014
Elliot Fineman CEO Of National Gun Victims Action Council Says We Must Ban “Smart Scope” Military-Style Precision Guided Sniper Rifles From Being Sold To The Public
 
CHICAGO, DATE /PRNewswire/ — TrackingPoint, a gun manufacturer in Austin, Texas, has developed—and is selling to the public—“smart scope” military-style sniper rifles that allow someone who has never fired a gun before to hit a target the size of a soup can from 1,000 yards away—that’s 10 football fields or over half a mile. Until now, only a few, elite, military-trained snipers could ever achieve this skill level.
 
TrackingPoint’s rifles achieve this level of accuracy because their “smart scopes” include a computer that adjusts for key variables affecting a bullet’s trajectory – including range, target velocity, outside temperature, barrel temperature, wind speed and even the earth’s rotation – and indicate to shooters when they have a “kill shot.”
 
The scopes’ electronic guidance is enabled by TrackingPoint applications distributed by Apple and Google, which are featured in TrackingPoint’s promotional efforts. TrackingPoint continues to develop “smart” weapons and unveiled a prototype that allows a shooter, using Google Glass, to aim and fire around corners.
 
NO LEGITIMATE PURPOSE FOR CIVILIAN USE
 
Fineman believes hunters and target shooters have no need for TrackingPoint’s rifles because their accuracy eliminates the need for skill. And the rifles, designed to precisely hit a target at over half a mile away, have no use for self-defense, says Fineman, as one does not know they are at risk when the shooter is over half a mile away..
 
NGVAC believes that there are three groups who will buy these rifles—insurrectionists, terrorists and hate groups. Given the Sniper Rifle’s deadly accuracy, no one is safe—this cannot be allowed.
 
LETTERS SENT
 
On May 23, 2014 the National Gun Victims Action Council wrote to John Lupher, TrackingPoint’s CEO, concerning the threat to public safety posed by TrackingPoint’s rifles. The NGVAC called on TrackingPoint to immediately cease and desist from marketing and selling its rifles to civilians. TrackingPoint has not responded.
 
On June 5, 2014 and July 25, 2014, the NGVAC and its partners in this urgent appeal—The Newtown Victims & Clergy for Corporate Responsibility, Faiths United To Prevent Gun Violence, PICO National Network, United Physicians of Newtown, Newtown Action Alliance, and 100,000 Poets for Change—wrote to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, and Larry Page, Google’s CEO, detailing our deep concerns about the dangers to public safety posed by TrackingPoint’s rifles.
 
We asked that they stop distributing the TrackingPoint application, which enables the rifles’ precision accuracy, and that they take steps to bar TrackingPoint from using their names in promotional efforts. We have received no response from either Apple or Google.
 
ACTION TO TAKE
 
TrackingPoint’s sniper rifles are a classic example of technology outpacing legislation. The weapons unquestionably pose a significant danger to public safety, and this danger will only grow as additional companies develop similar technology. Legislation will be required to effectively banish the threat posed by these weapons. To help stop this insanity, go to OPERATION SIDELINE at www.gunvictimsaction.org .
 
 
Elliot Fineman is CEO of the National Gun Victims Action Council, a non-profit network of 14 million gun victims, survivors, the faith community and ordinary people leveraging their buying power to change America’s gun laws. NGVAC initiated the successful action that caused Starbucks to change its gun policy. NGVAC pursues novel legal strategies to reduce gun violence and encourages corporations to be proactively involved in advocating for sane gun laws.
 
 


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