Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tax Cuts for the Rich and Corporations??

       Back at the end of December, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law a massive tax cut and reform package, that took effect on January 1st. It will add about $1.5 trillion, in reduced taxes, to the economy over the next ten years. Immediately, the Democrats (not a single one voted for it) claimed it was a huge giveaway to the rich and corporations and only crumbs for the middle class. So, let's take a look at it in detail. The corporate tax rate was cut from 35% to 21%. So, let's, for the sake of argument and math simplicity, say that a corporation makes $100 million in profit. Under the old tax rate they would be paying $35 million in taxes (Yes, I know all about loopholes, credits, deductions, etc. As I said I'm trying to keep the math simple), and under the new rate they would be paying $21 million. That's a $14 million difference. What are those corporations going to do with all that extra money? The Democrats say they are just going to give massive bonuses to their top executives, and nothing to the lower everyday workers. Well, at least 150 companies have announced they are going to be giving bonuses, raises,  increased benefits or some combination of them to all employees, but let's assume there is some greedy corporation out there that decides to keep all that money. What are they going to do with it? Take it home and stuff it in their mattresses? Not likely! They will invest it or save it. It will be put into stocks, bonds, cds, mutual funds, or pass book savings accounts!
       That money is now available, above and beyond what is there now, to be borrowed by other businesses or individuals to be used to expand existing businesses by building new plants or expanding existing ones, and hiring new employees. Individuals will be able to borrow that money to buy new cars, build a new home or expand or renovate an existing one, buy new appliances, toys for their kids, take a vacation, go on a cruise, etc. All of these things now being done will increase business for the companies they are doing business with, with resulting increased money for them and more tax dollars going to the government. Despite what Democrats will tell you, tax cuts ALWAYS result, eventually (there is a slight delay), in increased tax revenue going to the government, not less!
       Now what about those greedy corporations who don't want to give anything to those poor little regular employees. Well, what will happen is that other corporations in the same or similar fields will start offering better pay and benefits and the employees at the "evil" corporations will start going to work for the "better" corporations, so the "evil" corporations will quickly start losing all their key employees and won't be able to hire, so they will have a choice, raise pay and benefits, or eventually go out of business!
       Tax cuts ALWAYS result in increased economic activity, with resulting benefit, in one form or another, to everyone in the country. Check out what happened during the Harding/Coolidge, JFK, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Jr., and very soon, the Trump  administrations when taxes were cut. Yes, Clinton did raise a few tax rates, but he drastically cut the capital gains taxes, and that was huge!
        The economy is about to explode, so I would either get on board, or get out of the way or you will be run over!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

They don't care about this particular one!

So, I was sitting here watching the SYFY channel’s New Year’s Twilight Zone marathon last Monday, and I got to thinking about those sheriff deputies that got shot in Colorado. No connection between the two. I was wondering where the anti gun crowd is? Shouldn’t they be out by now screaming for more gun control? Where’s Murphy? Where’s Blumenthal? Where’s Esty and all the rest of them? Where's the media? Couldn’t figure it out! Then it came to me! They are leftists and leftists hate cops! That ambush was fine with them! If it had been school kids, or innocents in a mall, or people in a theater, that would have been an outrage and they would have been calling for more control before the bodies were cold! They are really pathetic!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Assault Weapons? Do You Even Know What You are Talking About?

         All the talk is about "evil" assault weapons! High powered, rapid firing, with all kinds of attachments that make them even more lethal. We have to get them out of the hands of people! Right? OK, let's examine this!  Below are pictures of three different rifles. The top one is a Ruger Mini-14, the middle one is a Remington Woodsmaster Model 742, and the bottom one is the Bushmaster XM-15 AR-15. I own all three and have fired all three, so I am speaking from experience. Which one is more "lethal"? Bet all the people, (This includes state and federal legislators and media types) who know nothing, or very little about guns, will say the Bushmaster AR-15 is. Why? It has a military appearance! When CT passed SB1160 (it's latest gun law) in 2013, the AR-15 was banned, and the other two were not (Firearms banned by SB1160) . Now that makes no sense at all, because all are semi automatic (one shot for each trigger pull), and all can take a 30 round magazine, and all can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. The AR-15, despite it's military appearance, IS NOT full Automatic, and has never been issued to any military in the world as a combat weapon!. The AR-15 was NEVER manufactured in full auto. There ARE military versions of this gun (AR-16 and M-4) but those cannot be owned by civilians.They were banned by the National Firearms Act of 1934, which was strengthened in 1986.  It is quite obvious that guns are being banned based on appearance and not functionality! The folding stock version of the Mini-14 WAS banned. A folding stock sure makes a difference in how a rifle functions! More "appearance" crap!
            The anti gun crowd, I'm including local and national media, and left wing politicians in this, tell us all the time what these can do, how dangerous they are, they are military weapons, etc., and they are talking to people who KNOW about guns! It's really pathetic. I have personally invited people from WFSB and the Hartford Courant to come down and do a little shooting with me. I'll teach them about guns. So far, I have had no takers! They don't want to learn. They want to remain in their little "We know everything" bubble, and forget about increasing their knowledge, so maybe they could talk more intelligently.

Ruger Mini-14

Remington Woodsmaster Model 742

Bushmaster XM-15 AR-15
            Since the top two have the appearance of normal deer rifles they are given a pass, while the one with the military appearance is banned, and yet people scream about the evils of the AR (by the way, the most popular firearm in the country, for hunting, target shooting, and competitive shooting), when the other two are just as "lethal". This just proves that a lot people do not know a thing about guns, and the less they know, the more time they spend talking like they are experts. Don't forget "assault" is an action, not a thing!
            Feel free to share this far and wide if you wish! And my offer to teach ANYONE about guns and shooting is open and free!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Climate Change is Real, and is Going to Destroy Us!

    I have always been a political junkie and follow things pretty closely. I have now come to believe that Climate Change is very real and will destroy this country if something isn’t done about it! Warming temperatures, melting ice caps, and rising sea level? No, that “Climate Change” is a left wing hoax.
    I’m referring to the change in the political climate of the Democrats and the leftists. Since the election, when Hillary did not get crowned Queen of the USA, they have gone absolutely off the rails, and are in a rage that is turning more violent every day! We have the Comedienne Kathy Griffin holding up a severed fake head of someone who looks a lot like Donald Trump, we have Shakespeare in the Park in New York City, assassinating a character who looks a lot like Donald Trump, we have Madonna dreaming about “blowing up the White House”, and we had Actress and left-wing activist Ashley Judd saying the “tragedy” of Donald Trump’s election victory is far worse than an experience from her childhood in which she was raped. We have a local legislator in CT demonizing police officers, and a Dean at Yale University losing her job for calling people in a local restaurant “White trash”!
    Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists are rioting, setting fire to buildings, overturning police cars, blocking highways, and looting. Conservative speakers at Universities across the country are being violently prevented from speaking, like the riots at Berkeley that prevented Ann Coulter from speaking. Freedom of speech is under attack like never before! BLM has called for “dead cops”, so we have police officers being assassinated. Two officers killed while they sat in their police cars in New York City and five Dallas, TX officers killed and nine wounded by someone who wanted to “kill white people, especially police officers”,  and two in Des Moines, Iowa. Unfortunately, there are others!
    We now have Republican Congressmen being shot and shot at by a person who was a rabid Bernie Sanders supporter and volunteered on his campaign. How ironic is it that the side of the political aisle that is always preaching to us about needing more gun control attacks a group of Republicans with a gun?
     The Main Stream media is also complicit in this. When you have people like Scott Pelley of CBS saying that Steve Scalise being shot may have been “self inflicted”. They are not reporting news, they are pushing their left wing agenda. Both the local and national newscasts are fanning the flames of the rage in our country, and are almost 100% siding with the left! The picture of Democrats and Republicans praying together before the baseball game is was about as phony as anything can be!
     The left is no longer disguising what they stand for. They stand for an agenda of “Our way or the highway’, and by any means necessary. They are the same as Hitler’s “brown shirts” in the 1930’s. I am very conservative and stand strong for those values, but I am willing to have an honest, constructive conversation with anyone from the other side of the aisle, but I am finding it more and more difficult to do that. Just about every time I try, the conversation rapidly descends into people demonizing me, or calling me names, unless I completely agree with them!
    As Abraham Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand“!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The AR-15 Rifle and Firearms Terms for the People Who Think They Know All About Them and Don't!!

"AR" does NOT stand for "Assault" or "Automatic" Rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle!


       The AR-15 is based on the 7.62 mm AR-10 designed by Eugene Stoner, Robert Fremont, and L. James Sullivan of the Fairchild Armalite corporation. The AR-15 was developed as a lighter, 5.56 mm version of the AR-10. The "AR" in all ArmaLite pattern firearms simply stands for "ArmaLite Rifle", and can be found on most of the company's firearms: AR-5, a .22 caliber rifle; the AR-7, another .22 caliber; the AR-17 shotgun; the AR-10 rifle; and the AR-24 pistol 1973 Colt AR-15 SP1 rifle with 'slab side' lower receiver (lacking raised boss around magazine release button) and original Colt 20-round box magazine.

       In 1959, ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt. After a tour by Colt of the Far East, the first sale of AR-15s was made to Malaya on September 30, 1959, and Colt manufactured their first 300 AR-15s in December 1959. Colt marketed the AR-15 rifle to various military services around the world. After modifications (most notably the relocation of the charging handle from under the carrying handle to the rear of the receiver), the redesigned rifle was adopted by the United States military as the M16 rifle.
       In 1963, Colt started selling the semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle as the Colt AR-15 for civilian use and the term has been used to refer to semiautomatic-only versions of the rifle since then. Colt continued to use the AR-15 trademark for its semi-automatic variants (AR-15, AR-15A2) which were marketed to civilian and law-enforcement customers. The original AR-15 was a very lightweight weapon, weighing less than 6 pounds with empty magazine. Later heavy-barrel versions of the civilian AR-15 can weigh upwards of 8.5 lb.
Today, the AR-15 and its variations are manufactured by many companies and are popular among civilian shooters and law enforcement forces around the world due to their accuracy and modularity.
       The trademark "AR15" or "AR-15" is registered to Colt Industries, which maintains that the term should only be used to refer to their products. Other AR-15 manufacturers make AR-15 clones marketed under separate designations, although colloquially these are sometimes referred to by the term AR-15.
(From Wikipedia - I deleted links from this article to make the reading easier, you're welcome to go to the site if you are interested in researching the links.)

The AR has become the most popular rifle in the country for hunting, target and competitive shooting, and, yes, home defense!

Semi Automatic vs. Full Automatic
       Semi Automatic means the trigger must be pulled for each shot. With a full automatic, the trigger is pulled and held back and the gun continues to fire until the trigger is released, or the magazine is empty. The M16 and M4 military versions of the AR-15 are called "select fire", and are ONLY sold to the military. Civilian possession of these firearms has been banned since the National Firearms Act of 1934. They can be purchased by a civilian, IF you apply to the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) to get a Class 3 license, and many hundreds of dollars. Good luck with that!

"Select fire" switch on an M-16
Notice on the switch, there are three settings. When set to "Semi", the gun is fired in semi auto mode, one shot per trigger pull, "burst" means when you pull the trigger three shots are fired. "Auto" is full automatic. Pull the trigger, hold it back, and the gun will continue to fire, until empty, or you release the trigger. However, once again, this switch is NOT on an AR-15, only the M-16 or M-4!

Aren't AR-15s very powerful firearms?

       Most AR's come in .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO calibers. Both of these cartridges are basically interchangeable. Just different designations, depending on whether you are talking military or civilian. .223 is the civilian version. Both cartridges can be purchased by civilians. The 5.56 military ones are NOT armor piercing or explosive! The .223 cartridge is at the very low end of "power" for high powered rifles. The .308 is a very common deer cartridge. In most states it is illegal to hunt deer with a .223 because wildlife biologists don't think it's powerful enough to humanely kill a deer most of the time. Take a look and let me know which one you would prefer being hit with?
The 7 cartridges on the left are varieties of the .223, and the one on the right is the .308 Winchester

"Clips" or "Magazines"
        I have seen many supposedly knowledgeable people, including politicians say we need to restrict "High Capacity " clips. Clips, as pictured below, are pieces of metal designed to hold cartridges in an organized manner. These were for use with semiautomatic firearms that had internal, non-detachable magazines. They were placed on the open magazine and the cartridges were pushed down into the magazine. This made for easier loading so cartridges wouldn't have to be loaded one at a time. Not a good thing, when you're in combat! These were used on a WWII vintage military firearm like the M1 Garand. To the best of my knowledge there are not many, if any modern firearms that still use "clips" to load their magazines in the firearm.
       Magazines are self contained, and detachable from the firearm, and can come in different capacities. The magazine is loaded outside of the firearm, and then inserted into it.                                                                                                     


"Assault" weapons?
        The three rifles pictured below (I have all three) are all semi automatic, and all can take a thirty round magazine. All three function exactly the same. Why is it that when we mention banning "Assault weapons" the AR-15 is always at the top of the list, and the other two are rarely if ever mentioned. They all operate the same, have the same capacity, BUT the AR-15 has a military appearance. Everything is based on appearance. That really accomplishes a lot doesn't it!

Remington Model 742 Woodsmaster
Ruger Mini-14

Don't ARs shoot 700 (pick a number) rounds per minute?
No, they don't! While some MILITARY automatic firearms, can fire at a RATE of 700 rounds a minute, they can't fire that many unless they are belt fed machine guns. An accomplished shooter can probably change out a magazine in about 2-3 seconds. So let's do some math. Last night I made believe I was shooting an AR and "pulled" the trigger as fast as I could. I got 40 "pulls" in 15 seconds) That equals 2.67 pulls per second. So that would give us 160 shots in a minute (if your finger doesn't get tired), but we have to start subtracting some time for changing out magazines. Using thirty round  magazines, one would empty in 11.25 seconds, so you would have to use all or part of 6 magazines, in a minute. Since it takes, let's use 2 seconds, to change them out, so we lose another 10 seconds in changing time (the sixth magazine is still in the gun). So that 10 seconds costs us 27 rounds, so the absolute best we could do would be about 133 rounds per minute, max. While that is still a lot of shooting, it does not take into account things like your finger getting tired, aiming, the gun possibly jamming, dropping a magazine while changing, someone throwing something at you, etc. The point I'm trying to make here is that the capacity of the AR is no where near some of the figures that anti guns activists continue to throw around!

Buying a gun (any gun)? Walk right in, do a little paperwork and off you go, right?
You CAN walk in to a gun store and buy a gun and walk out with in a short period of time if.......................? While gun laws vary from state to state, there are two things that are Federal law and apply to all legal sales of guns, nationwide.  In order to buy a gun legally, you must go to a FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder. Once you get there you are required to fill out Form 4473, where you swear you are not a felon, are a citizen, not a fugitive, do not use illegal drugs, have not been convicted of domestic abuse, etc. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison, in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS. However, prosecutions are rare in the absence of another felony committed with the gun purchased. Gun Control? Maybe we can start there! After filing out the Form, you're run through the NICS system (National Instant Check System), for a background check by the FBI. Normally, you get a result "proceed" or "deny" in a few minutes, but sometimes it takes a few days. If the check is not back within 3 days the sale can proceed. That is the law! This procedure applies to gun shows and Internet sales as well. If you buy a gun on the internet, the seller must ship the gun to a FFL dealer in your area, where you go, do Form 4473 and get your background check. At gun shows there are usually BATFE, agents crawling all over the show. We hear all the time about the "gun show" and "internet"
loopholes. They are not "loopholes", they are part of existing laws, but the media and anti gun politicians use the term to make people think that gun sellers and buyers are getting away with something!                                                                                                                                                  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Guns and Gun Control in America - a History (From my point of view)

      I have been wanting to do this post for quite a while now. It will be fairly long, but will review the history of the gun control movement, and how I believe we got to where we are today, from my personal point of view. I will attempt to use common sense and known facts. Something that seems to be totally missing today!
      We are going to start back about 1956, when I was 14 years old. Back then all my friends had BB guns, but my parents would not let me get one. I guess it was the "you'll shoot your eye out" mentality. Anyway, one day after school I went to a friend's house after school. This friend of mine, his younger brother, and father were big into hunting at the time. Mostly birds, rabbits, and squirrels, since deer were almost non-existent back then. Hunting was something I was interested in because another guy I knew used to take me hunting rabbits with him and let me use his .22. My friend, and his family had quite a few guns, and he had an old Mossberg bolt action .22 caliber rifle with a scope on it, that he wanted to sell. So, I decided on the spot that I wanted it, and was going to buy it, and did. Cost me $5. To put it bluntly, when I got home my parents were none too happy, but they agreed, that if I would be careful with it. I could keep it. Background check? The word didn't even exist back then.
      My Grandmother lived just down the road from us, and I spent hours in her backyard target shooting. I got very good with that gun, and never had any kind of accident with it. That would come later. Many pots of squirrel stew were made on my mother's stove. It IS very good!
       A couple of years later, 1958, I got a job working with a General Contractor for the summer, and decided I wanted to get a shotgun, so I could go bird hunting that fall. I saved my money, and when I had enough. I ordered my shotgun. How did I order it? I got out the Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog, opened it to the "gun" section (yes, they sold guns - lots of them - even had their own brand, J.C. Higgins), picked out the one I wanted (Remington pump action 16 gauge), filed out the order form, and then I had a problem. I had to send a check, since they wouldn't take cash, and credit cards didn't really exist back then. No problem with a 16 year old ordering a gun, no background check, but I wasn't old enough to have a checking account! So, I gave my mother the money, and she wrote out the check for me! I mailed the order, and about a week later, the Railway Express office called and said I had a package from Sears.  I went (I had just gotten my driver's license) and picked up my new shotgun! Boy, was I on top of the world. Went hunting many times that fall, mostly for ducks, and Ruffed Grouse.

         This picture is the inside front cover of the 1959 Woodbury High School yearbook. Yes, that is the Superintendent holding a double barrel shotgun on the Senior Class. How many yearbooks today would have a picture like that in them? I was in High School back then, and if we were going hunting after school with a friend, we brought our guns to school on the school bus, stored them in our locker, and took them home on the friend's school bus. Everyone obviously knew, and nobody thought a thing about it. Later, after I graduated, I went to college at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. My roommate and I both liked to hunt, so we brought our guns to school, and kept them in our dorm (actually a Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house) room closets. Once again, everyone knew and if we went hunting the "house mother" of our dorm, would wish us good luck as we went out the door. The dorm cook even volunteered to cook anything we got for us (as long as we cleaned it first)!
       That's what the "gun environment" was like back then. Nobody really cared if you had a gun. That was the mentality across the country. Nearly every home had a gun of some sort.
        On December 17, 1959, I was involved in an incident that has, and will be with me for my entire life. My female cousin called me and asked if she could come over because she needed help with her math homework. She was about 3 years younger than me. While we were in my bedroom doing her homework, she asked me if she could see my shotgun, I said "sure", and went and got it off the gun rack, I pointed it in her general direction and worked the action to make sure it was empty, and when I closed it, the gun went off. My finger never touched the trigger. Fortunately, the bird shot in the gun hit her on the outside of the right shoulder. It took out a hunk of flesh, but did no permanent or life threatening damage. She spent a few days in the hospital, and was released. Except for a scar on the shoulder, there was no permanent after effects. When I think of what could have happened! Wow! The police were called, they asked me some questions, determined that it was entirely accidental, and nothing further needed to be done. Today, I would have been charged with something, if only to show they were doing something about a shooting.The gun was checked, it functioned perfectly, and never malfunctioned again. Whatever happened to it that night remains a mystery to this day! So to this day, and since I became a handgun instructor, gun safety is numero uno on my list. I've been there and done that!
        November 22, 1963, JFK is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald! When it was found out that he had bought the rifle he used via mail order, the outcry was fierce, and the Congress promptly banned the mail order selling of guns. Think about that for a minute. You could no longer buy a gun through Sears, or anywhere else, but Oswald could have gone to any gun store, and bought the gun over the counter, no questions asked. So what did that law actually accomplish. Did it prevent people like Oswald from purchasing a gun? Not at all, but it did restrict the right of people with no evil intentions, from getting a gun by a simple method. Someone who might want a gun for self defense, and had trouble getting around, and would have trouble getting to a gun store, or the person whose work schedule would require him to take time off from work to go purchase a gun. This is the first example of restricting the rights of law abiding citizens, in an attempt to stop bad people from getting guns, and it obviously had no effect at all. The first example of "feel good" legislation!
       Fast forward to 1968, two more tragedies hit the country. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in April, and then Bobby Kennedy is shot and killed in June! The outcry was tremendous! We have to do something about the easy access to guns. Congress did it again. They passed the "Gun Control Act of 1968. This law required, among other things, that anyone who went to a gun store to buy a gun, had to fill out a Form 4473. This was a form that asked a bunch of questions about you. Were you a felon? Have you been using drugs? Are you subject to a restraining order for domestic abuse? Lying on this form carried a penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Now that should make a whole lot of bad guys sit up and take notice before they go try to buy a gun, right? Well, the problem arises when we find out how often those people are prosecuted. We're talking 1960's, 70's, 80's, and early 90's. This was before the NICS (National Instant Check System) was passed as part of the Brady bill in 1993. Of the refusals, which turn out to be lying on the form, very few are referred for prosecution, meaning the law is not doing it's job. In fact, Vice President Biden was quoted as saying “And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” So the government says they don't have the manpower to enforce existing gun laws, but people are pushing to pass more laws. Where will the manpower come for that? Once again the people who will obey the new laws are the law abiding citizens who will be further inconvenienced, while the criminals laugh, and go about their business.
        All the talk for the last 20 years or so, is about "Assault Rifles". I have never had anyone define that term to me. The so called Assault rifles (AR-15) are semi automatic, just like any other semi automatic rifle. A lot of people think "AR" stands for "Assault Rifle" It doesn't, it stands for "Armalite Rifle". The name of the company that first designed it in the late 50's.
        I have posted pictures of two rifles below. Which one is the most powerful or dangerous? Anti gun people will tell you the AR-15 is the most dangerous. Why? Because it has a military appearance. It looks like the M-16 or M-4 rifles that are designed for the military. Those are known as "select fire" meaning they can be switched from semi to full automatic. Semi automatic means you fire one shot for each pull of the trigger, and the gun reloads itself. So to fire a thirty round magazine, the trigger must be pulled thirty times. Full automatic means that you pull the trigger, and the gun will continue to fire until the trigger is released, or the magazine is empty. Full automatic rifles for civilian possession have been banned since the National Firearms Act of 1934. So today, when you hear people talk about getting full automatic assault rifles out of civilian hands, they either know nothing about them, or are flat out lying. Both pictured rifles are either .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO caliber (These rounds are interchangeable). Both are semi automatic. Both can take a 30 round magazine (and that is the proper term - they are not "clips"). So why is the AR-15 banned in Connecticut and some other states, while the Ruger mini - 14 is not? The answer is simple! People who are anti gun, and know nothing about guns are banning guns strictly on their appearance. Purely on cosmetics! That is outright stupidity! The AR-15 happens to be the most popular rifle in the country today.

Ruger Mini-14

So, we continue to pass Gun Control laws. Do we address the real problem? No, we don't! We do nothing about mental health. In fact, the same people who are pushing gun control are the same ones who managed, back in the 70's, to close most of the mental hospitals across the country, because they were "cruel". Some of them were, but instead of reforming them, they were closed, dumping all the patients onto the streets, or back with families who did not have the resources to care for them. Every gun law that has ever been passed has no effect on the criminal use use of firearms. Criminals by definition do not obey laws. The real problem is the lack of enforcement of laws already on the books. Someone steals a gun, buys one illegally, or gets one from a friend. They get caught, and what happens? They get a slap on the wrist, and 2 years probation. The local police, the ATF, the NRA and The Brady Campaign (both sides of the gun control debate) started a test program in Richmond, VA, in 1997, called "Project Exile". It consisted of advertising the program, and turning all gun crimes over to Federal Authorities and upon conviction the minimum prison term was five years in Federal prison. The results (from Wikipedia):

Within the first year (1997-1998) Project Exile resulted in:
  • 372 persons indicted for Federal gun violations.
  • 440 illegally possessed guns seized.
  • 300 persons arrested or held in State custody.
  • 222 arrestees (more than 74 percent) held without bond.
  • 247 persons convicted.
  • 196 persons sentenced to an average of 55 months of imprisonment.
During the first year of Project Exile (1998), homicides in Richmond declined 33%, for the lowest number since 1987, and armed robberies declined 30%. In 1999, homicides declined another 21%. By 2007, homicides in Richmond were down to 57 compared to 122 in the year before Project Exile. So here is an actual program, that took it to the criminals, instead of law abiding citizens, and it produced huge results. Maybe, if we took it across the country, we could do something about "gun violence", instead of always going after people who aren't the problem in the first place! The solution is there. Are the politicians ever going to get the message?