Whatever happened to waiting periods for guns in America?


The July 20th Aurora (Colorado) movie theater shooting, now infamously known as “The Dark Knight Rises shooting”, gave the U.S. anti-gun politics and media another occasion to start a further hate campaign against the Second Amendment rights, gun ownership, and gun owners in general. And once again, their arguments proved invalid at the slightest analysis.

 The Aurora shooting proved in fact once more, if there was any need for it, how many laws and regulations that the anti-gun front supports as “solutions” to gun crime are, at best, useless. And, first things first, the most useless of them all proved to be the in-famous “Waiting Period”.


As basically everybody in the U.S. (and worldwide, thanks to the global spread of American culture by Hollywood movies) knows, an American citizen who wished to purchase a firearm – a handgun in most cases, any firearm in some legislations – couldnʼt just enter a gun store and come out with his/her purchase. 

A “Waiting Period” ranging from five to fifteen days was mandatory by law to allow a local, State and Federal background check so that the gun store clerk could be sure not to sell a firearm to a “Prohibited person”, this being, according to the 1968 Gun Control Act, anybody under indictment for, or convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; all fugitives from justice and illegal aliens; all users or addicted to controlled substances or anybody who had been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to any mental institution; all former U.S. Citizens and anybody who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; anybody who's subject to a restraining order for harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child, or that has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. 

As one can easily see, the United States are far from being “The Shopping Mall of Guns” that the international anti-gun press would want the global public opinion to believe, and the categories of persons that are prohibited from owning guns are basically just the same that would not be issued, under any condition, a gun license in Europe or elsewhere. 

Anti gun protesters
Anti gun protesters in a rally outside a US college

The only real good outcome of the 1994/2004 “Brady Bill” or “Assault Weapons Ban”, and of the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act” in general, was the introduction of the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System), which allowed gun store clerks to perform instant checks on potential customers; although many considered, and still consider, the NICS as a potential infringment of the Second Amendment rights for allowing the U.S. Federal Government a possibility to keep illegal registers of nationwide gun sales, an acknowledgement has to be made: the NICS basically rendered the “Waiting Period” outdated and useless.

This doesnʼt meens that it was bidden farewell in the entire United States: several local and State administrations in fact kept it in place as either an “additional time to give Police time to perform further checks” or as a “cooling-off period to help prevent crimes of passion”; this last idea also briefly appealed several Members of the European Parliament who tried to introduce it in the “Old Continent” through EU directives – although none of these attempts has been successful so far.


The “Waiting Period” has been supported by the U.S. anti-gun front for a long time as “the ultimate weapon” to prevent shooting sprees and gun violence in general... at least until after the Aurora shooting, an occasion that proved its uselessness, and the general pointless nature of other anti-gun laws and regulations such as aimed bans on specific categories of bans. Not that this led to any internal reflection in the U.S. anti-gun front: only an embarassed, and embarassing, silence ensued. Just another evidence of the kind of damage that can be caused by stereotypical, ignorant and futile pieces of legislations proposed by incompetents who just want to show voters that theyʼre “doing something about”.


What follows is an article written by Alan Korwin and published on August 27th on Bloomfield Press' gunlaws.com website, and an accurate analysis of the almost incredible outcomes of the Aurora shooting. All caring gun owners should definitely read it.

Alan Korwin 

Dear Media Colleagues,


Guns canʼt seem to keep themselves out of the limelight. Urban shootings, outside the ghettos where most shootings take place, are now becoming national news. What changed?

Why arenʼt we talking about waiting periods anymore? The media and the gun-control movement have abandoned waiting periods, but they used to be the holy grail. Why is that?

It turned out waiting periods didnʼt matter. They didnʼt work, had no impact on crime, they were a distraction. They were just an attack that could be made on guns, the flavor of the day, a reflection of what the public out here perceives as media hatred for guns. Like a reported shooting... from two thousand miles away.

Alan Korwin
Alan Korwin - Publisher, Bloomfield Press (USA)

Waiting periods were what gun controllers told media to ask for, not what media independently figured out might work.

Media were told, “Waits will slow crime,” and even though rational people knew this was silly, you (plural) called for them ‒ and then were bewildered at the resistance you got. Everyone lamented the predictable lack of results, until thankfully, you abandoned that red herring.

Now I find you urging support to ban gear, like magazine size, ammunition types and even brands, like AR-15 and Glock.

This is just as bogus as the olden waiting-period demands, and you are just as mystified at the adamantine resistance again.

This is why it is time for gun-control counseling.

People seeking gun control, media included, understand the subject so poorly they are getting in the way of making any real progress. Gun control is not crime control. It doesn't have the desired effect. Thatʼs why gun owners and others resist it so fervently.

If it would work they would support it ‒ everyone wants to stop senseless murder, weʼre not irrational.

There is actually lunatic talk of banning the Glock sidearm for the public, along with all semi-automatic firearms. The Glock is so good that 65% of law enforcement uses it ‒ itʼs reliable, effective, safe, simple, fast. Guns save lives. Guns stop criminals. Guns protect us. This is why we give them to police. This is why the public wants and needs them. This is what gun controllers don't get, and why counseling is called for if we are going to get anywhere.

You would consider taking Glock and other autoloaders away from the public because criminals understand the value and use these too. That makes as much sense as taking them away from the police themselves. Of course the public balks at that, and you interfere with getting to any real solution for stopping armed maniacs. You fail to see how your equipment-based arguments are doomed to failure. 

Kid and guy rifle
In the 1950ʼs, scenes like this one ‒ a father and child enjoying a day out hunting ‒ would have not raised a eyebrow

The gun-control debate needs an intervention. For example:

Why only discuss guns after a mass murder? Wouldnʼt covering all the newsworthy aspects of guns help us understand the issues better? What about all the good that guns do? You may not even clearly know what that is. What about the shooting sports ‒ a billion dollars bigger than golf? What about censorship on the subject of guns in education? It is a vacuum. Why donʼt you cover that?

That vacuum is a measure of your bias. Your bias is a measure of why we have this problem. The media, both so-called “news” media and the cultural media like movies, TV, video games and magazines, are powerful driving forces behind the mass-murder behaviors we have never before seen. This is understandably hard for you to face.


When guns were more available during our baby-boomer youth ‒ without age limit, without paperwork, without background checks, without the FBI, by mail order from the pages of comic books ‒ these kinds of atrocities were unheard of, unfathomable, unthinkable. What changed? Our culture, and the media led the way.

Can you at least savor the irony? A crowded theater witnesses a blood-drenched massacre ‒ while eagerly waiting to watch hours of blood-drenched massacres.

Before these atrocities were standard fare, people died off camera, without blood. A crook who shot a cop was shunned by his peers, never held up as someone to be idolized like today, where entire films glorify the villains. Kids today are virtually trained assassins, inured to immoral levels of violence.

You did that.

As a 25-year member of the Society of Professional Journalists, peers have told me their editors suppressed or downplayed stories of armed self defense so they wouldnʼt encourage copycats. Then broadcasters treat us to endless days of glorified mass murderers, and encourage copycats. You do that.

Youʼre discouraging copycat heroes while perpetually portraying copycat villains, then you scratch your collective heads. Consciously or not, you the media connect those dots. You take your unspoken bias and hoplophobic fear of guns, mix in an immoral and unethical ingredient of grief and horror, and in a beautifully orchestrated promotion push the misguided gun-control agenda ‒supplanting the crime-control agenda we desperately seek.

An accident 
A fatal accident in USA

Hereʼs why an intervention is needed: Consider that 80 people left home, never to return, prematurely dead in their cars on the same day 12 were murdered in the awful Batman-movie massacre (please don't besmirch a fine American city when referring to this literally theatrical violence; let the name help frame the blame).

Eighty grieving families, spread out everywhere, not just in one unlucky community. Blood and guts, horror, unspeakable tragedy, children ripped from us, police cars and flashy lights. Where were the cameras in their faces? Why not promote their grief with crocodile-tear remorse? Or does the thought of hounding those car-wreck victims for days horrify even you?


And what about the next dayʼs eighty? And the next? No, the monstrous bias of the media is on display here, dancing in the blood of victims and trumpeting societyʼs miscreants, with effects too offensive to rationalize. For shame, as a CNN anchor scolded me recently.

No, the broadcast pity party national mea culpa grief deluge the “news” media perpetrates on the public is as meaningful as the waiting periods you have jettisoned. You wouldnʼt dare impose on other grieving families this way, it would be intolerable, reprehensible.

Without accepting it, you are a root cause of the problem. You appear to secretly hope the grief will finally be enough to convince the innocent to relinquish their rights and abandon the products you so misunderstand.

Two operators from a SWAT Team

Please realize ‒ people face the exact same thugs police face. But cops operate in groups, with backup, in body armor, with sniper teams and helicopters. Is that why we need less ammo and smallish bullets in inferior guns? It is we who are the first responders in criminal assaults on ourselves. The police we dial after assaults start are second responders, a point you fail to appreciate. If the public is limited to little bullets, and only a few of them, the problem of crazy people committing murder will neither resolve nor improve. Itʼs waiting-period logic again. The public needs parity with police, not inferior tools. This is why counseling is appropriate ‒ so we can discuss this intelligently.

Oh, you can go into denial, talk numbers, point to countries that are not the linchpin of freedom on the planet. Ask about Japan or Switzerland that do not have drug wars or ghettos ‒ a word you will no longer even use ‒ yet which is at the heart of what you like to call guns on the street. 


Things that will help, like firearms education in our schools, erasing decades of enforced ignorance, confronting your own biases that perpetuate and encourage violent behavior, examining activities of your companion industries, and seeing the “cultural” problem ‒ until we face these challenges, youʼll keep seeking changes the majority of the public will correctly resist. Youʼll just be frustrated, get nowhere and not understand why.

Meet with me and a few select others for counseling that will truly get to the heart of the matter. Letʼs get past the firing mechanisms, types of lead or brand name intrigues and into the real-world answers that can reduce or stop this sort of behavior and make our world more safe. Together we can fix this.




Alan Korwin, Publisher

Bloomfield Press

Bloomfield Press
“We publish the gun laws.”
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