Howard Delo

Three members of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission met with new Borough Manager, Mike Brown, during this past week to explain what the commission is, what it does, and why it’s important to residents of the borough. A lot was discussed in this one-hour meeting.

I was part of that discussion. We explained the history of the commission and where its major efforts have been directed over the recent past. We discussed some of our successes in developing fisheries regulations and other major developments such as the creation of a Cook Inlet data gap analysis, which was done in 2016.

This gap analysis was done to help guide needed fisheries research to improve management of salmon in Cook Inlet. Interestingly, Fish and Game had never done this before. They cooperated in this process and were glad the MSBFWC had undertaken this task. One of the major items to come out of this was the need for genetics research on salmon in Cook Inlet, again to aid in management of returning salmon stocks.

This was my introduction to Manager Brown. I was impressed with his interest in our work and his willingness to offer his support to our endeavors.

On another note, here we go again! The shooting in Colorado earlier this week has only added fuel to the fire of legislative efforts to ban guns. My wife commented that this Colorado shooting could be a “copycat” event, following the shooting in Atlanta the week prior. This would suggest a mental imbalance in the person wanting to do something like this.

The Democrats have vowed to bring their universal background check and de facto waiting period bills to the Senate floor for a vote sooner rather than later. The Colorado shooter had purchased his murder weapon six days before his rampage. Obviously, the federal background check procedure he went through did nothing to keep the firearm out of his possession. More resources and effort need to be put into mental health treatment and reporting in this country.

Banning “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines was implemented under the Clinton administration. Studies during and after the ten-year life of the ban (it contained a sunset clause) showed that making these types of firearms illegal did nothing to reduce firearms murders and assaults. The argument that banning these firearms will save lives is a complete fallacy.

Breaking news mid-week has President Biden calling for the outright ban of so-called “assault rifles” and high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Like I just said, these bans have proven worthless in providing citizen safety, but have been quite handy in infringing on “the right to keep and bear arms.”

Something else I hadn’t thought about in some time has resurfaced as well. The United Nations has what is called a “Small Arms Treaty,” which Obama had signed and brought before the U.S. Senate for ratification. The, then, Republican controlled Senate refused to even discuss the issue. When Trump was elected, he “unsigned” the treaty and refused to even submit it to the Senate for consideration. With a Democratic president and Democratic control of the Senate, you can bet this will rear its ugly head again.

Some of the provisions of this UN treaty include mandated “screening” for those seeking to own guns; restrictive licensing for gun and ammo sales; restrictions on the number of guns and amount of ammo any “properly licensed” individual may legally own; bans on magazines holding more than ten rounds; and bans on owning a firearm for self-defense.

Oh, if you haven’t heard, China is the latest nation to join the treaty. With their apparent influence over our President, pressure to extend this treaty into our country will be coming soon.

If this treaty would be ratified by the Senate, the international law aspects will supersede our U.S. Constitution and effectively destroy this document and the Bill of Rights. It’s even possible that UN troops will be called on to enforce the provisions of this treaty. Think about that for a minute! It’s past time to call our Alaskan Congressional Delegation and tell them you do not support these worthless gun control measures and to do something meaningful like beef up treatment of folks with true mental health problems.

As I have heard said, “A gun is only as good or as bad as the person who uses it.” I hope, someday, this common-sense realization will become obvious to our government representatives and those in authority (like it finally did with drunk driving concerns).

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