Biden vs. the NRA

VP Joe Biden met with the NRA today. The NRA is not happy.

Biden sat down for about an hour and a half of talks with an NRA representative and officials from other gun owners' groups after telling reporters he is likely to recommend background checks for all gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips.

"It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen," the NRA said in a statement after the meeting.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also called for universal background checks today. Colorado has background checks for commercial sales and gun shows, but not private transactions. [More...]

Hickenlooper also called for mental health reform:

"We ask you to pass legislation that will update civil commitment laws, make it easier to identify people with mental illness who are a danger to themselves and others and provide safer, more humane systems for their treatment."

In addition to universal background checks, Biden is expected to request restrictions on sales of high-capacity magazines.

If Biden makes too many recommendations, such as asking for a national database of gun-owners, I think he will have over-stepped and end up with nothing from Congress. Personally, I don't think any of these measures will prevent the next mass-shooting or lessen gun violence. They do nothing to address the reason people resort to violence.

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    Gun appreciation activist (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:59:05 AM EST
    Larry Ward came out this morning saying that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms perhaps slavery wouldn't have been a chapter in America's history.  What the hell?

    Perhaps if you hadn't worn THAT dress we wouldn't have had to rape you either.  I'm so tired of the contortionist carnival.  Two guys strap on assault weapons and walk the streets of Oregon and scare everyone to death, people running indoors and locking the door.

    This idea that our communities are so uncivilized that everyone must be a commando is makiing our communities so uncivilized that everyone is considering being a commando.

    Perhaps it might be time for (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:15:17 AM EST
    responsible gun owners to speak out against people like the two guys who strapped on assault weapons and walked the streets of Oregon scaring everyone to death and the CEO Tactical Response who is threatening to "start killing people" if President Barack Obama moves forward with gun control measures.

    Neither are examples of responsible gun ownership and harm any meaningful discussion of gun rights and responsibilities.

    BTW, I would think that guns would have had to been distributed in great quantities in Africa to prevent slavery.



    I'm sure some will (none / 0) (#46)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:29:37 AM EST
    for tactical reasons if nothing else.

     Also, "responsible" and "rational" are not synonyms. I know many people who are responsible gun owners but have great difficulty addressing the issues surrounding gun control rationally.

     To me, rationality begins with acknowledging that increased deaths, even in small numbers proportional to the entire population, weigh very heavily in the balancing test that should be employed in determining policy. Rationality also requires acknowledging that the existence of deadly instruments is a factor in the number of deaths. From there rational people can have reasonable disagreement.


    It is my opinion (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:35:34 AM EST
    that the men strutting through neighborhoods with assault weapons are neither responsible or rational. I hold the same opinion of the CEO.

    Dear gawd, and people want taxpayers to pay people like him to train new gun owners.


    They wouldn't have given them guns though (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:59:58 AM EST
    They weren't people, they weren't allowed to be taught to read either.  Any form of protecting themselves was kept from them.  You have to rewrite more history than this nutcake is.  You have to give African Americans the right to have an equal share of the domestic tranquility before they can even choose to be a gun owner.  This guy apparently wanted a war to have occurred before the Civil War did :)  And a couple did, but he wanted one more.  Then we would understand and truly appreciate guns.  What a hoot he is

    I don't know who this Larry Ford (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:08:58 AM EST
    character is, but I think I might be able to fill a box with dog hair that's smarter than he is.

    Every time someone poses such improbable scenarios, I am reminded of a very old SNL segment, "What if...?" and the one I always remember is, "What if...Eleanor Roosevelt could fly?"


    I also don't know who Ford is, (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:16:07 AM EST
    but I do know I like this!
    I think I might be able to fill a box with dog hair that's smarter than he is.
    I might have to steal that one...

    African Americans (none / 0) (#91)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 04:16:23 PM EST


    Florida Supreme Court Justice Buford's concurring opinion in Watson v. Stone (1941):

    I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber camps. The same condition existed when the Act was amended in 1901 and the Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied.

    Of course a disarmed black population made the world safer for the KKK's "activities".


    This does not apply to slavery though (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:45:08 AM EST
    I suppose being a woman and having recently been told my body will shut a rape pregnancy down has toned me up in dealing with argumentary subterfuge.  This has nothing to do with slavery, this only has to do with oppression.

    I get the oppression thing, and nobody here is saying that Americans can't own guns.  Most of us are saying though that we are done with assault weapons and giant people killing clips and capabilities, and some of us question the need for handguns.  I do, I question the need for handguns.

    I'm done with people laying down suppression fire in my fricking society and destroying the domestic tranquility.


    What is that reason, Jeralyn, and (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:31:43 PM EST
    how would you propose it be addressed?

    I will be very surprised if anything of substance - whether it could make a difference or not - comes out of the Biden efforts.

    I'm with Anne, Jeralyn. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:41:29 PM EST
    I'm getting pretty tired of the hyperbolic gun lobby always screaming "no," as though "no" is a solution. I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way.

    Further, the available statistics demonstrate with almost crystal clarity that we did not have this type of problem with mass shootings in the past to the extent that we do now. According to Mother Jones, there have been at least 62 mass shootings -- defined by MJ as a single incident in which a lone shooter took the lives of at least four people -- across the country since 1982, and 25 of these have occurred since 2006. Seven such incidents took place in 2012 alone!

    Last I heard, President Obama and Vice President Biden are not advocating for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. And speaking as someone who's long been waiting for the 2nd Amendment's sub-clause about "a well regulated Militia" to be clarified by firearms proponents, escalating gun violence is a serious problem plaguing our entire country, and one which is begging to be addressed by rational and serious adults. This is about opening a dialogue in the seach for answers.

    So, if you have any proposals, we're all ears. But if you don't, and further are content to stand forthrightly in the way of any attempt by others to forge a sensible solution, then I can only act in accordance with the wisdom of the late Hawaii Gov. John Burns, who once observed, "Any goddammed fool can draw a line in the sand -- and who am I to argue with one?"

    Dogs bark, the caravan passes. Aloha.


    escalating gun violence? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:19:56 AM EST
    sigh (none / 0) (#45)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:19:59 AM EST
    I really wish that you could see that the left is just as guilty of hyperbole and screaming on this topic.
    I know it doesn't seem so when I comment here, but I don't have a side in this. But I watch and listen to both sides. Piers should be deported for making the right look good.  He gets guests on his show and then he doesn't them finish a sentence. He's a effing twit.  Yes, he got a maniac on his show.  But before that he had on several reasonable people who he invited to give their side of the argument and never let them finish a sentence while he screamed at them..... and that is what I am seeing on the left talking heads and regular people both.
    I don't watch Fox or listen to Rush or other right wing talk hosts, but I do live with a "gun nut" and hang with him and his friends.  Yes some of them are as irrational and unbending as you fear. On the other hand, why should they be punished for the behavior of other people? They collect guns.  They like them.  It's all very legal. They have guns with high capacity clips.
    Right now it seems like an excellent idea to limit those guns and clips and the cop killer bullets etc...but I dread thinking of what things society might decide I have that are dangerous to the nation and decide to regulate.  Maybe I have more libertarian in me that I ever knew.
    What would I be in favor of? I would be in favor of closing the gun show loop hole nationwide.  I would be in favor of mandatory education for all gun owners, in safety and usage.  If you have guns with large capacity clips you must have a gun safe and do some sort of education/interview on who in your life, may or may not be okay to trust with access to those weapons. If you pass weapons on to your children in your will they should also pass a background check for assault like weapons and anything they intend to carry out of the house of course.  No more private sales without a background check.  All sales should be cleared through a dealer who has the capability of doing the check for you.  The dealer would get a few dollars for the time.

    As for the 2nd.  Lets change it if we don't like it, but pretending it is not clear seems like a silly word game to me.  any impartial reading of the amendment would be translated to the following in present day language:  Because we may at anytime need to form local (well regulated...in other words try to get your shit together) militias, we have decided it is imperative that Americans always have the right to keep and carry arms.  

    Now let's talk about the real problem.  We get all jacked up about these mass murders.  But the biggest death rates are in the cities where kids and young adults are ILLEGALLY obtaining and carrying guns and killing each other and the people they rob.  It is a mass murder a week in this country and it is not the fault of the NRA or legal gun owners.  It is a society that is sick and needs major medicine but is getting band aids and aspirin.
    Maybe rather than vilifying law abiding citizens we should be be sending the cops in to sweep the streets of cities like Philly and take all the illegal weapons every other night until all the kids get tired of trying to buy a new one every two days. Maybe saving the lives of some little black and latino kids might be a good thing too.


    Wrong on so many levels (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:45:51 AM EST
    First of all, the "both extremes are crazy" doesn't fly when it comes to guns.  The example you give of Piers Morgan failing to let a guest finish a sentence isn't even in the same universe as the rhetoric and hyperbole coming from the right.  While it may be rude behavior for a host, it's not remotely the same as the rhetoric used by the Right and the NRA, let alone their conspiracy theories.  Who on the left is accusing the POTUS of allowing murders to enact gun control?  Who on the left is pushing false-flag/gun control conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook being staged as part of an imaginary "gun grab"?  Who on the left is threatening violent action and armed rebellion if gun control laws aren't enacted??

    No one.

    As for the 2nd.  Lets change it if we don't like it, but pretending it is not clear seems like a silly word game to me.  any impartial reading of the amendment would be translated to the following in present day language:  Because we may at anytime need to form local (well regulated...in other words try to get your shit together) militias, we have decided it is imperative that Americans always have the right to keep and carry arms.

    The Second Amendment (like all Amendments) is anything but clear.  What is meant by "arms"? (Muskets?  Semi-automatic rifles?  Handguns?  High-capacity magazines?  Machine guns?  RPGs?  Stinger missiles?)  What is meant by "shall not be infringed"?  (No permits or licenses?  No registration?  No background checks?  No age/mental health limits?).  No rights are absolute, and there is an absolute dearth of case law on the Second Amendment.  IMO, none of the proposed gun control laws even come close to violating the 2A, and there would be no need to revise or change it.

    Moreover, this isn't mostly an urban problem.  Gun death rates among kids are virtually equal between urban and rural environments.  There are more gun homicides in urban settings, but there are more gun suicides and accidental killings in rural settings.  The same pattern holds true for adults.

    "This debunks the myth that firearm death is a big-city problem," said lead author Dr. Michael Nance of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "This is everybody's problem."

    Finally, the police can't merely "sweep the streets" and search everyone for illegal weapons at whim simply because they live in a city.  Can you imagine the reaction of your


    Mental health reform is the only thing... (none / 0) (#2)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:36:33 PM EST
    that will have an impact on preventing such attacks.  It's evil the way this country fails to help the insane and protect the public from them.

    Background checks are and have been a good idea, but they need to be free.  Around 1/5 the cost of my last firearm was the back ground check. People also need to be educated through free ranges where people are instructed in the proper use of their firearms.  People complain about accidents, but basic fire arm safety is no longer taught in schools and at shooting ranges.

    Why should they be free? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:43:54 PM EST
    Is the cost prohibitive? I doubt it. When I apply to rent a place the landlord does a credit check on me, and charges me anywhere from $30-$40 for it.

    You're putting a check on a constitutional right. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:55:59 PM EST
    The cost must be zero.  Or should we have free speech permits with a high cost?

    I paid 70 last time to get a cheep shotgun for home defense.  Not a big deal for me, but for a friend of mine who's making minimum wage it's kind of a big deal.  Gun shops love back ground checks.  They can charge whatever they want for them and you often don't know about the charge till after you've already purchased the firearm.


    Nope I'm not putting a check (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:05:46 PM EST
    on any constitutional right. The constitution does not provide any right to have free back ground checks or free firing ranges.

    People make choices on how to spend their money all the time. Your friend who makes minimum wage does not have to spend his money on a back ground check or on firing range fees. He has a choice not to own a gun if the expense is too much for him.


    So only the rich can own guns? (2.00 / 1) (#11)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:17:06 PM EST
    I can tell you really care about the poor.

    The free shooting ranges/training is a good way to reduce accidents with guns.  If you're concerned about accidents involving guns it's a pretty good solution.

    I've often wondered why we do things like heavily penalize drunk drivers and spend all this money on trying to catch them instead of doing things like providing free cab/transport services for late night drinkers.  It would seem an excellent way to save money and make the public safer. Providing free training for fire arms fits into the same model of help people avoid making mistakes instead of punishing them after the fact.


    I really do care about the poor (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:29:04 PM EST
    The "free" money that you want spent for back ground checks and firing ranges etc. would be taken from other programs that provide necessities for the poor. A gun is not a necessity unless a person is in an occupation that requires one as part of the job description.

    With every right comes a responsibility. If you choose to own a gun, then it is IMO your responsibility to do whatever is necessary to obtain the necessary training and take sensible precautions to prevent accidents.

    It is not society's responsibility to fund your gun ownership.  


    Not that I would expect you to, but (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:46:21 PM EST
    if you've been reading and commenting here for even a short time, you should know that MOBlue is about as big an advocate for the poor as you will find, so accusing her of not caring about them because she is opposed to free background checks is just a way to distract from the general weakness of your argument.

    We license drivers in this country, too.  Do we have free driver's ed?  Not where I live.  Are driver's licenses, and car registrations and emissions inspections free?  Again, no.  You want to legally drive a car, you want to own a car, there are costs associated with that.  Can't afford it, then you can't afford a car.

    As far as I'm concerned, potential gun owners should have to go through the same kind of education and training as potential drivers: so many hours of classroom time, so many hours of documented practice time, and a test that proves you know what you're doing.  Plus the background check.  I might even want a gun owner to be insured; if you shoot me, even by accident, I shouldn't have to bear the cost, and neither should my health insurance company.  And I shouldn't have to go into court to recoup my expenses.

    If you can't afford these things, well, too bad; save your money.


    The 2nd doesn't say (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:13:09 PM EST
    anything about you having to be trained before you can own a gun.... or having insurance.

    What you are looking for is a back door way to prohibit gun ownership.


    Well, of course it doesn't say anything (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:28:43 PM EST
    about that - but the government has the right to regulate, and training, education, licensing, insurance and registration all fall into the regulatory arena.  You see, the rest of us - those who don't own guns - have a right to be safe from people who don't understand that owning a gun doesn't make a person smarter.  People who own guns have a right to be safe from other people with guns.

    Are you opposed to better-educated and -trained gun owners, or not?  How do you think self-regulation has worked so far?  Either you're for safety and education or you're not.

    And please don't tell me what I'm looking for - I'm quite capable of speaking for myself.


    How's that poll tax working out for you? (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:06:29 PM EST
    The Constitution also doesn't say that we have to make polling places something paid for by general revenue either, nor that we have to subsidize the poor if we want to require proof of ID.

    The fact is, courts usually protect constitutional rights by being very suspicious of any substantial cost in time or money imposed by the government before one can exercise them.

    Thus "backdoor bans" such as requiring insurance (indeed, one of the reasons that states can require insurance is that driving is a "privilege, not a right".), requiring excessive training or taxation or failing to subsidize said training for the poorer among us are not likely to fly with most Federal courts.


    Anne, I am opposed to anything that (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:28:56 AM EST
    limits/takes our Constitutional rights.

    What's next?? If you doesn't have an degree in  English you can't write letters to your Congressperson???


    "If you doesn't have a degree (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:14:58 AM EST
    in English?"

    LOL, I can see why you'd be worried, jim.

    Look, we have been arguing the meaning of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights since they came into existence, and the courts have been used to question and determine the constitutionality of laws, actions and policies, and this is a good thing.  Putting the issues before the courts is one of the ways we check the power of the other two branches of government, and how we monitor the states' actions.

    As much as we'd like to think the Constitution and Bill of Rights are immutable, the reality is that how they are viewed and interpreted are influenced by current events, the political makeup of the Courts, and a variety of entirely subjective factors.

    The government's power to regulate is not immutable, either - there have been plenty of regulatory actions that have been struck down as unconstitutional.

    It just seems to me that the reason we keep passing laws and making regulations about guns and gun ownership speaks to the inherent danger that these weapons represent, and the need to provide a measure of safety and security not just for people who don't own guns but for people who do.  

    If I have to take a driver education course, spend a documented number of hours practicing my driving, and pass a vision test, a written test on the laws and a driving test to make sure I have basic skills, in order to drive a 3,000 pound motorized vehicle that has the potential to take my life and the lives of others, why in the name of all that is holy are potential gun owners not required to do something similar? You have a right to own a gun, but there is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that says the government doesn't have the right to impose and require certain conditions be met.

    If we have an unqualified right to bear arms and defend ourselves, why aren't guns free?  Why don't we have the ability to have a free gun issued to us by the government?  And if you can't come up with a credible argument for this, I think the argument that fees for background checks and training and registration are unconstitutional fail.  


    Thanks for taking the bait and showing (2.00 / 1) (#102)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:38:30 PM EST
    us how you can't resist a personal dig.

    But then, who is surprised??

    When's the next class, teach??



    Anne, there are multiple and obvious flaws (none / 0) (#61)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:38:00 AM EST
    in your comparisons of the 2A to driving and also claiming that the gvt should provide us with guns.

    I'm not going to spend much time on this but the 2A is a right, driving is not a right, it is a privilege. The gvt is not required to provide us churches and clergy, nor newspaper production plants and reporters, for our rights of freedom of religion and press.

    There are other, much stronger, arguments to be made, imo.


    I know driving is not a right, jim; there (none / 0) (#70)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:28:37 PM EST
    was no attempt on my part to portray driving as a right, only to discuss the regulatory aspects of both.

    A little reading comprehension on your part would go a long way to improving your argumentation - probably not far enough, but at least you'd be arguing on the basis of what someone actually said, versus what you wanted them to have said so you can make a point.

    And I did not claim that the government should provide us with guns; I suggested that if you want to make the argument that it's unconstitutional to impose fees on the purchase of guns, because the government doesn't have the right to make unaffordable something we have a constitutional right to, then you need to address the issue of not being able to afford the gun itself.  Is it unconstitutional for private gun manufacturers to price a product you have a constitutional right to own such that you can't afford to own it?  I don't think so.

    Are you in favor of gun safety and training?  Should that be free - meaning that all of us who pay taxes end up paying for it?  Why would that be okay, but not the use of tax dollars to assist poor women in having abortions?  

    What responsibilities do gun owners have to society as a whole?  And what responsibilities does the government have to regulate gun ownership in light of its responsibility to maintain public safety?

    The bigger question is, as always, are you capable of honest debate?  I don't think so.


    Um, I'm not Jim. (none / 0) (#72)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:44:36 PM EST
    My point was that your conflation of the regulatory aspects of a right with the regulatory aspects of a privilege is fundamentally unsound.

    As to the rest, you may be right. When comments get beyond a certain number of paragraphs I lose interest and stop reading so I apologize if I mischaracterized anything you said.


    Sorry, sarc - really, I am; it's not (none / 0) (#77)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    good to be mistaken for jim.

    [comment kept short to make sure you read the whole thing...:p]


    Thanks Anne (2.00 / 1) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:29:27 PM EST
    You again prove what you are...a nasty self righteous person who thinks they are smarter than they really are.


    BTW - Your inability to recognize sarcasm is not surprising.


    Right, jim...the "sarcasm" of (none / 0) (#114)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:10:44 PM EST
    "Happening's" went right over my head...but your predictable lashing-out at people when none of your small-minded comments get any traction sure didn't.



    Ha! (none / 0) (#80)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:31:56 PM EST
    It also doesn't say anything ... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:29:41 PM EST
    ... about prohibiting the government from requiring you to be trained and/or insured.

    Reasonable conditions on gun ownership are not a "backdoor way to prohibit gun ownership".  if that was true, the government's been trying to "prohibit" car ownership for several decades, now, since they require all drivers to be licensed and insured/self-insured.


    What a Joke... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:01:06 PM EST
    ...the right spend a solid year telling us that insurance is only for people who can afford, but not they are whining that gun ownership costs should be zero so everyone who wants one can have one.

    The right has spend 20 years slashing and hacking funding for mental health services and now they are all for it.

    What a load, you clowns can't manage to stay to stay on the same side of the fence to save you lives.

    And Jim, Amendment II doesn't say anything about background checks or RPG's, but even the clowns at the NRA don't have a problems with those regulations, aka controls.  Back grounds checks are already in place, so we have decided they are within the confines of the Constitution, expanding those checks doesn't change that.  This is more fodder from the nutjob brigade who thinks any additional regulation is just one step closer to a complete ban.  They won't argue the merits of any proposals, they have already determined they are all bad.  


    Go back and read what I wrote. (none / 0) (#101)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:31:46 PM EST
    I said nothing about anything you claim.

    I would say that if the cost of the (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:17:14 PM EST
    background check makes owning a gun unaffordable, maybe the potential buyer can't really afford to own a gun.

    That we have the right to do certain things does not confer the right to have them; by your reasoning, abortion should be free, too, since women have a constitutional right to one.

    Agreed?  Or is that "different?"


    Nope (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:08:30 PM EST
    Guns always have at least one purpose: self-defense.
    Self-defense, by the way, is a RIGHT.

    Due to that, you can't make people pay for background checks before allowing them to defend themselves.


    Hogwash. (3.67 / 3) (#35)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:54:04 PM EST
    Abortion is a right, too - so how come only those women who can pay for them can get one?  How come the government won't pay for poor women to have an abortion?

    [I guess this will "trigger" a two-fer: a pro-gun AND anti-woman screed]


    Anne, nice strawman... (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:32:37 AM EST
    The government doesn't pay for gun purchases.

    The government doesn't pay for abortions.

    The government does establish testing and licensing of the Doctors who perform them.


    The cost of the background check (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:28:00 PM EST
    can easily be standardized. You're just coming up with excuse after excuse.

    If you require background checks (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:09:48 PM EST
    Not only will they have to be constitutionally narrow, but they'll have to be subsidized for people who can't afford them.

    If you are willing to do that, "background check" away. You'll get no argument from me.


    No doubt mental health is a major issue with (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:48:01 PM EST
    allowing gun ownership. No one is saying otherwise. But it is not the only piece of the puzzle, as you also acknowledge with your comment about background checks being a good idea. They are more than just a "good idea." They are a necessity.

    The problem with background checks is trust. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:02:54 PM EST
    Background checks can be used as a club to prevent the public from being armed.  

    For example it's impossible to get a concealed carry permit where I live because the local sheriff only gives them out to political supporters and celebrities.  The system setup to insure that only people of good character has fire arms has been perverted to a system that insures only those with wealth and power have them.  Gun owners fear the same thing will happen with the back ground check system.


    Ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:24:33 PM EST
    A matter of trust? Please. They are a matter of public safety, and a necessity.

    Anne's right: If you can't afford the background check, you can't afford the weapon.


    You're quite wrong. (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:42:07 PM EST
    My friend who is too poor to afford the background check got a firearm off the streets Chicago for less than it cost in the gun store.  Note that guns are illegal in the city of Chicago.  It was easier and cheaper for him to obtain his illegal gun than it was for me to legally buy a shotgun.

    Banning fire arms is about as effective as banning drugs in a country like america.  All you end up doing is creating a huge black market and creating violence around that market.

    But hey, you don't really care about that.  All your interested in doing is punishing legal gun owners and eventually taking their guns.  I'm sure that'll work great in the long run.


    Like I said before: (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:51:08 PM EST
    All your interested in doing is punishing legal gun owners and eventually taking their guns.

    You're paranoid. And you're dishonest. And you're a waste of my time.


    Actually, there's empirical evidence (none / 0) (#37)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:07:21 AM EST
    to support the contention that confiscation leads to increased crime.

    In Britain, one of Tony Blair's first acts was to have legally-owned and registered handguns removed from private hands.  (Registration was required by prior law, so the police knew where the guns were.)  If you didn't come in and turn them in to the police (with little or no compensation), the police came and confiscated them.

    Since that took place in 1998, crime in Britain in which a handgun involved is up approximately 200 percent.'  Criminals have already determined to transgress the rules of society and commit crimes, so to them adding a gun is merely picking up a useful tool and nothing to hesitate over.

    And, remember, in the two countries whose experience is related in the linked story, self-protection or self-defense was not an acceptable reason for gun ownership.  In America, gun ownership for the purpose of self-protection or self-defense has been ruled a fundamental right in Heller, and that applies to the states through MacDonald.


    There is empirical evidence that the (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:19:27 AM EST
    policies adopted by Australia work.

    They introduced stricter gun laws after a massacre in 1996 (permits, waiting periods, no automatics or even semi-automatics).  They also had a buy-back program for @ 20% of all guns in Australia.  Result?  Firearms homicides dropped by more than half.  Suicide rate dropped by more than half.

    Not so fast there Sherlock (none / 0) (#87)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 02:39:56 PM EST
    the people at the WSJ need to dig a little harder.

    But the party omitted Home Office warnings that the figures for the periods before and after 2002 were not comparable because of a change in the way violent crime was recorded.

    Instead of police officers deciding whether an incident should be recorded as a violent crime, the new system required them to do so whenever an alleged victim asked them to.

    The effect was to force up recorded violence by an estimated 35 per cent in the first year.

    ....One local police commander described the Tories' use of the figures to compare levels of violence in 1999 and 2008 as "extremely misleading".

    beyond that, you're still talking about a country that had significant regulation as compared to ours, and which has also seen a significant rise in gang activity - something already present here in the US.


    According to you (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:04:03 AM EST
    your friend is not a legal gun owner. He is not only breaking the law, he is supporting the black market and the violence that is inherent in that market that you claim to be against.

    Free background checks (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:52:45 PM EST
    and free firing ranges?

    Exactly where is all this "free" money coming from? Is the NRA, the gun shops or the gun lobbyist going to cough up the money for all this "free" stuff?


    How about we stop arming the police... (2.00 / 1) (#7)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:57:55 PM EST
    with military weapons and armored cars and use that money to train civilians to shoot well.  Switzerland is an excellent model for this.

    Thanks but no thanks (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:10:34 PM EST
    How about you get the NRA to pay for your background checks, provide free training and range time. While they are at it, have them set up a foundation to provide good quality affordable mental health care.

    The NRA may be responsible for a lot of (none / 0) (#14)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:21:55 PM EST
    things, but they're not responsible for our mental health.  

    I think NRA paying to improve our (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:35:34 PM EST
    mental health is just as reasonable as redwolf's request that  taxpayers provide free background checks, training and firing range access for people who want guns. ;o)



    Since gun owners owners (and archers and anglers) are the ones paying that tax, it would seem reasonable that that tax would be used for them for their background checks. Heck, some (very little) of that tax already is used for their "training and firing range access."

    Other excise taxes are not restricted (none / 0) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:50:17 AM EST
    to providing services to the people who are paying the tax.



    True, but... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:54:51 AM EST
     An excise tax is nothing more than a tax levied on a specific good, transaction or service.

       Dedicating the revenue to a specific purpose or purposes is not required to be an excise tax definitionally, but that is not an argument against imposing an excise tax that is dedicated.


    Since it does not need to be (none / 0) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:15:48 AM EST
    dedicated to only functions of gun ownership, it is my opinion that some of the funds be used for other purposes rather than for paying for background checks. Gun owners have the opinion that funds from the excise tax should be used to pay for background checks. I have the opinion that some of the funds could be put to better use providing better mental health services in communities or possibly for buy back programs for assault weapons.



    True (none / 0) (#62)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:50:05 AM EST
     and that's entirely a political issue but I suspect seriously proposing something along those lines would hurt rather than further the cause of effective gun control.

      That could rather easily, and not entirely inaccurately, be labeled a gimmick to raise money for the big bad government based on no convincing evidence it would have any effect on the goal of reducing gun deaths and injuries.

       Wasting political capital for that would be very risky and of dubious potential even it succeeded. If politicians are going to risk the enmity of the significant portion of the electorate opposed to gun control, doing it by way of a tax which would have the real world effect of just marginally increasing the cost of acquiring firearms and ammo and an entirely speculative claim that government subsidized treatment would reduce gun deaths and injuries seems an option that would be well down the list if the real goal was addressing the problems guns create.

       I think we need to acknowledge that in the lack of the will to TAKE guns away from people it is determined should not have them and take stringent measures to PREVENT them from acquiring them we're probably not doing much but making ourselves feel better because we did "something."


    Political capital is not going to be (none / 0) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:12:18 PM EST
    spent on anything related to effective gun control. The politicians are IMO going to do "something" to make it look like they are addressing the issue. Latest report on what will probably happen. Guns, guns and more guns along with further militarizing the schools:

    The Times story, by reporters Michael Shear and Peter Baker, suggest that Biden's plan will focus on more modest measures that enjoy wider support, like background checks and limits on bullet magazines. Perhaps the ban could become a big bargaining chip for the administration, something they eventually give up in order to get tougher restrictions in other areas. In another example of deal making, The Washington Post is also reporting that the Obama administration may offer funding to pay for more police officers in schools, an area that potentially offers room for a big compromise with the NRA. Here is Keene's interview with Matt Lauer from this morning: link

    Since it is not my job as a citizen to advocate for making fund raising for politicians easier, I think I will continue to advocate for the policies that I prefer even knowing that they will not be adopted.


    We've already had the Switzerland discussion (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:21:40 PM EST
    here on this blog. It was proved to be a losing argument.

    You sound utterly paranoid to me. Frankly, I have no interest in listening paranoids with guns anymore.


    You keep raising Switzerland (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:08:17 PM EST
    You do realize that Switzerland has much more restrictive laws than in the US, don't you?

    While it is true that Swiss militia members can keep their guns after they leave the militia, they must be converted to semi-automatic rifles.  Only a very small number of militia members are allowed to keep ammunition at home.  They have universal background checks and all guns are registered.  Gun carry permits are highly regulated and restrictive.

    Sounds good.


    It's true that the swiss have gotten very... (none / 0) (#24)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:26:44 PM EST
    Gun cotrolly of late.  Oddly the murder rate has stayed consistent despite limiting access to firearms and ammunition.  It seems that your reforms do nothing other than reduce access to firearms for law abiding people.

    So you want to force the same reforms on us despite it making no difference in the homicide rate?  That almost sounds like you dislike guns for personal reasons, not for sound fact based ones. But hey, I'm sure you can magically explain why it will work better here.


    Nothing "magical" about it (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:05:49 PM EST
    Just pointing it out because you keep raising Switzerland as a model of gun ownership.  You used to claim that all Swiss had automatic weapons, but at least that myth has now gone quiet.

    Oddly the murder rate has stayed consistent despite limiting access to firearms and ammunition.  It seems that your reforms do nothing other than reduce access to firearms for law abiding people.

    Since you provide no links or even definition of what you mean by "of late", I'll just assume that claim is as accurate as your claim about all Swiss owning automatic weapons.

    But it is interesting that the only country the gun-rights crowd wants to look at is Switzerland, when there are dozens of industrialized countries with much lower gun ownership and gun violence.  Take Australia, for instance.  They introduced stricter gun laws after a massacre in 1996 (permits, waiting periods, no automatics or even semi-automatics).  They also had a buy-back program for @ 20% of all guns in Australia.  Result?  Firearms homicides dropped by more than half.  Suicide rate dropped by more than half.

    Weird, huh?

    So you want to force the same reforms on us despite it making no difference in the homicide rate?  That almost sounds like you dislike guns for personal reasons, not for sound fact based ones. But hey, I'm sure you can magically explain why it will work better here.

    Really?  It "sounds like" I "dislike guns for personal reasons"?  Very strange, ...

    ... considering I own two guns.


    Theodore Dalrymple on Newton (none / 0) (#32)
    by J Upchurch on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:32:53 PM EST
    I think it might be useful to evaluate the viewpoint  of a recently retired prison psychiatrist on  the Newtown murders.

    First, he was of age (20) to refuse to see a doctor if he so wished, and he might very well have so wished. By all accounts, there were no grounds on which psychiatric attention could have been forced upon him. He was strange, he was socially isolated, his mother worried about him; but he was a good student and had committed no acts that would have justified compulsory treatment, as would have been the case if (for example) he had attacked someone under the influence of delusion.

    Link to Dalrymple Article (none / 0) (#33)
    by J Upchurch on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:39:47 PM EST
    Please stay on topic and (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 02:54:36 AM EST
    stop the name-calling and insults.

    The topic is Biden, the NRA, Congress and gun control.

    It is not abortion, driver's licenses or what shrinks say about Newtown.

    Jeralyn, (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:55:32 AM EST
    You wrote:  
    Personally, I don't think any of these measures will prevent the next mass-shooting or lessen gun violence. They do nothing to address the reason people resort to violence.

    So what do you think might help with individuals expressing their emotions via guns? Which emotions do you think are ill and is there a scale of mental illness? Should an index of mental illness be established and we all get tested, assigned a number put on a file somewhere? Or do you advocate for everyone to be passive in protecting their children? Or do you think everyone should get guns in response to their emotions of fear?

    It probably is true (none / 0) (#41)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:43:18 AM EST
     that among the least likely results of any gun control measure is the elimination of mass murders committed by the dangerously mentally ill.

      I would think people on any side of the debate of the issue could agree on that. People who advocate gun control would likely respond with: how does that undermine arguments that gun control would reduce the number of gun deaths?

      Also, people should not fall into post hoc ergo prmpter hoc fallacies in arguing against gun control. Citing an example of a jurisdiction that instituted gun control and then expeienced an increase in gun crimes does preove that the gun control measure contributed to crime increase.

      IF NYC prohibits Big Gulps and the diabetes rate increases that does not mean that the law against Big Gulps causes or contributed to the  increase.


    That's not what i was saying (none / 0) (#48)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:40:06 AM EST
      I agree those people were not acting responsibly and I will go out on a limb and assume that they make irrational arguments about gun control as did the nut in the clip.

      I was suggesting many other people who are personally responsible in terms of how they store and use their guns are enamored of irrational arguments in opposition to any gun control.

    I'm New to Gun Control Debate (none / 0) (#54)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:31:49 AM EST
    Somebody please brief me on why it is a good thing for a society to allow ordinary people to keep assault rifles and ammunition in their homes.  When is the last time a militia has been called to use such weapons they get from their homes?

    Clearly, you are new to the debate. (none / 0) (#58)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:13:46 AM EST
    Ordinary people are not allowed to keep assault rifles in their homes.

    I think he meant assault "weapons" (none / 0) (#68)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:18:49 PM EST
    ... many of which are rifles.  Everyone recognizes that "assault rifles" (i.e. fully automatic rifles) are highly regulated and rare.

    Do you think there are ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:31:37 PM EST
    ... a significant number of people that think that ordinary people have fully automatic rifles in their homes?

    I know the pro-gun crowd gets riled up by the use of the term "assault weapon" (and even worse, conflation of "assault rifle" with "assault weapon"), but the semantic nitpicking seems silly.


    I think this person, self-described as: (none / 0) (#83)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:39:27 PM EST
    New to Gun Control Debate
    and who expresses (or strongly suggests) opinions on it, ought to get a little more familiar with it first.

    I'll take that as a "no" (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 02:09:53 PM EST
    Yeah.  It means you better not call an assault weapon an assault rifle (even when it IS a rifle), or a pro-gun type might get all bent out of shape.

    I thought it was obvious (none / 0) (#96)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 06:39:27 PM EST
    that I was talking about the kind of firearms that Adam Lanza and James Holmes used in their misdeeds.  What are the legitimate uses they have for the conscientious, patriotic, citizen sportsperson?  

    Why was the 2A adopted? (none / 0) (#97)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 07:11:40 PM EST
    Sporting Uses (none / 0) (#99)
    by Cylinder on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:16:32 PM EST
    Defininitions aside, sporting uses of BSRs (and PSRs) include hunting, target and tactical shooting and protection from wildlife for outdoor sportspersons.

    Definations aside (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:41:03 PM EST
    the gun that James Holmes used was a AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and Aurora police recovered a 100-round magazine drum at the scene of the shooting. They say the rapid-fire drum is capable of shooting up to 60 rounds a minute.

    I wouldn't think even a mediocre hunter would need that much fire power. Also, from articles I've read it is my understanding that most states ban high-capacity magazines from hunting reserves.


    Should read (none / 0) (#105)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:59:04 AM EST
    Definitions aside

    A drum is capable of being attached to the (none / 0) (#106)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 09:18:58 AM EST
    rifle.  The person is capable of shooting 60 rounds out of the rifle a minute.  
    I love it.  "hunting reserves".  Do you mean State Game Lands?

    Semantics aside (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 09:55:39 AM EST
    does a hunter need high capacity magazines to hunt and are they prohibited by some states on land they designated for hunting?

    Playing word games may be fun but it does nothing to answer legitimate questions regarding why someone needs high capacity magazines to hunt. Most hunters I know would be insulted if they were told that they would need 30 to 100 shots to bag a deer.  


    The rationale for limiting ... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Yman on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 12:48:39 PM EST
    ... the number of rifle/shotgun rounds in many hunting areas is because it's considered more "sporting" if hunters are limited to a small number of rounds.

    If only the same logic applied to guns outside of hunting animals.


    I use high (none / 0) (#112)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 02:48:09 PM EST
    cap mags in IDPA competition.  

    Really? (none / 0) (#115)
    by Yman on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:44:42 PM EST
    Never heard of the International Defensive Pistol Association.  Sounds like a bunch of guys dreaming up competition scenarios to mimic their self-defense fantasies.  IMO, not something worth justifying the legality of high-capacity magazines.

    On an interesting side note, according to their Wiki page, they don't allow high capacity (>10 round) magazines.

    Since alterations to the sidearm are carefully regulated in IDPA, and magazine capacity is limited to a division-specific maximum of 10 rounds, it is possible to be competitive in IDPA with a greatly reduced outlay of money.

    Sure they (none / 0) (#139)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:26:23 AM EST
    Do. Mine are downloaded. I'll get approval of my hobbies from you for now on.

    Better let them know (none / 0) (#144)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:55:07 AM EST
    So they can change their rulebook.

    Depending on the division, limits can be 10, 8, or 5 rounds for semi-automatics (plus one in the chamber), and 6 for revolvers.

    No need for hobby approval, but someone's desire to play out their self-defense fantasies as a game doesn't outweigh the increase risk presented by high-capacity magazines.


    migratory birds. Any other limits are generally state by state, based on who know what rationale. For pig, rabbit, etc., as many rounds as you can comfortably handle is the "correct" number. For big game, in order to quickly and humanely dispatch an animal that was wounded but not killed with your first shot, who knows, 5 rds? 10? Personal preference, really.

    Thank you for providing a thoughtful answer (none / 0) (#116)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:44:49 PM EST
    Nothing in your comment seems to indicate that high-capacity magazines (i.e. 30 - 100 rounds) are required to hunt and that they may be prohibited for certain types of hunting and in certain states.

    In the videos that I watched on IPD competitions, it did not appear that the contestants were using high-capacity magazines since they were frequently reloading their weapons. I realize that my small sampling of the events may not be indicative of the entire sport. Yet, I can't help but think that there could be a way to allow sportsmen the opportunity to compete without having these magazines available on the open market for everyone to use or misuse.  



    More on semantics (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 10:19:47 AM EST
    High-capacity magazines are not commonly used by hunters, as most states ban them from hunting reserves, says Luke O'Dell, spokesman for the Colorado-based National Association for Gun Rights.

    Maybe you and other gun right advocates need to coordinate your word usage and set them in stone before you use them to divert attention from the issue at hand.


    ? for Opponents of Gun Restrictions (none / 0) (#65)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:03:13 PM EST
    1. Extended ammo clips.  Why on earth is it some massive infringement on the 2nd amendment to ban extended ammo clips?

    2. If you answer 1 above, why are you OK with bans of grenades and other massively destructive weapons that are just fine if used by responsible adults?

    You should be able to answer Q1 yourself (none / 0) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:12:54 PM EST
    by recognizing why the 2A exists, and for Q2 no right is absolute. In a nutshell, people often have different opinions about stuff.

    Yeah, a better question would be (none / 0) (#69)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:21:21 PM EST
      What interest is served by permitting high capacity clips or magazines to be possessed by private individuals and and does that interest outweigh  the government's interest in prohibting private possession?

    Shot me a high (none / 0) (#93)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 04:37:25 PM EST
    capacity clip.  Not magazine, but a high capacity clip.  

    Heh - Freudian slip? (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 07:20:08 PM EST
    BTW - Yes, the term "clip" is sometimes used interchangeably with "magazine", despite the fact that a clip doesn't have a feeding spring.

    30,000+ annual firarms deaths doesn't get 'em worked up, but call an assault weapon an assault rifle, or a magazine a clip, and watch out!


    You counting (none / 0) (#107)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 09:20:33 AM EST
    suicides there?

    Yep (none / 0) (#110)
    by Yman on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 12:43:44 PM EST
    Hence the use of the word "deaths".

    Oops (none / 0) (#94)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 04:40:37 PM EST
    meant Show me a high capacity clip.  Not a magazine, but a high capacity clip.

    Why is This ? (none / 0) (#71)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:40:52 PM EST
    Personally, I don't think any of these measures will prevent the next mass-shooting or lessen gun violence. - Original Post

    I can't find the exact number, but Bloomberg claims 40% of all guns sales occur without a background check.  

    "Data from a national survey of inmates indicated that nearly 80 percent of those who had used a handgun in a crime had acquired it through a transaction with an individual who was not a licensed gun dealer." LINK

    I don't understand how someone can claim that requiring background checks on all gun sales won't lesson gun violence, my question is how can it not ?  

    And just as importantly, if none of these measures will work, what measures will ?  Or is the gun violence in America acceptable ?

    I think banning this or that gun or limiting clip size isn't going to do much, some lives will be saved, but statistically insignificant IMO.

    Nearly everyone agrees that background checks are necessary for sales through a licensed dealer, why the resistance for non-dealer sales.  The act itself is the same, transferring the ownership of a gun.  By not requiring it for all gun sales, you defeat the entire purpose, which is legally selling a gun to someone who can't legally own one.  Why does the NRA have such issue with it.

    To me it's like having to transfer a title on a car, but only if you buy it from a dealer.  The NRA states background checks for all gun sales is "a stepping stone for gun control advocates seeking to ban all private sales, even among family and friends."  Imagine if someone tried to use that argument for not transferring all titles to all vehicles, it's ridiculous.  Not the best analogy, but to me it makes no sense to have a background check law for some guns.

    It's like verifying someone is 21 to buy alcohol, but only done at liquor stores and not at bars.  Seems like the bars might be where one would go if they aren't 21.  Ditto for guns, if you can't pass a background check, you don't buy it from a licensed dealer.

    Is there another example of a product bought and sold in which the legal requirements to make that purchase depend on who is selling it ?

    Is this a serious question? (none / 0) (#73)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:52:51 PM EST
    "Data from a national survey of inmates indicated that nearly 80 percent of those who had used a handgun in a crime had acquired it through a transaction with an individual who was not a licensed gun dealer." LINK

    I don't understand how someone can claim that requiring background checks on all gun sales won't lesson gun violence, my question is how can it not ?  

    You're asking how can more laws not stop law breakers from breaking laws?

    That's overstating the argument (none / 0) (#75)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:04:45 PM EST
      Laws do in fact reduce the frequency with which the proscibed behaviors is undertaken. Particularly laws which regulate transactional behaviors as opposed to impulsive behaviors.

      If it became illegal for any person to transfer a firearm without following certain mandated procedures, the number of transfers undertaken without those procedures being followed would decline.

      Now that doesn't mean they would be eliminated or that a prospective purchaser could not with enough persistence find a seller willing to break the law but it would make a difference.

      Significantly, the central question is what degree of burden on the many who buy guns from private sellers and then do nothing wrong with the guns is acceptable in comparison to the number of people would do wrong with a gun who are prevented or delayed in acquiring one as a result of the regulation. Where the "wrong" is something very conswequential such as death and serious injury, more of a burden on the "innocent or trustworth purchaser should be tolerated than if the wron to be reduced is something less serious like evading a regulatory fee.

      There are people who would likely think that a tremendous burden on individual  and considerable amount of  money cost to society as a whole is a fair trade-off for a very small number of deaths avoided.


    I should have written: "You're asking how can more laws not lessen criminal gun use by criminals?"

    OK, sure, in reality more laws might prevent a tiny amount of criminal gun use by criminals. But not nearly enough, imo.


    Well closing the private seller exemption (none / 0) (#78)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:30:08 PM EST
     would likely have a  small impact. Levying taxes and dedicating the revenue to mental health treatment or gun safety programs also would likely have small impact.

      But, as there is little hope for enactment of the kind of gun control laws that would have a large impact (and such laws are "possible" if the will existed) we pretty much can do a little or do nothing.

       Again it's a balancing test kind of calculus and saying the affect would be "statistically insignificant" is more persuasive to me when the statistic at issue  is not the number of corpses.



    is not my calculus.

    That is Where We Disagree (none / 0) (#90)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 03:57:09 PM EST
    If the stats are in the ballpark, 40% is a lot of guns being sold without validating the new owner can legally have one.

    If you want a gun and the government says you aren't allowed to own one, you can 'legally' buy one so long as the seller isn't licensed.  Maybe a better way to say that is you can legally sell a gun to someone who legally shouldn't own it.  

    I understand there is a black market that would only increase with more background checks, and that it won't eliminate violence, but the sales disallowed to would be the same as with licensed dealers, if not more.  In 2009 150,000 applications were denied.  That number is fairly constant.  I wouldn't even try and guess how that translates to actual gun violence,  but increasing the number legitimate denials can only reduce the violence, by how much is probably anyone's guess because we don't track any of it in any meaningful way.

    What I was asking in a round about way, is what is the argument for not doing a background check on every gun sale ?  I am not looking for hypotheticals, like it won't work, that is an unknown.  Why do the people accept a BG check when buying from a dealer and oppose the same check for a non-dealer ?  There is a hassle factor, but nothing even close to the hassle factor of owning or buying a car.  Beyond the tax aspect, the government tracks car ownership because it helps track down people who commit crimes with them.

    Imagine if 40% of cars being sold were untraceable or that if the government kept almost no record of cars manufactured, bought/sold, or who owns them.  We except the government tracking them because it would be impracticable not to, but not true of guns.  Phones are probably more traceable.

    FYI, statistically insignificant is the same whether you are talking about dollars or human lives.  It means that the change is so small that it can't be correlated.  I wasn't suggesting human life is insignificant, just that the difference would be so small that it would be impossible to differentiate the effect of the law from the normal variance.


    the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. Specifically, a background check is required on every gun transfer (except between parent and child or grandparent and grandchild).

    However, CA is #4 among the 50 states in rates of gun homicides. Even if CA was #25 or #30 or whatever, that would not lead me to believe that this type of regulation is very effective.


    That Doesn't Prove... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:24:30 AM EST
    ...much, not saying the would be effective or not, but since state borders are porous, it's pretty hard to make claims about restrictive controls when one can simply drive to a neighboring state or use the internet.

    The problem in my mind is we have allowed the market to be saturated that it's nearly impossible to devise a law that will have any impact.

    Still, no one has been able to tell my why background checks are good when buying from a licensed dealer and bad for all other sales.


    because others are using different studies to support their positions.

    We here in CA have the country's most restrictive regulations and I was curious to see where we stood w/regards to gun violence.

    I was surprised to see such a high level of gun violence in the most restrictive state, previously I really had no idea where we stood nationally.

    fwiw, I'm going through the CA BG check process right now, as it happens.

    This particular BG check certainly won't make any difference in societal safety, and it is pretty much a pita, and also an expense.

    I was and still am pretty neutral on BG checks, but I am not sure I see anyone making the claim that "background checks are good when buying from a licensed dealer and bad for all other sales."

    I would expect in general, for most people who care about the subject, that they are either for BG checks on all gun purchases or are for no BG checks on any purchases.

    Did you see my comment #95?


    That View Comes... (none / 0) (#121)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:00:05 PM EST
    ...from no one, namely the NRA, seems to have a problem with the current BC required for licensed dealers, but they do with exp0ending those checks to all gun sales.  The head of the NRA stated that it, with the other proposals, was 'feel good legislation'.  The only part he supported was a national database for the mentally ill.  Which is odd considering that if you are going to take that step, the next logical one is requiring gun sellers to check the database, aka BC.  But he went out of his way not to support BC for everyone, and he has said in the past that it's too much burden on the seller.

    So there stand is basically they like BC for some sales, but not for others.  And I thought since there are a lot of people here who oppose all GC legislation, one of them could explain it, but no one has.


    Ah, you are asking what the NRA's (none / 0) (#122)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:40:51 PM EST
    explanation of their position is.

    Well, I found this by google, I'm sure that there are many other googleable NRA comments you could find:

     When asked if there should be background checks required for all gun purchases:

    "The problem with having background checks for every single gun purchase is that not every person is in the business of selling firearms. So if I were to inherit a firearm from a family member who passed away, I should not have to go through the ATF procedure to get a license and then to conduct background checks simply because I don't need his rifle and I want to go to a gun show simply because I want to sell it to someone at the gun show person-to-person.

    "When you go through background checks and have ATF licenses there are a lot of rules and regulations, as there should be, for people who are in the business of buying and selling firearms. But for individual persons who want to go to gun shows and perhaps sell a firearm that they don't need anymore that they don't want that they've inherited from someone, they should not have to become a federally licensed dealer to do so. That puts undo burdens on a law-abiding citizen who does not want the firearm but doesn't want to throw it away."

    That Makes No Sense To Me... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:43:24 AM EST
    ...inheriting, what does that account for ?  But more importantly, if a convicted violent felon inherits 1000 guns, the NRA doesn't think it's anyone's business.

    Anyways, doesn't look like you have an opinion on this, which is what I was looking for.  You believe it won't work, but no explanation on the discrepancy of running BC on some people and not others.

    My point was if you are going to go through the hassle of doing BC on some sales, you should probably do for all sales.  Especially if you support a database of mentally ill people that shouldn't own guns.  To me it's all smoke and mirrors by the NRA, they think video games are the problem, yet this week they came out with a video game for mobile phones.  One only takes these kinds of ridiculous stands when they are being paid to represent an industry, not when they care about solutions.


    was looking at it from a different point of view, that businesses and private citizens are not the same thing, that businesses are under different regulations and are required to do different things than private citizens are.

    If the problem is (none / 0) (#141)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:35:54 AM EST
     that background checks are logistically impossible or too expensive for private citizens not on the business of selling guns, there is another option.

      What would be the problem with requiring any transfer to be through a licensed dealer? If I want to sell or gift my gun to some other person why not require me to transfer the gun to a dealer who would then transfer it to the recipient after complying with BC and other requirements? The dealer could charge fees to compensate for his time and expertise in complying with government requirements. Is that burden on transfers unacceptable?



    for handguns. I am going through it right now. It can be a pita and there is an expense associated with it, though all that may be reasonable if the results are significant.

    "Significant" (none / 0) (#145)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:56:24 AM EST
      is difficult to define. Even with purchases from businesses which conduct background checks the use of a straw purchaser is not uncommon and I don't think we have any way of knowing how many of them don't get caught.

      I can't argue with the basic premise that no  feasible law will stop someone who really wants a gun from getting his hands on one.

      By some estimates there are approximately  as many guns in private hands as there are adults in this nation. Short of confiscation (which also presents practical problems, in addition to any legal ones)no law is likely to have a great  impact on the frequency of gun violence.

      That does not foreclose the argument that even a statistically small impact merits being called significant if the harm abated is death and serious injury.


    of "significant." Like many/most political debates, it comes down to a matter of degree.

    You don't have to go through (none / 0) (#148)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:14:18 PM EST
    a licensed dealer to have a background check done, at least in Maryland.
    My son's girlfriend bought a handgun from a licensed dealer, got her background check, etc.  Then she gave the gun to my son as a present.  They went to the police station (I think it was the state police), filled out paperwork, the police did the background check on him (took a week or so), then when he got the proper notification, she turned the gun over to him (she had to retain possession until he was all done with this) .  Oh, and he also had to pass some kind of test that was available online.  I assume it was some kind of gun safety test, but I'm not sure.

    through the state police directly:
    Can two residents of this state [Maryland] conduct a transfer between themselves? If so, what is required by law?

    Yes, provided both parties conduct the transaction with the Maryland State police or a Regulated Firearms Dealer, (the Dealer may charge an additional $20.00 dollars for this transaction), and the buyer is not prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm. This transaction classified as a Secondary Sale. Both parties must be present during the transaction, and there is a Seven Day Waiting Period before the firearm can be physically transferred. In addition, there is a $10.00 dollar background check fee (Check or Money Order, Absolutely No Cash Accepted), the check must be made out to the Maryland State Police.

    Has your son taken you out shooting with it yet?

    And: (none / 0) (#150)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:30:09 PM EST
    Is there any training that one must have prior to purchasing, receiving or renting a regulated firearm.

    Yes, as a result of the responsible Gun Safety Act of 2000, anyone who purchases a regulated firearm after January 1, 2002 is required to complete a certified firearms training course [...]

    Yes, I guess (none / 0) (#153)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:21:13 PM EST
    it was a course that he took, not a test.  (Although there may have been some questions involved.)  But it was available online.  I don't recall that he ever went anywhere and took a course in person.  He may have, but he did do something or other online.

    Not yet, but (none / 0) (#151)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:43:15 PM EST
    I am interested in doing so.  He set up a (very safe) firing range on our property (we have a lot of acreage).
    I'm also thinking about trying to find one of our old bows (we have two re-curve bows and one compound bow) and getting back into archery, which I used to enjoy many years ago.

    I love archery. So "zen." (none / 0) (#152)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:59:35 PM EST
    I set up some hay bales in the backyard and my sons and I shoot. There are some archery competitions in my area that I've wanted to do, but have been to busy to commit to, that I think would be really fun.

    I did some competing (none / 0) (#154)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:26:43 PM EST
    in high school, but that was a long, long time ago.  I wonder if high schools still have archery teams, or is that considered "too dangerous"?
    Heck, Mr. Zorba was on his high schools rifle marksmanship team.  He used to schlep his rifle (in a carrying case) back and forth to school on the city bus.  I cannot imagine that a whole lot of schools still have rifle marksmanship teams, but I guess some may.  Maybe more private schools than public.  And I'm thinking, if they have a team, they no longer let the kids carry their rifles back and forth on the bus- they probably keep them locked up at school.  I'm too lazy to try and find out.
    Yes, I do love archery, and I do think that I'll get back into it, just for fun.  I have done some target practice over the years, but not for a good long while.

    ya, no archery or marksmenship teams (none / 0) (#155)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 04:52:04 PM EST
    at my local HS.

    A Licensed Dealer... (none / 0) (#142)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:40:25 AM EST
    ...is not a business, and a business doesn't have to be a licensed dealer, but it's probably is must if you want to turn a profit.  

    I think I mentioned above how many licensed dealers there are in the US, more than or real close to the number of gas stations.  Certainly there aren't that many gun businesses in the US, not in the traditional sense.

    One can't sell alcohol to minors because they don't have a liquor license, nor can one sell a car without the title transfer process because they aren't a dealer.  This is the only industry that I can think of where the rules are different in terms of who they can sell to.  IOW a business in which unlicensed people have fewer obstacles.

    One could even argue there is unfair competition by requiring some people to BG checks and not others.


    Fair enough, change "business" to (none / 0) (#146)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:02:44 PM EST
    "licensed dealer" in my comment. I'm throwing out my guesses of the NRA spokesperson's reasoning.

    Linkage (none / 0) (#123)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:42:25 PM EST
    I don't think he was asking (none / 0) (#124)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:07:36 PM EST
    He was pointing out that the NRA supports background checks on sales from dealers but opposes them on the @ 40% of "private" sales.

    As I'm sure you know, (none / 0) (#119)
    by Reconstructionist on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:59:57 AM EST
     that sort of comparison really demonstrates nothing  one way or the other.

     Unless you could establish control groups that are highly similar except with respect to the variable of "gun control" laws.

      I'd venture, without citing to anything, that the reasons once town, county or  state often have very little to with gun laws.

     The borough of the Bronx has relatively stringent gun ordinaces and a relatively high crime rate; Cumberland County, Va has no local gun laws and very relaxed state ones. I'd venture the difference in the gun laws is primarily a reflection of the extent of crime problem than a cause.

       In fact, if was I going to make a case for anything based on such realities, it would be that it supports arguments fro FEDERAL gun laws. Low crime/low gun reg locales don't pass laws because they don't feel the need because they don't perceive a local problem. This then results in people from higher crime/more stringent reg locales traveling to get guns more easily and inexpensively, which helps diminish the effectiveness of the gun laws in the other locale.


    Also there's this, no idea of the accuracy (none / 0) (#95)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 04:49:42 PM EST
    of the website but it looks pretty legit.
    * A 1997 U.S. Justice Department survey of 14,285 state prison inmates found that among those inmates who carried a firearm during the offense for which they were sent to jail, 0.7% obtained the firearm at a gun show, 1% at a flea market, 3.8% from a pawn shop, 8.3% from a retail store, 39.2% through an illegal/street source, and 39.6% through family or friends.[94]
    Of the 0.7% who obtained their firearm at a gunshow, who knows how many got it there via private party w/o background check.

    Like virtually (none / 0) (#125)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:18:14 PM EST
     all statistics, surveys, and studies the results can be skewed to project any view the authors wish. Just like all the polls conducted around election time, unless you dig down and research all the variables within the poll the simple numerical results are meaningless.

    Similarly, the survey you cite is, as you say, "legit," but accepting the final numbers only doesn't give you an accurate picture of what really occurred. If you're a person inclined to be against BC's you would point to the less than 1% of inmates getting their guns from private sales, and thus, no need to expand the BC base to include private sales.

    But, without knowing where the 80% of the inmate's sources got "their" guns, the results of the survey are if not meaningless, at least distorted.


    Distorted? Really? (none / 0) (#126)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:42:24 PM EST
    The number are reported as they exist. Gun shows via the study were >1%.

    Wait, are you thinking that the 80% of guns acquired by criminals via "illegal/street source" and/or "through family or friends" would be significantly reduced if there were additional laws requiring background checks?

    I would expect just the opposite, I would expect more criminals to obtain guns via illegal sources/family/friends/etc...


    The "gunshow" loophole ... (none / 0) (#128)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:00:16 PM EST
    ... is a misnomer.  The 40% figure that ScottW714 was citing referred to all private transfers (i.e. not through a FFL dealer), not just gunshows.  The vast majority of states require no background checks or paperwork on these transfers.  Private transfers would include both the "illegal/street source" and/or "through family or friends"  categories that you referenced.

    Link (none / 0) (#129)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:05:01 PM EST
    Ya, we get that. (none / 0) (#130)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:10:37 PM EST
    According to the US DOJ study that I linked to ~80% of guns used by criminals in crimes (0.7% gunshow + 39.2% through an illegal/street source + 39.6% through family or friends) were acquired w/o a background check. As it is the illegal/criminal use of guns that is, in general, the problem, I do not see additional background laws significantly impacting criminals getting guns.

    Why not? (none / 0) (#131)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:41:27 PM EST
    It's all about making it harder for them to get a hold of a gun.  The NRA said the Brady checks wouldn't do anything because criminals didn't go to licensed dealers to get guns, but it turns out that almost 2 million attempted purchases were blocked from 1994-2007.  If you require background checks on all private transfers, some might ignore the law.  Others might think twice about selling a gun to their friend/acquaintance if they're facing a felony conviction with several years in jail and thousands in fines for skipping a background check.  Puts the $ they might make on the sale in perspective.

    But my main point was that your .7% was misleading as it only included gunshow sales, whereas all private transfers would include @ 80% of the sources of guns used in crimes.


    gun shows. No "misleading" intended, I could/should have made that more clear. That 0.7% + the other 79.8% via illegal/family/friends = the ~80% of guns obtained w/o a background check and used in crimes by criminals.

    Your Brady information does not show that criminals were unable to ultimately acquire guns, which is the main point.

    That said, common sense would suggest that more laws would make guns harder to obtain by criminals, though whether it would be significantly harder is debatable. And common sense would also suggest that more laws requiring background checks would result in a higher percentage of criminals getting guns w/o a background check.


    Down to the "common sense" ... (none / 0) (#135)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:21:24 PM EST
    ... argument, huh?

    Your Brady information does not show that criminals were unable to ultimately acquire guns, which is the main point.

    Of course not.  You have some information suggesting they were able to get guns?

    And common sense would also suggest that more laws requiring background checks would result in a higher percentage of criminals getting guns w/o a background check.

    Uhhhmmm, ... no.  If X criminals get guns without background checks now (because they're not required), all else remaining constant there will still be at most X number of criminals getting guns without background checks if the checks are required on all transfers.  There would be an increase in the number of people violating the background check requirement, for which they and the sellers could now be severely punished.  It would only be "common sense" for many sellers to be less willing to sell guns while now risking a felony conviction/years of jail for a relatively small reward.


    Thanks for proving my point. (none / 0) (#136)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:44:03 PM EST
    There would be an increase in the number of people violating the background check requirement
    Although you probably can't even figure out why...

    THAT was your point? (none / 0) (#137)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:50:34 PM EST
    Making something illegal (private transfers w/o background checks) that was previously legal will result in an increase in violations?



    No, I think you missed my point (none / 0) (#132)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:50:05 PM EST
    I agree my sentences are a little discombobulated. But, the point I was trying to make was that the 80% of guns the inmates got from street illegals, and family friends, didn't show the whole train. In other words, where did the street illegals, family and friends get their guns. I would say that a good portion got them from gun shows.  

    Basically, there's more to the story than just those 4 numbers (percentages)

    There's no villains here, take a deep breath.


    Ah, that makes sense, I agree. (none / 0) (#134)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:00:42 PM EST
    In other words, where did the street illegals, family and friends get their guns.
    I had not considered that.

    I didn't mean to imply (none / 0) (#82)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:37:21 PM EST
     it was your personal calculus-- just that is a widely proffered argument against regulating guns, no matter what regulation is being discussed.

    Ya, no worries, just clarifying. (none / 0) (#84)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:40:50 PM EST
    I have an idea (none / 0) (#88)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 02:55:03 PM EST
    why not require gun insurance?  Proportionate to the number and type of guns & ammo you want to own?

    Other than creating a revenue source (none / 0) (#89)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 03:16:23 PM EST
    for insurance companies what would that accomplish?

      Even to provide meaningful compensation to persons injured by guns or to the estates of those killed would require a fundamental change from the way insurance companies do business and one that is practically impossible. Insurance policies contain exclusions for intentional acts by insureds, so only accidental discharges or negligent storage, handling or entrustment, etc. would establish liability for the insured.  If such exclusions were prohibited then the only result would be no insurance company would be willing to write such policies.

      If that is the intent, i.e., banning gun ownership through the backdoor by mandating an impossible prequisite, it's likely the de facto ban would fail on the same grounds as a law more directly banning the possession.

      It's also not hugely likely that many  people contemplating shooting someone would be vigilant about complying with the law and making sure the gun they used was covered by a paid up policy before pulling the trigger.

      I supose that in theory  government could create insurance programs  to write the required coverages and take the losses the private sector would not consider and that would provide some coverage for the victims of those meticulous abot complying with mandaory insurance laws but i still don't think it would make any dent in gun crime.



    site violator (none / 0) (#127)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:58:23 PM EST
    why do they come here?