Senate Hearing on Gun Issues

The Senate is holding a hearing on guns today. Here's a recap from The Atlantic.

Here's who is speaking and their positions.

David Koppel of Colorado is one of the speakers. He is the Research Director for the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado, an Associate Policy Analyst for the Cato Institute, and an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at the Univ. of Denver Law School. I recommend his prepared testimony, available here. (All of the prepared statements are accessible here.

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    Hard to take the good professor seriously (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:28:04 PM EST
    When, in his testimony, he cites such people as John Lott and Michelle Malkin....

    When I read the name (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 01:30:29 PM EST
    I almost choked on my early lunch (that'll tach me not to eat and read provocative commentary, uh.)  For those Denverites like myself, David Kopel is fairly well-known as more conservative that most conservative would-be intellects.  Not sure that George Will could get near him on conservatism; in the same vein as M. Malkin, but with more smooth (which leads to Cato as a good fit); more along the lines of Denver area's Mike Rosen (our own Sean Hannity.)

    Yes, if the "messenger" is David Kopel...then....  The sad part, as I recall, is that his father was one longtime all-around liberal CO state representative & his mother has been a longtime progressive supporter of women-in-the law years before that was anywhere near popular.  (She helped me start in the 1970s ... a special lady to whom I owe a special thanks.)  What the heck became of that son, tho....


    You recommend someone who cites (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by observed on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:45:12 PM EST
    John Lott? Seriously?
    You're too intelligent to associate even at one remove with an intellectual fraud of Lott's caliber.

    Nobody has a monopoly on truth... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:50:27 PM EST
    even unsavory characters can make a good point, or even be right once in awhile.

    Address the points, not the messengers...just sayin'.

    I understand what you are saying, (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 04:16:57 PM EST
    Yet--in this case--I made a deliberate decision to discuss the messenger only after some years of attempting to read his predictable stuff, after even trying to look at his "independence" outfit on occasional TV outings.

    I'll accept any charge about my bias against David Kopel that you might levy.  In my book of "we all should get to be a bit irrational about a particular public personality once or twice," David Kopel has never failed to be predictably in the worst-of-the-political-right (ala Malkin) ...and, an insufferable elitist at that.  While I realize the stopped-clock analogy may apply anywhere...all I can respond with is a request, kdog, to spot me one on Kopel.


    Not a valid point (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by observed on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 04:23:00 PM EST
    A person who cites John Lott in an argument about gun control has no credibility, period.
    He's a fraud.
    Might as well look to Deepak Chopra or Dr. Oz for truth if you go that route.

    The point is (3.67 / 3) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:52:42 PM EST
    the professor is NOT right and uses suspect sources to back up his arguments.

    as a cite:
    and allowing teachers and other responsible adults to carry concealed handguns in schools--something already successfully implemented in Utah and parts of Texas, Ohio, and Colorado.7
    This seems like the part of the cited Malkin article that's relevant:
    Utah has allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons on K-12 campuses for 12 years now and, said Aposhian, "We have never had any accidental or intentional shootings." He serves on the state board where any violation of concealed weapon laws would be reported.
    Is what she wrote not factual?

    "Is what she wrote not factual?" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:22:17 PM EST
     1. "...something already successfully implemented in Utah and parts of Texas, Ohio, and Colorado."

    What, exactly, does, "successfully implemented," mean? That college educated teachers were able to cram handguns into their panty hose and boxer briefs without blasting their (ahem, parts) off? Or, that armed-to-the-teeth, would-be assassins were "successfully" warded off by some 61 year old "do you feel lucky, Punk?" teacher?

    2. "We have never had any accidental or intentional shootings."

    First of all, that statement is true for the great majority of schools in all 50 states anyway (without armed teachers).  And, since Utah has about as many schools in the entire State as there are on one block in a major city, it's not at all implausible. But, on a personal thought, since those folks in Utah believe the earth is 6000 years old, maybe a potential shooter figures the kids will be (brain) dead anyway, so why bother?


    OK, maybe she and/or he could have added (2.00 / 1) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:27:17 PM EST
    "so far" to what they wrote. Kinda thin gruel, if you ask me.

    So, (none / 0) (#32)
    by bocajeff on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:13:08 AM EST
    It is factual,though maybe not entirely relevant.
    And you mock an entire state for the majority religion. There are many people in Utah that are not religious, or who are and don't believe in the 6000 year old world age. Is that your intent and intelligent discourse or a lame joke? Either way, you come across as a bigot.

    I "come across as a bigot?" (none / 0) (#39)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:22:07 AM EST
    and you come across as an idiot.

    Bump (none / 0) (#47)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:00:31 AM EST
    for future use in posts.

    It is name-calling exchanges like this, (none / 0) (#83)
    by Peter G on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:55:13 PM EST
    which are totally out of keeping with what makes TalkLeft such a special place on the Web, that pretty much keep me from participating in threads on gun control and a few other issues.

    Can We Assume... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:11:20 AM EST
    ...these gun wielding teachers don't watch movies.  Her definition of success seem like very similar to Bush's claim that he kept America safe after tragedy hit.  

    Keeping one safe is not the same as very infrequent occurrence not happening again in a very narrow area, which in this case is schools in 2 states and part of another.

    But I suspect what she actually means by success is that they were able to get it through whatever legislative process in order for them to be armed in schools.

    Why are we discussing the legitimacy of a MM claim ?  It's like discussing if the crazy man really has the lineage to be King of the Park.


    How is the Line Drawn? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:27:58 PM EST
    What sort of weapons is a private person allowed to keep in his house?  Are bombs, chemical abd biological weapons, armed drones out?  I would love to see a precise criterion of what satisfies second amendment rights.

    Pretty easy stanard: (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by redwolf on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:28:57 PM EST
    If private security and the police are allowed carry a weapon then the public is allowed as well. That's a basic issue of fairness.  

    If you want to take away people's guns then by all means disarm the police, private security, and the secret service first.  If them being disarmed reduces violence then maybe it's a good idea to disarm everyone.  If that doesn't work out so well then maybe your ideas about controlling guns are crap.


    Why Stop at Private Security and Police? (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:57:06 PM EST
    Doesn't a well regulated militia need whatever the US Military has?  

    I think you missed the point... (none / 0) (#33)
    by redwolf on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:34:53 AM EST
    Our police already carry the basic kit of the US military.  

    Historically militia has carried the basic main rifle load out while larger weapons were supplied by the regulars or from arsenals during times of unrest.


    The thing I Can't Get Past... (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:24:22 AM EST
    ...is requiring all gun sales to be formal with the title transfer and background check.  Argue that you need an assault rifle to keep your family safe, probably not, but I understand why someone would feel that way.

    But what is the problem with making sure all gun sales go through the same process ?

    Why is the NRA fighting this when 3/4ths of their members agree with the BC ?  Couldn't be their real backers, the gun industry, is making the call for all of the NRA members ?


    Not generally a fan... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:38:22 AM EST
    of all the paperwork and the government demanding to know who owns what...but if it is required for cars, it is damn hard to argue it is unreasonable to require it for guns.

    If ya wanna argue the state has no business knowing who is buying and selling guns, you should argue the same for cars and houses and everything else...at least that would be consistent.


    And in a Lot of States... (none / 0) (#54)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:48:39 AM EST
    ...trailers and off road vehicles.

    Not only do they record who owns them, in many states they require the vehicle be inspected and pass safety tests.  


    And to use the machines... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:58:59 AM EST
    you are supposed to be pass a written test and a use test...gun owners don't know how good they have it while they whine! ;)

    Not sure how I feel about it...I sure do hate dealing with the DMV, but equality under the law would appear to demand the same standards for guns.  Sorry gun owners;(

    otoh, if this were to come to pass for guns, I shudder to think what would be next...title and licensing requirements for baseball bats or chewing gum?


    Not even close to the same argument (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:00:51 PM EST
    otoh, if this were to come to pass for guns, I shudder to think what would be next...title and licensing requirements for baseball bats or chewing gum?

    Since both baseball bats and chewing gum do not have "killing people / things" as their intended use.


    Killing isn't the intended (2.00 / 1) (#66)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:32:08 PM EST
    use of cars...except in cases of premidated vehicular homicide.  Or guns for that matter, whose intended use typically is hunting, self-defense, home-defense, or sport shooting.  

    If the intended use of every gun is killing humans, and we've got millions upon millions of guns out there in homes and on the street, why don't we have millions upon millions of shootings equal to every gun out there?


    The "intended use{ for guns (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:59:50 PM EST
    would seem to have something to do with shooting/firing ammo...whether in offensive or defensive mode, the intent to discharge the gun at some point(s) would certainly be in keeping with the "intended use" of a gun.  And, I might add in rebuttal to kdog's suggestion here, that such use would assume that the shot would hit the "target" & either kill, maim, injure in the process.

    OTOH, kdog, maybe you are suggesting that the normal "intended use" of a gun would be to hang it on the wall and frame it as art or something....


    Fair point, however, by actual count, (none / 0) (#71)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:03:15 PM EST
    of the 8650 kajillion rounds fired in the US every year, a very small percentage are ever aimed at people.

    And yet (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:09:31 PM EST
    How many pieces of chewing gum are actually used to kill people each year?

    Ask Singapore... (none / 0) (#78)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:40:43 PM EST
    they banned the stuff!

    Practice ... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:01:20 PM EST
    ... makes perfect ...

    guns with criminal intent probably aren't the people practicing a whole lot.

    A lot of people don't ... (none / 0) (#86)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:46:43 PM EST
    ... until they commit a crime, commit suicide, accidentally shoot someone, etc., etc.

    As relevant as the percentage of rounds aimed at people ...


    Not a suprising comment from someone (none / 0) (#87)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:31:11 PM EST
    who believes that guns have one and only one purpose. Speaking of relevance.

    Who are you talking about? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:45:50 PM EST
    Not me.  You can use a gun for whatever you want - target shooting, wall decor, paperweights, driving nails ... whatever.

    Of course, the original and primary purpose of a gun is as a weapon.


    Not in my house! ;) (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:39:46 PM EST
    I find the blasted things ugly, so very ugly...as weapons or art or paperweights.

    All I was suggesting is if the current framework of government regulation of cars is legal and just, then surely it must be legal and just to apply a simlar framework for guns.  But having said that, I've long questioned whether cars and driving are over-regulated and how effective it really is...and how effective it will be to apply that model to guns.  

    And though I got no love for the guns, I got love for humans and human freedom, even gun owners;)  


    Pretty sure cars are registered (none / 0) (#80)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:45:39 PM EST
    so they can collect taxes on them every year.

    For sure... (none / 0) (#81)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:05:32 PM EST
    revenue might be the "real" reason, but also to for the ownership trail, and to have someone on record to hold liable if the car is used to hurt or kill somebody.

    is collection of tax revenues.

    And Insurance! (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:10:09 AM EST
    How could I forget the insurance requirement?  Count your blessing guns owners, count your blessings...a liability insurance requirement for gun ownership would not be unreasonable, using cars as a precedent.

    I should probably keep that down, the insurance lobby would jump on that sh*t I'm sure;)


    The Slippery Slope... (none / 0) (#58)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:28:53 AM EST
    ...is always non-sense, "If we let gay people marry, what's next...."  Nothing, same with this debate, nothing is next.

    Of all the things we own, only two are licensed/titled universally, adding one more surely isn't going to lead to the government licensing/titling everything.

    And to be fair, the property thing really is for our, the little guy's, protection from the wolves.


    Not always nonsense... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:45:22 AM EST
    the war on drugs arrived on a slippery Commerce Clause slope.  Bloomberg has regulated the size of our sodas.  Legislators have called for banning the Happy Meal. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore.

    There is always a next my brother...it doesn't alway pass, but there is always a legislator with the bright idea to take it one step further.


    You Are Right Kdog... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:52:19 PM EST
    ...let's not do anything because if we do we might have to license bubble gum, great point.

    No you're right Scott... (none / 0) (#67)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:34:38 PM EST
    lets "do something" for the sake of doing something...what could possibly go wrong?

    Now Your Are Putting Words... (none / 0) (#76)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:39:13 PM EST
    ...in my posts.

    Pot meet kettle! ;) n/t (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:42:42 PM EST
    Simple (none / 0) (#16)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:34:07 PM EST
    Personal firearms, able to be carried by a single person and which do not produce explosive or other mass destruction effects , but are anti-personnel weapons. Basically if by firing it once you can kill one person you are cool. If it will reduce a car or building to dust or kill more than one person at once , you have no right to it.

    It is really that simple? (none / 0) (#17)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:41:10 PM EST
    Killing 20 people in 20 seconds is OK but dispatching them all in 1 second isn't?  Thanks for making it so clear.

    Ahh, Rickyjim (1.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:39:46 PM EST
    IF you hit people enough with it, a plastic mallet can conceivably kill them.

    Who cares if it takes 70 years to kill two people, the point is you can kill MORE THAN ONE so that horrid weapon must be BANNED!

    Thanks for making your argument clear.


    Plastic mallets (5.00 / 10) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:56:18 PM EST
    When plastic mallets become one of the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the U.S. we might want to consider banning them. Until then we need to focus on the weapons that are killing the most people NOW.

    The difference being about 70 years (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:48:22 PM EST
    A semi-automatic gun (which you argue is protected because it can't kill more than can kill two people with a single trigger pull) can be used to kill those two people in less than a second ... pretty much the same as a fully automatic gun.

    Not so much with the plastic mallet.


    Justice Scalia isn't so certain (none / 0) (#18)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:50:37 PM EST
    Earlier this year he said,

    Obviously the Amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried -- it's to keep and "bear," so it doesn't apply to cannons -- but I suppose here are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided.

    That IS pretty simple (none / 0) (#23)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:50:27 PM EST
    But where is the support or rationale for that test?  The 2A says "arms", not "personal firearms, able to be carried by a single person and which do not produce explosive or other mass destruction effects , but are anti-personnel weapons."  Are explosives not "arms"?  Why are semi-automatics protected by the 2A ("Basically if by firing it once you can kill one person you are cool") but not machine guns?  The extra effort of a finger pull for each shot (as opposed to a continuous hold) means the weapon is protected"?

    This "simple" line has no basis in case law or logic.


    So No Problem With Fully Automatic ? (none / 0) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:25:01 AM EST
    Why do I have the feeling (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:23:58 PM EST
    that all of this is just kabuki theater and nothing is really going to be done?

    Because you've seen this show before... (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:29:09 PM EST
    we all have; it doesn't get any better the 50th time you see it, either.

    I am Hoping... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:27:39 AM EST
    ...that we at least have background checks on all gun sales.  Seems likely IMO.

    Gunrunners... (none / 0) (#91)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:50:59 AM EST
    are hoping for the same thing...they call it a stimulus package.

    In theory background checks sound great...but will they stop the next mass murderer? First the next mass murderer will have to have a record that forbids gun ownership, then the next mass murderer will have to have no luck getting a gun illegally.  I just don't see that happening.

    That being said the unintended harmful consequences seem minimal...people with records who want to own a gun might be hurt, but again there is always the black market eager to serve.


    Mark Kelly takes on Wayne LaPierre, (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:27:52 PM EST
    at today's hearing:

    Perhaps the most important moment so far in today's Senate Judiciary hearing on guns came when astronaut Mark Kelly directly confronted NRA head Wayne LaPierre over the shooting of his wife, Gabrielle Giffords. Between that exchange and another one involving Senator Dick Durbin, LaPierre's argument was completely unmasked for the sham that it is.

    During the hearing, LaPierre repeatedly voiced the talking point that there's no need to expand the background check system because criminals don't cooperate with background checks. Kelly responded:

       The Tuscon shooter was an admitted drug user. He was rejected from the U.S. Army because of his drug use. He was clearly mentally ill. And when he purchased that gun in November, his plan was to assassinate my wife and commit mass murder at that Safeway in Tucson. He was a criminal. Because of his drug use, and because of what he was planning on doing. But because of these gaps in the mental health system, in this case, those 121,000 records, I admit did not include a record on him. But it could have.

        And if it did, he would have failed that background check. He would have likely gone to a gun show, or a private seller, and avoided that background check. But if we close that gun show loophole, if we require private sellers to complete a background check, and we get those 121,000 records and others into the systems, we will prevent gun crime. That is an absolute truth. It would have happened in Tucson. My wife would not have been sitting here today if we had stronger background checks.


    As Sargent points out:

    And LaPierre's suggestion fails the test of basic logic. If criminals don't cooperate with background checks, and end up getting their guns from private sellers or gun shows, or from gun dealers who get them via such means, that is an argument for expanding the background check system, not an argument against it. Indeed, these loopholes are the very reason that gun crime persists even in areas that have strict gun control. The "gun rights" crowd likes to point to Chicago as an example of such a place. But as Senator Dick Durbin put it during the hearing:

       When you take a look at where these guns come from, 25 percent plus are sold in the surrounding towns around the city of Chicago, not in the city. Look over the last 10 or 12 years. Of the 50,000 guns confiscated in crimes, almost one out of 10 crime guns in Chicago came to that city from Mississippi. Why? Because the background checks there, the gun dealers there, are a lot easier than in other places. And they end up selling these guns in volume.

    I guess the obvious common sense of this is just too threatening to the gun rights crowd.  Or maybe people like Wayne LaPierre are making way too much money in service to the NRA to risk allowing common sense to be part of the discussion.

    Whatever, I'm just so over these people it's not even funny.

    Nor Does it Jive With This (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:42:39 AM EST
    From November 30, 1998, to December 31, 2011, the NICS Section has denied a total of 899,099 transactions.

    That nearly a million people who shouldn't have guns were denied them.  Since number one reason for denial is criminal record, LaPierre's claim that criminals don't try and get guns legally is complete BS.


    The NICS Section processed 110,686 explosives transactions. Denials issued by the NICS Section in 2011 totaled 2,558.

    Wonder if the NRA has a problem with those checks, or is it just guns.

    The Math (none / 0) (#65)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:02:37 PM EST
    Right around 190 people a day are denied a gun every day, 24/7.  And While I don't know the breakdown, the FBI states most are denied because they have been convicted of a crime.  So a conservative estimate would be that 100 criminals a day are trying to get a gun that through a licensed dealer.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:30:19 PM EST
    today upheld the dismissal of the NRA's lawsuit against New Jersey's one-gun-a-month law. The court held the NRA's legal objections to be invalid.

    The backdrop for this gun conversation, (5.00 / 5) (#63)
    by Lena on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:46:40 PM EST
    as currently provided by the front page of nbcnews.com: (1) in Chicago, a teen recalling her friend's last words before she was hit by a bullet and killed; (2)Alabama kidnap victim's parents "holding on by a thread" while he's held by armed gunman; (3) a Phoenix office shooting suspect possibly found dead; and (4) 2 gunmen hunted after Texas court official slain.

    Yup, our "well-regulated militia" busy at work on a typical day in America. Nothing to see here!

    And also, what is the response to the Chicago girl's death? 200 more police on the streets! I'd much prefer to get guns out of criminal's/unbalanced people's hands.

    Oh yes! I almost forgot: on a more local (to me) note, just 2 days ago in my local paper, a more light-hearted gun story  -- woman accidentally shoots fiance at gun range.

    We, my fellow Americans, are a bunch of idiots if we think gun ownership keeps us free. And it sure as h*ll doesn't keep us alive.

    The title of his comments is ludicrous (4.20 / 5) (#11)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:17:11 PM EST
    "The Political Attack on Firearms Ownership?"

    Spare me the nonsense title. The only attack is on the fetishising of guns, the only talks is of the regulation of weapons designed for no other reason than mass murder, and the larger problem is the utter lack of responsibility and initiative on the part of the gun lobby to even smell their own sh*t much less acknowledge that it ain't no pile of roses. They market and sell and profit from violence, that's simple fact. Just like defense industry lobbyists pushing for more wars, private prison lobbyists pushing for more crimes to lock people up over. This is about an industry that wants to do one thing and one thing only: sell as many guns as they can to as many people as they can for as much money a they can. Everything else is horsesh*t and laughably so. What do you think they are in business for? What do you think the NRA exists for? Wake up.

    This is a nation in which guns replace genitals and brains in far too many people. There is a literal fetish with them that is bizarre and sickening in this country. Combined with the myth of our "wild west shootout" heritage, it's all but built into our developmentally disabled American DNA.

    And as someone who has faced a gun, twice, spare me again.

    Smacks of "The War on Christmas" (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:10:33 PM EST
    Utter BS (none / 0) (#60)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:50:03 AM EST

    the only talks is of the regulation of weapons designed for no other reason than mass murder

    The talk is for regulating weapons designed for many uses, and are used many different ways.  Modern sporting rifles are used very rarely for mass murder, and far more often put to other uses.

    Dozens of times more people are are killed by drunk drivers than murdered by rifles, but contrary to what some people believe cars are not designed so drunks can kill people.



    I see no coherent arguments (1.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:29:28 PM EST
    A bunch of whining about Michele Malkin and attacks by association but no honest arguments that his particulars are wrong about anything.

    Indeed, Kopel pretty firmly puts to bed the myth that the original ban had any effect on crime and also that the people drafting the legislation knew what they were doing in the first place.

    On top of that, he taught me things about the uses of "large capacity" 15 shot magazines that I did not know (never been a hunter). He also makes good points against registration as well as certain types of background checks.

    The response of the left on this blog? A collective whine. Attack the person when you have no other quiver in your arrow. I'd say bullet in your gun, but we all know how scared most here are of those evil "objects of death", so a gun it would never be.

    You wouldn't know a coherent argument ... (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:03:39 PM EST
    ... if it was posted in 5-foot tall neon letters in your front yard. You hear only what you want to hear, and you disregard the rest. The world does not revolve solely around your own opinions, Zero.

    Donald I thank you (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:13:36 PM EST
    for making Zero's point.

    Its like conversing with (none / 0) (#34)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:30:17 AM EST
    many "progressives" isn't it?

    To start (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:52:46 AM EST
    When you cite suspect people, who have suspect statistics, the whole argument falls apart.

    John Lott and Michelle Malkin are not exactly known for honesty and correct use of interpretative data....


    It's "Kopel" not "Koppel" (none / 0) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 01:04:28 PM EST
    The whole statement - other than the tutorial on types of guns and termininology - seemed very one-sided to me; it could have been subtitled, "The Gun-Lover's Guide to - ahem- Shooting Down Any Negative Opinions, Statistics or Information About Guns."

    To be fair (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 01:29:30 PM EST
    Like expert witnesses, he's there to provide testimony to benefit those that pay him.

    The only reason to register guns (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:31:14 AM EST
    is to know where they are at.

    The only reason to know where they are at is to be able to take them.

    That's it, folks.

    That is funny (5.00 / 10) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:00:08 AM EST
    I have registered every car I have ever owned for the last 40 years or more and so far the government has never taken a one.

    Of course, if I used my car to run down and kill someone and abandoned it at the scene, the government would know who the car belonged to because of the registration.  


    Ugggghhhh ... (5.00 / 7) (#41)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:30:39 AM EST
    I just registered my dog with our borough.

    What do you suppose the government's going to do with all those animals?


    They're going to (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:41:25 AM EST
    pack them all into Mo's automobiles and take them to.............DISNEYLAND!

    Boats, too! (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:47:08 AM EST
    My neighbor just registered his boat, but Orlando is landlocked ... maybe they'll take some to the Disney island?

    I just wish I found out about this before I registered my daughter for Kindergarten ...


    You can kiss that child goodbye! (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:15:44 AM EST
    You also have to (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:50:14 AM EST
    Register babies via a birth cerrtificate (a topic conservatives looooovvee to talk about).  Are they rounding everybody up and I missed it?

    The babies are safe (4.80 / 5) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:05:00 AM EST
    Conservatives don't care about them once they get past the fetus stage.  

    But they DO care about money (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:08:57 AM EST
    Wishing my stock certificates weren't registered ...

    Well Jim I once had a gun (none / 0) (#68)
    by fishcamp on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:58:30 PM EST
    stolen from my house in Aspen returned to me by the police because they found out it was registered to me.  It did take a long time though.

    Sorry fishcamp (none / 0) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:30:11 PM EST
    not the same thing.

    But you folks know that.


    Uhhhm, yeah, Jim (none / 0) (#90)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:49:30 AM EST
    I think that was his point.

    Just so you know (none / 0) (#37)
    by Cylinder on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:52:40 AM EST
    NICS checks continue on record pace

    For those not familiar, National Instant Criminal Checks (NICS) were instituted in Nov 98 as a result of the Brady Act, which requires background checks for all firearm purchases from licensed dealers. NICS checks are considered roughly analagous to firearm sales - some are declined and some represent multiple purchases.

    Top Ten Highest Days: November 30, 1998 - January 27, 2013

    1. Fri., Dec. 21, 2012  177,170

    2. Thu., Dec. 20, 2012 159,604

    3. Fri., Nov. 23, 2012  154,873

    4. Sat., Dec. 22, 2012 153,697

    5. Wed., Dec. 19, 2012 153,672

    6. Tue., Dec. 18, 2012  134,691

    7. Fri., Nov. 25, 2011  129,166

    8. Sat., Dec. 15, 2012 128,823

    9. Fri., Dec. 14, 2012 113,022

    10. Sat., Jan. 19, 2013 112,615

    Other than Black Friday in 2011, every date is in the last 90 days - roughly 1.3 million firearms sold in 8 days alone. So far, every week in 2013 has made the Top Ten. You can attribute the Nov. 25, 2011 to Black Friday sales, because those sales disappear from the weekly records:

    Top Ten Highest Weeks: November 30, 1998 - January 27, 2013

    1. 12/17/2012 - 12/23/2012  953,613

    2. 01/14/2013 - 01/20/2013  641,501

    3. 01/07/2013 - 01/13/2013  603,882

    4. 12/10/2012 - 12/16/2012 602,003

    5. 01/21/2013 - 01/27/2013 541,822

    6. 12/03/2012 - 12/09/2012 527,095

    7. 11/19/2012 - 11/25/2012  516,302

    8. 12/24/2012 - 12/30/2012  499,083

    9. 12/31/2012 - 01/06/2013  497,785

    10. 11/05/2012 - 11/11/2012 473,787

    8 of the Top 10 are the last 8 calendar weeks and the other two simply skip a week. This represents roughly 5.9 million firearms sold in the last 3 months - and that's dropping a week.

    Proof that paranoia ... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:28:16 AM EST
    ... and and fear-mongering can be very effective.

    Kopel Testimony (none / 0) (#62)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:38:36 PM EST
    I would agree it's hard to say how effective the Assault Weapons ban has been considering the type of guns specified in the original bill aren't commonly used in crimes. However, the testimony actually provides support for further gun bans IMO.  


    The Bushmaster rifle used by the Sandy Hook murderer was not an "assault weapon" under Connecticut law. Nor was it an "assault weapon" under the 1994-2004 Feinstein ban.22 The new Feinstein ban would cover that particular model of Bushmaster. But it would allow Bushmaster (or any other company) to manufacture other semi-automatic rifles, using a 11 different name, which fire just as fast, and which fire equally powerful bullets.  To reiterate, the Sandy Hook murderer's rate of fire (150 shots in 20 minutes) could be duplicated by any firearm produced in the last century and a half.

    Further, and I think Kopel realizes he may be opening a line of attack:

    After a quarter century of legislative attempts to define "assault weapon," the flagship bill for prohibitionists, by Senator Dianne Feinstein, still relies on banning 157 guns by name. This in itself demonstrates that "assault weapons" prohibitions are not about guns which are actually more dangerous than other guns.  After all, if a named gun really has physical characteristics which make it more dangerous than other guns, then legislators ought to be able to describe those characteristics, and ban guns (regardless of name) which have the supposedly dangerous characteristics.  Banning guns by name violates the Constitution's prohibition on Bills of Attainder. It is a form of legislative punishment, singling out certain politically disfavored companies for a prohibition on their products.

    Not being a legal scholar, I can't speak with much knowledge on the Constitutionality of laws that limit purchase of certain types of guns, i.e. "Bills of Attainder." It seems to me it does not apply since gun companies could still sell Assault Rifles and other banned items, e.g. guns w/more than 7 bullets, to the military, citizens of other countries, etc.  They are also not precluded from selling guns that fall beneath the bar that could be set by Congress.  NY recently passed a law prohibiting purchase of guns that hold more than 7 bullets.  Wondering why that is not subject to this "Bills of Attainder" clause?

    Finally,  I haven't been able to dig to much into the stats, but his numbers seem wrong on violent crime comparisons between the US and the UK.  Recent numbers show we exceed the UK.  Kopel states:

    Overall, the violent crime rate in England and Wales is far above the American rate. (Using the standard definition for the four most common major violent crimes: homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.)

    P. 28 of this report from the UK's Home Office(?)

    Shows violent crime accounts for 23% out of 9.6 million offenses based on "interviews" (police reports are significantly lower, btw, see the next graph).  My math = 2,208,000 in 2010/2011.  The FBI's crime stats page:

    2010 = 1,246,248
    2011 = 1,203,564
    Tot  = 2,449,812

    Even considering the UK report may not be complete (it was compiled in July 2011) The UK's number is not "far above" as Kopel implies.  Further, many of the statements made reference his own work.  Why not just reference the stats used in your original work?  Dunno, if it were me, I'd want the facts I used out there for verification.

    I put this out there as someone interested in possibly obtaining a handgun for home protection in the future.  It's not unreasonable to have to go thru a process to be approved to own guns.  We should limit what one can purchase to that which is suited to one's professed needs.  Background checks combined with registration and tracking of sales between citizens and store owners combined w/existing laws against assault and murder should be sufficient to protect the populace.

    IMO, the gun lobby needs to get on board w/reasonable changes lest they be deemed citizens the rest of us need to worry about and isolate.  In other words, quit now while you're ahead.

    to confirm or deny, but here's a recent article:

    Violent crime worse in Britain than in US

    by MICHAEL CLARKE, Daily Mail

    Britain has a higher crime rate than any other rich nation except Australia, according to a survey yesterday.


    According to the figures released yesterday, 3.6 per cent of the population of England and Wales were victims of violent crime in 1999 - second only to Australia, where the figure was 4.1 per cent.

    Scotland had a slightly lower rate of violence, at 3.4 per cent.

    In the U.S., only 2 per cent of the population suffered an assault or robbery.

    Did you realize that these are (none / 0) (#73)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    statistics from 1999?  I don't think that qualifies as recent.

    at the top of the screen and then just started cutting and pasting.

    Check your dates (none / 0) (#74)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:28:30 PM EST