Let the Gun Nut Freakouts Begin

Hoo boy, this is going to be fun to watch:

The White House is weighing a far broader and more comprehensive approach to curbing the nation’s gun violence than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, according to multiple people involved in the administration’s discussions.

A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.

To sell such changes, the White House is developing strategies to work around the National Rifle Association that one source said could include rallying support from Wal-Mart and other gun retailers for measures that would benefit their businesses. White House aides have also been in regular contact with advisers to New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), an outspoken gun-control advocate who could emerge as a powerful surrogate for the Obama administration’s agenda.

The Biden group, formed last month after the massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults, plans to submit a package of recommendations to President Obama this month. Once Obama’s proposals are set, he plans to lead a public-relations offensive to generate popular support.

“They are very clearly committed to looking at this issue comprehensively,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, who has been involved in the discussions. The proposals under consideration, he added, are “a deeper exploration than just the assault-weapons ban.”

It just shows you how insane our current gun climate is that any of these things is controversial at all. Meanwhile, some blue dogs are already breaking out the shiv.

BTW- is Heitkamp going to turn out to be Lieberman in a skirt? I remember this NPR interview right after the election and she was basically waffling on everything.

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149 replies
  1. 1
    ruemara says:

    I have been reassured by naysayers that nothing will happen and that Obama is a pussy, who will not do anything about guns since he is weak and a moderate republican. Anything done is political theatre, which, like space pictures is simply false.

  2. 2
    debit says:

    Cue the “You will only take my guns when you pry them from my cold dead hands” cries of rebellion. My response: that’s fine with me.

  3. 3
    Mark S. says:

    None of this is needed. We just need to train school children to mass tackle gunmen. This shit ain’t complicated.

    Oh, and ban video games.

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    @debit:

    My response: that’s fine with me.

    Yep. Let’s get started.

  5. 5
    Fluke bucket says:

    Obama could help increase gun sales with a third term. The firearms and ammo people have never had it so good.

  6. 6
    J. says:

    Give em hell, Barry!

    Also, too, re

    It just shows you how insane our current gun climate is that any of these things is controversial at all.

    So true. And why the administration also needs to take some action re making sure mental health care is more affordable and accessible.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    I just sat on a case of drug dealing within 1000 feet of a school–I do not understand why people who intend to own/hold/store guns with minor children in the house or adolescents or visiting crazy people don’t have to store their guns in a locked safe, according to best protocol or deal with the consequences of their failure to store their shit safely by a “no excuses/no limited liability” for accidents and crimes committed with their guns.

    The right to bear arms is understood as an individual right and it is the individual who holds the licence but in reality unless you are dealing with a loner who has no family connections most guns are owned and held in family settings. The Adam Lanza case and many others reveal just how dangerous that can be– people don’t really seem to be able to maintain the extremely high vigilance needed to maintain the guns they own in a safe manner for the long haul.

    aimai

  8. 8
    Eric U. says:

    first thing we should do is get rid of “stand your ground” laws. They are insane

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Yutsano says:

    Heitkamp might be just like Manchin, or she might just surprise us all. We’ll have to see when her first few votes come up to know for surre.

  11. 11
    gogol's wife says:

    I just wrote to Obama to say let’s get it done.

  12. 12
    PsiFighter37 says:

    This would be good news. I would imagine these kinds of measures would b popular with law enforcement wherever you go.

    Contrast Obama announcing these measures next to Wayne LaPierre clutching wildly onto an AR-15 – it seems like a winner to me.

  13. 13
    eric says:

    guns dont kill people, people kill people; though usually people with guns and usually people with high powered semi-automatic weapons with multiple expanded clips. But the point is the same — let’s ban people with high powered semi-automatic weapons with multiple expanded clips. Simple.

    eta….snark

  14. 14
    Alex says:

    Heitkamp is a Senator from North Dakota, which is a very different political situation than a Senator from Connecticut. If you want to compare her to a bad Senator, compare her to Ben Nelson.

  15. 15
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Fluke bucket:

    . The firearms and ammo people have never had it so good.

    Watch a lot of those sales, go off-the-grid, as folks go deep to avoid registration.

  16. 16
    Feudalism Now! says:

    What is the rationale for not having a national database for guns? That the Jack Booted Thugs brigade will come and Waco your house for a Long gun? We register cars. We register health care products. Why is a gun so sainted different?

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    I don’t see how responsible gun owners in good mental health could object to ANY of that.

    And there you have it.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @Feudalism Now!:

    Why is a gun so sainted different?

    Becuz FREEDUMB!! WOLVERINES!! REMEMBER RUBY RIDGE!!

  19. 19
    Egypt Steve says:

    Citizenship checks. Have gun buyers prove they are eligible for 2nd Amendment protections by producing an original, long-form birth certificate and a state-issued photo ID. In future, confiscate any gun found in the possession of anyone who cannot immediately prove their citizenship status with said documentation.

  20. 20
    Josie says:

    I expect Heitcamp will make us happy at times and piss us off at times, just like any other Democratic red state senator. It’s what they have to do to get elected. You can’t expect purity in a big tent party.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    Please let part of this involve long-form documentation and the presentation of photo-id.

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    It’s almost too easy. “Folks, this is what a rational gun policy looks like. And the crazy frothing-at-the-mouth screaming you hear is the opposition. If you get bitten, by the way, go immediately to the nearest emergency room.”

  23. 23
    scav says:

    @Egypt Steve: My long lost twin! Which of us has evil duty today! ?

  24. 24
    dedc79 says:

    I’ve heard rumors that a big rally/march for gun control is being planned for the end of the month in DC. Anyone heard anything about it or who exactly is organizing it?

  25. 25
    redshirt says:

    @Feudalism Now!: Because to these gun nuts, there are two primary reasons to own guns: 1. To shoot the minorities when they rise up, and 2. To fight the government when it comes time for Revolution.

    As such, you can understand why they’d be opposed to a government registration system.

  26. 26
    Heliopause says:

    universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors…It just shows you how insane our current gun climate is that any of these things is controversial at all.

    All of those things are inherently offensive, or ought to be. Government tracking everything you do, including your mental state? Increasing criminal penalties pointlessly? It damned well ought to be controversial.

    What’s sad is that most of these measures are indeed necessary. Our society is so awash with advanced weaponry that, yes, our government has to take drastic action to track both weapons and the psychopaths who might get their hands on them. If we were at all sane we would have carefully regulated the manufacture and distribution of weapons to begin with. Unfortunately our society is not sane and we couldn’t possibly think of limiting the profitability of a business interest, at least not until things have gotten so out of hand that we have no choice. Sad.

  27. 27
    Mo says:

    This sounds like law enforcement’s dream bill. Along with the Tea Party demonization of public service unions, this vision of gun control could go a ways towards having police support for the Democratic Party. The firemen are generally already there.

  28. 28
    Shalimar says:

    @Feudalism Now!:

    What is the rationale for not having a national database for guns? That the Jack Booted Thugs brigade will come and Waco your house for a Long gun?

    Yes. Of course it is paranoid to think that could happen in the current environment. Then again, part of the reason no one currently talks about using the database later as a means of finding and taking guns after a ban is because the people who object are so vociferously nuts that they’re scary. Insane paranoia is working to their benefit.

  29. 29
    Alison says:

    @eric: Always liked Eddie Izzard’s take on the “guns don’t kill people” BS slogan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsN0FCXw914

  30. 30
    Roger Moore says:

    @J.:

    And why the administration also needs to take some action re making sure mental health care is more affordable and accessible. mandatory for teabaggers.

    FTFY

  31. 31
    PurpleGirl says:

    Of course, let’s not mention the databases that people are already in… Do you have that “rewards” cards from the supermarket/drug store chain? Well, they have a database with every purchase you’ve made with the card, keep track of your favorite brands, etc. etc. Buy anything on-line? Database territory. I guess what makes these databases A-Okay is that they are kept by private corporations.

  32. 32
    taylormattd says:

    John, don’t listen to the emails in your inbox from certain left wing chicken littles about Heitkamp. There is no way they could already make a Lieberman comparison.

  33. 33
    Mo says:

    Hellopause – We won’t be able to tackle the mental health problems of this country without some sort of tracking – preferably a lifetime medical record. The self-reported medical history is a major weakness in our regular medical system and the Achilles’ heel of mental health.

    I know the long history of abuse and support people being supported in the least restrictive environment they can survive in, but the current system is untenable. It protects the patient, but at the cost of burdening their families’ freedom. And all too often it is the women in their lives who pay the price – because their mothers and lovers are the only ones who won’t give up on them. This is the seemingly forgotten lesson of Newtown. Domestic and intimate violence belong in a perpetrator’s mental health history, not just the victim’s.

  34. 34
    whidby says:

    I used to live a block away from an elementary school in a jurisdiction that made it illegal to “possess” a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.

    The result, every time I took a gun out of my safe and put in in a locked case and carried it out to my truck to go hunting or go shooting, I was breaking the law.

    So, perhaps you can’t see any problems with all of these commonsense proposals, but I can.

  35. 35
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    North Dakota’s population is smaller than that of Monroe County, NY. If you’d need a sniper rifle to hit next door’s barn, then you are not representative of the nation.

    The square footage of America should not get veto power over the population, and it’s a sad reflection on how the US constitution basically refuses to acknowledge the existence of urban areas. I’m fine with special dispensations for Big Empty America, but I’m not fine with its standards as the norm.

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    @PurpleGirl: I guess what makes these databases A-Okay is that they are kept by private corporations.

    That is the Tea Party position, and of course it is absurd. I trust the government a lot more than I do a bloodsucking giant corporation.

    Sure, they have both done heinous things, but the government knows it is not supposed to, and winds up with employees who object. Corporations tend to care not at all, and can far more easily dump evidence.

  37. 37
    whidby says:

    @WereBear: One difference being that when I get my safeway club card with the name “Fuk Seifway”, I will not be charged with a felony for the deception.

    Another being that there is no possibility that Safeway is going to show up at my house demanding forfeiture of those cases of ramen noodles that they know I have purchased.

  38. 38
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Heliopause:

    Government tracking everything you do, including your mental state?

    Here’s the wrinkle: the severely mentally ill are, for better or worse, the responsibility of government. Private healthcare wants no part of that business (other than as contractors for states with a guaranteed payout) while families and communities lack the capability to handle it well. We’re not going to return to the days of institutionalisation — although you can bleakly argue that that’s still happening, just within the prison system.

    Again, we’re talking about severe mental illness here: debilitating schizophrenia, extreme antisocial personality disorder. Those people are more likely to harm themselves than others, and it makes no sense to treat them as mass murderers in waiting, but there is a reason to want them not to drop off the treatment radar.

    That’s a separate issue from the idea of tracking gun ownership, which ought to be a fucking no-brainer.

  39. 39
    Keith G says:

    …people don’t really seem to be able to maintain the extremely high vigilance needed to maintain the guns they own in a safe manner for the long haul.

    Realistically, the word ‘people’ should be modified with the word ‘some’. I have not seen the data that shows most gun owners having a problem with the safe storage of their fire arms.

    I am hoping that my people on the pro side of this discussion are able to accumulate and use as much data as possible to build a rational and solid case for more regulation. Sweeping generalization really are not helpful for the complicated work ahead of us.

  40. 40
    Betty Cracker says:

    @whidby: What part of “well-regulated” don’t you understand?

  41. 41
    jp7505a says:

    I think it’s the political process that is mentally ill. It seems that some folks in Northern Calif. are having a major freak out over the danger to life and limb presented by ONE LONE grey wolf. On the other hand, the new senator from Texas doesn’t see where the murder of 20 1st graders is important enough to discuss any type of gun control. The good senator from N. Dakota, a dem unfortunately, seems to agree.

  42. 42
    whidby says:

    @Betty Cracker: What part of “Try to make make a coherent argument” do you not understand?

    Seriously, what is your problem? You just vomit up these thought fragments that have nothing to do with anything I have been saying.

  43. 43
    Guy says:

    Prepare to be disappointed. Half of the incoming senate is A rated by the NRA incliuding something like ten Democrats. If something squeaks through there it is DOA in the House. Given the GOP’s current factional difficulties, if enough GOPers defect to pass “Obama-Feinstein gun control” it would blow the party to smithereens. Enjoyable as that would be, given those stakes the ones which might normally be inclined to break with the party line on this issue are unlikely to do so this time. Not. Gonna. Happen.

  44. 44
    WereBear says:

    I am doing my best to ignore trolls; it’s like arguing with a third grader. They know they can simply throw out an insult without any context. It’s how they do anything.

    In response to the mental health argument, am I truly free when my next door neighbor, unbeknownst to me, is collecting firearms and hoarding garbage? When we meet by the mailbox my question about the rotting meat smell is going to set off his paranoid alarms and he will start a rampage. But, you know, I should have had a AK and a paranoid condition of my own? That’s FREEDUMB?

  45. 45
    gbear says:

    If I’m going to get mature advice about gun ownership, I think I’m going to skip the advice of a guy who uses Fuk Selfway as his store card ID. Does your auto insurance ID list you as Fuk Seetbelts?

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    @whidby: Your failure to understand the argument says more about the paucity of your reading comprehension skills than the coherence of my phrasing, but I’ll try again: What does “well-regulated” mean to you? I’m genuinely curious since you seem to be saying you have an absolute right to own a gun in complete anonymity.

  47. 47
    whidby says:

    @WereBear: You posit that you might get shot at your mailbox by a gun nut who is hoarding garbage and you believe that other people are paranoid?

    Please proceed …

  48. 48
    gene108 says:

    @Mo:

    Destigmatizing having mental illness would do wonders to increase treatment and improve outcomes.

    Tracking the mentally illness, like you suggest, would just drive up the stigma of being mentally ill.

    People can talk openly about high cholesterol, diabetes, and other chronic conditions in ways they would never dream about doing with regards to mental illness.

    Unless this changes, do not expect mental health outcomes to improve.

  49. 49
    Heliopause says:

    @Mo:
    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Point being, we don’t know what they’re proposing from the vague words, “strengthen mental health checks.” The default position should be skepticism until we see something more concrete. And as I said, given the realities on the ground something will have to be done in this area, we’ll have to hope it’s as respectful of individual rights as possible.

  50. 50
    aimai says:

    @Keith G:

    You know, its really ok that there are people in the world who don’t feel the need to temporize all the time. Really. You and your buddies can do what you want to do about gun laws, and people like me can do and say what we want to say. Its ok. We don’t all have to believe or say the same things.

    aimai

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @whidby:

    I used to live a block away from an elementary school in a jurisdiction that made it illegal to “possess” a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.
    The result, every time I took a gun out of my safe and put in in a locked case and carried it out to my truck to go hunting or go shooting, I was breaking the law.
    So, perhaps you can’t see any problems with all of these commonsense proposals, but I can.

    I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but kids in public schools have been enduring “lockdowns” and “drills” and “school shooter training” since Columbine. They use the phrase “lockdown”. Our kids in public schools say that, now. Casually.

    Let’s take the focus off you for just a sec and talk about how unregulated weapons affect other people. Millions of them.

    Have you ever once considered how these lockdowns and rules and safety drills affect THEIR liberty interests? Their attitudes about their own free will, agency and safety? They have to go to school. We have to attempt to keep them safe. That’s a duty adults owe to children. We’re locking them down because you won’t accept the slightest inconvenience?

    In order to give you complete freedom to do whatever you want, whenever and whereever you want, how much are you willing to demand from the rest of us? What part of this responsibility, this DUTY, will you accept? None of it? It’s ALL on us? Do you see why we might resent that?

  52. 52
    Joel says:

    Guns, at a minimum, ought to be regulated as well as cars are:

    Mandatory licensing, registration, and insurance. Tracked in government databases. States can do this, and if they fail to comply, they can cede the responsibility to the federal government.

  53. 53
    GregB says:

    Over 40% of mass gunmen have been NRA members.

  54. 54
    whidby says:

    @Betty Cracker: If you would work more on making a simple point you wouldn’t need to be so condescending. Okay – can we try to talk like grown-ups here? Seriously.

    That said, I’ve read Heller, most of the briefs submitted in connection with Heller and a fair amount of commentary and I do not have a clue what “well regulated” means. The reductive answer is it means whatever 5 justices says it means. I am not trying to dodge your question, I just can’t answer that. I can answer what regulations I’d like to see if you care, but I don’t confuse what’s acceptable to me and what will survive legal challenge.

    But to get to specifics, I’ve never said that anyone has an absolute right to own a gun. I don’t believe that either.

  55. 55
    jp7505a says:

    @Keith G: Just for the sake of argument, the number of gun deaths a year is relatively small given that there are close to 300 million guns in the country. So the argument that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible gun owners is more than likely true. The problem with the ‘responsible gun owner’ theory is when something happens in that persons life and he uses that gun in an irresponsible manner. I donot have any magic bullet (sorry for the pun) on how to fix this.

    I’m not a gun owner and have no desire to be but I can understand why others are. I also know that twice in my life if a gun had been present a heated argument could well have escalated into a tragedy. Not because the individuals were evil or irresponsible but simply because they had lost their temper.

  56. 56
    WereBear says:

    There’s a world of difference between couples counseling or needing some help to get over trauma and actually hurting people. That’s something that is actually pretty rare; from schizophrenics to biopolar, people are far more likely to hurt themselves in extremity than they are to attack other human beings.

    So when someone does have this kind of history, such as beating their wife or children, pitching fits at work, that kind of thing; yes, we should keep track of them. Are they improving?

    When someone is paranoid, we aren’t doing them any favors by pretending they will be fine if they are left alone.

  57. 57
    whidby says:

    Have you ever once considered how these lockdowns and rules and safety drills affect THEIR liberty interests? Their attitudes about their own free will, agency and safety? They have to go to school. We have to attempt to keep them safe.

    The school lockdowns are security theatre, just like the TSA seizing grandma’s 4.2 ounces of shampoo.

    In order to give you complete freedom to do whatever you want, whenever and whereever you want, how much are you willing to demand from the rest of us? What part of this responsibility, this DUTY, will you accept? None of it? It’s ALL on us? Do you see why we might resent that?

    The problem is that the restriction I spoke of was not reasonably calculated to solve the problem you discuss. If someone is going to drive to a school and kill 20 people, do you think that criminalizing the possession of the gun on the premises was going to solve that problem?

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    @whidby:

    Another being that there is no possibility that Safeway is going to show up at my house demanding forfeiture of those cases of ramen noodles that they know I have purchased.

    My car is registered with my state.

    The state motor vehicle agency has yet to demand forfeiture of my car or anyone other car owners car that I know of.

    Once, I forgot to renew my car’s registration.

    A police officer pulled me over, because he was able to run my license plate from his squad car and was alerted I did not renew my registration. He gave me a warning.

    Lazy snot that I was at that time in my life, I still didn’t renew my registration. Same officer notices my car and pulls me over, this time giving me a ticket for not renewing my registration.

    My car was not confiscated or my license suspended.

    Point is we have a major piece of personal property – our automobiles – that are registered with the state, we renew our registrations regularly and we get our vehicles inspected at regular intervals to meet minimum safe operational standards.

    All real property we own is registered with the government and taxed at various levels, without most rational folks feeling their rights are deprived. I’d argue only a fool wouldn’t want real property properly registered with the government, because issues of title history/ownership would arise without such documentation on hand.

    I’m not exactly sure, why law abiding gun owners are convinced a national registry of gun ownership would lead to the government taking away their guns?

    Seems like a jump in logic that isn’t supported by motor vehicle registration or documentation of real property.

  59. 59
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    I’m a known Obot, but I think this is political theater and will not result in legislation. It could serve the very valuable purpose of solidifying public opinion for the future, but right now the GOP house would rather put guns to their heads than regulate those guns. If Obama can get something actually passed, he’s friggin’ Superman.

  60. 60
    gogol's wife says:

    @Joel:

    This is what I keep coming back to. Make them take responsibility for their guns. Doesn’t seem that difficult to me. I noticed in the “police blotter” of my town yesterday that half the police actions had to do with car registrations and insurance. Why is that not considered a terrible infringement on our liberty? Most of us need cars to get around, get to work, etc.

  61. 61
    Paul says:

    @whidby:

    If someone is going to drive to a school and kill 20 people, do you think that criminalizing the possession of the gun on the premises was going to solve that problem?

    Of course it will. Hell, it is working in other countries just fine. You rarely hear about mass shootings in other countries.

    By making it more difficult to obtain a gun, the perp may decide not to do it at all, he may use a knife instead (which would kill far less people than a gun).

  62. 62
    gogol's wife says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    You have to start somewhere. We have to start somewhere. The wingnuts didn’t give up on criminalizing abortion after Roe v. Wade, did they? Why can’t the good guys have a little gumption too?

  63. 63
    👽 Martin says:

    To sell such changes, the White House is developing strategies to work around the National Rifle Association that one source said could include rallying support from Wal-Mart and other gun retailers for measures that would benefit their businesses.

    This is what Obama is particularly good at, and what the firebaggers are particularly bad at understanding.

    The NRA in and of themselves are not that powerful, but they are very good at rallying allies. If you go at a straight up ban, Walmart will align with the NRA, if secretly. If, however, you present a ban along with some other feature that offsets that lost revenue with something else which is better PR for Walmart, then you get Walmart on your side. One less opponent and one more ally.

    You watch, the usual suspects will come out against this thing because gun sellers get something. Instead bully pulpit, mandate, we should get the sky and the moon.

  64. 64
    ChrisB says:

    White House aides have also been in regular contact with advisers to New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), an outspoken gun-control advocate who could emerge as a powerful surrogate for the Obama administration’s agenda.

    But but but . . . Chuck Todd says that Bloomberg would be the worst possible advocate fro gun control:

    TODD: He is the wrong person, the absolutely wrong person to be the face
    of the gun control movement, it really is, because of just what you`re
    pointing out. Well, what does that guy in New York City — and you know —
    and this is where, if you have this conversation — if you lived in New
    York City, you understand his mindset of not wanting 9 million people
    armed…

    MATTHEWS: Yes.

    TODD: … on New York City. But if — what you just pointed out about
    living in rural America, whether it`s Kansas, Arkansas, you name it, it`s
    different. You`re right. You know — you know, I know of incidents where
    it takes the authorities half an hour to come and show up someplace, so of
    course, you`ve got to defend yourself.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50.....OnNhXdrT90

  65. 65
    gogol's wife says:

    @ChrisB:

    Ol’ Cowboy Chuck. What a creep.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @whidby:

    The school lockdowns are security theatre, just like the TSA seizing grandma’s 4.2 ounces of shampoo.

    Bullshit. The teachers in CT saved lives because they were trained on school shootings. I would remind you that the FIRST PLACE the gun nut lobby went when they were desperate to change the subject from weapons was “school safety”, and the SECOND was mentally ill people. Children and the mentally ill. People without a monied lobby. Not a coincidence, that, the gun nut lobby’s sudden vital, sincere interest in the well-being of children and the mentally ill. Just like after Columbine, where the gun nut lobby changed the subject to bullying, although neither of the Columbine shooters were bullied.

    We were urged to immediately consider restrictions on everyone else BUT gun owners. YOUR rights cannot be infringed!

    My kid has a right to go to school without encountering your gun. They’re already enduring “school shooter training”. Any other demands you have? Any other compromises we can make so you won’t be inconvenienced in your hobby?

  67. 67
    gogol's wife says:

    @Kay:

    Unfortunately, Whidby is a troll who derails every discussion having to do with gun control.

  68. 68
    J. says:

    @Roger Moore: That too. Even better, let’s require prospective elected officials to pass psychological tests, to make sure they are mentally competent to hold office — as well as making them take the same test we administer to those wishing to become U.S. citizens. That should stop a few whack jobs from holding office.

  69. 69
    Betty Cracker says:

    @whidby: You disqualified yourself from lecturing anyone else on condescension awhile ago. But let’s call that water under the bridge.

    Up thread, you seemed to be objecting to the idea of a firearms database on the grounds that it could subject you as a gun owner to government confiscation at some point.

    It seems to me that any coherent definition of “regulation” would include at its baseline an inventory or accounting of the assets subject to regulation. That’s why I was curious about your understanding of “well-regulated.” Thanks for answering honestly that you don’t know.

  70. 70
    aimai says:

    Improper use, storage, and handling of guns is responsible for accidental deaths, suicides, and homicides by people who are not nominally liscenced to own the gun.

    Suicide
    Firearms were used in 19,392 suicides in the U.S. in 2010, constituting almost 62% of all gun deaths.10
    Over 50% of all suicides are committed with a firearm.11
    On average, 49 gun suicides were committed each day for the years 2005-2010.12
    White males, about 40% of the U.S. population, accounted for over 80% of firearm suicides in 2010.13
    A study of California handgun purchasers found that in the first year after the purchase of a handgun, suicide was the leading cause of death among the purchasers.14
    Firearms were used in nearly 44% of suicide deaths among persons under age 25 in 2010.15
    More than 75% of guns used in suicide attempts and unintentional injuries of 0-19 year-olds were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.16</blockquote>

    I really don’t have anything against gun owners who can control their guns–who want to own them, use them for hunting or for masturbation or whatever–and who keep them locked up, unloaded, and unavailable to other people. What bothers me about this discussion is the continued insistence that we don’t have a problem because of shifting goal posts.

    If the person who is killed, or who kills, wasn’t the gun owner well its not the gun owner’s fault! If the person who kills, or is killed, has a licence then its not the gun seller’s fault!

    There is no hard and fast line between people with mental illness and the rest of us–people who are not mentally ill in any clinical sense can be assholes and can kill, people who are not mentally ill can be careless and their improper storage and handling of their own weapons can cause needless deaths. Hell–a child was killed here in my own state when his father decided that a great way to spend an afternoon was to take him to a gun range and let him shoot an automatic weapon.

    This is an epidimieological problem by which I mean that the problem of guns en masse is distinct from the individual’s feelings about guns or even feelings about laws about guns. This is totally not personal–saying that some people, many people, or even most people can’t be trusted long term with guns is just the fact. More guns means by definition more guns in the hands of people who are at one point or another in their lives going to be inattentive, ill informed, in transit, absentminded, angry, frightened, or senile. That’s just the reality. Gun owners ought to be more eager than the rest of us to keep guns out of the hands of other people because Gun Owners appear committed to the notion that most people in this society are a danger to other people.

  71. 71
    Yutsano says:

    @Kay: How DARE you not take whibdy’s poor delicate fee-fees into account? Why, there is no Constitutional requirement that children have safe schools but you bet there’s protection for his penile replacement! You’re not taking all the factors into account: gun control INCONVENIENCES him! He’s just an upstanding citizen with a gun fetish. Why should we make him cry just because a few bad apples ruin it for him?

  72. 72
    Comrade Jake says:

    I saw something the other day that suggested Reagan supported gun control legislation because he was afraid of the Black Panthers. It may have been via Ta-Nehisi Coates. Not sure how accurate it is, but I thought it was interesting.

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    @whidby:

    The problem is that the restriction I spoke of was not reasonably calculated to solve the problem you discuss. If someone is going to drive to a school and kill 20 people, do you think that criminalizing the possession of the gun on the premises was going to solve that problem?

    That isn’t what it’s FOR. It’s FOR the much more common situation where kids get their hands on a gun and shoot each other. That happens DAILY. It just happened here. Two kids waiting for the school bus, the gun left on a dryer in the garage, one accidentally shoots and kills the other. The 15 year old shooter’s life is ruined and the 16 year old victim’s life is over. The moron who left the gun on the dryer was charged and convicted with a misdemeanor.

    Is it okay with you if I can send my kid to school with some sort of safeguard in place where they maybe won’t encounter a gun IN OR AROUND THE SCHOOL? That’s an outrageous request to you?

  74. 74
    WereBear says:

    For thirty years we’ve had increasing tolerance for policies by and for the paranoid loonies among us. The pendulum has swung waaaaaaaaaaay too far.

    Time to pull it back.

  75. 75
    jp7505a says:

    @whidby: Actually we do know what ‘well regulated’ means. The phrase in the 2nd amendment is ‘well-regulated militia’. And for most of the past 200+ years it was interpreted by the courts as what today we call the National Guard. Obviously in the colonial/early years of the constitution the militia would have looked much more like male citizens mustering on the village green. Over time the meaning has evolved to the more current interpretation of individual ownership as part of the right of self-defense.
    One of the ironies of this is the impact on the original intent vs. living constitution debate on SCOTUS. The 5 justices who adhere to the original intent doctrine when deciding most cases have in affect accepted the living constitution view when it comes to the second amendment. Justice Scalia is quite outspoken in his belief that the words of the constitution have to be understood as they were written 200+ years ago. However, he is more than happy to totally ignore that first clause in the second amendment.

  76. 76
    jefft452 says:

    @whidby: “every time I took a gun out of my safe and put in in a locked case and carried it out to my truck to go hunting or go shooting, I was breaking the law.”

    Then, by your own admission, you are not a “law-abiding gun owner”

  77. 77
    aimai says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Yes, this is a very well known fact. Ta Nehisi, as usual, knows his history.

    aimai

  78. 78
    scav says:

    @Kay: If the dead 16-year-old was an active fetus-transport-system, especially a blond one, there might be consequences based in the value of a snowflake, but the rest are just acceptable collateral 2nd right damage.

  79. 79
    aimai says:

    @aimai:

    Sorry, my block quote got out of hand.

    aimai

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @aimai: Bad blockquote, BAD! No biscuit!

  81. 81
    jp7505a says:

    @Comrade Jake: True story. The original Black Panthers were parading around a college campus, Berkley I think, with rifles. Major freakout – angry black men with guns – convinced Reagan to sign gun control legislation.

  82. 82
    jp7505a says:

    @Comrade Jake: True story. The original Black Panthers were parading around a college campus, Berkley I think, with rifles. Major freakout – angry black men with guns – convinced Reagan to sign gun control legislation.

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    @whidby:

    Do you really think the only reason we don’t allow guns in or around schools because we’re afraid of a mass shooting?

    And you’re the representative of “responsible gun owners”? Good Lord. Zebras and horses, hoofbeats.

    We don’t allow guns in or around schools because kids go to school. We have a duty to make an attempt to stop them from inadvertently hurting themselves or other people, at least for the period while they’re in or around a school.

  84. 84
    aimai says:

    @Kay:

    People should have to think once, twice, three times before owning guns, or storing them, in or near children at all. I get that there are exceptional cases–I “know” women on the internet who are in fear for their lives w/r/t former husbands, present boyfriends, or relatives. Some of them have even been told by the police to get and keep a weapon because the police (and there was actually a pretty famous case about this) can’t be responsible for getting to your house in time if your ex husband is planning on killing you. But I don’t see why you shouldn’t have to justify your need to own and keep a weapon in a household with minor children or adolescents or demented old people (three categories of persons with diminished capacity who generally live with in family settings and have access to everything in the house) in the same way that we restrict and control some pharmaceuticals when they are going to be held and administered in family settings.

    aimai

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Frankly, firearms registration and background checks sounds like something that would be routine for a well-regulated militia to me.

    But what the fuck do I or George Washington know about that?

  86. 86
    Suzanne says:

    The argument I hate the most is “Well, criminals are just going to break the law, so why have laws?”

    That is just so unbelievably asinine. And yet, I hear it from so any gun owners. All the time.

  87. 87

    @jp7505a: Good point about the “originalists.”

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jp7505a:

    They were parading around in Sacramento, right in front of the sainted Ronaldus Magnus, in 1967.

    Boy howdy was Reagan fast to sign the most restrictive gun control laws of the late 60’s after that happened.

  89. 89
    gogol's wife says:

    So everybody has said Obama needs to do something. He’s doing something. Let’s support him, loud and proud. Every day. Argue with everyone you can. Change their minds. The people are out there, they’re ready to be convinced.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    The part where it affects him in any way whatsoever. Doesn’t have to be an onerous way, doesn’t even have to be restrictive for him. It just has to have some aspect that may affect his ability to hold onto his power symbol(s).

  91. 91
    Suzanne says:

    @Ruckus: It just has to have some aspect that may affect his ability to hold onto his power symbol(s) COCK.
    FTFY.

  92. 92
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Peter: Thank you for saving me the trouble of finding that clip

  93. 93
    RSA says:

    @aimai:

    Improper use, storage, and handling of guns is responsible for accidental deaths, suicides, and homicides by people who are not nominally liscenced to own the gun.

    I brought up the issue of accidents in a discussion with a gun nut a little while ago. Something like 15,000 gun injuries and deaths happen every year in the U.S., and I suggested a training requirement in order to buy a gun. No dice. The guy I was talking with asked me if I understood the phrase “shall not be infringed” and then just avoided further questions. He saw any regulation at all as a slippery slope to banning private gun ownership, a la Nazi Germany. I pointed out that this was extreme paranoia. He strongly disagreed, and then I realized that convincing a paranoid person that the government isn’t really out to get him is very hard.

  94. 94
    Zandar says:

    “I think you need to put everything on the table, but what I hear from the administration – and if the Washington Post is to be believed – that’s way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about. And it’s not going to pass,” said Heitkamp, a member of the National Rifle Association.

    When your first political act is to go on national TV and undermine your own party while being a senator for less than a week, saying you don’t support the President’s position without actually knowing the details, that’s one thing. You can make the “reality of a red state Dem” argument then, and it’s a viable argument.

    But when you do all that and then say the President’s position is not something that should even be talked about, you need to have a fucking seat, Senator or not.

  95. 95
    jp7505a says:

    @aimai: Even if keeping a gun for self protection from an abusive boyfriend sounds reasonable it can have unanticipated consequences. Our gun laws are so screwed up that a women in Fla. is serving a life sentence for firing a warning shot into the wall to discourage her abusive soon to be ex-husband from attacking her.

    It seems that in stand your ground Fla, its a 20-life sentence to discharge your gun under certain circumstances. In this case the angry soon to be ex-husband threatened the woman in their home. She got the hand gun and fired a shot into the wall to show that she was serious about defending herself. Other than the wall, no one was hurt. She was tried and convicted and the judge was required to hand down a mandatory 20 year to life sentence. Now if she had shot and killed the guy she could have claimed self defense/stand your ground and she would have been in the clear.

  96. 96
    Suzanne says:

    @RSA: The fact that there are limits to all our Constitutional rights in the public sphere never seems to register with these tools. Gotta love the patriarchy.

  97. 97
    Ruckus says:

    @gene108:
    I’m not exactly sure, why law abiding gun owners are convinced a national registry of gun ownership would lead to the government taking away their guns?

    Two reasons. First, that’s what gun owners have been told will happen to them for decades. If there is a gun organization that I’m unaware of that doesn’t say this I’ll apologize but until then it’s going to be 100% of them that do. Second, they know that the purpose of a gun, the only purpose is to kill animals. They may not use it that way(target shooters) but they know this. And the animal they intend to kill(if necessary) is a human. They know this as well and they know that the “government” understands this even if they don’t say it. Ergo, if the government wants to stop humans from getting killed they have to take the guns. Their cognitive skills seem to be lacking on recognizing any other possible outcomes.

  98. 98
    J R in WVa says:

    @whidby:

    I agree with this. What if you’re driving in an unfamiliar community, have a CCW permit, and just happen to pass 2 blocks from a school?

    You can’t even see the school, much less pose any threat to anyone in the school, but you’re suddenly vulnerable to a hard prison time felony. Where does this make any sense?

  99. 99
    Ruckus says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    …GOP house would rather put guns to their heads than regulate those guns.
    Only somewhat kidding but this would be a fine use of deadly weapons. If they would just pull the trigger as the second step…

  100. 100
    Kay says:

    @aimai:

    I don’t know, it’s so complicated. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I have a friend who had a nasty divorce and she’s afraid of her ex and he got a concealed carry permit so she got a concealed carry permit, and it just seems like an arms race. Not to mention that these two are in constant conflict over their son and they have been to all the court-ordered mediation and parenting classes and the like, and all of those courses are about teaching people to handle conflict in a rational, non-damaging way, so the state is telling these two to learn to handle conflict better WHILE handing them both “shall issue” rubber-stamped permits to arm up against each other. Talk about mixed messages.

  101. 101
    scav says:

    @Zandar: I’m still trying to reconcile “everything on the table” with “positions that should never be talked about”. The single-sentence internal consistency record fell like the 4 minute mile and now everybody’s beating it.

  102. 102
    gene108 says:

    @RSA:

    He saw any regulation at all as a slippery slope to banning private gun ownership… I pointed out that this was extreme paranoia.

    That’s not paranoia.

    That’s the normal thought pattern of gun enthusiasts. Give an inch and Diane Feinstein leads ATF thugs to round up your guns.

    The paranoid ones are worse.

    They assume we’ve already stepped down the slippery slope to banning gun ownership and we need to claw our way back to freedom.

  103. 103
    aimai says:

    @jp7505a:

    I know! That case is a stunner as are some of the others where non white or female “Stand your grounders” end up being classified as criminal while white guys walk. I actually had this discussion years ago with a police officer when I was part of an anti gun women’s group–he explained to me, very kindly, that I might want to have a gun to protect me from a (theoretically) abusive husband. I told him I already had a licence for a two ton vehicle and if I were really in fear for my life it would be more efficient to run him over and take my chances.

    The thing is that all the laws and guns don’t really help you if you are thinking and planning defensively. The person who starts the fight and attacks you has the advantage. If you seriously have a problem with a particular person you probably need to be proactive and try to kill or disable them before they are actually targeting you–and that runs into the age old problem that the laws that permit (some) people to act out of passion/anger/accident are not written to protect women and non white people.

    aimai

  104. 104
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Kay:

    And you’re the representative of “responsible gun owners”? Good Lord. Zebras and horses, hoofbeats.

    It may be impolitic to say so, but self-described Responsible Gun Owners appear to be very different from what I’d consider to be a responsible gun owner, just as Responsible Drivers tend to be the dicks who think they own the road.

    @jp7505a:

    Obviously in the colonial/early years of the constitution the militia would have looked much more like male citizens mustering on the village green.

    In the back of beyond, to some degree. In more settled areas such as New York, it was a highly formalised system with the state overseeing it, and that’s reflected in the state constitution to this day.

    @ChrisB:

    TODD: … on New York City. But if — what you just pointed out about living in rural America, whether it`s Kansas, Arkansas, you name it, it`s different. You`re right.

    That’s Chuck Todd, who was born and raised in Miami, then went to college in DC and never left. He might be able to tell Kansas from Arkansas on an electoral map, but he wouldn’t know rural America if it shot him in the arse. NYC has four times the population of Kansas. 80% of Americans live in urban areas. Fuck that shit.

  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    @Suzanne:
    I was trying to be polite.

    Also I know of women who are gun owners and carry. Now they may be wishing for a symbol to hold onto that they don’t normally possess but I didn’t want to go there…

    OTOH, thanks for the clarification.

  106. 106
    aimai says:

    @Kay:

    Precisely–its an arms race and its also mutually assured destruction for our society.

    aimai

  107. 107
    Kay says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    I just think there’s a broad societal agreement (reflected in law) that we often take state measures to protect children that we would not take to protect adults. Adult rights sometimes have to give way to safety concerns regarding children when the children are in the care of the state, as they are in school. Is this now in question? Because a lot of law is going to go down. I have to tell him why we keep deadly weapons away from schools, and always have, just as a matter of course? That it’s horses and not zebras?

  108. 108
    jp7505a says:

    @J R in WVa: I would hope that the legal statute behind that little sign has some of the commonsense exceptions and safeguards that you are referring to. I don’t think the intent was to fill the prisons with guys passing a school on their way to their favorite duck blind. Rather it was a way to try and contol the gangbangers who want to settle their differences on the school playground.

    On the other hand a society that suspends a 6 year old from school for pointing his finger and saying bang, or draws a picture of his dad the soldier with a rifle, seems to be woefully short of common sense

  109. 109
    Xantar says:

    @RSA:

    To be fair, the slippery slope idea isn’t complete bullshit. NRA lobbyists apparently took a look at what happened with tobacco regulations. Big Tobacco failed to prevent Surgeon General warnings on packages. And then they failed to stop extremely high taxes on cigarettes. And then they failed to stop the creation of smoking and non-smoking sections. It took over 30 years, but we now live in a society where smoking is stigmatized, expensive, and REALLY inconvenient. It’s now accepted as a fact of life that you can’t smoke in bars. That would have been crazy back when I was a kid.

    To many people, that’s a public health victory. To the NRA, that’s an abject failure of tobacco lobbyists. Maybe we won’t have government agents literally removing guns from people, but if we get any amount of regulations, we’re eventually going to end up in a world where the government makes owning a gun very burdensome and inconvenient. Personally, I have no problem with that, and I think to pretend that’s not our goal is disingenuous.

  110. 110
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:
    A sensible system would let somebody who is in genuine fear get a restraining order against the person they’re afraid of, and a restraining order against you would be reason to deny a firearm permit, much less a concealed carry permit. I don’t understand why this kind of restriction is so hard to implement.

  111. 111
    Paul says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I believe it has something to do with freedom and tyranny, whatever that means.

  112. 112
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore: We could also just be honest with ourselves and admit we value our guns more than we value the lives of our children. That seems to be the message the NRA is promoting here.

  113. 113
    aimai says:

    @Xantar:

    Well, I agree. That’s certainly my goal (more or less) but we haven’t eliminated smoking so much as we have eliminated smokers as a market. By making it inconvenient to smoke and raising taxes we have made the externalities of smoking an issue for the smoker and caused him/her to reconsider their hobby/habit. In addition smokers naturally, uh…age out of the system by dying. One of the reasons we instituted certain laws with respect to smoking was, as kay pointed out, that we believed that young children should be protected from the consequences of dangerous acts that they were too young to forsee–smokers routinely assert late in life that they wished they hadn’t started and become addicted and legislators and economists applied that understanding in attempting to prevent young people from starting the addiction in the first place.

    There are still smokers, and lots of them, but it is now socially stigmatized. The NRA and the gun lobby are actually already losing customers because the rural areas and the hunting population are naturally declining over time (I don’t mean naturally like its a good thing, I’ve got nothing against rural areas or hunters) and they have made a concerted effort to replace a dying market with a new “lifestyle” market in which guns are not tools but simply lifestyle accoutrements. That’s the entire “mancard reissued” ad campaign.

    And you can see the benefit of this approach. The NRA and the gun lobby itself has linked gun ownership with manhood and with personhood and lifestyle issues in such a way that you can practically see Whidby detumescing when he writes about guns on an unfriendly forum. The extreme agitation that the pro-gun bloggers and posters display (and I don’t at all think that all of them actually own guns) is a sign of the fetishization of gun ownership as a symbol of something personal and something fragile.

    I own a car and use a car to get around. If people around me started talking about licencing cars, or changing the car in such a way that it could never accidentally kill another person, or ran on less gas, or in any way changed car ownership I wouldn’t panic. The car is a tool to me. If someone can come up with a better tool or points out some issues (the Pinto anyone?) that make the kind of car that has been available to me dangerous to me or to society I’d be happy to entertain those ideas. I just wouldn’t get defensive about it. Because I don’t have any ego invested in the car or being a person who owns or displays X kind of car.

    When we talk about controlling or limiting guns in society as a whole we are not dealing with a population of rational people who are owning guns because the guns are a tool. They have been buying guns as a status symbol and as cultural symbol and limiting guns is seen as limiting or even killing that status and cultural identity.

    aimai

  114. 114
    scav says:

    @Yutsano: Basically and neatly that seems to be behind the Moloch imagery that popped up early. Gun manufactures have the 2nd amendment justification to trump all aruements but they’ve got the sainted shareholder one in their back pocket as the fall-back entity that shall suffer no losses. Kids are apparently fungible and a renewable resource.

    eta for typos, interesting ones too

  115. 115
    Joel says:

    Can communities pass unilateral non-police gun bans? Or did Heller invalidate that power? I’d vote for anti-CC laws in my town, for sure.

  116. 116
    MomSense says:

    @gene 108

    There is an idea that I heard from an NRA member (hunter who supports automatic weapons ban, registration, and limit on 5 rounds in magazines) that I think is fantastic. His idea is that all gun owners must have insurance–the way we have to insure our vehicles.

    Then it would be an insurance company and not the big, bad gubmint monitoring gun owners. And I’m sure the insurance companies would check to see that guns are stored safely, that persons in the home with mental illness do not have access, etc.

  117. 117
    aimai says:

    @MomSense:

    Sure: gun owners ought to have to carry insurance but the truth is that insurance probably wouldn’t be willing to cover gun owners–the downside cost is huge. One or two Adam Lanza mothers could bankrupt the entire company. the NRA could self insure its own membership, I suppose,but all of a sudden I don’t think they would be so sure that all their members were a good risk.

    aimai

  118. 118
    Mo says:

    @aimai:

    The gun store/shooting range in Arlington, MA got shut down by the police after the SECOND time a customer came in “shopping” for a gun which he then used to kill himself in the shop.

    The key risk factor for suicide is impulsivity, not depression. The time between deciding to commit suicide and doing it is usually under an hour. In around a quarter of suicide attempts the decision was made less than five minutes before the attempt. Britain saw a large reduction in painkiller suicides (and liver destroying overdosed) just by having the pills sold only in blister packs of 20, rather than large bottles.

    Freakonomics – the Suicide Paradox

  119. 119
    Yutsano says:

    @aimai: I have zero issue siccing the actuaries on the gun nuts. After all if you’re going to have something that can cause damage and/or injury you should at the very least be financially responsible should that occur. And of course actuaries can take into account safety measures such as gun locks and safety training courses. But, you know, FREEDUMB!! so the NRA would fight this tooth and nail.

  120. 120
    kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    She would need some sort of action to get a restraining order. She can’t just go in with “unspecified danger” although I DO think he’s unstable. I think she’s right. I also think it’s a dumb solution. What’s the plan here? The person who draws first wins? In an abstract sense, he’s controlling her actions, because she’s now entered into this arms race. I also think it poisons every encounter, and makes the idea that these two are ever going to reach some peaceful life apart ludicrous. They’re two people who are concealing weapons. That’s now a factor in every personal encounter. It changes the stakes.

  121. 121
    Liberty60 says:

    @Xantar:

    we’re eventually going to end up in a world where the government makes owning a gun very burdensome and inconvenient. Personally, I have no problem with that, and I think to pretend that’s not our goal is disingenuous.

    I think this SHOULD be our goal. Meaning, allowing guns to be legal, but their owners highly regulated and controlled.

    Regulating the behavior gun owners, not guns, seems like the most reasonable interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

  122. 122
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Keep in mind, that the NRA, from its very beginning, was sponsored by firearms and ammo manufacturers to keep a market going for their products, after peace broke out in 1865, threatening their bottom lines.

    It’s about moving product. Everything else the NRA says and does is in support of that mission…fostering a climate where firearms and ammunition manufacturers have a ready, profitable market to exploit.

  123. 123
    aimai says:

    @Mo:
    I hate those freakonomics guys but that is a pretty interesting interview. One of the “arguments” they made is that there’s more suicide in the white community and more homicide in the black community but (they argue indirectly) black homicides may be a form of suicide and white suicides may be the result of a lack of other people to blame for misery. They argue that racism and racist oppression make black people less likely to suffer emotionally since they can blame their circumstances (poor) on society and on racism. While the highly suicidal white men of the mountain west have no one to blame but themselves for their inability to get or hold a mate, a good job, or good health.

    I can’t stand those guys because they are all correlation and no causation but what the hell, its an interesting interview especially when you realize how very, very, very, angry homicidal behavior is in young white males when it is attached to resentment over changes in racial power (civil rights, obama’s election) and feminism (MRA anger at female students, divorced women, female authority figures like teachers) and a perceived decline in life chances,education, and income.

    aimai

  124. 124
    JCT says:

    @Xantar: This is very true — the irony is that in their irresponsible “all guns, all the time” screeds in response to every act of gun violence, the NRA has backed themselves into a corner where *any* regulation is somehow “unconstitutional”.

    Once again, wingnuts have created their own reality where everything they think is the one true way and hey, what a surprise, the vast majority of Americans don’t seem to be on board with their fevered, paranoid dreams where a completely armed populace represents the purest form of freedom.

    The key is the screaming about registration of all guns — very hard to sell that as a problem to non gun owners , because they don’t buy into the nonsensical, “the tyrannical govt” is coming to take your weapons once they know what you have.

    I amused myself the other day by checking in on some local shooting forums (I target shoot) and the screaming and wailing is epic. There was a gun show this weekend in my town and everyone on the forum was commenting on (1) the near complete lack of ammo and reloading supplies (because everyone is stocking up) and (2) the huge increase in semiauto prices. Mind you, half of these idiots argue that Obama is actually buying up all the ammo. But the squealing over the price “gouging” is hilarious coming from all of these guys who until recently thought the free market should dictate everything.

    My favorite quote — when someone described the line to get in the show as stretching all the way back to the parking lot, some assclown proclaimed how proud he was that everyone was buying supplies to get ready for the upcoming “war”. Presumably against Obama and his socialist tyranny or some such. Trust me, most of the guys in those lines couldn’t climb 2 flights of stairs without wheezing much less fight anyone. So much crazy, so little time.

    Way past time that these nuts determine the parameters of this important discussion, they thrive in the shadows, looking forward to Biden’s proposals flushing them out a bit.

  125. 125
    RSA says:

    @Xantar:

    To be fair, the slippery slope idea isn’t complete bullshit… Maybe we won’t have government agents literally removing guns from people, but if we get any amount of regulations, we’re eventually going to end up in a world where the government makes owning a gun very burdensome and inconvenient. Personally, I have no problem with that, and I think to pretend that’s not our goal is disingenuous.

    I don’t think it is disingenuous, because when you say “our goal” you’re talking about you and me and a lot of others but hardly everyone. Maybe not even most people. I imagine there’s a spectrum of people’s views on gun regulation, and complete gun confiscation is just one end of it. Others might think that the limit of appropriate regulation is a federal registry, or a safety training test, or graduation from a safety training class, or regular renewal of such classes, or that some need for a gun must be demonstrated… You get the idea. One problem we have right now is that any regulation gets shoved into the “gun grabbing” category, which prevents us from talking about what most people might see as reasonable measures.

  126. 126
    aimai says:

    @kay:

    As soon as she knew he was carrying she should have demanded that all custodial issues be handled at a police station. Its incredibly irresponsible for the courts to proceed as though angry ex husbands weren’t incredibly dangerous to both their ex wives and their children. How many men have killed their own children to punish their wives for the divorce? Didn’t some asshole just blow up his own house and children during a custody dispute? On checking that link I see that he had probably already killed her. Here in MA a disgruntled divorced man took his two children, killed them and buried them somewhere along a highway.

    aimai

  127. 127
    aimai says:

    @JCT:

    Years ago Mr. Aimai and I were attending a huge indoor flea market/antiques show in Atlanta and we wandered around a curtain that closed off half the room and found ourselves in a gun show. One of the dealers looked up from his table and said curtly to us “You don’t belong here” and pointed us back the way we had come. It was incredibly funny and incredibly creepy at the same time. I mean–sure, two happy looking Jewish day trippers looking for bakelite jewelry and hotdogs were obviously out of place, but did he have to be so mean about it?

    aimai

  128. 128
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore:

    A sensible system would let somebody who is in genuine fear get a restraining order against the person they’re afraid of, and a restraining order against you would be reason to deny a firearm permit, much less a concealed carry permit. I don’t understand why this kind of restriction is so hard to implement.

    It’s not. A friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend, she filed a TRO against him and he had to not only surrender all firearms but move out of his house for 90 days.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai:

    How many men have killed their own children to punish their wives for the divorce?

    Good question. How many?

    Corner Stone

  130. 130
    aimai says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Do your own research.

    aimai

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai: Tradition dictates the one making the assertion proves up their argument, not the other way around.
    Otherwise you’re just a fucking blowhard piece of garbage.

    Corner Stone

  132. 132
    aimai says:

    Oh, its America’s angry divorced dad again! Now also stalking threads to try to prevent people from discussing gun control! How refreshing. No, I’m sorry, I think the word I was looking for was…tedious. Fuck off you angry asshole neither I nor anyone else needs to treat your posts with anything approaching seriousness.

    aimai

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai: Ok, so you can’t then. Again.
    Good enough, thanks.

    Corner Stone

  134. 134
    Cassidy says:

    but right now the GOP house would rather put guns to their heads than regulate those guns

    I see no downside.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @J R in WVa:

    What if you’re driving in an unfamiliar community, have a CCW permit, and just happen to pass 2 blocks from a school?

    And, what, you’re pulled over by a psychic cop who can sense you’re carrying a gun?

    I can see lots of reasons cops might want to be able to also charge people who are pulled over or stopped for other violations with possessing a gun within 1000 yards of a school, but Los Angeles is in the middle of a nasty gang war right now with a lot of innocent bystanders being injured or killed.

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    This is a very interesting thread to me because we’ve started helping my mom clear some of my dad’s stuff out of the house. My dad was a “responsible gun owner” and we are finding ammunition EVERY FUCKING WHERE in the house. Stuffed into drawers. In plastic baggies in the closet. We just found two loaded clips for an AK-47 and can’t figure out if he even owned one.

    As far as we can tell, all of the actual guns were stored in the gun safe, but ammunition was not given the same treatment. And he was a lifelong member of the goddamned NRA.

  137. 137
    BobS says:

    @jp7505a: “male citizens” meaning white guys- do you know what the laws were regarding anyone but white males keeping or bearing firearms in 1787?

    I own several firearms, including a revolver that’s registered with the state of Michigan. All my other weapons are rifles or shotguns which aren’t subject to the same cursory regulation. I just recently made an impulse purchase of a rifle at a gas station/party store/gun shop I stopped to fuel up at (that probably makes at least somewhat more sense if I add it was in northern Michigan). The time between me noticing the gun displayed on the wall and walking out the door with it was less than 1/2 hour, which is fucking crazy.
    There are ridiculously low hurdles to firearm ownership in our country- there’s nothing “well regulated” about it. As a start, it would seem that the laws pertaining to driving and car ownership would be a reasonable model to get ourselves up to Second Amendment standards: state approved classes teaching safe handling and operation to initially obtain an operators license that needed renewal every few years, as well as yearly registration of each firearm. Part of the registration process would be agreeing to a requirement that stipulated the use of triggerlocks and gunsafes, failure to comply being grounds for removal of ones firearms from their possession.

  138. 138
    Keith G says:

    @aimai:

    You and your buddies can do what you want to do about gun laws,

    Rather vague. Perhaps weakly condescending. Not sure who my “Buddies” are as I seem to be in a bit of a no man’s land.

    All I am suggesting is that we intensely push for the most vigorous gun regulations that we can find strong empirical data to support.

    I have been impressed with amount of social change lately. Much of it was helped when strong arguments were presented with good supporting data. I think the same can happen with stronger gun regulations.

    Many of us/you idolize Obama because for once in a long-assed time we have a leader who brings higher level analytics and rational decision making to the table. Yet here I am seeing some of those same peeps (and their buddies?) roll out some very trite appeals to emotion and even personal invective when their self-satisfied views are being investigated.

    Granny used to ponder why more of Christ’s followers were not more Christ-like.

    Is it too late to wonder why more of Obama’s follower are not more Obama-like?

    @jp7505a:

    The problem with the ‘responsible gun owner’ theory is when something happens in that persons life and he uses that gun in an irresponsible manner. I donot have any magic bullet (sorry for the pun) on how to fix this.

    Obviously we cannot stop all the bad that happens. We can do a bit to mitigate the effects when theretofore good folks break from their good ways.

    Limiting access to mass casualty weaponry is a good thing, and I feel the general public will be responsive to data driven policies. Just like in health care, let’s look at what we can learn from both contemporary and historic data. What can we learn about your hypothetical guy (assumption)?

    Bottom line: The first time I emphatically discussed gun control with others was a lunch I was having with Senator Howard Metzenbaum and a few others in 1976. One of the Liberal Lions of the Senate told me the votes were not there so nothing was going to happen.

    Then and now, I want something to happen. An while I am not expecting much, I think there is progress to be had if we can put away our childish things, not insult folks we need as allies (or at least silent observers), and focus on sound, data driven public policy.

  139. 139
    brettvk says:

    @aimai: This sparked a scenario in my disordered mind: Go to a gun show with a big pile o’ cash and a big hammer. Buy a gun, lay it on the floor and hammer it to bits. Sweep up the pieces, dump them and proceed to the next booth, repeat until you’re lynched. I’ve no doubt it would be as suicidal as setting yourself afire to protest a war but it would be magnificent “security theater.”

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @Zandar: I actually laughed when I read that quote from her. She sounds like an idiot:

    I think you need to put everything on the table, but, but, but… the President put some ideas on the table, and he shouldn’t have.

    She simply can’t be taken seriously by anyone.

  141. 141
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mo:

    The key risk factor for suicide is impulsivity, not depression.

    And there’s a compelling argument that impulsivity is the factor in domestic incidents that end as spousal murders or murder-suicides. If you look at the collated stories of gun deaths over the past month, there are some broad categories: awful accidents that point to some irresponsibility, flaring arguments settled with guns.

  142. 142
    whidby says:

    @jp7505a: You would think so, but no. I can’t quote the law exactly, but it was pretty close to “possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.” There were exceptions for law enforcement, military personnel on leave (??), and that’s about it. No exception for having the firearm unloaded and in a locked case.

    This was in California where there really isn’t concealed carry, except in rare cases, so they didn’t need to concern themselves, I suppose, with JR’s hypo of a concealed carry person driving past the school.

  143. 143
    whidby says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: ?

    TODAY, THE NRA is the unquestioned leader in the fight against gun control. Yet the organization didn’t always oppose gun regulation. Founded in 1871 by George Wingate and William Church—the latter a former reporter for a newspaper now known for hostility to gun rights, The New York Times—the group first set out to improve American soldiers’ marksmanship. Wingate and Church had fought for the North in the Civil War and been shocked by the poor shooting skills of city-bred Union soldiers.

    In the 1920s and ’30s, the NRA was at the forefront of legislative efforts to enact gun control. The organization’s president at the time was Karl T. Frederick, a Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer known as “the best shot in America”—a title he earned by winning three gold medals in pistol-shooting at the 1920 Summer Olympic Games. As a special consultant to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Frederick helped draft the Uniform Firearms Act, a model of state-level gun-control legislation. (Since the turn of the century, lawyers and public officials had increasingly sought to standardize the patchwork of state laws. The new measure imposed more order—and, in most cases, far more restrictions.)

    Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/mag.....ns/308608/

  144. 144
    jefft452 says:

    @jp7505a:
    “What if you’re driving in an unfamiliar community, have a CCW permit, and just happen to pass 2 blocks from a school?”

    Then you would be breaking the law, ignorance of the law is no excuse

    @jp7505a:
    “ I don’t think the intent was to fill the prisons with guys passing a school on their way to their favorite duck blind. Rather it was a way to try and contol the gangbangers who want to settle their differences on the school playground”

    Are there other laws that you think should apply to “gangbangers” but not apply to “guys”?

  145. 145
    Humble Lurker says:

    @whidby:
    Yes. And Republicans USED to be the sane party. What’s your point?

  146. 146
    giantslor says:

    Guns don’t kill people, violent movies and video games kill people. –NRA

  147. 147
    Will says:

    @Roger Moore: And who will confiscate all these guns? People with guns?

  148. 148
    Pococurante says:

    @jp7505a: She shot into a room where her children were, after she came back into the house to get car keys instead of fleeing to a neighbor to call the police. Then, against all advice, she insisted on a jury trial. Murderously poor judgement up front follow by slow motion poor judgement during trial.

    I think the verdict was way over the top, don’t know what her appeal chances are but probably nil since the process appears to have worked as intended. The three year plea was actually a good offer and she could have worked it down very quickly with good behavior and counseling.

    I feel sorry for her, and particularly her kids.

    But with all the heat on this and other threads for “think of children”, well… think of the children and the wisdom of blindly firing into the house.

    As far as the topic goes, as a gun owner I’m completely on board with Biden’s intention.

    ETA: “Corey also explained how a second confrontation between Alexander and Gray led to her recent conviction and Friday’s sentencing. After the shooting, Alexander was released on bond and ordered to stay away from Gray. A few months later, Corey said, she went to Gray’s home and “gave him a black eye” — and later denied to police she had been at the residence.”

    Bear in mind, she testified she thought her life was in danger, but went back after shooting and punched him out. She is still breathing, As is pretty common there is more to this case than just “crazy Florida/wingnuts”….

  149. 149
    lyford says:

    And how, exactly, would gun registration prevent crimes? The same way that registering motor vehicles prevents fatal accidents?

    Registration is a good way to help solve crimes, but does little to prevent them.

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