Gun Day

Here’s a backgrounder on the gun safety proposal that will be announced later this morning. It’s a more strict assault weapons ban, banning high-capacity mags, closing the gun show loophole, a better background check system (with more funding), and more mental health funding.

I can’t find a schedule anywhere, so maybe one of you know when this thing is going down.

75 replies
  1. 1
    Lee says:

    Remember when the invariable gun nut starts talking about how they need their guns to protect against tyranny the best comment is something like:

    “So what you are saying is that you need guns because at some point you want to start shooting and killing at soldiers and police. Because tyranny is not going to come from your local librarian.”

  2. 2
    Schlemizel says:

    noon EST

  3. 3
    Cargo says:

    “I’m a responsible gun owner, and if this happens, [ extensive and detailed death threats against federal officers ]”


    “What, I was just joking! Still, [ veiled death threats ]”

  4. 4
    Ash Can says:

    Give ’em hell, Mr. President.

  5. 5
    Jamey says:

    @Cargo: “Ban cars, because they kill more people, unlike guns which don’t kill anyone; criminals with unregistered guns do.”

  6. 6
    Punchy says:

    This isnt his EO list, right? These are just his suggys for forthcoming legy on it, correct? None of which, of course, will make it thru the Rethuglican House.

  7. 7
    Lee says:

    None of which, of course, will make it thru the Rethuglican House.

    I think that is the point.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Solve the debt crisis! Tax ammunition 100 fold.

  9. 9
    jayackroyd says:

    Ezra says 11:45. It’s in wonkbook, which is email for me, so no link.

  10. 10
    Aimai says:

    @Jamey: Cars are liscenced, training is universal, you must carry massive insurance, you can lose your lisence for operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner, your lisence must be periodically renewed, the lisence is revoked when you become physically impaired, you can be arrested for driving in certain areas like on the sidewalk or the dunes, you need a special permit for certain vehicles….

    I’d be thrilled if we regulated guns half as my h as we regulate cars.

  11. 11
    nemesis says:

    I can’t find a schedule anywhere, so maybe one of you know when this thing is going down.

    Its going down as soon is the legislation hits the House. At least Bamz looks like the reasonable one. Again.

  12. 12

    I am not hearing enough about keeping guns away from those who do not own them. We could prevent a whole lot of accidental death and suicides of kids if people took responsibility for their firearms. If a kid gets your gun you go to jail. Period.

    I think if the mother of the Newtown shooter had lived we’d be talking about securing weapons more because people would be talking about locking her up.

  13. 13


    Cars are liscenced, training is universal, you must carry massive insurance…

    Also, when is the last tine someone killed 20 first graders with their car in a schoolhouse? Its easier to get out of the way of a speeding car than a nut with an assault rifle.

  14. 14
    Lee says:


    My simple solution would be all firearms must be registered and all firearms must carry personal liability insurance. Let the ‘Free Market’ start reducing the number of guns in the US.

    Anyone breaks either one of those laws goes to prison.

  15. 15
    handsmile says:

    Via TPM:

    “President Barack Obama will detail the gun policy recommendations Wednesday morning at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

    Obama will be joined by children who wrote to the White House about their own concerns regarding gun-related violence following the massacre in Newtown, Conn. last month. The event will be held at 11:55 a.m. EST.”

  16. 16
    gogol's wife says:


    Me too, but apparently that can’t even be talked about because of something somebody said in the 18th century.

  17. 17
    RSA says:

    The mental health part is interesting. It’s almost independent of the gun issues. I don’t have any high hopes for its passing–the Republican view of mental healthcare seems to be “Stop yer whining”–but it would be a good thing.

  18. 18
    jayackroyd says:


    The gun safety people are trying to make this point. You’ll notice that you could characterize these policies as reflecting “cars don’t kill people. people kill people.” Impaired people, incompetent people, restrictions on movement.

    Plus we had a very successful public health campaign with respect to making cars safer, and making impairment socially unacceptable. A gun safety campaign along these lines would work out pretty well. It would take time–and the NRA is already blocking public health studies of gun violence. But that’s hard to do in public, rather in behind the scenes attacks on the NIH.

  19. 19
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Track ammunition sales and have people have to use their gun permit to purchase ammunition. The DMV can be a pain, but for the most part it is an efficient collector and repository of various bits of information. Gun regulation should be the same monotonous and banal process. This should not be a ‘big effing deal’.

  20. 20


    I am willing to accept the NRA list of mentally ill people as long as we are allowed to cross reference the list with their membership. Why do I get a strong feeling their will be a lot of commonality?

  21. 21
    flukebucket says:

    The speed limit is 65 but my car will go 120 so why can’t I have a belt fed machine gun…

  22. 22
    Lee says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I don’t think either one of those things would cross the 2nd.

    Registration is already required. Insurance would be new, but it would not be the government that would be imposing the limits.

    Not everyone can afford a Bushmaster does that mean the government is restricting guns? Same with insurance. Not everyone could afford to insure an arsenal. Does that mean the government is the one restricting the guns?

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    Maybe we should provide asshole management classes for those who think guns aren’t the problem.

    edit.. of course I realize there are responsible gun owners …blah, blah, blah, blah.

  24. 24
    The Red Pen says:

    THIS WILL START A NEW CIVIL WAR!!1!!!!!one!!!!!!!!

    (Now you don’t have to read any right wing sites today.)

  25. 25
    RobertDSC-iPhone 4 says:

    Stomp their ass, Mr. President.

  26. 26
    Helen Bedd says:

    In related news

    Oregon sheriff: I won’t enforce new gun laws I deem unconstitutional

    I guess I missed the part where sheriffs rather than judges get to make that decision

  27. 27
    tjmn says:

    JPL says:
    “Maybe we should provide asshole management classes for those who think guns aren’t the problem.”

    I know quite a few non-gun nuts who would benefit from asshole management classes. Maybe, we need two types of classes. One for the assholes and one for the people who have to manage assholes.

  28. 28
    Schlemizel says:


    Correct answer!

    I created this image showing deaths per million miles driven since 1963 to 2011 with an explanation of how government did that without taking away anyones car

    The response from my gun nut friends was as expected.

  29. 29
    Scott S. says:

    I don’t think y’all understand the vital importance of making sure crazy people get giant assault rifles with high-capacity magazines without the government and police being able to track them. Do you know how hard it is to kill large numbers of innocent people without that stuff?

    Why do you hate America’s mass murderers?

  30. 30
    handsmile says:


    O/T (and in fact off-site), but great catch/post this morning on Social Security over at Mr. Black’s place. (I no longer wade into the comments there.) Trenchant, however ironic, analysis.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    I Googled Bushmaster out of curiosity about the price of its rifles — US$900 and up, as I learned — and found this Bloomberg opinion piece from a few weeks ago with an interesting idea: some good rich guy should buy Bushmaster’s parent company, Freedom Group Inc, and shut the whole place down. It could be done for less than US$1 billion.

  32. 32
    Todd says:

    @Helen Bedd:

    Oregon sheriff: I won’t enforce new gun laws I deem unconstitutional

    He would be a member of that breed of retards who learned about the plenipotentiary local power of sheriffs from stuff people posted on the internet.

    I remember the first time I saw that back in the nineties, and it was all a bunch of circle jerk citation among gold-fringed flag conspiracy theorists. They’ve been working hard to mainstream it.

  33. 33
    Yutsano says:

    @Schlemizel: Wait, wait, don’t tell me: “ARGLE BARGLE SECOND AMENDMENT FREEDUMB WOLVERINES!!”

    Am I close?

  34. 34

    Serious question: the same guy who had the nervous breakdown on FB yesterday over the NY legislation posted a website that referenced the banning of assault rifles (and other full-auto weapons) in the 80s. This was in service of a point about there not being a strict definition of what constitutes an “assault weapon,” and that therefore it’s usually defined by cosmetics (such as a pistol grip).

    The NY legislation I saw seemed to define “assault weapons” this way, but that CBS story doesn’t explain what the new ban would actually outlaw beyond “semi-automatic pistols and rifles,” which seems a bridge too far beyond what is politically possible – semi-automatic weapons are fairly common and I don’t think have the same “scare factor” as full auto ones – and the examples given are AK-47s and Uzis, which I believe are both already banned by that alleged earlier law.

    My question is: who, exactly, is full of shit here? Either CBS is defining weapons the wrong way, or the site presentation I mentioned has something ass backwards. I was hoping someone with more extensive technical knowledge of the subject than I have could enlighten me a bit.

  35. 35
    handsmile says:


    Sorry, I’ve meant to post this before, but better late than…

    Thanks for creating that potent graph on declining automobile fatalities and its accompanying text. I’m reading more and more articles relating the public health benefits of automobile regulation to proposals on gun safety.

    I’ve attached this graph to several emails to family/friends (and after the fact, hoping that’s OK with you); the responses have mostly been what I imagine you were hoping for.

  36. 36
    Comrade Jake says:

    Had this misfortune of being subjected to Fox News yesterday in the gym. They were all upset the President would be appearing with children behind him to make the announcement. You see, he’s using them as “human shields”.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    I do believe in calling it gun safety.

    The WaPost, of course, has “gun control” as a trending topic.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    I really, really hope the Secret Service is beefing up their security measures. The gun nuts are not going to take this stuff lightly.

  39. 39
    Schlemizel says:


    Followed by Ben Franklin quote about trading freedom for security

    Yes you got it exactly

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:


    I think its great that you shared it. I put it out there in hopes that people would see it and maybe even add to it like the comments here have added. We need to take the discussion on gun safety away from the crazies yelling about us wanting to take their guns.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Comrade Jake: odd use of shields. That said, I’m not exactly super excited by the fact children are involved in the ceremony.

  42. 42
    PeakVT says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think that would just shift the demand to other manufacturers offering similar guns.

  43. 43
    russell says:

    My question is: who, exactly, is full of shit here?

    It seems to me that the definition of “assault weapon” and/or “assault rifle” has become something of a political football.

    In general, it refers to semi-automatic knock-offs of military rifles, especially the M16 (AR-15 in the civilian version) AK-47 and maybe the Uzi.

    So, a rifle using a medium size high velocity bullet, with pistol grip, detachable magazine, usually able to accept a bayonet and/or flash suppressor.

    Folks who are gun advocates will usually argue that unless it has selectable automatic fire, it’s not an assault weapon, and if you say it is you are just displaying your ignorance.

    Folks who are not gun advocates will usually argue that a gun that is identical in every way to a military issue assault rifle, except that it is limited to semi-automatic fire, might just as well be called an assault rifle.

    Take your pick.

  44. 44
    GregB says:

    Has anyone else noticed that the video ramblings of the gun-Americans are sounding more and more like the ramblings of Bin Laden and Al Zawahiri?

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    I think Obama should shock everyone and demand every adult American become proficient in the use of guns, so we can have many well-regulated militias available in times of needs.

    He would then state that every adult American, along with becoming proficient with guns, must complete a military basic training type course.

    Since we would all be armed, we no longer need such an extensive standing military and therefore we can meet Republicans demands of arming everyone and reducing the size of government in one fell swoop.

    EDIT: Also, too if every adult American could pass some sort basic training it’d cut down out country’s obesity problem (of which I am a contributor).

  46. 46
    Violet says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I’m not exactly super excited by the fact children are involved in the ceremony.

    The parents of those children better get ready. Wingnuts and gun nuts will be casing their houses and digging into their personal lives, reporting on their incomes, countertops, cars, mortgages, whether or not they own or have ever owned and gun, if any of them take antidepressants or any other mental health medications or if anyone in their family does. It may be brutal.

  47. 47
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Your list made me think of this: A semiautomatic hand grenade. It has two pins. You pull the first, and after you wait 10 seconds, you can then pull the second. Would those be considered safer than regular grenades?

  48. 48
    Face says:

    And shit keeps getting whack and whackier

  49. 49
    some guy says:

    The Second Amendment was ratified to Preserve Slavery

  50. 50
    handsmile says:


    mrs. handsmile and I will be traveling to Washington for next weeks’ Inauguration. (Had to do it after not being able to do so in 2008). What is implicit in your comment is very much on our minds (and in fact is something mentioned by every friend to whom we’ve told of our plans.)

    In truth, I have little concern about next Monday (would expect security to be both very visible and very invisible). But over the next fours, yeah…vicious animals in corners.

    And this concern is related to my fury over Village media fatuity over President Obama’s “sociability/insularity” to say nothing of the most recent NRA filth.

  51. 51
    Kirbster says:

    Fuck the Second Amendment. It’s long past time to repeal it. Its rationale of providing for the common defense in a time when the country did not have a standing army and the states couldn’t afford to equip a militia with non-standard, expensive, custom-made, single-shot muskets ended long ago. The 2nd’s status as some sort of quasi-religious tenet of “Americanism” is an insurmountable impediment to reasonable regulation of firearms. And even in the 1790s, some yahoo traipsing around town with a loaded musket would have been seen as a menace to public safety, not as a patriot exercising his inalienable rights.

  52. 52
    Ash Can says:

    @Suffern ACE: It’s an issue that directly affects them — in a life-or-death manner, in fact. And the ones who will be there are some of the ones who wrote to him about it. If he were speaking about some other issue affecting children’s health and lives, they’d be there for that. Why not now?

  53. 53
    Cassidy says:

    @russell: It’s an interesting debate, even amongst gun fans/enthusiasts/owners/etc. I would term an assault rifle as any rifle based off a military design. That’s very broad and includes such venerable pieces of weaponry as the M1A and M1 Garand, but the reality is that those were military weapons designed with the highest technology at the time. I believe the technical category is “battle rifle”. In the end, we just need to severely restrict the sales of any semi-automatic rifle, regardles of magazine size or internal vs. external. Hell, I’d go as far as all SA weapons.

  54. 54
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Schlemizel: That’s a really cool graph, good work!

  55. 55
    gogol's wife says:


    That’s who they identify with.

  56. 56
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Kirbster: hmmm. Reading Some Guys article above, leads me to believe that we actually didn’t have those militias because we lacked a standing army and wanted to defend ourselves from France.

  57. 57
    some guy says:


    read that Truthout story I linked to for some insight into why the 2nd Amendment was written and revised. Hint: Slave Patrol Militias.

  58. 58
    RSA says:

    @The Other Bob:

    I am willing to accept the NRA list of mentally ill people as long as we are allowed to cross reference the list with their membership. Why do I get a strong feeling their will be a lot of commonality?

    If I were in charge of defining red flags, I’d say that owning more than x guns or buying more than x rounds of ammunition would be a good place to start.

  59. 59
    Kirbster says:

    @some guy: I know. But the 2nd is still obsolete, whatever its true original purpose as a sop to the slave states may have been.

  60. 60
    Amir Khalid says:

    It would, at least temporarily, reduce the supply of assault rifles to the US civilian market. I do wonder by how much, though. Where should I look for an estimate of Bushmaster’s market share for these rifles?

  61. 61
    kindness says:

    I don’t expect the ‘assault weapons’ ban to pass but I do want to see and expect the expanded background checks (to everyone buying a gun) and the limiting clip/magazine sizes to 10 rounds pass. I expect those 2 items can pass. The other fuller assault weapon ban, not so much.

  62. 62
    SFAW says:


    Yesterday, NPR had a guy (Hemenway? I think he’s a professor somewhere) talking about the “original” (i.e. Clinton-era, I guess) assault weapons ban. He noted that the law was written – with NRA “help,” of course – to require that an “assault weapon” had to have at least two out of five cosmetic features. The gun companies got around it by having only one of those cosmetic features, without losing functionality.

    Always a way to game the system, I guess.

  63. 63
    Cassidy says:

    @Amir Khalid: Think of them in terms of cars. Bushmaster isn’t high end, by any stretch, but it’s not the worst either. You could compare them to Harley Davidson’s. They sell an image more than anything else.

  64. 64
    SFAW says:


    and the limiting clip/magazine sizes to 10 rounds pass.

    I think you’re dreaming, but I’ll be happy to be wrong.

  65. 65
    kindness says:

    @SFAW: One can always dream, right?

    My rightwingnutz friends and I have talked about this issue and while they don’t like that 10 round limit they can see it happening just because of the slaughters that have happened. In truth though, even if it does happen they all said they were going to keep their 30 round banana clips.

  66. 66


    Thanks for the comprehensive answer. This is a much better breakdown than any I’ve gotten recently.

    Folks who are gun advocates will usually argue that unless it has selectable automatic fire, it’s not an assault weapon, and if you say it is you are just displaying your ignorance.

    This is exactly what I’d been hearing; that AR-15s are no different from home defense weapons or weapons used for target shooting or hunting. Gun owners here seem convinced that it’s basically the government trying to take away people’s right to defend themselves.

  67. 67
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Lee: Unfortunately, Librarians and Mail Carriers are probably the first targets of these nutjobs because they are the “gubmint” and they are also unarmed.

    Perhaps if those targets were packing heat they might be safer, hmmm?
    Just kidding.

  68. 68
    PurpleGirl says:

    @SFAW: The shooting range I used to go to in Westchester County (it was a county-operated facility) prohibited you from loading more than 10 rounds at one time. The Marlin I owed at the time could hold 17 rounds in a tubular magazine.

  69. 69
    SFAW says:


    That’s a range rule. Getting a law passed is probably a little more difficult.

    Guns in Westchester? I’ll have to be more alert/careful next time I drive through Mamaroneck.

  70. 70
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Lector Peregrinus:

    Because it’s the muzzle-break and folding stocks, that make everyone skeered.

  71. 71
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Obama/Biden Gun Control Proposals, right now

  72. 72
    Elizabelle says:

    “We don’t benefit from ignorance.”

    I love when PBO speaks directly to the public, via public airwaves — over the broadcast networks, preempting The Price is Right and the Rikki Lake Show and other urgent fare, instead of having to depend on what Chuck Todd and his ilk decide to report.

    Put me down as someone who thinks he should have done this more, earlier, on healthcare and financial protection, but glad he is doing it now.

  73. 73
    hitchhiker says:


    All that. And, you have to jump through a thousand hoops to become a trainer of drivers, at least in my state. It has to be a state-certified program, content mandated, hours mandated, must-pass written test, must-pass in-vehicle test, thorough background check.

    What do you have to do to become a gun safety instructor?

  74. 74
    kindness says:

    @PurpleGirl: Westchester NY? I grew up in Tarrytown. Where you at?

  75. 75

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