The Parkland Peace Plan

As predicted last week, Trump is already caving on his latest feint toward gun safety legislation after promising to “look very strongly” at universal background checks and red flag laws in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton massacres — this despite the fabled moderating influence of Ivanka.

The NRA is at its lowest ebb in decades. Board members and employees are running from the organization like Trump White House lackeys fleeing a process server. Even a Fox News personality called out the epic corruption of the NRA’s Trump-scale tacky-grandiose chief Wayne LaPierre last week. So this cave is the latest data point on Trump’s crap negotiating skills.

My husband is famously bad at negotiating. Our daughter and I still tease him about walking into a Ford dealership several years ago, clapping eyes on his future truck and exclaiming, “Oh my GOD! I LOVE it!” right in front of the salesman. We were fleeced most thoroughly soon after, of course, and the mister is no longer permitted to even ATTEND major purchase events.

But the mister is steely-eyed and canny at the long table in comparison to the credulous fool in the White House, who has handed over our economic fate to China’s Xi, been pantsed by tin-pot dictators worldwide and sports Vladimir Putin’s brand on his ass. In that context, it’s no wonder the weakened sociopaths at the NRA were able to vaporize Trump’s mealy-mouthed resolve to “look very strongly” at new gun safety regulations with a single phone call.

Luckily, the March for Our Lives group, founded by Parkland massacre survivors, isn’t waiting around for Trump to nut up. This morning, they released an ambitious gun safety proposal: A Peace Plan for a Safer America. Here are its main points:

1. CHANGE THE STANDARDS OF GUN OWNERSHIP: Advocate and pass legislation to raise the national standard for gun ownership: a national licensing and registry system that promotes responsible gun ownership; a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and other weapons of war; policies to disarm gun owners who pose a risk to themselves or others; and a national gun buy-back program to reduce the estimated 265-393 million firearms in circulation by at least 30%.

2. HALVE THE RATE OF GUN DEATHS IN 10 YEARS: Mobilize an urgent and comprehensive federal response: declare a national emergency around gun violence and announce an audacious goal to reduce gun injuries and deaths by 50% in 10 years, thereby saving up to 200,000 American lives.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE GUN LOBBY AND INDUSTRY: Hold the gun lobby and industry accountable for decades of illegal behavior and misguided policies intended to shield only themselves; reexamine the District of Columbia v. Heller interpretation of the Second Amendment; initiate both FEC and IRS investigations into the NRA, and fully repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

4. NAME A DIRECTOR OF GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION: Appoint a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) who reports directly to the President, with the mandate to operationalize our federal goals and empower existing federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – agencies that have all been structurally weakened by the gun lobby. The National Director of GVP would begin by overseeing a down payment of $250 million in annual funding for research by the CDC and other federal agencies on gun violence prevention.

5. GENERATE COMMUNITY-BASED SOLUTIONS: Fully fund targeted interventions addressing the intersectional dimensions of gun violence, including community-based urban violence reduction programs, suicide prevention programs, domestic violence prevention programs, mental and behavioral health service programs, and programs to address police violence in our communities.

6. EMPOWER THE NEXT GENERATION: Automatically register eligible voters and mail voter registration cards to all Americans when they turn 18. Create the “Safety Corps,” a Peace Corps for gun violence prevention. The younger generations are disproportionately affected by gun violence. They should have a say in how their country solves this epidemic.

It’s a smart plan that frames gun violence as a national health issue that reaches far beyond mass shootings. And it focuses on political mobilization, which is critical. It also signals that the Parkland group possesses political savvy that morons like Trump, his dingbat daughter and wastrel son-in-law can’t begin to match. Unlike those clowns, the Parkland kids are building on the past work they’ve done nationwide and swinging for the fences when opponents are at a weak point.

Senator Murphy of Connecticut sees hope (The Post):

“My hope is that they focus like a laser on youth turnout,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said of March for Our Lives’s 2020 efforts, after reviewing the proposal. “The election is over the minute young people decide to turn out. The only reason that Trump would get reelected is if young people stay home. The issue of gun violence is one of the only issues that truly motivate young people to shake off their indifference and aversion to voting.”

Democrats, who in the past would at least nod toward gun owners and do photo ops while hunting, are embracing gun control with greater urgency than they have in any election in recent memory, a sign that they are sensing movement among voters. During the 2018 midterms, when Democrats recaptured the House majority, nearly 70 percent of registered voters said gun policy was “very important” to them, ranking the issue ahead of taxes and immigration, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

This is what we’ve lacked — a sense of urgency to match that of the gun nuts. But thanks to the gun nuts’ maximal resistance to commonsense positions backed by 90% of Americans — and the insane among that group’s limitless appetite for mass murder — the pendulum might finally swing toward sanity, and perhaps a lot further than seemed possible even a couple of years ago.

You can read more about the plan, sign the petition and donate to March for Our Lives here.






72 replies
  1. 1
    mad citizen says:

    Simple solution to so many problems: phucking vote, people! Young People! (Not referring to jackals; I’m sure we’re all voting.)

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    No offense to Senator Murphy, but old people always vote and do so en masse. Younger voters always express enthusiasm and don’t vote en masse. It is important to try to mobilize them and turn them out, but it is foolish to count on them.

  3. 3
    Elizabelle says:

    Glad to see this. A lot of excellent ideas, including a much longer period for the background check — instant ones are insane. At least two weeks. Also, exploring and acknowledging the tie between domestic violence and gun violence.

    I’d like to see insurance mandated for all gun ownership too. Let those who cost out risks in on the act. But this is a solid set of ideas.

    Perfect it comes out on the heels of Trump allegedly assuring the NRA that background checks — a baby step, if ever there was one — are dead in the water.

    Preventing gun violence, and voting, is a wonderful organizing tool.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    Impressive. Comprehensive, aggressive, but reasonable sounding action items devoid of merely aspirational platitudes.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    [NRA] Board members and employees are running from the organization like Trump White House lackeys fleeing a process server.

    I do love Betty’s writing.

  6. 6

    Another good feature is that it can be broken into pieces and the pieces passed, one by one. More likely to get success that way.

  7. 7
    waspuppet says:

    So this cave is the latest data point on Trump’s crap negotiating skills.

    It’s also the latest data point on the NRA being the Republicans’ ATM for laundered Russian mob money. In January 2017 even I would’ve said that was a bit conspiratorial, but I can’t come up with another interpretation anymore.

  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    Does their proposal include allowing the CDC and others to study gun violence?

    I would also like to see something that holds gun owners accountable. If their gun is used to kill or injure someone they are no longer “responsible gun owners” and their insurance rates should rise and there should be consequences. Just like when people drive drunk there are consequences for them.

  9. 9
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I didn’t see his comments as counting on young people. More like encouraging them and telling them they have power.

  10. 10
    Miss Bianca says:

    As I mentioned in a previous thread, this gives me hope for the future. I am SO FUCKING TIRED of the right-wing nutjobs dictating national firearms policy, and seeing the local shit-fer-brains open-carry sociopaths around here ginning up outrage and recalls over modest red-flag laws at the state level.

  11. 11

    OT but related to T’s excellent negotiating skillz

    Apparently he has offered to mediate on the Kashmir issue. According to a phone call between Modi and T.
    When two liars speak, who do you believe? I speak of PM NM and President T.

  12. 12
    Louise B. says:

    Any thoughts from the lawyers around here about whether this plan would survive a 2nd Amendment challenge?

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    OT. Trump disapproval surges. One expects that it will come back down— reversion to the mean, and all that— but it’s possible that there’s a trend here.

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    I am glad the Parkland survivors called it a “Peace Plan” too.

    That works on many levels. We are at war. Our public spaces are not safe.

    I hope the Democrats in the House will open an investigation into the NRA before too long; maybe it’s already there. As a vector for funneling foreign money into US election campaigns. Identify the dirty US people involved, and prosecute them, federally and criminally.

    Open this war on many fronts.

  15. 15
    dmsilev says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yikes. I can see no way in which that ends well.

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    This is not entirely off topic, and in fact critical to our gun problems. You all remember the armed stand-off in Philly. And most of you know that less than a day after the guy was arrested, the Trump-appointed US Attorney issued a crazy statement blaming the shootings on Larry Krasner, the reform DA of Philly.

    Well, other shoe!

    MAN ACCUSED OF SHOOTING 6 PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICERS WAS FEDERAL SNITCH

    A federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania blamed DA Larry Krasner for a bloody standoff, but the suspect has a long relationship with the government that includes a sentence reduction because of his cooperation.

    linky

    Projection all the way up and down. McSwain should be sanctioned by the judiciary…. But won’t be.

  17. 17
    germy says:

    @waspuppet: Wasn’t the investigation into the NRA’s ties to Russian money halted? Maybe Mr. Silverman knows more about that. I remember reading it but I don’t remember where.

  18. 18
    Dr Ronnie James DO says:

    @Yarrow: This. The long-standing Federal restrictions on gun violence research were loosened under Obama but there’s been a backsliding under the current regime.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I cannot imagine anyone in the White House purposely deceiving someone…

  20. 20

    That’s a practical plan that sounds effective.

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    @Louise B.: Please note they called out Heller vs. DC, an insane Scalia-penned Supreme Court decision, if ever there was one (on guns).

    Under Accountability:

    reexamine the District of Columbia v. Heller interpretation of the Second Amendment

  22. 22
    Spanky says:

    @Baud: Eminently achievable. Cutting gun deaths in half over ten years equates to a 7% per year decline. Some might say that’s pretty tame, but getting any drop right now would be a vast improvement.

  23. 23
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: In early 80s Swiss relatives told me if your gun was stolen and used in a crime you faced severe legal penalties. At that time most Swiss men spent 2 yrs in military and then yrs in reserve with uniform and weapon at home ready for call-up.

    I had asked what about all those guns? Everyone knew you’d find a gun in almost every house.

  24. 24
    germy says:

    here it is:

    FEC Republicans block efforts to investigate NRA’s financial ties to Russia


    https://thinkprogress.org/fec-republicans-block-efforts-to-investigate-nras-financial-ties-to-russia-a916adcc7015/

  25. 25
    Immanentize says:

    @Louise B.:
    The Supreme Court wrote in the Heller case that the 2nd amendment prohibits banning the possession of a firearm in the home for self defense. That is all it held. In fact, Scalia specifically said licensing and regulation was OK.

    So all of the March for Life proposals should be able to easily survive a 2d A challenge, but with this Court, who knows?

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And there’s zero reluctance about contradicting Trump.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: That’s what I and several friends/colleagues were speculating offline.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    The Ukraine “issue” is not a “problem” or a “crisis,” it is a fucking war. An armed invasion of one sovereign country by a militarily stronger neighbor, accounting for about 10,000 casualties to date. There is already a perfectly good word in English and most other languages for that. The “crisis” can end tomorrow. It is entirely within the power of one man to solve.

  29. 29
    Louise B. says:

    @Elizabelle: I agree it should be re-examined, but we currently have a Supreme Court that seems poised to go in the opposite direction.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:

    @Louise B.: I know. They’re a shit show.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: I stopped it myself. I said self: “this has gone on far, far too long, and it must stop before someone or something is infringed”. I mean tassels would just look silly on LaPierre’s $30,000 bespoke suits.//

    More seriously, the Butina prosecution is ongoing. And my understanding is that the CI investigation into Russia’s infiltration of the NRA is ongoing. I have no idea if there will be further Federal criminal investigations and/or prosecutions at this point beyond what the counterintelligence folks are doing.

  32. 32
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    The hutzpah of these asses is astounding. Or was McSwain just in the dark about his own office’s deals? Again, malice or stupidity?

  33. 33
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Sorry, “invasion” is reserved for asylum seekers on the Southern border.

  34. 34
    frosty says:

    @Elizabelle: BC has a way with words. I read that part out loud to my wife.

    ETA: “fleeing” is what made it work. Try substituting running from or avoiding. The whole sentence falls flat.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think Murphy is saying that we have to try to motivate them, not count on them turning out: “My hope is that they focus like a laser on youth turnout,”

    One issue is the parents of kids who are getting traumatized by news of all the shootings. Kids have to get one of those ‘big talks’ about how to emotionally handle news of shootings from their parents on a regular basis now. Kids have to cope with ever more elaborate and disturbing school shooting drills. And I imagine the parents have to read some information and maybe permission sheet for the drills, and maybe do debriefings with their kids afterwards. The parents of school age kids should be another target of motivating turnout.

    And thanks to Cracker for the info, and the links. We need to get the correct information out there, in order to counter the gun nuts’ flimsy excuses. Trump’s retreat to mental health as the back stop is pretty weak. Research shows that traditional mental illness flags aren’t going to stop many of the shooting. The shooters don’t ‘snap’ and shoot people, many of them won’t show traditional signs of need for intervention with mental health treatment. And Trumpsters have weakened mental health treatment policy and funding anyway.

    We also have to recognize that we need to confront the problem of gun violence and mass shooting with more than one policy. there is no one magic policy. We need red flag laws to intervene with people who’ve shown serious violent tendencies, better mental health treatment policies, and better gun safety and control laws.

  36. 36
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Would it make sense to examine the national campaign to eliminate smoking?

    A fellow mom told me how her young son had cried and begged her to stop smoking. He didn’t want her to die like the TV said she might if she continued.

    There were very graphic pics of people in hospitals suffering/dying from lung cancer.

    The tobacco cos were extremely strong and fought hard.

    Who under 40? today knows anything about the (very man’s man) Malborough man?

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Louise B.: @Elizabelle: @Immanentize: The issue, and Immanentize will correct on the legal parts of this, isn’t that Heller and/or MacDonald prohibit reasonable regulation, they don’t. Scalia was very straightforward about making it clear in his majority opinions that reasonable regulations could still be enforced and new ones could be implemented. The issue is going to be whether as challenges work their way through the courts, if the new Federalist Society judges on the district, appellate, and Supreme courts require strict scrutiny in reviewing these. My understanding is that Kavanaugh, as well as Thomas, definitely believe that strict scrutiny is the applicable level of review, as well as a lot of the new district and appellate judges that McConnell has jammed through. If these courts do require it, then it will be unlikely these changes would survive a legal challenge.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: The Swiss, despite this military/reserve/regulated militia reason for higher civilian firearms ownership, still have exceedingly tight laws and regulations regarding that ownership.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: I think McSwain is more political animal than career/former prosecutor now serving as a political appointee.

  40. 40
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think the Parkland Plan looked carefully at how well the Swiss handle firearms in their country.

  41. 41
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yarrow:

    Does their proposal include allowing the CDC and others to study gun violence?

    Yes, in their Point #4:

    The National Director of GVP would begin by overseeing a down payment of $250 million in annual funding for research by the CDC and other federal agencies on gun violence prevention.

  42. 42
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s pretty well what I understood from them.

    Also I believe they have to pass regular tests on gun safety and shooting proficiency in order to keep their guns.

    One relative in his 50s or so had a wall full of shooting medals he’d won in competitions.

  43. 43
    Betty Cracker says:

    @jl:

    One issue is the parents of kids who are getting traumatized by news of all the shootings. Kids have to get one of those ‘big talks’ about how to emotionally handle news of shootings from their parents on a regular basis now. Kids have to cope with ever more elaborate and disturbing school shooting drills. And I imagine the parents have to read some information and maybe permission sheet for the drills, and maybe do debriefings with their kids afterwards. The parents of school age kids should be another target of motivating turnout.

    IMO, that is what is turning the tide as much as the frequency of mass shootings. As horrific and frequent as they are, a mass shooting is something most people never experience first or even second hand. But schools go on lock-down out of an abundance of caution routinely, kids and teachers have to do shooter drills, etc., and the fear and trauma this causes touches millions of people.

    It’s like Kay said in another thread a while back: it has become so obvious that all these measures we’re asking schools to take are mostly worthless exercises to avoid addressing the real problem — an issue every other developed country has already addressed. People are sick of their children being traumatized so some neck-bearded goober can collect an arsenal. The trade-off isn’t worth it.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: They handle them with Swiss precision.

  45. 45
    J R in WV says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    I too have cousins in Switzerland… but I don’t know them. Everyone who knew the Swiss cousins has passed away and the knowledge, addresses, names has been lost. I wish it were different, but there you go.

    My American born of Swiss parents grandfather took his large family to Europe in 1938 to meet their Swiss relatives, took the family Olds with on the ocean liner, drove around Europe for weeks. Were in Vienna when it was decorated for Herr Hitler’s welcome celebration after Austria was united with Germany.

    TL;TR. will stop there.

    But the dogs of war were already loose in Europe while they were there.

    ETA:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @Elizabelle: They handle them with Swiss precision.

    Short and sweet.

  46. 46
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    My understanding is that Kavanaugh, as well as Thomas, definitely believe that strict scrutiny is the applicable level of review, as well as a lot of the new district and appellate judges that McConnell has jammed through. If these courts do require it, then it will be unlikely these changes would survive a legal challenge.

    As others have noted, the tide is beginning to change on guns. I know these judges are wingnut true believers, but I have to believe that eventually something’s going to have to break. Enough people will get fed up at the lack of change and rightly blame them for the continued slaughter. Could a working Dem majority with control of the presidency remove these RWNJ judges?

  47. 47
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    [ETA: forgot the quotation; adding it now]
    “@Elizabelle: They handle them with Swiss precision.”

    John McPhee wrote a wonderful short book/long essay on the topic: “La Place de la Concorde Suisse.” It’s brilliantly, pelllucidly written [ETA: to this layperson, at any rate], and humorous without being either condescending or crass.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I think the tide has changed.

    I think Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton did it. Drip drip drip on top of all the other mass murders.

    Not safe at a garlic festival, or at a WalMart, or out in a city nightlife district.

    This after mass murder shootings in elementary schools, colleges, workplaces, theatres, you name it.

    Enough.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    Restaurants. Airports. Military bases, even. Parking lots.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Federal judges can be impeached, but it is rare. And I can’t imagine if the Democrats won the presidency and majorities in both chambers of Congress, that they’d be burning up precious resources doing so. Expanding the Federal courts, which are long overdue for additional judges, would be a far better way to go to ease the backlog and pressure on the Federal courts. Also, even as the President and McConnell have not gotten just over 100 judges on the district courts and just under 50 on the appellate courts, almost all of these vacancies replace existing Republican appointed justices. Basically the Reagan and Bush 41 appointees. So while these new judges are young and reactionary radicals beholden solely to the Federalist Society and Leonard Leo’s donors/donor network, if the President can be limited to one term, the damage can be contained and limited.

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: Don’t want to be a wet blanket, but if the slaughter of 20 first-graders in their classroom didn’t change anything, I’m not sure why you’re optimistic now

  52. 52
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I hate when people say that. It’s so goddamned defeatist.

    The public wanted background checks. They were incensed. Filthy Moscow Mitch and the NRA beat it back.

    Please don’t accept the framing that Americans don’t care about the slaughter of 26 people in an elementary school. It is so damned false.

    People cared about the Las Vegas shooting too. How do you protect yourself against a psychopath with a military-grade arsenal, firing at you from several stories above? With a sniper’s scope? You can’t. It comes down to sheer luck, and if you are position to run.

    I am optimistic. The NRA is on the ropes. It’s not the time to haul out stupid ass old tropes that people didn’t care about Sandy Hook. (Not speaking of you personally. But I flinch every time some Eeyore brings that up. And they always do. Does not make it true.)

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @Elizabelle: The issue is not the public, the issue is how US politics actually function. There are, at least, 9 veto points in each chamber of Congress, followed by three to five more during and after reconciling legislation, before any bill actually goes to the President – any president, not just this one – for either signing into law or formal veto. And if it is signed into law, there are a number of judicial vetos, from temporary stays all the way to being declared unconstitutional and struck down in the appellate courts and/or the Supreme Court.

    This leads to the follow on issue, which is what actually happens when this system designed to slow things down and provide time for deliberation and cooler heads to prevail so as to not make a crisis worse, is leveraged to prevent any progress from being made at all? We have 10 and a half years of evidence so far based on how McConnell leveraged Senate rules as first minority leader and now majority leader. And that evidence says nothing. I expect that is the short to medium term outcome: nothing will happen but a lot of noise. Long term, when enough people have finally have enough and decide to do something about it may be different, but long term can be a long way off.

  54. 54
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Last year, Florida — a state with a wingnut governor, a wingnut majority state house and the NRA’s most powerful lobbyist (author of Stand Your Ground) holding that majority’s shriveled nuts in her claws — passed meaningful gun control in the wake of Parkland. It wasn’t enough, and it came with stupid sops to the NRA, but we got a red flag law, a 3-day waiting period, a ban on bump stocks (now adopted by the feds) and the gun purchase age raised from 18 to 21. If you’d told me in 2017 that would happen in Florida, I wouldn’t have believed it.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    Regarding guns in Switzerland: I think the gun nuts’ arguments that you can have guns around the house and a lower rates of gun violence than the US based on Swiss example is out of date. My understanding is that Swiss military troops cannot routinely keep their weapons at home anymore. That tradition was ended, at least as a general rule.

    So, now, by US standards, Switzerland is a communist tyranny, based on their private insurance based health care system, and their gun control laws.

  56. 56
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker: That legislation was bought with Florida schoolkids’ blood. Lots of it.

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    If their gun is used to kill or injure someone they are no longer “responsible gun owners” and their insurance rates should rise and there should be consequences. Just like when people drive drunk there are consequences for them.

    sounds reasonable to me. more people shot…higher the rates.

  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I am thinking of the Republicans statewide in California. They are a problem. Until they are not.

    I hope we are approaching that point, at least nearing it. Gradually, gradually, gradually, and then some real momentum.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:

    he was a snitch?

    really?

  60. 60
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle: That seems to be how it works: something is impossible, and then suddenly, it’s not. Sometimes, I’m optimistic enough to hope that the Trump shit-show will ultimately goose progress along. Not because of karma or the moral arc of the universe bending toward justice or anything like that but because putting all your chips on an unstable, clownish conman is usually a bad idea, and that’s what the Republican Party has done.

  61. 61
    lumpkin says:

    I would really like to see this idea discussed more: strict liability for gun owners. All guns are registered to someone (just like autos) and that owner is responsible for any damage done by that gun. Liability can be both civil and criminal, depending on circumstances. There would be exceptions for situations such as the if the gun was stolen and the owner unaware of it. But, sell it, give it away, negligently allow someone else to misuse it, misuse it yourself, etc. and if anything bad happens it’s on you.

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:

    @lumpkin: Agreed. Strict liability is important.

  63. 63
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Elizabelle: I take hope from the way that certain other social/legislative movements have progressed in my lifetime. Still stunned by the speed with which gay marriage, for example, went from unthinkable to laughable to law of the land. By the campaigns that MADD and the anti-smoking movements waged against their respective bugbears and succeeded in changing hearts, minds, habits, and legislation. The gun-rights – as in, rights for guns – movement has been brewing, baking, percolating, and otherwise marinating in the verb-as-metaphor-of-your-choice in our society for untold numbers of years.

    I keep telling myself it’s always darkest before the dawn and then I shudder, wondering whether *this* is as dark as it gets before the dawn, or whether it has to get even darker. But not to believe in the dawn at all? Nah. I refuse to refuse to believe that there *will* be a dawn. And I believe the millenials will lead on this issue, as they will on climate change. And I will be happy to follow them and do what I can to help them, however little it may be. I’ll light my little candle and pray for dawn to come soon.

  64. 64
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @rikyrah: A few years ago I switched homeowner insurance companies. The new company sent someone to inspect the house, make sure my electrical, heating and water systems were up to code; they verified that the pool was fenced, and they made me add a railing to a 4-step staircase down from the deck (anything over three steps requires a handrail.)

    Not one question about firearms.

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:

    @lumpkin:

    Regarding strict liability:

    …But, sell it, give it away, negligently allow someone else to misuse it, misuse it yourself, etc. and if anything bad happens it’s on you.

    If you legally transfer, as in “sell it, give it away…” then that strict liability is transferred to the new owner. That’s how it works. Key word, legally, as in with a background check and formal transfer.

    Today state law doesn’t always require any of that. I have been given heirloom firearms worked on by late gunsmith father of my best friend, and no formal transfer was possible in WV as there is no provision in state law for even registering ownership of firearms. I’m sure the same is true in many other states.

    That is one of the many things that need to be fixed. But legally, once you sell your car or otherwise transfer ownership, that new owner is responsible for that vehicle. I can’t see it being any different for firearms.

  66. 66
    jl says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think also important to push back against that standard gun nut and pundit argument that any one measure is not a miracle cure-all, so no point in implementing it. That arguments, which I think leads to learned helplessness, starts right after every shooting with an unfocused obsession on whether the shooter go the gun legally or illegally.

    What would happen if we did traffic laws that way? Corner needs a stop sign or traffic lights? You could always say, well, heck, that won’t stop all the accidents so there’s no point in doing anything. OK, how about a marked crosswalk? Could always say that wouldn’t solve all traffic problems at the corner, so no point. We’d be living with mayhem on the roads.

  67. 67
    J R in WV says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    @rikyrah: A few years ago I switched homeowner insurance companies. The new company sent someone to inspect the house, make sure my electrical, heating and water systems were up to code; they verified that the pool was fenced, and they made me add a railing to a 4-step staircase down from the deck (anything over three steps requires a handrail.)

    Not one question about firearms.

    My insurance company, which has insured the farm for a long time now, only requires a photo of the buildings every few years. I assume to make sure they still exist.. No inspections, ever…. Rural WV, after all. Oh, yeah, a pic of the tractor, too.

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    Elizabelle says:

    @jl: Yes, exactly.

    It’s how streets, cars, aircraft became more safe. Improvements, one after the other. No magic involved.

  69. 69
    BellyCat says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hard (and unfortunate) truth, well stated.

    The wheels are starting to turn, but the mud is thick. Eventually they will break free.

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    BellyCat says:

    @jl:

    OK, how about a marked crosswalk? Could always say that wouldn’t solve all traffic problems at the corner, so no point.

    I encountered this very argument from a local township, citing DOT engineering studies, then I enlisted neighbors and the press to advocate for a new marked crosswalk in a commercial district following (yet another) hit and run.

    It took three years, but we prevailed and a blinking crosswalk was recently installed.

    Lesson: Relentless advocacy can work.

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    Searcher says:

    So something that has been brought up by better qualified persons than myself — perhaps even here — is a historical problem of geek culture where once someone is in your geeky group, they’re in, and if someone has a problem with their obnoxious, racist, misogynistic behavior, it’s their problem and they’re free to stay or “tolerate”/ignore it.

    You can discuss the causes of this behavioral pattern ad nauseam, but the end result is a tendency for these geek groups — be they D&D groups, gaming or Star Trek conventions or the software industry as a whole — to become seething pits of disgusting, terrible behavior that is unappealing to anyone but a small number of disgusting, terrible people, and their codependents.

    I bring this up because I think the community of gun advocates has this same problem: they will never reject a member for their insane views on why we need moar guns, and anyone who can’t agree with the most insane position anyone voices is disloyal to the group.

    And with every other problem this creates, I think gun advocates have just become more and more unappealing to more and more of the country. (This idea is also presented WRT eg cults as “evaporative cooling”, but for some reason the similarity to late-eighties-through-early-aughts “girls aren’t really gamers” culture really struck me.)

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    Boris, Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    I have fantasies of LaPierre running into a gun-toting loon who feels threatened by him in a “Stand Your Ground” state. But that might make the grifter a martyr, which no one wants.

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