Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rights or wrongs?

Every once in a great while, the gun violence prevention advocates have a small victory. It hasn't happened often of late, in spite of the gun rights folks screaming about gun control and gun banning. The NRA has managed to get through a lot of their agenda by screaming the loudest and making threats to elected leaders about re-election. Fear and intimidation are the vehicles and they know they are forwarding their agenda when NRA Executive V.P. Wayne La Pierre can say, "The guys with the guns make the rules." To some extent, he's right. They have been able to bully everyone into thinking guns will be banned and confiscated so that absolutely no reasonable law passes their muster


So, here are a few items that were decided in favor of gun violence prevention. First, the Obama administration has wisely decided that importing hundreds of thousands of M-1 military style rifles from South Korea is not a good idea. Let's see now- the NRA is claiming a gun ban by the Justice Department because the department decided that allowing 850,000 military style weapons into our country for sale may allow some of them to end up in the wrong hands. These are dangerous weapons. Why do people want them? Some will say to collect them because they are, after all, antique firearms. Here are the words of Dennis Henigan, V.P. of the Brady Center: " "Guns that can take high-capacity magazines are a threat to public safety," said Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Even though they are old, these guns could deliver a great amount of firepower. So I think the Obama administration's concerns are well-taken." On the opposite side, here are the words of the NRA's Chris Cox: " "M1s are used for target practice. For history buffs, they're highly collectible. We're going to continue to make sure that this backdoor effort that infringes not only on lawful commerce but on the Second Amendment is rectified."" Is one side right and one side wrong?



In another decision , involving States vs. Federal rights, a magistrate has decided that their are some federal laws regarding guns that cannot be ignored by states. Some Western and Southern states tried to change the order of things regarding guns by wanting to go their own way and do their own thing as if the Federal government did not exist. Not so fast, according to the Magistrate in Helena, Montana, who noted that " Congress can set standards on such items as guns through its power to regulate interstate commerce. The recommendation now goes to the federal judge in Missoula hearing the case - and even gun rights advocates recognized it is likely he will side with the magistrate." Apparently, these states who challenged the federal gun laws thought it would be a good idea to decide for themselves who can and cannot buy guns. The Brady Law, enacted in 1994, has prevented over 1.6 million prohibited people from buying guns. That seems like a pretty good law to me. Other gun laws are in the cue to be challenged. Watch for them.


In my own state, Governor Pawlenty just issued an executive order so that state agencies cannot accept any federal money for health care. Some state Governors, Attorneys General and Legislatures have decided to defy the Federal Government. Why? In Governor Pawlenty's case, it's pretty obvious that he is running for President and needs to have enough conservative "creds" to pass muster. Those in Montana, and the other states involved in the challenge to federal gun laws, could, under this scenario, sell guns made within their states to anyone they wanted to legally. Those in Minnesota who have been thrown off the Medicaid rolls for lack of state funds will not now be able to get back on with the federal funds provided to help out. Even the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is now criticizing Governor Pawlenty for his decision because they would actually like to see what those health care exchanges would do for business. Oh well. So much for caring about the health, safety, lives and happiness of our citizens.


Some questions have to be asked. Does anyone realize that we are going backwards and not providing for the welfare of those who need it the most? Does anyone care that criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and dangerously mentally ill people can get guns in the secondary markets without background checks? Does anyone care that the citizens of the state of Minnesota, who pay their taxes for health care reform like everyone else won't be able to receive the benefits? Does anyone care that gun injuries and deaths cost our health care system billions of dollars every year? 


Does anyone care that a sensible law which would stop prohibited people from buying guns in one of the secondary markets has been stopped again and again by the NRA? Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign, wrote this recently: Who Would Oppose Closing the Gun show Loophole?  Helmke rightly says,The easy access to guns by dangerous people continues to exist because of our nation's weak gun laws and the weak guns laws of so many states. The anemic laws in neighboring jurisdictions make it hard for cities to see the kind of progress that they could be seeing. And these anemic laws make it hard for residents of those communities to experience the kind of safety that they deserve a right to." It would be no secret I agree with Helmke and the majority of Americans ( gun owners and non-gun owners alike) also agree in poll after poll. I have already written about these polls in previous posts. 


With heels dug in, we proceed in our hyperbolic conversation about guns and rights in this country. I am quite sure there is common ground somewhere. Can we get there? Can we talk? Can we agree on just a few things? I think we can. Let's look at the other definitions of the word "muster" from the link above: " gather, pull together, collect, garner - assemble or get together; "gather some stones"; "pull your thoughts together""  Can we get together and do what's right? Can we agree that too many people are shot to death in our country? Can we agree that some common sense laws make sense and won't affect those who are law abiding and want to own their guns and carry their guns? Can we agree that there are actually a few places where we don't actually need guns? Can we agree that gun violence is a public safety and public health problem? Can we agree that stopping the injuries and deaths caused by guns is a social justice issue? I know, I know, Glenn Beck hates social justice. Who cares what Glenn Beck says? Is he right? Let's the rest of us muster our forces and work together to stop the shootings. 



44 comments:

  1. The NRA has managed to get through a lot of their agenda by screaming the loudest and making threats to elected leaders about re-election. Fear and intimidation are the vehicles

    The NRA is capable of "screaming the loudest" because when they scream, they are doing so on behalf of almost 5 million members, not to mention the estimated 20 million others who are not current on their membership dues but claim membership in surveys and polls.

    As far as I'm concerned our representatives in Congress (which includes the Senate since the passage of the 17th Amendment) SHOULD be in fear about re-election when they fail to represent the desires of their constituents or uphold their oaths of office.

    That's properly termed "holding them accountable for their actions" rather than bullying.

    absolutely no reasonable law passes their muster.

    I guess that would depend on your definition of "reasonable"...a very subjective standard to be sure.

    the Obama administration has wisely decided that importing hundreds of thousands of M-1 military style rifles from South Korea is not a good idea.

    What, specifically, makes these "military style rifles"? The fact that they used to be used by the military? So were Brown Bess muskets. Are they "military style rifles" too?

    These are not the style of rifles currently used by the military (which I'm sure you're well aware of or you would have used the other emotion-laden anti-gun catch phrase "assault weapon" had that term even been remotely applicable); they are much closer to the style of rifles that the Brady Campaign et. al. swear on a stack of bibles that they DON'T disapprove of: hunting and sporting arms.

    The fact is that any rifle that can accept a detachable magazine can accept one that the Brady Campaign would consider "high capacity". These rifles are not particularly dangerous relative to other rifles and there is no "reasonable" reason to prevent their import and sale.

    Many of these rifles saw action in World War II and Korea. Many of our family members depended on these rifles to save their lives during those conflicts. These rifles are historical artifacts that should be made available to collectors for preservation. They are a part of our history and heritage.

    The Brady Law, enacted in 1994, has prevented over 1.6 million prohibited people from buying guns.

    How telling is it that the Brady Campaign measures their success not on any quantifiable impact this law has had on crime, or even on gun crime...but on how many people it has prevented from buying guns.

    Considering that such heinous violent criminals as those convicted of smuggling a single orchid in their luggage, or purchasing lobster tails packaged in clear plastic rather than cardboard boxes are deemed unworthy of gun ownership by the Brady law, I'd say that prevented sales is hardly a valid metric in evaluating the law's effectiveness.

    Despite several studies that have attempted to do so, there has never been an established link between the Brady law (or any other gun control measure for that matter) and reduced crime.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ...continued...

    Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign, wrote this recently: Who Would Oppose Closing the Gun show Loophole?

    I don't know...how about perennial anti-gun researchers like Garen Wintemute, David Hemenway and others?:

    Surveys suggest that from 4% to 9% of gun sales nationwide occur at gun shows. Most sales at gun shows are made by licensed retailers, and most private-party gun sales are made else- where. Federal law makes no distinction between sales occurring at gun shows and other sales; there is no such thing as a gun show loophole. [bold added]


    Gun Shows and Gun Violence: Fatally Flawed Study Yields Misleading Results, Garen J. Wintemute, David Hemenway, Daniel Webster, Glenn Pierce, Anthony A. Braga, American Journal Of Public Health, August 2010



    Can we agree that too many people are shot to death in our country?

    Yes.

    Can we agree that some common sense laws make sense and won't affect those who are law abiding and want to own their guns and carry their guns?

    Depends on your definitions of "common sense" "won't affect those who are law abiding". Again, very subjective standards. If we can reach an agreement about what those two concepts actually mean, then yes.

    Can we agree that there are actually a few places where we don't actually need guns?

    Sorry, gotta say no on that one.

    Unless you can get the criminals to agree that there are actually a few places where they don't need to commit crimes, then we need to be able to defend ourselves in those places too.

    Can we agree that gun violence is a public safety and public health problem? Can we agree that stopping the injuries and deaths caused by guns is a social justice issue?

    No. I reject the idea that that the problems you see as "public safety and public health" and "social justice" issues are in any way related to guns.

    Is someone murdered with a knife any less dead than someone murdered with a gun? Does the family of the victim suffer less grief?

    Is a 90 pound woman raped by a 250 pound man somehow less a victim of a social justice issue if a gun was not involved?

    I reject your premise that guns are the problem rather than violence in and of itself is the problem.

    You will never realize any success in your ostensible goal of reducing violence until you can get past focusing on the tool and begin to focus on the behavior. IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good on your for posting a contrary opinion. That's more than most gun control proponents (including the Brady Campaign) will allow...but what happened to the other half of my comment? Do you ration?

    Sorry I was required to split it into two, but you posted a long, involved commentary, it required a long, involved response.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No rationing. I thought the whole comment got on. Will post the rest. I not aware that Brady doesn't post opposite opinions. I have seen plenty of them on their Facebook page. Only those thY are threatening ang name calling don't get posted. Thank you for being respectful. I think there is room for discussion That's why I wrote this. From your comments I'm not sure you want to discuss. More later.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If I didn't want to discuss, I wouldn't have commented.

    The Brady Campaign blog doesn't permit comments at all, nor do they allow comments on the videos they post on youtube.

    I can't speak to facebook because, although I do have an account, I don't use it much...just not my "thing".

    BTW: The Brady blog did allow comments when they first started it, they shut comments down after a while. Again, I can't speak to facebook, but I know for a fact that it wasn't just abusive comments that they were moderating on their blog before shutting down comments altogether. They basically deleted any comment that made a point they couldn't refute.

    I'll be looking forward to a civil and open discussion about these issues with you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When I post from my iPhone, there are typos. Sorry. I am willing to have a good discussion with facts and without name calling or threats. That's the only way to get to some agreement. In my opinion, we need to do something and we can never get anything done if we can't get to the nitty gritty without all the hyperbole. Let's get started.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I will check out what the Brady campaign actually does. Since I sit on the Board of the Brady Campaign, I can find this out easily and post the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Let's get started.

    Lets do.

    Feel free to address any of the points I raised in my two part comment above.

    ReplyDelete
  9. BTW: Fair warning: I tend to be a bit verbose at times. Also, I type fast which tends to result in some typos. As I've gotten older, for some reason, I seem to have become less adept at spotting the typos before hitting "post comment".

    So...if you don't complain about mine, I won't complain about yours. Deal?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have checked and the Brady Campaign stopped allowing comments on their website because they had so many abusive and threatening comments. That does happen, whether Sailorcurt believes it or not. They do allow comments on their Facebook page. Also Dennis Henigan and Paul Helmke regularly blog on the Huffington Post. There are usually hundreds of comments on their posts, most of them name calling and ugly. Those of us involved in this issue know what it's like to feel threatened by the guys with the guns. It has happened many times and does not feel good. I have had to call the Sheriff once to make sure someone wasn't actually going to show up at my house with a gun after I wrote a letter to the editor.

    So, all we want ( and Brady) is to stop the shootings. We don't care about your guns. We don't plan to go door to door to collect them either. If requiring simple background checks on all sellers at gun shows is such a threat to "law abiding" citizens, it makes one wonder for sure. And if you want to know that the majority agrees with me in poll after poll after poll when asked specifically about gun laws, check out some of the polling. The most recent national poll of gun owners done by Frank Luntz, Republican pollster, shows that a majority of NRA and non NRA gun owners agree that gun show background checks are a good idea: http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/media-center/pr012-09.shtml So we want to hold our elected leaders accountable for siding with the majority instead of the ones that make the most noise, no matter how many people they have as members. Even the NRA's own members agree with us. We agree that a small percentage of crime guns come from gun shows but enough to make a difference. We would love to require background checks on all private sales, but whenever it comes up the gun guys go "ballistic". So we compromised on just gun shows. It is not a slippery slope. It will not lead to the Brady Campaign Board showing up to take away your precious guns. My husband and I own a gun or two. I don't want someone taking it away. Regarding the Brady Law, it has kept many prohibited people from buying guns. What is wrong with that? That's a good thing. We should all think so. If you don't, please explain. More later. I have some other things going on with my family. And, by the way, I do say little about my family because I don't want anyone finding out who they are so they can threaten them as well. Whether or not you have seen abusive comments does not matter to me. I have seen them and experienced them. I have been threatened as have many elected leaders I know who dare to side with us. I know that is true and don't need you to tell me it isn't. When we can get down to discussing the actual facts rather than side issues, I am ready to talk. Oh- as to the military style weapons, these M1s are not hunting guns. They were used for military purposes. Fine, if you think you want to hunt with one but you don't NEED one for hunting. You have all kinds of more effective guns for hunting.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please don't start this off on the wrong note by stereotyping me right out of the box.

    I have no doubt that there were some abusive comments on the Brady blog...I've gotten them myself from time to time on my blog. The inescapable fact is that there are uncivil people on all ends of the spectrum. And people do tend to get heated when the discussion involves such controversial and emotional issues as criminal violence and constitutionally protected rights.

    With that said, however, during the time that they permitted comments, I personally had several comments that I left "disappear down the memory hole".

    I do not engage in ad hominem attacks, name-calling or threats. My comments simply raised points that they could not address adequately so, they deleted those comments and then relied on vague accusations of abuse and threats to justify all the deletions.

    After being called out so regularly for deleting comments for no other reason than because they didn't want to address them, they finally responded by closing down comments altogether.

    OF COURSE they told you that their actions were because of threats and abuse...that's the same excuse they used at the time they did it. But I can personally attest that, even if they were receiving abusive or threatening comments, they were also deleting non-abusive and non-threatening comments for (apparently) no other reason than to avoid addressing the points raised.

    I'll address the remainder of your comment shortly.

    ReplyDelete
  12. For sailorcurt,

    You are wrong about your accusations of Brady. It was not that they shut off comments because they didn't want to address them. They had a staff member who was doing that and he left the organization. They had so many comments that they couldn't use other staff time to devote to all of them. As you can imagine, a lot of people like you were commenting. They are happy to engage someone one on one in a reasonable discussion. But when you get hundreds of comments, it is almost impossible. There is no ulterior motive. That's it. You can believe it or not- it's up to you. Unlike the NRA with unlimited funds, the Brady Campaign does not have the large staff and office and money to engage in all of the activities that the NRA does. We do our best.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So, all we want ( and Brady) is to stop the shootings. We don't care about your guns.

    I'm not so sure about the Brady Campaign (I'm sure that's what they SAY, but is that what they really believe? Their actions speak louder than their words), but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    I do believe that your heart is in the right place. Our only real disagreement is in the methodology that will result in the desired outcome, not in the outcome itself.

    If requiring simple background checks on all sellers at gun shows is such a threat to "law abiding" citizens, it makes one wonder for sure.

    What was that you said earlier?

    "if we can't get to the nitty gritty without all the hyperbole..."

    Some of these issues are too complex to boil them down into pithy catch phrases, or "gotcha" hyperbole.

    Here's where we get into the area of having to agree about what "common sense" means.

    To me, "common sense" would be insisting only upon laws that have some possibility of achieving their ostensible purpose.

    Creating special cases in the law that only apply at certain times and in certain places does not "close a loophole". Such special cases serve only to confuse matters and make things more complicated for those who actually attempt to comply with the already byzantine laws. They tend to criminalize people who have no intent or interest in breaking the law, but simply don't understand the implications of "if you're in this location at this time, this action is perfectly legal, but if you're in that location, or even in this location at a different time, it's not".

    The bottom line is, any law "closing the gunshow loophole" will not even have a minuscule effect on availability of guns to the criminal market. Such a tiny fraction of crime guns originate from such sales to begin with, and those sales would still be just as easy to conduct across the street as in the gun show venue itself, this proposal's impact would be statistically insignificant.

    The only real effect will be to complicate things for the law abiding and create instant criminals out of unwary, otherwise law abiding, citizens.

    To me, that's not "common sense".

    ...to be continued

    ReplyDelete
  14. And if you want to know that the majority agrees with me in poll after poll after poll when asked specifically about gun laws, check out some of the polling.

    For every poll you can cite to "prove" support for your policies, I can show you one that indicates decreasing support for gun control.

    Poll questions can be, and are regularly, specifically framed to get the results that the pollsters are seeking. Heck, most of the people polled don't know what the existing gun laws are in the first place. Add to that a poll that includes loaded questions designed more for the goal of creating an emotional reaction than to achieve a reliable, repeatable result, it's no surprise that for any desired agenda, there's a poll to support it.

    The most recent national poll of gun owners done by Frank Luntz, Republican pollster

    Frank Luntz? You're going to cite Frank Luntz?

    Luntz's specialty is “testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate.”

    His specialty is "finding words that will turn public opinion"...but you don't think that calls into question his polling techniques?

    In 2000 he was censured by the National Council on Public Polls "for allegedly mischaracterizing on MSNBC the results of focus groups he conducted during the [2000] Republican Convention." In September 2004, MSNBC dropped Luntz from its planned coverage of that year's presidential debate, following a letter from Media Matters that outlined Luntz's GOP ties and questionable polling methodology.

    Yup...sounds like a really credible source there.

    BTW: What does his alleged party affiliation have to do with it? He creates data for the people who pay him. Besides, Paul Helmke is a Republican too. Doesn't change my opinion of him or his policies either. I might say that it could be because I'm not a Republican, but to be honest, it wouldn't matter if I were.

    So we want to hold our elected leaders accountable for siding with the majority instead of the ones that make the most noise, no matter how many people they have as members.

    And if it were actually true that the majority sided with the Brady position over the NRA's rather than just being an artifact of manipulative polling practices, it flat out wouldn't matter who "makes the most noise"; noise is not what gets politicians elected. What gets politicians elected is votes. If the majority of the public really supported your agenda, it would have been enacted by now...or the politicians refusing to enact it would be out of office.

    You and the Brady Campaign have exactly the same opportunities to lobby congress and to hold them accountable for not reliably representing your concerns as the NRA does, and if the majority supports you, you shouldn't find it all that difficult to get your agenda enacted.

    Even the NRA's own members agree with us.

    According to Frank Luntz. If that were actually true, I seriously doubt that all those people would keep sending their money to pay for membership in a group that they don't agree with.



    ...to be continued

    ReplyDelete
  15. We agree that a small percentage of crime guns come from gun shows but enough to make a difference. We would love to require background checks on all private sales, but whenever it comes up the gun guys go "ballistic". So we compromised on just gun shows. It is not a slippery slope.

    Are you saying that, if you are granted your "compromise" and get background checks on gun shows, you'll all pack your bags and go home and won't start then lobbying to expand that to all private sales?

    Be honest now.

    Or is it more likely that you view gun show background checks as a "good first step" and will, if you achieve that goal, begin lobbying to expand that to all private sales?

    Because if it's the latter, then I think we're speaking different languages here.

    That is the very definition of the slippery slope concept.

    I also think we have different understandings of the term "compromise".

    com·pro·mise
       /ˈkɒmprəˌmaɪz/ [kom-pruh-mahyz] noun, verb,-mised, -mis·ing.
    –noun
    1. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.

    Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved September 03, 2010, from Dictionary.com website


    A compromise requires concessions from BOTH sides of a disagreement. Asking for less than what you really want is not a compromise. What concession is your side offering in return, should we agree to background checks at gun shows?

    It will not lead to the Brady Campaign Board showing up to take away your precious guns.

    Hyperbole again? Already?

    Insulting hyperbole even. Tut tut.

    My husband and I own a gun or two. I don't want someone taking it away.

    You may want to delve into the history of the Brady Campaign and the well documented positions they've taken in the past. You might be surprised about what you find.

    Regarding the Brady Law, it has kept many prohibited people from buying guns.

    Really? What evidence do you have of that?

    Purchase denials? How many of those denials were later overturned on appeal? How many of those people were actually violent criminals and knew that they were prohibited persons?

    Only a small percentage of those incidents result in convictions. Why is that? It is a federal felony to lie on the form 4473 when submitting for a NICS check. If they were criminals who were attempting to subvert the system they would have had to have lied on the form, that should be a slam-dunk for conviction.

    Or is it more likely that most of those denials were either in error, or were people who were honestly unaware that the (usually relatively minor, non-violent) infraction they were convicted of (often in the far distant past) made them a "prohibited person"?

    What is wrong with that? That's a good thing. We should all think so. If you don't, please explain.

    I didn't say that preventing criminals from getting guns is a bad thing...what I said was that the raw number of denials as a result of NICS checks doesn't demonstrate that criminals are being prevented from buying guns...for the reasons outlined above.

    If you want to claim that the Brady bill is successful, I don't have a problem with that, but provide some evidence that actually demonstrates that claim in a quantifiable manner, rather than just implies it.


    ...to be continued

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh- as to the military style weapons, these M1s are not hunting guns. They were used for military purposes. Fine, if you think you want to hunt with one but you don't NEED one for hunting. You have all kinds of more effective guns for hunting.

    That is non-responsive to the point I made. Most hunting guns are based on designs that saw action in military service around the world. These rifles do not fit the definition of "military style assault weapons" that the Brady Campaign so loves to hate. As I said before, they much better fit the description of hunting arms which the Brady Campaign claims they do not oppose.

    The fact that they were originally designed for the military has no more bearing on their inherent "dangerousness" than the fact that pretty much every bolt action rifle, semi-automatic rifle, and even muzzle loading rifle in the world is based on military designs.

    Either these rifles boast physical characteristics and capabilities that make them more dangerous than the typical hunting arms that the Brady Campaign claims they do not oppose, or they do not. This is an objective standard.

    You also claim that the M1 family of rifles are less suitable for hunting than other rifles. Again, if that is true, you should be able to articulate why they aren't suitable for hunting.

    For purposes of discussion and illustration, take a look at the pictures at the links. Please, if you will, explain the functional features and capabilities that make the M1 Garand more dangerous for civilian ownership and less effective for hunting, than, say, the Browning BAR...a fairly common semi-automatic hunting rifle available in the exact same caliber as the M1 Garand. Or, what makes the M1 Carbine more dangerous for civilians to own and less suitable for varmint or small game hunting than the Ruger Mini-14 that is commonly used for that purpose?

    The point is that these particular rifles are no longer military rifles. They are obsolete for military purposes and are antiques with historical significance. They are functionally no different than the "sporting and hunting rifles" that the Brady Campaign claims that they have no opposition to...so why does the Brady Campaign oppose re-importation of these historical rifles? Unless they can articulate a specific functional characteristic or feature of these rifles that make them particularly unsuitable for civilian use and ownership, then their opposition to their re-importation and sale simply defies logic.




    I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment of our discussion. It's been enjoyable so far.


    And Remember: I warned you I can be verbose.

    ReplyDelete
  17. For japete: I wouldn't waste much time with sailorcurt. I've gone around with him before - learned that he likes to hear himself debate, and has no problem with convicted felons and the mentally ill and dangerous buying pistols and assault (read high capacity magazine) weapons at gun shows. He just doesn't believe the BATF when they call gun shows a major trafficking source of illegal guns. (Or says he doesn't believe) And now that there is more of crackdown on straw buyers, none-FFLs at gun shows should have an up-tick in business. (Those poor "unwary" sellers who would be criminalized by a background check requirement)

    I don't understand why sailorcurt brings up "muskets" in this discussion. I've been around muzzleloaders for a long time, and have yet to hear of one accepting a high capacity magazine - which, along with handguns (not flintlocks) is a major player in the gun violence issue.

    One other issue: knives and bats can kill and maim, too. But, for those who survive a gun shot wound, the healing time and cost to the taxpayer has no comparison. Gun violence is definitely a public health issue - even when it's the bad guys being shot.

    Sorry about the "anonymous" handle - haven't figured out how to comment here otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  18. From the FBI website regarding Brady background checks: " The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is all about saving lives and protecting people from harm—by not letting guns and explosives fall into the wrong hands. It also ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers.

    Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched by the FBI on November 30, 1998, NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms or explosives. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn't otherwise ineligible to make a purchase. More than 100 million such checks have been made in the last decade, leading to more than 700,000 denials." That was in 2008 so the number has gone up and the one that is used is about 1.7 million denials.http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/nics.htm; Reasons for denials: ttp://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/nics/Denials.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don't know much about M1s nor do I claim to be any kind of expert on guns and types of guns. I did find this interesting from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Garand- " The M1 was used heavily by U.S. forces in World War II, the Korean War, and, to a limited extent, the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to Army and Marine troops, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely sought by the civilian population as a hunting rifle, target rifle, and military collectible. " I'm sure there were reasons that the Obama administration did not want this many M1s coming into the country having nothing to do with banning guns or rights. Not every decision made is for reasons determined by the NRA to be the reasons. Conjecture doesn't make it so.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The influence of the NRA is quite different than that of the Brady Campaign.
    " Members of Congress have ranked the NRA as the most powerful lobbying organization in the country several years in a row.[7] Opponents of the organization accuse it of unduly influencing political appointments.[8] Chris W. Cox is the NRA's chief lobbyist and principal political strategist, a position he has held since 2002.
    During the 2008 presidential campaign, the NRA spent $10 million.[9]" from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association
    This makes it hard to compete on a level playing field, to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous: you could include your name (or nickname) in the text of your comment.

    I'm not going to address most of your comment because it was nothing more than unsupported ad hominems.

    As to why I "include muskets", the context of the parts of my comments where I did so should make that self evident.

    The sub title of japete's blog indicates that she is interested in "thoughtful discussion". That's what I'm prepared to offer. If you don't wish to participate in it, that's up to you, but it seems pretty significant to me that a fellow anti is discouraging her from even bothering to engage in the discussion.

    What are you afraid of? That I'll change japete's mind? I suppose that's a possibility, but it's not very likely. You probably shouldn't worry too much about it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's a wonderful PR description of the purpose of the Brady checks and a convincing reiteration of the number of times it's been used to deny Americans permission to purchase firearms...but doesn't address my point in the least.

    Approximately 1.7 million denials. How many of which were overturned on appeal? How many resulted in conviction of the person attempting to illegally purchase firearms?

    What was the real result of those denials? Were criminals really prevented from purchasing guns, or were the majority of those denials overturned on appeal or innocent mistakes made by people who had no intent to violate the law?

    Again: I'm not saying that the Brady checks are necessarily a bad thing, I'm just saying that your numbers simply do not demonstrate the effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) of them.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't know much about M1s nor do I claim to be any kind of expert on guns and types of guns.

    But you feel qualified enough about them to determine whether they are suitable for importation and sale?

    Not to be mean, but that doesn't even make sense to me. How can you form an opinion one way or the other when you admittedly don't have the foundation of knowledge upon which to base that opinion?

    Actually, that's not really fair. People form opinions about things they have incomplete information on all the time...myself included.

    I guess the question is this: Now that I've given you more complete information...and if you still don't feel you have enough to form an opinion of your own independent of the Brady Campaign, I can give you even more details about these rifles, their capabilities and how they work...are you willing to look at the issue with an open mind and form an opinion based on the facts of the issue?


    Moving on:

    I'm not sure what you were trying to illustrate with your quote. That M1 Garands are still used by the military in a strictly ceremonial role? Those rifles are demilitarized, non-functional rifles, not working firearms.


    If that's not what you were trying to say, I apologize that I'm so dense...what was I supposed to be getting from that quote?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Of course the influence of the NRA is different than that of the Brady Campaign. The NRA has millions of paid members. What's the Brady Campaign got? 50,000 people on an e-mail list that don't pay membership dues, many of whom haven't donated anything in years, and a good portion of whom are actually gun rights supporters that signed up for the list just to keep up with what the Brady's are saying.

    5 million members plus untold numbers of supporters that aren't paid members can make for a pretty significant chunk of change in donations for political activism. It is those voters, and the dollars they donate, that make the NRA "the most powerful lobbying organization in the country".

    You claim that the majority of Americans support your agenda and oppose the NRA's. Then, as the pre-eminent gun control group in the US, the Brady campaign should have no trouble whatsoever matching the membership numbers of the NRA and matching it dollar for dollar in campaign contributions.

    The bottom line is that it's not supposed to be a level playing field. The support...both in voters and in dollars...that platforms and agendas receive from the public are the measure by which support for those platforms and agendas are gauged. The court of public opinion has clearly reached a verdict.

    That is not evidence of some sort of unfair advantage, that's evidence that your confidence in the popularity of your agenda is a bit...um...optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wrote a Rebuttal post to this.

    http://www.weerdworld.com/2010/quote-of-the-day-common-sense/

    I wonder if you'll allow my comment, as you've deleted all others by me here.

    ReplyDelete
  26. For sailorcurt: You've already catagorized me as a "fellow anti". Anti what? The only thing I'm anti is what you stand for. Certainly not anti gun. You would have to go some to be more of a gun nut than me.

    Early on you said to japete "No, I reject the idea that the problems you see as public safety and public health and social issues are in any way related to guns". That's why I brought up the cost to taxpayers regarding gun shot injuries. You're the "stat man", help us out here.

    Is the BATF position that gun shows are a major trafficking source of illegal guns an "unsupported ad hominem? Is your apparent position that it's okay for dangerous prohibited people to buy guns at gun shows an "unsupported ad hominem" also? Is everything you can't respond to an "unsupported ad hominem?

    Give us a break here, sailorcurt, and cut to the chase. Enough of being "verbose".

    I am "Shooter".

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks, shooter for challenging "sailorcurt"'s claim that anything he himself can't answer or anything that you or I write is ad hominem if he doesn't like it or can't come up with an answer for it. I have provided some links and some answers which are not enough. Nothing will be enough. I plan another post about this. The numbers are the numbers. I didn't make them up. The lives lost are the lives lost. The costs to the tax payers are the costs to the taxpayers via the health care and legal systems. The people probibited by Brady background checks are the people prohibited. The number of criminals prohibited is clearly posted on the site of the FBI. I didn't make it up. I have no idea what happened to those people afterwards. I know they were stopped from buying guns. That's the point of the checks. The numbers the ATF provides for crime guns traced to gun shows are the numbers they provide. They didn't make them up. The number of private sellers at gun shows are what they are. We know they are there because we've seen them personally or through several hidden camera exposees. We have also seen on hidden camera that people are more than happy to buy guns purchased inside of a gun show without a background check outside in the parking lot or out of car trunks. These are not fictional accounts. Just because you don't believe them or you don't like them doesn't mean they are not true or didn't happen.

    ReplyDelete
  28. " I am quite sure there is common ground somewhere. Can we get there? Can we talk? Can we agree on just a few things?"

    Pretty hard when you don't answer the questions you do publish, and god knows how many more comments don't make it past your filter.

    Doesn't appear that the above statement is even the slightest bit honest.

    ReplyDelete
  29. If I misinterpreted your position, Shooter, I apologize. My mistake.

    What was "unsupported" was your presuming to tell japete what I think, based upon nothing more than your own assertions about what you recall me having said at some undetermined time in the past. No links, no evidence, no...um...support.

    What made it "ad hominem" was your telling her to dismiss my arguments out of hand, not based on the merits (or lack thereof), but solely because they come from me.

    Again we have a language barrier because according to the dictionary that I use, that's exactly what "ad hominem" means.

    Unsupported assertions plus attacking the source rather than the substance equals "unsupported ad hominem"

    Clear enough?

    So far, you haven't provided any datapoints for me to agree or disagree with. You are asking me if I agree with your characterization of my position.

    The answer is, no...I don't agree that you characterize my positions correctly.

    I don't remember having any exchanges with you in the past...perhaps because you were using a different moniker then? Or maybe it just wasn't a memorable enough occurrence...I don't know.

    If you'd care to remind me (preferably with a link) of the specific BATFE data that I disputed, I might be able to tell you whether your characterization of what I said is accurate or not and why I said it.

    I provided a link to the study, conducted by several researchers who have a history of supporting gun control, that thoroughly dispels the notion that gun shows are a significant contributor to criminal access to guns. I haven't seen you offer any counter to the results of that study or explanation of how and why that study is flawed.

    If you dispute the results of that study, please lay out your case.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Um...what haven't I answered?

    I can tick off several points that I've raised that you haven't addressed. What have you brought up that I've failed to respond to?

    You may not like, or agree with the response, but I've responded to every point you've raised.

    Where have I disputed the numbers you're claiming? I never said those numbers were made up. That's a strawman. Yes, the numbers are the numbers...but when they don't prove what you say they prove, it doesn't matter whether they're accurate or not.

    I've explained why the numbers simply do not support the conclusions you are drawing from them. If I'm wrong, please explain why.

    I agree that your expose's have proven that there are unscrupulous people out there willing to break the law.

    We already knew that.

    The question is: how are your proposals going to stop that? If your laws were enacted, those same people would still be willing to break the law...and would do so unabated.

    I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to keep criminals from breaking the law...I'm arguing that your proposals have no hope of doing that.

    You seem to be letting your emotions get in the way of having that "thoughtful discussion" that you claim you want to have. You want me to be wrong so badly that you're not even trying to consider the points I raise with any sort of fair-minded consideration.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The M1 Garand cannot reasonably be considered a high capacity gun, nor can it be reasonably converted. The carbine can use high capacity magazines, but it shoots what is effectively a pistol round--about 1/3 as powerful as a WWII era rifle, and not quite as powerful as a .357 magnum from a similar length barrel.

    We already have a huge number of M1 Garands and M1 Caribnes in the US--these are the last widely used US military rifles available as surplus, since newer US military rifles are almost all full auto. Wouldn't common sense indicate that if there were going to be a particular problem with these types of guns it would have shown up by now?

    The interstate commerce clause is the most over-expended portion of the constitution. As used it essentially says "anything with the most tenuous connection to interstate commerce can be regulated by the federal government". To accept that interpretation is to accept that the 9th and 10th amendments have no meaning at all. How is marijuana, grown and smoked in California "interstate commerce"?

    What should a state do when the federal governement interferes in an area "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people"?

    The phrase "Gun Show Loophole" is fundamentally dishonest. It is really the "private sale loophole", or the "unregistered guns" loophole, The rules at a gun show are no less strict than anywhere else. What other constitutional rights can be licensed, registered, require fees? It would not be difficult to set up a a mandatory, free background check with technical measures to prevent it from being used to build a registration database--Ideally open to other purposes. All suggestions that I have seen would be defacto gun registration.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You ask how we can find common ground. Fair enough. You'll have an answer on whether we can find common ground on the issue from your standpoint based on the comments I've read when you can explain the difference between the M1 Garand demonized by Dennis Hennigan and the Remington 7400 and why the M1 needs to stay out of civilian hands and but the 7400 is fine.

    Until you can provide a rational explanation of why the M1 Garand is too dangerous to be imported despite the fact hundreds of thousands of them are already in civilian hands, there will be no common ground.

    Gun folks are reasonable and willing to listen. But the arguments made in regard to policy that affects us must, first and foremost, be grounded in reason. Not emotion, not hand waving, not hyperbole and certainly not half-truths and deception.

    I'm reasonable and always willing to listen. Also willing to educate. Provide me an explanation. Convince me. Bring me to your side.

    ReplyDelete
  33. A woman is walking down the street one dark night when she comes across a man standing under a street light searching for something on the ground.

    "What are you searching for?" asks the woman.

    "My keys," replies the man. "I dropped them on the ground."

    "Where did you drop them?" she asks.

    "Over there," he replies, pointing into the darkness about 20 feet away.

    "Why are you searching over here then?" she asks.

    He replies: "Because it's too dark to search over there."

    This is essentially the problem I have with most gun control efforts. The problem is violence. There's too much of it and we want to stop it. However, violence is a very difficult problem to address, so instead we try to limit the tools that are used to commit the violence. This is searching under the street light. It doesn't address the problem, but we feel like we are addressing the problem.

    Time after time we have seen that gun control does one thing. It limits the number of law abiding citizens who have guns. Criminals, who by definition are willing to break the law, continue to obtain guns through illegal means. The only effect on criminals is that they are emboldened by the knowledge that their intended victims are more likely to be unarmed.

    Interviews with convicted felons have shown that the probability that a homeowner has a gun is a strong deterent.

    Likewise, crime data before and after a locality implements or removes gun control laws show that gun control emboldens criminals. Look at crime data from Washington D.C. It takes a distinct turn in the downward direction after 2008 when Heller was decided. Meanwhile, in England, violent crime AND shootings have gone up even as gun control becomes more and more strict.

    And need I mention that major shootings such as Columbine, VA Tech, and Fort Hood have a tendency to occur in "gun-free zones"? Again, criminals go where they will encounter the least resistance.

    Let me conclude by saying that I believe we can find common ground. I believe that everyone here thinks violence is a bad thing and we need less of it. That's common ground. We need to stop spending our time looking for solutions where there aren't any, and start facing the complex issues that lead people to violence.

    ReplyDelete
  34. " Time after time we have seen that gun control does one thing. It limits the number of law abiding citizens who have guns. Criminals, who by definition are willing to break the law, continue to obtain guns through illegal means. The only effect on criminals is that they are emboldened by the knowledge that their intended victims are more likely to be unarmed. "

    How would a gun show background check infringe upon or limit law abiding citizens? Do you go through background checks when buying a gun from an FFL? If so, what's your problem with doing the same at a gun show if you know that requiring those background checks at gun shows may stop a felon, adjudicated mentally ill person, domestic abuser or terrorist from getting a gun? Of course, the shooters at Columbine and Virginia Tech knew that people don't have guns on campuses. But there is no way for us to know for sure whether having guns on campuses or churches, etc. would stop them from bringing their own to shoot people. There is no way for that shooter to know if the particular classroom he/she chooses would have someone with a gun sitting in the room. There is no way of knowing, if guns were allowed in churches, that a shooter would stop him/herself from shooting someone not knowing if someone sitting in that church has a gun or not. You made a statement that you assumed was fact: " Again, criminals go where thy will encounter the least resistance." That is not a fact. That is your opinion. It sure doesn't stop gang members from shooting each other. They know that many of them have guns. And yet, they still choose guns to shoot at each other on the streets or in homes.Are you referring to crime in general or gun deaths and shootings when you talk about the UK and crime and gun control. Here is a quote from a BBC article ( which I will link): " Police figures show that there were 39 firearms-related deaths in 2008-09 and that seven of these involved a shotgun. That total was the lowest recorded by the police in 20 years. Guns play a role in just 0.3% of all recorded crimes - one in every 330 incidents." This statement does not fit with what you wrote. Here is the link to the article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10220974. This is the sub head-line to the article:" Derrick Bird, who shot dead 12 people in Cumbria, held a firearms licence for 20 years, it has emerged."
    So the person who shot 12 people had a permit for his firearm and was a law abiding citizen. In addition, it is a very different process for someone in the U.K. to even get this license; to whit: " The UK has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world. If you want to own a gun, it is very difficult to do so.In the United States, you can declare that it is your constitutional right to bear arms. But in the UK, you need to spend hours filling in paperwork and proving to police officers that you are not a danger to society."

    So are we comparing apples to apples?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Speaking of "gun free zones" attracting criminals - it depends on the criminal's intent and determination. Take the case of those four armed uniformed officers seated at a coffee shop in either Oregon or Washington. All shot dead by one person.

    My instinct tells me that when everyone is armed, gun violence will just rise to a higher level. If I wanted what you have, and suspected you were armed, you would never see it coming until too late. And, violence might very well come from several accomplices, not just a solitary gunman. (Not unlike what our well armed troops are experiencing in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

    Shooter

    ReplyDelete
  36. " Gun Shows and Gun Violence: Fatally Flawed Study Yields Misleading Results, Garen J. Wintemute, David Hemenway, Daniel Webster, Glenn Pierce, Anthony A. Braga, American Journal Of Public Health, August 2010"

    Curt- if you check the actual study rather than the abstract ((http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/vprp/publications/gunshowsAJPH.pdf) you will find that these "anti-gun" researchers found that the data mentioned in the study they were referring to was flawed. It actually showed that gun shows had a greater effect on gun violence than the paper by Duggan et al showed and that the NRA was touting in one of their own publications. It has not yet been published in any peer-reviewed publications. So the abstract you linked to actually does not show what you thought it did. I suggest you read the actual publication by Wintemute, Hemenway et al. You will see what I mean. They were critical, not of gun shows, but of a study that tried to say that gun shows did not contribute to crime guns and to gun violence.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Those in Montana, and the other states involved in the challenge to federal gun laws, could, under this scenario, sell guns made within their states to anyone they wanted to legally.

    Their claim is perfectly logical. Firearms made, sold, and possessed within one state are not, by definition, involved in "interstate commerce" They are involved in "intrastate commerce."

    How would a gun show background check infringe upon or limit law abiding citizens?

    How about a background check and $20 fee every time you wanted to publish a blog post? Infringement? Of course, and so are background checks / FFL fees for gun purchases

    ReplyDelete
  38. So you are saying that the fees charged by FFLs for background checks are an infringement of your rights? Wow. This must mean that you never buy your guns from FFLs. I hope you are not a felon or domestic abuser who is avoiding background checks. How do you know that the guns sold in Montana will stay in Montana? Of course you don't know that.

    ReplyDelete
  39. So you are saying that the fees charged by FFLs for background checks are an infringement of your rights?

    Still not answering the question directly above this Japete. Why is that? It's a simple question, even for you.

    ReplyDelete
  40. You asked. I answered. I asked. You did not answer.

    ReplyDelete
  41. how about a background check and $20 fee every time you wanted to publish a blog post? Infringement?

    There's the question I asked, in case you were having reading comprehension issues...

    ReplyDelete
  42. Can't you read? My answer was that it was not an infringement of your rights and I ask you to provide me with proof that it is.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Mike W. is at it again under the monkiker of "anonymous". He is continuing to write the same old junk and insists that eveything I say is a lie. I did actually say that some of the folks writing here are lying. That is the first time I've written that. To insist over and over again that I am taking away rights is a lie. To insist that private sellers don't sell to felons ( maybe unknowingly) is a lie. To try to equate imposting a $20 fee for a post on this blog with a $20 fee for a background check is an ad hominem argument. I am not posting his comments. They continue to be provactive and rude. Perhaps he will finally quit commenting unless he finds a new name.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "Guns that can take high-capacity magazines are a threat to public safety," said Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Even though they are old, these guns could deliver a great amount of firepower.
    The M-1 does not use detachable box magazines. It holds something like eight rounds, in other words, it is not that different than grandpa's deer rifle. Sorry, I don't picture drug gangs shooting it out with these.

    ReplyDelete