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.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Misinformation and correction

"As to your points, why background checks at gun shows in particular? As has been said many times, a private sale at a gun show has all the same legal requirements as one at any other random location so what makes this special? Even if I don't necessarily agree with it, it would make more sense to argue for background checks on all sales. At least it would be consistent, no?"

This was a recent question from one of my readers. I just don't know why this question is even raised. We have gone around about this on this blog many times before. It is quite simply the fact that in most states private sellers at gun shows do not require background checks on the buyers. That is different from federally licensed firearms dealers, who do, of course, require said background checks. Neither are they required for private sales at flea markets, garage sales, kitchen table sales, etc. And there are few legal requirements for private gun sales in most states. That is my point.

So yes, it would be terrific if we push for a universal background check law to make the whole gun sale thing consistent. But every time we have tried for the same, it has been met with fierce resistance from the gun lobby. Since many of you have suggested it on my blog site, I suggest that you start the effort, with the help of the NRA and it's millions of members, to find a Congress person to sponsor this bill. We would gladly get on board with such a bill if it fulfills the requirements of making the system consistent and it would stop gun sales without background checks.



And yet another question from the same reader: "What is the primary cause of non-domestic violence? In my opinion, take it for what it is worth, that the cause of most non-domestic violence is a combination of the side effects of the so-called War on Drugs and general poverty/lack of education. Aside from psychopaths, educated people don't normally go on shooting sprees nor lead lives of crime. Of course, this doesn't include random acts."


Taking it for what it is worth, I am on the Board of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, an internationally recognized program working with abusers and those who are abused. I know a little about this issue. As a volunteer at my local Family Justice Center, I see women who walk in to the center looking for help after being beaten, or threatened, or having called law enforcement on their abuser. They are desperate. They are afraid. They need help right now. They need Orders for Protection. The "War on Drugs" and "general poverty/lack of education" has little to do with domestic abuse. The women who come into the center are from every socio-economic level and circumstance. Some are the victims of drug abusers, or alcohol abusers. Many are not. Some women are users. Many are not. Some of the abused and the abusers come from poverty. Many do not. Some are not well educated. Others have post graduate degrees. The person who wrote the statement needs a good dose of education about more than a few issues before making statements like those written above. In the end, some women, no matter where they live or how much education they have are killed by their abusers and many of these deaths are caused by gun injuries.

And, by the way, my brother-in-law was quite smart; he had a post graduate degree in Physics. That didn't stop him from shooting my sister. Educated people shoot people as often as those poor uneducated people. I wonder why the gun lobby prefers not to believe that? Does it get in the way of their trying to convince us that most homicides are committed by criminals? Most homicides occur among people who know each other and often the shooter was not a criminal until he/she pulled the trigger. I have had a go around about this with one of my readers who just couldn't believe that my brother-in-law was not a criminal or in trouble with the law before he shot my sister. What difference does that make? She's dead now and so is he. He most certainly became a criminal instantly. But he most certainly was not a criminal before his anger got the best of him and he used his gun to solve his problems. When someone is asked to "prove" to a "gun guy" that one's sister was not shot by a criminal, then we have reached a new low in any "discussion". Trying to coyly ask "straw man" type questions when the questioner is pretty sure of the answer or somehow trying to make the person asked doubt their own truths is deceptive, dishonest, rude and unnecessary to the "discussion". 

If we are going to deal with our differences, we have to, at the least, have a common set of facts and information. We can have our own opinions, but we can't have our own facts. Common sense tells us that misinformation only leads us down the path of ignorance and intolerance. Any "gotcha" questions and arguments are diversionary tactics meant to confuse the issue. I do my best to deal in facts if I have them and if it is opinion, I try to state that as well. 


Addendum and correction


I must add a correction to my above statements here. I mistakenly pointed out that a commenter had said the cause of domestic violence was the War on Drugs and lack of education. Here is what he said, above:" the cause of most non-domestic violence is a combination of the side effects of the so-called War on Drugs and general poverty/lack of education. Aside from psychopaths, educated people don't normally go on shooting sprees nor lead lives of crime." I apologize for getting that wrong in light of saying we need to deal with facts. There are no excuses other than the fact that I get so many comments to my blog posts that it is hard to keep up with them and read them all as closely as I should. I have no idea, nor does the commenter, about whether non domestic shooting deaths are due to drug abuse and/or lack of education. But I do know that educated people do shoot people and are involved in shooting sprees. I am thinking of Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, who was certainly educated but had other problems. A number of other mass school shooters have been educated college enrolled students.Whether or not they can be considered Psychopaths, I don't know. I doubt whether we can say that non domestic gun violence is necessarily due to drugs and lack of education. " Mea culpa".

64 comments:

  1. "Does it get in the way of their trying to convince us that most homicides are committed by criminals?"

    Your decision to infer from

    "Most homicides occur among people who know each other"

    Doesn't change the fact that 75% of all murderers have an adult felony criminal record.

    "the shooter was not a criminal until he/she pulled the trigger."

    Umm, no. That is a lie put out by the anti-gun mob what was long ago debunked. Keep pushing it though. The more often you say it, the more often you force others to think critically about it and come to the conclusion that you are wrong.

    "Looking only to official criminal records, data over the past thirty years consistently show that the mythology of murderers as ordinary citizens does not hold true. Studies have found that approximately 75% of murderers have adult criminal records, and that murderers average a prior adult criminal career of six years, including four major adult felony arrests. These studies also found that when the murder occurred "[a]bout 11% of murder arrestees [were] actually on pre-trial release"--that is, they were awaiting trial for another offense.

    The fact that only 75% of murderers have adult crime records should not be misunderstood as implying that the remaining 25% of murderers are non-criminals. The reason over half of those 25% of murderers don't have adult records is that they are juveniles. Thus, by definition they cannot have an adult criminal record"

    http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvmurd.html

    Stop trying to paint me and other gun owners as proto-murderers. It is incredibly insulting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. To Sean: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5904.pdf
    " The majority of homicides were
    related to interpersonal conflicts. Crime was a factor in approxi-
    mately one third of all homicide/legal-intervention deaths, with
    robbery being the primary circumstance. These findings are
    consistent with other research on homicide. Arguments and
    conflicts are immediate motivations for the majority of both
    male and female homicides in the United States (19). One
    factor that distinguishes male from female homicides is the
    relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. In the
    United States, approximately one in three homicides of females
    is committed by a current or former spouse or partner (20). "

    "Approximately two thirds of all homicides and approximately
    one half of all suicides in the United States are committed with
    a firearm (1). In the 16 states included in this report, firearms
    were the most common method used in homicides, incidents
    involving multiple victims, and incidents of homicide followed
    by suicide. Previous research indicates that interpersonal dis-
    putes can escalate and cause serious violent injury or death,
    especially when weapons of lethal means (e.g., firearms) are
    involved in the dispute (24,25). Firearms also were the most
    common method used in suicides;"

    I am wondering why we have to keep going around about this? You are wrong.

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  3. Has it occurred to you that an argument over a drug deal gone bad is an "interpersonal conflict?" Have you ever considered that gang warfare constitutes "interpersonal conflict?"

    Stop generalizing from your single data point.

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  4. Re: background checks on private gun sales--So you are aiming for background checks on all sales, whether by private seller or licensed gun dealer.

    Buying through a licensed gun dealer--no problem. They run the check.

    For a private seller, you would require them to go through a gun dealer in order to run the check. (Currently, the check is only available to FFLs, law enforcement agencies, and the ATF.)

    So in essence, you want to ban all private gun sales. Is that about right?

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  5. Yes, that has occurred to me. But most domestic murders are by gun and most homicides are still acquaintance related rather than random. Why do you fight so hard about this one? I don't get it.

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  6. I would imagine that it is entirely possible that these abusers who kill family members already have criminal records, thus making you both "right."

    BTW, the quote that you pointed out in your main post said that "NON-domestic violence" was related to the War on Drugs and other socio-economic factors. Just wanted to point that out so you could address it properly.

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  7. Ace- you have most of it right except for banning all private sales. States that require background checks on all sales at gun shows have worked it out so that private sellers can use an ffl for the background check. It can work. Why would this ban all private sales? You need to explain your logic or lack thereof.

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  8. Thank you for pointing that out. I stand corrected that the commenter said non domestic violence. I would think that many of the non domestic gun homicides may be due to drugs but don't know about education level.

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  9. "Why do you fight so hard about this one?"

    Because you are attempting to portray the average gun owner as a proto-murderer, just looking for an excuse to "snap" and murder people. Acquaintances include rival gang members and drug suppliers. No one believes that violence is random. There is a reason for almost everything. Why do you insist that because someone knows his murderer that they aren't criminals? Criminals know people too.


    "I don't get it."

    That's what we've been trying to say.

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  10. "States that require background checks on all sales at gun shows have worked it out so that private sellers can use an ffl for the background check."

    my FFL charges $60 for the doing the paperwork. Do you pretend that a business man will stop doing his work to fill out your Form 4473 and thens store it for 20 years for free? For a background check that can be evaded by going down to the local drug gang and shelling out $200(or less) for a "street" gun?

    What's in it for me? Nothing. Another step toward registration. Another infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. For no benefit except to make you feel better about things. I propose we scrap the whole rotten system and start treating guns like every other legal product. If you have the cash, you get the gun. If you can't be trusted with a gun, you should be in jail or the looney bin.

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  11. No, Sean. That is not what I am doing. You can take it how you want but you will never find me saying that on my blog.

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  12. It works in other states. It can work. Whether or not you like it, others have worked it out.

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  13. Ace- you have most of it right except for banning all private sales. States that require background checks on all sales at gun shows have worked it out so that private sellers can use an ffl for the background check. It can work. Why would this ban all private sales? You need to explain your logic or lack thereof.

    Sure thing.

    A private sale is between two unlicensed persons who reside in the same state and, under current law, requires no background check. Hence the "private" piece.

    Having such a sale go through an FFL for a check negates the "private" piece and simply makes it a standard sale.

    By this definition, to require any sale to be done via FFL effectively does away with the private sale.

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  14. Yes, and I can understand that part. That is the push back we have received when we have suggested universal background checks. So we have gone with background checks at gun shows and then we get criticism for that as well. We get this point and are sympathetic to it, by the way. We will have to keep talking this through to get something that everyone can live with.

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  15. Then it seems to me that if you want to institute universal background checks on gun sales, you will need to prohibit the private sale (as defined in my above comment). Make everything a standard sale, everything going through an FFL.

    But consider, too, that this will do nothing to inhibit the illegal market for guns. Just as you had speakeasies and bootleggers during the Prohibition era, you will still continue to have gun traffickers and those persons who will acquire their guns from "alternative" sellers.

    Unfortunately, this is just a bandage. The root cause is still not being addressed.

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  16. The system Illinois has is workable. The FOID card is a universal check since it is to be revoked when/if one becomes a prohibited purchaser. It is a felony to transfer a firearm to an individual w/o a card.

    Yet the BC and the Joyce groups continue to push for MORE checks.

    Why?

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  17. "No, Sean. That is not what I am doing. You can take it how you want but you will never find me saying that on my blog."

    That is exactly what you are doing. You may not be personally responsible for the original lie, but you are perpetuating it.

    The original purpose of the lie that "most murderers aren't criminals, in fact they usually knew their victims" is to pretend that the average murderer is indistinguishable from the average gun owner. The point to frighten the regular citizen into believing that they could just as easily get murdered by their neighbor the nice gun owner as by Ice Dog and Ray-Ray, the local drug dealers. The hope, on the part of the liars was to convince the non gun owning public that it made sense to strictly regulate gun ownership by the law abiding as well as the criminal class.

    By repeating this line of argument, you are perpetuating the lie that I am as likely to be a killer as the local drug gang member. And you don't even see how insulting that is. You are trying to regulate me because you cannot figure out how to regulate the criminals.

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  18. Here's why you've gotten push back on your proposal, and why you continue to do so. You claim that private sales are a loophole that arms criminals while acknowledging that forcing private sales through FFLs will end the practice of PRIVATE transfers. So you tell everyone that you just just want to do background checks on private sales at gun shows. To the pro-gun crowd, this means one of two things:

    (1) Private sales aren't enough of a threat to public safety to make it worthwhile to eliminate all of them, so let's just pass a feel good law that addresses the most public aspect of private sales while not completely inconveniencing gun owners.

    (2) And here's the rub--BC/VPC want to ban ALL private transfers but feel they only have support to bite off the "gun show loophole" first. Once that passes, and crime doesn't decrease, then they can attack the rest of the "private sale loophole."

    I'm not saying this to be difficult. I'm just pointing out how we see the issue, and if you take a step back and look at it from our perspective, I think you'd see the same perspective (even if you don't agree with us, obviously).

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  19. That is total nonsense Sean. Back at you.

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  20. Guys- you are all wrong. Stop with the nonsense. You think we are doing something we are not. But you persist. This is why nothing gets done. I am trying to reach out and you guys just shut everything down. There is no compromising with most of you. Chill out everyone. I am trying to be reasonable and all I get is nonsense, innuendo, accusations, blah, blah, blah. I'm done with this argument unless anyone has something constructive to say.

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  21. Ace- " ou will still continue to have gun traffickers and those persons who will acquire their guns from "alternative" sellers" Your idea is to just do nothing. That's what you guys want- nothing or to go backwards.

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  22. Here's what you're doing. You're pushing for all private sales to go through FFL dealers.

    At the same time your organizations advocate suing FFL dealers as public nuisances and support politicians who try and use zoning restrictions to keep FFL's as few as possible.

    You can't have both if your claims of only reducing crime are true.

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  23. "(2) And here's the rub--BC/VPC want to ban ALL private transfers but feel they only have support to bite off the "gun show loophole" first. Once that passes, and crime doesn't decrease, then they can attack the rest of the "private sale loophole."

    That's exactly what the BC et al is doing in Illinois. You can claim 'nonsense' all you want but those are the facts.

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  24. Japete is right. The fact is most gun violence occurs between intimates, friends, coworkers--not the dreaded unknown assailant.

    That's just a plain, hard fact.

    And it's not difficult to speculate from this fact that there are many, many more instances where a gun is used to intimidate, harrass, or threaten intimates, friends, coworkers.

    This is why the DGU mythology cllapses.

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  25. For consistency sake, I'd argue that there should be no background checks at all. That is primarily because owning, carrying (and buying) guns is a fundamental right of the people. The right is protected as long as the arms are borne for lawful purposes. At some level, requiring a background check assumes the burden of proof is on the buyer. Why not just leave well enough alone with having criminal acts illegal ... rather than treating folks who aren't criminals as if they might be.

    It would make more sense to argue for no background checks on any sales. At least it would be consistent, no?

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  26. We don't want to do nothing or go backwards, we just don't like the direction you and your group is taking regarding gun violence. I, and I believe many others, would rather we work on enforcing existing laws and/or reforming the justice system itself.

    Do you remember the comment I submitted a few days back, regarding that officer that was shot in Philly in 2008? The murderer was only out on parole for two weeks before killing the cop, but all anyone wanted to talk about was how he got the gun. No one seemed to care that this violent person was set loose upon the public. It's not that we shouldn't do anything about illegal gun sales, but it's as if they don't want to even acknowledge the larger problem at work.

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  27. Joan,
    A very quick point of order response and then I will try and come up with something more worthy later... I didn't say that "most" or "much" or such non-domestic violence was due to drug _use_ but due to the War on Drugs. The difference is important as one points the finger at users, which do contribute to overall crime levels of course, and the other points a finger at the economic conditions and motivations created by a thriving black market. As I said before, no one fights and kills for which street corner to sell tobacco on, do they?

    As to asking, and when getting a negative answer insisting, that your brother-in-law must have been involved with criminal activities and such prior to his awful acts... I totally agree with you, that is just... low. I can't honestly say I understand that as it isn't necessary.

    More later...

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  28. are perpetuating the lie that I am as likely to be a killer as the local drug gang member.

    Statistically speaking, there is no difference in the liklihood of you being a killer as it is with a the local gang member.

    But math isn't your strong suit.

    Regardless, the fact remains that your views or agenda or advocacy ensures gun violence rates remain as high as they are, Sean.

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  29. Joan,
    Since this post was mostly a reply to me, I will try and cover most points briefly while keeping in mind that part was written before you noticed your error. :)

    As to background checks, I believe the push back you get is due to two issues. The first issue is that increased background checks, or indeed any additional paper work and record keeping, are seen as a way to get registration without actually having to have the fight over universal registration. Whether that is your goal or not, that is how it is viewed by many people. So if that is not the goal, you have a problem of perception that can be cured by changing how the background check was conducted. For instance, if you had a system whereby anyone could check whether or not person X is a prohibited person, without sending in (using any form) any information about what is to be purchased, then you'd be closer to a background check system that could not conceivably be used for any type of registration. You will still get push back, for the reason given below and others, but you'd be closer to a compromise.
    The second issue is whether or not all these background checks are really effective at doing anything but annoying gun owners and costing lots of money. Anyone who wants a gun tomorrow, anyone without exception, can get one. Legal or not. Are background checks bad in theory or principal? I don't know. I admit I cringe a little filling out that bloody government form to exercise what is in my mind an inherent right. Though, the main issue probably is that I don't believe they are effective at their stated goal and thus should either be drastically reworked or scrapped. You can't prevent all the prohibited persons, or really even most of them, from getting arms if they really are determined so I think scrapping it and coming up with something else would probably be for the best.
    So let us say we did scrap it. What then? Shall we do as Sean suggested and treat guns now the same way they were treated prior to 1968? We didn't have the problems with violence, gun or otherwise, as much before that date as we do after it so I would think the issue never was guns and is in fact something else. As Ace said, the root cause is still not being addressed so merely slapping on more background checks and other measures like that really won't fix anything.
    I stand by my original theory. If we end the War on Drugs, and thereby eliminate it's associated side effects, you will see a drastic reduction in crime and violence such that no amount of background checks or other related measures could ever produce.
    As to education and violence you are completely correct that educated people can and do commit all sorts of terrible violence. My point in that regard was more to do with the career violent criminal, who tend not to be well educated. This is in no way to say they are stupid, merely that people with good educations tend not to go into crime. Though, I admit that is purely a SWAG and my opinion based on direct observation so take it with some salt if you like.
    I'm very sorry about your sister. No one should have to go through such a tragedy. The only thing I'll say on this is that from what I understand you are correct that most homicides occur between people who know each other in some fashion or other. However, as Sean pointed out “people who know each other” is nebulous and could mean many things even if it meant something specific in this one tragic instance.
    I can't say how sorry I am for you about that. I have a pretty good idea how I would feel if someone did that to someone I love, though I must admit my reaction would be of a different sort. We all handle things in our own ways.
    So much for brief :)

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  30. Here's the DOJ on murder defendants
    •54% have at least one felony conviction
    •70% have at least one conviction
    •56% have two or more felony arrests
    •67% have at least one felony arrest
    •81% of all homicide defendants have at least one arrest on their record

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/fdluc98.pdf

    Still think that it's not criminals doing most of the killing?

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  31. Many of them don't go to court to become defendants since they also commit suicide. I have friends who have lost loved ones to gun violence where the shooter was not a criminal and had no prior arrests. In fact, I know quite a few where that is the case. By the way, are these all gun murders? That's what I'm talking about her. Are you still trying to get me to believe that my own brother-in-law was a criminal, Sean? Stop it!!

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  32. Sean moves the goalposts once again.

    When arguing with gunloons, it's helpful to understand that when you demonstrate a gunloon is wrong on one point--he'll invariably adjust his postion to pretend as if his new point was correct all along.

    In Sean's case, he took umbrage at what he termed "the lie that I am as likely to be a killer as the local drug gang member."

    Probability and Statistics 101 say the liklihood of Sean being a killer is exactly the same as the drug dealer.

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  33. Why is it so hard for you to believe that there are no real ways for us to compromise? Would it be reasonable to have expected African-Americans to "compromise" with the racist whites who wanted to disenfranchise and marginalize them in the south during the Jim Crow period? Of course not; their goals were directly opposed. Every gain for one side was a loss for the other.

    Similarly, in this debate our goals are also directly opposed: my side wants to normalize and expand private firearms ownership, while yours wants to burden or eliminate it. I don't think that really leaves a lot of room for compromise.

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  34. Background checks on all transfers, that's what I always say. Close the private sale loophole.

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  35. "Are you still trying to get me to believe that my own brother-in-law was a criminal, Sean? Stop it!!"

    Is that what you think is going on? Stop being so self centered. The world does not revolve around your problems. It may be the case that your brother in law was one of the only 19% of murderers who had never been arrested before. That doesn't change the fact that 54% of all murderers have had a previous felony CONVICTION. 67% have a previous felony arrest.

    What does this all mean? It means that a more careful focus on the criminal class, including putting them in jail where they belong, would significantly reduce the murder rates, including the gun murder rates. Isn't that what you want?

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  36. "Many of them don't go to court to become defendants since they also commit suicide."

    What's 'many'?

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  37. "Many of them don't go to court to become defendants since they also commit suicide."

    Could you please provide the statistic and source for this comment.

    Thanks.

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  38. " Since many of you have suggested it on my blog site, I suggest that you start the effort, with the help of the NRA and it's millions of members, to find a Congress person to sponsor this bill. We would gladly get on board with such a bill if it fulfills the requirements of making the system consistent and it would stop gun sales without background checks."

    Are you willing to compromise and allow private sellers access to NICS and have a valid CCW permit fulfill the background check requirement?

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  39. Here's one of the most disengenuous comments yet. Sean, you have been harassing me about my brother-in-law and want to think he was a criminal before he shot my sister. You just can't believe he wasn't. Now you are trying to prove that most people who shoot others had a criminal record before the incident. You lumped all murderers into one pile and did not exclude only the shooters, which is what I am talking about. This is not all about me. This is about making sure other families don't have to suffer the grief and pain my family did. Thanks for your empathy, though. And you know very well that I have agreed that the criminals need to stay in jail. Because they don't always, though, they are free to buy guns from private sellers without background checks, making them ever more dangerous to the public.

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  40. " while yours wants to burden or eliminate it" Nope- as long as your side continues to believe what is not true, then we will get nowhere.

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  41. I don't have stats for that one. I will try to find some. This is from my own personal experience with victims and incidents reported about shootings. Cho, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, 2 recent domestic abuse cases in my city, my own brother-in-law... "Many" of the mass shooters commit suicide and many murders are murder/suicides.

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  42. kaveman- I have addressed this before. I can't negotiate anything personally. That would be up to Congress and the legal community to determine. We don't have enough information to discuss this as an option.

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  43. Disengenuous being a code word for liar? I must be amazingly powerful to be able to influence the US DOJ to author a lying study in order to prop up my lies.

    Or maybe you just can't accept that 81% of all murder defendants have a prior arrest record, and 54% have a prior felony conviction. Focus on the big picture and stop pretending that the world is just your life writ large.

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  44. " Focus on the big picture and stop pretending that the world is just your life writ large. " Thanks for starting my day off so well, Sean. Are we in a pissing match here or what? Let's see who can call the other a liar or a fake or arrogant more times than the other? I don't appreciate name calling and innuendo by you or anyone else on this blog. I will not be publishing your posts until I feel like I can do so without ruining my day. You guys just go ahead and feel free to spit out your anger and hate and make people feel like &^%%. That's a tactic that I will not employ. Oh, by the way, Happy Holidays!!!

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  45. "I don't have stats for that one. I will try to find some. This is from my own personal experience with victims and incidents reported about shootings. Cho, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, 2 recent domestic abuse cases in my city, my own brother-in-law... "Many" of the mass shooters commit suicide and many murders are murder/suicides."

    Thanks for the honest reply. It would probably be more helpful if you prefaced comments like that with 'in my opinion' or 'in my experience'. Otherwise it causes me to beleive that, unless otherwise noted, all comments here are your opinion. If that is the case, it makes a big difference in how I read the posts.

    I'm not trying to be overly critical, I feel that we as bloggers need to be clear on what is fact, what is fiction, what is a statistic and what is an opinion.

    I'm sorry you will not be posting Sean's comments going forward, I enjoy the debate. I would encourage you to stick with your tagline of 'Thoughtful discussion about how to prevent gun injuries and death'

    Regards,

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  46. Mark S:

    You're being disengenuous; it's not a difficult task to google murder-suicide in the US and find medical studies show the number of murder-suicide victims to be about 1500 each year. Of these, over 90% are perpetrated with guns.

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  47. If, as you say, your goal is not to "burden or eliminate" gun ownership, then the way for us to compromise would be for you to start supporting laws that hit at the heart of crime and gun violence but do not burden lawful private gun ownership. We could totally agree on that!

    However, so far, all I've seen from the Brady Campaign is support for laws that make it harder for people to behave honestly when it comes to guns. You want to ban X, you want to ban Y, you want to make it a crime to do Z—all these things are burdens on the honest gun owners who just want to live their lives.

    I mean, can you give me an example of a Brady-supported law that didn't make it harder for me to buy, sell, own, use, transport, or carry a gun?

    I can tell you from personal experience that it sure feels like everything you want to do is opposed to my interests. Here are some examples:

    • The states I have lived in have had extensive Brady-supported gun control such as mandatory licensing, bans on handguns and private transfers, discretionarily-issued permits, and other things that I can tell you were concrete burdens on me and other lawful gun owners.

    • When the Brady Campaign was called the National Council to Control handguns, your explicit goal was to ban handguns. That's would be a burden.

    • You pushed for and actually got bans on the sale of scary-looking guns you call "assault weapons." Those are burdens.

    • You supported Washington D.C. and Chicago's total bans on handguns and functional firearms. Those were burdens.

    • You push to roll back CCW laws. That would be a burden.

    • You oppose Castle Doctrine laws. That would be a burden.

    From my perspective, everything you have ever supported is a burden on me and other people like me. I think I get it now that your actual goal is to prevent bad people from getting guns, but you seem to have no problem turning private gun ownership into a perilous legal minefield in pursuit of that goal, and if private gun ownership were eliminated as a by-product of your favored laws, I suspect you would shed few tears for us gun nuts.

    Am I wrong?

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  48. Sean D. Sorrentino is a troll.

    He continually moves the goalposts when arguing; it's impossible to have any sort of debate--meaningful or otherwise--with someone who insists on bullying, changing his argument, and name-calling when he feels his argument is debunked.

    It's a pretty common gunloon tactic.

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  49. " You pushed for and actually got bans on the sale of scary-looking guns you call "assault weapons." Those are burdens.

    • You supported Washington D.C. and Chicago's total bans on handguns and functional firearms. Those were burdens.

    • You push to roll back CCW laws. That would be a burden.

    • You oppose Castle Doctrine laws. That would be a burden.

    From my perspective, everything you have ever supported is a burden on me and other people like me. I think I get it now that your actual goal is to prevent bad people from getting guns, but you seem to have no problem turning private gun ownership into a perilous legal minefield in pursuit of that goal, and if private gun ownership were eliminated as a by-product of your favored laws, I suspect you would shed few tears for us gun nuts."

    If these are burdens on you, then I am worried about who you really are.

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  50. BTW, if you go to Sean D. Sorrentino's Bureau of Justice Statistics link (from 1998), it doesn't say what Sean claims it does.

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  51. Jadegold:

    "You're being disengenuous; it's not a difficult task to google murder-suicide in the US and find medical studies show the number of murder-suicide victims to be about 1500 each year. Of these, over 90% are perpetrated with guns."

    nonsense. I was being very genuine.

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  52. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/fdluc98.pdf

    Check for yourselves everyone to see if any conclusive data can be gleaned from this 1998 report about convictions in 75 Urban cities in the U.S.

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  53. I don't get it. Earlier, you contested my statement that your goal is to burden or end private gun ownership, but then when I pointed out burdens that you've supported, you didn't refute any of them and instead insulted me for complaining.

    So which is it? Do you support burdens on gun ownership because us gun nuts are scary and dangerous, or is burdening gun ownership not actually a priority?

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  54. I don't recall agreeing with you. Your questions are a set up and I won't answer them because of that. I have stated my position ad nauseum on this site and do not need to keep stating it. You can believe it or not.

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  55. Nate, What you call unnecessry burdens, I call slight inconveniences. To say they are the goal of anyone's agenda is just silly.

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  56. Mikeb, you call a total ban on handguns and functional firearms a slight inconvenience?

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  57. "http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/fdluc98.pdf

    Check for yourselves everyone to see if any conclusive data can be gleaned from this 1998 report about convictions in 75 Urban cities in the U.S. "

    If you just look at Table 8 of the report it states that 81% of the felony murder defendants had a prior arrest record.

    How does that agree with your statement: "Most homicides occur among people who know each other and often the shooter was not a criminal until he/she pulled the trigger."?

    I'm just trying to find the commonsense in all of these statements and studies.

    Rich

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  58. Are these specific to gun murders? Did they take into account that many of the defendants don't end up in court becuase they also killed themselves?

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  59. Ace- " ou will still continue to have gun traffickers and those persons who will acquire their guns from "alternative" sellers" Your idea is to just do nothing. That's what you guys want- nothing or to go backwards.
    Quite the contrary. Many of us are of the opinion that we need to better enforce the laws already on the books.

    Continued talk of more legislation amounts to nothing more than putting a Band-Aid on a cut.

    Imgine it this way: you have a shelf with a pointy corner. Each time you pass the shelf you scrape yourself. And each time, you put another Band-Aid over the scrape.

    But unless you actually do something to the pointy corner, you'll keep getting scraped.

    Solution: round off the corner.

    Make sense?

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  60. There are approx 15K murders in the US every year (http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_08.html). Of those, around 10K are committed with firearms (same FBI link).

    This FBI data appears to be reporting the total number of reported crimes, not the conviction rate. So the approximately ~1K murder-suicides would be included in the above figure.

    Numerous criminology studies show that around 75% of murderers have some sort of adult criminal record. 10% or so can't have adult records because they are committed by juveniles, but they can be and often are delinquents. I didn't find good numbers but let's say that the recidivism rate among youth is 1/2 that of adults (optimistic, but hey, the children are our future!). That means that around 12K of the murders are committed by prior offenders. This assumes that the number of victims in the slayings are relatively evenly distributed, i.e., that repeat offenders aren't more or less likely to kill multiple victims.

    So, let's assume the absolute best case from your point of view. Of our 10K firearms-related slayings, simple arithmetic tells us that at least 7K or so must be from previous offenders. Likely the number is actually higher. At best, instead of a ~85-90% prior criminal record rate, you're looking at around a ~70% prior criminal record rate.

    To argue that a majority -- or even substantial minority! -- of murderers (including gun murderers) don't have prior criminal records or a history of mental illness flies in the face of over a century of criminology data. It is an argument so divorced from reality that one must wonder at its incredulity. Show me a single reputable study from any major criminology journal that credibly advances that argument. You can't because I doubt it exists.

    In fact, because this trend exists, many gun owners are ok with the prohibited person laws in the Brady Act that prevents felons from lawfully touching a gun. We know that most murders are committed by people with prior criminal records. If, as you argue, that most murders are committed by first-time offenders, then the prohibited person ban has no purpose and can be safely done away with. That doesn't make any "common sense!"

    I doubt that you care though. A scary story in the news or an anecdotal experience seems to mean more than actually observed facts, statistics, or evidence. You won't care if it undermines the reasoning for the Brady Law because we need a new law now, AND we need to keep the old one.

    Math Check: 15K total slayings - 12K by prior criminals = 3K from those with clean records. The "best case" from your point of view is that 100% of those 3K were firearms crimes. 10K total firearms crimes - 3K first-time offenders = 7K. I find it unlikely that 100% of the first-time offenders used a firearm, so likely the number of gun murders from offenders with criminal records is actually even higher.

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  61. Note -- I am not commenting about any specific individual incident. I am just saying that in aggregate, the majority of murders are committed by people with criminal records.
    Just because the majority of car wrecks are caused by DWI or speeding does not mean that ALL car wrecks or any particular wrecks are caused by those two factors. Wrecks that factor neither happen every day.

    Correlation is not causation, either, although the linkage seems especially strong, and the premise of the GCA 1968's prohibited person scheme is predicated on this causation effect.

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  62. Let us say that you can get a universal/all gun sales criminal background check in place. What prediction do you have of it's effects on crime statistics?

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  63. I don't have a prediction as to that effect. We already know that almost 2 million people have been prohibited from purchasing guns since 1994 when the Brady Law took effect. Most of these folks could possibly get guns from unlicensed sellers which is why we want to extend the checks to them.

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