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, December 30, 2010

The NRA's irresponsible position on illegal guns

Since I am as involved as I am in the gun violence prevention movement, I get lots of  information almost daily. This is the end of 2010 when, again, around 100,000 U.S. citizens will have been shot and injured or killed. Suicide, unfortunately accounts for the largest number of the 30,000 gun deaths, followed by homicides and then accidental shootings. Many of these make the front pages of papers all over the country and I sometimes write about them. Another thing that has made front page news and has attracted the attention of the media and the public is the Washington Post series of articles about illegal gun trafficking, the Mexican gun carnage coming from the drug cartel, bad apple gun dealers and general issues of the ATF trying to deal with all of this while underfunded and without a Director. 

To end the year, here is yet another article  about guns and Mexico and where those guns are coming from. It turns out that one dealer in Arizona has sold 185 guns found in Mexico. They may not have all been used in gun crimes or deadly shootings, but given the carnage in Mexico, there's a good chance that they were. I really like the quote at the end coming from an anonymous gun rights guy: "I spoke to a man Monday wearing camouflage pants, construction boots and a bandana wrapped snuggly around his head walking near Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale.

He didn’t want to go on camera or have his name revealed, but described himself this way, “Been in gun rights all my life, I’ve been in NRA, I carry, I carry respectfully”.He said he is a deer hunter and despite being a avid gun rights supporter he does like the idea of a reporting requirement for high-powered rifle sales.“You're getting into heavy equipment, it should go through the government, the government should know what's going on.”"
Indeed. Heavy equipment which the government is going to insist that gun dealers report  selling. It makes common sense to me but of course not to the NRA who would seemingly rather see the types of rifles sold to possible members of the Mexican drug cartel go unreported: " In a statement the NRA’s Chief Lobbyist said, “This administration does not have the guts to build a wall, but they do have the audacity to blame and register gun owners for Mexico's problems."" What? Did someone say something about registering gun owners in the mandate?
Here is what this new rule will be about: " Now the ATF is looking to mandate a change. On Friday they published a notice in the Federal Register asking for emergency authority to require dealers to tell them if someone buys more than two rifles in five days. The rifles would have to be semi-automatic, greater than .22-caliber, and have the ability to accept a detachable magazine." 
What is the NRA thinking here? The organization is out of step with even its own members on this one and surely out of step with public safety and international diplomacy. They again try to twist reasonable restrictions allowed by law into gun registration since it gets members all riled up about their rights to own guns being restricted by any law or provision that is proposed. And the distraction of the building of a wall is just that- a distraction to the issue at hand. How will that stop the sale of guns to "legal" folks who traffic the guns to the Mexican drug cartel for money? Remember the Minnesota Mexican American man who bought his guns legally and was trafficking to Mexicans for cash? Would a wall stop that activity? Rather, let's look at the primary source of the guns and try to reduce the number of guns sold in this country legally or illegally. One thing does not preclude another. Whether a wall will stop illegals is another topic for discussion on someone else's blog. I am promoting common gun sense. The year is ending the way it began- with the same arguments. Let's hope that 2011 will bring different solutions.


  1. "The organization is out of step with even its own members on this one"

    A reporter talks to one guy walking near a gun shop and you conclude that the NRA is out of step with it's members?

  2. "What is the NRA thinking here?"

    What is the ATF thinking here? They have absolutely no statutory authority to impose such a requirement.

    In fact, the law specifically prohibits them from imposing new requirements in this manner.

    You think it's a good idea to allow government bureaucrats to violate the law, so long as it's in a cause you think is justified?

  3. Chris- I think the man interviewed likely represents a lot of you guys- just not you who are commenting on my blog.You might have to get out of your bubble to find that out. And jedge- the ATF would not be violating any law. What law?

  4. Typical... you get one guy in a story and "the NRA is out of step with it's members". The NRA IS it's members.

    This guy doesn't speak for the organization any more than we expect everything you say to be the policy of your organizations. And because you say something, doesn't mean the whole of your organization agrees or any other member for that matter.

    No. I'm against having to report anything to the government. It's none of their business. Secure the border which is the constitutional job of the government and leave gun owners alone.

  5. Well, anon. That is simply not true. You guys are always trying to get me to make statements that you will attribute to my organizations. I am betting, as I said above, that this guy represents a whole lot more of the gun guys than you do.

  6. "I am betting, as I said above, that this guy represents a whole lot more of the gun guys than you do. "

    Why? Because that's what you WANT to believe or do you have some evidence? Do you have any proof this individual is or ever what an NRA member?

    Can we then attribute the statement made by a BC member on their FB page of them 'hating the Second Amendment' to the organization as a whole?

  7. Most of us don't have a problem with the ATF's proposal on face value. What we have a problem with is their running an "end around" Congress on getting the authority to do so.

    They must run all pending legislation through Congress -- they can't be granted "emergency" powers.

    Run it though the normal channels, and many will likely agree with it (I can't speak for everyone since we don't all get together for coffee and rolls every week).

  8. No, I just know that, based on the hunters and gun owners with whom I have contact, that they would not object to this ATF recommendation because they are not interested in guns in the same way you are. They just want their guns for hunting and target practice and are not afraid of these types of regulations.

    As to your last assertion- can you find that for me? I doubt very much that a BC member would say that. It might be somebody responding on the Facebook page to an article, etc but could or could not be a member of the Brady Campaign. Some people on my side of the issue do hate the second amendment. They wish it wasn't there because then we wouldn't be having this sometimes contentious and ridiculous exchange, You guys hate most of us and what we are doing and not afraid to say so- so I guess it's just the way it is out there in the real world. And what are you doing on the Brady Campaign Facebook page anyway? Are you just checking it out or are you there to make comments in opposition?

  9. Really Pat? Would that that would be true but you and I both know that it isn't. It would cause a huge ruckus in Congress.

  10. Like you've pointed out -- it doesn't effect law-abiding gun owners one bit. If you legitimately purchase more than 1 of these firearms per week -- you'll "maybe" get a phone call from the ATF for an explanation...big whoop.

    It doesn't bother me in the least. What does bother me is the route that the ATF went through to get to this "emergency" power. They can't simply decide that they need a power, and then grant it to themselves...thats not how a democracy works. If the EPA decided to regulated all cars today to require they be painted green -- Congress would have to approve that change as well.

    Thats how politics works (fortunately, or unfortunately).

    For the record - I have publicly supported the intent of this reporting requirement (who wouldn't?), if it was run through the appropriate channels.

  11. "And jedge- the ATF would not be violating any law. What law?"

    18 USC 926

    Subsection (a) mandates that "No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established."

    Which arguably forbids ATF from imposing new reporting requirements.

    And then there's the 30-day comment period, which is a violation of subsection (b): "The Attorney General shall give not less than ninety days public notice, and shall afford interested parties opportunity for hearing, before prescribing such rules and regulations."

    The ATF cannot, by law, impose any new rule or regulation, with a comment period less than 90 days. Yet the ATF is imposing this, with a 30-day comment period. Why? So that it's a fait accomplis, by the time the new Congress sits.

    This is clearly an attempt to do a regulatory end-run around Congressional oversight - and in my mind, it's about as serious a violation as any government agency can ever engage in.

  12. I'm happy to hear that, Pat. Thanks.

  13. To your other point:

    Hanging around the Brady group's Facebook page is simply a good research tool! I'm sure BC checks out the NRA and others on occasion as well.

    Both sides engage in graffiti on each other's walls...aka. trolling.

  14. japete, I think you're absolutely right. Most, by a vast majority, of gun owners are apathetic. The reason for that is simple, they're regular folks and regular folks are like that.

    The small very vocal minority likes to say they're 80 million strong, but that's silly.

    Our problem is we suffer from apathy too. And unfortunately, at least until the country wakes up, we don't have anything like the lobbying voice they do.

  15. "I doubt very much that a BC member would say that."

    Why? Because you choose not to believe it?

    You base your information off of your alleged anecdotes which contradict mine.

    Which is more value?

  16. MikeB is right, most gun owners ARE apathetic. I know my wife was until she asked me why I was so worked up over Heller.

    I explained that her Glock19 was considered a "machinegun" by the District of Columbia, and that the 30 year handgun ban in DC had led to record levels of murder and violent crime.

    She hasn't been apathetic since. Your side stands for oppression and increased crime, and she isn't going to stand for it anymore.

  17. " You base your information off of your alleged anecdotes which contradict mine. " What? Sorry, I don't get that one, Third or whoever you are.

  18. Uff du, anon- that sounds like a lot of firepower to protect yourself in your home. Why did they consider it a machine gun if it is not an automatic weapon?

  19. They called it a machine gun because they believed the gun control groups who told them it was. Believe it or not, it's somewhat justified when gun guys complain that the anti-guners sometimes peddle information with serious technical errors.

  20. I take your point. I am learning a lot about guns from you guys.

  21. My biggest problem with the ATF's actions is, as JDedge points out, that they violate the law.

    How would you feel if the Dep't of Education (which now hands out student loans) decided to violate anti-discrimination statutes and stop giving student loans to people of a certain race or ethnicity? How would you feel if the IRS arbitrarily decided to impose a 90% income tax on white females above the age of 45 years old without any congressional mandate? I think most people would agree that this is a capricious use of executive power that violates the principle of "separation of powers," where certain powers are vested in different parts of the government.

    The question here isn't whether you think the de facto registration of gun owners in these states is a good idea. The question is whether you support the rule of law. This issue is particularly difficult because it may be hard to get redress from the court systems.

    The ATF is part of the Justice Dep't. Do you think the Attorney General will be trying to enforce their compliance with federal law? I doubt it. Do you think federal courts will be eager to rein in federal agents? It is possible but not necessarily super likely. The Federal Courts show great deference to federal prosecutors on a broad array of issues. It is possible that state governments may be motivated to exert a check on federal overreach in this sort of case.

    The choice here is clear, at least to me: support the rule of law, or endorse arbitrary executive rule by "emergency decree." No matter how benevolent the stated purpose of the "emergency power" is, there is still a process to go through. The rule of law is a more important principle to me, personally.


    Registration: You do realize that this law does create a registry with the personal information of anyone who buys two or more of the stated rifle types within one week? I don't see how you can call it anything different. If you're logging names, identifying information, and purchases with make/model/serial number, then that's a registry.


    NRA: Polling one man on the street does not a survey of the NRA's membership make.

    Chris from AK

  22. No Chris, I don't see how it is a registry. You guys are paranoid. What do you have to worry about? Aren't you a law abiding citizen? I happen to think that Mexico is in a state of emergency. If we can help out our neighbor to the south, we will also help ourselves. To insert your other scenarios is disengenuous. When it comes to gun issues, I see it this way- you guys have blinders on and can't get out of your gun bubble enough to admit that perhaps there are some things we can do that are just plain right to do. If you can find fault with this provision, it's only because you don't agree with it. Yes, I would not agree with those scenarios you raised. If they come to pass, I would fight them. I am O.K. with this one but I sort of get that you guys are not. But not all of you- based on the interview and at least one other person on this blog. I am betting that most people understand the severe problems in Mexico and are willing to comply to help out. There was just another shooting today of several Mexican police officers. What if this was happening here? Would we want to do the right thing to stop it? I think we would.

  23. Uff du, anon- that sounds like a lot of firepower to protect yourself in your home. Why did they consider it a machine gun if it is not an automatic weapon?

    The Glock 19 is just a semi-automatic 9mm pistol, same as carried by law enforcement officers all across the US. We chose it for my wife because of her small hands, moderate recoil, and normal capacity magazines. BTW, the "19" is the model number, nothing more.

    DC categorized any semi-automatic pistol with more than 12 rounds capacity as a "machine gun". And DC is still fighting Dick Heller's ability to register a 1911 with an 8 round capacity. Right now DC is "revolver only" territory.

    I figured that carrying what the cops carry for personal protection was only common sense. My wife ended up trading in the Glock for a Charter Arms revolver, which is lighter, smaller, but unfortunately only has 5 shots. But when you need it, five rounds in your had beats 15 in the car.

  24. Joan,


    What would you call it if you had to submit your name, personally identifying information (for example, your address), and the make, model and VIN of your car to a government agency? I'd call it registering your vehicle.

    What would you call it if you had to submit your name, personally identifying information, and political party affiliation to your state? I'd call it voter registration.

    What would you call it if you had to submit your name, personally identifying information, and detailed information about your NFA item (say, a short barrelled shotgun) to the ATF? I'd call it firearms registration in accordance with the NFA of 1934.

    What would you call it if you had to submit your name, personally identifying information, and make/model/S/N of multiple handguns purchased in a short period of time to the ATF (via your FFL)? It is called a registry IAW with the GCA of 1968.

    So, what would you call it if you had to submit your personal information (or, your FFL does it on your behalf), name, the make/model/S/N of rifles you purchase to the ATF? Is that a "rifle purchaser's database enrollment?" I think most reasonable people could agree that it is functionally a registry. If that is not a registry, then what is?


    You and I will have to disagree, then. I think it sets a very dangerous precedent to allow the executive branch to do whatever it wants to do if a semi-plausible argument can be made.

    How did you feel about GW Bush using "signing statements?" If you're not familiar, a signing statement was basically a statement that he appeneded to laws passed by the Congress where he said, "Screw you congress, I refuse to carry out this law." How do you feel about GW Bush's administration conducting warrantless wiretaps of US citizens in violation of US law? Was that also justified by emergency circumstances?

    Expansions of government's executive power are a double edged sword. Today, it may cut your way. Next time it may cut against an issue that you feel strongly about, based solely on capriciousness of the administration. The only solution to the predicament is to play by the rule of law, not rely on the rule of men. We are supposed to have laws in our system of government, not sovereign kings that are above the law.

    Inter arma silent leges -- however, few would argue that the crisis in Mexico is such a degree that the survival of the nation is in the balance. Do you feel that the United States is in danger of imminent collapse due to the security situation south of the border? I doubt that many reasonable observers would think so.

  25. Alright Joan - what if the Dept of the Interior decided to do an end run around congress and allow mining and drilling within the National Parks?

    There'd be uproar, right?

    Same thing...the idea is a good one, the implementation is poor!

    What about the drug problem in the US? Its the source of many of your murders involving firearms...any ideas on solving that problem?

  26. japete --

    I'm aware of the severe problems in Mexico and I, for one, am completely unwilling to "comply to help out."

    Mexico's problems are wholly the result of that country's incandescently stupid drug policies. I am uninterested in enduring even a trivial inconvenience to enable the Mexican people to blame scapegoats and ignore reality.

    If they don't want the body count associated with their modern Prohibition, then they can bloody well end it. Until they do so, I am completely unmoved by reports of shootings of Mexican police officers: that's the cold, hard price of their policy idiocy.

  27. Mexico is in a state of emergency, due to the inability of the US to control illegal....

    ...drug sales. Increasing the rights of Americans (even though it is a right that I have no intention of exercising) would do more to fix Mexico than a full ban on all American guns.

    Prohibition invariably creates more problems than it solves.

  28. " I am betting that most people understand the severe problems in Mexico and are willing to comply to help out. There was just another shooting today of several Mexican police officers. What if this was happening here? Would we want to do the right thing to stop it? I think we would."

    To me, this sounds more like an argument for legalizing drugs than for restricting guns.

  29. Simple. You claim that you believe most NRA members agree w/ the quoted individual based off of the people you have talked to. That's anecdotal information, not statistics. The people I talk to disagree. That's anecdotal.

    Which has a greater value?

    "Third or whoever you are" That's my internet handle. Why the question?

  30. I'm done with this one guys. Time for you to do something else with your free time.

  31. My final parting "shot" (cue cymbal crash for cheesy puns)... Even major newspapers that are often in favor of gun control and lean to the left admit that this plan is shall we say, "statutorily challenged."

    NY Times: "The administration must hold its ground and, beginning in January, press the next Congress to remove statutory limitations hampering the A.T.F.’s ability to shut down irresponsible dealers near the border and elsewhere. "

    WaPo: "It has a point: While Congress authorized the ATF to collect information on handgun sales, it declined to extend the requirement to long guns. A court is likely to be asked to decide whether demand letters may be used to shake loose this information.

    Regardless of the outcome, the administration should continue to look for lawful ways to dam the current of illegal guns, particularly those that are helping to destabilize America's neighbor to the south. "

    It isn't "common sense" to support an executive branch that can do whatever the heck it wants, Congress and the Courts be damned. That's not the way our government is set up. That's Civics Class 101 -- the separation of powers is a key concept. Violate that principle at peril and only in extreme circumstances; unbridled executive authority got us Japanese internment camps in WW2 and warrantless wiretapping under GW Bush.

    You can't just say, "Oh, I'm done with this discussion" and wish away all the serious, thorny, legal issues that this approach brings up. You're a big fan of applying laws to affect other people, but when laws prevent your agenda from being implemented at full speed ahead, then gosh darn it, those laws can be ignored.

  32. I'm not sure what Anonymous means by this.

    "DC categorized any semi-automatic pistol with more than 12 rounds capacity as a "machine gun"."

    Does he mean they put the pistol in the same categor as they put machine guns and other off-limits weapons?

    That would be different than "categorize AS machine guns."

  33. No MikeB, he means by law, they defined semi-autos as 'machineguns'.

    (10) "Machine gun" means any firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

  34. Yes- so did these handguns fit into that category? They were not automatic but fired over 12 shots. One person's definition, I guess, is different from another's. That is part of our huge problem here- semantics and definitions over which we argue while ignoring the main fact that the D.C. government is trying to do it's job to prevent senseless shootings, That is what they are thinking of. You guys out there seem to think that elected officials that suggest laws to stop shootings are sitting around in a room saying, "How can we make those gun guys mad? How can we do something to take away their rights and their guns?" You have no idea what conversations are going on the side of gun violence prevention. You just think you know and you attribute anything that might help to save lives as a sinister threat to your personal rights and guns. You would be wrong. Come up with some better solutions. I still haven't heard them. Something other than you just want all of the guns you can have with no impediments whatsover and never mind victims.

  35. We aren't looking to infringe on anyone's rights, Japete, so the burden of proof is on you. Your side needs to come up with overwhelming, indisputable evidence that your infringements on our rights are both Constitutional and effective at doing what you claim, and so far you have failed to do so.

    But, never fear, I will propose a solution for you, one that will work far better than any attempt to regulate gun owners in the US to solve a Mexican problem. End the War on Drugs (other than anti-drug education efforts), both here and in Mexico! Prohibition doesn't work (we already tried that here once, remember?), and it brings an attendant host of violence as the criminals fight each other over the vast profits obtained by supplying the demand. Problem solved, and no illegal long gun registry needed!

  36. How? "without manual reloading".

    It's called being accurate and correct. I'm sorry if you have an issue w/ that instead of us just accepting claims like 'grenades and RPG's are sold at gun shows' w/o comment.

    This law is what prevents semi-auto handguns from being registered in DC to those who jump through all the other useless hoops the council has set up.

    Come up w/ some better solutions. I still haven't heard them. Something other than you just want people to have as few guns as possible w/ as many impediments as possible and never mind the victims.

  37. Joan,

    Did the D.C. law work to prevent senseless shooting?

    Nope, not a bit. For a while it was the murder capital of the country.

    So if something doesn't work, does keep trying to do that thing over and over again qualify as common sense?

  38. We need a national law for requiring background checks on all sales of guns at gun shows for one thing. We haven't tried that yet so we don't know if it will work. Trafficking of illegal guns comes from sales that start out as legal sales. Stolen guns account for many of the crime guns used. They are stolen from homes and gun dealers. Some gun dealers fail to report stolen guns to the ATF. Why? I don't know the answer. Perhaps a mandatory lost and stolen guns bill that will require people to report stolen or lost guns within a period of time.( http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_601116.html) Safe storage helps so guns cannot be so easily stolen. Not allowing guns to be carried in so many public places would help cut down on accidental or intentional shootings in public places. More work in the area of domestic abuse. More talk about our culture of violence in this country that makes guns the answer to too many problems. More work to reduce drug addiction would be good. The U.S. has a unique problem with guns and gun violence. Perhaps we should be all thinking that because of our unique problem, we should work together towards some solutions. Why so angry with every suggestion I make? I'm weary of your anger and "shooting down" everything I say. Happy New Year though.

  39. Just a quick comment here, since you've been nice enough to post mine that disagreed with you ...

    Although I think the ATF should have to follow the law whether they like it or not ... on a principle/moral standpoint I also don't have a problem with the proposed rule on FFL's reporting multiple long gun sales of specific types of long guns in the region identified. It's not really adding anything new, as all those sales are recorded and records kept anyway, and it does seem like a legitimate response to a perceived problem. I don't believe it will affect overall violence in Mexico or anything, but if it reduces by some amount whatever percentage of US guns are included in that violence ... it's good for all of us. And the fact that it undoubtedly won't affect violence levels in Mexico (they'll just get those guns elsewhere) will ultimately be good for my side.

    You know I'm against gun registration, and while this is a step in that direction ... we already have registration of this type, so it adds nothing more.

    There are many gun owners who are either apathetic or inclined to believe in gun control. That's a fact as well.

    And there are many NRA members who are involved in gun sports (which sometimes requires a membership) but don't care about the political issues (as we all know, the NRA nearly got out of the politics of guns back in the 1970's).

    But whatever percentage of us believe in what the NRA is doing (and I don't own any camoflage pants and haven't worn a bandana since my motorcycle riding days) and actively support the NRA and the cause ... we pretty clearly outnumber those who actively work against us. Thus our current influence in politics and elections.

  40. Just a bit of a background on the DC definition of Machine Gun. That actually goes back quite a ways, to the proposed model legislation called the Uniform Firearms Act in the 1930s. The original bill that eventually became the NFA was based on this, and adopted their definition of machine gun, meaning any firearms that could hold more than 12 rounds of ammunition.

    A lot of people who accuse NRA of being involved with the NFA get that idea because NRA helped rewrite the definition of machine guns to include only actual machine guns, rather than any firearm that could hold more than 12 rounds.

    Washington DC adopted the same UFA model language in their gun control ordinances, which is how it ended up in DC code. It's a legal definition. It doesn't necessary comport with the common definition of machine gun, nor is it meant to.

  41. Happy New Year, Chris. I am not in the mood for your treatise. But thanks anyway. Nothing satisfies you guys. Go enjoy yourself on New Year's Eve as I intend to do and stop thinking about guns as I intend to do.

  42. P.S. Chris- are you overthinking everything? For goodness sake. This can be simple. You just seem to have to write volumes about everything and you are one upping me for every word I say. That does not bode well for future "discussions" No one wants a smart ^%$$ outdoing them whenever they open their mouth or write what they are thinking. I am a pretty sincere person and I'm here to write for more people than just you. Your tendency is to dominate the conversation and kill the topic with way too much information. Keep it simple.

  43. Again, Chris, to your suggestion ( since I am not publishing your treatise here) "
    I think that education is the best approach to prevent accidents. Why don't we talk about basic firearms safety in public schools, just like the DARE program or driver's ed? I know that you hate Eddie Eagle because the NRA runs it. Fine. Don't use Eddie Eagle. Use another program run by a less divisive organization that has a similar message. How can you go wrong with telling young children:" We've done that and we do that. What do you guys think we are doing out there? We often work with other organizations on the issues you suggest. I remind you again, however, that I am blogging about and putting my focus on gun injuries and deaths. There are all kinds or other areas to address. Many groups are out there working on them and we work with many of them. Just because you don't see it happening doesn't mean it isn't.

  44. Japete, I'm very interested in hearing how and what the Brady Campaign is teaching young children--this is the first I have heard of any such training by any gun control (or whatever you want to be called) group.

  45. Would one of you guys be able to provide a link to something which says that semi-auto handguns are legally considered machine guns.

    I find it hard to believe, and let's be honest, it wouldn't be the first time you guys made stuff up and then repeated it over and over again.

    No offense.

  46. MikeB--30 seconds on Google found this from the ATF:


    (10) "Machine gun" means any firearm which
    shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily
    converted or restored to shoot:
    (A) Automatically, more than 1 shot by a single function of the trigger;
    (B) Semiautomatically, more than 12 shots
    without manual reloading.

    ...and although I'm too lazy to find a reference, it has been interpreted to mean any gun that can accept a magazine of over 12 rounds, effectively virtually every semiautomatic handgun in existence.

  47. And so, Sevesteen- what does this mean according to you and the gun rights folks? I take it that you don't believe in the ATF definition and find them to be wrong. I would assume there is a good reason for the ATF to have this definition. Or do you think it was totally arbitrary on their part? When did this definition come into existence?

  48. This isn't the ATF definition, it is an ATF listing of DC gun rules. I used the ATF only because it was the first source I found not related to a gun rights group.

    I'm not all that familiar with the history of this particular definition--Sebastian is likely correct, and DC used the language of an earlier version of the NFA, in the same way that some states retain language from the 94 AWB. (Why else would a state be concerned with bayonet lugs?)

    Do you really think that semiautomatic guns should be treated just like fully automatic guns?

  49. DC combines A & B. Like I;ve shown in the cite from the DC law but MikeB refuses to believe.

  50. Here's the code number and the link to DC:

    DC ST § 7-2501.01

    District of Columbia Official Code 2001 Edition Currentness
    Division I. Government of District.
    Title 7. Human Health Care and Safety. (Refs & Annos)
    Subtitle J. Public Safety.
    Chapter 25. Firearms Control.
    Unit A. Firearms Control Regulations.
    Subchapter I. Definitions. (Refs & Annos)
    Current Section§ 7-2501.01. Definitions.


  51. Not being familiar with this specific example and not knowing why it is there in the first place, I can't answer that question. I just don't know. Obviously you do not agree with it.

  52. Third- I couldn't click on the subtitles. If you can get at this information, can you provide it? I know you referenced it before.

  53. I did find this article, though. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/0326/Federal-judge-OKs-D.C.-s-latest-set-of-gun-control-laws

    from the article: the judge in the case is Urbina: " Urbina was not convinced. “This argument borders on the absurd,” he said in his opinion. Banning large capacity ammunition feeding devices does not render a firearm inoperable “any more than the burden of having to pull the trigger repeatedly to discharge each successive round of ammunition renders a semiautomatic firearm ‘inoperable’ in comparison to a fully automatic machine gun.”"

  54. Again, here it is from the westlaw site:

    (10) "Machine gun" means any firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term "machine gun" shall also include the frame or receiver of any such firearm, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a firearm into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

    So again, both versions define semi-auto firearms as 'machineguns' which is just ridiculous. This is why specific definitions are important and not us just 'splitting hairs' about loaded language and terminology.

  55. Not being familiar with this specific example and not knowing why it is there in the first place, I can't answer that question. I just don't know.

    The most charitable interpretation of this statement is that you support a ban on virtually all current semiautomatic handguns, even if they are only supplied with 10 round magazines.

    The only other options I can think of is that the Brady Campaign doesn't want you opposing any sort of gun control, or that you are not able to understand the difference between semiautomatic and fully automatic.

    Is there a possibility that I am missing?

  56. It's exactly as I said it. Why can't you take that as it is and move on? I just hate having you guys question and parse every single word I write. Chill out and have a good evening.

  57. Joan,
    That is exactly what it is to have a blog. You post something publically and you allow comments. That means that people ARE going to question what you wrote. When you started this, did you think you were going to have a bunch of people clapping you on the back or actually questioning the things you bring up for discussion?

    I have never seen someone talk so much about wanting a discussion but being afraid to actually "discuss" something. You will not commit to anything for fear of it being a trap or a post being made out of it. Well, personally, I'm not afraid of that because I actually believe in what I post about and I'm willing to back up my words.

    If you hate us questioning you, why do you post? Yes, I know it is for a larger audience, but we are the audience that come to the comments. We have too. We can't leave something unchallenged or that would be the same as saying "she's right". We don't believe you are right, so we correct.. we prod.. we flesh out what you believe in the off chance that we can say something that makes you think more about what you say. That's all I'm personally in it for. I can't speak for the rest of the pro-gun people.

  58. Anon,

    Don't be so harsh! I'm impressed that Joan even allows comments at all. How any other prominent pro-gun control people allow comments at all?

    I think its impressive that she allows as much as she does past the moderation filter. Sure, reasoned discourse occurs here but it isn't anywhere near as bad as some other websites. Give Joan some credit at least!

    Crhis from AK