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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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gun worlds collide

A few days ago, I blogged about the new normal. What should we be doing about guns and gun violence so we can reduce the carnage? As a disclaimer, in my world view doing nothing is not an option. Let's get started with this one- Mayor Bloomberg, once again, has spoken out properly on the Lawrence O'Donnell show and said this: " “The truth of the matter is they don't pay any attention,” said Bloomberg. “The Constitution says you have a right to bear arms, the Constitution talks about a well-regulated militia. A well-regulated militia isn't a bunch of people that have clips that hold 38 bullets for their Glock handgun in their home.”" Now that is the real world. That is the world view that I share. If you watch this entire video, linked above, you will hear Mayor Bloomberg reasonably state the current culture and speak for the future. 


(For my readers, I am going to refer to the world of the gun lobby as the "other world" in the rest of the post.)

This article that ran on National Public Radio a few days ago, points to how the current NRA arguments have evolved. In this interview with political scientist and author, Robert Spitzer, Terry Gross of NPR asks him how we got to the point of such controversy over guns. Here is part of his answer: "The escalation of Second Amendment rhetoric also coincided with the increased power of the NRA, Spitzer says. The NRA, which started as a group to help people improve their marksmanship in 1871, became more heavily politicized in the late 1970s, when newer NRA members decided to focus more on halting gun control legislation instead of recreational hunting and safety training."

Recently at a local public event called "Citizens in Action" sponsored by the League of Women Voters, I met a man in his 70s who is a Viet Nam war veteran, member of Veterans for Peace, and long time gun owner and hunter. In all of the small group discussions at this event, the topic of guns and large capacity magazines came up. This man said that he has seen a change in the "gun talk" since he first started hunting. Now, there is much more talk about assault rifles in gun magazines and T.V. shooting sports shows. He said those things didn't come up when he was younger. He is frustrated and angered by it and feels as strongly as I do that reasonable gun laws are a good thing. He spoke strongly about this, unsolicited by me. That is my world view- a place where hunters can hunt, gun owners can have their guns for self defense or recreational purposes but they will be reasonable citizens in the name of public safety and be willing to speak out about it. I believe that a lot of gun owners share that world view.


My world, post Tucson shootings, does not include the citizens who make open threats to anyone who disagrees with them, including politicians. This article highlights the threats not only to politicians, most especially, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, but to a professor who wrote an article that Glenn Beck didn't like. The result? Threats to use arms to take out a woman who is in her 70s. "But there is one thing you can accomplish with guns and coarse threats about using them: You can make people think twice before disagreeing with you. When a congresswoman can be shot in a parking lot and a professor who falls short of Glenn Beck's standards of political correctness can be, however anonymously, targeted for execution, we have moved well beyond democracy -- to a tyranny of the heavily armed." For some, this sort of stuff is O.K. In fact, many have armed themselves for a possible violent overthrow of their own government. They are stock piling their weapons, just in case. It is a scary world view that should be challenged. For over 200 years now, we have had a peaceful transition of power in our government. This article by Cliff Schecter writing for Aljazeera is an expose about how the extreme positions of the NRA have led to a country where the daily carnage has become acceptable and continues unabated. We are watching as political unrest has destabilized Tunisia and Egypt. That is not who we are but with a gun culture that has attracted world-wide attention after the Tucson shooting, other countries are looking to see if our world view about guns will change.

In the other world, large capacity ammunition magazines are seen as absolutely necessary for survival. My world view knows being able to purchase and own this kind of ammunition cannot be defended. These magazines were once banned from 1994-2004 during the Assault Weapons BanIn the real world, the Assault Weapons Ban actually worked to prevent some of these type of weapons from being used in crimes, according to these findings. " Last year in Virginia, guns with high-capacity magazines amounted to 22 percent of the weapons recovered and reported by police. In 2005, when the ban expired, the rate had reached a low of 10 percent. In each year since then, the rate has gone up." In the other world, that means the law didn't work so why bother reinstating it?

But we are living in a time when violent talk leads to violent threats and sometimes to violent action. This is mainly possible because of the fact that those making the threats are armed to the teeth with military style weapons that could accomplish the very threats they make. In my world view, this is not only unacceptable, it is deplorable and dangerous and, as the writer of the linked article says, "As Joan Burbick, author of the 2006 book, "Gun Show Nation: Gun Culture and American Democracy," has observed, "The act of buying a gun can mimic political action. It makes people feel as if they are engaging in politics of political protest." She quotes one gun enthusiast: "Whenever I get mad at the government, I go out and buy a gun." Jobless and overwhelmed by bills? Hunker down in the basement and polish your Glock."


In the other world, guns are objects, or tools, that need to be protected above lives. The argument is that guns are not the culprit- it's the people. We can't punish guns. We should punish people. Of course we need to prosecute people who shoot other people to the fullest extent of the law. Without the gun, that person who shot it might not have so easily become an immediate criminal. Yes, of course, a knife or a lamp or some other object could have been used. But really, how often do those items get used? Not as often as guns. Statistics bear that out. I have provided them before. My world view is one where we don't even have the silly argument about this one. In the other world, gun violence victims are seen as collateral damage. As long as rights are preserved, never mind a few people getting shot on our streets. Some people who read my blog have admitted to this. What kind of a world is that? Is that the kind of world in which we want to live?

In my world, guns would be stored safely so children, teens and burglars couldn't get their hands on them. In the real world, this happens too frequently: " A female pre-kindergarten teacher at Moseley Elementary School in Palatka was giving a music lesson Tuesday morning when she noticed the small, .22-caliber handgun fall out of the boy's pocket, Assistant Police Chief James Griffith said. The firearm did not go off, and no one was hurt." In the real world, this little boy and his family are lucky that no one was shot. In the real world, some don't use common sense and leave their loaded guns sitting around where little kids can find them. When there are guns everywhere, inevitably a child will emulate the adults in their lives and think it's O.K. to put a gun in their pocket. 8 children a day die from gunshot injuries, either to suicide, accidental discharges or homicide.

In my world, Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers would do their job properly to make sure guns don't "go missing" from their inventories without reporting lost or stolen guns. In the real world, this doesn't always happen as this Washington Post article reveals. How can it be that 62,000 guns went missing in 3 years from licensed dealers? That's a lot of guns. In the other world, this is not their favorite subject of conversation. " Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, did not return calls seeking comment." But in my world, ""The Brady Center thinks the actual number of unaccounted-for guns is far higher because ATF inspects less than 20 percent of the nation's dealers annually."" To make matters worse, " In 2001, ATF officials proposed that dealers be required to take inventory at least once a year to ensure that every weapon was accounted for, Helmke said. But after Congress approved the so-called Tiahrt Amendment in 2003, named for then-Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), the ATF was barred from requiring gun dealers to take inventories."

What kind of world is it where the ATF can't even do the job they think is necessary to monitor gun dealers? Guns are deadly weapons and should not be allowed to "disappear" from their inventories. According to the article, these guns are the guns of choice for criminals because they cannot be traced in crimes. If we, in the real world and the world of the future, want to prevent criminals and others who can't use guns responsibly, from getting them, we need to let the ATF do its' job and actually prevent this.

In my world politicians would not be afraid to admit that passing some reasonable gun laws won't mean taking away Second Amendment rights and it won't mean they won't be re-elected next time around. In the real world, some politicians are so afraid or so beholden to the NRA that even when they do say something sensible, they have to back off and change the words around so as not to anger the gun guys. This article about Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is an example of what I am talking about. Coburn mentioned the idea that we should do a better job of keeping guns away from those who are mentally ill but then couldn't admit that that could lead to a new law. "Reached Friday by The Oklahoman, Coburn said anyone who thought he was suggesting the country needs new gun laws is mistaken. “The topic isn't gun control,” Coburn said. “The topic is how do you intercede with the mentally ill.”" In the other world, the word "gun control" cannot be mentioned.

In my world, there would not be stories in the news about school shootings or mass shootings in public places. In the other world, everyone should have their gun anywhere to save themselves and others from such shootings. In the real world, it doesn't work that way. I provide many examples on my blog about such. In the real world common sense would prevail and we would work together to prevent and reduce the carnage. In the name of the thousands and thousands of victims, that is the least we can do. I end this piece by linking to today's Nicholas Kristof piece in the New York Times. His thoughts are similar to mine but he uses parody to make his point. "Particularly after a tragedy like Tucson, why can’t we show the same maturity toward firearms that we show toward vehicles — and save some of the 80 lives a day that we lose to guns?" Well? What's the answer everyone?

38 comments:

  1. In the real world, we wouldn't continuously hear the same, tired old story of the anti gun extremists continuously inferring that the 80 million law abiding gun owners are responsible for the all the carnage in the world.

    So again, when are you going to address those responsible for over 95% of the deaths caused by the use of an inanimate object, those wonderful mentally deranged and the career criminals/gang members eh? USDOJ National Gang THreat Assessment 2009 = 80% of career criminals/gang members commit 80% of all violent crimes in the US, CDC suicides using a firearm accounted for over 16,000 suicides in 2006.

    Still waiting on the ground breaking medical evidence that an inanimate object can emit brain waves, esp or speak and automatically force anyone near them to commit a violent act.

    By the way, we see where such a thing has happened as it appears more than a few times these inanimate objects used their supernatural powers to force several police officers every week to commit murders, rapes, drug dealing, assaults etc, etc, we will expect you to begin disarming all police as surely they are simply not to be trusted.

    When are you going to prosecute the govt, BATF, police, doctors, judges, prosecuting attorneys who do not enforce the background check more than 1% of the time? USDOJ National Background Check & Firearm Transfer Report 2009 It is readily apparent that these govt employees ensured that of the 1.67 million people rejected since 1994 by the background check, 1.66 million were not prosecuted, but hey, the government report states just that!

    You do realize that in todays numbers, 95.52% of felons don't even bother to attempt to buy from a licensed source? DOJ Felons Firearms Use survey 1997, published Nov 2001 (see 68% reduction in felons attempting to buy from a licensed source (see USDOJ Background Check report mentioned earlier)

    You do realize that about 1/2 of that on average 100,000 people rejected a year, fall in categories, other than felon? You know, those "crazies" you are oh so worried about? I would really, really, really be mad at my govt. for allowing oh what 10,000, 20,000 crazies a year go free to commit more crimes and violence right?

    If the MayorsAgainst Illegal Guns had such a stellar moral character and motivation other than what they do, then more than 550 would be members, but when compared to the 19,355 incorporated cities = mayors = .028 or 2.8% of all mayors belong to MAIG, surely all those mayors would be involved in such a supposedly worthy activity. Sigh, must not be that worthy or maybe all those other mayor see MAIG for what it is, a front for George Soros/Mayor Blooming Idiot anti gun agenda!

    When are you going to recognize the facts, oh wait, there I go asking the impossible from the by all evidence if I were an untrained in mental health but superbly trained in socialistic activism government official, I would have the leftist media call them insane!

    Thats the best way to prove the opponent doesn't have a leg to stand on as facts don't matter right?

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  2. Just one point about your clash of worlds.

    This man said that he has seen a change in the "gun talk" since he first started hunting. Now, there is much more talk about assault rifles in gun magazines and T.V. shooting sports shows. He said those things didn't come up when he was younger.

    He's right. I'm a little younger than he is, but his assessment, to this point, agrees with my experiences.

    In the 1990's, when the AWB was passed, the "high capacity" 9mm's were just gaining popularity, and before that 8 rounds was the norm with the 1911 style .45s widely popular. And though I wasn't a big gun guy at the time, I do know that semi-auto rifles like the AR-15 were very rare -- I knew a lot of people that owned guns, I didn't know ANYONE who owned an AR-15 or other military type rifle (your fearful "assault rifle.") And no one I knew would even think about hunting with one. And of course with CCW illegal in most states a lot less gun owning people even owned handguns.

    So as much as the NRA fought it, the AWB didn't really affect a lot of shooters out there. But would it now?

    Your friend is right, and most magazines and gun shows revolve around semi-automatic military style rifles, which reflects the state of the gun culture overall. And I now know a lot of people who own one (me included). And all of them came with at least 1 30 round magazine. And most of us buy more, as 30 round mags can be had for as little as $10. And yes ... hunting with AR style weapons is becoming more common, as is pistol ownership with the explosion of CCW legal states.

    And now most pistols, owned by the majority of gun owners, have greater than 10 rounds as well. So between all the semi-auto rifles sold and the "high-capacity" pistols, there are literally 10's of millions of > 10 round magazines available (I wouldn't be surprised better than 100 million).

    Make no mistake, a large percentage of modern day gun owners would be affected by this proposed law to ban magazines/clips with more than 10 rounds. Millions.

    Yes, there is a new norm ... and it includes magazines with greater than 10 rounds.

    So while in your world "doing nothing is not an option" ... in the real world it is. I see a drumbeat of "we've got to get this AWB lite done" by the liberal media and people such as yourself, but listening to that drumbeat is a President who has to run for reelection nationwide in less than 2 years, a massively pro-liberty house and a senate which is also pro-liberty and still has a 60 vote filibuster rule in place.

    And the bottom line those politicians know, at least the ones NOT from NY/NJ/CA ... whatever the polls say now, people aren't going to be happy when suddenly they can't get full sized magazines for the guns they already own, or the ones they want to buy. It will be like a world where fine Sports cars are widely available and inexpensive, but if you buy a new one they all have a governor on them to keep them below 55mph.

    And do people like buying cars with governors on them, whatever speed they prefer to drive at?

    And the politicians also know that the people affected by any law they pass will have a constant reminder of what was done, unlike the anti-gun people who will have a moment in the sun, but then the population overall will see that once again an anti-gun law has been passed with no effect; no murders stopped, no mass murders diminished -- nothing but another limitation and potential law violation for gun owners.

    Make no mistake ... "nothing" is an option.

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  3. I want to live in your world, japete. I can't believe so many pro-gun folks resist what you have to say.

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  4. Anon- thanks for sharing your world view. I rest my case.

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  5. "I want to live in your world, japete. I can't believe so many pro-gun folks resist what you have to say."

    That it is possible to create her world is a fantasy, and every failed attempt to create it has resulted in far more carnage than we're seeing now.

    "The other day I was talking with a Democrat friend about the election. She'd remarked, with equal amounts of sarcasm and good-natured ribbing, that the GOP had two years to build utopia. I thought about that later
    while walking Jasper around the block, and thought, no; they're not about building utopia. Personally, I'm interested in keeping other people from building Utopia, because the more you believe you can create heaven on earth the more likely you are to set up guillotines in the public square to hasten the process."
    - James Lileks

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  6. Mike, a totally serious question... If you want to live in a world/place that has virtually no private gun ownership and that seems to be such an overriding concern for you, why don't you move to one of those virtual paradises? I don't mean to sound flippant or anything. Just pointing out that there are already places that would seem to fit your ideal, so why not move?

    And speaking of those "ideal" places where private ownership is severely limited, I bet there are a lot of Egyptians who would give nearly anything for something to protect their homes right now... just saying...

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  7. I just want to know why you're so scared of me and people like me. All these laws you want would have tangible negative effects on me, and many of the ones that already affect me negatively have your blessing. But am I really so scary? I have no criminal record. I am a software engineer making a good salary. I support my wife. I donate to charity. I pay to make my electricity carbon-neutral. I save for my retirement. I volunteer at Habitat For Humanity. I vote. Am I really that frightening to you that you feel the need to diminish my ability to own weaponry?

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  8. Welcome to federalism--vote with your feet! If certain issues are that important to you, then move somewhere which has laws of your liking. Even in the post-McDonald world, there are plenty of places with high Brady Campaign scores.

    Freedom to move to a community that shares our values is one of the greatest things about America. Even today in the EU -- a fairly highly integrated area -- it is harder for citizens to move around from place to place than it is in the United States. Freedom of movement is a safety valve that lets people live where they like; from the days of Mormons moving west to avoid persecution, to modern day Californians heading up our way to flee oppressive taxation, or people from the northern tier headed to Florida for sunshine, people have moved from state to state for many reasons.

    Federalism also lets the states act as laboratories of democracy. They can try out different and varied policies and we can see what works.

    Even in the post-McDonald world, places like Chicago and NYC and DC have strict gun control laws. NC still has its "pistol permit" system so that you can rest easily knowing that the "wrong people" don't get guns. Whole states -- like California -- impose arbitrary bans on cosmetic features that appear menacing.

    If the issue is that important to you, and you are concerned about your personal safety, then you should take action. Given that political change in MN seems uncertain (to this distant observer) and federal action seems very unlikely, why not move somewhere with a better gun control climate?

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  9. But we are living in a time when violent talk leads to violent threats and sometimes to violent action.

    Have you ever considered the source of the violence? We had major riots in 1967 and 1992. Why couldn't it happen again? I see a simmering nation and that high temperature is arming America. A few ignite violently. Some broadcast their message over conventional media. Some create podcasts, and many others form a new political party that has already helped take control of Congress.

    "The act of buying a gun can mimic political action. It makes people feel as if they are engaging in politics of political protest..."

    I know people who bought guns just for that reason alone. In 2006, 3,282,803 firearms were sold in the US. In 2007 and 2008, the numbers were 3,717,831 and 4,048,405, an increase partially due to Obama winning the presidential election. In 2009, the number of firearms climbed to 5,361,074. That's a 63% increase over 2006 with an astounding 6947% increase in custom firearms for the discriminating gun owner. Pistols increased by 107% since 2006.

    Here's an interesting thought, I wonder how many firearms and firearm components have been sold because of Carolyn McCarthy's legislation and other anti-gun efforts?

    Well? What's the answer everyone?

    Reduce the temperature of the nation and keep dangerous people away from guns. Every hot issue I know about falls under economic or the nanny government interfering with people's lives. The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act is an example of a nanny act.

    People will continue to arm themselves, as the numbers clearly prove, if they feel the apocalypse is coming. Realistically, that means they don't want to be the next Reginald Denney who was nearly killed by four men in the 1992 riot a few hundred feet away from several police officers who were ordered to abandon him. If you can't count on the police to help you, then who will?

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  10. " This man said that he has seen a change in the "gun talk" since he first started hunting. Now, there is much more talk about assault rifles in gun magazines and T.V. shooting sports shows. He said those things didn't come up when he was younger."

    That's the key phrase right there. Gun talk is like car talk or electronics talk. Things that are new and modern replace things that are old and obsolete. Hunting is an old and obsolete sport. Therefore it's only natural that gun talk will revolve around new and modern sports and the guns associated with them.

    "We are watching as political unrest has destabilized Tunisia and Egypt."

    Two countries that have never had a constitutional right to bear arms. Imagine that. For all the guns we have, we sure are a peaceful country.

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  11. atrius, I honestly don't know what you're talking about. I really get tired of you guys exaggerating things and pretending to not notice that you're doing it. You even said "totally serious."

    "Mike, a totally serious question... If you want to live in a world/place that has virtually no private gun ownership and that seems to be such an overriding concern for you,..."

    I'll give you a totally serious response. I don't want a world which has "virtually no private gun ownership."

    I want background checks and licensing and registration. I'd remove gun rights for every accident and infraction, but that would still leave all the responsible and careful gun owners to own and enjoy their guns. If you're one of them you would have nothing to worry about. What's your problem?

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  12. Helpful suggestion, that. Just move to a place where gun laws suit you if you don't like the ones where you live. That's the first time I've heard that one. So if I don't like the laws where I live, just pick up, get a new job ( pretty easy in this climate) leave my family and friends and move. That's certainly one way to do it.

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  13. Yes, for sure. The apocalypse is coming!!! Just like in Egypt. Get on the streets with your guns and demand that our tyrannical duly elected government should step down.

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  14. Many more people have died due to bullets in our country than any country not at war, Aztec Red. Yes, we do have a "peaceful" country if you don't count the mass shootings and daily shootings.

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  15. @MikeB:

    While I can appreciate your sentiment and passion for what you believe, how you view the world, and how you feel that laws / punishments should be applied, you must realize the slippery slope argument you are making will come back to bite your own butt?

    Allow me to quote you here...
    [quote]I want background checks and licensing and registration. I'd remove gun rights for every accident and infraction, but that would still leave all the responsible and careful gun owners to own and enjoy their guns. If you're one of them you would have nothing to worry about. What's your problem?[/quote]

    I just want to ask you to clarify, because you just stated tat you want o remove a right form someone when there is an accident.

    That sets some VERY serious precedent, and one that would cause other rights to be stripped from you by a good argument in a courtroom by a good lawyer.

    Our judicial system is based on looking at how laws are applied, then using the same methodologies to new questions of law that come before the Courts. If your punishments were to be readily accepted AND withstood Supreme Court scrutiny and found to be Constitutional, that VERY SAME logic that made this acceptable to you will be applied to OTHER things that would be very UN-acceptable to you...

    Like if you *accidentally* ran a stop sign because it was real foggy out and you didn't think there was a stop sign at that particular corner, and someone is injured by your recklessness? Well then, your license to drive gets taken away because you obviously cannot *properly* handle a vehicle, and after a few years we will have weeded out everyone who really *can't* be trusted driving a car, leaving only those who have shown that they are responsible drivers.

    The above example satisfies both your stated criteria of being an *accident* (there's a resulting injury) and even if no-one was hurt, there was an *infraction* (running a stop sign) that is clearly against the law.

    Sorry mikeB...we are a nation of *laws*....not a nation of the whims of men in power.

    I prefer being a Free Man, and living with the dangers of life instead of being given an illusion of *safety* and having everything taken care of for me.

    Lastly, the concept of *if you don't like it here, move to another state* is NOT odd or foreign. The original concept of the States were that each state was sovereign, and in the drafting of our Constitution (as evidenced in the Federalist Papers, which explained in detail to the General Public what the Constitution was intended to do) left that Sovereignty intact, and even went further to guarantee the right of a person to move between States as he saw fit, without penalty of any sort, so as to better suit what his expectations were of Life, Liberty, and his pursuit of Happiness.

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  16. Japete;
    Everything I have seen indicates that per capita we have a high gun crime rate. However other 1st world nations, like the UK, have higher per capita rates of violent crime.

    Our murder rate and rape rate is higher. This should say something since over 75 percent of rapes are committed without a weapon and the majority of the armed rapes are committed with knives. So there may be something about it that is American.

    As to gun crime, the statistics say that in the last 15 years murder rates, including those with guns are going down despite the rapid proliferation of handguns and CCW permits. Meanwhile the UK is seeing an increase in gun crime despite their outright ban on handguns and frankly their criminalization of armed self-defense in general.

    I am not willing to do significant disruption to the habits of millions of Americans who are exercising an enumerated constitutional right without some better indication that it will DO something positive.

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  17. Yes, for sure. The apocalypse is coming!!! Just like in Egypt. Get on the streets with your guns and demand that our tyrannical duly elected government should step down.

    Joan, where are you getting this from? I hope this isn't keeping you awake at night. Those fringe lunacy plans are rare and are handled legally. Remember the Hutaree? The majority of stockpiles that I'm aware of are for defense, not offense, after society breaks down like in Katrina or the riots I mentioned earlier. Finally, the majority of disgruntled citizens in our country take control of the situation legally. For example, Carolyn McCarthy's bill isn't going anywhere. Texas Rep. Lamar Smith might own a gun, but he didn't need it as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

    I want background checks and licensing and registration. I'd remove gun rights for every accident and infraction...

    Wow. That sounds kind of extreme. The "I want" and "I would" with no judge involved reminds me of Fidel Castro. Is there any chance we could compromise with enhanced background checks?

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  18. Mike, if I misunderstood your position I apologize. Various things you've said gave me the impression that you would be in favor of that. However, it is still a matter of degree. I have no idea where you live and maybe you already live in such a place. But if not, why not live somewhere the political climate is more to your liking. I won't live in California, New York or Illinois because I find them to be politically incompatible in many areas, guns just being an easy example.

    I don't think I could ever, under any circumstances, support licensing and registration. The power to license is by definition the power to deny. It's been abused in the past and there is no reason at all to believe it wouldn't be abused in the future and I am unwilling to risk that again for what is at best only a claimed and unproven benefit.

    As to removing gun rights, never mind how you remove a "right", for every accident and infraction. How minor are we talking? If I have a negligent discharge with no injuries would you want the cops to come around and round up all the guns I own? Accidents happen and I don't see why an accident with a gun should be punished more harshly than with anything else.

    Joan, moving may or may not be ideal but it is a valid suggestion. As I said, I would avoid living in certain states like the plague because of their politics. Oh, and did I miss the apocalypse alert? Damn, I was sure I was paid up on my monitoring fees. :)

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  19. Joan, in general we do have a peaceful country. It may not seem it at times but we do. The violence you refer to is tragic, yet it is also limited for the most part to certain geographic areas and dare I say socioeconomic groups. Hell, look at what the BBC had to say on the subject a few years ago:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7359513.stm

    Have a good day.

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  20. GMC70 says:

    Um, japete, while Beck indeed is a nut, I'd point out that he made no threats at all. The good professor you refer to, however, did. She called for riots in the streets, citing the Greek example, and was understandably critized for doing so.

    I know facts are not a gunbanner's strong suit, but, well, they are there.

    Wanna tell me again who exhibits "common sense?"

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  21. Anon- your argument about sovereinty of states is ridiculous. That is not at all what I was talking about. Of course people can move if they want to. That was certainly not the point. To say just move if you don't like the laws in one state is begging the point that people don't do that generally. They move for all kinds of reasons, but I can't say I know one person who moved because they don't like the laws. But here's a deal- you can move to Texas and I'll take Hawaii. That way we can both live in states where we like the gun laws.

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  22. Show me your stats, anon. I don't think the UK has seen an increase in gun crime. They have a decrease in gun crime but an increase in overall crime. That is true in some of our own states. Gun deaths have not gone down in this country for a few years now. I am concerned about gun deaths and injuries. As I have said ad nauseum- I care about crime but I am blogging about and spending my time trying to reduce the number of people whose lives are taken or totally turned upside down by bullets.

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  23. Migo- I got it from you- " People will continue to arm themselves, as the numbers clearly prove, if they feel the apocalypse is coming. Realistically, that means they don't want to be the next Reginald Denney who was nearly killed by four men in the 1992 riot a few hundred feet away from several police officers who were ordered to abandon him. If you can't count on the police to help you, then who will?"

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  24. O.K. readers. I did not make the apocalypse comment. Migo made it. I was referring to him. Also the business about moving- done!!! It is a totally ridiculous comment to have made so forget about it. I'm done taking more comments about something that ridiculous.,

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  25. Nonsense-GMC70- the professor in question made no such suggestion. She was writing about the times in our history when people used to peacefully demonstrate for things they wanted. she did not at all call for riots. Have you never participated in a peaceful march? Beck was wrong and is doing harm to those who have done nothing to incur the kinds of comments he is making. There is no excuse, period.

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  26. States rights are important. If the majority of the electorate in places like CA and NJ are happy with their gun laws, I suppose I'm happy for them. I disagree almost entirely, but that's their agenda. Given there are different states, each with their own respective regulations and laws, at least I have the theoretical option to consider relocating. This goes for taxes and other laws even more so than gun regulations.

    Of course the states may not violate the constitution and that's obviously an issue for the courts.

    Our diversity gives us strength as a nation and I'm glad that Idaho is different from Hawaii is different from Illinois.

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  27. Japete

    I left a very well paying job in the Chicago area precisely over the gun laws. I inherited a house in Massachusetts on Cape Cod that was my childhood summer home and I refuse to return until Massachusetts gets sensible gun laws. Like honoring carry permits from other states and their ridiculous idea of a 5 year prison turn for simply possessing a firearm from out of State.

    I can send you a long list of people who have moved over Gun Rights

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  28. Really. You guys are more extreme than I thought. Whatever!

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  29. GMC70 says:

    I knew facts were not your strong suit, japete.

    Look again. Piven specifically called for riots, saying in The Nation:

    “So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs? After all, the injustice is apparent.

    “Local protests have to accumulate and spread - and become more disruptive - to create serious pressures on national politicians. An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees.”


    And just as a reminder, this is the Greek experience that she's calling for:

    Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner's office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.

    If you're gonna talk about "common sense," lets get our facts straight, huh?

    Yeesh.

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  30. Yeesh-and this a calling for something violent to be done to a 70 year old college professor? You guys are scary.

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  31. Is it really that extreme to move somewhere that has laws that you find to be better suited to your morals and beliefs? When Bush was the president, I sure heard a lot of people saying they were going to flee to Canada…

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  32. Helpful suggestion, that. Just move to a place where gun laws suit you if you don't like the ones where you live. That's the first time I've heard that one. So if I don't like the laws where I live, just pick up, get a new job ( pretty easy in this climate) leave my family and friends and move. That's certainly one way to do it.

    Really? Justice Breyer suggested that gun owners do it. He said: "Are you a sportsman? Do you like to shoot pistols at targets? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland. There is no problem, I don't think, for anyone who really wants to have a gun."

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/12/breyer-founding-fathers-allowed-restrictions-guns/

    Of course, I don't think that position is reasonable for all things. Nobody would say, "Hey, you're a black person that wants to vote? Get on the subway and go to MD!" Or, "Hey, you hippies want to peaceably assemble? Get on the train and go somewhere else!" Or, "Hey, you don't want your property to be arbitrarily searched and seized? Get on the bus!" Because of the 14th Amendment, states can't infringe on constitutionally guaranteed rights, and they also have to do things like guarantee citizens a republican form of government.

    But for things that are in the gray area such as taxes, gun control, government provided social services, gay marriage, and so on, then moving is totally a viable option. You have the right to move and live in a community that you want to live in.

    If you don't like that idea, then maybe things where you live aren't so bad. Most people that I know would give up their jobs in a heartbeat if they thought they and their children were in mortal danger every time they left the house and they could make the situation better by moving somewhere safer.

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  33. Chris- of course, what Justice Breyer meant by that is that you can go to Maryland and get guns or use them at a target shooting range. He did not mean that you could move there although a lot of people who work in DC do actually live in either Virginia or Maryland so that is actually a possibility given mass transportation.

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  34. I admit to Atrius and the Anonymous commenter that my idea of removing rights for an accident is extreme. In fact on Robert Farago's blog, I was swayed by his suggestion that the punishment should fit the crime, so to speak, and if no one is injured, that be taken into consideration concerning the jail time and probation. But in my opinion, anyone who "forgets" there's a round in the chamber, even once, has proven to be dangerous and irresponsible and therefore should relinquish his guns and gun rights. Same with dropping a gun, no second chances.

    Please notice how you guys say there's no such thing as an "accident," but only "negligence" when it suits your argument. Now, all of a sudden we're talking about "accidents" that can happen to anybody.

    I don't buy it. "I say one strike you're out." And I say with a policy like that the world would be a much safer place.

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  35. GMC70 says:

    japete - are you really that dense?

    I'm not a Beck fan (as I said, he's a nut), but can you cite ANY instance where he's called for violence?

    I don't think so.

    Ms. Piven, however, explicitly did.

    Facts are funny things, huh?

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  36. Neck is well known for violent talk very cleverly disguised. He once said he would call on Mr Smith and mr Wesspn if the government made h do something to which he objected. Many others but I am traveling so can't access now.

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  37. I love WI and would love to move there. At the moment I refuse to move there because I find their lack of a CCW statute intollerable.

    So it is important enough for some.

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