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, January 13, 2011

Shame and punishment

Who is punished when the NRA gets it's way? Innocent children and adults on our streets. In the wake of the Tucson shootings, you would think that confirming a new ATF Director would be on the fast track. But you would be wrong. When the NRA is involved, nothing is on the fast track except their own deception and sneaking gun amendments into Credit Card bills and other unrelated bills. This article lays out the controversy over President Obama's nominee for ATF Director, Andrew Traver. Watching the video of the automatic weapons that can be legally purchased in our country and then used to kill people on our streets is sickening. " If anyone is being deceptive, it is the NRA. Contrary to the NRA’s claim that “fully automatic firearms” are not available at retail, the NBC report includes video of a man purchasing an AK-47 at an Indiana gun dealer. He then used that weapon to murder a 14 year-old girl. "A 14 year old Chicago girl shot from one block away by a stray bullet from an AK47 should be enough for most people. But when the all powerful NRA gets involved, lives don't matter. Only guns.

The true colors of the NRA are vividly showing after the Tucson shootings. They were silent about the shootings but they are noisy about blocking the nomination of someone who should be on the job to help with the investigation of the last mass shooting in our country. Is that their "aim"? I sure hope not. Are they so afraid that if Traver was on the job, he might talk about the guns and why some guns should not be available? If the NRA can justify having AK 47s and 30 round ammunition clips available to all, then shame on anyone who believes them. Shame on the NRA for protecting dangerous weapons instead of the lives of innocent people. Where is the outrage? Where is common sense?

57 comments:

  1. "Watching the video of the automatic weapons that can be legally purchased in our country and then used to kill people on our streets is sickening."

    Watching you working so hard to perpetuate the lie that Traver was pushing is what is sickening. I'm sure, by now, that you realize that these aren't automatic weapons, and that the whole "assault weapon" controversy was an carefully constructed fraud from the start.

    That you continue to try to spread the lie makes you complicit.

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  2. Interesting I would have thought he would have filled out the NFA paperwork and got his police chief to sign off payed his 200 dollars waited 3-6 months then picked up the rifle. Unless it was not a fully automatic rifle and this is a factually inaccurate article.

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  3. A fully automatic AK47 will not be available at a gun show (I thought we've been over this already). A gang-banger, with or without a false ID, will not simply be able to purchase a fully-automatic weapon over th counter as this implies.

    A semi-automatic AK47 will be available at a gun show, but NOT the select fire automatic weapon shown by Traver.

    This is a deceptive article and video.

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  4. japete --

    The "AK-47" that the individual purchased from the Indiana dealer was a civilian semi-automatic model of the rifle. It looked like the full-auto military version, but that's all.

    To the extent that NBC Chicago made it look like the individual purchased a fully-automatic military rifle at retail, they lied, and were complicit in the agenda of mendacity that Josh Sugarmann detailed in 1988.

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  5. I know you probably moderate comments, and as such this won't be posted.

    An AK-47 is not neccessarily 'fully automatic', and fully automatic weapons are not available at MOST firearm dealers. There are class 3 dealers who can sell them, but its more involved than buying a semi auto. A lot more involved.

    The NRA is a powerful organization that I am proud to support, but it is because of We The People's support that the NRA is powerful.

    As to your final plea of where common sense is. I'm not sure that common sense is the issue. Noting that anti-gun advocates have been known to stretch the truth, manipulate the data, or outright lie to get their point across. This can be said for most any group with a political stance.

    I do have to ask, and this is not a sarcastic comment.

    If guns were completely outlawed, and if some how the government could actually take EVERY gun out of the country. Would you not reasonably expect the rate of stabbings, beatings with rocks, sticks, bats, etc. to be the common weapon of violence? If no please explain why.

    If yes, then if guns were gone - would you want to outlaw knives, rocks, sticks, clubs, bats, and shoe strings?

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  6. This is not a lie. You guys are just trying to find a "gotcha' for Traver so you can oppose him. That is sick and disgusting.

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  7. The gun guys have already decided it's an inaccuracte article anon.

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  8. It said a gun dealer, actually Pat. Yes, I'm sure they made up that whole video. You are missing a point here. A little girl was shot to death from one block away. Don't you care about that?

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  9. Of course, all of us on the side of gun violence prevention are terrible liars. We never tell the truth about anything nor do we have facts. That is, of course, as opposed to you guys who are always on the side of the truth and know so much more than the rest of us!

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  10. Anthony- I know that you all object to this video because you say the guy could not have bought the gun and that it is not automatic. The more cogent point to me is that I don't care what kind of gun it was, a little girl was shot to death from one block away by the gun in question. To me, that is reason enough not to have them sold. As to your last question, if knives,sticks, clubs, etc. were capable of killing as many people as guns, then yes. But since they don't and never had, the question is just not cogent to the question; You can't avoid the discussion about guns causing way too many deaths and injuries here by distracting by talking about other things that might kill people. We've been over this before. Why keep bringing it up? It's a stupid question.

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  11. It depends on what you mean "at retail?" There's no gun shop I can go to today, and walk out with an automatic weapon. First, the floor for a decent full-auto is about 5 grand, with the extra 200 dollars for the tax stamp added to that. Remember, new full autos have been unlawful to transfer to civilians since 1986. You're really paying for the transferrable registration, rather than the gun. An M16 new to the military goes for about 900 dollars. An M16 on the civilian market starts at about 16 grand.

    So once you have the money, you have to decide how you want to legally own it. Do you want to transfer it to yourself personally? Do you want to use a trust? Do you have a wife? Next of kin? You should probably hire a lawyer.

    Then you need to find a dealer FFL who is a Class III SOT. Very few dealers are Class III SOTs. If the dealer is one, he probably doesn't have what you're looking for. So you have to find someone who has a transferrable one of whatever full auto goodness you are looking to buy. Then they have to do the FFL transfer. Once that's done, they can start the paperwork to get the legal title to you, or to your trust if you and a lawyer set one up.

    That will involve filling out form 4. You will be fingerprinted. Photographed. You will pay your 200 dollar tax, which the ATF will cash immediately, but it'll take about 2 months or so for them to issue your tax stamp so you can take legal possession of it. You will need your local Chief Law Enforcement officer to sign off on Form 4. He will probably ask questions, as is his right. If you've hired a lawyer to set up a trust, you don't need law enforcement sign off, but ATF will scrutinize the trust, and the people you put on the trust.

    Two months later, you can take legal possession. You still have to fill out 4473, state forms, and go through the Brady Background check. But you're still not an ordinary gun owner. It's unlawful to transport a Title II firearm (machine gun) across state lines without first informing the Attorney General you'll be transporting machine guns in interstate commerce. There's a separate ATF form for that. You also have to be careful because there's considerable variation of state law when it comes to automatic firearms.

    I know what's involved because I've looked into it. It's a rich man's game. And one I've decided is a bit tough to justify or what is, essentially, an expensive toy. I don't have any self-defense need for a machine gun, and I don't participate in any shooting sports that use them (though they do exist, believe it or not).

    You're talking about a very small number of guns. They are effectively banned, for the vast majority of people. Existing machine guns are grandfathered. In 1986, Congress essentially decided to ban them by attrition. Same way assault weapons were meant to be banned in 1994, had the sunset clause not been in place. There's no sunset on the 1986 ban.

    If you don't believe it, run it by Dennis Henigan. He'll tell you it's truth.

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  12. "When the NRA is involved, nothing is on the fast track except their own deception and sneaking gun amendments into Credit Card bills and other unrelated bills. "

    You speak as if the NRA is the only party to the game that's practicing deception (if indeed they actually are).

    "This article lays out the controversy over President Obama's nominee for ATF Director, Andrew Traver. "

    The author/publisher of 'this article' would be one of the other parties to which I refer. From the article:

    (apparently quoted NRA statement)"As the Agent-in-Charge of Chicago’s BATFE office, Traver knows that fully automatic firearms are not available through normal retail channels — the opposite of what was implied in the report."(/apparently quoted NRA statement) (bold in original)

    and immediately following their quoting of the NRA:

    "If anyone is being deceptive, it is the NRA. Contrary to the NRA’s claim that “fully automatic firearms” are not available at retail, the NBC report includes video of a man purchasing an AK-47 at an Indiana gun dealer. He then used that weapon to murder a 14 year-old girl."

    Note that the author conveniently changes 'normal retail channels' to a much more general 'at retail' in his claims of deception against the NRA.

    "Watching the video of the automatic weapons that can be legally purchased in our country and then used to kill people on our streets is sickening. "

    Legally, yes...but not commonly. What was that you bemoaned about 'deception'? Remember...Words Mean Things.

    You see..there are several different Federal Firearms Licenses one may obtain, and only the most restrictive allow for the sale of class 3 devices (select fire firearms, destructive devices, etc.). Cabella's, Bass Pro Shops, Sportsmans Warehouse, Big 5...none of them deal in class 3 firearms (that I know of). In fact your typical local gun-store dealer (aka: 'normal retail channels') will not have a legally transferable fully automatic AK-47 in their inventory. (FYI dear readers, the AK-47 is widely available in a SEMIAUTOMATIC ONLY version) And even if they did have it in stock, your typical gang-banger type is NOT going to spend upwards of $10,000, submit to a much more rigorous background check than the typical NICS, submit fingerprints directly to the FBI, pay $200 transfer tax, get an approval letter from the local head of law enforcement, and wait somewhere between six weeks and six MONTHS (if things go smoothly) to be approved so he can take possession of his purchase.

    If the purchaser highlighted on the video left the gun store with his rifle, then it was NOT a fully automatic firearm as the article and Traver try to deceive the reader/viewer into believing.

    That would be the same Traver who mistook an AK-47 for an SKS...ON CAMERA. You would think that any person under consideration to head up the ATF would, you know...actually KNOW about that over which he would ostensibly wield authority. Now, why oh WHY would the NRA have any reason to oppose this man?

    Gee, I wonder....

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  13. Who gets punished when the ACLU get its way? Children murdered by people running free who would be in jail if the ACLU hadn't gotten the evidence from their first crime thrown out of court? People massacred by terrorists because the government couldn't wire tap suspected terrorists on a mere whim?

    The NRA fights for the right to own and carry firearms. Nothing more and nothing less. They're a single issue organization, and millions of us willingly support them with our money and our votes.

    You are against the right to own and carry firearms. That's your single issue.

    But whether you like it or not, that right does save some lives. And whether I like it or not, it also makes criminals more dangerous. We just disagree on whether the RKBA endangers more lives than it saves, and if empowerment is more important than safety, and if the 2nd amendment is still an important political right as an offset to central government.

    Even if you are against the ultimate goals of the NRA, shouldn't you at least honor them for being the grass roots advocacy group they are? As I honor the ACLU, even though their copy of the constitution only has 9 items in the bill of rights?

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  14. The shooter in the video obviously didn't have a fully automatic AK-47. They START at around $12,000, and you have to be fingerprinted and have the local police chief sign off before you can buy one.

    What people often refer to as AK-47s are actually AKMs, which are semi-automatic versions of the same rifle. It's also worth noting that many hobbyists build semi-auto AKMs in their garage from old parts or raw chunks of steel.

    As for the video, many people watching that would have assumed that the shooter was using a fully automatic AK-47, which turned it into anti-gun propaganda instead of news. This has a lot to do with why people oppose Traver.

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  15. "The more cogent point to me is that I don't care what kind of gun it was, a little girl was shot to death from one block away by the gun in question."

    So the standard here is that any gun used to murder a child is to be banned? What type of gun hasn't been, at some point, involved in that kind of crime?

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  16. Now here is the real deception coming from jedge: " You are against the right to own and carry firearms. That's your single issue." You keep trying this. It's not true. Just stop saying it. Saying it does not make it true.

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  17. Sebastian= when a gun kills a little girl from one block away, that is not a more horrendous death than when she has been shot point blank like Christina Green. You know that this country does not tolerate the deaths of innocent children very well. Did you see Christina's parents last night trying to hold it together? I think any weapon that can kill so many people all at once should be heavily restricted.

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  18. Talk amongst yourselves. I'm tired of moderating posts.

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  19. "Talk amongst yourselves. I'm tired of moderating posts."

    Sorry, I am new here. Do you mean moderation is turned "off" or that you are done allowing comments (because they are moderated)?

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  20. No- it was temporary. I do have a life and other things to do so I got literally tired of answering and writing.

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  21. Quick question, japete.

    How would you feel if the NRA did a TV spot on why we should repeal the 1934 NFA which heavily restricts full-auto weapons and the ban on new manufacture of full autos passed in 1986?

    How would you feel if the NRA provided a live demonstration of a SEMI-AUTO firearm in order to show the audience the guns they're talking about?

    That OK with you?

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  22. I have no idea what your point is kaveman.

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  23. "killed from a block away". Any gun can do that, even a lowly .22 handgun. If you are suggesting new gun restrictions to prevent someone from being killed from a block away, you're talking about restricting all guns.

    Maybe we can come to an understanding if you could explain why *you* think this gun is worse than the guns you don't want to ban?

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  24. O.K. yes I really meant to say I wanted to restrict all guns. That's what you want me to say, right? Give me a break. I will not answer your last leading and stupid question. It speaks for itself and my view is shared by many many many people.

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  25. Its a farce - this is why I'm against Traver. When you deliberately deceive and inflame the American public via the media - thats shameful.

    The facts must speak for themselves, without embellishment, before you'll have the buyoff of the masses. This video outright lies - and it's made the national feeds on the rights advocate pages.

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  26. I'm not trying to get you to say you want to restrict all guns, unless you really want to restrict all guns. I am very interested in what guns you would allow and who would be allowed to own them.

    You say over and over you don't want to ban guns--but you have found a reason to object to virtually every class of guns that has been mentioned here, and you won't say what types of guns you don't think should be banned.

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  27. I object to the ability of just about anyone to buy any gun at gun shows without background checks. I object to people like Cho being able to legally buy a gun and kill 32 people. I object to children accidentally killing themselves or someone else with a loaded, unstored gun. I object to someone's gun dropping out of their holster and firing and killing someone. I object to machine guns anywhere. I don't think assault type rilfes are necessary for hunting or self defense. I object to militia groups and extremist groups fomenting hate and being ready to commit anarchy against their government. I object to straw purchasing. I object to gun runners buying their guns legally and bringing them to Mexico where they are used to kill thousands of innocent people. I object to teen agers being so easily able to use a gun from their own home to kill themselves. I object to domestic abusers shooting their spouses, ex spouses, etc. I object to people not storing their guns safely and then having them stolen and ending up in the illegal market. I object to people carrying their loaded guns around in all public places. Does that answer your question? I have written about every single one of these things for months now and yet you insist on asking again and again and again. I am NOT in favor of confiscating guns. People can have their guns for self defense and hunting but for God's sake, don't let them get into the wrong hands so things that happened on Saturday continue to happen. Oh yes, I object to large capacity gun clips as well. Now then- please do not continue to ask this question and demand an answer as if you have never heard it before. Stop harrasing me about this. It's just not working for you.

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  28. Again, you dodge. What guns DON'T you object to, assuming an ordinary law-abiding owner who gets a background check and all the other paperwork you want?

    I can't recall any discussion of any type of gun where you couldn't find a reason to object to it. The objections you have made so far cover almost all common guns.

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  29. "No- it was temporary. I do have a life and other things to do so I got literally tired of answering and writing."

    I can sympathize. I solve this problem by only moderating spam. I mostly deal with the most unpleasant items either by ignoring it, or arguing against it when I have time. Or some combination of both.

    But this medium is tiring. It certainly takes a lot of out of you. We may be on opposite sides of the spectrum, but you certainly feel the same burden of being taken seriously beyond would you might have thought possible when you started out in this blog medium.

    But things are what they are. I guess the question is how committed you are to your cause.

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  30. Joan - if the real issue for you is that the person bought a firearm.. and shot a girl.. why not just say that from the beginning?

    You make a big deal about it being an automatic.. and the NRA lying about it.. we prove that it couldn't have been and you raise the bar by saying.. yes but that isn't the point now is it.. the little girl who is dead is the point...

    I agree. The little girl is the point... but you sidebar with all these other little details that aren't quite right.. and when we call you on it.. you are upset because we are deflecting?


    If you want to have honest conversation.. be up front with what you mean.. If you don't want to bring the semi-automatic firearm into the conversation, don't say it was an automatic, which we have detailed ad nauseam the difficulty and the procedure to get one.

    It isn't like you haven't heard this before but you continue to perpetuate the lie. THAT is what we get so bent out of shape for.

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  31. People can have their guns for self defense and hunting

    The only firearms that meet your criteria of "not lethal to a small deer at >100 yards" are shotguns. And even a shotgun shooting good slugs might fail that test. Any rifle or pistol (except for possibly smoothbore muskets/pistols that shoot shotgun rounds), even a .22 LR, is dangerous and potentially lethal (just not humanely/quickly) to well out past 100 yards.

    Well, I guess we finally have the answer: you're ok with people owning shotguns (we might also include blunderbusses and smoothbore muskets). Maybe even side-by-sides or over-unders. Not sure about pumps. Semiautos are probably no good, especially if they cosmetically look like scary Assault Weapons (like a Saiga) instead of nice expensive skeet guns. So hunters are still able to humanely hunt for upland birds, ducks, and other small game; maybe deer and even black bear (likely over bait) from tree stands or in denser Eastern woods. Home defenders -- at least those who can handle heavy shotgun recoil and who aren't facing too many attackers and who have full use of both hands -- are also in luck because shotguns are quite effective in that role.

    This isn't to say that a shotgun is safe at >100 yards; it is just not likely to be lethal to a larger target. I certainly don't advocate standing downrange at the local skeet club!

    Thanks for finally clarifying. I don't mean to put too many words into your mouth so if I am wrong and you're ok with our 30-30 winchester 1894 deer rifle (probably the most popular and famous deer rifle in history) too even though it flunks the "not effective beyond one city block" test please let me know.

    At least your position is in the open and can be understood clearly. No more dancing around with semantics. It is actually a lot less frustrating for all involved than playing word games and being coy.

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  32. PS -- The acceptable guns that I outlined in my previous post that fir your criteria are actually a much more generous list than I previously thought. I used to think that as long as there was a single person allowed to own a single-shot .22 you would not consider a gun ban to be in effect. It really honestly kind of surprised to me to think that you might be ok with my family's Mossberg 500 or skeet guns. A pleasant surprise I suppose!

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  33. I'm with ya, japete. We need serious gun control, which we've never had in spite of all the mish-mash of overlapping laws and their inevitable loopholes. We need proper gun control.

    To that stupidity about banning rocks if there were no guns, I'd say no, I wouldn't want to.

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  34. Sevesteen, your comment indicates that you have missed my point once again. The mere fact that I might be in favor of some restrictions you have taken to mean that I want to ban all guns and then take them away from you and the millions of others who own them. That is pure hyperbole.

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  35. Yes, thank you Sebastian. I am committed to my cause in a very passionate way. It has been suggested that I just let the comments in no matter what, I don't think you guys would look very good at all. In fact, it would so ugly that it would make me and my readers sick. So I must moderate comments. I wonder if people on your side understand the viciousness with which those on my side are attacked. When you guys blog, do people from my side get on and provoke you, call you names, make threats and accusations? I am guessing I know the answer to that. The ugliness about this is coming from your side of the issue for the most part. Yes, we have people on my side saying some ugly things that you guys don't like but I have never seen anyone on my side threaten you guys or make the ugly accusations I have seen on this blog. I suggest to you that there is a difference. Therein lies some of our national problem about this issue.

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  36. Anon= "It isn't like you haven't heard this before but you continue to perpetuate the lie. THAT is what we get so bent out of shape for. " You guys get bent out of shape no matter what I say so why bother trying to tell me that if only I had said something differently, you would accept it? Some of you are lying in wait for my next post so you can jump on and criticize, provoke, accuse, etc. I believe, by the way, that your side is perpetuating all kinds of lies about the gun issue that get people on my side "bent out of shape" Have you forgotten that I have a folllowing besides you guys and that I represent a lot of people who happen to agree with me? If that gets you bent out of shape then I'm glad for it. The Saturday shooting got me bent out of shape. My sister's shooting got me bent out of shape. The Tucson shootings got a lot of people bent out of shape and that is what you all are now so bent out of shape about and for good reason.

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  37. Again, Chris- you are putting words in my mouth by saying this:" Thanks for finally clarifying. I don't mean to put too many words into your mouth so if I am wrong and you're ok with our 30-30 winchester 1894 deer rifle (probably the most popular and famous deer rifle in history) too even though it flunks the "not effective beyond one city block" test please let me know.
    " You have tried this before. You guys take my words the way you want to take them. You run with anything I say about types of guns. I don't believe that my clarification means what you said, above, at all. You are picking away at every single word I write and then you parse it to fit your own interpretation and you are off and running. If you are really a college professor, I would suggest to you that that would not be a good way to look at things written by your students. So I am letting you know that you are wrong in your interpretation and that you have failed to look, once again, at the bigger picture and have chosen to rest on just a few words that I write. Take a breath. Relax. I am NOT out to take away your guns whether they shoot one block or one yard. I realize that many guns can shoot a bullet that travels for one city block. But when you are in a public place with guns, you must remember that a bullet can travel for one block and that it is an entirely different venue to shoot in a crowded city with a gun than to be sitting in a deer stand aiming at a deer with no people betweeen you and that deer. That is why guns are dangerous on the streets. Bullets do not always hit the intended target, as you know. There is often collateral damage. Innocent people, not intended as targets, lose their lives. Guns are dangerous. Bullets are dangerous. In the hands of the wrong people, they are more dangerous. Please do not parse this now to make it into something you prefer to believe. I am genuinely concerned about preventing and reducing gun injuries and deaths and care less about your own rights than you think I do. You guys take everything I write to be about you. Get out of your gun protected shell for a minute and realize this is not about you and your gun rights. Reasonable restrictions will not take away your rights or your guns. Get over that and we can talk. And don't write back that what I suggest will, indeed, result in taking away your rights or your guns. That's a conversation stopper.

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  38. I don't know whether I've missed your point or not, but you are absolutely avoiding mine. I don't want to see little girls or anyone get shot, the specific gun used to do it doesn't really matter.

    The primary point I'm trying to make is that the second amendment has significant meaning. An interpretation that allows any particular types of guns to be arbitrarily sliced off from second amendment protection is meaningless.

    This is where we seem to be with you--The types of guns you have stated should be restricted add up to a majority of all guns. Since you will not state any circumstances where a gun would be protected by the second amendment it is very reasonable to assume you would favor restrictions on virtually all guns.

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  39. Sevesteen= "The primary point I'm trying to make is that the second amendment has significant meaning. An interpretation that allows any particular types of guns to be arbitrarily sliced off from second amendment protection is meaningless. " You must have missed the point made by Antonin Scalia and one of the lead lawyers for you all in the Heller Case. The second amendment is not absolute according to them. Restricting certain types of guns and ammunition and people and the places they carry is not going against the second amendment. To say otherwise is just a lie on your part and it certainly does not jive with what the majority on the Supreme Court have said nor even one of the lawyers involved in the case. So what you are saying to me is that I can't be in favor of ANY restrictions whatsover or I am taking away a gun or a right from you. That is not supported by the ruling in Heller. You are not right in saying the types of guns I want to restrict add up to the majority of guns. That is fanciful on your part and what you have chosen to believe. Open your eyes. Your guns cannot be banned. You have your guns. But you can't have any gun you want and now, perhaps, not any ammunition clip you want if my side has their way. That is not taking away most guns. People can have their handguns for self defense and their hunting guns for hunting. How does this mean taking away most guns? You are not making sense here. You are twisting my words to fit what you want to believe. You are wrong.

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  40. So far the Supreme Court has held that the only sort of firearm that may be banned by a state is the sawed off shotgun, because it has no military use. That means those scary "assault rifles" will not be going away any time soon.

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  41. "When you guys blog, do people from my side get on and provoke you, call you names, make threats and accusations?"

    Are you kidding me? Absolutely yes. MikeB's co-blogger Jadegold has been banned on a number of blogs, including mine, because that is all he brings to the table. His contempt shows.. (and he is one of the people I said that will openly say "hopefully he shoots himself") MikeB has been insulting in the past, although he is getting more subtle... Laci.. not so subtle. And these are just the one's that also blog here (so you are aware of the personalities I speak of). So yea.. They do.

    We have a half a dozen blogs that have made it a posted point that they do not moderate these to show what loons these people are... and we have talked about that in the past with you as well. If gun people are bad, show it...

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  42. You gave me one example. I do not know that person. Has anyone from the violence prevention groups made ugly and threatening comments on one of your blogs? Would it surprise you to know that we generally do not read your blogs? But you all are reading most of ours and posting regular comments. I wonder why that is?

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  43. Joan, we have some things in common. I also:

    Object to people like Cho being able to legally buy a gun and kill 32 people. Object to children accidentally killing themselves or someone else with a loaded, unstored gun. Object to militia groups and extremist groups fomenting hate and being ready to commit anarchy against their government. Object to straw purchasing. Object to gun runners buying their guns legally and bringing them to Mexico where they are used to kill thousands of innocent people. Object to teen agers being so easily able to use a gun from their own home to kill themselves. Object to domestic abusers shooting their spouses, ex spouses, etc. Object to people not storing their guns safely and then having them stolen and ending up in the illegal market.

    I would also object to the ability of just about anyone to buy any gun at gun shows without background checks, but background checks are required at gun shows except between private sales, because private people can't access NICS and private people can transfer guns anywhere within their state, not just at gun shows.

    More importantly, and please consider this question carefully, how would you separate or identify people like Cho without entrapping people who aren't like Cho? In other words, how would society find its witches without burning and drowning the innocent? How would the government capture spies without creating a Japanese internment facility? How would society cure severe psychological problems without lobotomizing the innocent like President Kennedy's sister?

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  44. If you are really a college professor, I would suggest to you that that would not be a good way to look at things written by your students.

    I've never claimed to be a professor... Ever! I have mentioned that I'm taking classes for a MA, but that doesn't make me a professor. I don't represent or teach for any educational institution.

    Thanks for clarifying. I guess we're just struggling to understand what guns you find objectionable and why. We know what sort of actions you don't like, but then you call for restrictions on hardware. Those restrictions on hardware seem arbitrary to us and often unrelated to the goal of preventing certain actions. If you were more precise in laying things out then that would help us understand: "these things should be banned (standard cap mags, semiauto rifles that are styled after military weapons, etc), these things are probably ok (double barreled shotguns), and everything else is in a grey area." That is what you eventually need to do anyways to implement any sort of meaningful gun control scheme: I mean, look at Canada, for example. Ultimately you have to toss things into buckets like "prohibited" and "restricted" anyways.

    Without doing that, you make people fear that everything will end up in a "restricted/prohibited" bucket. You say that it is ok to own a deer rifle, but then you worry about rifles that can punch through soft body armor or shoot aimed fire at over a few hundred yards or just kinematically lob a bullet certain distances. That makes us wonder what sort of deer rifle you're talking about being ok!

    \\

    I think the real disconnect occurs shortly after you say, "I'm worried about people not knowing what is beyond their targets when they fire weapons near other people." I absolutely agree. That's a fundamental firearms safety rule ("Know your target and what is beyond it") and is taught in any introductory firearms or hunting ed class. The instructions that come with any new firearm also lay that safety rule out clearly. My solution to people violating that rule is education (for prevention) and enforcement (for willful or negligent violators). Your solution seems to err towards removing the hardware that makes such irresponsible actions dangerous. That's the disconnect, I think.

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  45. Interesting response Migo. Thanks. I wonder how you see that identifying and stopping people like Cho would entrap others? If you are not adjudicated mentally ill, you should not be "entrapped" as you say. We are not those "witches" you imagine. I am actually a pretty nice lady and most who know me would say the same. I am well respected in my community and have the support of many many people here in my city and my state. My ideas are supported by 82% of Minnesotans who want gun show background checks in Minnesota. So I know that I represent a pretty good majority of Minnesotans and actually Americans who are not afraid of reasonable gun laws because they know that I am reasonable as are the people with whom I associate. I have addressed your other ideas pretty generously on comments on another post and I don't disagree with you about what you are saying. Lobotomy is something that was thought to be a good thing medically in those years. It is not done any more. Luckily for us, medicine and science has made progress and we know a lot more about mental illness. But we don't know all and we don't always do the right thing. But in the case of Cho, the right thing would have been to make sure his name was in the NICS so that the dealers who sold to him would not have. But then, as you know, he could easily have walked into a gun show and bought the same from a private seller. So we have some work to do as a country and I hope you will join me in what I am suggesting. I'm not unreasonable nor do I want your guns- honest.

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  46. Chris- sorry but I thought you gave me the impression you taught at a University. At any rate, yes there is a disconnect and it is mostly about semantics. Reasonable discussion gets buried in the hyperbolic rhetoric on this blog and in the general conversation. That is a huge problem. As you said, the devil is always in the details, yet to come. I don't always give the specifics because I know those will be worked out be people a lot higher on the chain of decision makers than me. I can influence those decision makers but I usually talk in more general terms. I know you guys want me to be more specific. It doesn't always work out well though because as soon as I am specific, you jump all over me ( not you personally though you have done your share) The reason I have a general concern about guns is because I know exactly what can happen when an otherwise law abiding citizen not on the NICS prohibited purchasers list decides to end the life of a person with his gun because he is angry, depressed and unhappy about divorce proceedings. I know all too well how quickly that can happen when a gun is at the ready. So I have seen how things didn't work out too well for that law abiding citizen and the grief and turmoil he created in my life and the lives of my sister's other family and friends. So I am naturally a bit nervous about guns in general. Guns kept for self defense, as my brother-in-law's were, got used against someone who knew and used to love.

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  47. Kaveman- I refuse to publish your incendiary comment and ask you to come up with some proof of your statement. I will not be posting your comments unless you apologize for what you said and provide me with further information about your accusation. You cannot make statements like that and get away with it.

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  48. comment to kaveman who wrote this: " Ask Brady Campaign communications director Peter Hamm why he threatened to murder a gun blogger and had the gall to put it in writing. " So I asked. Here is his response " I once said. "if you do, i'll have to shoot you." The NRA acknowledged in First Freedom that I was trying to be funny, but scolded me in a measured way. Please tell Kaveman I'm not going to shoot him."
    Again, guys, you take everything so darned literally and sometimes those of us on this side get so frustrated with the ridiculous comments that you guys make that we make some fun of our own or use a little sarcasm and humor when we write back because there is no other way to respond to all of your comments. They come fast and furiously. You attack, you accuse, you are ugly, you get in our faces, you make personal comments about us. So we attack back by using sarasm and humor sometimes which is lost on those of you who do not recognize nuance. Neither Peter nor I are violent people. Think about it for a minute. Would we be working towards reducing gun violence if we, ourselves, were into violent behavior and violent solutions? Remember, generally speaking, we are not the ones with the guns and you are the guys with the guns and your leader has said the guys with the guns make the rules. Is that threatening at all? Hmmm.

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  49. Migo was not saying that you are a witch, he is asking how you identify those like Cho and Loughner who will flip out and kill people without catching folks like my medic buddy who rants about the shabby treatment he has gotten from the VA but won't be shooting any place up.

    I too am curious about sorting out few bits of violent wheat from the many bits of kooky chaff.

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  50. Yes, Stew, I know that he was not calling me a witch. He was referring to people on witch hunts. Sometimes I think you guys think of me as a witch, however, out on my broom in the dead of night looking for your guns. What a picture in my mind that conjures up!!!! Yes, we do need to sort out those who are quite dangerous and those who may not be. I addressed this at length on the comment section of another post.

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  51. Peter Hamm obviously wasn’t legitimately threatening anyone. But neither was Sarah Plain, or Wayne LaPierre. We can talk about rhetoric, but a lot of this rhetoric is pointing fingers at your opponent and saying “Look what they just said!” as an attempt to smear.

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  52. I don't defend any "over the top statements" which are made in haste or response to someone else. The difference here is that Sarah Palin's was well thought out when she posted those gun crosshairs on her webpage. The fact that Gabrielle Giffords made reference to them as being a bad idea and even potentially dangerous inevitably draws Sarah Palin into the mix in this situation. Palin is a very public figure who is out there making comments all the time. Some of her comments have been pretty provactative and meant for a reason. It is clear she wants support of the gun guys for her agenda. She has courted you all very openly. She has used the words "reload" to talk about her agenda. It is very very different when someone like Wayne LaPierre goes to a public meeting and Sarah Palin publicly posts stuff on her webpage. It was no attempt to smear. No one said Palin was in any way responsible for what happened. The conversation very naturally turned to political rhetoric. Giffords and others were threatened, their offices vandalized- by people angry with her vote on health care. Sarah Palin was not threatening anyone either. Her position however makes it more important for her to watch her words in public.

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  53. Joan, I never meant to imply in any of my posts that you're on a witch hunt or anything negative about you at all. I apologize if I left that impression. I understand the pain and frustration you feel with the present system and I understand living with the memories of a loved one that will always haunt you.

    What I was saying is that the Tucson shooter, who I won't honor by naming him, was not adjudicated as mentally defective. If he were, there's a good chance he would have been on the NICS list, although omissions and errors in that list are very real. So how do we prevent paranoid schizophrenics from purchasing guns if no legal test has yet been performed to adjudicate them mentally defective? And if such a test were to be developed, how accurate would such a test be to ensure that false positives aren't captured as was President Kennedy's sister? She did not need to have her brain severed with an ice pick.

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  54. Migo- I think I made a comment about your questions above.

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  55. "Sometimes I think you guys think of me as a witch, however, out on my broom in the dead of night looking for your guns. What a picture in my mind that conjures up!!!! "

    I can't speak for anyone else here, but as for myself, I do not view you as you described. Sadly, I doubt you would accept my perception any more graciously, but (since you kinda opened the door to the discussion) I can't help but comment.

    As I said above, I don't view you as 'evil' so much as...misguided...in a 'Pollyanna-ish' sort of way.

    I think that you truly believe what you advocate will result in your desired outcomes without any adverse effect. And much like your namesake, you petulantly plug your ears and throw a tantrum whenever faced with the reality of the unintended consequences of what you would like to see enacted.(see also: perpetual use of 'nonsense' as a response to facts you don't agree with)

    If you want to label me a vitriolic name-caller for what I just wrote, go ahead, but "I calls em as I see's 'em" and quite honestly my feelings toward you run more toward pity than dislike.

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  56. Nice. I keep myself from saying things like you said about me, Words, in a public forum. But I see that nothing stops you guys from expressing your innermost immature comments. Your assumption that I am pollyanish assumes, of course, that you must be much smarter and wiser than me. By your comment, you just revealed yourself to be the opposite. Misguided- hardly. You don't know me at all if that's what you think. But never mind, people like you feel bold enough to say anything to anyone. This is the very problem that leads to the uncivil discourse in our country. You guys would rather be part of the problem than the solution- that is becoming more and more clear to me. Thanks, though for the great way to end my evening. You could have kept your mouth shut but just had to get in another dig. Your comments are not welcome on my blog.

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  57. japete to kaveman:

    "Again, guys, you take everything so darned literally and sometimes those of us on this side get so frustrated with the ridiculous comments that you guys make that we make some fun of our own or use a little sarcasm and humor when we write back because there is no other way to respond to all of your comments."

    They take things literally when they want to, usually to derail the direction of the argument. They often use this tactic to wear us down, Bob S. is the reigning champion as far as I can see, but what it shows is the paucity of their argument.

    After all, think about it, they're defending such concepts as no background checks on gun sales. The very idea condemns them as despicable self-centered bullies. And by many a measuring stick, they're winning.

    To quote Sara Palin, "you betcha" we're frustrated.

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