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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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Smearing gun control











(Apologies for the odd look of this post. I had to do some cutting and pasting and this is how it turned out. Also, I publish the quoted comments without edits for spelling or grammar but as they are written.)


The pro gun crowd is a small group of very extreme and rigid folks who believe things that are unbelievable and anathema to the gun control side. Their view makes perfect sense to them but it just doesn't stand up to scrutiny and facts. The latest of these has to do with gun control as a racist movement. Preposterous, I say. Here is an article debunking one of the latest excuses the NRA has found to be opposed to all things reasonable concerning common sense gun laws. This well researched and well written article debunks the gun lobby's efforts to turn gun control activists into racists. It ends this way:" In today’s political climate, not even progressive African-Americans are immune from the “racist” charge, whether it’s Glenn Beck claiming that President Obama has a “deep-seated hatred for white people” or Andrew Breitbart creating an alternate history where USDA employee Shirley Sherrod refuses to help white farmers. Ultimately, there is nothing racist about efforts to reduce the annual toll of 30,000+ gun deaths in America.  In 1963, Dr. King expressed great concern about “our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim.”  He also decried a popular culture which taught children “that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing.”  Those concerns remain equally valid today, nearly half a century later."

This is just one of many issues providing for a new intensity among the pro gun folks. Commenters on my blog are more abrasive and more insistent about their views. The longer we engage in what should pass as "discourse", the more wild and crazy become the comments and the links to articles that I must read. I found this Maureen Dowd New York Times editorial to be right to the point of what is happening in the blogosphere and the Internet. From the piece, " Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” says technology amplifies everything, good instincts and base. While technology is amoral, he said, our brains may be rewired in disturbing ways.“Researchers say that we need to be quiet and attentive if we want to tap into our deeper emotions,” he said. “If we’re constantly interrupted and distracted, we kind of short-circuit our empathy. If you dampen empathy and you encourage the immediate expression of whatever is in your mind, you get a lot of nastiness that wouldn’t have occurred before.”"


I am heartened by this news, however. A new Institute for Civil Discourse will be starting up at the University of Arizona. We can all learn better ways of interacting. Something feels unsettled about the world with the changes in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and now Libya. What is going on in Wisconsin is also unsettling to our country. We are living in uncertain times and different people react in different ways to current events. I am hoping to find ways to reduce the violence. This makes the pro gun guys ( and women) mighty nervous and upset and actually more prone to inflammatory rhetoric. They feel that my efforts are attacking their way of life. The result? I am a racist, deceptive, naive, barbaric and even a supporter of tyranny. 


And, of course, to the pro gun side, the gun violence prevention movement makes up their facts and falsifies polling data. To whit: "Like the VPC, MAIG is notorious for manufacturing "facts"." And even the term "hoplophobic" or fear of guns has been thrown around. From this Wikipedia definition:  "Firearms instructor and writer Colonel Jeff Cooper claimed to have coined the word in 1962[5] to describe a "mental disturbance characterized by irrational aversion to weapons"" This also, then implies mental disturbance on the part of gun control activists. The  definition of hoplophobia is outside of any mental health definitions of mental illness or phobias, but never mind. The other problem with using this term is that it actually means, in Greek, fear of armor. So the pro gun folks are not only throwing a term around, they are throwing around the wrong term. Us gun control folks are not afraid of armor. If the gun guys want to wear armor, more power to them. We have no objection. But they should be more careful about their terminology. They are making things up as they go along to smear and demean us.


As you can see, we are really a messed up group of people according to the pro gun side. And last, but certainly not least, to the pro gun fanatics, I am a source of amusement to them. It should give us pause that the pro gun people are amused by victims and stories about shootings of real people every day while they are trying to do everything in their power to trump up the the false fear that their rights are in jeopardy.


We have had a go around in the last few days about whether or not America is a Democracy or a Republic and whether Gandhi was in favor of violence or non-violence. The pro gun folks worship the Founding Fathers to the point of saying that they are the best educated people the world has ever known in some several hundred years! As to large capacity magazines, they claim that they and their loved ones will necessarily be imprisoned if the McCarthy bill is passed. I offer as proof of some of the illogical thought, one of the opinions coming from the pro gun side from these unpublished comments on my "Where are the victims?" post.


"We all know that gun control is racist. They target low income, minority neighborhoods that police seldom patrol. The goal of said sad legislation is to tell single mom’s they have no right to defend themselves against drug dealers and gang members.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/6/racist-pols-go-straight-back-to-disarming-blacks/ It is common sense that both the administrations of Chicago, Washington and New York meter out police protection to keep low income family’s under control and voting correctly. Having low income families, most of whom are single mom’s, able to defend themselves, lets them out from under the tyrannical control of these administrations. Those in wealthy areas in Washington are arming because the laws are designed to keep the unwashed masses under control while allowing those who can afford the application fees, the background checks, the travel to the range and the range time to protect themselves.http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/08/post-handgun-ban-wealthy-d-c-residents-stock-up-on-firepower/ So, yes Joan gun control is both tyrannical and racist." 


Seriously folks, does this make sense?


Meanwhile while we were arguing about these nonsensical things, people continue to be shot. In Oregon, a man admitted to shooting his own son in an argument. And a family in Pennsylvania shares their story of their 14 month old son who was shot by a bullet that came through the car window while he was sitting in his car seat. The other day, a two year old Texas toddler shot himself with his grandfather's gun. A four year old shot and killed his twin brother with the loaded gun of his father, a deputy sheriff. Three Philadelphia men are dead after fatal bar shootings once again proving that guns and alcohol are a bad combination. A minister cleaning his gun is now dead because the gun accidentally discharged. The pro gun folks will tell you that these people are just careless and should know better. Unfortunately for all of those law abiding gun owners, some of them make mistakes, intentionally or unintentionally, which end in homicides, suicides or accidental deaths. That is the risk of choosing to own a deadly weapon. Yes, people should know better. They should also know that they shouldn't text while driving and smoke or do drugs. People do it anyway. The difference is that guns are weapons designed to kill and kill they do.


We are arguing about the wrong things here. Instead of worrying about what Mahatma Gandhi said, or what kind of education our founding fathers had compared to that of today, or whether or not gun control began as a racist movement, or whether victims can advocate for laws if they aren't experts about guns, we should be arguing about how strict to make our laws so that people who should not have guns don't get them. Easy access to guns is a huge problem in our country. It has led to hundreds of thousands of needless deaths over the last 10 years alone. In just one year, 30,000 Americans lose their lives because of people with guns shooting intentionally or unintentionally. And what do we do about it? We make it easier for the wrong people to get their guns. We pass laws to allow more loaded guns in more places because our law makers don't have the spine to stand up to the minority of people who are making such an unreasonable fuss over laws that won't even affect them. Their smearing and sneering is unseemly and impossible to answer in any sort of reasonable way. Some of the pro gun folks are just not reasonable.  Luckily most Americans are reasonable and want to do something to reduce the daily carnage due to shootings in our country.  Common sense has been hi-jacked by the pro gun crowd. It's time to take it back.



81 comments:

  1. http://www.usnews.com/polls/should-congress-ban-high-volume-ammo-clips/results.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. This, of course, was not a random scientific poll but an on-line poll by a media outlet so all the gun guys got on it to respond. It means nothing.

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  3. "They feel that my efforts are attacking their way of life."

    It's not just a "feeling". You've stated support again and again for using government power to attack us and our way of peaceful living. You keep denying that this is what you are doing, but you say one thing and do another.

    "I am a racist, deceptive, naive, barbaric and even a supporter of tyranny. "

    Correct. The words have meanings that apply to you, your actions, your words, and your "policy positions". The purpose of language is communication. These words communicate important truths. You can paint yourself as a righteous crusader, but anyone who can read and reason will reach a very different conclusion.

    "The other problem with using this term is that it actually means, in Greek, fear of armor. So the pro gun folks are not only throwing a term around, they are throwing around the wrong term."

    Wow - you don't even know how words are created and evolve? By that standard almost all words are used incorrectly.

    "Seriously folks, does this make sense?"

    Yes it does.

    "The difference is that guns are weapons designed to kill and kill they do."

    Yep, like my squirrel and rabbit rifle and it's magazines that you want to prohibit and imprison my family for. That will really do something to discourage the next spree killer. Oh wait they won't care a bit that you managed to imprison people for using a rifle to kill pests and food. At least it will prevent suicides and accidents...oh wait no it won't because my family's varmint control and food harvesting tool doesn't have anything to do with suicides and accidents.

    "we should be arguing about how strict to make our laws so that people who should not have guns don't get them. "

    Why argue about how to achieve the impossible?

    " Common sense has been hi-jacked by the pro gun crowd."

    That doesn't make any sense, not even metaphorically.

    Have you read the articles talking about how support is growing for McCarthy's bill? She and her fans claim it's becoming very popular. Not one Republican has signed on yet. The Republicans control Congress and the committee the bill is going to die in. That means your ban is going to fail before it causes all sorts of problems. That means the gun tyranny lobby is going to lose even more of it's power in DC, and the gun liberty movement will get more power - making it much harder for y'all to crush us.

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  4. "We pass laws to allow more loaded guns in more places because our law makers don't have the spine to stand up to the minority of people who are making such an unreasonable fuss over laws that won't even affect them."

    The thing is though, if we pro-gun folks are such a minority, then why do we command such large majorities in both state and federal legislatures? Surely if gun control were as hot button an item as you say, then more anti-gun politicians would be elected. Surely?

    And as for laws that won't even effect them, you stated in response to my question in your last post that many of the laws you champion would in fact affect myself. Most of my friends and family own the types of weapons you would view as "necessary" to outlaw...

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  5. "This, of course, was not a random scientific poll but an on-line poll by a media outlet so all the gun guys got on it to respond. It means nothing."

    There are no scientific polls. Opinion is a subjective thing. As is commonly said, ask 10 people their opinion and you'll get at least 11 different opinions. Ask it again differently and you'll get a different 11 different opinions. Science is objective and you can not objectively measure a subjective thing. All polls mean nothing.

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  6. "And, of course, to the pro gun side, the gun violence prevention movement makes up their facts and falsifies polling data. To whit: 'Like the VPC, MAIG is notorious for manufacturing "facts".'"

    I did read a little bit about that MAIG poll. Now, I don't have it in front of me, but if I remember correctly, it stated that 28% of the NRA members surveyed were in favor of the stricter gun control laws MAIG advocates.

    Here's the thing though... The NRA has over four million members. I'm an NRA member, and the NRA is *very* good at communicating with its members the positions on which it takes a stand. Every month I receive an NRA magazine that provides an in depth look at several of the legislative battles the NRA is currently fighting. Also, the NRA frequently sends me requests for donations regarding specific agendas which it goes into detail about. A quick look at their many websites also lists their legislative agenda.

    So basically there is no reason for an NRA member not to know what their organization is up to. And yet somehow this 28% of four million members still send in their $35 yearly dues to an organization whose legislative agenda they oppose?

    Please forgive my skepticism regarding the MAIG poll, but we aren't in this thing for the great hotel discounts.

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  7. "The pro gun crowd is a small group of very extreme and rigid folks who believe things that are unbelievable and anathema to the gun control side."

    It's not that you're wrong on this. It's that you know that you're wrong on this.

    On the gun rights side there are tens of millions who'll vote the issue, hundreds of thousands who'll contribute money, and tens of thousands who'll contribute time and effort.

    On the gun control side there are tens of millions who will agree with a sloppily-worded poll question, tens of thousands who'll vote the issue, a couple of thousand who'll contribute a bit of money, and a half-dozen or so left-wing foundations who'll spend millions of dollars paying staff to create the appearance of a grass-roots organization.

    You know from personal experience that Citizens for a Safer Minnesota was and is exactly such an astroturf organization - a paid professional staff, a handful of volunteers, and multiple six-figure grants from the Joyce foundation.

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  8. Wow- find me those 6 figure grants and I will be forever grateful!!!

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  9. "The difference is that guns are weapons designed to kill and kill they do."


    I'm only going to comment on that one statement right there Joan.

    There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people. Either a firearm is a tool, and you are the weapon madam; or if you insist that the firearm is the weapon, then you, my so-called lady, are a tool.

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  10. "Multiple six-figure grants from the Joyce Foundation"?? Indeed, Japete, where can we get one of those? Talk about exaggeration!

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  11. "We are arguing about the wrong things here. Instead of worrying about..." Yes, indeed, Japete. Popular tactic of pro-gun commenters at New Trajectory, as well: Divert the attention to some other issue.

    And whether their minds are on the wisdoms of the Founding Fathers, the Revolutionary War, or the supposed foundation of gun control in racism, their minds are so often not in the present century. Those are all just justifications for their wrongheaded ideas and smear campaigns.

    The issues now, in this day and age, are FAR different from back then, with much more complex issues, deadlier weapons, and far more blood spilled by innocents. Let's not live in the past, fellas.

    There are modern problems today that need solved with modern solutions, which never could have been dreamed about by the Founding Fathers, Revolutionary minutemen, or slave holders & abolitionists. Truthfully, I don't really care about the origins of the second ammendment or gun control. What I care about are the deaths and violence now and the solutions that make sense to solve them.

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  12. Regarding the “debunking article”

    Opinion by Waging Nonviolence
    (September 16, 2010) in Society / Guns

    "This assertion— ... that the civil rights movement succeeded not because of disciplined nonviolence, but because African Americans were willing to take up arms against their oppressors"

    This is not at ALL what was said. In fact, the point is that they had limited access to weapons, so it wasn’t usually an option.

    Neither is anyone saying that the civil rights movement would have gone better if all blacks would have armed up and gone to war, because it is patently ridiculous.
    What was said is that gun control was directed at and selectively enforced for blacks. Period.

    The author admits that gun control was directed at blacks.

    "This is not to say that there were not discriminatory gun control laws at this time—and other times—in our history that specifically targeted blacks."

    Enough said. Stop right there.

    I am reminded of the simplistic thinking we saw during the Egypt protests. Simply suggesting that families should have guns to protect their homes provokes outrage about the futility of fighting tanks with rifles. Completely different thing.

    Guns are for when the white man comes to rape your 16 year old daughter.

    "Cooper also tells the story of Berry Washington, a black man who was lynched in the same town as Cooper mere months earlier. Washington took up arms against a White terrorist, shooting and killing a man who was about to rape his 16-year-old daughter. After surrendering to the local sheriff, Washington was pulled out of jail by a mob and lynched."

    Here we get to see the argument that since defending themselves often provoked more violence from whites, that blacks should have just laid down and taken it for the 200 years before the Civil Rights movement.

    "A withdrawal of federal government support set the stage for the massacre on April 13, 1873, when between 62-81 African Americans—more than half of them armed with firearms—were slaughtered by a larger, better-equipped force of whites."

    Stop right there. Better equipped. Got it.

    No one's saying that if blacks had gone on an armed offensive it would have immediately brought about a successful civil rights movement. Moreover, a successful campaign of nonviolent protest does not preclude the use of firearms to defend homes and communities from brutal victimization.



    In closing, an MLK quote from the comments-

    "As we have seen, the first public expression of disenchantment with nonviolence arose around the question of "self-defense." In a sense this is a false issue, for the right to defend one's home and one's person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law." Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? Chapter II, Black Power, Page 55, Harper & Row Publishers Inc., First Edition, 1967.
    February 22, 2011 12:50 PM

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  13. "Wow- find me those 6 figure grants and I will be forever grateful!!!"

    CSM received from the Joyce Foundation:

    $300,000 in 2000
    $200,000 in 2002
    $132,000 in 2004

    You can see the post-2003 numbers at:

    http://www.joycefdn.org/content.cfm/grant-list

    Older numbers are no longer available on their website, but have been archived here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030224145702/http://www.joycefdn.org/programs/gunviolence/gunviolencemain-fs.html

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  14. Yup- We are a well funded and very rich organization. That is why we can afford all those lobbyists and huge pay to our Executive Director- oh I forgot, that's what the NRA does.

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  15. japete said, "Commenters on my blog are more abrasive and more insistent about their views. The longer we engage in what should pass as "discourse", the more wild and crazy become the comments and the links to articles that I must read."

    I've had the same experience. Dozens of regular commenters on my blog eventually got tired of pretending to be civil, causing me to use the comment moderation function to insist on their adherence to simple rules of discourse. After that they generally stop coming around. The exceptions to this I can count on one hand.

    I submit this doesn't happen because they know they're right. It happens because they know they're wrong. Otherwise there'd be no need for such nastiness and frustration.

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  16. "The issues now, in this day and age, are FAR different from back then, with much more complex issues, deadlier weapons, and far more blood spilled by innocents. Let's not live in the past, fellas."

    Well sir, how about we confine our problems to the last century. You are correct that the weapons are deadlier, because the stakes are so much higher.

    Shall we talk about the pogroms with the Communists came to power in Russia? The killings and land confiscations from the Ukrainians? The Armenian genocide by the Turks? The Chinese Cultural Revolution? What about all those millions of Jews that got thrown into the furnaces? Remember the Warsaw ghetto? How about the Hmoung tribesmen killed by the North Vietnamese?

    But you did say that you were interested in the here and now, so how about the last decade or so?

    How about the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds by Saddam Hussein? How about the Rwandian genocide? How about Darfur - or for that matter pretty much the entire continent of Africa?

    Or maybe a decade is too far in the past for you. Didn't you say you weren't concerned about what was in the past?

    Is yesterday close enough? How about the Libyan protestors gunned down by their military?

    Say what you will about uncouth gun owners and how we are getting in the way of your utopian vision of America - but one thing is for certain, so long as Americans own firearms, that kind of stuff isn't going to happen here to our population.

    Any death is tragic, and believe it or not gun owners try everything possible to raise their children to know safe gun handling. We do it a lot differently than you'd prefer.

    Liberty always takes precedence over safety.

    Always.

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  17. Alcade, you certainly go off on a tangent.

    Passing legislation for stricter control over the access of guns to those who would abuse them, or restricting the most destructive of weapons, is not going to prevent gun ownership for self protection for law abiding adults. You can still protect yourself against your paranoid fears of dictators and gas chambers.

    Your statement about liberty always taking precedence over safety is bogus. If that were true, there would be no safety laws at all, and we would all be allowed to do whatever we pleased, no matter how damaging or dangerous. Obviously, to protect the general welfare of our people, the government must step in to legislate safety measures. Deadly weapons, in particular, should be no different.

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  18. So lacy what is this supposed to show? That the NRA donates to both sides and the Brady Campaign only the D Party? It is interesting that the NRA donated more to harry Reid than the Brady campaign did in total.

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  19. "Your statement about liberty always taking precedence over safety is bogus. If that were true, there would be no safety laws at all..."

    Speed limits do not infringe on guaranteed civil liberties. Regulation of deadly Dihydrgen Monoxide does not infringe upon guaranteed civil liberties.

    Liberty does not entail doing whatever you want.

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  20. @Baldr:

    ...or restricting the most destructive of weapons, is not going to prevent gun ownership for self protection for law abiding adults...

    How do you define "the most destructive of weapons"? Is this most destructive? How about this one? Does your answer depend on whether it is used by a civilian or an officer?

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  21. "You can still protect yourself against your paranoid fears of dictators and gas chambers"

    Paranoid? Are you claiming these things didn't happen? Or do you just assume that they cannot happen *here*? Perhaps you believe that a sharply worded essay in the New York Times would stop a modern day dictator in his tracks?

    By the way, if I am paranoid for citing these modern day reasons to have the second amendment, then what are you for fearing gun violence? Isn't that called "irony?"

    I at least admit that gun violence exists and needs to be addressed. The problem is your solution is to restrict my rights in hopes that it keeps guns out of criminals' hands by proxy. My solution is victim empowerment and education. Only one of our solutions respects our civil rights.

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  22. You should have the liberty to own or do whatever you wish, so long as it does not interfere with another person's liberty.

    So if my wish is to buy a Russian PKM machine gun and shoot old cars with it, I should have the liberty to do so, as long as it does not harm anybody else. So there are rules that say where and how I can shoot it, in order to insure the well being of others, but there shouldn't be rules saying that I can't have it, even if owning and shooting it is silly. The same can be said for having a car built for racing. I am allowed to own a 600HP car that can do 200mph, but there are rules governing it's use. I cannot drive it on the highway at 200mph because it interferes with other people's liberty. However I am allowed to drive it at 200MPH on a race track or my own property, because I am not infringing on anybody else there.

    We aren't saying that we want to be allowed to go fire guns anywhere and everywhere we please. We aren't saying that we should be allowed to shoot anything we think may be a threat, and not be held accountable. We are just saying that regulating and controlling what people can own, in the name of safety, violates our liberties, and can become a dangerous thing when applied on a broad scale.

    You want to regulate 'the most destructive of weapons', what do you define as the most destructive? The most powerful, even if it's use in crime is at or near zero? The most commonly used in crime? Just whatever looks big and nasty to you, regardless of it's history as a weapon of criminals? Would you ban a .50 BMG rifle, just because it's a big powerful rifle, even though at the several thousand dollars they cost, and their great size and weight, they are terribly impractical for any criminal use? Would you ban every little .22 rimfire, because even though they are one of the least powerful of firearms, and used by many millions of people for target shooting and small game hunting, they are also one of the most common pistols used by criminals? The logic of banning things in order to stop people from misusing them fails, it doesn't matter if it's guns, drugs, alcohol, books, ideas, etc. It never works, and in the end always seems to result in more crime rather than less.

    And Baldr, Alcade wrote in direct response to you, so I don't think you can say he went off on a tangent, unless you're talking about that ending stement about liberty. Not to be nasty or anything, but this new thing of saying that we are trying to divert the discussion is nonsense. This is the first time I've ever been in discussions where one side accused the other of trying to divert the discussion, because the topic shifted around during the discussion.

    -DHS

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  23. @ Migo: When I wrote about "the most destructive weapons," I was mainly thinking of assault rifles, 0.50 caliber, sniper rifles, armor-piercing rounds, and extended clips. The M4 you linked to would certainly count. And, yes, I do draw a distinction with law enforcement: they should be an exception to such a ban, as they should outgun the criminals in order to better protect us.

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  24. @ Alcade: Yes, you are paranoid. No, I don't think those things can happen here, though they do in some third-world nations. There is no indication of a coming dictatorship or coup here, at least not to anyone who is rational.

    Victim empowerment and education are important, in addition to stricter controls, but I have a feeling that what you consider appropriate "empowerment" and "education" are different from mine.

    And, no, your 2A civil right isn't infringed by tougher controls that are being proposed, unless you are mentally ill (which I'm beginning to wonder) or a felon.

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  25. @ Anonymous: There's a good reason that fully-automatic machine guns are banned for civilian use. YOU might want to shoot up old cars on the back 40, but that's not what gangbangers and potential mass murderers would think of. And, unlike a race car, Russian PKM machine guns are built with only one purpose in mind: killing large numbers of people in a very short period. There is NO good reason why any civilian needs to own one of those. If you want one merely to get your jollies by shooting up old cars, I'd say you need a new hobby.

    You may feel your liberties are violated by a mandatory background check, a ban on assault rifles, or some other common sense legislation, but the 100,000 shooting victims a year would argue that your sense of "liberty" is too deadly and needs better limits.

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  26. "@ Alcade: Yes, you are paranoid"

    But you are not for your fear of guns? Funny how that works!

    "No, I don't think those things can happen here, though they do in some third-world nations."

    Third world nations like Germany? I bet all those Jews thought the same thing when they were gunned down by their militaries and police. You know, the guys who you said should be exempt from gun controls because they, how did you put it, "they should outgun the criminals in order to better protect us." I'm sure all those halocaust victims felt really safe knowing that only their guards were authorized to carry those "deadly weapons."

    "There is no indication of a coming dictatorship or coup here"

    Well of course not, it'd be too hard to hold such a well armed population down. I bet if what is *currently* happening in Libya (you know, as in right now this very minute) happened here, things would be a lot different.

    "And, no, your 2A civil right isn't infringed by tougher controls that are being proposed"

    Considering that I own several of the types of firearms that you wish to ban, I'm afraid your proposals do indeed infringe my civil rights. Looking at your profile picture of a mangled revolver it is not hard to imagine what you have in mind as your eventual goal.


    "unless you are mentally ill (which I'm beginning to wonder)"

    So all you can do is call me paranoid and mentally ill? Is that the best you've got? No wonder your side keeps loosing.

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  27. "I was mainly thinking of assault rifles, 0.50 caliber, sniper rifles, armor-piercing rounds, and extended clips."

    So would you ban everything with a bore diameter over .5 inches? Which would include just about every shotgun currently on the market. I thought you weren't interested in banning hunting guns? Or maybe you'd just like to ban the .50 BMG round? Probably wouldn't be a bad idea! I mean, think about it. The .50 BMG was officially introduced in 1921, so this year makes it 90 years old. I'm sure in the intervening years ballistics technology has progressed enough that we could make, say, a .49 BMG with much more power than that antique! Go ahead with your silly ban.

    Ah, sniper rifles... What exactly *is* a sniper rifle? One that is too accurate? Earlier US sniper rifles included both the Winchester Model 70 as well as the Remington 700 (the 700 is still in service, if I am correct). Both of these rifles are highly popular with hunters and sportsmen. Maybe a rifle that is too accurate should be considered a sniper rifle? Of course, as time progresses and factory machinery gets more advanced tolerances decrease resulting in more consistent manufacturing. Tighter tolerances equate to increased accuracy. Maybe factories should begin to intentially flaw their guns? That way when a hunter aims at a deer's vitals he gets a gut shot instead, resulting in a slow painful death for the animal. Very humane of you!

    Armor piercing rounds... you mean something that will penetrate a bullet proof vest? Now how exactly will that work, since a bullet proof vest can be compromised by a projectile with enough energy. Remember E=MC squared? Well if a bullet weighing X grains and traveling at Y velocity hits a vest, if E is sufficient the body armor will be compromised. Since gun controllers cannot seem to grasp that a magazine isn't called a "clip" and a heat shield isn't "a thing that goes up" (Rep. McCarthy) I'm certainly not going to trust them with physics equations!

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  28. @Baldr Odinson

    " @ Anonymous: There's a good reason that fully-automatic machine guns are banned for civilian use."

    They aren't banned for CITIZEN use. Your statement is completely wrong. I plan on buying one if I remain very poor, several if I enter the middle class, and dozens if I get rich.

    "There is NO good reason why any civilian needs to own one of those. "

    There are many good reasons. Recreation, collecting, common defense, and as a investment. Heck, you could own one to destroy it and remove it from existence.

    "If you want one merely to get your jollies by shooting up old cars, I'd say you need a new hobby."

    In a free country people decide what their hobby is. In an unfree country people decide what other people's hobby's won't be.

    "You may feel your liberties are violated by a mandatory background check, a ban on assault rifles, or some other common sense legislation, but the 100,000 shooting victims a year would argue that your sense of "liberty" is too deadly and needs better limits. "

    It is not our liberty that harms other people - it is other people's criminal actions.

    " @ Migo: When I wrote about "the most destructive weapons," I was mainly thinking of assault rifles, 0.50 caliber, sniper rifles, armor-piercing rounds, and extended clips. The M4 you linked to would certainly count."

    The M4 shoots a .22 caliber bullet, best reserved for prairie dogs and rats and other varmints. All deer rifles are far more powerful. The M4 is a short barreled version of the M16. The shorter barrel means it is less powerful and less accurate, thus making it less lethal. How is a weakened .22 caliber rifle a "most destructive weapon"?

    You fear the .50 BMG rifles...but you don't mention the .460 Weatherby rifles? How do you determine what the "most destructive weapons" are? It appears the ones vilified in the media qualify, the others you haven't even heard of are A-OK because you haven't been instructed to fear them.

    It reminds me of California, where the least powerful shotgun is prohibited and any non-prohibited adult can purchase a vastly more powerful 12 gauge with four times the capacity.

    Also - how do you define "sniper rifles"? Most sniper rifles are really nothing but fancy deer rifles but with a much higher price tag. Those people who are willing to spend 3000-10000 bucks on a genuine sniper rifle aren't going to want to lose it and their life in a killing spree.

    "YOU might want to shoot up old cars on the back 40, but that's not what gangbangers and potential mass murderers would think of. "

    Very few such people would want a gun. The PKM weighs 20 pounds, is four feet long, and if you can find one for sale it will cost probably at least 20,000 not counting the federal tax. When such weapons were not regulated at all they were not used by any criminal that I've heard of. They are too big, too heavy, and too expensive.

    I plan on buying a .50 BMG M2 fully automatic machinegun...I think with a tripod that weighs 128 pounds...not exactly concealable or gangbanger friendly.

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  29. Baldr-

    "Yes, you are paranoid. No, I don't think those things can happen here, though they do in some third-world nations. There is no indication of a coming dictatorship or coup here, at least not to anyone who is rational."

    There was no indication even two months ago to anyone, not even people who should damn well know (http://www.france24.com/en/20110217-en-interview-prince-moulay-hicham-el-alaoui-mohammed-vi-morocco-democracy-transition-stanford-fellow), that there would be a series of uprisings in North Africa. There was no indication in 2004 that there would be a black president in 2008. There were plenty of indications that the housing market and the US economy were in in trouble, and yet "NO ONE SAW IT COMING!!". I put no faith in you or our government to foretell the future.

    "Victim empowerment and education are important, in addition to stricter controls, but I have a feeling that what you consider appropriate "empowerment" and "education" are different from mine."

    Because what you would have a battered wife do is get a restraining order. Yes, very different.

    "And, no, your 2A civil right isn't infringed by tougher controls that are being proposed, unless you are mentally ill (which I'm beginning to wonder) or a felon."

    We need to have a little talk. This attitude of yours that you can just belittle people that disagree with you is not only at odds with "thoughtful discussion" (although it's strange I hear no objections) but it tells me you've got little else to go on other than "OMG gunz r danjerus!!!" Repeatedly calling someone's sanity into question is not "thoughtful" or "discussion".

    When I say that less than 2% of crime involves your dreaded "assault weapons" (which again, I doubt you can even define) you don't hear me calling you an idiot for wanting to enact legislation banning something that has already been PROVEN by ten years experience to have ZERO effect on crime.

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  30. alcade, "It can't happen here." Frank Zappa said that.

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  31. Let''s just get something straight here everyone. My side of the issue does not have a fear of guns. That is what you guys are making up as you go along to support your own paranoia. I have guns in my home. I come from a hunting family. My husband is a hunter as is my brother and my mother and father before him. We have hunters and gun owners working with us. What we fear is guns in the wrong hands or guns used in situations of anger, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, domestic abuse, by felons, by minors, and all the others who should not have guns. Our fear is about all of the people out there who get guns who are not responsible with them, including some law abiding gun owners, who in the right situation, use them the wrong way to kill someone else or themselves or have accidents. We fear that guns are too easy to use wrongly. Many of us own guns. Many of us have shot guns and do shoot guns. So you can keep saying it and hope that it sticks, but it won't and I will make sure it won't by using my blog to continue my quest for common sense about guns- NOT to take them away from you unless, of course, you are a felon, domestic abuser, under the influence, or plan to shoot your wife in a difficult divorce or plan to shoot yourself when you are depressed.

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  32. ILP-"
    There are many good reasons. Recreation, collecting, common defense, and as a investment. Heck, you could own one to destroy it and remove it from existence. " Total nonsense. Hardly anyone but you guys believe this. Your liberties come with a price. My liberties are violated when you guys stop all measures to keep guns from those who shouldn't have them so you can have what you perceive to be your personal and individual liberties. Christina Green no longer has the liberty of walking this earth and growing up to be a contributing adult to our country.

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  33. Anon- ": that there would be a black president in 2008." What does this mean? Are you a racist or do you fear a black President? Is that what this is all about then? Please explain. As to the rest of your comments- it is the pot calling the kettle black syndrome. The evidence is again, in the words you use and the way you use them to attack and demean. When someone from my side finally fights back with you guys, you don't know what to do with it.

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  34. japete:

    Please consider commenting on this news development:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7357550n&tag=related;photovideo

    It's "mainstream" news, and probably has some credibility.

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  35. Joan-

    I do not have a problem with a black president any more than I have a problem with uprisings in North Africa demanding democracy. That is to say none at all. Nice try though.

    "As to the rest of your comments", in what way did I attack or demean? "Fighting back" is not slinging around insults, but formulating an argument and defending it logically.

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  36. "Total nonsense. Hardly anyone but you guys believe this. Your liberties come with a price. My liberties are violated when you guys stop all measures to keep guns from those who shouldn't have them so you can have what you perceive to be your personal and individual liberties."

    Well the Swiss believe this, and mandate that every male member of their military keep their fully automatic assault rifle at home and ready to use at all times.

    "Anon- ": that there would be a black president in 2008." What does this mean? Are you a racist or do you fear a black President? Is that what this is all about then? Please explain."

    What are you talking about? I don't mean to put words in their mouth, but I realized right away the analogy there. Are you trying to accuse someone of racism when there is none evident? I thought you were offended by this when I pointed out that the earliest gun control laws were aimed at blacks. You seemed very upset that you thought I was implying you were a racist by default. In no way shape or form did this person make a derogatory comment.

    "The evidence is again, in the words you use and the way you use them to attack and demean"

    This has not been my experience. And I admit that I do not see the comments you have chosen to omit. But as for myself I have endeavored in the short time I have been commenting on your blog to be both thoughtful and respectful. Yet already you personally have called me "arrogant." Baldr has called me "paranoid" and has implied I was mentally ill.

    This is *not* reasoned discourse. Give us facts or opinions, not insults.

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  37. What we fear is guns in the wrong hands or guns used in situations of anger, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, domestic abuse, by felons, by minors, and all the others who should not have guns...


    Joan, I agree with you here. My issue is with Baldr who would ban the very guns that are in your home. All of these guns are sniper rifles and hunting rifles. They all use the same action and as alcade pointed out, some of these are still in service as sniper rifles alongside their millions of uses as hunting rifles. Baldr is banning things based on arbitrary criteria instead of safety, because an M4's fragile .223 bullet has less chance of penetrating an apartment wall than a common, more robust 9mm handgun bullet.

    And as long as we're talking about words, it's the number of times that Baldr uses the word "you" and "you need" in his words that concerns me. I recognize that his intentions are not an accurate reflection of yours, but his language changes the nature of this conversation from guns to one of control -- arbitrary and dictatorial control.

    Peaceful, law-abiding citizens in this country don't like to be dictated to and told what their hobbies should be, what they can or can not own, who they can love, whether or not they can have an abortion, whether or not they can smoke pot for pain management, and so on. It's the common thread through all these hot issues and that heat makes it nearly impossible to focus on common sense solutions like stronger background checks.

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  38. Well you can not legislate human feelings. You can try to put limits on the expression of those feelings but if some one is angry enough, distraught enough, depressed enough, they are going to act no matter what the law says. Be it guns, knives, fire, automobile, or whatever, if they reach that point, they flip out.

    Passing " reasonable" legislation is not going to affect people who are by the very definition of mental illness or confusion, unreasonable. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY to meet your goals. None, nada, zip,

    Prior to guns we had violent crime. Take away all guns we'll still have violent crime


    You said your husband hunted. Please ask him what firearm he hunts with.

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  39. I just heard this on Public radio. I don't anything about it so no comment. I take it by the fact that you wanted me to comment- you think this must be something that shows that this story proves something?

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  40. Alcade- when you guys do the same I will be happy to comply. Insults are a daily occurrence on my blog, not coming from me.

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  41. Migo- really? Dictatorial control? Come on. My hunting guns would in no way be affected by any laws on the books or laws proposed. I suspect you guys know that by ramp up the rhetoric to oppose any measure that might actually make us all safer.

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  42. "When I wrote about 'the most destructive weapons,' I was mainly thinking of assault rifles, 0.50 caliber, SNIPER RIFLES, armor-piercing rounds, and extended clips."
    (Emphasis mine)

    This is what Baldr wrote. Again, we understand that not all gun control advocates believe the same thing, and certainly not all of them have guns in the house. But some of those who you call allies bandy about lists of things that they're pretty sure they're scared of and hence no one else needs. This is what prompts our insistence on proper terminology, and Baldr just gave us the perfect example.

    Go to a WalMart or Dick's sporting goods (in a "free" state), buy a Remington 700 and paint it black. You now have a "sniper rifle capable of penetrating body armor".
    Now it has to be banned for the children. :(
    Sorry, Mr. Pete. Turn it in.

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  43. "Well the Swiss believe this, and mandate that every male member of their military keep their fully automatic assault rifle at home and ready to use at all times."

    Not only that, but with their version of a tax stamp ($150) they can have full auto. There are a surprising number of M16s in the hands of Swiss citizens, and not surprisingly there is no "blood in the streets".

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  44. japete said...

    I just heard this on Public radio. I don't anything about it so no comment. I take it by the fact that you wanted me to comment- you think this must be something that shows that this story proves something?
    February 24, 2011 11:10 AM

    Funny considering that you said the same thing a week or two ago when it was first brought up. I would think that you would have looked into it by now

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  45. I agree with you Joan. Your hunting guns are not affected as you described, but if Baldr got his way and banned sniping rifles then all hunting rifles would be banned, because hunting and sniping are identical. Both use the same guns.

    Telling me what to own or what my hobbies should be, maybe from a preferred hobby list, is dictatorial. My dictionary defines dictatorial as "having or showing a tendency to tell people what to do in an autocratic way". Doesn't that apply to Baldr telling me that I should find a new hobby?

    And yes, this is all a big distraction. I believe we can have a dialogue about how to keep guns out of dangerous hands without having to tell peaceful law-abiding citizens what they can own and what they can do with their free time. That just irritates them and distracts them and now we have more people against your cause than we started with. Besides peaceful law-abiding people are not the problem. Criminals and mentally unstable people are so our focus should be on them.

    All of us here have a few things in common. I believe it's fair to say that none of us here wants armed criminals. I think I can also say that legal gun owners don't want to be involved in a homicide and would prefer legally disarming criminals than shoot an armed criminal and face stiff legal and civil court costs. I think its also fair to say that none of us supports abuse with firearms, unsafe firearm handling, or someone with serious mental issues having access to a gun.

    So we should focus on those commonalities instead of interfering with a peaceful law-abiding person's right to own what they want and to do what they want with their free time.

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  46. I have a strong feeling that a 'sniper rifle' ban would indeed ban many ordinary rifles. What would be the definition? The only real difference between a military sniper rifle, and a hunting or target shooting rifle, is the appearance, and even then sometimes they look identical. Savage Arms sells their Model 10 for police snipers, does that mean all Savage model 10's would be banned for civilians? What about a Model 11, it's nearly the same? Would one of the most popular hunting rifles ever, the Remington 700, be banned because the US Marines' M40 and US Army's M24 rifles are built on Remington 700 actions? How about my 1942 model 91/30 Mosin-Nagant rifle? It's design and cartridge is from 1891, the 91/30 was a somewhat crude bolt action that was the basic infantry weapon of the Russian army. If I put a PU model scope and turned-down bolt handle on it, does that make it a sniper rifle because that's what the Soviets issued as a sniper rifle? Does my AR15 target rifle get banned, because it's an 'M-16' style weapon, even though my Mosin-Nagant from 1897 is much more powerful?

    How many mass shooters have used 'sniper rifles', .50 cal rifles, emplaced machine guns, or target shooting rifles? You are trying to regulate something that isn't even a problem, taking away people's livelihoods and hobbies and dictating what they can and cannot have. This is ludicrous. There are people running around killing with and without guns, and instead of stopping them, you're trying to take things away from me expecting that eventually, all these weapons that they might get, will never make it to their hands, and some how all other sources of weapons and all other types of weapons, will just vanish also. I can't comprehend it. It's like trying to cure cancer, by banning things that might cause cancer, without actually treating anybody. People would be dying of cancer, but instead of treating them, you would be out banning and regulating things that could possibly cause cancer, even though more and more cancer patients are dying without treatment.

    That's what gun control is like to me, trying to control everything that might have made the patient sick, without actually treating the patient.

    -DHS

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  47. BTW- are you planning to do this or why did you suggest this? What's the point anyway? Further I don't believe that this is true. Either it is a sniper rifle or it isn't.

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  48. " Funny considering that you said the same thing a week or two ago when it was first brought up. I would think that you would have looked into it by now "? Sorry- I was rushing from one place to another and thought this was about the Texas terrorist picked up today which is what I just heard about. I have heard about this story but did not see Katie Couric's coverage. See my post from today. I'm no it.

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  49. "BTW- are you planning to do this or why did you suggest this? What's the point anyway? Further I don't believe that this is true. Either it is a sniper rifle or it isn't."

    It's just to illustrate a point, Joan. Such distinctions are imaginary. The US military uses Remington 700s as their M40 Sniper rifle, and any one of your husbands rifles (if painted black) would be referred to by news reporters as a "sniper rifle".

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  50. What is the definition of a sniper rifle? A US Marine sniper can go take a hunting rifle from the sporting goods store, and use it to snipe terrorists planting bombs in Afghanistan, does that make the hunting rifle a sniper rifle now? I can buy a Savage Model 10 police sniper rifle in .308 (one of the most common deer hunting cartridges), and go deer hunting with it, is it a sniper rifle or not? What if I buy a Savage Model 10 bull barrel and put a Choate stock on it, is it still a hunting rifle or did I turn it into a sniper rifle? What about my Savage 93R17 target rifle, it has a big scope and a heavy bull barrel and can put bullets into a half inch circle at 100 yards, is it a sniper rifle or not?

    -DHS

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  51. "All I can say is- whatever."

    My 14 year old daughter says that a lot.

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  52. There is a lot of talking about magazines, rifles and hunting and you keep saying that you do not want to take away our guns. Since the second amendment is not about hunting Japete, how do you feel about handguns? Would they be allowed in "your world"?

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  53. japete, I often wonder what their point is. What you propose is so reasonable and "soft," I find it hard to understand the resistance.

    The only thing I can think of is these guys have all turned a switch in their heads which demands total resistance to anything and everything you say. Once that switch is turned, they can't even hear you anymore.

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  54. We've had this discussion before, anon. If you choose to have a handgun, of course, that is your right. I'm not interested in your hand gun. I'm interested, though, in your handgun being stolen, laying around the house loaded where a child can find it, or your deciding to use it in a fit of rage, when depressed, or under the influence of alcohol to kill someone you love or yourself. The handguns of today were not imagined in the writings of the founding fathers. We live in 2011 where they are easily accessable to those who cannot handle them responsibly. That is what I am interested in. How about you?

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  55. "Total nonsense."

    If it is "total nonsense" then why do thousands of Americans buy and use fully automatic weapons for these reasons with full government approval?

    You see, we both can't be right on this. Am I wrong when I say that people do this, they say they do this, they do in fact do this, and the government has a method for approving people to do exactly this? No, I am not.

    You may be offended, upset, and scared, but that is no reason to deny that this happens thousands of times per year.

    "Hardly anyone but you guys believe this."

    True. Most people think machine guns are banned. Fortunately they are learning that machine guns are perfectly legal in America.

    "Your liberties come with a price. My liberties are violated when you guys stop all measures to keep guns from those who shouldn't have them so you can have what you perceive to be your personal and individual liberties."

    Wrong. You don't have a right to be protected. There is no such right, not in the Declaration of Independence, not in the Constitution, not in the Federalist Papers or other original supporting documents, not in any state constitution, not in the common law, not in any court decision. There is no basis for claiming such a right in our legal tradition.

    However, there is a basis for a claiming a right against such protection. If I go out and buy a firearm and a large magazine I haven't done anything to harm you or violate any of your rights. On the other hand, if you prevent me from doing so, then you have harmed me and you have violated my rights.

    "Christina Green no longer has the liberty of walking this earth and growing up to be a contributing adult to our country. "

    Why is that? My liberty and my exercise of it - or the criminal actions of another person?

    The past criminal actions of Party A are no reason, excuse, or justification for the future restraint of lawful actions of Party B.

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  56. "japete, I often wonder what their point is. What you propose is so reasonable and "soft," I find it hard to understand the resistance."

    Lenin is supposed to have explained this, you folks should listen to him:

    “Probe with a bayonet. If you meet steel, stop. If you meet mush, then push.”

    You keep pushing for gun control and meeting steel. You should stop rather than trying to go after a determined prepared opponent who will cause you to waste your resources and expose your weaknesses.

    "The only thing I can think of is these guys have all turned a switch in their heads which demands total resistance to anything and everything you say. Once that switch is turned, they can't even hear you anymore. "

    No, most of us are listening, that's how we find out exactly what we need to fight. However the age of American gun owners supporting gun control is coming to an end.

    Japete - you asked numerous gun owners and found they supported various measures. What was the average age of these gun owners you know? I'm guessing they were over fifty, am I wrong?

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  57. "I'm interested, though, in your handgun being stolen, laying around the house loaded where a child can find it, or your deciding to use it in a fit of rage, when depressed, or under the influence of alcohol to kill someone you love or yourself."

    You cannot predict whether my house will be broken into.

    You cannot predict whether my kids will somehow get access to my safe.

    You cannot predict whether I even have fits of rage, let alone how I manage them.

    You cannot predict whether I have depression, let alone how I manage it.

    You cannot predict whether I will become an alcoholic and misuse my firearms.

    The only thing that you can say WITH CERTAINTY is that person "X" has proven themselves untrustworthy in the past, and is therefore a prohibited person.

    And if you manage to pass legislation to allow draconian micromanagement of gun owners, congratulations, you've basically done NOTHING to combat violent crime, the vast, VAST majority of firearm deaths. And you've done it at the expense of opening the door for Feinstein to tell us to "turn them all in".

    "Innocent until proven guilty".


    As for this...

    "The handguns of today were not imagined in the writings of the founding fathers."

    Pistols were common, and James Puckle's "Puckle Gun" 1718 clearly demonstrated the concept of a revolving cylinder. The "Belton Flintlock" (1777) was capable of firing twenty rounds in five seconds, so to say that the drive for better, smaller, and higher capacity firearms is a modern invention is baseless.

    Da Vinci designed a helicopter in 1493, before the manufacturing and materials existed to build and test it. To say no one ever thought of a gun that fires more than once is laughable.

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  58. Mike-

    Tell you what, why don't you get to work on banning "assault weapons" in Italy?

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  59. "Fortunately they are learning that machine guns are perfectly legal in America." Most Americans would find this appalling rather than fortunate. You guys are a minority of folks who think this is a good idea.

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  60. ILP- " However the age of American gun owners supporting gun control is coming to an end." You are wrong. The more extreme you guys get the more support we have. Average age?- yes over 50. Does that mean that younger gun owners are more extreme? Also, you guys have a problem. More younger people are just not interested in guns. You all are trying to drum up interest by proposing guns on campus and lowering the age for carrying guns. It's not working out too well.

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  61. Anon- can you predict the opposite? I said the handguns of today which are different from the handguns of the 1800s.

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  62. "Anon- can you predict the opposite?"

    Not any more than I can predict whether you'll cheat on your taxes or drive recklessly. But until you do, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    "I said the handguns of today which are different from the handguns of the 1800s."

    No you didn't.
    You said-
    "The handguns of today were not imagined in the writings of the founding fathers."

    This is the standard argument against "assault rifles", that the founding fathers never could have imagined such a thing, and never would have placed such emphasis on civilian gun ownership if they had. You underestimate the people of that time, as illustrated by the historical examples I gave.

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  63. The only reason I can find that to be appalling to many Americans, is that they have been wrongly led to believe that machine guns are the primary weapon of choice for gang members and taught to fear them. We know gang members are not dragging around heavy machine guns, they are too big and expensive, this is reality, not the movies. Sometimes on rare occasion they have an illegal submachine gun, I don't see how any new laws are going to do anything about something that is already illegal. I think the existing system for ownership of fully automatic firearms is just fine, we don't see any mass shootings with NFA registered firearms, do we?

    I don't know what happened to my last comment on sniper rifles, but either you are missing a point, or refusing to acknowledge it. Most sniper rifles are based on civilian rifle designs. Often the only difference between a military sniper rifle and a civilian hunting rifle, is the color, the rifle itself could be the exact same model. If you define sniper rifles by name, then anything not called that exact same name, but is identical, is legal. Makes no sense. If you define sniper rifle as a rifle chambered in a military cartridge with a scope mounted, then you ban many hunting and target rifles that happen to use the same cartridge (for example, .223/5.56x45mm and .308/7.62x51mm are two of the most popular civilian cartridges, with nearly identical NATO military issue counterparts). This makes no sense either.

    And again, there are an incredibly small number of shootings occurring with such rifles, 'sniper shootings' have only occurred a handful of times in this country. I'd say gang members beating people with baseball bats is a far more pressing issue.

    If you worry about the misuse of handguns, then educate people about gun safety, get guns off the streets, work on making violence a less acceptable response in today's society. But don't treat us like we're supplying the criminals.

    And the movement for allowing guns on campus and lowering the carrying age is not meant to get interest from younger shooters. It's because there are already so many younger shooters who demonstrate such maturity with firearms, that there is enough support for these ideas. You may be picturing kids playing video games and wanting to go play shoot 'em up in real life, but we are talking about responsible youths who know better. Nobody's advocating handing out guns to all 16 year olds. But if someone is old enough to live on their own, drive a car, hold a job, pay their bills, and do everything else an adult does without getting in trouble, I don't see how allowing them to carry a handgun suddenly means that immature kids will be running around blasting away at each other.

    -DHS

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  64. "Alcade- when you guys do the same I will be happy to comply. Insults are a daily occurrence on my blog, not coming from me."

    Ah, I see. So because some *other* people insult you, it is ok to insult me (who has never insulted you).

    Just figured I'd clear that up.

    Have a nice day.

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  65. "You are wrong. The more extreme you guys get the more support we have. "

    The funding and membership numbers for the pro-gun and anti-gun groups appear to show a very different story.

    "Average age?- yes over 50. Does that mean that younger gun owners are more extreme?"

    Yep. Just like more 25 year olds than 75 year olds who like to sky-dive, bungee jump, and snowboard. Or look at snowshoes - old farts like the large heavy wood and leather ones, young people go for the plastic and metal lightweight ones that are a lot smaller and more effective. You can call technical superiority "extreme" but I don't see why except as an attempt to marginalize those who prefer the latest and greatest.

    " Also, you guys have a problem. More younger people are just not interested in guns."

    I think that's true of hunting, which is good because then there will be more for me to hunt. Plenty of young people here in NH love their firearms. When I was in California I didn't know any - it varies widely by region.

    "You all are trying to drum up interest by proposing guns on campus and lowering the age for carrying guns. It's not working out too well. "

    Actually, I haven't seen anyone propose campus carry as a means of getting young people to become gun owners. It's intended to let existing gun owners carry their firearms like they do everywhere else.

    What is making firearms popular is the development of the modern pocket pistol, starting with the .380 craze and now with the "tiny ninie" pocket 9mm race, complemented by the development of new designs of snubnose revolvers, all fueled by the explosion in CCW laws. There was a time in this country when small easily concealed guns were all the rage among men and women of all ages and social groups, and it appears the good times are here again, except with much better firearms than ever before.

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  66. Interesting observation- and I would say these are the very guns about which I was speaking when I said the founding fathers didn't imagine such. Yes- good times for you but possibly not for some who might end up as victims. Be careful out there.

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  67. "But if someone is old enough to live on their own, drive a car, hold a job, pay their bills, and do everything else an adult does without getting in trouble, I don't see how allowing them to carry a handgun suddenly means that immature kids will be running around blasting away at each other."

    Let's not forget non-traditional students. Forty and fifty year old adults go to college too. They certainly don't suddenly become unstable when they walk on campus, and if they did, "gun-free zone" signs wouldn't stop them.

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  68. I'm going to graduate school right now at age 34...my school restricts my right to carry a defensive firearm to/from my car in a sketchy part of Minneapolis. I can't afford to get kicked out due to an "infraction" of their rules.

    Not fair - not right.

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  69. It must be a great inconvenience to you Pat.

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  70. " Interesting observation- and I would say these are the very guns about which I was speaking when I said the founding fathers didn't imagine such. "

    I'm sure they dreamed of them, and probably discussed them while drinking in front of a fireplace. I really can't imagine that people who loved firearms that much were completely satisfied with the primitive pain in the butt technology.

    One of the other things I've seen commented on by pro-liberty folks is the nature of gunshot wounds and their treatment at the time of the Founding Fathers versus now. Granted their firearms were all single shots, but they frequently were .75 caliber or larger. The medical treatment was far more primitive, and often when gun wounds killed it was often a very slow and very painful process. While guns have made great advances they have been surpassed by the advances in medicine. It is a curious notion that the founding father's would have used and even celebrated such fierce weapons that inflicted such brutal wounds but that they somehow would have been appalled by modern firearms.

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  71. "It must be a great inconvenience to you Pat."

    It was a similar "inconvenience" that made Suzanna Hupp leave her firearm in the car instead of her purse that infamous day in Texas. It was a similar "inconvenience" that made that school principal leave his gun in his truck instead of in the holster that day in Alabama.

    When an "inconvenience" prevents a citizen from defending themselves and others - who is to blame for the increase in the number of victims?

    "my school restricts my right to carry a defensive firearm to/from my car in a sketchy part of Minneapolis."

    I have a friend who used to go shooting with a coworker during their lunch breaks, in a very sketchy part of Cincinnati which is a sketchy city. He said there was a hundred yard area around the shooting range where the gangsters wouldn't go. Criminals respect armed citizens.

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  72. I think a better word than "inconvenience", would be "infringement". It's not inconvenient. Having to walk back and forth across campus to classes in different buildings in inconvenient. Not being able to protect one's self against an armed criminal is far more than inconvenient.

    Pat will probably not ever have to deal with a shooter on his school campus. But if he did, he can run for cover to hide from the shooter, but he can't protect himself and others if the shooter comes after him.

    And what about the 'sniper rifles'? You haven't told me what definition you have, that clearly separates sniper rifles from ordinary civilian hunting and target shooting rifles? Are you going to tell me I can buy a Savage 10GXP3 which has a wood stock and shiny black barrel, but I can't have the almost identical Savage 10FCP because it's all matte black instead?

    -DHS

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  73. I don't believe the "founding fathers" loved their firearms. Your idea that they sat around a fireplace drinking while discussing firearms is interesting but likely not true. You must tell me how you know these guys loved their firearms.

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  74. In 1785 Thomas Jefferson wrote to his fifteen-year-old nephew, Peter Carr, regarding what he considered the best form of exercise: "...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body, and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks."

    References to ownership of arms and accoutrements may be found throughout his manuscripts and accounts. A cursory compilation shows that he owned a shotgun called a "two shot-double barrel," purchased in France, a number of pistols and other shoulder weapons. Further evidence that he used these may be found in the columns of his account books.

    http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/firearms

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  75. "You must tell me how you know these guys loved their firearms. "

    Because they believed their possession was an inalienable right and codified that into writing in the supreme law of the land.

    I could also go on and on regarding pro-gun quotes from the founding fathers, but I presume you've heard them all before.

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  76. Franklin was not only an inventor, but also organized the Pennsylvania militia- artillery AND infantry. To say that he never once thought about better guns is a stretch.

    From a study of Washington's will-

    22. Four pairs of pistols were found "in the Study" at Mount Vernon when the inventory of its contents was taken in 1800. The appraisers set a value of $50 on three of the pairs, and $50 on the fourth. The pair of pistols given to Lafayette was exhibited at the Chicago Exhibition in 1893 as one of the "Souvenirs Franco-Américain de La Guerre de Independance." They had been on permanent display in Lafayette's chateau de La Grange. It is possible that these were the pistols that were sent from Philadelphia to General Washington at West Point on 22 Sept. 1779, with these words: "General Washington: accepting of these Pistols will very much oblige Sir Your most obedient very humble Sevt George Geddes." On 30 Sept., in accepting the gift, Washington called them "a pair of very elegant Pistols." By leaving this or another of his pair of pistols to Lafayette, Washington may have been returning the compliment. In 1824 Congressman Charles Fenton Mercer presented Gen. Andrew Jackson with a pair of pistols which, he said, Washington wore during the Revolution and were the gift of Lafayette. Mercer had got the pistols from William Robinson, the son-in-law of Washington's nephew William Augustine Washington. See Prussing, Estate of George Washington, 417-18, Richard and Carol Simpson, "Andrew Jackson's Pistols," (The Gun Report, January 1985), and Andrew Jackson to Edward George Washington Butler, 20 Jan. 1824, in Sam B. Smith, Harriet Chappell, Owsley, et al., eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson, 5:341-42.

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    Of the pistols, one pair of matched flintlock pistols had once belonged to George Washington and was bought from the estate of Bartholomew Dandridge, former Private Secretary to George Washington. They were 14 inches long, with brass barrel, full-length walnut stock and seven solid silver inlays, including a grotesque mask on the butt; a rolled edge and engraved trigger guard; a panoply of arms on the cut-out side plates which show cannon, flags, drums, pole arms, a lion, and a unicorn.

    Richard Wilson and John Hawkins, London, gun makers made the pistols in 1748. Thomas Turner, whose grandfather had known Washington as a youth, gave the pistols to Washington in 1778. The pistols remained in Washington's possession during much of the Revolutionary War. Before he died, Washington gave the pistols to Bartholomew Dandridge, his wife's nephew and his secretary for six years. Dandridge survived only a few years after Washington's death, and, after his death, Philip purchased the pistols.

    In 1902 the pistols were sold to an antique arms dealer, Francis Bannerman at an estate auction near Warrenton, VA. In 1914 the pistols were sold to collector Edward Litchfield. In 1951 the Litchfield collection was sold to Clendennin Ryan. In 1953, he presented them to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where they currently reside in the West Point Museum. In 1978, the U.S. Historical Society with headquarters in Richmond Virginia commissioned a limited edition of 975 pairs of commemorative replicas of the pistols, which were offered to the public for $2,600.

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  77. Also, Washington was known to keep a small cannon in his study that he fired when ships passed on the Potomac.

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