Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gun laws and handcuffs..

The gun lobby has their followers convinced that they will go to jail if H.R. 308 ever becomes law. The false road block put up by the NRA is the idea that anyone who has an ammunition magazine over 10 rounds would automatically go to jail. Talk of SWAT teams coming around with handcuffs has occurred right here on this blog. Let's look at the wording of the bill: 
(v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device. ‘(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection."


Later in the bill, it is noted that the penalties for infractions of the law, should it pass into law, in fact, are: " (8) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(v) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.’."  My take on this is that if you already own ammunition feeding devices of over 10 rounds at the time of the bill's passage, you will not be penalized for owning said devices. The transfer of the devices will be unlawful, except for those already owned- " (v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device."  I am trying to see this as an automatic "go directly to jail without passing go" situation but just can't. Once the manufacture of them becomes illegal, these devices will no longer be offered by dealers. I am having a hard time seeing this wording to mean an automatic jail term. 


But some who comment here had this to say:


"Other people will come shove guns in our faces, and in our family's faces, all because someone had an "ammunition feeding device" that held too many bullets. You know, like grandpa's 1863 Henry that was kept over the fireplace for generations in the family. That's what will happen, maybe not to be, but to someone who otherwise never did anything wrong if Carolyn McCarthy gets her way."


"When McCarthy altered the grandfathering from the 94 ban, it had profound implications on how the law would treat people who already possessed ammunition devices (whether they were detachable or not). It also shifted the burden of proof from the government, to prove the possession was unlawful, to the possessor to prove the possession was lawful. That essentially means if you have no way of proving your possession was lawful, you're going to jail if you have an 1863 Henry hanging on your wall. Not because the gun is illegal, but because the ammunition feeding device (a.k.a. magazine) attached to it is."


Certainly YOU won't have the guts to do it, but you'll gladly support the politicians that send armed men to our doors to forcibly remove the guns from our homes ... and if a few of us resist then good (less people left to vote against whatever anti liberty thing you decide you'll push for next after you get your way on this one). "


"The way the bill is written, it becomes an affirmative defense that you owned the magazines before they were banned. That is, you can still have your door kicked down by a team serving a no-knock warrant and be taken into custody, be assumed guilty based on simple possession, then its up to you to prove that you're innocent. If you think this won't happen, you're obviously not watching how other laws (like drug laws) are being enforced. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-knock_warrant

Likewise, the ban on transfers also has the effect of making it impossible to hand things down through the family. Say grandpa has an heirloom lever action rifle with an "evil assault magazine" hanging over the fireplace. Grandpa passes away. The only choice that the law abiding citizen has at that point is to turn in the firearm to the police for no compensation. It also criminalizes innocent transfers. My wife and I both shoot the same type of hand guns. They all use the same magazines. We would now need to separate our mags into a "his" pile and "hers" pile. If I accidentally used one of her mags, or if I handed her one of mine on the range, then we'd be committing a felony."

So there remains a huge chasm between the perception of the bill's language and the actual bill language. Somehow this will need to be sorted out and no doubt it will but it is not a reason to "kill the bill". On the other hand the NRA in Florida is only too happy to jail doctors for even mentioning that guns could be a danger in the home. This is particular to Pediatricians whose job it is to keep their patients safe and healthy. I think this article is a good take on the hypocrisy of this Florida proposed law. "The NRA and freshman state Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, wanted to imprison doctors and fine them as much as $5 million for asking patients questions about gun ownership." In this case, the NRA is at least up front about the specifics of jailing doctors. There is no other way to take the wording of their bill. Because this proposal was so over the top and ridiculous, "After a public outcry, Brodeur scaled back his bill. The latest version doesn't call for imprisoning doctors. Just fining them … up to $100,000 …. for asking questions … inside their own offices … which patients voluntarily entered." 


The interesting thing is that the Florida bill was met with strong resistance so changes were made. This is the "sausage making" of bills. However, this one was clearly a solution looking for a problem. Little or no harm has been done by doctors asking questions. Concerning large capacity magazines, it's hard to argue that no harm has been done by their use in the wrong hands. If we ban new manufacture and sale of these devices, it will become less likely that a crazed shooter will be able to get his or her hands on them to produce the carnage seen on a peaceful January Saturday in Tucson. That sounds like a good solution to a known problem. 


Just don't get on the wrong side of the NRA. Never mind that they themselves have worked themselves into a tizzy about the wording in H.R. 308 and have accused the gun control organizations of wanting to imprison them when it isn't true. But here we have a law sponsored by the NRA that actually says that doctors would go to jail. No need to look for hidden language here. " Trying to regulate private conversations between doctors and their patients seemed like a pretty clear violation of the First Amendment. Hammer of Florida's NRA (italics mine) was unconcerned. Unfortunately for her, legislative analysts are. Here's a line from the House's own analysis: "This prohibition may be subject to challenge as violating one's First Amendment right to freedom of speech."


"Those GOP House staffers must be liberal, anti-gun radicals as well. So are some of Florida's sheriffs, Hammer believes. "Yep," she responded in an interview last week. "A lot of 'em are." Part of what the lawmen have done to earn Hammer's ire was to oppose a bill allowing people to openly carry firearms without storing them in safety holsters."


Seriously folks- common sense has been replaced by lunacy and paranoia.

31 comments:

  1. One of the smartest things you've ever said on this blog was to "follow the money," Japete. Let's follow the money on these "big bullet blasting boxes" and see where it leads. A "typical" 11+ round magazine starts around $15-20 and then goes up to $100 or more for some more exotic types. Let's assume an average price of about $30 or so, because I think that's what a decent, new standard capacity Glock or AR magazine costs. Most responsible gun owners will have more than one per weapon that they own; in my case I probably own over 100 of various types in total. I doubt I'm atypical in that regard, so let's just go with a nice round 100 for argument's sake. Follow the money: 100 magazines x $30 each = $3000! The simple fact of this matter is that all the arguments about the bill's questionable legality, getting thrown in prison for unintentional violations, the morality of arbitrarily deciding 10 corpses is "better" than 12, etc aside, I will be darned if I will have $3000 of my hard earned property rendered essentially valueless (if I can't transfer them, they have no worth) by the legislative decree of a woman that doesn't have a clue what she's talking about when it comes to firearms. I'm sure I'm not alone in this way of thinking either, but feel free to poll your regulars if you don't believe me.

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  2. And to take your analogy further in following the money- of course the dealers and manufacturers are against the bill because it would cut down on sales from people like you who seem to think you need to own hundreds. That is a literal arsenal. For what? So the NRA gets money from the manufacturers and voila- you have opposition to the bill. And your magazines- how will they be essentially valueless? Do you sell them? Are you a dealer? Are you a private seller and do you know exactly who your selling them to? If I were you, I'd sell them now and make the money just in case.

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  3. IMHO: I think that this "transfer" ban dooms this proposal. Gun control advocates have overreached again.

    I think that a mag ban might have stood a chance without it, just like a renewal of the AWB might have stood a chance if they had not tried to remove the sporting gun exemptions from the original AWB.

    Prohibiting transfers of items legally owned seems to be unprecedented in national gun legislation. The transfer ban is rarely mentioned in the national media and most gun owners probably are unaware of it. If the mag ban proposal ever gets any more traction, the NRA will make sure that gunowners learn about the transfer ban, and that will kill the bill.

    I also think that gun control advocates are unaware as to just how many gunowners own affected magazines. They probably think it's a small minority but I suspect (unscientifically, from observing friends and gun stores) that it is now a majority. For example: I did not go out seeking such a magazine, but my M-1 carbine is about 70 years old and has the original 15rd magazine. And for years, the US government gave these away for free to encourage civilian marksmanship.

    The gun guys here are complaining, but I think that if you oppose something then you actually want your opponent to overreach.

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  4. "I am having a hard time seeing this wording to mean an automatic jail term. "

    The owners of the existing magazines are all human beings. That means they are all going to die. When they die, someone else is going to possess those magazines. When that happens, the bereaved survivor automatically is committing a felony and will automatically go to prison if caught.

    It's not your intention, but you are advocating throwing millions of widows into prison. You keep saying this isn't the goal or function of the legislation, but that's what it says.

    Please refute me, or the sections you quoted. If a married couple goes to the range and they don't have their G19 magazines marked and they accidentally use the identical magazines they will be facing decades in prison. Can you refute that?

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  5. "Concerning large capacity magazines, it's hard to argue that no harm has been done by their use in the wrong hands. If we ban new manufacture and sale of these devices..."

    Common sense dictates that misuse does not come before proper use. Preventing the "wrong hands" purchasing them is fine, so long as the law-abiding are not similarly restricted.

    As this is not the case with this law, it's inaccurate to call it "sensible".

    "...common sense has been replaced by lunacy and paranoia."

    I agree. The fear surrounding Tucson has certain people under the mistaken impression that gun owners should undergo irresponsible restrictions, "just in case". That's paranoia to a T.

    Personally, I find both laws being advocated to be wrong. Doctors may not be required to ask about guns, but going as far as jailing them is utterly wrong. Likewise, the standard-capacity magazine ban appears to be an attempt to blame law-abiding gun owners for Tucson.

    Two wrongs never make a right, and certainly don't make "common sense".

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  6. "The transfer of the devices will be unlawful"

    And it is so very important to remember that "transfer" doesn't merely mean to sell or give away - it also means to lend. Let your friend hold your empty magazine with no gun and no ammo and you'll both serve more time than many violent criminals. That's the "common sense" regulations you want.

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  7. Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection.

    How will law enforcement know that lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date is true when the magazines are not stamped with any identifying numbers. There is no way of knowing who owned what before the date.

    And if the date can't be determined, then how can knowingly violates be ascertained?

    Once the manufacture of them becomes illegal, these devices will no longer be offered by dealers. I am having a hard time seeing this wording to mean an automatic jail term.

    It says it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess It does not say "it shall be unlawful for an FFL or dealer to transfer" so that particular observation is irrelevant.

    A few more comments:

    I haven't read much from the NRA on this bill. I'm not a child and I don't need things read to me. I can read the bill myself and clearly determine its implications for myself. Considering what happened in New Jersey with Brian Aitken, and some of the extremist posts from gun haters that you've posted on your blog recently, it's not hard for me to conclude that people can get in serious trouble for owning 10+ round magazine.

    I agree the "sausage making" process during hearings might get this sorted out, but the real problem with the bill is that millions of people own 13-20 round magazines for 9mm pistols and that the 30 round magazine is the most common magazine for the most popular rifle in America. This bill is unnecessarily going after rifles when laws have already been passed that make rifles difficult to use in crimes (like a 16 inch minimum barrel length). As it is written, I oppose this bill because it is extreme, it is written and supported by those who truly hate guns and want them removed from society, and it targets significantly more than the 30 round pistol magazine used in Tucson that proponents of this bill disingenuously rally behind.

    Finally, lets stop this "follow the money" discussion right now.

    A 10 round HK45 magazine costs about $60. A 30 round AR-15 mag costs about $15. It doesn't cost the manufacturer anything to modify a 20 round magazine down to 10 and sell it for the same cost or more. People will actually buy MORE 10 round magazines to get back to the original desired capacity of 50 to 70 during training and shooting sports. For example, in a training class, you can get by with three or four 20 round magazines, but you will now need 6 or 8 10 round magazines so that class time isn't wasted by having to stop so everyone can reload their magazines. Manufacturers and dealers would make MORE money if this bill ever saw daylight.

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  8. "... people like you who seem to think you need to own hundreds. That is a literal arsenal. For what? So the NRA gets money from the manufacturers and voila- you have opposition to the bill. And your magazines- how will they be essentially valueless? Do you sell them? Are you a dealer? Are you a private seller and do you know exactly who your selling them to?..."

    I find it ironic that you complain that people aren't respectful to you while you have absolutely no problem accusing people of the worst.

    Magazines wear and need to be replaced. Magazines may be banned. For rare guns it makes sense to have spares of the wearing parts so you can continue to use the gun.

    Point is that if this law passes I can't sell the gun and let the magazines go with the gun. So either I am deprived of the value of the gun or I am deprived of the value of the magazines. Either way, I, who have not committed any crime other than offending you and the other gun grabbers have had money stolen from me by act of law.

    I am pretty sure this violates the 5th amendment but since we are trying to destroy the 2nd amendment why worry about the rest of the Constitution?

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  9. "So the NRA gets money from the manufacturers"

    Read their form 990s. Of the 190 million NRA got in contributions, 114 million of that was from membership dues. The rest comes from their fundraising off members for contributions. NRA receives almost no money from the manufacturers. NRA Foundation gets some, but that is only to 501(c)3 permitted activity, which means no lobbying or politics. NRA is funded by it's members, not some cigar smoking fat cats in top hats.

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  10. "If we ban new manufacture and sale of these devices, it will become less likely that a crazed shooter will be able to get his or her hands on them to produce the carnage seen on a peaceful January Saturday in Tucson. That sounds like a good solution to a known problem."

    Is it really a problem though? How many people are killed with bullets 1 through 10 as opposed to bullets 11 and up?

    Jim Kessler (who seems to be the smartest individual in the gun-control/ban movement) says this, "There were roughly 12,000 gun homicides last year, and I’ll wager that less than 10 were caused by bullets 11 through 30 in someone’s magazine. The problem is bullets 1, 2, and 3 –- not 11, 12, and 13." Wise words.

    "Never mind that they themselves have worked themselves into a tizzy about the wording in H.R. 308 and have accused the gun control organizations of wanting to imprison them when it isn't true."

    But then there is Brian Aitken, who was imprisoned and has lost his rights because of the very laws supported by gun control organizations. So you can't tell us it's not true. We've seen that it is.

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  11. Re the money: Actually, I think dealers will make out quite well if this bill passes. We have a few hundred bucks in standard capacity mags. If the bill passes, then we will need to buy a bunch of new 10 round magazines. A 10 round mag and a standard capacity magazine cost about the same. It doesn't cost more to make a mag that holds 15 rounds instead of 10. While some of the extended cap mags are more expensive, that is usually because they aren't mass produced--low rate production is always more expensive. So, dealers may see tons of people flocking to buy MORE 10 round magazines so they can try to comply with the law.

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  12. Joan,

    Did you actually read the law? Are any of the scenarios Sebastian and I pointed out incorrect?

    The law does ban transfer of a Henry lever action rifle. There is no exception for transfer after death. While it would vary state by state, I assume that the rifle would go into the estate's probate and hte only option would be to have the attorney probating the estate give it to local law enforcement or
    destroy it.

    The law also does ban simple transfer like my wife and I sharing magazines. There is no exception for family members.

    And finally, the idea that you possess the mag prior to the ban is the very definition of an affirmative defense. Police are going to arrest people and gather evidence; that's what they do. Given that it is a serious felony offense involving weapons, I'm sure that no-knock raids for officer safety will occur. The issue of whether the mags were owned prior to the ban's implementation will be a matter of fact that a court will have to sort out.

    What if a law said:
    (v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a gas guzzling SUV, car, or truck with a V6 engine. ‘(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of such a vehicle otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection."

    You could be arrested for possession of a vehicle, have charges brought, then it'd be up to you to prove that you actually owned the car prior to the implementation date. This might be easier because most cars need to be registered, so if you could produce your vehicle registration and/or the title, then you'd probably be ok.

    But what if your dad passed away and he left you a classic muscle car with a V6? It'd be impossible to take possession legally. What if your car is titled in the husband's name and he lets his wife drive it to work? That'd also be illegal. What if you bought a junker "project car" in a private sale, didn't properly complete a bill of sale (it happens), didn't register it because it was up on blocks in your garage, and had no easy way to prove that it was in your possession prior to the ban taking place? What if your friend was going to be the designated driver and bring you and some friends home after a night out?

    All of these problems exist with HR 308. They are compounded because magazines are much less expensive than cars, so they are ubiquitous and not accounted for by the state (or individuals for that matter) by serial number. That would make it very difficult if not impossible to prove possession prior to the ban.

    The other, more troubling thing, is the contempt in which we are being treated. This law makes it a serious felony to possess such a magazine with a 10 year sentence. That's on par with sentences handed down for criminal sexual abuse (rape--97 to 210 months). That's more than you'd give someone who was in possession of kiddie porn (~41-51 months per the federal sentencing guidelines). You're basically saying that possession of these magazines -- even for lawful purposes without any criminal act or criminal intent -- is as reprehensible as possessing hundreds of images of kiddie porn and almost as bad as raping someone.

    When we highlight the very real ways in which this law could be used to impact peaceable citizens, you mock us and say that we've been programmed by the NRA--even though legally, we're correct?

    Don't you think that's just a little insulting? You say that you're all about empathy -- our frustration and fears are real and founded on a careful reading of the proposed law. It is entirely unacceptable, and the attitudes of those who support it show that they are not interested in bargaining in good faith to remove the most egregious parts.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  13. "people like you who seem to think you need to own hundreds. That is a literal arsenal"

    Actually, when taken in comparison to the number of guns that I have that take those magazines, it's pretty reasonable (just a handful for each really), but for the sake of your cardiovascular health and mental sanity we won't discuss what that other number is in my case! However, there's plenty of people out there that believe that since magazines wear out, you should have 10-20 per gun or more. While in terms of cash outlay that's a little "unreasonable" to me, I can certainly agree with them in principle, and I'll definitely be joining that group before this inane bill becomes law, if it somehow ever makes it that far (which I strongly doubt).

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  14. "So there remains a huge chasm between the perception of the bill's language and the actual bill language."

    No, that is not true. The bill, as written, criminalizes transfer of magazines. No ambiguity or difference in perception.

    "Somehow this will need to be sorted out and no doubt it will but it is not a reason to 'kill the bill'."

    Did you really just pull a Pelosi and tell us we have to pass it to discover what is in it?

    "On the other hand the NRA in Florida is only too happy to jail doctors for even mentioning that guns could be a danger in the home. "

    Yes, it is a silly bill and I hope it fails.

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  15. FatWhiteMan- have you heard of hearings on bills where questions are asked and amendments made?

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  16. Part 1

    Well since “your” bill makes the item contraband per se, there is plenty of case law that says the burden is on the defendant to show they were entitled to the exemption.

    We have seen such things here in the “great” state of Illinois, where our governors make our license plates (lest I digress).

    Here in our state we have some of your utopian laws. Chicago had a gun ban, it didn’t work. Chicago now has a very strict licensing scheme, on top of the state licensing scheme, still is not working.
    So I always ask gun hating gun control types when is enough, enough? I have to have my FOID card in order to own or posses any firearm. There you happy? No. Now they seek, as they have for several years, bills to require the registration of every firearm sold. You want to ban guns like my Remington turkey gun, my son’s 10/22 rifles and now my reproduction Colt Lightning.

    And now you want to ban magazines, even though I have to have a “license” in order to own a gun.

    Back in the 1990’s they made it a felony to carry a gun. When people complied with the law, they were arrested, charged and convicted of a felony. Then they had to go to the court of appeals, to have it tossed out. They were in compliance, but still got arrested. The cops figure let the judge sort it out. Judge didn’t want to listen, and the prosecutors were making up as they went along.

    So, under your bill, the possession becomes a per se violation. As pointed out, magazines are not serial numbered. So telling what was legally possessed is next to impossible.
    As to the devaluing of their property, here is where you guys just don’t’ get it. Your plans just don’t jive with reality. What happens to the father who wants to hand them down to his kids. No exemption for that. What about a will or bequethment? How about if I loan one to a friend at the range, or maybe he’s just going to the range and wants to barrow my rifle and mags to give them a try. Can’t do that cause under your bill it can be considered a transfer.

    Once the current owner dies, then they have little to no value since they can only be used by law enforcement. So you have a takings issue on the value of my .......

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  17. part 2

    property, from my estate. So you now have 2 Constitutional strikes against you.

    The really good thing for us is that you don’t have gun guys who deal with this stuff on a daily basis write this stuff. And then you try to ban guns like the Winchester Model 1892. You know the guns John Wayne and Chuck Connors used.

    This doesn’t even get into the fact that you could make most returning veterans felons for giving their kids a trinket from their return off the battlefield. How so, your bill includes magazines, belts and drums…. Well if I come home from duty some time after being at the machinegun range and happen to have picked up a bunch of links from a SAW or M60 or 240G, just bringing home 11 of those little pieces of metal, without owning a firearm, much less a machinegun for them to work in is a felony.

    So if my boys want to act like Rambo or Poncho Villa, and run around with a bunch of empty brass in belts, I and they have committed felonies.

    You try to grab so mush in your hatred of guns that you don’t understand everyday life and how your bills inter act with it. I am not a big fan of pointing out every flaw with your bills, but others here have outed parts of the bill and how it would work, so I doubt I’m adding to any of that. I feel that only educates the lower IQs on your side to write a bill that might, when the Cubs win the world series, be passable.

    I have little fear of that anytime soon with the current makeup of congress and the majority of state legislatures. You guys couldn’t even get it going in Maryland last week. If that doesn’t tell it all as how far you have come from the heydays of 1994.

    Lastly, you seem to be aghast at the number of magazines some people own. You’ll probably need a defibulator when you hear how many guns some of us own. Since Tucson, I have made it a habit of buying about 5 AR mags a week.
    But why is it, that you not only castigate people for their guns, but now for the parts of guns they own. A magazine is just that, part of a gun. An integral part, but a part none the less.

    So I own 300 of them. They wear out, they break or cease to function properly. I also own a lot of the guns they work in. And under the idea of having 20 mags per gun, I am quite behind. I do have enough for a basic load out for each. But that’s it. And to answer your question why? Because I can. I can afford it. I like them, and to me, I can set them up in all different configurations for different jobs. To me, guns are like screw drivers. You don’t have just one type of screw driver in your tool box now do you?
    I know you’re rolling your eyes and saying screw drivers don’t kill people. Yea I know. But some people build doll hoses, some collect door knobs, I collect, own, like different guns for different reasons. To answer part of your curiosity, short of machineguns, I can outfit an infantry platoon with equal or better stuff, including their snipers.

    Dozer

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  18. Yup- my eyes are rolling......

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  19. "FatWhiteMan- have you heard of hearings on bills where questions are asked and amendments made?"

    Yep, that is why I said "as written".

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  20. japete, thanks for a good post. This is what I call pro-gun arguing rule number 1. Exaggerate what the opposition says then argue against it furiously as if they really said it.

    The irony is, they often talk about individual responsibility, everyone is responsible for their own actions. But at the prospect of new gun laws, they say they'll make criminals out of the law-abiding. All of a sudden it's not the individual's responsibility or fault, it's the governments.

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  21. Mike - most of the arguements have simply quoted the bill and then pointed out fairly obvious conditions that would then be criminalized. They are not arguing against personal responsibility, they are arguing against unreasonable restrictions that will unduly burden law abiding citizens.

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  22. 1. How does one prove ownership before that time? If said individual has a magazine, and no longer has a receipt (as receipts for such are seldom kept for more than a few months). How does the individual prove his or her innocence?

    If we are going to assume a simple statement that "I bought this magazine before x/xx/xxxx date." is sufficient to avoid prosecution. Than the law becomes pointless, as ANYONE could simply claim they bought it before the new law went into effect.

    So a little bit of reasonable common sense precludes either a) innocents will be imprisoned b) guilty parties won't be. And therefore, this law is either unjust or useless.


    ---

    Furthermore, how will the law address antiques with higher than 10 capacities such as old Henry rifles passed down for several generations.

    Said law will force the destruction of family heirlooms.


    ---

    "Somehow this will need to be sorted out and no doubt it will but it is not a reason to "kill the bill"."

    You are absolutely wrong. It is absolutely reason to kill the bill. A bill should be dead until it is properly worded to be both just and Constitutional.

    We've grown a bit tired of the "pass the bill, and then we'll figure out what's in it" mantra.


    ---


    "Concerning large capacity magazines, it's hard to argue that no harm has been done by their use in the wrong hands."

    It's hard to argue that pens are not dangerous. More people have been killed by pens than guns in recent years.

    Don't believe me? Consider how many are dead by politicians signing bills with or executive orders with their pens.

    Libya just saw over a hundred die by a simple use of a pen.


    Clearly, we should ban pens!

    ---

    Let's not even get into the Brian Aiken case in which the anti-gun judge did not even allow the jurors to be made aware of the fact that there were exceptions clauses that the defendant may have been eligible for.

    --------------------------

    What I'd give to see some real common sense gun laws.

    Or even some criminal laws. Seriously, we can't get violent/repeat criminals in jail for 10 yrs. But a mere magazine is sufficient for 10 yrs for an individual engaged in no real criminal activity.

    Just doesn't make ANY sense does it?

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  23. "The irony is, they often talk about individual responsibility, everyone is responsible for their own actions. But at the prospect of new gun laws, they say they'll make criminals out of the law-abiding. All of a sudden it's not the individual's responsibility or fault, it's the governments."

    Why would it be an individual's fault, when they have done nothing wrong? If a person owns something that is banned (without legitimate reason, I may add), why should they be punished when it can't be claimed that their ownership of said thing is harmful?

    The people at fault are those irresponsible enough to demand such laws, knowing full well that innocent people will be affected far more often than criminals.

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  24. TIERRA VERDE — Meghan Brown had fired her pink .38-caliber handgun only inside a shooting range. Even there, she said, she wasn't very good.

    The 2009 Miss Tierra Verde, 25 and a slender brunet, had trouble pulling back the trigger. When she did manage, she said she almost never hit the target.

    That Saturday was different.

    A man barged into her home, attacking her and beating her fiance. Adrenaline pumping, she fetched the gun from her bedroom. She trained it on the man, following his movements as he tussled with her fiance.

    She saw an opening. She pulled the trigger. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.

    Albert F. Hill, 42, never got up.

    "I'm glad it was me," Brown said. "Not everybody else is that prepared, you know what I mean. Not everybody else is walking around with a loaded .38."

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/couple-recount-fatal-fray-at-their-tierra-verde-home/1158689

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  25. Guy, You're running a little loose with the description, aren't you?

    "The people at fault are those irresponsible enough to demand such laws, knowing full well that innocent people will be affected far more often than criminals."

    "knowing full well?, Are you serious. The idea is we have different ideas of what's good for us and society. If, through the democratic process, certain items are banned, then you break the law to possess them. You're argument could apply to some nut wanting to own a little ebola virus or plutonium. If society decides they, or handguns too, are too dangerous for individual ownership, then that's that.

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  26. "All of a sudden it's not the individual's responsibility or fault, it's the governments."

    When the government makes a crime of an act that is performed by someone who has no ill intent and that causes no-one harm, it is the government's fault - and the fault of the ordinary citizens who advocated for it.

    Absent mens rea, there is no crime, simply a violation of the law.

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
    - Thomas Jefferson

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  27. jdege- I need a source for that Thomas Jefferson quote. When did he say it and under what circumstances? What are the other words before it and after it. And don't send me a libertarian blog with the quote because libertarians like this quote.

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  28. If society decides they, or handguns too, are too dangerous for individual ownership, then that's that.

    Actually, no, mikeb. The nature of a constitutional republic is that certain choices are beyond the reach of any majority. That is, indeed, what a civil right is; no majority, no matter how large may deprive my of my right to worship as I choose, to name one example.

    Nor may any majority, again, no matter how large, may "infringe" on my right to "keep and bear arms." It's a non-starter.

    And this policy choice, no matter how much you may desire it (careful, your true intent is showing again!) is simply off the table. We made that policy choice some 200+ years ago, and it has served us well. Take it up with the Founders.

    Until the gunbanners can say, with fingers uncrossed, that they believe in and support the individual right to keep and bear arms as protected (not granted, an important distinction) by the Constitution of the United States, there is no room for compromise. None whatsoever.

    Either you believe in civil rights, or you don't.

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  29. The fuller quote:

    "Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

    This is from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 4 April 1819.

    He was asked to define "liberty" and "republic". The preceding material in the letter is introductory, his definition of "liberty" is what is quoted above. The next sentence begins to discuss "republic".

    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/P?mtj:2:./temp/~ammem_zIZG::

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  30. The quote can be attributed to a letter TJ wrote to Isaac Tiffany in 1819.

    The Library of Congress has a scan of the original letter:
    The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1. General Correspondence. 1651-1827
    Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, April 4, 1819

    http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib023463

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  31. MikeB wrote: "If society decides they, or handguns too, are too dangerous for individual ownership, then that's that."

    Majorities have decided before that Jews had no place in society. So they herded them off to death camps.

    Majorities have decided before that blacks weren't humans but beasts of burden to be used as such. So they kidnapped and enslaved them.

    Majorities have decided before that women were too weak minded to have a say in affairs of state. So they were denied the vote until less than a century ago.

    So much for the "democratic process," huh?

    We've come a long way in the country, we're not going to see it slip backwards. I think I'll stick to the constitutional republic, where some rights shall not be infringed.

    Where have we heard that before?

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