Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

I rest my case

As I was doing a little research and taking time to do some other things beside posting to my blog, I ran across a couple of articles that support what I say almost every day on this blog. First is an article by a journalist from the Anchorage Press who happens to be a gun owner. He went to the SHOT gun show in Alaska and here is what he found. I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I have said some of the very same things this journalist observed at the gun show about the promotion of guns and ammunition magazines that are just not necessary for hunting and self defense. Here are a few of his observations:
  • Looming over the main entrance was a massive banner of a leering Grim Reaper with glowering red-eyes, wielding a scythe. It advertised a laser scope called the Eliminator. "


  • "Death personified also symbolized the timing of SHOT, which began just 10 days after Jared Loughner opened fire on a crowd in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people and wounding 13, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Loughner used a Glock-19 handgun, the same gun used in 2007 by Virginia Tech spree shooter Seung-Hui Cho to kill 32 people and wound 17. Lougher’s Glock-19 was equipped with a 30-round magazine. Cho’s held 15 bullets."
  • What I found in Las Vegas was lethality mania, with major firearms manufacturers and distributors promoting new lines of weapons that hold even more bullets and with various gadgets and tactical features that supposedly “maximize operator lethality.” In other words, they’re better able to kill human beings in greater numbers and with more efficiency. That’s all they’re good for—not target shooting, not hunting, just killing people."
  • Gun ownership has been in long-term decline over the last 40 years. The industry experienced a brief resurgence in 2009 after President Obama’s election stirred fears of new gun control laws. However, that buying surge has evaporated and left the industry reeling as many recent buyers have sold their firearms, flooding the secondary market. To lure repeat buyers, increased lethality has become the nicotine of the firearms industry. But for the most part, increased lethality equates to pointless overkill."
  • The best weapon’s a shotgun. Easy to operate, no need to aim with high precision, fun for the whole family. Plus, the distinctive chik-chik sound of a shell being chambered in a pump-action shotty is known and respected all over the world. But let’s say that for whatever reason, you want to keep a handgun for home defense. Fine. Why in the hell do you need 25, 30 or 50 bullets and a ported barrel? Are you Al Pacino in the last scene of Scarface?"
  • But surely reasonable Alaskans can support the broad concept of private gun ownership while agreeing that high-capacity assault rifles and handguns hold no constructive purpose in this state or any other."
  • "“You can use that to stick in a door and blow off a hinge, or to take a core sample out of somebody’s chest if you find yourself in a hand-to-hand situation,” Spaulding said."
  • “What we have in common is we all share a common destiny and a common vision. We want to see our children and our grandchildren growing up and enjoying those same recreational activities and the shooting sports we all hold so dearly,” said NSSF president Steve Sanetti in his keynote address. “Our goal is clear and unchanging: We want more. More hunters and more target shooters… and more freedom to do what Americans have done since this nation began.”

"
Really? Amazing that the message, as David Holthouse points out, does not fit with the reality of how the gun industry and the pro gun side actually operate in real life. While promoting the lethality of weapons not needed for self defense, the messaging indicates some willingness to understand that they (National Shooting Sports Foundation) want people to enjoy recreational gun sports and hopes that children will grow up to also enjoy the same. Why, then, do the manufacturers produce and market the types of weapons and ammunition on display at the gun shows? There is a disconnect here somewhere. It is becoming more obvious that the pro gun side has become more extreme in their views and have left behind a large group of gun owners who do not share their views.

And speaking of disconnects and gun owners who support common sense, here is yet another poll done in 5 states by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. This time, the organization decided to do polling in Ohio, Virginia, Arizona, Colorado and Indiana. What the polling found was: " "These five polls reveal more unity than division," said pollster Margie Omero, president of Momentum Analysis, which coordinated the survey team and conducted the Ohio poll. "Overwhelming numbers support a series of stricter gun laws to prevent mass shootings. Voters in these key states see clear solutions to a tragic problem."" And again, the survey in each state included gun owners as well as non gun owners who found agreement on the major initiatives supported by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign and other gun control organizations around the country. It's always gratifying to know that you are on the right side of an issue.

I submit, once again, that polling data continues to come down on the side of common sense. The public understands that making reasonable gun laws will not affect the rights of law abiding citizens. How many more polls should we take before the politicians are willing to shed their allegiance to the uber powerful gun lobby? Time will tell. Meanwhile, I know that what I am writing is the truth and that I represent the majority of the public. There are those who disagree but they are, more and more, becoming a minority trying to hang on to a myth. 

Watch for upcoming posts about the Castle Doctrine and more incidents of "good guys" with guns shooting others. It happens every day. Too many people are dying. Instead of passing laws to make it easier to get and use guns, we need to make it harder for people who can't use guns responsibly from getting them in the first place. Talk amongst yourselves and I will return soon with more from commongunsense.

77 comments:

  1. The author has some other very interesting work you'll be interested to read.

    Stalking the Bogeyman
    Coming to grips with the killer inside me.
    By David Holthouse Thursday, May 13 2004

    This time last year I was plotting to kill a man. I was going to walk up to him, reintroduce myself and then blow his balls off. I was going to watch him writhe like a poisoned cockroach for a few seconds, then kick him onto his stomach and put three bullets in the back of his head. This time last year I had a gun, and a silencer, and a plan. I had staked out the man's tract home in Broomfield -- the gray, two-story one with the maroon trim and the American flag hanging above the doorstep. I had followed him to and from his job as an electrical engineer. I was confident I would get away with murder, because there was nothing in recent history to connect me to him. Homicide investigators look for motive, and mine was buried 25 years in the past.

    He goes on to prove that criminals like him will not only get guns but homemade silencers/suppressors as well, although some details from his story made many believe he made the whole thing up.


    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/3482069/detail.html

    Westword Reporter Won't Face Stalking Charges
    Couple Refuses To Press Charges Against Holthouse

    DENVER -- A reporter for the Denver-based weekly Westword, who was arrested on suspicion of stalking a man that he said raped him in 1978, will not face charges.

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  2. I wonder if you can count the felonies he admitted to in this 2004 article. Here is one paragraph

    I bought the gun last April. I had a few firearms in my closet already, but they'd all been purchased legally, in my name, from a licensed firearms dealer. So I flew to Phoenix and went to a gang barrio, where I bought a Beretta 9mm with a homemade silencer and the serial number removed. I took this gun to the local garage gunsmith and had him put dozens of deep nicks and grooves in the Beretta's barrel to corrupt ballistics tests. The gunsmith warned me that this would ruin the gun's accuracy beyond a few feet, but I didn't care. I intended to get up-close and personal.

    http://www.westword.com/2004-05-13/news/stalking-the-bogeyman/3/

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  3. Here is a similar article from him on Media Matters from a bit ago surprised you did not link to that one

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201101250012

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  4. David Holthouse wrote what amounted to be an opinion piece. To call him a journalist - at least based on this article - might be stretching it a bit.

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  5. "Looming over the main entrance was a massive banner of a leering Grim Reaper with glowering red-eyes, wielding a scythe. It advertised a laser scope called the Eliminator."



    And?

    http://www.burrisoptics.com/images/ELIMINATOR_logo.jpg

    BTW - your "happens to be a gun owner" is David Holthouse, senior editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Intelligence [sic] Report."

    He - and they - are in the business of raising money with inflated scares of domestic terrorism. He's been ranting about gun shows for years.

    http://www.alternet.org/authors/7493/

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  6. " Looming over the main entrance was a massive banner of a leering Grim Reaper with glowering red-eyes, wielding a scythe. It advertised a laser scope called the Eliminator. "



    It's a hunting rifle scope. It's intended to be used to kill animals. The marketing people who designed the advertising campaign may not have been sportsmen themselves, or they just might be very skilled marketers.

    "# "Death personified also symbolized the timing of SHOT, "

    These aren't his "observations" - they are his "imaginings".

    "In other words, they’re better able to kill human beings in greater numbers and with more efficiency."

    I've never seen any civilian manufacturer or seller of firearms, ammunitions, or related goods advertising the ability to kill human beings in greater numbers. Only the military suppliers make that claim.

    "However, that buying surge has evaporated and left the industry reeling as many recent buyers have sold their firearms, flooding the secondary market."

    I wish!

    "To lure repeat buyers, increased lethality has become the nicotine of the firearms industry. But for the most part, increased lethality equates to pointless overkill."

    In every industry that faces market saturation it is essential to continuously introduce improvements of dubious necessity that are sold as essential requirements. Vacuum cleaners haven't gotten rugs any cleaner in the last 70 years, cars haven't gotten people from point A to point B any faster in the last 70 years, and firearms really haven't gotten any more lethal in the last 70 years. Firearms last and you can (and people do) hunt with 70 year old rifles, so there isn't any "need" for the plethora of magnums, short magnums, ultra magnums, ultra short magnums, etc but they often have their own little following and they serve very small segments of the market.

    Ain't capitalism grand?

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  7. " The best weapon’s a shotgun. Easy to operate, no need to aim with high precision, fun for the whole family. Plus, the distinctive chik-chik sound of a shell being chambered in a pump-action shotty is known and respected all over the world. But let’s say that for whatever reason, you want to keep a handgun for home defense. Fine. Why in the hell do you need 25, 30 or 50 bullets and a ported barrel? Are you Al Pacino in the last scene of Scarface?"

    Interesting. The author apparently doesn't have a problem with people owning a shotgun that holds 80 9mm projectiles, but he does have a problem with people having a pistol that holds 30 9mm projectiles.

    Why is it that anti-gun people so often are scared of the smaller weaker weapons and ok with people owning the bigger more powerful weapons?

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  8. Thanks for the link. Interesting story and scary stuff. It appears that the guy has changed his mind. Perhaps he saw that killing someone was not the way to go. It sounds like he got the man to apologize but could have done it in a different way. Though this is not nearly as scary and potentially dangerous, I can't help thinking about the movie Christmas Vacation when Clark's cousin Eddie kidnaps his boss after he didn't issue a cash bonus. People can certainlly do some awful things in revenge of slights or perceived slights. Let's all hope that guns won't be used in these cases but unfortunately, they do get used on a daily basis to settle scores.

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  9. You are right- it is a Las Vegas gun show. That doesn't take away from what he found at the SHOT show. His observations are to show what kind of weapons are available at gun shows and to shed light on the gun culture.

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  10. What the Southern Poverty Law Center reports is what is happening in this country. Domestic terrorism is a real threat in this country.

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  11. I think it's more like he makes things up for attention.

    "Century was doing brisk business at SHOT in both assault rifles and assault rifle ammunition—Egyptian and Romanian-manufactured rounds available for wholesale purchase at $4.87 per 50-round box, or $89.97 for a 2,000-round case. Serbian-made sniper rounds went for $8.87 per box."

    SHOT is an industry trade show. The guns aren't for sale, and have all had their firing pins removed. And even if they were selling cases of ammo, you're certainly not going to find AK ammo that cheap anywhere in the US.

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  12. But the purpose for displaying those items is to show the people who attend what is available to them at gun shops and gun shows, right? What does it matter how cheap the ammo is? Holthouse was writing to show what is available to anyone in the U.S. no matter the price.

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  13. What are the major advancements in lethality that the gun industry introduced in say the last 50 years? Or even 100 years? I mean real honest to goodness advancements? Combining the bullet and powder into a cartridge was huge. Self-loading was also a huge, paving the way for semi-auto and full auto. But those were all over 100 years ago? Honestly the firearms industry is very stagnant in turns of advancements; we are talking minor tactical changes (better sighting, ergonomics, accessorizing, etc…). Ballistics have had minor improvements benefited by the computer age, and there have been advancement in metallurgy allowing for higher pressures particularly in the first half of last century. But when you compare firearms to say automobiles, or the way computers have advanced, there is really no comparison. My first generation Glock is almost identical to current Glocks made 25 years later. Seemingly at the top of anti-gun talk regarding lethality is the AK-47, and you know what the “47” stands for, don’t you? Let’s look at this line from our Alaskan journalist:

    The best weapon’s a shotgun. Easy to operate, no need to aim with high precision, fun for the whole family. Plus, the distinctive chik-chik sound of a shell being chambered in a pump-action shotty is known and respected all over the world. But let’s say that for whatever reason, you want to keep a handgun for home defense. Fine. Why in the hell do you need 25, 30 or 50 bullets and a ported barrel?

    So a ported barrel on a 9mm is a problem, but the far more lethal 12ga which doesn’t even require accurate aiming is “fun for the whole family”? One trigger pull with a 000 buckshot is like emptying the entire Brady approved 10 rd magazine literally *all at once*. That is not the figurative “all at once” that we here about regarding the Tucson shooting, but literally all at once. Unloading the whole magazine on that pump shotgun he is talking about would be the equivalent of the 50 bullets that nobody in hell needs. Also, I don’t understand why porting the barrel to slightly reduce recoil isn’t valid for target shooting or self-defense. Finally he says “fine” to owning a handgun, but later we find he didn’t really mean that:

    But surely reasonable Alaskans can support the broad concept of private gun ownership while agreeing that high-capacity assault rifles and handguns hold no constructive purpose in this state or any other.

    Japete: “And again, the survey in each state included gun owners as well as non gun owners who found agreement on the major initiatives supported by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign and other gun control organizations around the country. It's always gratifying to know that you are on the right side of an issue.”

    Were you against invading Iraq in 2003? Or were you gratified to know that you were on the right side of the issue since the majority wanted to rid Saddam Hussein of his weapons of mass destruction?

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  14. "What does it matter how cheap the ammo is? Holthouse was writing to show what is available to anyone in the U.S. no matter the price."

    I'm saying that "brisk business" was fabricated, like his story about walking into the barrio and finding someone selling homemade suppressors in less than a day was likely fabricated.

    He wants to paint SHOT as some "Sodom and Gomorrah" of death and destruction. There are whole sections of camping, hiking, and hunting products being shown by manufacturers as well, but they go unmentioned.

    To me, anything he says is suspect.

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  15. "...they do get used on a daily basis to settle scores."

    "by people who are used to doing business that way, AKA criminals."

    Just wanted to finish that sentence for you.

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  16. Please don't assume that you can finish my sentences.

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  17. The SHOT Show is a Trade only show, it's for dealers, distributors, Law Enforcement, Military and press, very few items are sold there, maybe some beef jerky, and I have never seen ammunition for sale at the SHOT Show. I have walked the miles of aisles at SHOT many times.
    Also there are entire sections catering to Law Enforcement and Military weapons that is probably where that author saw the really "scary" stuff.
    Oh, and that piece is his opinion, not facts and not honest.

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  18. "Though this is not nearly as scary and potentially dangerous, I can't help thinking about the movie Christmas Vacation when Clark's cousin Eddie kidnaps his boss after he didn't issue a cash bonus."

    The guy fantasizes about torturing and murdering someone -- and went and bought a weapon for the task.

    Why is he NOT IN JAIL?

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  19. Well, I missed and you may have too, but the transcript is still available here: http://thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/03/robert-farago/ttag-live-webchat-tonight-8pm-est-david-codrea-on-atf-gunwalker-scandal/

    The ATF allowed thousands of guns to be sold into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels to create a "need" for more money and power for the ATF.

    CBS has started covering this and most likely in time the rest of the media will too. Will you?

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  20. This piece is not the first to talk about the SHOT gun shows and what is found at the shows. He does have some opinions in the piece but the facts remain about what is shown at the show that can be purchased at gun shows and from ffls all over the country. I don't know what was not honest about the piece.

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  21. Pat- I read the link provided about the journalist and what his intentions were. I don't know why he isn't in jail. That was addressed in the articles.

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  22. Anon- this is off the topic for this post. I have read other articles about what is claimed about the ATF. The pro gun folks are certainly covering it from their point of view as per your link. I don't know whether I will write about it. More information is needed.

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  23. "The public understands that making reasonable gun laws will not affect the rights of law abiding citizens."

    But yet I have seen you call the second amendment "your so-called rights" several times. Is it or isn't it? It seems the more and more you restrict it, (as you have stated you'd like to do in the cases of the firearms I happen to own) the less it is a right and more of a privelage.

    "How many more polls should we take before the politicians are willing to shed their allegiance to the uber powerful gun lobby?"

    Actually, politicians hold their allegience to the Constitution. That's what their oath of office is when they are elected. They swear to "uphold" the constitution - not make laws on however the polls happen to swing at any given time. Another good example as to why we are not a Democracy. I'm curious, would you support ending the freedom of religion if a majority thought it prudent? Perhaps enough people could get together and say we need to ban Islam in order to prevent terrorism... If a majority agreed, would should congress stop catering to the uber powerful religious lobby and ban Islam? Just as an example.

    I don't believe the MAIG polls that show a majority of gun owners want their guns banned, but even if they did, so what? Being in the majority doesn't make you right.

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  24. "Gun ownership has been in long-term decline over the last 40 years."

    Yeah, there's only 80 million of us left to own the almost 300 million guns in America. Sounds like we are an endangered breed indeed.

    "However, that buying surge has evaporated and left the industry reeling as many recent buyers have sold their firearms, flooding the secondary market."

    Yeah, let me know when this really happens. I've got several budget conscious friends who'd like to buy an AR.

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  25. Joan-

    Maybe you could clarify what the problem is for us. There's nothing at SHOT that is significantly different from what was available last year. Maybe the bullpup shotgun, but the only "scary" thing about that is that it's short, and we've had short barreled shotguns for years. Is it the advertising?

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  26. Curious comments, Alcade- first- I am pretty sure I have not used the term "so called rights". Second- nowhere in the Constitution does it say that you have a right to do anything you want with guns or that it is not possible to restrict where guns are allowed or who can carry them. Third- you guys always tell me that you are in the majority and that must make you right. Now that you might actually be admitting that I am in the majority, my side is not right?

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  27. "Second- nowhere in the Constitution does it say that you have a right to do anything you want with guns or that it is not possible to restrict where guns are allowed or who can carry them."

    Really?? Not even in the 2nd Amendment where it says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"?

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  28. To smear the SHOT show because of it's timing is ludicrous. It's a MASSIVE event, one of the larger trade industry shows in the nation. The logistics of the show are staggering. I now two local companies that make display booths etc and they are already working on the 2013 show space for one company that attends. That's a two year lead time. Cancelling or postponing the show and having tens of thousands of people and businesses reschedule travel plans is simply no happening. There was no coldness or lack of respect, it's just fact.

    The author is a pretty poor writer at best and a worse journalist. Holding him up as an example of someone " from our side" speaking to your issues is at the least disingenuious.

    As the last MAIG sham poll, get over it. Gallup will no longer do polling for MAIG because as they have publicly said, the" RFP's come with too many clauses that would prevent an unbiased response". From the WSJ in January of 2010

    MAIG does their own polling paid for by Bloomberg. Frankly I would trust a crackhead to hold my money more than I would trust Blomberg. The latest poll picked specific zip codes to call that were nearly 90% democratic in registration. They show nothing except that you are naive enough to believe them.

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  29. First, the SHOT show is not held in Alaska. We have a fair number decent gun shows, but SHOT is held in Las Vegas. It is not a "bazaar" or gun show where firearms are sold. It is an annual industry trade show. Many of the attendees are from military or law enforcement organizations, so it should be no surprise that there are a lot of evil assault/essential patrol rifles there.

    Next, consider the author's credibility. Holthouse has talked about his plot to commit murder, which was abandoned only after he was afraid of being caught.

    Remember that we've talked about Alaska media outlets before. The Anchorage Press is our left paper, given away for free downtown. While there is a strong streak of liberal in Anchorage (displaced Californians as well as Left Libertarians), Holthouse's opinions on gun ownership don't really seem mainstream. Given the high rates of gun ownership among Alaskans, at least, among all political persuasions...

    Finally, while many of Holthouse's arguments are ignorant at best and disingenuous at worst, I'll only address one: the efficacy of shotguns for home defense, and only because he has some dangerously wrong-headed assumptions.

    Holthouse believes that a shotgun won't shoot through a residential wall. That's terribly wrong. Buckshot will tear through a wall, and you have to know your target and what's beyond it. He also thinks that shotguns doesn't need to be aimed to hit an intruder. This is also wrong; marksmanship is important with any firearm. He forgets that shotguns aren't great self defense weapons for many people; smaller people, handicapped people, people without great forearm strength, and others often prefer other weapons. He also implies that the mere threat of a shotgun will be enough to deter invaders by racking the slide. While there is doubtless a deterrent value, firearms are not magic talismans. If one chooses a firearm for self defense, one needs to be psychologically prepared to use it and should seek out the training needed to use it effectively. Shotguns especially require training to utilize tactically. In short, Holthouse's self-defense advice breaks numerous firearms safety rules and is not tactically sound. Then again, I don't take self-defense advice from self-admitted criminals, either.

    Frankly, David Holthouse should be investigated for firearms crimes. He's literally profited (through his articles) from his illicit firearms trafficking. He plotted a murder. Just because he's unbalanced and has barely controllable violent tendencies doesn't mean that everyone is like him.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  30. Thank you for the links to the polls, Japete. Once again, as with all previous polls, the public is thoroughly behind stricter regulation of firearms. Poll after poll confirms our feelings on this.

    The pro-gun extremists, like those marketed to at SHOT, will continue to live in their own world, convinced that the public wants to continue lax gun laws and arm themselves against their paranoia, and will continue to deny the results, no matter how scientifically significant the data.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us will fight to bring a new trajectory to our communities away from gun violence. We have to make sure our leaders recognize these polls and take legislative action to reflect their constituents.

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  31. "Third- you guys always tell me that you are in the majority and that must make you right. "

    You've got it the wrong way around - they weren't right because they were in the majority, they had and still have those numbers because they are right.

    There's no problem with sensible laws - it's the irresponsible ones that penalise law-abiding and not alike that they have problems with, and rightly so.

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  32. "So called rights"

    This is a quotation by Justice William O. Douglas from Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S 143, 150 -51 (1972). Note that Justice Douglas was a member of the Court that produced the Miller decision (although did not take part in the argument of that decision):

    A powerful lobby dins into the ears of our citizenry that these gun purchases are constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendment, which reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    There is under our decisions no reason why stiff state laws governing the purchase and possession of pistols may not be enacted. There is no reason why pistols may not be barred from anyone with a police record. There is no reason why a State may not require a purchaser of a pistol to pass a psychiatric test. There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police.

    The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”

    “The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179.


    Note Justice Douglas quotes Miller: The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”

    Even the Heller-McDonald Cases allow for "gun control":

    Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Heller at 54-5

    Which has as a footnote (26):

    We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.

    The right you claim is not the one which has been announced by the powers that be.

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  33. Anon- as you know, both Justices Scalia and Alito noted in the rulings in Heller and McDonald that some restrictions on who can have a gun, what kind of gun and where they can be carried are constitutional.

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  34. Peter- do you have a citation for that article in the Wall Street Journal? MAIG contracts with other firms to do their polling. Gallop in January. This most recent poll conducted my a company called Momementum Analysis and a number of other firms on the polling team. Mayor Bloomberg and his organization fund the polls. That is how polls usually work. Someone funds them. Questions asked were straightforward and not slanted. Gun owners were asked as well as non gun owners. MAIG is careful to include gun owners in their polling.

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  35. To the recent group of boorish commenters- I have a message for you. No amount of calling me a cunt, whore or bitch-- or worse, will result in any change in what I am doing. Why bother? Your behavior is rude, immature, angry, unncessary and ridiculous. And, by the way, calling my mother names is totally out of bounds. Since she only just died last November at an old age, I ask you how you would like it if I did the same to you. You wouldn't. Treat others as you wish to be treated. If this is how you want to live your lives and act and react, go ahead. It will get you nowhere, however, so you might as well desist. Your comments will never be published. I send them to my spam folder but keep them for future reference. Keep sending if you must. I will keep ignoring and alerting the rest of my readers to your behavior. Your side does not benefit one bit from this kind of personal attacks on people on my side of the issue.

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  36. Indeed. Emotions do run high in debates such as this, that's why it's important to remain civil.

    Japete, we may disagree, but if I have caused you slight or offense, I apologise.

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  37. To the recent group of boorish commenters- I have a message for you. No amount of calling me a cunt, whore or bitch-- or worse, will result in any change in what I am doing. Why bother? Your behavior is rude, immature, angry, unncessary and ridiculous.

    Listen you idiots, DO NOT MAKE ME AGREE WITH JOAN. Knock that shit off.

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  38. I usually don't print comments using offensive language but I did like what anon said, above.

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  39. " Indeed. You wish to treat others as felons for their hobby and product preferences. Should we do the same to you? " This is why ILP is no longer published on this blog.

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  40. I don't trust MAIG polls. I don't trust NRA polls. I don't trust polls from biased organizations. This poll and this poll have more credibility to me because their bias isn't as strong as MAIG or NRA, and because they independently support each other.

    You're reminded of the movie a Christmas Vacation and I'm reminded of the story "The Emperor's New Clothes". I find little value in the opinions of an author who has admitted on national radio that he intended to kill someone in addition to numerous other federal offenses.

    For example, I find it hard to accept his opinion that gun ownership is in decline when ATF statistics show the opposite. SInce 2006, pistol sales have increased 107%, revolver sales have gun up 45%, rifle sales have increased by 57%, shotgun sales have gun up by 9%, and miscellaneous firearm sales have gone up by 6947% (from 1,850 in 2006 to 130,377 in 2009). Overall, that's an increase, not a decrease, of 63%.

    Who's telling the truth?

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  41. "So called rights"

    The remarks of William O. Douglas show that Supreme Court Justices are human too, and therefore prone to both error and/or subjectivity.

    TITLE 10 Subtitle A PART I CHAPTER 13 § 311

    § 311. Militia: composition and classes

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

    The militia is not just the National Guard.
    Justice Douglas acknowledges that the militia was supposed to be the "standing army" of the States, but then apparently thinks that since we have the exact kind of strong central government that the founding fathers were concerned about that he can dismiss the whole issue by banning pistols and giving gun owners psychiatric testing.

    Douglas exemplified the "activist judge".

    "Douglas was often at odds with fellow Justice Felix Frankfurter, who believed in judicial restraint and thought the Court should stay out of politics. Douglas did not highly value judicial consistency or stare decisis when deciding cases."

    Christopher L. Tomlins (2005). The United States Supreme Court. Houghton Mifflin. pp. 475–476. ISBN 9780618329694.


    Furthermore, those "powers that be" are often more interested in their power than they are in upholding the constitution.

    Should a farmer be able to feed his leftover grain to his livestock? Not according to the "powers that be". Your inclusion of United States v. Miller just gives another example of how the SCOTUS can be outrageously wrong, and frankly tyrannical.

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  42. japete said...

    I usually don't print comments using offensive language but I did like what anon said, above.
    March 4, 2011 9:48 AM


    See, we can have a sense of humor.

    So back to business. I don't understand what's wrong with this?

    " Indeed. You wish to treat others as felons for their hobby and product preferences. Should we do the same to you? "

    Was there more or am I just not seeing it?

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  43. "first- I am pretty sure I have not used the term 'so called rights'"

    No, you are correct, I have not heard you use the term "so called rights." I apologize. The comment you actually said (that I remembered as so called rights) was this (from your Epiphany post): "If the price for having you all be able to practice what you see are your constitutional rights while people are being shot to death every day, then whose side has paid a higher price?"

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you mean here, but when you say "what you see are your constitutional rights" it seems as if you disagree that they are, in fact, constitutional rights.

    Judging by your views, it would seem to me that you do not view gun ownership as a right that "shall not be infringed" but rather a privelege that can be awarded or restricted at the whims of the government.

    Or otherwise, "our so called rights." Once again, I apologize for the misquote.

    "Second- nowhere in the Constitution does it say that you have a right to do anything you want with guns"

    No, I agree completely. I am of the opinion that the right to swing your fist ends where the other guy's nose begins. But as long as the fist doesn't meet the nose, I could care less. We are not advocating doing anything we want with our guns. We believe in punishing the crime, not the object.

    You seem to be implying that we wish to just shoot whomever we like for any reason we like. Or hell, just fire off our guns wildly into the air like you see the Taliban do on TV.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. We advocate responsible gun ownership. Sometimes it seems as if your side forgets that we have friends and family as well, and we are just as invested in having safe neighborhoods as you are.

    "or that it is not possible to restrict where guns are allowed or who can carry them"

    Well, we all know what good a "Gun Free Zone" does. And to address your second point, no, I do not believe felons or the mentally deranged like Jared Lougher should own a firearm. But those we do not fit that description... I don't care if they own a hunting gun like your husband or an AR15 like most of my friends.

    "Third- you guys always tell me that you are in the majority and that must make you right. Now that you might actually be admitting that I am in the majority, my side is not right?"

    Perhaps some here say they are on the majority and that must make them right. The polls I have seen would suggest that we are in the majority. While I find polls interesting, I pointed that out in my earlier comment simply to note that the majority is not always in the right. I'm sure the MAIG polls you post show strong support for gun control. I don't dispute that. We could post some polls that the NRA has cited to claim the opposite. When it's all said and done: I really don't care what either of you say. I've read enough historical papers to know that the founding fathers meant exactly what we say they did. And not because they felt everyone should have a musket, but so that every man be able to resist tyranny if it ever occurred.

    I know you view that as a remote possibility. And I admit that it is remote. I just think we should keep it that way. =)

    Have a nice weekend.

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  44. Interesting anon, that you find SCOTUS wrong when they decide something you don't like but they are right when the decision goes your way.

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  45. "some restrictions on who can have a gun, what kind of gun and where they can be carried are constitutional."

    We've never argued that. We just understand that such restrictions must meet strict scrutiny:

    1. There must be a compelling state interest.
    2. The law must be narrowly tailored.
    3. It must be the least restrictive means for achieving that interest.

    There's little argument on the first point. Reducing violent crime is clearly a compelling state interest.

    But your proposals fail badly on the second two parts of the test.

    Your proposals are not restricted to those individuals who are engaged in the behavior you wish to change. They apply to millions of people who represent no threat to society.

    And not only are your proposals not the least restrictive means for achieving the interest, there's no evidence that they will achieve the interest at all.

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  46. You're just not seeing it. ILP was objecting to my calling out those who choose to name call and insult me and others on my side. And then he provides his very own example of someone on the pro gun side doing the same thing again. Of course he is wrong by saying that I want to treat others as felons and intimates that he should have a right to call me the same. His total insensitivity to the facts and the name calling is his problem.

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  47. "Interesting anon, that you find SCOTUS wrong when they decide something you don't like but they are right when the decision goes your way."

    No, I believe in judicial restraint and think the courts should stay out of politics. You assume that I giggle and clap every time the Federal Government tells states what to do. I'd like to see the states decide without court cases going to SCOTUS. But, I'll admit that I am grateful- if it's not going to go "my way", then I'd like it to not go my way the way it's been going.

    So, okay...maybe one little giggle.

    But I stand absolutely opposed to the federal government asserting itself over the states, especially by way of contrivances like "interstate commerce", which has been applied to EVERYTHING, even rainwater if I remember right.



    "You're just not seeing it. ILP was objecting to my calling out those who choose to name call and insult me and others on my side. And then he provides his very own example of someone on the pro gun side doing the same thing again. Of course he is wrong by saying that I want to treat others as felons and intimates that he should have a right to call me the same. His total insensitivity to the facts and the name calling is his problem."

    Okay, but where's the name calling? Was this in another thread? And as for the felon thing, you support legislation that would easily make a gun owner a felon. He's just saying people don't respond to that well. I agree. I don't know what you do to unwind from all of this, but if the federal government stood over you while you did it, you wouldn't take it well either.

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  48. Anon- " You assume that I giggle and clap every time the Federal Government tells states what to do." I don't actually assume that.

    As to ILP- this is the last time this will get discussed. What he did was ignore what I said about comments and calling names and then went on to accuse me of something that is absolutely not true. As long as anyone accuses me or people on my side of calling law abiding citizens felons, remarks will not be taken seriously. It is not true and you all are trying desperately to make it true. That is the end of the discussion about ILP and what he said.

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  49. BALDR:

    The pro-gun extremists, like those marketed to at SHOT, will continue to live in their own world, convinced that the public wants to continue lax gun laws and arm themselves against their paranoia, and will continue to deny the results, no matter how scientifically significant the data.

    Would you be referring to law enforcement officers, or the military?
    http://www.shotshow.org/en/Education/LEEP/session-details/

    Attendance at the SHOT Show is RESTRICTED to the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade and commercial buyers and sellers of military, law enforcement and tactical products and services ONLY. The show is not open to the public, and NO one under age 16 shall be admitted (including infants).

    Required:
    Documentation demonstrating current shooting, hunting and outdoor trade affiliation or commercial involvement in the military, law enforcement or tactical markets

    http://www.shotshow.org/en/Attendee-Information/AttendeeRegistration-Identification-Validation/

    Given that the SHOT show directly markets to large-scale wholesalers and government buyers, why the heck are you surprised that there's a lot of tactical stuff there? It is a trade show that aims to cater in large part to tactical consumers like law enforcement and the military!

    What's the difference between a patrol rifle and an assault rifle? Answer: One is an AR-15 carried by a police officer on duty in uniform. The other is an AR-15 carried by a part time deputy off duty out of uniform.

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  50. Joan. I have a reference to it by a gun magazine in print. I will try to find a corresponding online cite or reference. If I could post a PDF or jpeg of the page I would.

    I know you doubt the veracity of the gun magazines but I will seek to provide a source.

    BTW Ii is my understanding that the polling group you cited is in tact a subsidiary of Bloomberg Inc. I will try to get a verification of that fact. It would be like Bloomberg to bill MAIG for a poll from a company he owns. It's tail wags dog.

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  51. As.to the vile language, it does our side no advantage to appear as boorish reprobates.

    Agreeing with Joan makes me ill, but her she is right.


    I do find it interesting that of the three regulars who support Joan only Baldr is an American resident.

    Joan trusting MAIG for polling data is like trusting Phillip Morris and American Tobacco for data about cigarettes.

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  52. P- other groups were involved in the polling as well. There were about 6 firms involved. Of course, your side doesn't do anything similar.

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  53. Nice. I am now only supported by people who are not Americans? Nice try, P. Also, I feel so badly that you become ill if you agree with me. That's sick!

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  54. You are not supported by most americans, Most will say we don't need more gun laws or we have too many if asked. That is why another state has passed a law so you don't need a permit to own, or carry a gun . . . look it up

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  55. "Also, I feel so badly that you become ill if you agree with me. That's sick!"

    I imagine you could give us all heart attacks if you posted a blog saying you bought an AK-47 and joined the NRA.

    It'd be a good April Fool's joke though!

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  56. That's not true, of course. The reason more laws are being passed is because the NRA supported Republican legislatures are passing laws while they can.

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  57. You never know. Watch for it, Alcade.

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  58. Well Wyoming just went with constitutional carry. I think Colorado did too but who knows if the Governor will sign it into law.

    Is that kinda like what the Democrats did while they had the House and Senate?

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  59. Joan, the illness comment was meant to be said with smiley

    Actually Joan I do agree with you on the topic of vile personal attacks. I may not agree with you on anything else but in America you have the right to voice an opinion, no matter how misguided I believe it to be, and not be subject to that type of language. I hope you can understand the comment better in that light. If I could have posted the smey face I would have.


    Laci list the UK as home on the blogger information page. Mikeb list Rome, Italy as home. And yes, I do find it a bit odd they have such strong feelings about an issue which does not apply to them personally. I would liken it to an American posting on a UK blog about the role soccer hooliganism plays in London social issues. If they have no dog in the fight why does it bother them so much.

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  60. "That's not true, of course. The reason more laws are being passed is because the NRA supported Republican legislatures are passing laws while they can."

    If this is just a temporary phase, it's one that's been going on for 25 years:

    http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.gif

    (BTW - Wisconsin will be passing a shall-issue bill, this session. Doyle isn't there to veto it, anymore.)

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  61. "The best weapon’s a shotgun. Easy to operate, no need to aim with high precision, fun for the whole family. Plus, the distinctive chik-chik sound of a shell being chambered in a pump-action shotty is known and respected all over the world."

    What is "Someone who has never used a shotgun for self-defense?", Alex. The sound of a shotgun being racked has no effect on someone who is strung out on drugs. In fact, if someone has done enough PCP, being shot with a shotgun isn't even guaranteed to stop them.

    But I can't expect too much from a Media Matters flunky.

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  62. Since I am a Democrat, you can only imagine my answer. The Democrats didn't at least, do something to allow felons or dangerously mentally ill people to carry guns around in public.

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  63. P- I just love it when you guys post offensive remarks and then try to take them back when I tell you I am offended by them. Maybe you all should consider not posting offensive remarks. As to Laci and MikeB, they can defend themselves quite well, I'm sure. They are, I know, both U.S. citizens.

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  64. Yes, jdege, I know what's going on in Wisconsin. It's too bad.

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  65. Using that logic, Aztec, not even an assault rifle with 30 rounds would stop the person you described breaking into your house.

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  66. "I know what's going on in Wisconsin."

    A Vermont-carry bill passed the Colorado House by a vote of 40-25, on Wednesday. And there's a good chance that Illinois will finally pass a shall-issue bill, this session.

    "It's too bad."

    It really is a shame that the US took this 70-year detour into ineffective, rights-violating gun laws, but it looks like it will be over, soon.

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  67. " The reason more laws are being passed is because the NRA supported Republican legislatures are passing laws while they can."

    Actually, that's not entirely accurate. The NRA considers itself an unaffiliated organization. They support, and give money to, both sides of the aisle.

    They received a lot of hassle last year because they supported politicians loyal to second amendment issues. This angered a lot of their base who were upset over the health care debacle and didn't think the NRA should support pro gun Democrats over their pro gun Republican challengers.

    I can understand their frustration, however the NRA being solely committed to second amendment issues it makes quite a bit of sense to have loyalty to politicians who support your goals.

    I would also like to point out that NRA supported legislation to bring concealed carry to Illinois was introduced by Brandon Phelps, a downstate Democrat.

    As much as I abhor the policies of the Democrats, I also recognize that they vastly outnumber Republicans in my home state, and if it weren't for pro gun downstaters Illinois would be even worse off than it is now.

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  68. Yes indeed, jdege- great news for potential shooting victims all over the U.S. I'm excited about it.

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  69. Yes,alcade- I'm quite sure you all be better off now that you can carry guns wherever you want. It sounds like it is not settled yet- http://www.wrex.com/Global/story.asp?S=14186780

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  70. I always giggle at faux gun owners getting shocked and upset over modern firearms, then expressing that nobody "needs" anything more than great Granpappy's good-ol' aw-shucks shotgun for sport or self defense.

    Here's your firearms lesson for today. Being shot at self-defense range with a 12ga shotgun is roughly equivalent to being shot 9 times with a 9mm handgun as far as wound profile. A modern glock with the factory-provided 17 round magazine is a weapon of mass destruction powered by a big bullet blasting box, but elmer fudd's double barrel shotgun is more lethal. A semi-automatic shotgun is orders of magnitude more deadly.

    Of course, your goal isn't to ban effective firearms, it's to ban all firearms, starting with the scary ones.

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  71. "Using that logic, Aztec, not even an assault rifle with 30 rounds would stop the person you described breaking into your house."

    You're absolutely right. That's why I alway keep four loaded 30 round magazines nearby.

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  72. And, of course, Red Ramage, you are wrong about this- " Of course, your goal isn't to ban effective firearms, it's to ban all firearms, starting with the scary ones. "

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  73. Joan, when have I insulted you? When have I ever used vile repulsive language? I was not apologizing I was supporting.

    I disagree vehemently with your point of view, but I have not resorted to juvenile offensive language.

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  74. AztecRed said...

    "Using that logic, Aztec, not even an assault rifle with 30 rounds would stop the person you described breaking into your house."

    You're absolutely right. That's why I alway keep four loaded 30 round magazines nearby.


    FOUR??

    Now Red, there's no sense in having empty magazines laying around taking up space. And if you only have four magazines, then someone's been slacking on their panic buying....

    Tsk tsk.

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  75. To mjbarki- do you want me to publish the comments you have sent?

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  76. Yes please. Somehow the posting thingie didn't work. Thanks. --Mike

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  77. I like that you seem to put yourself in the middle of the issue. So many times in politics, people feel like they have to be one extreme or the other, when in reality you can be for guns but also for more (safe) gun laws. I agree with you; I went to my first gun show recently, looking for ammo for sale, and I was shocked at how the industry used lethality as a selling point.

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