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.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, March 17, 2011

National call to action

There are signs of spring in the air. There are signs of hope in the air. You wouldn't know it from the responses of the gun lobby to an invitation to work to prevent gun violence in this country. Their refusal to participate in any discussions with the White House and gun violence prevention organizations should be disturbing to everyone and even to the membership of the organization. What does the NRA stand for? Does the organization give a hoot about gun violence prevention? This article is wondering the same thing:" The lessons we learn from the horrific human costs of gun violence shouldn't be filtered through a partisan prism. Strengthening background checks to make it more difficult for the mentally ill to get their hands on a gun, and increasing prosecution and penalties for illegal gun trafficking, should be policies we can agree on." Commentators and others in the main stream media have taken notice of the NRA's refusal to meet with the Obama administration to "discuss" how we can work together to curb gun violence. Opinions are all over the place on the President's OpEd piece which ran in the Arizona Star on Sunday and the NRA's refusal to meet with the President ( I linked to both in my last post). Here are some:


Salon.com suggests that the President went too far to pacify the NRA in his OpEd piece and that he should stand stronger against the organization that wants to keep the current background system that has loopholes allowing for criminals, adjudicated mentally ill people, minors, drug abusers and other to purchase guns without background checks.


This one from E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post echos the article above. In his words,"Obama said last week that “bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people.” It can also have destructive consequences for politicians. The president could set a good example by standing up to the bullies of the NRA."


The New York Times published this editorial today. " The National Rifle Association, to its lingering shame but to no one’s surprise, declined the administration’s invitation to talk — a sign of real disrespect for a president who has actually expanded gun rights. It also shows disdain for the well-being and safety of the public."


From the New Jersey Star Ledger comes this one: " The arrogance of the National Rifle Association is breathtaking. An invitation from President Obama to join a discussion about gun policy was dismissed out of hand by Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president." And then: In a letter to Obama, LaPierre and Chris Cox, the chief lobbyist for the group, insist the national dialogue should focus on criminals and mental health issues, not the flow of guns into the wrong hands. LaPierre and Cox also said the national news media should refrain from giving the heinous acts of criminals "minute-by-minute coverage" that inspires copycats. So the NRA would shred one part of the Constitution for the sake of another."


Dennis Henigan, VP for Law and Policy of the Brady Campaign, was more hopeful in this thoughtful piece about the President's desire to have a common sense discussion about gun policy and the NRA's refusal to join the conversation. Henigan writes this: " Predictably, the NRA already has rebuffed the President’s invitation to discuss the gun violence problem, with a typically obnoxious letter rejecting even the idea of a national dialogue on guns. Having collected millions in donations stoking the fear of an Obama gun ban, the NRA can’t very well consort with such a committed “enemy” of the Second Amendment. The NRA has now fallen neatly into the President’s category of those who “aren’t interested in participating” in the “new discussion” because they “will predictably cast any discussion as the opening salvo in a wild-eyed scheme to take away everybody’s guns.” Perhaps the NRA’s absence from the discussion will allow the real voice of gun owners to be heard."


From philly.com/The Inquirer Digital: " Those who suffered in the Tucson rampage, and others, deserve to be honored with real action on gun safety - not just more talk."


In this CNN article, the obvious question is asked about why the NRA is refusing to cooperate with the President. " Supporting the Second Amendment should not have to mean avoiding inconvenient facts, like dead bodies piling up in American morgues. Of course it's rational to put the ultimate responsibility for bloodshed on the individual wielding the weapon. But as the British comedian Eddie Izzard has pointed out, "Guns don't kill people -- people kill people ... but the gun helps.""


Speaking of dead bodies, I participated in a national conference call last night for victims/survivors of gun violence and representatives of gun violence prevention organizations. Victims' stories are important and potent. Last night we heard from victims and survivors from the Columbine school shooting, Virginia Tech shooting, Northern Illinois University shooting, the Los Angeles Jewish Community Club Day Care center shooting, among others. People from all over the country called in- Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New York, Illinois, Delaware, Ohio, Virginia, and more. Everyone had a few minutes to tell their stories. One man was shot and his wife murdered in front of his very eyes in a mistaken identity shooting when a man thought the neighbor with whom they were standing in their driveway was someone else. He survived and is coping. One young man was shot in the head on New Year's Eve when a bullet shot into the air in celebration, came down through his brain. He is disabled and has been hospitalized many times in his young life. He was 11 when it happened. Several people lost relatives to the mass shooting in Washington D.C. when a group of people were gunned down in a drive-by shooting. One person survived the shooting at Northern Illinois University. One man lost his son when a gun fired while his son's friend was handling the gun, believing it to be unloaded. One woman lost a husband to a suicide by gun. One woman's husband was gunned down on the street and she was left with 2 small children to cope with the loss. 


There are more dead bodies every day- about 80. The collective memory and headline news of our country is littered with the stories of those who have been shot. We wondered last night just how many more would have to die before we actually do something sensible? "Yes n' how many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died. The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind." Which way will the wind blow now that President Obama has begun a process? Victims and survivors want to know. The time has come. There is no turning back. Common sense must prevail in the memory of the victims and survivors. The NRA is putting its' large foot down and saying "no way". We can't let them decide this and it is, in fact, not for them to decide. The voices of the victims need to drown out the voices of the powerful and the well funded folks who bully the country into believing that doing anything is the path that leads directly to their guns and rights taken from them. Don't listen to them. It's not common sense. It is nonsense.





71 comments:

  1. "the national dialogue should focus on criminals and mental health issues, not the flow of guns into the wrong hands."

    Pretty well sums it up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. P.S.- one more article to add-" It’s about scoring political points and protecting LaPierre’s status as the 4th highest paid leader of any “charity organization” in the country, to the tune of a cool $1.281 million per year. And fear of Obama, the first black President, has been very, very good for fundraising and scaring middle-aged white men into stocking their basements with caches of weapons. Which means it’s also been very, very good for LaPierre’s bottom line, and that of the arms dealers who sit on the NRA’s Board." from this source- http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/the-nra-cant-take-yes-for-an-answer

    ReplyDelete
  3. Obama is the first president to call for a federal law that would forbid states from issuing carry permits.

    Gun rights supporters would oppose him if he were purple or green.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Joan,

    I do not know a single gun owner who does not know and believe that gun violence is a serious problem in this country. I, the NRA, and the vast majority among gun owners would be extremely willing to help fight gun violence.

    However, we are NOT willing to budge one single inch, to give one single concession on our right to keep and bear arms; for self defense, for sporting purposes, for recreation, or for the maintenance of the militia.

    Nowhere on this planet has imposing absurd restrictions on law-abiding gun owners done anything to curb violence. Nowhere. Because at the end of the day, criminals do not obey laws. This is the fatal flaw that destroys the gun control argument.

    If you really want to reduce gun violence, eradicate poverty. Give at-risk inner-city youth some hope besides gangs and crime. Legalize, tax, and control recreational drugs. Strip the power from the mexican drug cartels. Educate gun owners on safe gun handling practices. Educate children on what to do if they find a gun. Work towards more effective mental health programs and treatments. You'll find that gun violence, and gun deaths, will reduce by itself.

    Limiting me to 10 rounds in my Glock, forbidding me from having an adjustable stock or a barrel shroud or a bayonet lug on my rifle, or denying me a revolver-action shotgun won't do anything about crime or violence. I'm not a criminal. I store and use my guns safely. I'll not be treated as a criminal, or a lunatic waiting to snap.

    I volunteer at the Cleveland (ohio) Food Bank. I donate my time and handyman skills to neighborhood renewal events. I donate my engineering skills, time, and a not inconsiderable percentage of my income through Engineers Without Borders to work against poverty in Central and South America, the source of the drug trade. I feel this is a much more effective way to combat violence.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my long-winded response. If our two sides are ever to co-operate, it is important for mutual understanding to occur.

    R.R.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you R.R- if only you all could see that these measures are not "aimed"' at you guys. They are meant to stop people who shouldn't have guns from getting them. The fact that you may or may not, depending on what happens, have a few limitations on the type of accessories and ammunition you may carry will not infringe on your second amendment rights. Remember that Scalia and Alito both said that their rulings on the 2nd Amendment did not mean there could not be some restrictions. As long as your side thinks that you must have totally unrestricted and unfettered rights about your guns, we will get nowhere. No one is suggesting taking away your rights or your guns. These pieces of legislation will NOT do that. If you are a nice law abiding person, which I am sure you are, this will not affect you. Now you have seen me write about those nice law abiding citizens who still shoot people in the heat of anger, passion, etc. That is another issue all together and one we may not be able to stop. I am hoping that my educating people about safe storage and thinking twice about where guns are when there are difficulties in the household or when kids are in the home might make a difference. If the gun culture in this country included people like you who stood up for reasonable gun laws that will still guarantee your rights, we'd go a long ways to changing the daily carnage in this country- something not seen in most other countries.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why would the NRA participate, japete? What is there to gain from the point of view of the organization?

    The other participants in the party - all of them - have demonstrated repeatedly their contempt for the 2nd Amendment. What possible gain, what possible reward was there, for NRA participation?

    What can possibly be accomplished? More chipping away at the freedoms of citizens who've committed no crimes? More meaningless political gestures so politicians can say they're "doing something?"

    NO thanks.

    Were the Brady leadership to be invited to a roundtable with the NRA, GOA, JPFO, SAF, etc. to discuss ways of extending 2nd Am. protections to all citizens, would you participate? I don't think so.

    Inviting the NRA was political theater, nothing more. And the NRA, wisely, declined to take active part in the role of chosen scapegoat.

    - A. Lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  7. As long as your side thinks that you must have totally unrestricted and unfettered rights about your guns, we will get nowhere

    As long as your side sees each new restriction as just one more step toward banning and confiscation, we will get no where.

    Basic question, japete - will you and your organization recognize and publicly proclaim tha the 2nd Am. protects (not grants, protects - an important distinction) a fundamental civil right?

    If your answer is no, then there is no common ground, and can be no agreement. And no compromise. Not one bit.

    My civil rights are not open for negotiating away. Not one. Not ever.

    - A. Lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  8. Please explain to me what you believe to be "contempt" for the 2nd Amendment? You guys love to throw that word around. I don't get what you mean by it? You are wrong, I am quite sure. You think anything that doesn't fit with your own view of the 2nd amendment is contempt. That is a strong word to be throwing around.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Please explain to me what you believe to be "contempt" for the 2nd Amendment?"

    http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_promise_last_year_to_ban.html

    The Obama-Biden agenda doesn't mention implementing a "national no carry law," imposing "1 gun a month purchase limits," or placing "bans on all semi-automatic guns," as mentioned in the e-mail quote. Nor does the 2008 Democratic National Platform. While Obama has favored these regulations in the past, he hasn't said that he plans to pursue them during his presidency.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Basic question, japete - will you and your organization recognize and publicly proclaim tha the 2nd Am. protects (not grants, protects - an important distinction) a fundamental civil right?

    Here's where the rubber meets the road, japete. Either you believe in the Constitution, or you don't.

    Answer the question.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't see any contempt here jdege.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "if only you all could see that these measures are not "aimed"' at you guys. They are meant to stop people who shouldn't have guns from getting them. The fact that you may or may not, depending on what happens, have a few limitations on the type of accessories and ammunition you may carry will not infringe on your second amendment rights."

    Gun violence is a serious problem and as R.R. stated, no one disputes that. And yes, there are many things that we can get together and do that will help to solve these problems. However, banning boxes with springs in them, little metal tabs that hold a bayonet onto a gun or banning a gun if its stock is adjustable to fit different shooters is not going to solve anything. That is why your side cannot get traction.

    The Tucson shooting was tragic and should never have happened. The shooter used a handgun but instantly there were calls to ban assault weapons. Why? If your focus is truly on preventing crime and violence, why would they put so much work into banning something used in less than 2% of homicides nation wide? Both Tucson and VT involved buyers that passed a background check. Why then do we suddenly need to ban sales without a background check because of that?

    Perhaps if gun violence groups concentrated on gun violence and a little less on boxes with springs in them they wouldn't have so much trouble. The latest piece of legislation that Bloomberg and Schumer are so high on is prime example. If they left out the part about banning private sales, there would be very little opposition to strengthening the NICS reporting.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "They are meant to stop people who shouldn't have guns from getting them. The fact that you may or may not, depending on what happens, have a few limitations on the type of accessories and ammunition you may carry will not infringe on your second amendment rights. "


    1. You'd be more credible if you admitted that those limits DO infringe 2A rights. The real question is whether they impermissibly infringe - just like with the 1A.

    2. How does a 10 round mag limit STOP PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN'T HAVE GUNS FROM GETTING THEM? How does banning so-called assualt wepons stop them? Those measures simply don't serve the goal of keeping guns away from the "wrong people" and you lose credibility when you suggest they do.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's a pretty simple, but in your asking it provactive, question, anon. I don't, of course, need to answer any question asked here and the tone of your question is such that it makes me not want to answer it. Perhaps if you word it differently or make it less of a challenge to me and ask me something that can be reasonably answered, I will consider it. But to say to someone - "answer the question" is like your mother finding that you did something wrong and she is wanting to know what you did so she says to you in her "mother voice" answer the question. Some of you here just can't get it through your heads that I will not be bullied.

    ReplyDelete
  15. " Perhaps if gun violence groups concentrated on gun violence and a little less on boxes with springs in them they wouldn't have so much trouble. " whatever. I have learned on my blog that no matter what my side says, no matter how reasonable the proposal is, your side will be against it. It's so easy to say, if only you wouldn't have said it like this or if only you would leave this out or if only you would take out this one thing, we would support you. I say baloney. I have seen no evidence in my months of blogging that you guys are interested in working with us. We will do this without your support.

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's a pretty simple, but in your asking it provactive, question, anon. I don't, of course, need to answer any question asked here and the tone of your question is such that it makes me not want to answer it.

    Don't worry, japete; you just answered the question, and did so in terms that cannot be misunderstood.

    And you answered it in the negative. Calling your position "contempt" for the 2nd Am, and thus the Constitution, is thus entirely accurate. That tells me all I need to know.

    I rest MY case.

    -A. Lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mr. lawyer- if you are- you would have a very weak case. You have not made any point here and you have no facts to back it up. I would not want you for my lawyer if this is how you defend clients.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am actually rather proud of the NRA for refusing to participate in this discussion. Your side views gun restrictions in a radically different way than we do. Let's face it, you simply do not see the 2A in the same way you would as, say, the freedom of speech or religion. We do, simple as that.

    Perhaps, as others have pointed out, we could concentrate on actual violence prevention. But this is never the case. It is always another law in the hope that it will somehow prevent or diminish violence by proxy.

    You and others continue to insist that this will not affect us, but you seem to disbelieve that we actually own the firearms with the features you want to ban. But as you see the 2A as a privelage rather than a civil right, your tactics do not change, and as a consequence your success does not occur.

    The NRA cares very deeply about gun violence and accident prevention. The fact that they put on so many trainings and seminars makes this irrefutable. You seem to forget that gun owners have families and friends as well, who are just as vulnerable to firearms mishaps. We've found a way to mitigate that through training and education without resorting to any abridgment of our civil rights. But it seems as though your side is stuck in the rut of finding whatever gun restriction you believe may be politically feasable at the moment and trying hard to see it enacted.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Joan,

    Contempt for the Second Amendment?

    Let's see

    Keep --

    Did not most gun control advocates, yourself included, support both the Washington D.C. and Chicago bans on keeping firearms?

    Don't most gun control advocates, yourself included, support bans on 'assault weapons'? A firearm that many firearm owners possess.

    Bear --

    Don't most gun control advocates, yourself included, say that it should be harder for people to get licenses to carry (aka Bear) firearms?

    Don't most gun control advocates, yourself included, say that local law enforcement officials should have veto power over the right to Bear Arms?

    Don't most gun control advocates, yourself included, say that people shouldn't be allowed to carry firearms in their vehicles?

    Don't most gun control advocates, yourself included, say that people shouldn't be allowed to carry firearms in National and State parks?

    Where don't you show contempt for the right to keep and bear arms would be a better question.

    Probably one easier for you to answer.

    Here, let me help you out.

    You think that people should be able to own hunting rifles and shot guns, right?

    And?

    What else?

    ReplyDelete
  20. "the organization that wants to keep the current background system that has loopholes allowing for criminals, adjudicated mentally ill people, minors, drug abusers and other to purchase guns without background checks."

    You realize of course that it is illegal for all these people to purchase a firearm, right? Since they are breaking the law anyway, do you actually believe they will suddenly go to a licensed dealer and fill out a 4470? Or do you think they will continue to purchase their guns through some back alley dealer? I'm willing to bet it'll be the latter.

    "The president could set a good example by standing up to the bullies of the NRA"

    The bullies who want to prevent any abridgment of our civil rights? This is, to use your phrase, so ridiculous as to be hyperbolic. I'm curious to know if you believe the ACLU, the NAACP, or NOW are bullies? They all fight for civil rights, but only one of them isn't politically correct.

    "declined the administration’s invitation to talk — a sign of real disrespect for a president who has actually expanded gun rights."

    Yes, expanded gun rights by appointing to rabidly anti gun members to the supreme court and banning importation of 70 year old antique rifles. I would like to point out that the Amtrak and Nat. Parks bills were not stand alone legislation. They were both attached to other bills that were essentially "must pass." Of course the president wasn't going to veto the bills simply for those amendments - but he does get to take the credit. I remain highly skeptical that he would have signed these bills into law had they been stand alone.

    "LaPierre and Cox also said the national news media should refrain from giving the heinous acts of criminals "minute-by-minute coverage" that inspires copycats. So the NRA would shred one part of the Constitution for the sake of another."

    This quote really caught my attention. So the NJ Star is admitting that the goal here is to shred part of the Constituion? No wonder the NRA refuses to participate. And I'd also like to point out that there is a huge difference in reporting on a shooting, and giving minute by minute coverage. It's called restraint. I can't seem to find anywhere the NRA suggests this be outlawed, I believe they were calling for common sense.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "The fact that you may or may not, depending on what happens, have a few limitations on the type of accessories and ammunition you may carry will not infringe on your second amendment rights. Remember that Scalia and Alito both said that their rulings on the 2nd Amendment did not mean there could not be some restrictions. As long as your side thinks that you must have totally unrestricted and unfettered rights about your guns, we will get nowhere. No one is suggesting taking away your rights or your guns."

    Just "a few?" Promise? What happens when we give up, for example, hollow points and standard capacity magazines... and then another shooting occurs. Then we give up, say, bayonet lugs (seriously?) and heat shields. What happens when another shooting occurs after that? Then we give up adjustable stocks and semi automatics. Where will this stop? Will it ever stop? Because I know that shootings will never stop so long as there exists guns in private, police, or military hands.

    Personally I don't care what Scalia and Alito said. I'm certainly glad they ruled in favor of Heller and McDonald, but I'm more in favor of the gentlemen who actually wrote the second amendment. I find it hard to believe that the representatives who just finished fighting off the world's foremost military power with help from private gun owners would turn around and authorize restrictions on "a few accessories."

    You say "no one is suggesting taking away ... your guns" ... Ma'am: we own these guns that feature the accessories you want to ban. Honest to God, I'm not lying. You can take a look in my gun cabinet, you will find old military firearms with bayonet attachments, and you will find new firearms with added safety features like heat shields and accessability features like adjustable buttstocks. Should I somehow be content to know that my guns will not be forcibly confiscated from me, and only banned from purchasing new ones?




    I'm glad you were able to participate with victims, but this is an example of the fundamental differences between our two sides. Sometimes I feel as though you suggest that gun owners are only one tragedy away from "seeing the truth." But you forget that we do not live in a perfect world, and your friends and neighbors are also our friends and neighbors. We have suffered violence and crime, we have suffered accidents, we have dealt with suicides.

    But it seems as though the victims who gravitate towards the gun control side seem not to be able to find any closure. They are stuck in the victim mentality. Why is this? Why to they seem to fixate on the object rather than the offender? This is something that always puzzles me, because I see things very differently. I wish I could understand, because then perhaps gun owners would be better able to reach out to those who fear guns because of previous incidents.

    There are many NRA members who are employed in law enforcement or the military. We also have many victims of violence themselves on our side. They've seen everything firearms can do. I have personally seen firearms deaths and had friends die from suicide. Why am I different? Why are we different?

    It seems to me as if the victims who gravitate to our side have dusted themselves off, and said "Never again." The NRA teaches womens' self defense classes titled "Refuse To Be A Victim." I think this sums up the thinking on our side very well. We will not fixate on the past, we will concern ourselves with the future.

    Food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "if only you all could see that these measures are not "aimed"' at you guys. "

    Just because you aren't "aiming" at us doesn't mean we won't get caught in the "crossfire."

    Repeatedly on this blog you have been shown how some of the laws being proposed would negatively impact law-abiding gun owners, even to the point of potentially putting them in jail. The fact that you don't believe this, or think that it's acceptable, doesn't mean that we are magically no longer affected.

    Additionally, I think it's ridiculously hypocritical to call the NRA unwilling to compromise when your side is even less willing. You and other gun rights bloggers have never, that I have seen, admitted to one single law that you would repeal.

    If you(in general) are on record as not being willing to repeal anything, there cannot be compromise - compromise is when BOTH sides give something. All we see from you is take and take and take.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Listen Alcade- we gone around and around and around and around about the people who can't buy guns but do so anyway at gun shows. You know the answer. If there are no background checks, then anyone can get a gun from the private sellers at gun shows and other venues. If all gun sales have to go through background checks at gun shows, how can a prohibited person get a gun there? The simple answer= they won't be able to. As to "shredding the Constitution"- such ridiculous language does your side no good and it's plain and simply not true. I think you know that, too. What difference does it make if a law gets in my amendment or an actual bill. The result in the end is the same. The NRA got those provisions into bills they know the President and the Dems wanted passed- not good policy to pass something through without benefit of discussion or hearings.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Alcade- you are starting to annoy me- to say this:" They are stuck in the victim mentality. Why is this?" shows your total insensitivity to victims. Have you had a loved one shot down? Do you know how that feels? I am guessing the answer is no. I suggest that you guys are playing the role of victimhood really well by trying to convince people that you will somewho suffer or be jailed if these laws passed. That is not true, of course. Were you in on the call? Did you listen to what people said? ALL of those on the call have dusted themselves off quite well thank you very much and are moving on with their lives living around the hole created by the shooting of a loved one. Until you know how that is, you have no right or standing to even make a comment about this so I ask you to just keep your fingers silent when it comes to this. Demeaning and shameless.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "As to "shredding the Constitution"- such ridiculous language does your side no good and it's plain and simply not true."

    The language was used by the NJ Star, which is most certainly not pro gun-rights. So should we rather say that it's ridiculous language that does YOUR side no good?

    ReplyDelete
  26. If all gun sales have to go through background checks at gun shows, how can a prohibited person get a gun there?

    The same way the Tucson shooter got his gun.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "It’s about scoring political points and protecting LaPierre’s status as the 4th highest paid leader of any “charity organization” in the country"

    The NRA is a charity organization? That's interesting, because at the bottom of every letter I've received asking for funds, is the disclaimer "Your donations are not tax deductable." I fail to even comprehend where Mr. Moore would deduce that the NRA is somehow a charity organization. They lobby for firearms rights and provide training classes and other gun related services.

    "And fear of Obama, the first black President, has been very, very good for fundraising and scaring middle-aged white men into stocking their basements with caches of weapons."

    Actually I think most people still had weapons chaches in their basements from the Clinton administration. Very convenient that now there is a black president, the left can hold him up and shout "Racism!" whenever anyone disagrees with his policies. I'm sure it is politically expedient, otherwise it wouldn't be done, but it certainly isn't honest. Is Mr. Moore suggesting that we would agree to gun restrictions if Obama weren't merely half-white? Why, then, do you get so much disagreement, Joan? Are we sexist and don't respect a woman's opinions? What is Paul Helmke's excuse? He's a male and white.

    These kind of insulting lies from Mr. Moore do not stand the scrutiny of logic.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Terrorist watch list or no fly list being extended to the NICS forbidden to purchase list-
    Problems:
    1. You cant look at the list (terrorist) and see if you are on it.
    2. No good method to get off it and since they come from intelligence sources you have no idea why you are on it.
    3. If Ted Kennedy can get on it then any of us can, too unreliable to be part of NICS.

    No fly list is an intelligence tool and is not due process. It shouldnt be used to determine if you can exercise a fundamental right.

    Likewise the reason that the adjudication of mental incompetance or a danger is there because a judge's ruling can be considered due process and met the threshold to deprive someone of a constitutional right. To expand it to forbid people from purely medical records runs into privacy problems and also some in the medical profession has mixed feelings on using medical records for this purpose for fear that it would discourage people from seeking treatment.

    NICS expansion and some of these "dialogues" scare me for a reason. I object to them on broad constitutional grounds not just 2A. As vehement a supporter of gun rights as I am I whole heartedly oppose laws to force parking lot owners to allow people to store guns in their cars. Its a private property right and has nothing to do with guns one way or the other.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Absolutely great post japete. The work you did to gather these quotes is appreciated. As a result of your tolerance for negative commentary, this blog is full of vaguely or openly abusive comments and we need to see that others such as the ones you quote feel much differently. In fact, as you've pointed out, the majority of Americans feel much differently. Thanks again!

    May I mention again that I know japete and can attest that she has not spent one minute since the death of her sister in self-pity. She has never played the role of a victim. She has played the role of a tireless, passionate advocate for sensible gun laws to reduce gun violence. She has truly turned lemons into lemonade as the saying goes.

    So, no matter how often the cut-and-paste, wordy,, repetitious gunnies who frequent this site repeat it, she has never been a victim in the manner they suggest.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "Have you had a loved one shot down? Do you know how that feels? I am guessing the answer is no."

    I have and I do. But I don't think that my family's experience calls for laws against guns any more than a family's loss of a loved one in a house fire calls for laws against fires, matches or wood.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This quote from Joan is kind of interesting:

    "Thank you R.R- if only you all could see that these measures are not "aimed"' at you guys. They are meant to stop people who shouldn't have guns from getting them. The fact that you may or may not, depending on what happens, have a few limitations on the type of accessories and ammunition you may carry will not infringe on your second amendment rights."

    Under the previous ban on so-called "assault weapons" it was a federal felony with, iirc, a mandatory ten year prison sentence if you were caught in possession of a post-ban magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds.

    Presumably, Joan evidently has no problem with otherwise law-abiding citizens being arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned for mere possession of a plastic box with a spring inside of it.

    Truly, that is food for thought. I'll be curious to see if Joan is more upstanding than Baldr and will actually post this comment.

    ReplyDelete
  32. to Johnnysquire- what? That is nonsense, of course. Guns are weapons designed to kill people. there is no reason in the world not to have laws stopping people from shooting each other.

    ReplyDelete
  33. to Johnnysquire- what? That is nonsense, of course. Guns are weapons designed to kill people. there is no reason in the world not to have laws stopping people from shooting each other.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Yes,of course, anon- or maybe you are Bob S. for all I know, we really intend to have all of you guys locked up. We are coming for you one by one with handcuffs. Didn't you know? We are forming a posse. I told you this before but you must not believe me. Our main goal is to put all of you law abiding gun owners behind bars. Surely it says that in the bills, doesn't it? Or, let's see- hmmmm. I don't see anything in the bills that says that. But you guys go ahead and play the victims and think that is what the law will do.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Those of us in the liberty community simply take the Constitution seriously. We will not stand by and see the Constitution chipped away, no matter how "good" the cause. It's that simple.

    And we're winning. " really A. Lawyer? I can't believe you believe this stuff. As I said, remind me not to hire you as my lawyer.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Our main goal is to put all of you law abiding gun owners behind bars. Surely it says that in the bills, doesn't it? Or, let's see- hmmmm. I don't see anything in the bills that says that. But you guys go ahead and play the victims and think that is what the law will do.

    Ah, sarcasm ... obviously you're asking for reasoned and respectful debate (well now I'm guilty of it too ... see how contagious the hate is?).

    Anyway, just what outcome do you expect if you outlaw items that many of us believe we have a God given and Constitutionally protected right to possess? You think we're all going to just say "Oh well, it was fun while it lasted" as we turn in our guns?

    No, clearly you don't expect us to do that, so its pretty obvious that you and your ilk WANT to put law abiding gun owners in jail.

    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).

    ReplyDelete
  37. If true, I find it upsetting that there are no legal ramifications for people who violate the law.

    Joan, I thought you'd take a tougher more common sense stance than that.

    After all, the people who have high capacity ammo clips are the ones causing the problem, and they really ought to be locked up if they break the law.

    ReplyDelete
  38. One thing I know for sure- God did not give you a right to own guns. Other than that, yes, indeed, since you guys are so fearful of losing your rights and your guns, get ready. Again, I say, that is what this is all about. When you say things that are so ridiculous, what do you expect? How can I take you seriously when you make spurious claims that you will be hand cuffed and sent to jail. Just follow the law and you'll be fine. You are drinking the NRA kool aid apparently, if you believe that nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  39. What, anon, are you talking about?

    ReplyDelete
  40. If you actually all rounded up a posse, and came to arrest us, I'd have more respect for your movement.

    But you only advocate laws to do things like ban "ammunition feeding devices" that hold more than ten rounds, with questionable grandfathering.

    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.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sebastian- I don't believe for a minute that that will be the result of the McCarthy bill. You guys are so fearful that you have lost objectivity. If you think a law would be passed that would have that result- even from people on my side, then you are being misled and are misleading. I'm glad to know that you would respect us more if we came door to door. I will put that up in the gvp blogoshpere so they can all get ready to form their local posses. We do want your respect, for sure, just as I'm sure you want ours.

    ReplyDelete
  42. That's what the law says. Go read it. I've had two different attorneys look at it and they came to the same conclusion I did. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  43. A critical part of understanding negotiation is "BATNA:" "Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement."

    In this case, conventional political wisdom says that the NRA's BATNA is "status quo." There are sufficient votes in the house to shut down any gun control movement, and probably in the senate too given the reluctance of key democratic senators from rural states (like Montana) to move on the issue.

    In my mind, a compromise is something where both sides get something. Maybe you get something you drool over (one gun a month, banning private sales, restrictions on scary looking guns, etc), then we get something like national CCW reciprocity, scrapping useless or stupid laws that don't do anything to reduce crime, or so on. That's a compromise--both sides get something of value that moves them towards a common objective.

    The vibe that I get from the White House initiative is that NOTHING is being offered to our side.

    So, NRA and other gun rights organizations have basically two choices:

    1) Negotiate. In this case, we will probably get nothing, and be forced to give up something which we value, or appear to be complicit in giving up something of value.
    2) Obstruct. This is the BATNA--the status quo is generally maintained.

    To reason by analogy, say your BATNA is to walk away from a deal. I want to negotiate over whether you will read two pro-gun rights books or six pro-gun rights books. Will you sit down to negotiate with me? I doubt it--you're theoretically a rational actor so you'd be best off walking away.

    Sure, the administration could do a bunch of things like run guns into Mexico or implement onerous and potentially illegal executive orders and have ATF issue "demand letters" without congressional approval. However, that will certainly impact the reelection chances of vulnerable Dems in the Senate as well as those of Pres Obama himself.

    If your side actually was willing to offer something that we valued, then maybe there would be more negotiation. But you guys can't seem to think of a single gun law that you'd get rid of -- even the one that bans off-duty police officers from carrying a sidearm within 1000 yards of a school (because, you know, a cop might go on a shooting rampage or something...).

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sebastian said, "But you only advocate laws to do things like ban "ammunition feeding devices" that hold more than ten rounds, with questionable grandfathering."

    Do you think he really means that's the ONLY law we advocate, this and other things like it?

    No, he knows better than that but in his favorite way of focusing on the worst and then generalizing from there, he thinks we're all fooled.

    We also advocate background checks on all gun sales, have you heard us on that one ever, Mr. S.?

    Heather said, not unlike Sebastian in its disingenuousness, "You and other gun rights bloggers have never, that I have seen, admitted to one single law that you would repeal."

    Heather dear, please come for a visit to the wild side (my blog) and you'll see examples of that. I've probably mentioned them here as well, but I guess you forgot, or didn't notice.

    ReplyDelete
  45. japete: "Their refusal to participate in any discussions with the White House and gun violence prevention organizations should be disturbing to everyone and even to the membership of the organization."

    Yes, I disagree with the NRA's position on this. They should meet and seek compromise. Then, when they receive the INEVITABLE REJECTION of real compromise from gun control advocates (I myself have tried many many times, always with the same result) they will then have a reason for walking out should they wish to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  46. There was a mocking of the assertions that "the bills" were meant to put gun owners in jail, Mike. My goal was to prove that wasn't paranoia. Any time you pass a law against something, you're saying "this behavior is so reprehensible that we need to separate people from their liberty and property in order to stop it."

    The police and prosecutors aren't going to enforce McCarthy's magazine ban, or any other gun control law, with kind words. It's going to be enforced by SWAT teams, courts and federal prison. Millions of people own guns. Millions more own guns with magazines that hold more than ten rounds. McCarthy's bill is so badly written, it's trivially easy to go from legal to felon. Ordinary people will be doing that every day, unbeknownst to them. Most of them will never get caught. But some people will. It happens already, with considerably milder gun laws.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I know we had this go around before. The bill allows those who own the magazines to keep what they have. They would not be allowed to transfer them. That is where the penalties come in. To have yourselves convinced that SWAT teams will enforce this if passed is an exaggeration to put it nicely. I think you guys are watching toomany movies. Under what circumstance would you imagine that scenario?

    ReplyDelete
  48. I know we had this go around before. The bill allows those who own the magazines to keep what they have. They would not be allowed to transfer them. That is where the penalties come in. To have yourselves convinced that SWAT teams will enforce this if passed is an exaggeration to put it nicely. I think you guys are watching toomany movies. Under what circumstance would you imagine that scenario?

    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.

    Just because a law isn't called the, "Put ordinary gunowners behind bars and take away grandpa's 19th century rifle act" doesn't mean that it doesn't have that effect. That side effect may be unintentional, but to many on your side, it seems to be a feature, not a bug.

    The only argument that you could make is that we can rely on police discretion to not arrest "innocent" magazine usages, and that we can rely on prosecuturial discretion to not prosecute the cases. That would be like saying, "Well, let's just make driving a car illegal. We'll rely on the police discretion to only arrest people who are actually driving recklessly." Would that really be a just way to cut down on traffic accidents? Would it be fair to tackle inner city crime by just saying, "Well, being present in this urban area is a felony; it will be an affirmative defense that you weren't committing a crime." I think that such a policy of just making everything illegal and letting the cops and lawyers sort it out is not appropriate in our society. If you give such broad latitude to the police and prosecutors they will use it.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

    ReplyDelete
  49. Husband dies. Widow is now in possession of the magazine. Legally, that is a transfer. Father does. Son takes the Henry that's been in the family for generations. That's a transfer. Law offers no means to dispose of these items legally. So really, once the death happens you have to admit to a felony and hope the cops are going to be understanding.

    These things have happened. Ask Evan Nappen, who's the go-to attorney for New Jersey gun laws, which are structured similarly. There have been good people sent to prison for years for technicalities. This is not how a just system behaves. But it is what gun control proponents advocate.

    ReplyDelete
  50. "What, anon, are you talking about?"

    I'm talking about your statement where you said this:

    "Our main goal is to put all of you law abiding gun owners behind bars. Surely it says that in the bills, doesn't it? Or, let's see- hmmmm. I don't see anything in the bills that says that."


    Like you, I've been concerned with the growing levels of gun violence in this country, and the violent rhetoric coming from the right for years now.

    Your sarcastic comment makes me wonder if you understand what we face.

    If you don't think there should be punishment for breaking the proposed law, don't you realize that the gun industry and tea bagger crowd will just break the law?

    Joan, why would you support a law that doesn't punish someone for breaking it?

    ReplyDelete
  51. You know you guys, no one on my side of this wants people like you all to be jailed in spite of what you think. If there are really serious flaws in the bill, it hasn't even had a hearing yet. Things will come out and if it turns out that there are major problems, it will be changed. You all have come up with all of the reasons that you perceive to "kill the bill" before it even gets a hearing. Also, in spite of what you say, we are reasonable people who want to do reasonable things to keep these things from the hands of people like Jared Loughner and others like him. You guys have your undies tied up in bundles over things that are very likely not going to happen if this bill happens. Everyone knows that bugs are worked out during hearings and floor votes. Chill out for goodness sake but don't stop this before it gets a fair hearing. That is what this is all about. You don't even want it to get to that point. You hate all bills that you have been convinced will take something from you. On my side, we have no interest in taking things away from anyone but those who shouldn't be able to get these kinds of ammunition. Yes, it does mean that you all will also not be able to buy them as well. I understand that. You all didn't suffer terribly during the assault weapons ban. Somehow you limped along with your smaller magazines. It must have been terribly difficult for you.

    ReplyDelete
  52. We are advocating for no such thing. No matter what you say, we are not. Nothing I say will convince you otherwise so I am continuing with my support of the bills that have a chance of making a difference in preventing mass shootings such as Tucson and others before it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Well now, anon, that is the understatement of the blog- do I know what you face? I can't believe you had the nerve to say that considering the many victims of gun violence every day. What do you face next to that? Very little.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Joan, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give offense. Perhaps I misread.

    I was just thrilled to find the wonderful posts on your blog, where you really state how it is, but then in some of your comments here, I got the impression that you were trying to be friends with these hopeless extremists.

    I've seen that happen before in many discussions both in real life and online. It got so bad that I simply quit participating for a time.

    Again, I apologize if I offended you.

    ReplyDelete
  55. "Chill out for goodness sake but don't stop this before it gets a fair hearing. That is what this is all about. You don't even want it to get to that point."

    That's correct. I don't want this bill to face a hearing. Because it's a bad bill.

    If it faces a hearing, I want to see this called out for what it is - a bad bill that will do *nothing* to impact the crime rate or acts of violence.

    Let's focus on the criminals & those using firearms in violence.

    Bryan

    ReplyDelete
  56. It's a bad bill because it doesn't ban possession of high capacity ammo clips.

    ReplyDelete
  57. japete: "You guys have your undies tied up in bundles over things that are very likely not going to happen if this bill happens. Everyone knows that bugs are worked out during hearings and floor votes."

    And sometimes, they're not. When NJ banned "assault weapons," gunowners warned that it would ban the Marlin 60, just about the most popular .22 rifle in the US. NJ banned it anyway. And when penalties for mere possession were later increased still further, Brian Miller of Ceasefire NJ gloated about it on his blog.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "You guys have your undies tied up in bundles over things that are very likely not going to happen if this bill happens."

    The things that you say are "likely not going to happen" are already happening, and your bill will make things worse.

    ReplyDelete
  59. MikeB wrote:
    Heather dear,...

    Mike, are you this patronizing to men as well, or just women? When I worked with Italians, I found their sensibilities about how to treat women to be a bit... different... than what I'm used to in professional life in America. I know you've been abroad for awhile, but in case you forgot, it stopped being acceptable to treat women like they were children around 1848 to 1920 in this country.

    Given that our host is a female, I'd think that you'd show a little more respect to the fairer sex in this forum.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

    ReplyDelete
  60. Really jdege- I need to know what's happening that has you so upset.

    ReplyDelete
  61. This bill will NOT stop criminals from committing horrific acts, and should die in committee without EVER seeing the light of the Senate floor.

    Let's work on criminals, not the tools.

    ReplyDelete
  62. We need to do both Pat. What is your suggestion for "working on" criminals?

    ReplyDelete
  63. "I need to know what's happening that has you so upset."

    What is happening? Innocent people are having their lives ruined by the thugs at F Troop, based on either accidental or invented violations of regulations or interpretations of regulations that BATF invents on the spot.

    David Olofson isn't the only case, by far, though he's the most publicized in recent years.

    ReplyDelete
  64. The "working" on criminals has been stated before. I think all of us law-abiding gun owners would be delighted to see violent criminals (e.g. rapists and murderers) imprisoned for very long terms. A previous post asked whether you would be in favor of adding a mandatory twenty year extension to a violent criminals' sentence? Due to recidivism, this would do wonders for reducing violent crime.

    Also, you mentioned that your friend's daughter was killed by her estranged husband. Did it ever occur to you that had she been armed, she might be alive. I suspect that the bastard did not need a gun to kill her, however, she might have been able to protect herself if she had a firearm. Since the restraining orders are often totally worthless, I would say that is a realistic world view. In a world without guns, the weak will be victimized.

    Once again, will you post my comments? You never deign to do so. Perhaps the facts are too stark.

    ReplyDelete
  65. No sir, anon- the facts are not too stark. Did it ever occur to you that in most domestic shooting cases, there would be no time for self defense since it is usually a surprise attack. It was in the case of my sister. It was in the case of the daughter of my friend. She had no time to react. You guys have this picture in your heads that you could easily defend yourselves by just pulling out your gun. While, back in the real world, adrenaline, fear, etc. take over. When someone surprises you with a gun aimed at you within seconds of their showing up on the scene, it is just not possible to pull a gun out in time for self defense. We are talking about a young woman who was at work, for pete's sake. People don't generally carry firearms around in their work places. Believe me, many things have occurred to me as I have thought about my sister's death. Those are stark facts that are hard to relive. Yes, sir, you go right ahead and work on the mandatory sentencing. I think that would be a cause you gun guys should work really hard on. Good luck with that one, too.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thank you for posting my comment. I appreciate it. I do not dispute that surprise attacks are the hardest to defend against and those that do not care about laws and human life will often suceed. My point is, that having some chance to defend oneself is better than having very little chance due to being unarmed. Please stop trying to take away our self-defense options. Help us make the efforts of attackers a dicey affair.

    Finally, so would you and your colleagues agree that we should focus efforts on criminals and work to keep them away from civilized society?

    ReplyDelete
  67. Yes anon. But we will continue our focus on keeping guns away from people who should not have them and our education campaign about safe storage, etc

    ReplyDelete
  68. Japete: "But we will continue our focus on ... our education campaign about safe storage"

    No problem! You even have my support as you educate away!

    You will only get opposition from me if you lobby for a "one size fits all" safe storage law that affects the ability to keep a firearm usable for self-defense.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Chris, demanding more respect for the fairer sex, as you stated, is a form of misogyny. I was guilty of sarcasm and mild nastiness. Your coming to the aid of Heather is the insulting thing. Why didn't you call her on that stupid remark she made about never having heard of a gun control law we don't support? Is it because she's just a girl and you're cutting her some slack. I called her on it just like I would have if you'd said it.

    japete, you said no one wants to put any of these guys in jail, well, I don't know about that. Sebastian is going way over the line in paranoia and stubbornness, which perhaps should be jail-able offenses. He did say after all, that laws are designed to separate the offenders from their freedom and belongings. How about a law against such blatant nonsense that we're hard pressed for words to describe it.

    ReplyDelete
  70. "Chris, demanding more respect for the fairer sex, as you stated, is a form of misogyny. I was guilty of sarcasm and mild nastiness. Your coming to the aid of Heather is the insulting thing. Why didn't you call her on that stupid remark she made about never having heard of a gun control law we don't support? Is it because she's just a girl and you're cutting her some slack. I called her on it just like I would have if you'd said it."

    Your only response to my remark was to tell me to read your blog. I do not, and will not read my blog. As I specifically said "that I have seen," my statement was completely true.

    Although, upon rereading your comment, you simply called my statement stupid, not untrue. Please do tell how it is stupid?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Chris, demanding more respect for the fairer sex, as you stated, is a form of misogyny.

    No, demanding equal respect for all people, regardless of gender is professional and courteous. It is chivalrous and polite, not misogynistic, to extend minor courtesies or niceties in civil company.

    Heather is quite capable of putting trolls into their place. I just think it is worth highlighting that your statements include inappropriate comments based on gender. You addressed similar concerns that Sebastian made and didn't feel a need to be patronizing to him; why treat Heather differently based solely upon her name and presumption that she's female?

    I may call you and others out for your distasteful beliefs, but I don't do it because of the color of your skin (I don't know it and don't care), your gender, your sexual orientation, your national origin, your religion, and so on. I do so because the ideas you express and the manner in which you express them is boorish bordering on bigoted.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete