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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Friday, July 8, 2011

Scaredy cats??

Sometimes when I read articles such as this one, I scratch my head and wonder what in the world everyone is so afraid of? Wegner carried a firearm into the University of Virginia Medical Center on June 16, 2010, without permission from UVa’s chief of police, according to an April 19 letter from UVa’s director of state and federal government relations, Sally N. Barber, to Sen. R. Creigh Deeds’ legislative assistant, Tracy Eppard. Wegner, who said he has a concealed carry permit, said he openly carried the firearm on his side while holding his young daughter in his arms." I have some questions. Why does someone need to openly carry a handgun while holding his young child at a Medical Center? What would Wegner do if he actually needed that gun while holding the child? Would he put the child down somewhere and shoot at whatever it is that frightened him? What if his gun somehow fell out of the holster? ( Yes I have provided examples of that happening and one actually in a hospital emergency room where a gun fell out of some one's pants pocket and discharged) What do kids think about that loaded gun hanging from a father's waist? Truly, I'm just wondering. What can be that scary in a Medical Center that some people simply MUST have a gun with them at all times- like a security blanket? Me- I'll take the actual blanket.

Really though, all you need to protect yourself against someone who takes out his gun and points it at you is oatmeal. When another Texas permit holder went awry and engaged someone in a road rage incident, the person he threatened threw a bowl of oatmeal at this "law abiding" permit holder. Yes, it's true. Let's consider how this could have turned out instead of how it did, with no harm done. Since Texas has "Shoot First" would that permit holder have been able to use the excuse that he felt threatened by a guy with a bowl of oatmeal before he shot him? I'm just asking. Why is it that the permit holder lost his head and drove after the man in the truck and then pulled out a gun? Guns make a difference. If people didn't have their guns at the ready, perhaps they wouldn't be as afraid of others in public places or be so bold about their actions in public. A gun just elevates a situation that isn't violent to another level. Bad things sometimes happen in these situations.

But how do you defend yourself against irresponsible gun owners such as this? Since I have been writing my blog, I have written many times about irresponsible gun owners whose guns are dropped and then a bullet or more are discharged from the gun. The gun rights activists like to tell me that these are few and far between and not a big deal. These incidents happen more often than they want to believe. That's the problem with guns. They are not always used responsibly or by responsible people- even those who are otherwise law abiding. The gun guys like to think of themselves as immune from anything like this happening. Unless of course it does. The Texas man in the story above, I'm quite sure, did not expect that he would drop his shotgun- and what's more, when he dropped it that it would discharge ammunition and injure 3 people.  Guns are dangerous.

Surely this man never considered that he could mistake his gun for a tire pump. When you have loaded guns stored in your car, accidents like this are rare, but they do happen. I'm betting that no one was more surprised than he was when he shot himself in the stomach. Ouch. But loaded guns in cars can be a problem. I have blogged about incidents similar to this before. There were at least 2 incidents in the last few months of people shooting themselves with loaded guns in their cars. Guns are dangerous. Their owners likely never think anything so stupid could happen to them until it does. When you are so afraid of whatever you are so afraid of that you must have your loaded gun wherever you go, you are subject to having stupid and potentially deadly things like this happen to you.

If you are cavalier enough to think it won't happen to you, you shouldn't be. Guns are dangerous. There could be an accidental discharge by you or a child like this 4 year old Georgia boy who is now dead because of a loaded gun under the bed. Guns are dangerous. It could be a suicide of a family member. Or it could even be an intentional shooting in the heat of anger, depression, over consumption of alcohol or drugs.... Guns in the home are more likely to be used against someone in the home than in self defense. This great blog by a fellow gun control advocate, New Trajectory, talks about alternatives to guns to protect you in your home. Human beings are fallible. Bad things sometimes happen to good people. I know that for sure since if a gun homicide could happen in my family, it could happen to anyone. Guns are dangerous. And soon we will need to refresh the numbers about the dangers of guns for self defense to expand it to public places because of the number of people now legally carrying guns in public.

There is a conundrum concerning guns and the "need for them". The gun rights activists are so afraid of everyone else out there who might do them and their families harm that they carry their guns in public to protect themselves from whatever might happen in the course of a day. Most of the time, nothing happens. The gun guys feel safer and we don't hear of any problems regarding guns in public- until we do. And then, innocent people are shot in cases of accidental discharges or purposely in acts of homicide or attempted homicide. Self defense in the home is one thing. But in public, we all have the right to our freedom from gun discharges that could injure or kill us or a loved one or friend. The question for me and other gun control advocates who just want common sense regarding gun policy, is who should be more afraid? The gun rights activists who claim they need their guns for self defense everywhere they go? Or the general public who are put in harm's way every day from law abiding gun owners and permit holders?

129 comments:

  1. "wonder what in the world everyone is so afraid of?" "Why does someone need to openly carry a handgun while holding his young child at a Medical Center?"

    Do you wear your seat belts all the time or just when you are afraid? Do you take your spare tire out of the trunk when you aren't afraid? Do you only use smoke detectors when you are afraid. Do you make your grandkids wear life jackets all the time when you are on a boat or only when you are afraid.

    I carry my pistol all the time because I don't know when I will need it and it is useless if I don't have it.

    "Since Texas has "Shoot First" would that permit holder have been able to use the excuse that he felt threatened by a guy with a bowl of oatmeal before he shot him?"

    NO! Texas has a Castle Doctrine law, not a "Shoot First" of "Make My Day!" law. To call it that is inherently deceptive.

    First, the permit holder appears to have provoked the incident. Second the oatmeal wielder was not committing a crime nor was he using force nor was he attempting to commit a crime of violence. The permit holder will probably be convicted, lose his permit and the ability to ever own a gun again as long as he lives. As a Texas permit holder I have no problem with that. This is how it should be, punish the transgressor, not the millions of gun owners who obeyed the law.

    You can see from the law quoted below that I can not just claim I was scared.

    (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor [he] reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor [himself] against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

    (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:

    (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

    (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

    (C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;

    (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

    (3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

    (e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.

    (f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

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  2. Japete: “The gun rights activists like to tell me that these are few and far between and not a big deal.”

    I have seen people say the former, never the latter. They also say modern guns are extremely drop safe- to the point where many give the advice to never catch a falling gun (because you might pull the trigger). Unfortunately that is fighting instincts. Antiques, guns in disrepair, and older revolvers without a transfer bar (~50+ years) are a different story. The link you provided called it an “old shotgun”- I doubt we will know more details than that. Also keep in mind a lot of these accidents probably involved someone pulling a trigger, but when someone gets hurt, excuses like “it just went off” or “I dropped it” or “I was cleaning it” come out. One thing worth pointing out is that the industry makes guns that are safer than ever, and they didn’t need legislation to do it.

    Japete: “The question for me and other gun control advocates who just want common sense regarding gun policy, is who should be more afraid?”

    I guess at the end of the day we are “afraid” of being attacked just like you are “afraid” of being shot. We are all a bunch of Scaredy Cats.

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  3. "who should be more afraid? The gun rights activists who claim they need their guns for self defense everywhere they go? Or the general public who are put in harm's way every day from law abiding gun owners and permit holders?"

    Texas has 314,574 as of 2009 (way more now) permit holders committed 101 crimes with guns out of a total 65,561 crimes with guns.

    Of those convicted of a crime involving a gun, permit holders represent 0.154% of the group. Put another way, if you encounter a gun being used in a crime in Texas, 99.846% of the time, the person does not have a permit to carry. (and Texas does NOT allow open carry)
    (source http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/ConvictionRatesReport2009.pdf)

    Now for accidental discharge (what we call ND) the odds of being killed by ND is < 0.8%

    VPC's own numbers (May 2007 to the Present = 319) means that about 80 people per year are killed by permit holders. We know that only 1/4 of those will result in criminal charges. but let's say 1/2.. 110 more or less..

    How many of those were accidents? Almost none, if you read the document, but let's pretend that all of them were..

    The best official number of permit holders I can find has it at 3.5 Million, but that's from 2004. That number could be double that by now, but let's stick with 3.5 million.

    That puts you at a 0.003% chance of being killed by a permit holder each year.

    Each step of the way I took the numbers most favorable to your point.

    So the conclusion I draw is that if EVERY permit holder stopped carrying, you could prevent 0.003% of gun crimes.

    It looks to me like permit holders are among the most law abiding people in the country.

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  4. Question: What has higher rates in this country, criminal acts or negligent discharges?

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  5. Thanks TS for the little bit of humor. I do appreciate that.

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  6. Wow, thanks Robin, TS and Echo. Great, well reasoned responses. I should bookmark these comments just to refer back to them in the future.

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  7. With the amount of protection citizens get from the police department, it is not unreasonable to want the ability to carry a concealed weapon! When do police arrive? After the crime is done. What are you to do in the meantime? People who think that no one should be allowed to carry guns except the police are living in never never land. I have never had to shoot anyone, but I've had my weapon with me which resulted in that person threatening me to go on about their business after they knew I was armed.

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  8. Hypocritical Much?July 8, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    I like how calling collin goddard a coward for hiding under a desk and not resisting is verboten, but you feel it appropriate to call gun owners scaredy cats for wanting to carry weapons just in case.

    Reasoned Discourse™ at it's finest!

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  9. Don't think I used the word cowards, Hypocritical. And using that word on Colin is hypocritical and not to be tolerated on this blog.

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  10. "Why does someone need to openly carry a handgun while holding his young child at a Medical Center?"

    For the same reason that many of us choose to avail ourselves of the legal right to keep and bear arms -- the world is an unfriendly place at times, and we never know when or where something may occur.

    We choose to defend ourselves.

    "What if his gun somehow fell out of the holster?"

    Responsible gun owners who use properly cared for equipment don't have this issue. Modern guns, even if they did fall, are unlikely to fire.

    Besides, it didn't. So your question is really moot here.

    "Would he put the child down somewhere and shoot at whatever it is that frightened him?"

    It's not legal to use deadly force in any state in this country simply because you're frightened. Despite the rhetoric around "shoot first laws" - the laws actually contain clear and unambiguous language about when deadly force can be utilized.

    Because something frightens you doesn't meet the legal standard.

    "What would Wegner do if he actually needed that gun while holding the child?"

    It's rather ironic that you wrote this today, because I spent the better part of the day in a defensive handgun class south of the Twin Cities, and one of the simulations we did was exactly this situation that you outline.

    The answer looks something like this while backing away from the situation - and using deadly force only as outlined under law.

    http://olegvolk.net/gallery/d/33381-2/no_excuses_6165.jpg

    B

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  11. "The question for me and other gun control advocates who just want common sense regarding gun policy, is who should be more afraid?"

    Wouldn't 'common sense' indicate, even here in Minnesota with out limited eight year history of 'shall-issue' laws for carrying a firearm, that we would see a huge upswing in the sort of incidents that you're referencing if this really was an issue?

    The data doesn't at all support the sort of arguments that you're making. Not in Minnesota, or other states where such data is available.
    b

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  12. Joan, Do you have any context of the lead paragraphs events? Why was the father there, where did they live, was the daughter in need of urgent medical care or was perhaps a family member in trauma care? Without context, this is a non event. For all we know the mother and wife of the two individuals was in critical condition and they rushed into the hospital trying to see her. One could clearly understand someone not taking the time to or having the patience to comply with a silly rule in that circumstance.


    Your post is sensationalism, and has no valid bearing on the discussion about safety.

    For your information, in minnesota there is no need to disarm entering most hospitals in the State.

    Lastly, if calling someone a scaredy cat is not calling them a coward, well, then your understanding of the English Language is different from most everyone who speaks it.

    Feelings are never a reason for public policy.

    Emotions should be cleanly removed from the discussion and enactment of law. In almost all cases where laws have been enacted on the basis of emotional fervor, they have turned out to bad laws. Laws need to be removed from non fact based arguments.

    You, I, nor anyone, has no Constitutional right to be free from fear. We have a Constitutionally acknowledged right to Keep and Bear arms. We have a right to protect our Freedom, Liberty, Possessions and Family and self thru the use of Arms.

    The Law of this land is the Constitution. This Document sets forth all of the restrictions on either Citizen or State, that need to be understood. This Document also sets forth or acknowledges certain Rights and Privileges which can not be crossed by the Government against its Citizens, and that if it does, the PEOPLE are within its rights to forcibly resist.


    I provided statistical data before showing that if we used the number of Permitted Citizens in Florida to populate the Twin Cities, there would have been 4 violent crimes in 4 years. Yet some how, you allow a manifest fear of guns to cripple clear thought in believing that somehow permit holders and their weapons are killing folks across this nation at unprecedented rates. This is simply not so.

    The FACTS do not support your fears, History does not support your fears, practical experience as well does not support your fears. Perhaps it is time to re examine what it is you are afraid of.

    2 plus 2 does not equal 6. It never has, it never will. Repeating that it does a thousand times does not change the FACT that it will not. Yelling it louder will not change the FACT. Stomping your feet and clapping your hands will not change the fact.


    There are issues in this world that need thoughtful and reasoned discussion, the Right to Keep and Bear arms does not.

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  13. I'm just wondering. What can be that scary in a Detroit barber shop that some people simply MUST have a gun with them at all times- like a security blanket?

    Answer
    http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/attempted-barber-shop-robbery-turns-deadly-in-detroit-20110708-wpms

    The funny thing is he kinda was under a security blanket but it was a smock.

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  14. For all my readers who are not gun rights activists, I must say that I rest my case. If you click on the link provided by my friend Bryan Strawser you will see a totally ridiculous photo of a father holding his child while shooting at something. This is what I'm talking about. The link to the Detroit self defense shooting is one that could be considered a true self defense case. There is no telling, of course, how the scenario would have turned out if a customer hadn't been armed. It may have been an armed robbery and the robbers got away with the money with no harm done to the folks in the shop. Yes, it was a scary situation but seen differently through the eyes of the gun guys compared to the eyes of gun control advocates. That is the reason for my post.

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  15. "For your information, in minnesota there is no need to disarm entering most hospitals in the State. "

    In Minnesota, firearms are only prohibited in state hospitals - state hospitals being defined as only the state hospitals used to hold the criminally insane, etc... I believe there are only two of those in the state.

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  16. "If you click on the link provided by my friend Bryan Strawser you will see a totally ridiculous photo of a father holding his child while shooting at something."

    There's nothing ridiculous about that photo -- a parent who chooses to carry a firearm for self defense needs to ponder and understand how they would react in such a situation.

    What is it that you would suggest a parent do when confronted with a potentially life threatening situation?

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  17. Bryan, Where I live all of the hospitals and clinics have signs posted saying no guns are allowed. I believe that is true of many hospitals and clinics in Minnesota.

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  18. Bryan, my post says what I think. What I suggest is that the chances of your needing a gun for self defense in public are so small that you just leave your gun at home when you are and about with your children. That is what the majority of Americans do. They understand that the dangers of having a loaded gun around children are just not worth the risk.

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  19. "Bryan, Where I live all of the hospitals and clinics have signs posted saying no guns are allowed. I believe that is true of many hospitals and clinics in Minnesota. "

    Correct, private businesses are welcome to post signs under MN 624.714 (including hospitals and clinics) - but the only hospitals directly prohibited under statute are state hospitals (see MN 609.66).

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  20. "There is no telling, of course, how the scenario would have turned out if a customer hadn't been armed. It may have been an armed robbery and the robbers got away with the money with no harm done to the folks in the shop."

    I find it funny that you seem to defend criminals with guns and think the worst about people with a CCW. There is no telling, of course, that the robbers might have killed everyone in the shop if not stopped. I do not feel safe putting my life in the hands of armed criminals with "long rap sheets". I hope your security blanket is made out of Kevlar if you want to put your life in the hands of criminals but that is your choice I will let you decide.

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  21. Dear readers, Many of you are now trying to bring in another element to my post by comparing the word coward to "scaredy cat'. I did not use the word coward and believe it has a different connotation. Nonetheless, that is not where the comment thread is going to go. I first mentioned it when one of you tried to get in yet another of your ugly digs at Colin Goddard and other victims as you are want to do on this blog. I will not accept any comments calling victims of gun violence cowards. I won't publish any comments in that vein and I won't publish any comments trying to trick me up with your own comparisons to a word I did not use in my post. Thanks everyone. Enjoy your week-end.

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  22. Just an example of the first three pages of Google search for parent killed while holding their child.....
    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/news/2011/06/15/arrest-in-homicide-of-man-shot-while-holding-baby/

    http://www.google.com/search?q=man+shot+while+holding+baby&hl=en&biw=1324&bih=663&prmd=ivns&ei=zO0YTsLdIdSCsAL787HCBw&start=10&sa=N

    http://www.wmctv.com/story/12829164/woman-shot-while-holding-7-month-old-baby?redirected=true

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/tampa-mother-shot-killed-while-holding-her-baby/1034686

    http://www.masscops.com/f39/man-holding-daughter-shot-killed-6225/

    http://www.wftv.com/news/26142325/detail.html

    Last month, 20-year-old Tramaine Griffin was shot dead on Clarke Street and North West Street while holding his 20-month-old daughter.


    Holding your child does not provide a secret security blanket against assault or violence. For us, the one thing we absolutely will protect is our family, and carrying while dealing with our children is simply being protective. The real world has the potential to be a violent place, and acting in advance to be prepared is simply wise.

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  23. Peter- thanks for providing these links. They are great examples of people with guns in public places shooting people when if a gun had not been present, likely in most of them, there would not have been deaths. I challenge you to tell me how all except possibly in the last shotting incident, those folks could have defended themselves. They were all taken totally by surprise and certainly could not have anticipated someone coming at them with a gun. These are quite different from the picture that Bryan used as an example of someone looking like he was ready to challenge someone with his gun while holding a child. One of these was a man who was taking his young child out of the car when a stupid idiot enraged in a road rage incident, shot him point blank with absolutely no warning. One was someone who happened to be holding a child and was killed in a drive by. These are not people who shot others while holding a child as the example I gave but rather people who were holding a child and happened to be shot in senseless shootings. Conversely, what if you are holding a child while shooting at someone and they shoot back? Your child will then also be shot. Perhaps if you don't have your gun out in the first place, a situation won't escalate to the point of a shooting. That is what I was talking about and you probably knew that but thought you could change the conversation by providing these examples which actually support what I am saying more than what you are saying.

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  24. "Perhaps if you don't have your gun out in the first place, a situation won't escalate to the point of a shooting."

    Yet all the people in those articles got shot without having a gun out.

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  25. "Why does someone need to openly carry a handgun while holding his young child at a Medical Center?"

    What is someone supposed to do, who is carrying as a matter of course, for reasons that have nothing to do with a medical center, should something occur that requires him to go to a medical center?

    Is someone whose daughter suffers an injury sufficient to require a visit to an urgent care center, supposed to make her wait, while he goes home and puts his gun in his safe, because the medical center has a no-guns policy?

    I'm sorry, but that's absurd.

    I fully support the right of any property owner to ban guns on his or her own property, But public institutions that an individual can be required to frequent, either should not ban guns, or should provide convenient and secure storage for the guns of those who are carrying.

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  26. Yes Heather. Perhaps they didn't have guns. And if they had, I'm just sure they could easily have gotten off shots during their surprise attacks. I'm sure you, too, could defend yourself from a drive by shooting or even while getting your child out of the car as someone in a total rage over a parking incident surprises you with a loaded gun that you didn't see coming. I'm also sure you could have, had you had a gun, grabbed that gun out of the holster or your purse in a split second while holding a child in one hand and gotten off a shot while remaining totally calm as a bullet is flying your way. Or how exactly do you imagine that these people could possibly have defended themselves in these scenarios? I really want to hear your answer.

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  27. Perhaps, jdege, it would be better to leave your gun at home where it can be used for self defense in the rare chance that it would be required for such. In public places, you just don't need it- most especially in hospitals. I wonder where else this man was before he came to the hospital? At work? At lunch with a client? At church? At the mall? At the gym? Those surely were all terribly dangerous places where he needed his gun.

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  28. Joan,

    None of us think that carrying a gun is magically proof against all bad things happening. It doesn't give us magic mind control powers to predict when people are going to assault us and it is completely possible for someone carrying a gun to be taken by surprise. However, while there are some situations where a gun is not useful, there are some situations where a gun can and has been successfully used to defend oneself, both in and outside of the home. Therefore I carry a gun, hoping to never need it, because I cannot predict exactly when I will need it. It is exactly the same reason I buckle my seatbelt as soon as I get in the car, and the same reason I keep the batteries charged in my smoke detector. Am I going to need that smoke detector tonight? Almost certainly not. But I might.

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  29. "it would be better to leave your gun at home where it can be used for self defense in the rare chance that it would be required for such. In public places, you just don't need it"

    So your contention is that no one is ever in danger away from home and only rarely there? You have data and links for that? Perhaps a Brady or VPC study?

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  30. "I fully support the right of any property owner to ban guns on his or her own property, But public institutions that an individual can be required to frequent, either should not ban guns, or should provide convenient and secure storage for the guns of those who are carrying. "

    I think anyone who posts a sign should provide storage, but I wouldn't want to mandate it by statute. Besides, the signs are nearly meaningless here in Minnesota anyways.

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  31. "And if they had, I'm just sure they could easily have gotten off shots during their surprise attacks. I'm sure you, too, could defend yourself from a drive by shooting or even while getting your child out of the car as someone in a total rage over a parking incident surprises you with a loaded gun that you didn't see coming. I'm also sure you could have, had you had a gun, grabbed that gun out of the holster or your purse in a split second while holding a child in one hand and gotten off a shot while remaining totally calm as a bullet is flying your way"

    This is why responsible gun owners who choose to carry practice with competent instruction.
    b

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  32. "These are quite different from the picture that Bryan used as an example of someone looking like he was ready to challenge someone with his gun while holding a child."

    The intent of Oleg's photo that I linked (featuring local twin cities author Michael Martin, by the way) is a response to your challenge of what someone was supposed to do when carrying and their children were with them.

    Oleg's photo is attempting to convey that it's entirely possible, even responsible, for an adult to appropriately challenge an attack with deadly force when legal to do so under state statute.

    It's certainly not intended to portray a gunowner / permit holder as someone attacking another.
    b

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  33. I do not have a problem with gun ownership, but I believe 18Echo provided information that should be a concern to all of us:

    "Texas has 314,574 as of 2009 (way more now) permit holders committed 101 crimes with guns out of a total 65,561 crimes with guns".

    We have far too many weapons getting into the wrong hands - the data above indicates a regulatory issue with guns. In my industry, for example, narcotics pose a public health risk and as such we are required to take steps to limit public exposure such as putting tighter controls on storage and distribution. One can never fully prevent a product from getting into the wrong hands, but we take steps to reduce that opportunity.

    However, when it comes to guns it seems that attempts to regulate distribution and sale are met with cries of infringing individual rights. Is it appropriate that our markets are arming the Mexican drug cartels with the violence spilling across our borders? Is it appropriate that our courts are reinstating gun rights to the mentally-ill? (Many of these conditions are long-term, subject to relapse, and also patient non-compliance with medication). Should extremist groups like Michigan's Hutaree be able to arm themselves with assault weaponry? (This is the group that planned to kill a police officer and lie in wait for the funeral procession to inflict a mass slaughter of law enforcement officers).

    I do personally take offense to our constitution being manipulated to the financial benefit of an industry having a powerful lobbying group. Perhaps if we could more tightly regulate the gun market to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands, people could be less frightened all around.

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  34. "Perhaps, jdege, it would be better to leave your gun at home where it can be used for self defense in the rare chance that it would be required for such. In public places, you just don't need it- most especially in hospitals."

    After all, we all know that people are never attacked outside their home...

    "I wonder where else this man was before he came to the hospital? At work? At lunch with a client? At church? At the mall? At the gym? Those surely were all terribly dangerous places where he needed his gun."

    Back when I was teaching carry classes, my advice was that if there was someplace you were thinking of going, where you wouldn't feel safe unless you were carrying a gun, you should go someplace else.

    You don't carry because you frequent places you think you might need it. Places like that you should avoid. You carry because crime happens in places where you would not expect it - like the mall, church, the parking lot at the gym, etc.

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  35. I agree with Dr. Kamm. For all of you gun rights activists who think of a gun as the same as a smoke detector or putting on a seat belt, you need to be reminded that it is government regulation and OSHA as well as laibility for manufacturers, sellers of homes, etc. that have required that we actually do something to keep people from suing if injuries or deaths occur. Such is not the case for guns. You guys think that carrying a lethal weapon designed to kill people is your insurance policy. And yet, people who are shot intentionally or accidentally by people carrying loaded guns around in public have no recourse. Regulations are practically non existent and you cry loud and strong whenever any are suggested. That is the difference between how you view the world and how the rest of us with common sense view the world. We do things for our own safety that generally don't make the environment less safe for innocent people. Or at least, as a society, we have decided that it is a good idea to at least try. And then, we need to mention that our car and health insurance rates and also home owners insurance rates depend on doing these things. But guns? Not so much. Gun injuries and deaths cost us all a lot of money. Yes, even you guys. Your insurance rates go up because of the cost to take care of the tens of thousands injured every year. So by your own stubborn resistance to doing anything about this, you, too, are paying higher rates. This affects all of us. There simply is not enough evidence that the risks to you and your families in public places or even in your homes, are enough to justify putting too many other people at risk. In fact, the facts point to the risks being greater for you in your own homes because you have chosen to keep your loaded guns in your home. I have blogged about this over and over again. But never mind, you keep coming back with your excuses about NEEDING your guns in public places particularly. Your fears are not supported by the facts.

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  36. In response to the medical comparison:
    1) Drugs are not a constitutional right, medical care is a need, not a right. Keeping and bearing arms is an enumerated right and therefor has precedent to be treated differently.
    2) Prescription drugs are an excellent example in that they ARE tightly regulated and are as abused or more abused than illegal narcotics (depends on the study). Sounds like the controls are not that effective and leading us to
    3) Not only is medication not a constitutional right but there is no real need for individuals to control medication. When I get sick I am not competent to diagnose the condition and dispense medication on my own. That take more expertise. There are plenty of clear enough situations where a person is being attacked and they can make the decision to employ a firearm.

    As to health care insurance rates and the costs I will pay the higher rates as the price of not having the shattering experience of having violence done upon me with no options. Maybe the gun helps, maybe I never get it into action, but at least I had dont what I could.

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  37. Japete: "Such is not the case for guns. You guys think that carrying a lethal weapon designed to kill people is your insurance policy. And yet, people who are shot intentionally or accidentally by people carrying loaded guns around in public have no recourse."

    Yes you do, you sue the **** out of someone who shoots you. If it is accidental you WILL win. As a matter of fact not only do you sue but the individual will likely go to jail as well. Unintentional acts cannot be in self-defense. That is the origin of a lot of "hair trigger" cases from prosecutors where they claim the discharge was unintentional. Basically you could have the gun out and on the target, who is taking actions where a reasonable person would believe they were in danger of death or great bodily injury. In that case, if they deliberately squeezed the trigger and shot the individual it is self-defense. If they had all the justification in the world and unintentionally activated the trigger, they are going to jail.

    Because of the stakes involved (life and death) the law suit potential is very very high and the industry has a vested interest in having safe designs. Looking at the ham handed way the government regulates most things their oversight would not make firearms much safer.

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  38. japete: "it is government regulation and OSHA as well as liability for manufacturers, sellers of homes, etc. that have required that we actually do something to keep people from suing if injuries or deaths occur. Such is not the case for guns."

    No, that's not true. People may indeed sue if injuries or deaths occur from defective guns or dangerous gun design.

    People may NOT sue if injuries or deaths occur from the criminal misuse of guns by individuals or because the existence or sale of guns is somehow supposed to be inherently dangerous.

    japete: "And yet, people who are shot intentionally or accidentally by people carrying loaded guns around in public have no recourse."

    Also not true. You can sue the shooter, but not the gun manufacturer. That is the difference between how you view the world and how the rest of us with common sense view the world.

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  39. Yes and wasn't it clever of the gun industry to get themselves immunity from law suits? What other industry has that going for them?

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  40. Again fear is an emotional response to the unknown, and both of your responses show a clear misunderstanding of reality. First Dr Kamm, Please show your data which connects your thought that many permit holders some how equals more guns getting in to the hands of criminals?

    Second. Please read up on the truth and not the fiction on msnnbc about the real guns being used in Mexico. The greatest source of guns in Mexico is Mexico itself. It's military is unable to prevent it's own from deserting and taking their weapons with them many more are left overs from the contras wars and from Chavez.

    Regarding tightening controls and keep illegal products of the streets, how's that doing with Oxy? The supply of that certainly seems to have dried up, Eh?

    Joan. Self defense is not limited to the home, you keep going back to that as if that was the limits of McDonald. It wasnt but you know that. If there is anything worth protecting more than a child, it has not yet been invented or found.

    Last as you have been told and told, guns do not go off by themselves. It doesn't happen. A proper holster will keep the gun covered and in place. It will not simply fall out. It will not go off while sitting there.

    Regarding the cost of guns, again you lump illegal gun use in with legal permitted gun use. If you looked with a unbiased eye you would, of course, find that the cost of legal gun use is very low. Infinitesmally small. If you removed from that total the cost of felons recoveries from being shot by permit holders and the cost to society nearly disappears.

    Those who carry understand a gun is not an insurance policy but rather a tool in the toolbox. Your fear level is not a legitimate factor in public policy and law. Factual
    Data says permit holders are the most law abiding subset of the population. We don't need your fears influencing perceptions.

    Go back and read a few months of you posts and responses. Look and see how often you speak from both sides of your own mouth on this subject. Take a deep look at your position and realize every single argument you have made has been refuted, exposed to be false, and countered with factual evidence. Every. Single. One.
    At some point, one would hope you were paying attention and realize your position has no foundation.

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  41. japete: "wasn't it clever of the gun industry to get themselves immunity from law suits?"

    Not all law suits -- just those based upon the criminal misuse of guns by individuals or because the existence or sale of guns is somehow supposed to be inherently dangerous. People may continue to sue if injuries or deaths occur from defective guns or dangerous gun design.

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  42. Ummm. Lots of other industries have that including the auto industry, home builders, tools, etc. There is statutory prohibitions against suing the manufacturer for the results of mis use by the end user. You can not, by law, sue Chevrolet for the actions of a driver who hits you while driving a Chevrolet. That's the same as the gun industry laws. The protections came when people tried to use frivolous lawsuits to cash drain the gun makers.

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  43. Actually, we have the right to start businesses in this country - have started several in my day. And our government can regulate interstate commerce. Our government regulates products because of its broad constitutional charge that its actions promote the general welfare, the well-being, of it citizens. So, if we have a product that causes damage to the public, the government indeed has the right to intervene to the benefit of the public. I do have difficulty with a 'right' being used as an excuse to prevent reasonable regulation of a product. Regarding medical care as a 'need' and not a 'right', we might get involved with semantics, but you won't find a team of emergency room physicians in this country that would let a patient bleed out on the table because the individual might not have the means to pay for their 'need'. And trust me, if we had not put controls on distribution and sale of narcotics, the abuse would be much worse than it is now.

    But the point of my prior remark is being lost. I'm looking for common ground between the sides and I believe there are things we ought to be able to agree upon. For example, if a physician's role is involves the health and well-being of his/her patients, and if guns are a known risk factor in the home for injury, why would there be resistance about a clinician asking his patients if there are guns in the home and that they are safely stored? If guns are getting into the hands of criminals, what can we do to lessen that - I just became aware of the gun show loophole where individuals can by-pass the Brady criminal background check. Would it help if we closed that loophole? I have read articles where up to 80% of the weaponry confiscated from the Mexican drug cartels is coming from our markets - what can we do to help lessen these weapons from falling into the hands of organized crime here and abroad?

    I believe we ought to be able to find common ground.

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  44. "And yet, people who are shot intentionally or accidentally by people carrying loaded guns around in public have no recourse. "

    Nonsense. They have no recourse against the manufacture of the gun. They have full legal recourse against the person doing the shooting. You know that.

    In what other industry is there a legal recourse against the manufacturer when their product works as designed? An "accidental" shooting is not the guns fault nor the company that made it. An intentional shooting, can be legal or illegal. If a cop defends your life with his gun, that was an intentional shooting. If I defend my life with a gun, it is an intentional shooting. Neither case should invoke liability of the manufacture. If either me or the cop uses his gun illegally or harm someone unintentionally, then WE are liable for our actions. Not Smith and Wesson. That is common sense. Imagine suing Ford because their truck was used in a robbery. That is the line of reasoning you wonder why we oppose.

    The fact that it required legislation to spell it out is the sad part because it implies we have judges with no common sense.

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  45. P. I don't need any lectures from you. The facts are on my side. We will just have to disagree

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  46. You're wrong P Topic for another discussion. We're getting too off topic so please no more comments about Immunity.

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  47. Japete: “Yes and wasn't it clever of the gun industry to get themselves immunity from law suits? What other industry has that going for them?”

    All of them. Ford can’t be sued because of drunk drivers, nor can Anheuser Busch. You want it to be different for guns. They didn’t even have to get laws passed to protect them from these suits- it was just common sense.

    Japete: “Gun injuries and deaths cost us all a lot of money. Yes, even you guys. Your insurance rates go up because of the cost to take care of the tens of thousands injured every year.”

    I sent you a link a few posts back to show how smoking alone cost 50 times the estimate of gun violence- and that estimate was by the VPC. Fatty foods, car accidents, alcohol, illicit drugs, violence without guns, are surely orders of magnitude higher as well. If all gun violence were eliminated and not substituted for other violence (both impossibilities), how much do you really think it could save taxpayers, when we are talking about it being only a fraction of a percent of tax payer medical costs?

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  48. 100% agreed Dr.Kamm. Two of my close family members work in the medical community. I have many friends in the the Medicsl community, all of whom agree with you and me. The problem with finding common ground is that the loudest and most extreme voices make that impossible. Hundreds of people read my blog posts every day. It is a small fringe group who usually respond here. They have tried valiantly to intimidate me but they won't succeed. Unfortunately they have succeeded in doing so to our elected officials who know better but get cowed by the gun lobby which represents the minority. In poll after poll after poll the majority agrees with us-even gun owners and NRA members. When asked about specific measures such as universal backgroun checks 70% of NRA members support them. Consistently about 80% of Americans agree. Money and power is the name of the game. Follow the money.

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  49. Come on 18 Echo. Now you know better than judges?

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  50. Do we have to go over that again TS? We are doing all kinds of preventative things about smoking and drunk driving. Gun deaths and injuries- boy so much if not nothing. You know that wad my point but you tried to distract by changing the subject. It won't work. We.can and should be found more to prevent gu injuries and deaths. Just because they don't cost the system as much as smoking illnesses and deaths is no excuse to ignore the problem. That us just nonsensical.

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  51. Sorry for typos in last comment. Using an iPhone while riding in the car will do that.

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  52. Japete, I am not trying to say you shouldn’t be a gun control advocate because there are other issues. What I am saying is the cost argument has no merit when it can’t be shown to be a substantial cost- and it is not substantial when compared to the medical costs that occur from these other factors.

    Aside from analyzing the cost of gun violence vs. other types of costs, there is a break in the logic that gun controllers usually use when they complain about the “cost of gun violence” and suggest enacting gun control will save tax payer money. The typical gun control position is that guns are more deadly than other weapons; therefore access to guns causes violence to turn into deadly violence. I am correct that this is your position, right? So if gun control were successful at reducing access to guns (be it criminal or legal access) we should see more survivors of violence. In other words, some of those DOAs on the street will turn into half beaten to death patients in intensive care. The cost of the latter is significantly more than the cost of the former, agreed? Lives are more important than money- so why not concentrate on that and stopping pushing this idea that your policies could save taxpayer money.

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  53. I was with you, TS, until you assumed that if it wasn't a gun it would be a half beaten to death victim. While I suppose that is possible, I would venture to say that gun injuries are more pervasive than wounds from being beaten- not in all cases, of course. Bullets travel around once inside the body and do serious damage to internal organs. Take Gabrielle Giffords, for example. Once inside the brain, bullets find themselves in many crucial areas for cognitive, language and mobility funtions. All 3 are impaired in her case requiring speech therapy, OT, PT and many other services for the rest of her life time. And to say that the millions and into the billions spent to rehab and deal with those injured or have died due to gunshot wounds is not a substantial cost, I would take issue with that. Everywhere we can, we should be looking at ways to save the health care system money. Why not? So I would not agree, as you can see, with the fact that being beaten to death is more costly than being shot to death. Actually, I don't know if anyone has compiled figures about the beatings. It happens that guns kill and injure more people seriously than beatings and fist fights so that is why more information is available. There is much merit in talking about the health care costs of gun violence, actually, and there will be a lot more talk about it going forward. It is one of the areas that has not received much attention. If I have my way, it will receive more attention, as well it should. Yes, lives are more imporant than money but I don't get why I shouldn't push the idea of saving the system money as well as lives. Perhaps if the public wakes up to the costs, something more will be done by way of policy which you guys would hate.

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  54. Thanks, japete. I do believe there is common ground, or should be, and finding that ground I believe is also in the best interest of the gun industry. As your recent post involved being scared, a truly scary scenario is a mentally-deranged individual in possession of a firearm. We have seen time and time again the multiple killings of innocent people (VT, Tucson, MacDonalds, etc). I think that is one, for example, where both side could come together and determine what is the best way to lessen the opportunity for the seriously mentally-ill from coming into possession of a firearm. And background checks might not be the best because there is much undiagnosed mental illness (no record) and with the cutbacks in social services I do not see that getting any better.

    I can see in the future how the gun industry may go the same route as the Tobacco industry unless steps are taken to lessen public risk. My area of research was in cancer in the 1970's, and we had a plethora of data showing the health risks of that product. But Tobacco was quite powerful and with a strong lobby - it was an American original product; and they kept their markets wide open with such stunts as making advertising attractive to youth - hook them early and they had life time customers. Eventually, they lost out and are quite heavily regulated these days. I believe it would be in the best interest of the gun industry to get behind some common sense regulation - it may cause some short-term financial pain, but longer-term success for them and responsible gun owners.

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  55. "For example, if a physician's role is involves the health and well-being of his/her patients, and if guns are a known risk factor in the home for injury, why would there be resistance about a clinician asking his patients if there are guns in the home and that they are safely stored?"

    As I've stated before, I have no issue with this as long as the physician is properly trained in what advice to give around safe firearms storage.

    I'm concerned that many physicians don't have proper training to be dispensing this advice.

    I think legislation, such as what Florida has passed recently, is not a good answer to this issue.

    b

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  56. "I believe it would be in the best interest of the gun industry to get behind some common sense regulation - it may cause some short-term financial pain, but longer-term success for them and responsible gun owners. "

    Very well, I'd like to see supressors made legal in all fifty states in order to protect my hearing.

    There's a good start.
    b

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  57. "If guns are getting into the hands of criminals, what can we do to lessen that"

    We could start by using existing federal law to federally prosecute criminals that commit violent crimes using firearms.

    We could prosecute those that attempt to purchase a firearm illegally (i.e. those that are denied the NICS check, for example, due to criminal record or for other reasons)

    These both utilizing existing laws - but are rarely prosecuted.

    There are other examples of utilization of current laws -- I'd rather see a focus on that sort of enforcement rather than passing new laws - particularly with the efficacy of those new laws is in question.
    b

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  58. "And yet, people who are shot intentionally or accidentally by people carrying loaded guns around in public have no recourse. Regulations are practically non existent and you cry loud and strong whenever any are suggested."

    This is completely untrue.

    Even just using Minnesota as an example, an individual who shoots someone intentionally or accidentally is still subject to civil and criminal penalties, which could include:
    1) Criminal charges (state and/or federal, depending on location)
    2) A civil lawsuit from victims/potential victims
    3) Loss of gun permit
    4) Confiscation and loss of weapon

    And, of course, a person convicted of a felony, or of a list of certain violent misdemeanors, will permanently lose their ability to purchase and own a firearm.

    There are plenty of resources available to the victim - and by the state / federal authorities on behalf of the people of the state.

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  59. "Should extremist groups like Michigan's Hutaree be able to arm themselves with assault weaponry? "

    What is an assault weapon, in your mind?
    b

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  60. "However, when it comes to guns it seems that attempts to regulate distribution and sale are met with cries of infringing individual rights."

    Two points here.

    First, this happens to be a "market", as you call it, that involves a constitutional right. I certainly don't have a right to narcotics under the law or our constitution, but I do have a right to keep and bear arms.

    Now, that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be any regulation, but it does mean that such regulation needs to pass a particular level of scrutiny - which I'd note is still being defined and argued in the courts. That argument will go on for quite some time.

    Second, there is already a ton of firearms regulation. There are pages upon pages of federal statutes (See 18 USC 922 for just one example) and then thousands of pages of federal regulations governing firearms, their markings, how a FFL or Curio/Relics collector must operate, and so on, and so on.

    And then each state gets to weigh in with their laws. Here in Minnesota, there is MN 624.714 (the MN Personal Protection Act - governing gun permits) and MN 624.713 (prohibited persons), not to mention MN 624.7141 (transfer to an ineligible person). And there are many more.

    For storage, in MN, we have 609.666 (negligent storage) which makes it a gross misdemeanor to store a firearm in a location where a child may gain access.

    Other states have comparable laws - some stricter, some looser - but all regulate in some way, shape, or form.

    That's an awful lot of regulation we're talking about -particularly for a product "market" that is being described as lacking regulation.

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  61. Bryan, you are conveniently forgetting the gaping hole in our background check system that allows for private sellers to sell guns to whomever without background checks. That would fix some of our problems as well but you guys won't agree to that one even though it won't affect you one little bit. It is so interesting that whenever that idea comes up, you all get tied into pretzels trying to figure out a way to say why you are against it.

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  62. Good. Some worthwhile comments.

    I have no problem with physicians having a resource where they can refer their patients regarding proper gun storage. That may already be in place - I would have to check.

    Regarding prosecution of those who violate law, I believe we have a lot of prosecuting to do even just considering 18Echo's data of over 65,000 gun related crimes in Texas alone. Our courts could never handle that. I believe it is best to address something up front rather than at the backend - and something is apparently not working. Is greater enforcement the issue - that would be tough to do with the emphasis these days on reducing the size of government. So what could be done up front to lessen the occurrence of gun related crimes?

    Regarding what is an assault weapon, the AK47 has been widely cited as such. I do not see how that weapon is useful defensively and agree with many mayors that such weapons are just not appropriate, especially in urban areas. If an argument can be made as to how that weapon in the hands of the public serves the public, other than just citing a second amendment right, it would be good to hear it.

    Regarding a market and a constitutional right, we have the 'right' to market all kinds of products in this country, they are just not mentioned by name in that document - we are a nation of capitalism but that second amendment 'right', that includes the term 'well-regulated', should not be used as an excuse to jeopardize the well-being of the general public.

    Good comments, Bryan, and I appreciate the opportunity to share perspectives.

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  63. "Bryan, you are conveniently forgetting the gaping hole in our background check system that allows for private sellers to sell guns to whomever without background checks."

    You've been told before that there is no such hole in Minnesota law.

    Minn. Stat. 609.66

    Subd. 1f.Gross misdemeanor; transferring firearm without background check.

    A person, other than a federally licensed firearms dealer, who transfers a pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon to another without complying with the transfer requirements of section 624.7132, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the transferee possesses or uses the weapon within one year after the transfer in furtherance of a felony crime of violence, and if:

    (1) the transferee was prohibited from possessing the weapon under section 624.713 at the time of the transfer; or

    (2) it was reasonably foreseeable at the time of the transfer that the or possess the weapon in furtherance of a felony crime of violence.

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  64. Well jdege, the facts don't lie. When the Brady Campaign did their videos at gun shows, one was in Minnesota. Clearly, the buyer bought several guns without the benefit of a background check, no questions asked. I have a friend who bought an assault rifle, which he took out of the case at the hearing about background checks two years ago at the House Public Safety committee, and told them he bought it without a background check from a private seller at a gun show. He also bought the same pistol used by Cho at Virginia Tech from the same seller at a different show. I myself have seen assault rifles for sale at Minnesota gun shows by private sellers and when asked, they have said they don't do background checks. I would say the proof is in the pudding.

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  65. Dr. Kamm,

    I supported the Assault Weapon Ban, which banned AK-47's but specifically exempted over 600 hunting rifles and shotguns. However, most gun control groups later supported a "renewal" bill that would have revoked the list of exempted guns and would have specifically banned some guns on the exempted list. And that is by no means a rare example.

    Dr. Kamm, how can you expect gunowners to agree to bans on AK-47's when gun control advocates often try to later add popular sporting guns to the ban?

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  66. Dr. Kamm: "I believe it would be in the best interest of the gun industry to get behind some common sense regulation"

    That sounds good, but...with all the countries in the world that have tried "common sense regulation" surely there must be some examples of what you say. So would you please provides us with some examples of countries where their gun industry and gunowners got behind some "common sense regulation"...and harsher gun laws and gun bans did not follow?

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  67. That,Jay,was not my position or that of many in the GVP groups. I think a mistake was made by taking that position for the AWB renewal. But I wonder if it could have passed in any event. W. Was I'm favor of renewal but he let it lapse. Pressure from the gun lobby killed it. They fought against the first one as well

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  68. Jay- that is your opinion. Other countries are somewhow managing just fine without their guns everywhere they go. In fact, they even enjoy far fewer gun deaths than the U.S. So harsher is your word and your opinion. Gun bans is also your word and your opinion.

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  69. Dr. Kam: "I just became aware of the gun show loophole where individuals can by-pass the Brady criminal background check. Would it help if we closed that loophole?"

    I am one of those gunowners who would like to close that loophole -- here is what gets in the way. The background checks now done by licensed dealers at gun shows take between a few minutes and 3 days. But most gun control groups want to change that to a minimum of 5-7 days or more (and most gun shows last only 2-3 days). Also, in some states like CA which have closed the gun show loophole, gun control advocates continue to attack gun shows by trying to ban shows in the most popular venues. So I will fully support proposals for background check on all sales at gun sows in return for a clear and credible commitment from gun control advocates to not extend the wait for checks and to not try to limit the most popular show venues.

    Dr. Kamm, what ties my comments together is that I too concluded that there must be common ground -- and in talking to other gunowners I found many who felt the same way. But when I started talking to gun control advocates with expectations of progress thru compromise, I discovered that most of them refuse real compromise. Their idea of compromise seemed to be "Agree to our latest demand, so we can move on to our next demand."

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  70. japete: "I think a mistake was made by taking that position for the AWB renewal."

    Yes, it was an overreach and a serious mistake. But the BC backed the Carolyn McCarthy bill that embodied that mistake.

    japete: "But I wonder if it could have passed in any event."

    Who knows? But know this: The Carolyn McCarthy bill chased away the moderate gunowners like me who supported and helped pass the 1994 AWB, and as a result passing an AWB now will be harder than ever.

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  71. japete: "Gun bans is also your word and your opinion."

    So you disagree that Britain bans most handguns? You disagree that Britain and Australia ban most semiauto and pump hunting rifles?

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  72. japete: "harsher is your word and your opinion"

    Okay -- I shall re-word:

    Can Dr. Kamm please provide us with some examples of countries where their gun industry and gunowners got behind some "common sense regulation"...and harsher gun laws did not follow IN THE OPINION of that country's gunowners?

    In other words: With hindsight, did supporting "common sense regulation" turn out to be in the "best interest" of gunowners in those countries IN THE OPINION their gunowners?

    That's what Dr. Kamm seems to be saying -- I would just like to examine some real-world examples.

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  73. "That would fix some of our problems as well but you guys won't agree to that one even though it won't affect you one little bit."

    Not quite true. I don't know of a single FFL that will do a transfer for free, the average fee is around $25. So we have added cost for one little bit. Now, you are gonna say that that is a small price to pay to eliminate all gun deaths but it is easy to spend someone else's money.

    Now I would pay the $25 if I had to but to say it wouldn't effect me is not true.

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  74. Jay- The current background check bills languishing in Congress do not require a 5-7 day waiting period. They use the NICS checks just like they always have. Where did you get that information? Your comments about the uncompromising gun control groups are not true and disingenous.

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  75. Robin- so you don't object to paying that $25 for the check at a licensed dealer but you do from an unlicensed dealer?

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  76. My apologies for stepping away for awhile as I know I have stimulated some discussion here - I left my career over 6 years ago to devote time to my wife who is stricken with serious illness, and it was time to spend some family time - and we are beating the odds. But the comments are good, and I want to address.

    Regarding real life examples from other countries about gun regulation, I do not believe we should copy what others do. I never did that when I developed my own businesses - every situation is different and requires different approaches - you don't get to be number 1 by copying someone else. I looked at best practices, our current position, and then put into place what worked best for us - usually a mix based on experience and our culture. We are a unique country and I do not believe we should copy what others do. Gun ownership is part of Americana, and I would like to see it preserved. But when I see businesses being closed, such as the only drug store in an urban area because of gun-related robberies, businesses exiting urban areas, and the level of criminal use of guns, I believe that we must adopt solutions that involve both sides, responsible gun owners and individuals who do not own guns, to come up with solutions. I know what happened in Australia following a massacre at the hands of an individual with assault weaponry, and I would hate to see that happen here.

    The basic question is how do we get to trust one another in such a polarized environment. And I'm picking up a lot of that in this dialog. My position is not to get people to give up their guns; but how best to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands - and there is a lot of that going on. For those of you who looked at my blog, you will see I take great exception to greed - and all too often it is the greed of an industry, such as the financial sector, or the drug industry, or even the gun industry that in the longer term does harm to all, including the industry itself. And it is special interest money that often creates the divide. One of the great ironies I faced in my career is that the regulatory bodies I would go before to discuss product safety were completely prohibited from receiving special interest monies. Yet, when things went wrong, they were called up on the chopping blocks before the legislators who watered down regulation after accepting money or other forms of compensation from special interests.

    I'd love to see advocacy groups on both sides of the argument come together and solve the issues that face us, reducing the risk of weaponry falling into the wrong hands, and thus preserve this element of our unique country.

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  77. Licensed dealers don't charge a transfer fee for a firearm they sell themselves...

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  78. japete: "The current background check bills languishing in Congress do not require a 5-7 day waiting period."

    That's what I find to be insidious. I have posted proof on this very site (which you found adequate and which you even defended) that the BC intends to try to eventually replace the instant check system with a mandatory minimum waiting period of 5-7 days. Rather than reminding gunowners of what's in store, they intend to restrict gunowners and gun shows in steps. First, mandate checks for all sales at gun shows -- then later replace instant checks with a waiting period of 5-7 days, all the while saying how reasonable all that is despite the fact that gun shows often only last 2-3 days.

    That is similar to telling gunowners that the AWB won't ban any sporting guns. It didn't -- but they tried to add to that later. If such tactics are OK with you, they are not OK with us.

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  79. "Robin- so you don't object to paying that $25 for the check at a licensed dealer but you do from an unlicensed dealer? "

    There's no such things as an unlicensed dealer. Anyone engaged in being a "dealer", as a business, must hold a federal firearms license that allows for selling guns to the public.

    When you purchase a firearm from a dealer, there is no charge for the NICS transfer. But when you ship a firearm to your local gunshop from an internet purchase, etc, the shop is going to charge anywhere from $15 - $50 (local twin cities prices) for the transfer to cover their costs in booking the firearm into their inventory and then transferring it to you following a NICS check.

    b

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  80. As far as I know, Jay, there are absolutely no plans for what you describe. Where did you get that information again? I did not verify it since it is not on the table.

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  81. Bryan-since many of the unlicensed sellers are selling the same wares and just as many of them as the licensed sellers at the same gun show, I don't know why they shouldn't be called dealers.

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  82. "Regarding what is an assault weapon, the AK47 has been widely cited as such. I do not see how that weapon is useful defensively and agree with many mayors that such weapons are just not appropriate, especially in urban areas. If an argument can be made as to how that weapon in the hands of the public serves the public, other than just citing a second amendment right, it would be good to hear it."

    Cited by mayors of anti-gun cities. What is the justification for the AK-47 to be prohibited? What specific characterizations does this weapon have that make it so insidious - as compared to other weapons?

    The AK-47 happens to make a fine defensive weapon in some situations.
    b

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  83. "Bryan-since many of the unlicensed sellers are selling the same wares and just as many of them as the licensed sellers at the same gun show, I don't know why they shouldn't be called dealers. "

    We must go to different gun shows - the ones that I attend here in the twin cities have a handful of private sellers with 1,2, or maybe 3 items for sale -- and then tens of FFL dealers with various firearms for sale.

    I stand by the ATF's definition - that an individual or business engaged in the business of selling firearms must hold an appropriate FFL.

    If you think they're engaged in the business of selling firearms, I suggest reporting them to the local ATF office.
    b

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  84. "Robin- so you don't object to paying that $25 for the check at a licensed dealer but you do from an unlicensed dealer?"

    When I buy from the dealer it is included in the price of the gun. However, no dealer want to run the risk of doing a background check for free. What risk, the risk that a missed abreviation or misspelling or other error on the yellow form could cost him his license.

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  85. "Bryan-since many of the unlicensed sellers are selling the same wares and just as many of them as the licensed sellers at the same gun show, I don't know why they shouldn't be called dealers. "

    Trust me, each and every gun show in the US has BATF in attendence. If they thought they could make a case against someone selling at a gunshow for being an unlicensed dealer they would. In the past they would approach someone who had just made a legal purchase and offer them more than they paid for the weapon. If they made the sale they were then arrested for dealing without a license since they had just made a profit.

    But for your edification here is the definition from the GCA of 1968. Note occasional sales of personal firearms are legal. As an example if you sell your personal automobile or even both your automobile and your husbands, are you a car dealer?

    "(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;

    (D) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(B), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;"

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  86. The problem, Robin, is that since 1968, those occasional sales by private sellers have turned into unlicensed sellers coming to gun shows with their "collections" which are large enough and often enough that they can no longer be called "occasional". That is why we need to close that private seller loophole. All you need to do is look at the many hidden camera videos taken at gun shows all over the country to see that to be true. I would also like you to give me a source for your statement about a BATF agent being at every gun show. They are so underfunded and understaffed that they can hardly get around to monitoring the gun dealers that they are required to do. I doubt that they send an agent to every gun show in the country considering there are thousands of them going on all over the country.

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  87. "The problem, Robin, is that since 1968, those occasional sales by private sellers have turned into unlicensed sellers coming to gun shows with their "collections" which are large enough and often enough that they can no longer be called "occasional". That is why we need to close that private seller loophole"

    Again, it is not a loophole. This is already illegal. Just because someone breaks a law doesn't make it magically legal.

    The answer is more enforcement, not making more laws.

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  88. Anon- it is not illegal. It is legal in many states for private sellers to sell their collections, some of them very large, without background checks. We have not closed the loophole that allows them to do this. People who buy from private sellers should have to go through the same process that they go through when buying from licensed dealers. It takes all of a few minutes to complete a background check unless there is a problem. You can see the licensed dealers making the calls to NICS on their phones at gun shows all the time. Why not require the same of private sellers? They have the same guns, usually. In video after video, many of these folks make it clear that it's simple- out the door, no paperwork, no problems. They take the cash. How do they know that the person they just sold to is not a prohibited purchaser? They don't. We need to change that and if you are not a prohibited purchaser it won't affect you.

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  89. "...unlicensed sellers coming to gun shows with their "collections" which are large enough and often enough that they can no longer be called "occasional". That is why we need to close that private seller loophole."

    If they are behaving as dealers then they are breaking the law. Charge them and leave the rest of us alone.

    Punishing everyone because the government is to lazy, stupid or under manned to enforce the existing law is asinine. Perhaps if they spent less time running guns into Mexico, they would have time and resources to investigate these things.

    This makes as much sense as putting breathalyzers in EVERY car because some people drive drunk.

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  90. The only people who would be "punished" by closing the private seller loophole are the criminals, terrorists, domestic abusers and dangerously mentally ill people who can now buy guns without background checks.

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  91. Japete: “You can see the licensed dealers making the calls to NICS on their phones at gun shows all the time. Why not require the same of private sellers?”

    I like the way your phrased this. You say “require”, but right now they are not even allowed to make that call. It is not so much a loophole that needs closing, but a gate that needs opening. In the past you have dismissed this idea as “having difficulties” but promised you would look into it by talking to some people. Have you done that? Or did you not mean to suggest that private sellers should have access to the NICS?

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  92. "Clearly, the buyer bought several guns without the benefit of a background check, no questions asked."

    None that showed up on camera, anyway. The questions somehow ended up on the cutting room floor.

    "I have a friend who bought an assault rifle, which he took out of the case at the hearing about background checks two years ago at the House Public Safety committee, and told them he bought it without a background check from a private seller at a gun show."

    I'm afraid I don't trust what one of your "friends" might say anymore than I trust the folks the Brady Bunch hires to edit their undercover footage.

    Anyone who buys a firearm from a private seller, in Minnesota, whether at a gun show or not, who does not show a government-issued photo ID to prove that he is a resident of Minnesota is committing a felony. This includes anyone the Brady bunch might hire to run these stings at gun shows.

    Anyone who sells a firearm as a private seller, in Minnesota, who does not similarly check ID, is also guilty. And if you sell a handgun or assault weapon without either forwarding a report of transfer through the local PD, or checking to see that the buyer has either a permit to purchase or a permit to carry, opens themselves up to significant legal liability.

    I'm pretty sure I've spent a lot more time at gun shows than you have, and I have never seen a private sale go through to someone who had not show the seller both a drivers license and a purchase or carry permit.

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  93. "The problem, Robin, is that since 1968, those occasional sales by private sellers have turned into unlicensed sellers coming to gun shows with their "collections" which are large enough and often enough that they can no longer be called "occasional"."

    The problem is that since 1992, the BATF has been engaged in a concerted effort to reduce the number of FFLS, and has refused to renew the licenses of individuals who don't have a store front, but who regularly sell firearms at gun shows and other venues.

    The few moderate-volume sellers at gun shows who aren't licensed dealers generally used to be licensed dealers, and would like to be licensed dealers, but the BATF has refused to license them.

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  94. I promised to look into the pediatrics and gun storage matter and was referred to a site on pediatrics that is useful for the lay public; the site does have a medical board. Guns are a leading cause of death in children from unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide. Between 1994-1998 (CDC data) over 18,000 children under age 19 died from a gun related injury. A larger number are hurt by nonfatal gun-related injuries with almost half being hospitalized (2007 data). So guns in the home are an injury risk factor, as are other things. Pediatricians do have gun safety programs they recommend including the NRA's Eddie Eagle gun safety program as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics' 'Keep your Family Safe from Firearm Injury' program. Studies have been conducted with children where even children who have received gun safety training when finding a hidden gun will pull the trigger. Injury prevention is certainly fair game for medical consultation, and that's where I have difficulty with the Florida law that prohibits pediatricians from asking about whether there are guns in the home. This is not about infringing rights, it is about preventing injury and getting information to parents who can make an informed decision. I would think that taking steps to assure the safety of children and family members would be common ground that most could agree. The link follows:

    http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/safetyfirstaid/a/gun_safety_2.htm

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  95. No, I don't believe that is the solution. That has problems of it's own.

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  96. Well, jdege- whether you trust us or not is moot. It is what is happening all over the country. One way we can stop it is to simply require background checks on all sales. You seem to think that these folks are doing something illegal. It is NOT illegal for a private seller to sell an assault type rilfe without a background check because they are not required to do so. This is happening all over our country. Should people be in jail for this? Who will decide that? Who will report it? You, or someone else, tried to claim that an ATF agent is at every gun show. I have a hard time believing that given that there are hardly enough of them to do what they need to do on a daily basis- and no thanks to the NRA for that.

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  97. The ATF is far from perfect as we all know, jdege, but I do not believe they are puposely trying to shut down FFLs. They only get to monitoring a very small percentage of them on a yearly basis so it would seem unlikely that that is their mission. I know you guys hate the ATF for whatever reason. Perhaps you would just love it if all gun dealers and gun shows were completey unregulated so you all wouldn't have to be inconvenienced one little bit when you buy your guns. And then, that would also be convenient for bad apple gun dealers, for criminals, domestic abusers, etc.

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  98. Japete: “No, I don't believe that is the solution. That has problems of it's own.”

    What are the problems (re private sellers using the NICS)? If we discuss the problems that you have, we can work on solutions.

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  99. I would be punished. What you propose would make it illegal for me to give my brother or my parents one of my firearms.

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  100. In all of the bills I have seen,Stew, there are exemptions for family members. Even if there weren't you would not be prevented from these transfers. You would just have to get a background check for them.

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  101. Let's start at the beginning, japete:

    Who was Mr. Wegner putting at risk, with his weapon holstered at the hospital? No one. Had he been a police officer carrying a child into the ER, we wouldn't have blinked an eye. What is the difference? Are officers magical?

    My .45 goes everywhere I go, legally. I do so not because I'm scared, but because I cannot predict when I will need to use it to defend myself or others. I understand the likelihood I will ever draw it in anger is extremely low, and I hope very much I never have to draw my weapon. I also understand that it's not a majic bullet (pun intended) that will save me from all harm (your side seems to imbue firearms with magical properties, BTW, but that's for another time). The reality, however, is that moment ever comes, I'll need it really really bad, and I need it RIGHT NOW. 911 is wonderful, but even the best response times are a few minutes, and those few minutes may well be the ones which are the difference between life and death.

    Thus: the potential rewards of carrying? Huge, potentially lifesaving. The downside? The risks are incredibly small, about as close to zero as one can statistically get.

    It's a no-brainer. I'll carry, thanks.

    I also got my permit, and carry, in part as sending a political message: the 2nd Am. matters - trifle with this issue at your peril. And finally, I know it drives somes liberals stark raving made, and that's always worth a laugh.

    Beyond that, it's been an interesting discussion. I note you put your usual "shoot first" disinformation label out there; of course, Texas has no such law, nor does any other state. The idea that feeling threatened alone is enough to justify a shooting is pure balderdash, as Robin amply pointed out with the first post.

    It's also false that gun makers are "immune" from lawsuit. They're no more immune than any other manufacturer. If their product is defective, does not operate as designed, and causes harm, they're liable under the usual principles of tort law. But they're no more liable for how their product is used than GM is liable when someone uses a Chevy to getaway from a robbery. And the fact that we had to pass a federal law to remind judges of that demonstrates just how unscrupulous gun-banner activists were in attempting to use the legal system to file nuisance suit after nuisance suit to attempt to harass the gun makers out of business. The gun-banners even had the assistance of one of their pet judges, Jack Weinstein in New York, to go along.

    This is not an act of good faith.

    This is why, japete, so many simply cannot trust the stated intentions of the BC, the VPC, or the MAIG. So much of what is put out there by these groups, and the like, is so clearly simply factually wrong. It can't all be out of ignorance (it's not like the correct information is hard to find), so it must be that stuff is written that is factually wrong in order to mislead and persuade. I've got no problem with persuading; it's what America's about. But you're not entitled to your own facts, as the saying goes. When you mislead with incorrect facts (i.e. "shoot first" laws, or "assault weapons" designed to "shoot from the hip," etc.) you're gonna get challenged. And rightly so.

    Finally, perhaps if the BATF would stop running guns to Mexico in order to justify their political agenda, they might have time to rationally regulate gun transfers, instead of attempting to drive dealers out of business - and yes, that appears to be their program, and has been for some time.

    Finally - I note a large number of commenters here. I compliment you, japete, for that. Perhaps you've decided to actually follow your own code after all. For that, you deserve credit. Or not - let's see if this gets posted; that will tell the tale.

    - Me Again

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  102. "It takes all of a few minutes to complete a background check unless there is a problem. You can see the licensed dealers making the calls to NICS on their phones at gun shows all the time. Why not require the same of private sellers?"

    Because private sellers do not have access to the NICS. So the private seller would have to get an FFL to do it for him. Not all or even most FFLs want to do a background check for a firearm they aren't selling and for sure none will do it for free.

    Why not make all sellers get an FFL. Because some people only sell one or two guns a year and a gun show is a great place to find a buyer. But for one or two guns the cost would be prohibitive. The BATF will not let you get an FFL for a hobby business anymore and tries to make it impossible for anyone to get a FFL.

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  103. according to the BATFE in 1993 there were 283,000 in 2007 there were 109,000. Whatever they are doing it seems to be working.

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  104. Dr Art said "Between 1994-1998 (CDC data) over 18,000 children under age 19 died from a gun related injury. A larger number are hurt by nonfatal gun-related injuries with almost half being hospitalized (2007 data)"

    How many of these were in the home?

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  105. O.K. guys. I wish I could believe that even if it was somehow deemed to be a good idea to let unlicensed sellers whoever and wherever they are be able to make a call to the computerized NICS system, based on whether someone is an FFL, I am not sure you would support closing this loophole. But let's just get down to it. You are just a bunch of guys commenting on a blog. I am just a blogger. We are not going to decide these things on my blog. I am not a lawmaker. I am not a policy maker. Neither are you. Bring these things up with your elected officials if you think they are such good ideas. I won't be responding to your attempts to get me to deal with something on a blog that is impossible to deal with here. Suffice it to say that I have spoken with several lawyers involved in this issue and a few law enforcement officers who think this is an idea that will not work. This is simple guys. The states that have closed this private seller loophole have managed to solve the problem. FFLs are doing the checks. It seems to be working.

    Now, anon- to what are you referring with your 283,000 number?
    Anon #2, what difference does it make if it was in the home or not? I suspect that it was but I don't think the numbers get that specific. But the CDC does have firearm injuries as among the top 10 causes of deaths for children in some age categories. But even if it weren't, are you suggesting that people should not be concerned about the number of children who die daily from gun injuries-8- even if it is below another cause of death? That is not a valid excuse. What are you saying here? Just forget about doing anything about it just in case it might affect your ability to do anything you want to with your guns? Or what is your problem with this really?

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  106. "I do not believe they are puposely trying to shut down FFLs"

    You may not believe it but it is the truth. I used to have an FFL. I voluntarily surrendered it because of the BATF's adversarial nature.

    Since 1994 FFLs have dropped by 80%. (http://www.vpc.org/press/0603dealers.htm)


    From the congressional hearings on ATF oversight...

    "They will indict this agency for entrapment of law-abiding citizens and the ruining of their lives through unwarranted publicity generated by the BATF generally-but not always-accompanied by felony prosecutions. They will indict it for
    devoting its energies to the persecution of law-abiding citizens, while almost completely neglecting genuine criminals.

    They will indict it for engaging in a variety of illegalities ranging from physical brutality to perjury, to illegal searches. And when we remember that for every case of these witnesses them may be hundreds of other such cases-we know of many-the picture becomes dire.

    Until recently, much of BATF's manpower was devoted to alcohol taxation enforcement. But with the increase in the price of sugar, moonshining has gone out of style and the BATF has concentrated its enforcement efforts upon lawful firearms uses. Rather than to go into the proper area of enforcement against criminal misuse, they have focused on arrest of the law-abiding citizen.

    While we have no love for the evil way in which this agency has enforced the firearms law, we believe that any other agency assigned to enforce such a poorly written law as the Gun Control Act of 1968 would face enormous temptations to behave in much the same manner. The Federal laws are surprisingly limited in their effect upon the criminal misuse of firearms. The few sections of the law which might be effectively used to reduce criminal violence, such as the provision prohibiting convicted felons from possessing firearms or the provisions providing stiff punishment for possession of machineguns or sawed-off shotguns, those provisions are not enforced.

    Amazingly, BATF has issued instructions to its agents not to prosecute cases which are prosecutable under State laws-a policy which has resulted in violations of Federal gun laws by hardened, violent criminals being ignored by U.S. officials,
    even when those criminals had received leniency from State courts.

    The BATF has concentrated its enforcement efforts upon technical violations, all of which are Federal felonies, by normally law-abiding citizens, because even those cases are too infrequent to necessitate such a large agency, BATF has justified its existence by artificial inflation of arrest statistics for Federal gun law violations and crime gun seizures through entrapment schemes and other abuses. The witnesses will mention some of the various types of abuses that we have encountered."

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  107. From the linked study, Robin- " The bulk of the licenses were held by illegitimate "kitchen-table" dealers who operated out of their homes or offices, an unknown percentage of which were actively involved in criminal gun trafficking. As the result of policy recommendations contained in the study that were implemented under the Clinton Administration, today only five states have more gun dealers than gas stations (see chart below). The full study contains information for all 50 states as well as policy recommendations." I have no idea where the paragraphs contained within your quotes is coming from. To whom is it attributed? It sounds like a gun rights activist blaming the ATF for all kinds of things. Where is it from?

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  108. Now, anon- to what are you referring with your 283,000 number?

    Sorry I missed pasting in a quote. Those are the number of FFL holders in the years listed according to the BATFE.

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  109. Japete: “You are just a bunch of guys commenting on a blog. I am just a blogger. We are not going to decide these things on my blog. I am not a lawmaker. I am not a policy maker. Neither are you.”

    Then why are you here? You are more than willing to push the standard Brady topics, and tell us all why we need to accept it, and you do this without knowing all the details, which is fine. You do this admitting that there are problems, but the lawmakers can sort that out during the legislative process and that these problems are no reason to squash a bill (we’ve heard that for the “fix check” bills from Lautenberg and McCarthy). You say things aren’t perfect, but that is no reason to not try, and it is better than nothing. So why are you so dismissive when we propose an acceptable way to do gun control? Are these problems so insurmountable that it is not worth getting universal background checks- probably the most frequent single topic of your blog?

    Japete: “Suffice it to say that I have spoken with several lawyers involved in this issue and a few law enforcement officers who think this is an idea that will not work.”

    Why specifically? What did they say? Why can’t we have a conversation about this? Is it acceptable for me to say “the NRA says your policy won’t work, therefore I will fight it and I don’t want to talk about it”?

    This is getting increasing frustrating. There are two topics (this and the recent “terror gap” one) where I have offered solutions, and it goes like this:

    1) You make an official Brady Campaign proposal.
    2) I say it is unacceptable in its implementation, but I am not opposed to the concept.
    3) I specifically call out the reasons why I find it unacceptable.
    4) I even go so far as to offer solutions as to an acceptable way to do it.
    5) In both these cases my solutions meet the core demands- universal background checks (more than just gun shows) and denying all known terrorist suspects gun purchases. In that sense there is not even a compromise- you get exactly what you want.
    6) Each time you squash the conversation by saying something like; “It is not going to work” or “it has problems” or “I am not a policy maker” or “I don’t know enough to comment on it”.
    7) Sometime down the road I am sure we will see another post about how gun owners refuse to cooperate.

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  110. So, TS, what do you think would happen if we agreed to a solution to a problem. Just the two of us. What would we do with this information? I know I say I am seeking common sense solutions which usually involves some give and take. That being the case, there would need to be some broad consensus about things. As I said, I have raised this idea with some lawyers and law enforcment who don't think it's a good idea. We have a model we can use without reinventing the wheel. It is working in CA and NY and other states that require background checks on all sales at gun shows. What is your problem with that? Why should just anyone have access to the list? How will the person at NICS know that the person calling is legitimate. How much money would it cost to change their system to let just anyone who wants to sell a gun make a call? Could just anyone call? How will people be screened to make sure they are who they say they are? Remember, private sellers are private sellers. That means maybe tens of thousands of more people accessing the site. How will that work better than simply asking an FFL to do the check since they are already in the system and being monitored by the ATF to make sure they are doing things according to regulations?

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  111. Dr. Kamm: "I have difficulty with the Florida law that prohibits pediatricians from asking about whether there are guns in the home."

    I have some difficulty with the Florida law too but I understand what provoked it.

    Following the Heller and McDonald rulings by the US Supreme Court, most gun control groups have admitted that a ban on handguns is now illegal. Yet the American Academy of Pediatrics is still calling for a ban on handguns, on the same page that they acknowledge the Heller and McDonald rulings (see link). By thus illustrating that they intend to somehow bypass the intent of our highest court and our Constiitution, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the AAP may attempt to partially achieve by their daily work with patients, that which they could not achieve in the legislature or judicially. That despite their claims of "safety" concerns.

    I myself do not doubt that they have genuine safety concerns, but one can see why gunowners might doubt their motives in view of their radical and Court-defying political agenda.

    http://www.aap.org/advocacy/firearms_slr.pdf

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  112. japete: "As far as I know, Jay, there are absolutely no plans for what you describe. Where did you get that information again?"

    Here is one of the press releases in which the Brady Campaign asks for a mandatory minimum waiting period instead of the NICS:

    "Impose a waiting period under the Brady Law, to allow time to do accurate and complete review of appropriate records."

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/brady-president-urges-changes-in-gun-laws-post-virginia-tech-57770342.html

    The "I" in "NICS" stands for "Instant," so adoption of a mandatory minimum waiting period means no more NICS.

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  113. japete said...

    So, TS, what do you think would happen if we agreed to a solution to a problem. Just the two of us. What would we do with this information? I know I say I am seeking common sense solutions which usually involves some give and take.

    Well for me it would show that there is indeed a chance that the 2 sides could indeed come to some sort of compromise. I think it would also generate interesting conversation and give both sides possible suggestions to take to both the NRA and the Brady campaign. Right now it seems both sides are stuck in their all or nothing arguments.

    I for one know that we do have many of the same hopes for guns. I do not want to be shot (like your shirt says). I do not want criminals to get/use guns. I do want all people that violate the law with a firearm to be punished ccw and felon illegally in possession alike. I think that there are a gear many more too and would like to explore them.

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  114. Again, Physicians are interested in safety and health. They are not after your guns for any sinister reason. You guys find ulterior motives in everything anyone says. It does mention a ban on handguns on the link you provided, Jay. But you know that is not going to happen because of the recent Supreme Court decisions. Doctors are not evil. They want what's best for their patients. That is their life's work.

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  115. "The bulk of the licenses were held by illegitimate "kitchen-table" dealers who operated out of their homes or offices, an unknown percentage of which were actively involved in criminal gun trafficking."

    What made these dealers illegitimate? They were fully investigated before the BATF issued them a license. Since you admit that the percentage of them involved in criminal gun trafficing is unknown, why do you assume any of them were?

    Yes, a number of them were hobby dealers or if you prefer "kitchen-table" dealers. Again, since they abided by all the laws what was the problem. Had their product been anything but guns everyone including you would have been outraged that the government would take it upon themselves to run 80% of the a class of merchants out of business.

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  116. "We need to change that and if you are not a prohibited purchaser it won't affect you. "

    Yes, it will. It will require the seller / buyer to engage with a licensed FFL in order to complete the transaction. It will take both time and money, because no dealer is going to do this for free.

    It will have an affect on the law abiding citizen - and it will have minimal impact on crime.
    b

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  117. "Pediatricians do have gun safety programs they recommend including the NRA's Eddie Eagle gun safety program as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics' 'Keep your Family Safe from Firearm Injury' program. Studies have been conducted with children where even children who have received gun safety training when finding a hidden gun will pull the trigger."

    There are two things that need to happen -- parents need to secure their weapons so that children do not have access to them. And children need to be trained what to do if they come upon a weapon (stop, leave the area, tell an adult)

    In some cases, parents need educated on how to properly secure their weapons.

    I looked at the AAP's program - which basically says don't buy a gun. And if you do, then keep it locked up -- which isn't enough information to educate a parent on (or even the right information if the parent is concerned with self defense and owns a firearm)

    Something more comprehensive is needed.

    In my mind, this is bad information that could be made more comprehensive and appropriate given a different approach.

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  118. "The ATF is far from perfect as we all know, jdege, but I do not believe they are puposely trying to shut down FFLs. "

    ATF spent a significant amount of time deliberately attempting to reduce the number of FFLs in the United States. Fees were increased, zoning requirements were instituted, and so on.

    If you remember, this was an initiative driven by the Clinton Administration very deliberately at the time as a part of a broader gun control effort, including the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.
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  119. "The bulk of the licenses were held by illegitimate "kitchen-table" dealers who operated out of their homes or offices, an unknown percentage of which were actively involved in criminal gun trafficking."

    There's nothing illegitimate about operating a federal firearms licensed business out of one's home - as long as it is operated as a business and all of the appropriate laws and regulations are followed.

    I know at least three businesses in the twin cities metro area that do this.
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  120. "Doctors are not evil. They want what's best for their patients. That is their life's work. "

    I agree with you.
    That said, doctors following advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics about gun safety are handing out bad advice.
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  121. japete: "It does mention a ban on handguns on the link you provided, Jay. But you know that is not going to happen because of the recent Supreme Court decisions."

    The link also mentions the recent Supreme Court decisions...and the group still wants a ban on handguns anyway! So how can they do that? Perhaps by trying their best to scare patients away from gun ownership?

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  122. I doubt that is the reason, Jay. You must have a lot of mistrust of doctors.

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  123. The AAP is not gun friendly at all and in fact they support bans. Here is the official policy found on their website

    This statement reaffirms the 1992 position of the American Academy of Pediatrics that the absence of guns from children's homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents. A number of specific measures are supported to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children and adolescents, including the regulation of the manufacture, sale, purchase, ownership, and use of firearms; a ban on handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons; and expanded regulations of handguns for civilian use. In addition, this statement reviews recent data, trends, prevention, and intervention strategies of the past 5 years.

    Abbreviations: AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics

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  124. You know, Bryan, not all organizations and groups are "gun friendly". That does not mean they are out to get your guns or ban them. They just don't like guns and know that there too many gun injuries and deaths. There are people out there who think very differently from you. I know that because those are the people with whom I spend time. That does not mean we are evil or wrong. We simply have a different view of the world than you do. Vice versa is also true. I don't find you guys to be evil except for the ones who leave their offensive, rude and sexually explicit comments on my blog and who attack me personally. I do find some of you very scary such as those who, like some militia groups and others, who are so angry about the world that they are set to take up arms against the government and are not afraid to say so. There are some really scary "gun guys" out there who give all of you a bad name.

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  125. "I know that because those are the people with whom I spend time. That does not mean we are evil or wrong. We simply have a different view of the world than you do. Vice versa is also true."

    I'm well aware - because I used to think the way that you (and others) did. I changed my mind when I saw things for what they were.

    I don't think most folks on your side are evil - though there are a few. But you are on the wrong side of this issue :)

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  126. "Come on 18 Echo. Now you know better than judges?"

    I guess I wasn't clear. *I* don't claim to know more than the judges. The legislators passed the law to make their intentions clear to the judges since they were not following the intent of the law.

    By design legislator do "know more" than the judges since it is the judges job to enforce the laws created by those legislators as long as they are within the limits of the constitution. The problems happen when the judges "find" law where none exists.

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  127. Well, as you might guess, Bryan, I feel exactly the opposite about who's on the wrong side of the issue.

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  128. The last time I checked 18Echo, there are 3 equal branches of government. That is how our founding fathers set things up to make sure we have checks and balances.

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  129. "That is how our founding fathers set things up to make sure we have checks and balances. "

    And a great system it is. I've enjoyed watching the judicial branch rule unconstitutional gun bans in DC and Chicago - and just last week, a ban on gun ranges in Chicago was overturned at the Appellate level.

    And one more state legislature left and we'll have carry laws in all 50 states.
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