Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The NRA's crown jewel- HR 822

I ran across this unbelievable video of NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre holding forth on H.R. 822 on NRA radio. There's so much wrong with this that it's hard to know where to begin. Here is the video and then we can talk about the hypocrisy and false assertions contained therein:



O.K. then. Let's get started. First of all, LaPierre admits that H.R. 822, the National Conceal and Carry Reciprocity Act is what the NRA has been working towards for the last 20 years. " We are going to keep coming back on reciprocity until it becomes the law of the land", he says. They are determined to get what they want. Those of us who have gone through the battles over conceal and carry laws in our states know that this is true. The NRA and its' power and influence has managed to pass bills in most states that are some form of conceal and carry. 41 states, according to LaPierre, are "shall issue" states. That means that no need has to be shown for carrying a loaded gun around in public places. It's a want to carry. I remind my readers that this is roughly 2-3% of Americans who have permits and perhaps even fewer carry their guns. So think about this one. For 2-3% of the population, elected leaders have pandered and capitulated to the NRA. We are not safer as a result in spite of what LaPierre asserts in the video.

I have referred many times to the permit holders who have killed others or the permit holders involved in crimes. Sure, the gun rights extremists can claim that permit holders may be involved in crimes less frequently than average folks. But they can't claim that more guns carried by permit holders have made us more safe. But I digress. Getting back to the video- LaPierre makes a claim in the video that the majority of Americans want H.R. 822. He is wrong. In recent polling by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, here are the actual figures for support for the bill:
There is no mandate for concealed carry reciprocity
• Voters also overwhelmingly prefer stricter to relaxed gun laws
• Yet even gun HH and Republicans don’t strongly support reciprocity
This politically divided electorate is initially divided on reciprocity
Discussing provisions and balanced arguments reveals clear opposition
There are two main drivers of opposition
• States’ rights
• Voters prioritize states’ rights over reciprocity
• And states’ rights over Washington making decisions
• A desire for people to meet their state’s requirements
• And for those requirements to be tougher
GOP and voters in gun HH are also opposed to reciprocity after hearing more
Specific permitting requirements receive widespread strong support
• Nearly every single one receives majority strong support, even in gun HH
• Majorities strongly support at least eight of the 12 requirements tested
As it turns out, voters are opposed to H.R. 822. Even gun owners opposed the bill in this survey. 50% of Republicans and 47% of gun households supported the provisions of the bill in the initial asking of the question in the above poll. But when the bill was explained, the support dropped to 35% of gun households supporting and 34% of Republican supporting the bill. Does that sound like overwhelming support to you? I didn't think so. Check out the charts and graphs for yourself. The NRA hates Mayors Against Illegal Guns and doesn't find their polling data to be valid even though it is. So what is LaPierre talking about here?

Later in the video, the host of the radio show alludes to going to England to cover the "riots" that happened there this past summer. There is a lot of chatter between the 2 of them about what happened in England and then the conclusion that the folks in England would have liked to have had their guns during those riots. Really? Prove it. Are there any surveys showing that? Or is this anecdotal evidence? And what difference does it make to the discussion of H.R. 822? Oh yes, when "scary" people demonstrate, you might need your guns to shoot them. See my next post for more about this scenario as seen through the eyes of the gun rights extremists.

As for LaPierre claiming that there is a constitutional right to carry guns for self defense in public, he is on shaky ground. Even the courts have rejected cases about self defense outside of the home.  In the Heller and McDonald cases the Supreme Court made sure to mention that restrictions on who can carry, where they can carry and types of guns to be carried are constitutional. So that being the case H.R. 822 does not really deal in constitutional issues and is fraught with inconsistencies and flaws. The NRA is not only interested in passing laws that will allow anyone to carry their guns everywhere, but they seem to think that if they "normalize" openly carried guns, the public will just get used to it. Check out this article about the California Open Carry rally held this week-end. In the recently passed law, open carrying of handguns is now banned in California. But never mind, gun rights extremists thought it would be great to make a point by showing up ( in small numbers) at a public rally with their openly carried long guns. I'm sure the public would get used to that idea! Does anyone else think these guys look stupid and potentially dangerous? From this article, written by gun rights advocate Robert Farago, even he has his concerns about this idea but they might be different than the concerns that you or I have:
Good scary: when someone who doesn’t like / hates guns sees “a” gun on “a” civilian, freaks a bit and then, eventually, calms down. The more “normal” (and no I don’t mean white) the open carrier appears, the more innocuously the gun owner goes about their business, the faster the non-gun carrier loses their adrenal response. Wash, rinse, repeat, desensitize. Done.
Bad scary: flag-waving groups of “normal” gun owners (and yes I do mean white) gathered in a public place with “assault rifles” saying stuff like “I’m not here trying to intimidate people. Our government is trying to make life difficult, and this is the only option [for self-protection].” Note to Adnan Shahab: if you don’t want to intimidate someone don’t use the word “intimidate.” And most Californians consider SPF15 adequate person protection.
So if the open carriers are white, will we accept seeing them carrying guns? But if they are of a minority race, then not so much? Hmmm. I'm just wondering if maybe these folks are "shooting themselves in the foot" by pushing this too far. I don't know about you but if I see someone openly carrying a long gun or even a pistol around in public, my first reaction is not to calm down. Let's hope that common sense will show this for what it is. Is there some hypocrisy here? I'm just asking. And speaking of hypocrisy Wayne LaPierre did in the video above when he said, "The American public- they see straight through the hypocrisy."

Indeed we do. If everyone can open carry guns- handguns or long guns in public, then EVERYONE will, including felons, domestic abusers, felons, etc. Some states allow open carry. Others do not. How will the police and the public know the difference between a "law abiding" gun carrier from out of state and a felon? They may look the same to law enforcement. Is it a law abiding permit holder who was trying to "save the day" or the criminal? The tired old NRA line about claiming that if guns are banned ( as they are sure the "antis" are will do) then only criminals will have guns is totally false. Criminals, mentally ill people, domestic abusers, etc. already have guns, as we know, and there are plenty of places for them to get them since we refuse to pass laws to stop them from doing so. Maybe I'm crazy but doesn't it seem like total hypocrisy for the NRA to be against laws to require background checks on all sales of guns to stop the prohibited people from getting them in the first place? If we had more assurance that only the law abiding were carrying, maybe then the NRA's arguments would stand a chance. But their circular reasoning is that since the criminals have guns, they need guns. This is the philosophical gap between the gun rights extremists and the gun control advocates. And further, most states have already found that citizens can carry guns if they so choose. And so we have a solution looking for a problem. Only 2-3% of people have this perceived problem.

Back to the video of Wayne LaPierre ( above) and the back and forth conversation, we know that H.R. 822 is the bill the gun rights extremists have been waiting for. They are willing to sacrifice states' rights and public safety so that the 2-3% of people who carry guns won't have to be inconvenienced by state laws. If Minnesota would have wanted Florida's gun laws, they would have passed similar laws. But they didn't. It's bad enough here in Minnesota but at least people have a minimum training requirement and domestic abusers can't get permits to carry. The House will take a vote during the first week of November. Then the Senate, who didn't manage to attach the bill as an amendment to appropriations bills on Friday, will have to decide if they are going to stand with the majority along with law enforcement, or stand with the 2%ers ( gun permit holders) who are making a big noise as always about their conflated rights to self defense. Gun control advocates all over the country are activated and have given voice to their opposition. Let's hope that common sense will prevailLet's hope that people with hearts realize that insane gun laws such as H.R. 822 are not only not needed but are not morally right for the American citizenry.



38 comments:

  1. japete writes:
    "It's bad enough here in Minnesota but at least people have a minimum training requirement and domestic abusers can't get permits to carry."

    Minnesota has a model permit to carry law that I'd like to see more states follow. Looking over the Wisconsin law, Minnesota's is much more tightly written and more easily understandable.

    Florida, by the way, also has a minimum training requirement. Asserting that they do not is false.

    And as we've said before, an individual convicted of a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence offense is federally prohibited from possessing or using a firearm.

    "If everyone can open carry guns- handguns or long guns in public, then EVERYONE will, including felons, domestic abusers, felons, etc. Some states allow open carry. "

    Not everyone could open carry in the circumstance that you describe. Individuals prohibited from possessing or using a firearm would remain prohibited, including felons, convicted domestic abusers, etc.

    "The tired old NRA line about claiming that if guns are banned ( as they are sure the "antis" are will do) then only criminals will have guns is totally false"

    So in countries like the UK where almost every firearm is banned, who is it that are committing the gun crimes? The law abiding? I think not.

    "How will the police and the public know the difference between a "law abiding" gun carrier from out of state and a felon? "

    An individual could open carry today here in Minnesota - how do the police or public know if they are a permitted carrier or a felon? This is far less of a problem than you make it out to be.

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  2. "Voters also overwhelmingly prefer stricter to relaxed gun laws"

    Yes. But when they say "stricter", they mean increased penalties for criminals who use guns. They do not mean increased restrictions on law-abiding citizens.

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  3. japete writes:
    "I have referred many times to the permit holders who have killed others or the permit holders involved in crimes. Sure, the gun rights extremists can claim that permit holders may be involved in crimes less frequently than average folks"

    It's not a claim, it's a fact - as we have repeatedly mentioned here on this blog.

    You can look at *any* of the states that publish data - including our own shared home state of Minnesota - and see that this is a fact.

    You can also see, from this aggregate data, that permit holders have committed a miniscule number of criminal offenses in the multiple years that shall issue laws have been in place.

    Your claims to the contrary are not at all rooted in facts published by the government.
    b

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  4. How do you know that jdege? Do you have a poll that shows that? That is not what most polling shows. It shows that people believe in background checks on all gun sales, they believe in closing the terror gap, they believe in the assault weapons ban and generally making guns less available to prohibited purchasers.

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  5. from http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/news/concealed_carry.html
    "Minnesota, will not enter into a reciprocity agreement with another state unless the other state has concealed weapon licensing standards substantially similar to their own." and this " "it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided " Actually, there are some provisions of the Florida carry concealed law that are more strict than Minnesota- http://www.lcav.org/states/florida.asp#ConcealedWeaponsPermitting
    But applicants can use hunter safety courses to qualify for a permit to carry. They can use other training as well if they so choose.

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  6. "How do you know that jdege? Do you have a poll that shows that? That is not what most polling shows."

    That's only because most of the polling you're looking at was paid for by anti-gun groups who work very hard to avoid the kind of questions that would clarify that.

    Ask "should everybody be allowed to carry a gun", and the answer is overwhelmingly no.

    But ask "should individuals who have received training and obtained a permit be allowed to carry a gun" and the answer is overwhelmingly yes.

    Ask "should the police have the power to deny a permit without cause to someone who has received the training and passed the background check", and the answer is overwhelmingly no.

    Which is why these are questions that your Mayor's will never ask.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/144887/continuing-record-low-support-stricter-gun-control.aspx

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  7. WE could go tit for tat all night jdege which I don't intend doing. Polling over many years shows consistent results when people are asked specifics about gun control measures. It's usually around 80% or higher for background checks. People don't want guns banned. That's different than reasonable restrictions. http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/poll_slides_2011.pdf

    " In his survey of 832 gun owners, including 401 NRA members, Luntz found that 82 percent of NRA members supported "prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns." Sixty-nine percent favored "requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns," and 78 percent backed "requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen." Among gun owners who did not belong to the NRA, the numbers were even higher."
    http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/luntz_poll_questionnaire_and_responses.pdf

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20029126-503544.html

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  8. yep mayors against illegal guns and gallop polls are both unbiased :rolleyeyes: well to be truthful only one would benefit from not asking leading questions. I wonder what one it is.

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  9. Dear Anthony- if you don't like polls that ask specific questions about gun control measures, that is your problem. The polling was done by a Republican pollster in one case and by 2 firms- a Republican and Democratic leaning- in the other MAIG poll. When you only ask one question- such as whether you think it's a good idea to ban guns- you get one answer. Banning guns is, as I know you know, not the same thing as background checks, one gun a month, selling guns to terrorists, etc.

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  10. Another article of interest about Wisconsin's new carry concealed law- http://badgerherald.com/news/2011/10/23/out-of-staters_could.php

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  11. Do states have to have agreements to recognize other states' drivers licenses? I guarantee that each state has a different requirement for those.

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  12. I'm trying to under stand the pdf you linked to. the 5th slide is titled "Voters Across The Board Reject Less Strict Gun Laws"

    and you say.

    "Voters also overwhelmingly prefer stricter to relaxed gun laws" which is also in the summary slide, but the data as presented, do not support that conclusion.

    The bar graph shows, 54% want the same or less strict laws. The only thing that keeps this from being overwhelming the other way is the 65% of Democrats that want stricter laws.

    For Gun HH it's 72% that want the same or looser. Repub. 73% and Ind. it's 61%. Both sides acknowledge that it's the Ind. vote this is going to decide the election so between them and the Republicans I see a good 60+ percent in favor of the same laws or looser laws in terms of people that vote.

    This seems to disagree with the title of the slide.

    I do see the conflict on 822 though, and we even see it here. On the right, there is a conflict between wanting the states to make it easier for us, requiring it at the federal level and our reluctance to have the Feds intervening in states rights.

    I can see how people can think about the issue can come down on either side. For me, anyway, it's no so much that I want to "force" a state to do something as it is that I'm a law abiding person and it is very easy to cross a state line and be in violation of a carry law when there is no "intent". Am I supposed to pull off the freeway before I drive past the "Welcome to XXX" sign and move my firearm to a locked box? Or is that legal? Perhaps I have to unload it and lock the ammo somewhere else. Do I need a state by state reference guide? The laws really do vary from state to state and it can make a criminal out of someone that has no intent to break any laws. I don't know how you reconcile that, but so many odd ball laws are justified under the commerce clause, I could see 822 as one going that way.

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  13. Driver's licenses are for operating cars and not deadly weapons. They are different. As to recognition, I assume most are the same but you have to follow the various different traffic rules in each state. They are not much different from each other however and most travelers when driving state to state don't have to study up on traffic rules before driving their cars through another state. Signage gives speed limit signs and signs usually tell drivers what they can and can't do. I believe the age is the same in every state though could be wrong about that. I believe everyone is required to take a permit written test and then driver's ed training and then a test before they can get a license. These are for reasons of public and personal safety, widely recognized as good ideas. Penalties may be different for infractions of the rules, I imagine. Legal limits on driving while under the influence may also be different. But in order to get a license, they are pretty similar. Certain fairly high standards are imposed on those who get a license to drive. When you move, you have to get a new license, of course. Your license number is in a data base of drivers. Law enforcement can check your license in their patrol car computers against people who have infractions of the law in other states as well as your own. Such is not the case for permits to carry. Nor are the training requirements as similar in each state for people to get permits as they are for drivers' licenses. There are more differences than similarities here. I'm sure you want me and my readers to believe otherwise as your way of making them the same so what's the big deal. But they are not.

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  14. "Driver's licenses are for operating cars and not deadly weapons."

    More people are killed by cars than by guns.

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  15. Car accidents are accidents-not intentional, as are many gun deaths. Cars are not designed to kill people as are guns. And further, what does that mean? Should we now excuse gun deaths because car accidents kill more people? Do you remember MADD? Do you realize why seat belts and air bags are mandatory? Do you realize why speed limit signs are posted? To save lives. What have we done with gun deaths? Not much. Cars are registered. People have to be licensed to drive them- everyone who drives a car has to do this- no exceptions. Come on jdege- this is trite and irrelevant.

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  16. Agree with japete: the "more people are killed by cars..." argument is specious.

    These two agents of death, so to speak, are not comparable. The one was designed to kill and the other was designed for transportation and usually can only accidentally cause death.

    This design (of the gun) doesn't inherently bother me. When I'm aiming at a duck, I'm not trying to peacefully intimidate it into my bag.

    Despite the inadmissibility of this argument, it is relentlessly cited by the gun-obsessed. As japet said, "C'mon man!"

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  17. "There are two main drivers of opposition
    • States’ rights"

    What happened to states rights during the Assault Weapons Ban, Brady Bill, and other various federal gun laws?

    I find it hypocritical that gun control advocates throw states rights to the wind when it comes to their agenda.

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  18. And I find it hypocritical that the NRA throws state rights to the wind in this case. The Brady Bill is absolutely necessary for overall national public safety unless you think it's a good idea for felons, domestic abusers, minors and adjudicated mentally ill to be able to buy their guns from anyone with no background checks. I guess that is what you would be doing, right?

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  19. The Brady Bill has done almost nothing for public safety.

    http://www.guncite.com/JAMABradysurvey.pdf

    "Based on the assumption that the greatest reductions in fatal violence
    would be within states that were required to institute waiting periods and background
    checks, implementation of the Brady Act appears to have been associated with
    reductions in the firearm suicide rate for persons aged 55 years or older but not with
    reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates."

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  20. jdege- I think it's time for you to take a rest. You are getting crazier with each comment. The Brady Background Check bill applies to ALL licensed dealers in ALL 50 states. If any licensed dealer fails to do a background check and that crime gun is traced back to his or her store, they are in deep trouble with the ATF. What are you trying to say? Or never mind, don't respond because frankly, I am tired of your nonsensical statements.

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  21. "jdege- I think it's time for you to take a rest. You are getting crazier with each comment."

    "The Brady Background Check bill applies to ALL licensed dealers in ALL 50 states."

    Yes. But in 18 states, those dealers were already required to do a background check. In the others, they were not.

    In other words, the Brady Bill changed the law in 32 states, and did not in 18. If background checks served to reduce crime, you'd expect crime rates to drop in those states in which a background check was imposed, and to stay pretty much the same in those states in which a background check had always been required.

    No such difference was observed.

    IOW, the Brady Bill did not reduce crime.

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  22. Well then you and I have vastly different definitions, jdege- no surprise. The Brady Bill made federal background checks mandatory for FFLs. They set up the NICS system that identifies prohibited purchasers. If you don't think that preventing over 2 million people from buying guns from FFLs isn't a way to prevent crime, then so be it. Since you guys hate any restrictions whatsoever and hate background checks, you will not agree with me. That is your way to justify not extending the background checks to all sales of guns. Whatever. I'm not sure what you all are afraid of- maybe that you, yourself can't pass a background check? What is it anyway?

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  23. Let me try to explain this to you again. I don't like a background check for a specifically ennumerated right in the Bill of Rights. When a background check is imposed for one right, what's to stop the same for the other rights? You have dismissed my comparison of books to guns, but the wording of the first two amendments to our Constitution makes them the same. Explain to me how you can favor a background check for a gun, but not a book. I know that a gun is designed to kill, but the Constitution doesn't qualify the right by saying that for one purpose, rights are free, but for other purposes, rights must be approved.

    Regarding HR 822, I fail to see what is extreme about this bill. With my Arkansas concealed carry license, I can already come visit your state with a concealed handgun (yes, a loaded handgun, as if that isn't obvious) without any problems. Every state from Missouri to Minnesota already has a reciprocity agreement with Arkansas. If you want to carry your handgun to Arkansas and you have a license, we'll welcome you too. There are currently only eleven states that don't recognize my permit, and when Wisconsin's permit system goes into effect in a few days, that number will drop to ten. HR 822 only seeks to assure reciprocity among all the forty-nine states that have some permitting system.

    As for LaPierre's remarks, the only point of disagreement that I have with him is his quoting of polls. Rights are not subject to public opinion. Rights are not a matter of popular voting. What I don't understand is how you can feel comfortable trying to base the exercise of a right on what an opinion poll says.

    LaPierre is correct to observe that in places like New York and California, getting a concealed carry license is a matter of being a buddy of those in power. How is that fair? Why are you not objecting to a system in which the wealthy can get a license to carry a loaded handgun concealed? Given the disregard that many of the wealthy display toward the rest of us, I'd have thought that you'd be concerned about what they would do with that gun. But that's the standard in may issue states. My need to carry a gun is determined by the size of my donation to politicians.

    Those of us who support gun rights are concerned about individual rights in general. The trend since 9/11--increased government scrutiny and interference in private lives--worries us, as does the willingness of some to trade away more and more rights to gain what is called security.

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  24. I don't need you to explain anything to me again. Your ridiculous notion about comparing guns to books pretty much takes all credibility out of your statements.

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  25. Dear Japete: I dont know how I missed your reply but we are talking about this Luntz quoted below correct!

    "The key in survey research is ask questions that people care about the answers and to ask the question in the way where you get the right answer."

    "What you will find is to virtually the same question with just a single change of wording you will get very a different reaction to how they think and feel."

    I think Luntz is used as a tool to get what you want just pay them the $$ and tell them the answers you want then you can hide behind a poll.

    The fact that he seems to saddle his horse to both sides of the fence does not prove he is unbiased just greedy.

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  26. Dear Anthony,

    What polls do you believe contain the answers you want to hear?

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  27. That is the problem I do not think polls are very accurate at all. If by changing the wording or asking the same question a few different ways and using the one that best fits my employer i can change the results.
    It would seem that pollsters that have "no skin in the game" could be better but I still think it is a crap shoot. Polls can work however if the answer is straight forward "Who will you vote for this election" would be an example.

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  28. I don't know how you can be more straight forward than, "Do you support background checks on all sales of guns?" That one gets around 80% give or take every time it's asked.

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  29. Once again, you have been merely dismissive, rather than responding to my comment. You claim that you want a civil discussion here about gun violence, but when anyone disagrees with your position, you refuse to engage in said discourse.

    This is your website, so you have the right to do with it as you choose. That being said, I'd like to see you be honest about your actual purpose here. What you want is to make pronouncements and have your audience sing along in a chorus of agreement. So be it. Just don't expect those of us on the other side to be fooled.

    I have tried to be polite in my remarks to you. You, on the other hand, have done nothing but ridicule me, ignore the main ideas of what I've had to say, and been generally rude. Perhaps Heinlein was right--an armed society IS a polite society.

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  30. gregory- when your comments are relevant and based on some sort of facts we can "discuss" Far from what you are saying, however, I don't find that most of you are willing to engage in reasonable discussion with me. I guess it goes both ways. Now you are trying to claim that just because you have been polite, I should agree with your remarks. When you present ideas that are unreasonable, I will say so. Rude? Hardly. If you had been reading this blog from the beginning, you would find that statement to be, on it's face, totally ridiculous and unwarranted. I have been the subject of ridicule, offensive remarks, misogynistic remarks, sexually explicit remarks, veiled threats, insults, etc. Pardon me if I am not real sympathetic with you guys. Sometimes I am harassed and badgered. Sometimes I am called stupid. So take no offense. You are, unfortunately, lumped in with a group of guys ( mostly guys) who are doing this on the web sites and blogs of my colleagues and on articles written with a gun control slant. I just saw a few of these in the last hour so I am not much in the mood for your complaints. When we compare apples to apples, we can have a "discussion" On occasion, someone who comments has agreed with me. It is rare. I am not writing this blog to convince the gun rights extremists to change their minds. I am writing this blog to get support for my own views. Hundreds of people read my blog every day from all over the world. You guys have taken over the comment section so they choose not to comment. When the occasional commenter on my side wades in, they do so with trepidation, not wanting to incur the wrath of the gun rights extremists. So reasonable discussion does not often occur on this blog because reasonable people read the blog and agree and choose not to get engaged with you guys. I don't blame them.

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  31. GMC- your opinions are of no interest to me and often insulting. You can quit sending them because I will not print them.

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  32. "That one gets around 80% give or take every time it's asked."

    Yep. But what the question doesn't ask is what sort of background checks, and what exactly is included in "all" transfers.

    Does the background check involve providing the federal government with the serial number of the gun? Include that little detail and support drops to less than half.

    Does "all" include private, non-commercial transfers between friends and family? Will the law require that you involve a federally licensed dealer when you give grandpa's old 30-30 to your fifteen-year-old kid? Now your support is down around 30%.

    Remember, support for "background checks on all sales of guns" doesn't necessarily equate to support for the specific proposals you've been pushing.

    We could accomplish background checks on all guns with purchase permits. They'd be free, shall-issue, would involve a background check before being issued one, and be good for a year. We could then require, by law, that you could not transfer a firearm to another unless the recipient had a valid purchase permit.

    We could even put up a website so that people could check if permits had been revoked.

    It's simple, non-invasive, and doesn't require making a trip down to the dealer and paying him the $30 that is the normal charge for doing a transfer.

    And, of course, it doesn't make owning firearms more expensive, or more burdensome. It provides no paper trail by which the government could track what transfers had been made. It accomplishes none of the ulterior goals that are your real reasons for wanting universal background checks.

    That's why it might get 80% support, as an actual proposal. And why none of your actual proposals will garner anything close to half of that.

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  33. Good grief, jdege- you are a Bulldog. A simple background check exactly like the ones now used at all FFLs, which you apparently didn't believe was happening all over the country, is all this is- nothing else, period. There will be no posting on websites for all to see. It will the same darn thing that we are doing right now. It's very simple. You are making a veritable mountain out of a molehill. Give it a rest.

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  34. "A simple background check exactly like the ones now used at all FFLs, which you apparently didn't believe was happening all over the country, is all this is- nothing else, period.

    The background check being done now, at all FFLs, is anything but simple. It requires, for one thing, a face-to-face meeting with the FFL. It requires that the FFL transfer the firearm onto his books, and then off of his books, and takes a minimum of fifteen minutes of his time - which is why it's the very rare FFL who will do it for free, for firearms that he didn't sell.

    And it involves reporting not only the fact of the transfer, but the serial number of the transfered weapon, to the feds.

    Which is why a lot of people who are supportive of background checks in the abstract, are not supportive of the specific measures you are advocating.

    That's generally the case with everything you push. You ask for something that might be done reasonably, then you try to slip in some very unreasonable details.

    And then you wonder why your support evaporates, when it comes down to the final vote.

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  35. And you are so terribly inconvenienced by having to wait for a few minutes to buy your guns. I'm so sorry. Guns need to be traced in order for L.E. to solve crimes. I know you guys really don't care about that but there has to be some way to do that. I am not at all sympathetic with this point of view. People are inconvenienced every day- standing in line to get a trailer license, or registering their car if they sell it, or filling out paperwork to buy a home, or waiting in line to get the college course you want, or having to take a driver's test or, God forbid, having to now wait to get a photo ID to vote for goodness sake.

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  36. "Guns need to be traced in order for L.E. to solve crimes."

    Gun tracing almost never helps solve crimes.

    Canada has been wasting billions on its long gun registry, and they are in the processing of scrapping it, because it's never solved a single crime.

    New Zealand had, at one time, a long gun registry, and the scrapped it long ago, because it'd never solved a single crime.

    We have registries in a handful of states. In those states, the registries never solve crimes.

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  37. Once again, jdege is the expert on everything. Proof?

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