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.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Insidious flooding and gun politics

I would like to talk on this post about the devastation of the recent rains in my city of Duluth, Minnesota. We received 10 inches of rain in 24 hours on Tuesday. When you live in a city built on a hillside with many small creeks and rivers running through the city, there is a lot of water to go awry during heavy rains. Thus, these creeks, full to the brim with waters from recent rains, ran right over their banks and started creating their own new flows. One such creek can be seen at the left. This one is near my home. I have enjoyed walking on the paths and the small bridges of this creek for years. They are now destroyed. The new paths for the water of the creeks found the streets of Duluth and flowed right through neighborhoods washing out roads and bridges. Such was the case in my own neighborhood where a street was literally eroded down to almost nothing. Here are a few photos of the damage to that street:

Hundreds of photos have been posted to web sites, blogs and social media sites of this awful flooding in my area. You can see more here and here. Its' reaches were wide and left a swath of damage that will cost millions of dollars to repair. The photos on the right and below are from the Knife River along the North Shore of Lake Superior. It jumped its' banks and carried trees and logs with it across the road and embedding them in the railings of a bridge. Powerful stuff.

And this video, posted on YouTube shows the sheer force of one of the rivers running through the city taking rocks and other objects with it.

Flood water is insidious. It doesn't know where to stop and causes havoc in its' path. So, too, is the NRA and its' agenda. The dark version of America espoused by the NRA has led to the censure of the Attorney General of the United States. The forcing of this insidious investigation of a program begun by Republican President Bush has resulted in a committee vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. From this article:
Just what is being covered up is not so apparent, at least to objective observers. But less-than-objective right-wing conspiracy theorists have a ready answer: Operation Fast and Furious was part of an elaborate plot to undermine the 2nd Amendment and take away citizens’ guns.
Michael Vanderboegh, a blogger with militia ties and a long history of talking up armed resistance to the government, asserts that the ATF purposely let the guns go to the bad guys in Mexico so that, after the ensuing bloodbath, the feds could justify a crackdown on assault weapons and gun shows.
Now, to rational human beings, that may sound totally ludicrous, but not to the folks at Fox News. They have made Vanderboegh a prime source for their coverage of this dispute, being elastic enough in their measure of qualifications to identify him as an “online journalist.” It’s not just Fox News, though. Vanderboegh’s curious theory has been picked up and repeated by Republican members of Congress, including Iowa’s previously sane Sen. Charles E. Grassley who, in a TV interview, echoed the idea that Obama and Holder could be using the Phoenix fiasco to build a case against gun rights.
This fits in with the broader conspiracy theory of Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Assn. The NRA boss has insisted that the reason Obama has done nothing to harm the 2nd Amendment in his first term is so he can win another four years in office, at which point his administration will start confiscating guns with no fear of retribution from voters. According to LaPierre, Obama is not taking your guns now so he can take them later. 
And what do the paranoid delusions of firearms devotees have to do with Darrell Issa’s investigation? Well, Issa and other Republican members of his committee are also claiming the administration concocted this mess so they could mess with guns. “Very clearly,” Issa told Fox News, “they made a crisis and they’re using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people’s 2nd Amendment rights.”
Can a smart guy like Issa honestly believe this? And if not, what is he really up to?
It is quite obvious that the far right, represented by Congressman Darrell Issa ( who I wrote about in a recent post as a less than stellar citizen) and the NRA don't like him much. Holder has roundly criticized the much heralded and now enacted Voter ID laws in many states, the result of which is to disenfranchise voters. If you get in the way of this agenda, you will be swept away in the flood of accusations, lies, innuendo and hyperbole. Senseless and insidious.

Here is a video from The Rachel Maddow show about the recent vote to accuse Attorney General Eric Holder of Contempt of Congress over the ATF's Fast and Furious program.

So let's talk more about what has happened as a result of the far right's real concerns. They are not really concerned about this program, begun during the Bush administration. If they were, they would ask questions about the fact that Michael Mukasey, President Bush's Attorney General in 2007, actually knew about the gun walking program. But they don't care about this important piece of the investigation because they have an extreme agenda to take down President Obama and his Attorney General.

As always, Stephen Colbert lends humor to the nonsense put forth by the far right. Let's look at it here:

Colbert wonders why Representative Darrell Issa's oversight committee did not find that most Americans already hold Congress in contempt. He is right. When Republican Congress members are so beholden to the extreme NRA that they are willing to lie about the reasons for the Fast and Furious investigation, we have a country in trouble. It is widely admitted that the program, begun by the ATF under the Bush administration, was a terrible plan. Eric Holder stopped it when he found out about it. Now the NRA and the Republicans are asserting that the program was "created" under ( and even by Eric Holder) to gain traction for gun control laws in the U.S. Never mind that thousands of lives have been lost in Mexico because of our loose gun laws that do actually provide many of the guns used by the Mexican drug cartel. That does not get mentioned by the NRA or Darrell Issa. The ATF recognized the problem of these U.S. guns used in Mexican crime activity. That is why they concocted this bad plan to trace guns coming from our own country. The plan did not work and has been stopped. But we still have the same problem with which we are not dealing, thanks to the NRA. If you call stopping the sale of assault rifles, .50 caliber sniper rifles and other high powered guns to the Mexican drug cartel a bad idea, raise your hand. That is the real problem here. That is a vote that should be scored by the American public. The program was NOT started by the Obama administration to carry out a gun control measure in the U.S. But if we don't think we should do something to stop senseless loss of life for which our country is in part responsible, who are we as a country? The Obama administration knows it cannot do anything about gun control in this country because of the fierce opposition to even reasonable measures by the NRA and its' bought and paid for politicians. The NRA's own Wayne LaPierre rants about President Obama and trumps up fear and paranoia:
“But it’s a big fat stinking lie!” the NRA leader exclaimed. “It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the Second Amendment in our country.” 
“Obama himself is no fool. So when he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep and play us for fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools and we are not fooled,” La Pierre declared.
The only conspiracy here is that created by the NRA to bring down the nation's first Black President. We are not fools either. The further the extremists reach, the more sunlight is shed on the real agenda here. The more their agenda jumps the banks of sanity, the more damage is done. It is insidious and has flooded the country with hate and vitriol about which I wrote in a previous post. That is the real problem here. 

Even some Republicans see this as a stupid and dangerous fool's errand

Michael Steele thinks Rep. Darrell Issa's attacks on Attorney General Eric Holder are bad politics which have taken the GOP "off track."

"The optics are not good for the GOP, in my estimation," the MSNBC analyst and former Republican Party chair said on NOW with Alex Wagner Wednesday. "They play, actually, quite well into Obama's rant against the House and against the do-nothing Congress."
Steele spoke in the midst of a House Oversight Committee hearing over whether to charge Holder with contempt of Congress. Issa, a California Republican who chairs the committee, has waged an aggressive campaign against the Attorney General over what some Republicans see as Holder's effort to stonewall a congressional investigation of the Justice Department's now-defunct Fast and Furious program.
Steele argued that the contempt hearing was a distraction from the real issues that the Republican Party should be focused on.
"To have this sort of devolve into the political realm and become this sort of hyper-extended conversation that leads to—what?" Steele said. "It just seems to me off track."
Off track indeed. The NRA is in large part responsible for pushing this issue. They want to bring down a President they don't like by going after his Attorney General. This is insidious and ludicrous. And now, of course, the NRA will score the voteThe NRA's intention is to intimidate Congress members by scoring their votes. Congress members will be the better for this if they don't care what the NRA says and vote their conscience. Many of them understand that this vote on holding Eric Holder in contempt of Congress is a bad idea. It is pandering to the extreme base that is now rising up and flooding the country with an extreme agenda. It is not an agenda that cares about honesty, integrity, public safety or victims. It is a selfish agenda. It is dangerous and stupid. Common sense should tell us that there are more things to be concerned about in our country than going on a Witch Hunt.  

It's hard to know where the deluge will end. In Duluth, it will end after months and years of repairs and rebuilding. Things will begin to look better with a lot of hard work. I wish I felt the same about the extreme agenda now on such graphic display by the far right and exemplified by the NRA's dark version of America where the end justifies the means. At the end of the day, we must do the right thing to protect our citizens from harm both from floods and natural disasters and help fix things after the events. We also have to protect Americans and even Mexican citizens from harm from every day senseless shootings. This is no conspiracy to take away guns or gun rights from anyone. This is about common sense and public safety. If we can't even have a civil conversation about matters of such importance, we have serious problems as a country. We are not addressing issues of grave importance in this country because of a vitriolic agenda by the NRA and the far right that has opened the floodgates of cynicism and hatred. How will we fix this mess?  Just like in the photo below, rainbows come out after the floods and the rains. They can appear when you least expect them. A natural disaster puts a lot of things in perspective. What we value is all around us and when it is taken away or threatened, it is valued even more. Where are the values of a political party that puts its' own agenda ahead of what's best for the country? The question needs to be asked and answered.


  1. Well I am glad no one was killed in duluth unfortunately the same cant be said for the guns that were sent across the border. The other thing I find interesting is it seems you think an accusation (arrest) should be treated like a conviction and now we have the head of the DOJ accused why should we treat that any different than a conviction?

    1. What??? don't get what you mean by your DOJ statement. As to people being killed, we all know that Agent Terry was killed. That is very sad and very bad. We also all know that tens of thousands of people are killed in Mexico due to the guns coming from our country? Are you saying you don't care about those people? How about the 80 a day who die in America from bullets? Don't you care about those folks or do you selectively only care when the NRA makes you care about a border patrol agent. It happens that I care about all of them and that is why I am doing what I'm doing. What can you say about what you are doing to stop people from being killed? The Fast and Furious program was stopped last year. People are still being killed by guns from the U.S. and only some of those are guns that walked from FAst and Furious. How about the guns that made it into Mexico under President Bush? Surely they were used to kill innocent people. Do you care about those??

  2. The "Fast and Furious" program was a horrible idea, and those who supported and promoted it, in either administration, need to be held accountable.

    However, this attempt to blow the program out of all proportion is clearly politically-motivated. If any of the legislators, the NRA, or the NRA sock puppets were actually wanting to reduce violence or save lives, they would do more to prevent illegal gun trafficking. Yet these same voices, outraged over the death of one individual and the loss of these guns to drug cartels, are the same voices who decry any attempt to prevent guns from going across the border, keep track of mass gun sales, require background checks for all sales (including private sales), reporting lost or stolen guns (a common excuse used by straw purchasers), or stopping the "iron pipeline" of illegal guns from the South to more regulated states.

    And let's not forget: only one person is known to have died from guns used in "Fast and Furious" (Brian Terry, who died in the line of duty as a border patrol agent). Tens of thousands of Americans die from illegal guns here in the U.S. Where is Issa's outrage over that?

    1. Only one person? Are yo saying that the 150+ Mexican's that died from the guns are not people? And that's just the ones we've traced so far.

      The "time to crime" on guns can be years, so losing several thousands of guns will be a "gift that keeps on giving" for many years to come.

      For Joan. THis program did NOT start in the Bush administration. That operation called "Wide Receiver" was vastly different.

      1) It was WITH the Mexican Governments knowledge and assistance. Not done behind their backs in what would be an act of war anywhere else.

      2) ALL of the guns had trackers in them and were tracked. No guns were "walked" like F&F. (Just letting guns go with no tracking was invented by F&F) They were a "controlled delivery" where the people receiving them were ARRESTED when they accepted the guns. About 1400 people were arrested in total. That would be 1400 more than were arrested by F&F.

      3) 30-40 guns were lost not ALL of them like F&F. The program was stopped when we realized that the bad guys had found the tracking devices.

      OF the 30-40 guns NONE have turned up at a crime scene yet. Unlike the 150 or so from F&F..

      BIG differences.

    2. And yet, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/earlier-atf-gun-operation-wide-receiver-used-same-tactics-as-fast-and-furious/2011/10/06/gIQAuRHIRL_story.html

      " But Wide Receiver, conducted in the Bush administration, has not received a lot of attention. According to Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, some of the e-mails used in the attempt to discredit Holder were referring to the Tucson case, Wide Receiver.

      More specifically, Schmaler said that when the e-mails mention “guns walking,” they are referring to the 2006-07 Tucson case, Operation Wide Receiver. Schmaler said neither of the officials knew about guns walking in the Fast and Furious case."

      Here is another article that sheds more light on operation Wide Receiver about which we have not heard anything in the committee's investigation- http://news.yahoo.com/ap-exclusive-second-bush-era-gun-smuggling-probe-202043091.html From the article"
      " "Would like your opinion on a verbal approval from the US Attorney in Phoenix re the firearms walking," Hoover emailed ATF's senior legal counsel for field operations on Oct. 5, 2007. "This is a major investigation with huge political implications and great potential if all goes well. We must also be very prepared if it doesn't go well."
      The lawyer, Anne Marie Paskalis, wrote back: "Sure. We will work this out. Perhaps a conference call ... to discuss what if any assurances they have received from USAO that this investigation is operating within the law and doj (Department of Justice) guidelines."
      On Oct. 5, Hoover wrote Carson Carroll, then ATF's assistant director for enforcement programs and services at agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., saying "I do not want any firearms to go South until further notice. I expect a full briefing paper on my desk Tuesday morning from SAC Newell with every question answered. I will not allow this case to go forward until we have written documentation from the US Attorney's office re full and complete buy in. I do not want anyone briefed on this case until I approve the information. This includes anyone in Mexico."
      On Oct. 6, Newell, the Phoenix SAC, wrote Carroll: "I think we both understand the extremely positive potential for a case such as this but at this point I'm so frustrated with this whole mess I'm shutting the case down and any further attempts to do something similar. We're done trying to pursue new and innovative initiatives — it's not worth the hassle."
      Newell, as the special agent in charge of the Phoenix division, was at the center of Operation Fast and Furious. He has acknowledged that mistakes were made in the agency's handling of the operation, and has been reassigned to a Washington headquarters job."

      There are differences. What's the point? There was a similar program that Issa's committee chose not to even mention in their zeal to go after Eric Holder. They should have used all information available to them and made it all public. They picked and chose which information they wanted to use.

  3. To my readers- some of you apparently just can't read the post without wanting me to re-explain my views. What I write in my post is my view on the issue. It does not require re-explaining it to make you understand more. So please don't send comments insisting that I re-clarify what I wrote.

  4. " they would ask questions about the fact that Michael Mukasey, President Bush's Attorney General in 2007, actually knew about the gun walking program."

    Holder retracted the statement that Mukasey was briefed on Wide Receiver. Furthermore, operation Wide Receiver included the MX government. The reason it was shut down is because the MX government couldn't track the weapons.


    "This is no conspiracy to take away guns or gun rights from anyone."

    While it may not have been a conspiracy to take guns away, it was conspired to use this operation for a quasi long gun registry and demand letter 3.


    While every gun control enthusiast is claiming this is either racially or politically motivated, the fact remains that Federal Agents were instructed to break the law. The only Agents that have been disciplined are the Agents that testified to Congress. This means that operation was approved by a Special Agent in Charge. No SACs have been fired, which means that the operation was approved by someone above management. No one knows who the top boss is that authorized the operation because the DOJ refused to hand over the documents that would incriminate the unknown top boss.

    You gun control folks are all about holding people responsible for gun crimes, but for some unknown reason, you share a different philosophy when it comes to these gun crimes, what gives?

    1. Excuse me Mr. Baldwin. You are wrong. This has nothing to do with any agenda regarding gun control in general. Did I say I was not concerned about anyone being responsible for gun crimes?? NO and NO. You didn't read that in my blog. As you know if you really read my post, the concern is that this is not really about an investigation, which is a good thing to do. But why weren't you and Darrell Issa and the NRA concerned about the almost same operation when it involved President Bush? That is when it started. Eric Holder ended it. This is witch hunt, pure and simply. That is the problem. It did not need to result in a contempt of Congress vote. Eric Holder was willing to work with the committee but Issa had an agenda- to take down Eric Holder and the administration. I made that quite clear in my post. So don't go putting words in my mouth. You had it wrong. Were agents disciplined under Bush? The AG under Bush also knew about this. Was he held in contempt? It was not conspired in any way shape or form to have a "quasi long gun registry" That is patently false and you are wrong about that. That is what you guys believe but you have no facts to prove any of that.

    2. You Said "But why weren't you and Darrell Issa and the NRA concerned about the almost same operation when it involved President Bush? That is when it started. Eric Holder ended it."

      We didn't know about Wide Receiver until Holder brought it up in an attempt to play the "It was Bush's fault" card. I find it amazing that you say Holder ended Wide Receiver in 2007 before he became Attorney General.

      You said "Eric Holder was willing to work with the committee but Issa had an agenda- "

      Do you think that back during the Watergate hearings if Nixon had said to Frank Church "I won't give you the tapes but I will tell you what they say if you agree to drop the entire investigation." That he would have accepted? No, because he like Issa had an agenda. The agenda in both instances was to find the truth.

    3. Robin- cool it would you? You are more than annoying. Find something else to do than trolling my blog. What I meant, of course, was that Eric Holder ended Fast and Furious. No, you are wrong. The truth is not really part of what Issa is all about. He is on a witch hunt. If we had known about Wide Receiver do you think the NRA and the Republicans would have cared? Bush's AG knew about it. Why don't we go after him now? The whole thing started on Bush. I have already stated what I think about this. No need to harass me. Have a nice night.

    4. Yes, if Wide Receiver had been run like Fast and Furious and two federal agents had been killed I would have been concerned and wanted answers. How about you? If you had known about Wide Receiver and it had been run like Fast and Furious would you have said the Democrats were on a witch hunt?

    5. japete said... "But why weren't you and Darrell Issa and the NRA concerned about the almost same operation when it involved President Bush?"

      At least you said almost same. Two very distinct differences in Wide Receiver is that the firearms had tracking devices (which failed) and the MX government was involved. Not only was the MX government notified of the operation, they were a party to the operation. The operation was shut down when the MX authorities failed to follow the firearms. With F&F, there was no method of following the firearms once they crossed the MX border and agents were told to stand down instead of making an arrest of the straw buyers.

      "This is witch hunt, pure and simply."

      It started as an investigation to find out who authorized Newell to revive the gun walking scheme and then expanded when it was realized that Holder was giving false information to the committee.

      "The AG under Bush also knew about this."

      Just because you keep saying that doesn't make it true. Holder has already withdrawn that statement as well and even if Mukasey was aware of Wide Receiver, again, it was an operation that included the MX governement.

      "It was not conspired in any way shape or form to have a "quasi long gun registry" That is patently false and you are wrong about that. That is what you guys believe but you have no facts to prove any of that."

      I'll quote the email for you:
      July 14, 2010
      From: Mark Chait [ATF Field Operations Assistant Director]
      To: Bill Newell [SAC Phoenix]
      "Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks."

      Per ATF policy, all reported multiple long gun sales are databased. The database is searchable by firearm, buyer, dealer, etc., this is a registry and seemingly in violation of federal law.

      Also, don't confuse me with a Bush supporter. Personally, I think what Bush did was a slap in the face of the American people.

    6. Dear Robin,
      Unless I missed something, it was ONE agent killed at the spot where the assault rifles were found. No one knows for sure if bullets from either of the guns found at the scene that were traced back to the Fast and Furious program were responsible for Agent Terry's death. That does not take away from the fact that an agent died presumably from bullets from guns used in the program. We all want answers and answers are deserved. We have no idea what Democrats would have done had they known about Wide Receiver back then. All we know now is that Darrell Issa wants more than an investigation of the program. He wants Eric Holder. An investigation has proceeded. Eric Holder has participated, provided 7500 pages of documents, testified 9 times and admitted that the program was wrong. He ended the program. Where is the investigation into why the NRA has kept the U.S. from doing something about all of those other guns that get into Mexico and kill innocent people? That is the investigation we should be having. We are complicit in the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Mexico and we are turning our backs to the real problem.

    7. Bill, I provided an article about Mukasey knowing about Wide Receiver. That didn't come from a quote from Eric Holder. Reporting of long gun sales to the ATF is not a gun registry as you guys like to say. There is already in place a requirement to report the sale of multiple hand guns to the ATF. What's different about this again? Is that a gun registry as well? And further, registering of guns is not a bad idea. It's purpose is not to confiscate guns, as you all like to think and have made it out to be. It is to stop criminals from getting and using guns in crimes. http://blog.princelaw.com/2011/05/06/when-as-an-ffl-do-you-have-to-complete-a-multiple-handgun-report/

    8. "Bill, I provided an article about Mukasey knowing about Wide Receiver."

      Indeed you did, and apparently HuffPo is where Holder get's his information, but the memo wasn't about Operation Wide Receiver, it was about a different operation, and that's why DOJ retracted the statement that Holder made to the committee about Mukasey and Wide Receiver.


      And again, the MX government was involved in the joint operation. In F&F, there was no method of tracking the weapons and no cooperation with the MX government and that's why F&F and other similar operations are under investigation.

      "Reporting of long gun sales to the ATF is not a gun registry as you guys like to say."

      ATF maintains a searchable database of firearms purchasers, that is a registry, until the original buyer disposes of the firearm, then it becomes an unreliable registry.

      "And further, registering of guns is not a bad idea."

      It's a very bad idea and that's why Canada dumped theirs. The Canadian government realized that the gun crimes weren't committed with guns in the registry, but by criminals that didn't register their firearms. The majority of the registry inquiries by police were simply to check to see if a firearm was registered.

      Chicago requires that every firearms purchaser be licensed, twice, and required registration of firearms, and requires background checks on ALL sales, and prohibits the murdering of people. None of these laws are obeyed by the criminals.

    9. Bill- as always, there are two sides to the story. The gun registry in Canada was voted down by the new conservative party majority. Gun owners, like the NRA here, don't like it. It really isn't because it cost too much money. It's about who has power and who has influence- just as in the U.S. http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/15/conservatives-and-enthusiasts-cheer-the-end-of-the-long-gun-registry/

      But it doesn't matter what Canada did. We live in the U.S. where we have a much much bigger problem than Canada with gun deaths. There is no talk of a registry here, though it would be a good idea, I think. What happened with the Justice Dept. and the guns flowing into Mexico from the U.S. has nothing to do with Canada or gun registries. The DOJ and Obama administration put into place an order for only the gun stores along the Mexican border to report the sales of multiple long guns just as they already have to do for handguns. In Canada, it should be noted since you brought it up, registration is still in place for handguns and other prohibited guns. Licensing is also still in place- something you guys revile. It is not registration that is causing any problems here.It is the opposite- it is our loose gun laws that cause so many people who shouldn't have guns to get them anyway. Here is an article about guns and gun crime in Chicago- http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/09/emanuel-calls-for-statewide-gun-registry/
      " Chicago Public Radio reported the measure would require handgun owners to pay $65 for a registration to the state. While gun owners currently must be approved for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, the actual guns are not registered by the state, Chicago Public Radio reported.

      Mayor Emanuel compared his proposed legislation to requiring a title for a vehicle.

      “You already buy a title for a car. There are other things – you buy a title for a boat,” Emanuel said. “I’m not asking you to do anything you don’t do already.”

      Police Supt. Garry McCarthy calls the proposed legislation common sense.

      “This law is not a gun grab. It does not infringe upon anyone’s Second Amendment rights,” he said."

  5. japete says...It is not registration that is causing any problems here.It is the opposite- it is our loose gun laws that cause so many people who shouldn't have guns to get them anyway."

    It doesn't matter what law is passed, criminals that want guns will get guns, even if they have to make them. Nearly 1/4 of firearms that are used in non-negligent homicides and murder can't be categorized as a rifle, shotgun or handgun. Some of those are because of bad reporting, some of those are because they are homemade. If you don't believe me, feel free to ask the FBI, they'll tell you the same thing.

    Registration of firearms would chill the exercise of an enumerated right. I have a vast collection of firearms, my employer provides me with two, my duty weapon and a patrol rifle, I provide my own backup. In addition to firearms that I carry for work, I have several plinking rifles, sporting rifles, hunting rifles and a couple of shotguns. If there was a registration requirement, I'd have to spend more than a paycheck to register them. There is no such requirement for me to voice my opinion, for me to publish an article, for me to be safe from unreasonable searches or seizures, or for me to cast a vote. Why should the 2A be treated as the b^stard right? Because less than 9,000 people get murdered with a firearm?

    "While gun owners currently must be approved for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, the actual guns are not registered by the state, Chicago Public Radio reported."

    While that may be true for the rest of Illinois, firearms are registered in the city of Chicago.
    CHAPTER 8-20
    RULE IV Firearm Registration Certificates
    4.1 An applicant shall submit a complete firearm registration application....
    4.2 The firearm registration application may be either submitted in person at Police
    Headquarters, or may be mailed to:...
    4.4 An annual registration report shall be submitted either in person at Police Headquarters or mailed to the address listed in Rule 4.2.


    Quoted Text..."“This law is not a gun grab. It does not infringe upon anyone’s Second Amendment rights,” he said."

    Except for the homeless/jobless that can't afford to pay for registration. To some of us, $65 will pay for appetizers at a good restaurant, to others, it's the food budget for a week, or a month. I come across people often that, because of circumstances beyond their control, can't afford to take a day off of work to respond for jury duty. Even the Justice Department agrees that requiring people to pay $20 every 4 years to exercise a right protected by the Constitution would chill the exercise of that right. That's why the Justice Department sues states that require an ID to vote. Imagine if that Oklahoma mom couldn't afford to register her shotgun that she used to shoot a home invader.

    On a side note, I do want to thank you for publishing my comments, that's a great deal more than what some other blogs have become.

    1. You have a lot on your mind, Bill. I don't happen to agree with much of it. I would love to see links to articles about some of the things you claim. You guys always love to say criminals will get their guns anyway. It's a distraction. We are doing virtually nothing to stop them. There are ways to prevent them from getting guns but we are not trying. Other countries do so and what do you know? Their gun deaths don't even come close to the carnage in our country.

      The number of gun homicides is higher than you claim- http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm

      " Firearm homicides
      Number of deaths: 11,493
      Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.7"

    2. Your information from CDC is from 2009, mine is from the FBI for 2010. However, my guestimate was off.

      14,748 (Mur/NNH)*.675 (Frequency guns used)= 9954 Non Negligent Homicides/murder. This number will always be different from CDC. CDC lists all homicides (Negligent, Non Negligent and Justified)under homicide, except for police intervention.


      "We are doing virtually nothing to stop them."

      Since there's been a 40% decrease in the number of murders committed with firearms and 51% decrease in the rate, I'd say something's being done.

      "I would love to see links to articles about some of the things you claim. "

      Sometimes there just aren't news articles and you have to do independent research. If you look at table 20 of the FBI Uniform Crime Report
      You'll see the number of Murders listed for each state. To the right of those total Murders, you'll see what type of weapon was used. Column 'G' lists "Firearms/Unknown Type". Overall, this is 23.19% of all firearm related Murders. Since the only allowable responses when filling out the UCR for firearms is rifle, shotgun or handgun, everything else is listed as unknown, this includes homemade firearms.

      Participating Police Departments around the country fill out an actual report that gets sent to the FBI. Once the FBI receives the report and supplemental data, a staff member enters that information into the database. Under the heading for weapons, the only allowable firearm responses are handgun, rifle, or shotgun. Sometimes the police officer filling out the report doesn't include enough information for the staffer to determine if the firearm used was either of the three responses, sometimes the officer filling out the report will list "other" because the firearm doesn't fall within the allowable responses. An example would be a piece of pipe with a shotgun shell inserted used to shoot a victim. Clearly this is not a shotgun, so it would be listed as "other".

    3. Dead is dead no matter what kind of firearm was used. What's your point? That criminals make their own guns? Where do they get the parts for these guns? Where is your evidence that there has been a 40% decrease in gun murders. That doesn't fit with anything I have seen. There has been a drop in the numbers since the 90s when firearm homicides were at a very high number and high rate. Since then the number has remained pretty consistent. About 30,000 people a year lose their lives to bullets and that has been the same for many years. The majority die from gun suicides, another topic all together having to do with easy access to guns. Where did you find that percentage?

      This post is not about criminals making their own guns, by the way, and I am not about to take a dog walk down that path here. That is just another excuse for the NRA and you guys to not do anything about actually preventing criminals, adjudicated mentally ill people, domestic abusers, youth and terrorists from getting guns in the first place. If you don't care about doing something to prevent easy access to guns by people who shouldn't have them, that is your view and it's not a good one. I am all about prevention. We apparently disagree on whether it's a good idea to stop some of the senseless shootings in America. I value human life. I hope you do, too.

    4. I got my percentage directly from the FBI UCR. The difference is from 1991 to 2010. The reports are not written like an article, you have to do the math with the data supplied by the reports.

      The 'gun parts' can come from nearly any hardware store. A couple of pieces of pipe, a screw and a half hour in a shop is all you need to make a firearm. It's not a difficult process.

  6. +1 what Bill said.

    Also, most any mechanically inclined person could build this with a $20 trip to Home Depot and a few hours in their garage:


    1. Thanks for sharing Sean. I hope you don't know these guys. They look like "fine" examples of law abiding citizens. Why do these guys on "gun guy" videos most always look like they just crawled out from under a rock?