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, August 31, 2012

Should we stop shootings or not?

I have been engaging in a back and forth on this blog with commenters who don't seem to care whether innocent people are shot to death in gun homicides or suicides. What is this all about? It is bothering me and it should bother everyone. The NRA's world view seems to include a certain number of deaths if it means preserving the right to keep and bear any kind of gun and any kind of ammunition. One commenter tried to say that violence has been with us forever so why try to stop it? I'm sure to him that means only people with guns can stop the violence that is caused by criminals and violent people. This, of course, negates the fact that people like him- law abiding gun owners, that is,  are part of the problem of violence. That is because most gun homicides are among people who know each other in some way. Most gun homicides are not random in spite of the recent spate of mass shootings.

Many of the gun deaths in America are suicides. Should we do something about that? As long as suicidal people have easy access to guns, that will continue. We have the highest rate of gun suicide and homicide of any civilized country. The guns matter. Sure people commit suicide and homicide by other methods and other countries show that people commit suicide in many other ways. But we are living in the U.S which has a particular problem- too many victims of bullets. Should we just let this happen without doing a thing? Should we allow the excuse that as long as people will find other methods of suicide if it isn't the guns, then why do anything about the guns? This kind of circular and specious reasoning, if you can call it that, is unacceptable. Herein likes big differences between the two ( or maybe three or four) sides of the gun issue.

This difference in world view is pretty much reflected in this column by New York Times columnist Gail Collins:
We are never going to have a sane national policy on guns until the gun advocates give up on the fantasy that the best protection against armed psychopaths bent on random violence is regular people with loaded pistols on their belts.
Is there anything the other side can concede in return? Well, gun control advocates have to be careful not to say anything that demeans hunting. Virtually every politician in America has already gotten that message. (See: Senator Chuck Schumer holding dead pheasants.) But it’s true that some city-dwellers can be snotty on this point.
“You don’t mess with hunting and fishing because that’s part of who we are,” says Kathy Cramer Walsh, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who specializes in civic engagement. “A lot of times, talk about regulating guns and ammunition is seen as the outside trying to change who we are.”
People like me are perceived as changing a life style of those who love their guns and love to use them for hunting and recreation. But that is a myth created by the NRA and the extremists. It is not true. My exchanges with gun advocates on this blog bring me up short. People have been led to believe some very ridiculous and inaccurate things. If regulating guns and ammunition to stop senseless shootings means changing the gun culture, then the changes won't be accepted, apparently. But if these common sense regulations are seen as making us more safe from shootings, as most in the public and even the gun owners believe, then life as we know it won't change much for the average guy with a gun.

So should we try to stop shootings that occur on a daily basis? Or should we let them go as collateral damage? And would trying to stop shootings affect the daily lives of law abiding gun owners? I have yet to hear how but that is still the common view of the gun rights advocates. Should we or could we stop this shooting? Or this one? Or this one? Should we try or not? What should be done about this permit holder? One would think gun ranges are safe places but this is not the first time I have posted about or read articles about law abiding gun owners shooting themselves at gun ranges. These are the people who are supposed to be safe with their guns. What can be done? Perhaps fewer people should have permits to carry. We have enough evidence that there are more than a number of them who are using their guns carelessly in public places. That is not what is supposed to be happening. But happen it does. Just check out the Ohh Shoot and Kid Shootings blogs. On these blogs you will seen the many occurrences of accidental shootings by and of children and legal gun owners. These are not made up. These are facts. Raise your hand after reading these blog posts if you think this is acceptable in America. What's wrong with encouraging safe storage of guns? What's wrong with tightening up laws about who can carry guns in public? What's wrong with keeping guns away from dangerously mentally ill people or felons or children or domestic abusers? What's wrong with requiring background checks on all gun sales if it saves lives? What's wrong with wanting to reduce the number of people killed at one time in a mass shooting by limiting the size of ammunition magazines? The mere fact that the question even has to be worded that way reflects how ridiculous the debate about the gun issue has become.

The thing is, we used to be more reasonable in America. Ronald Reagan was in favor of common sense gun laws. President Nixon was in favor of reasonable gun laws. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was once in favor of gun control. Now he sought and received the endorsement of none other than vile and extreme Ted Nugent ( Board member of the NRA). What is he thinking? What happened? Just listen to the ludicrous nonsense spouted by Nugent and the show's host on the video below:



Raise your hand if you think Nugent represents the majority of thought in America. It is extreme and ugly stuff. But the gun nuts parrot this crap on my blog and other blogs. They have their talking points and their talking points are extreme and crazy. The extremists on the far right have managed to win the debate and have turned the issue of public safety over to the well funded NRA whose leadership is a reflection of the far right wing of the Republican party. And now we have politicians who are too afraid to even mention the word gun because they are bought and paid for big money and special interests. Those politicians need to listen to Nugent and others to find out what kind of crazy people are deciding what our gun laws in America should be. If you don't believe this, just read this article about a Texas judge calling for insurrection if President Obama is re-elected:
“He is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.,” Mr. Head said on Fox 34 last week. “O.K., what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst-case scenario: civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”
Whoa there. This is dangerous and extremist talk coming from a judge, no less. What is going on here? And speaking of judges, check out this law abiding judge and his total lack of judgement with his guns and his gun permit. The man should not be allowed to have guns or a permit. He is dangerous. But this is our loose system of conceal and carry permitting in our country. These are the legal folks and the laws defended by the gun rights extremists.  Crazy stuff. And people are dying every day. It is unacceptable. We are better than this.

This is the divide between me and others who view the world similarly to me and the gun rights extremists. They chalk these incidents up as just another idiot who should know better. But when you have these articles showing up on a pretty regular basis, their arguments just don't hold water. Unfortunately they get "chalked up" as numbers of victims who, in real life, are either dead or have suffered serious injuries. I have also written about permit holders, some of them prominent gun rights advocates, using their guns in murders or murder/suicides. Why do these continue happening? Why do people think guns are the answer? When a gun is available, it just may get used. And in fact, a gun is more likely to injure or kill someone in your home than to be used in self defense. Just read the articles of actual shootings. 32 Americans a day are murdered by gun. That is unacceptable. 80 Americans a day die from bullet wounds, including suicide, homicide and accidental shootings. That is unacceptable. Collateral damage is unacceptable. We are better than this.

What to do?The NRA and its' minions continue to push for more people carrying more guns in more public places. They insist that they, themselves, would never do anything like the idiots in the stories. They also deflect the real issue- that of too many guns in too many places and too many dangerous people getting their hands on too many guns- by suggesting we should work on mental illness and veterans issues instead of talking about the guns. The problem with this argument is that it denies reality. This moving story about the sad life of Jeffrey Johnson, the New York City shooter, again, reveals the problems with our American gun culture. Johnson knew a gun would do what nothing else could. He lost his job. He was living a life of a recluse in New York City with likely very few financial resources. He lost touch with his family and his associates. He was trained in shooting skills while serving in the Coast Guard. A gun, purchased years ago in Florida, was his answer to what was wrong in his world. Guns are effective. He knew that. And now one a man is dead because of Johnson's paranoia, fear and mental illness.

As I write this, there are 3 more dead in this shooting in New Jersey. More details will come. So far, we know it took place at a grocery store that was closed. It's another example of the daily carnage. Should we just let it happen? As I write this, one person is dead after a shooting a hotel in Woodbury, Minnesota. As I write this, an 8 year old Minnesota boy is wounded from a bullet that ricocheted when it deflected from the ground after a sibling shot the gun. First of all, what was a young kid doing with a gun in the first place? But I digress. ( Remember now that some of the commenters on this blog thought they could have done better than the NYC police in the recent shooting. Bullets ricocheted and hit 9 innocent bystanders. The gun guys would not have let that happen! But happen it does. Here is proof) It's an American way of life. It shouldn't be. It's nothing about which to be proud and shouldn't be. The fact that we let it happen is irresponsible and just plain wrong. So if the gun rights advocates really think that stopping daily shootings will change their lives than so be it. They will go on feeling this way no matter the facts. They will go on lying and hyping up fear and paranoia but at what cost? That is why we need to demand a plan from our politicians and raise our voices for what's right.

I believe we are better than this. I believe that gun laws can make a difference. If they didn't why do other countries have far far fewer gun deaths than the U.S.? It's the gun laws, stupid. There are facts here. The facts tell us that we have a problem. The facts tell us that we could do something to make things better. Common sense tells us that we must do better than this. There is a divide. Some do not agree with me, obviously. So be it. We will disagree. But we will disagree based on facts. And then we can talk about what is the right thing to do.

UPDATE:

Speaking of the Ohh Shoot blog, I must add this stupid and dangerous incident to the list of law abiding gun owners and their guns:
21-year-old Michael Wdowiak is a Florida National Guardsman out of Ocala, Florida. He is in Tampa with his unit to assist with the Republican National Convention. Thursday night he was in a hotel room in St. Petersburg with three other people. Another Florida Guardsman, 26-year-old Jeffrey Spurr, was checking out the grip on Wdowiak's .357 revolver when he unintentionally discharged the gun.
Wdowiak was struck in the upper chest and hand and taken to the local hospital for surgery on the wounds. 
According to police alcohol does not appear to be a factor and currently no charges are being filed.
"The unit is here to assist at the RNC," said a spokesperson for the sheriff. She did not specify what their role at the RNC entailed. 
The incident comes just a day after a Secret Service agent assigned to Mitt Romney left her loaded handgun in the bathroom of the campaign plane. The gun was found by a CBS News producer.

We just have to be better than this!

UPDATE #2

I am not the only one thinking along the lines of doing something to stop the shootings. After the New Jersey mass shooting, it is another one to add to the list and making it one a week still. Here is what Sanjay Sanghoee has to offer by way of common sense:

The Founding Fathers were champions of freedom but were not weak on law enforcement. Faced with a debilitating threat to society, they would have enacted laws to ensure that citizens treated guns with respect and did not use them in a cavalier fashion. That would have included harsh penalties for unnecessary gun use in any situation, and even harsher penalties for casualties or injuries caused to others by guns. By invoking zero tolerance on gun violence, the Founding Fathers would have provided America with a safe and stable social order.
In our country today, we have a serious problem with gun violence, as well as with the proliferation of guns and ammunition. That is not in doubt or a subject for debate. The only thing that is debatable is the best way to address that problem. The right to bear arms should be preserved, but in the context of stricter gun laws that enable law enforcement to control and track weapons, and to provide adequate disincentive for the abuse of firearms. This alone may not solve all of our problems, but it will definitely make an appreciable difference, and that is enough. If even one senseless gun murder is prevented by these laws, it will have been more than worth it.
I bet the Founding Fathers would have agreed, and in fact taken the lead in this process.
You can check out the rest of his great suggestions in the article. Thank you Sanjay for another great article.




84 comments:

  1. I agree with everything you've said.

    WE need to stop mass killings, we need to stop suicides, we need to stop the senseless shootings.

    How do we do it? You're article lacks any suggestions on procedure.

    How do we proceed?

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if you read the blog. I mentioned more than a few ways.

      Delete
    2. japete writes: "I wonder if you read the blog. I mentioned more than a few ways."

      I read your blog. You've never clearly articulated your position a number of areas.

      What's an assault weapon?

      What's a high capacity magazine?

      These are things you've never defined - among others.

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    3. Now I have read just about everything but you, Bryan, never cease to amaze me. I don't need to define those terms. They are clearly defined by most everyone. But you guys just want to nit pick because you refuse to deal with the real issue of people dying. And you want to harass people who disagree with you by making statements like that, above. How sad. Have some coffee and then think through what you are saying. It's another beautiful day in Minnesota. Enjoy it and stuff your anger and paranoia for the rest of the holiday week-end.

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    4. You might want to check out this article about assault weapons and then decide for yourself whether you think they are not a problem when ordinary gun owners can have them on our streets and protest with them in libraries- http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2012/09/editorial_pathmark_shooting_sh.html

      "Another angry young man with a military-style assault rifle, who just started spraying bullets.
      An AK-47 is designed for rapid-fire, close-quarter shooting at human beings. Yet we allow these weapons to proliferate on our nation’s streets.
      Yesterday's Pathmark shooter killed two young people, but everybody in the store was a target. With that kind of firepower, the body count could have been much higher had some other workers not slipped out a back door. An assault rifle that the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office described as similar to an AK-47, a handgun and multiple high-capacity clips were found inside, along with the body of the dead gunman."

      What difference does a definition make when this is the carnage on our streets. So take your own definition and go to a gun range but don't take one onto the streets today. People are trying to go about their lives and they should be able to do so without fear that some gun nut will try to take out multiple people at a time with a semi automatic gun that spews out bullets from high capacity magazines with the sole purpose of killing as many people as possible. That is a pretty good definition, don't you think? And don't give me the retort about hunting guns also being capable of the same. Of course they are. And people kill people with "hunting rifles" as well. As you remember, hundreds of guns were excluded in the AWB- enough for the likes of you to collect, shoot and hunt to your heart's content. But you guys weren't satisfied with that. You wanted to have ANY kind of gun you wanted for whatever purpose, I don't know. But what happened as a result is that crazy people with guns are mowing down human beings on a regular basis on the streets of our communities. That is unacceptable. Trying to defend that is making you guys look like the extremists you are. The American public simply does not support average people with assault type weapons shooting other Americans. Spin it how you will, it just isn't a good picture for the NRA types.

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    5. I would add this, from the above linked article- " Here’s the thing about assault rifles: They are weapons of war, designed to kill large numbers of people. They can easily punch holes in bulletproof vests and steel car doors. As a special agent with the ATF once put it, “It doesn’t matter what body armor you wear. That round is going through the door, through the vest and right out the other side. It’s just like a hot knife through butter.”
      Two years ago, when a disgruntled employee in Missouri killed three co-workers and wounded five, officers arriving at the scene were held back because they weren’t equipped to engage with an AK-47, the St. Louis police chief said.
      Handguns are dangerous, too. But attacks with semiautomatics, including assault rifles, often result in more shots fired, more people hit and more wounds per victim than attacks with other firearms, according to the Justice Department. It’s no wonder that assault weapons account for a larger share of guns used in mass murders and murders of police."

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    6. japete writes (from a linked article): "They can easily punch holes in bulletproof vests and steel car doors. As a special agent with the ATF once put it, “It doesn’t matter what body armor you wear. That round is going through the door, through the vest and right out the other side. It’s just like a hot knife through butter.”"

      This is true about almost any rifle. It is not at all unique to whatever your definition is of an "assault rifle". There's nothing magical about an AR-15 in this situation compared to a hunting rifle in the same caliber.

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    7. Totally predictable and irresponsible response from you, Bryan. There are no excuses for assault type weapons to be owned by just anyone who wants one. You may want them but you don't need them. You can't defend AR-15s but I know you will keep trying. Your attempts are going to fall on deaf ears soon enough as we see one mass shooting a week in our country.

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    8. BTW, Bryan, perhaps you could explain to me why your regular hunting guns are not being used by mass shooters. Mass shooters know which guns will be the most effective at mowing down as many people as possible. Weapons of choice? AR-15s, AK 47 style guns and semi-auto handguns with large capacity magazines. That is a no brainer. The fact that you guys resist the truth with such rigor tells us a lot about your inability to deal in reality and to come to grips with the fact that NRA sponsored gun culture is causing senseless shootings.

      Delete
    9. japete writes: "The fact that you guys resist the truth with such rigor tells us a lot about your inability to deal in reality and to come to grips with the fact that NRA sponsored gun culture is causing senseless shootings."

      Criminals cause senseless shootings. The NRA's culture, training, programs, instructors, or others don't cause shootings. Are you claiming that they do?

      Delete
  2. "I wonder if you read the blog. I mentioned more than a few ways."

    Actually, you don't ever clearly state what your plan is. You complain about the way things are, about the fact that the NRA is big and evil, that gun guys oppose you at every turn, that they carry their guns in public and step all over your right to never ever be in the presence of anybody with a gun, about how gun guys couldn't really save the day and how they are all about to snap and kill everyone in sight, but you never really state your plan, vision or etc.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Really Robin? Do you just want to harass me or why did you write this? Read my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If she didn't, I certainly have - require a greater level of competency, and a need, not a desire to carry, either open or concealed, in public.

    I have advocated for regular testing, including physical ability to be steady with a gun, eye testing the way we do for driving that would require someone to be wearing their glasses if they use their firearm - or even just carry it. Regular renewals, not a for life permitting (or non-permitting in the case of AZ). Peformance testing annually. Drug testing, including for alcohol abuse because of the links between violence and aggression, poor impulse control and judgment impairment. Some sort of psychology screening to keep the obvious, known dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms - like Ian Stawicki, Jared Loughner, James Holmes. A requirement of insurance for gun ownership and for carrying, so that there is guaranteed compensation for anyone shot in error or by accident or even by an evil intentional shooting. Repeal of all shoot first laws, and a reinforcement that if you shoot someone, and you are wrong, you are held fully legally accountable for doing so, not given an exemption from criminal or civil court proceedings.

    One of my concerns is that like the 100 year old man who just ran over 14 people in a parking lot with a large car, we have an aging population that is gun obssessed in many cases, while we make no provision for separating them from using their guns just like we don't have a very adequate way to stop dangerous elderly drivers from putting people at risk with their cars. We dont deal with impairment of their senses, their facultie, or the issues of dementia -- and we need to do so. We should be harder on straw purchasers and prosecute them more aggressively. We should require background checks on every transaction or transfer of a firearm, whether sale, swap inheritance or gift of a firearm. We should ban assault style weapons and expanded capacity magazines. We should require states to be current with the NICS. We should ban anyone on the terrorist watch list from buying either firearms and ammo, or explosives. We should have local regulation and registration, and we should return to may issue not shall issue, and purchase permits.

    Alost forgot - and due to the poor statistical performanc of having given so many former felons their firearms rights back, we should become much much much more restrictive on that too, making it more on a par with pardons and expungements.

    Did you need me to outline anything else, or does that pretty much cover it? Japete, please fill in anything I've neglected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got a nice compliment over at Sebastian's blog. All he could respond to your suggestions is they would eventually lead to total gun bans.

      Delete
    2. Of course. That's what they always say. They have been led to believe this nonsense and they themselves spout it to get others to believe it. That's how they manage to keep their mythical power over gun policy. Public safety doesn't enter into their view of the world. I pay no attention to that drivel nor do I read it or really care. I am working to change the atmosphere so people like Sebastian don't get to continue their lies.

      Delete
  5. That's a great summary, all of which I have written about on my blog. Did you get the restriction on sale of high capacity magazines and stopping on-line sales of same- at least without a background check. Safe storage and mandatory reporting of lost and stolen guns also should be on the list. These I have been writing about for several years. I don't put them in every post. But the gun guys know exactly what we want. They are just trying to be provacative. They love baiting us and then they can argue and tell us all the reasons they are against every single one of our suggestions even though they would save lives.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It appears we can agree on background checks at gun shows. I've thought about this long and hard and I can't see a difference between a check at a gun show and a check at an FFL brick and mortar store. Background checks at gun shows are required by law in Oregon, and while I've never bought a gun at one of our many excellent shows, I've heard it's a simple and fast process when using the Oregon State Police (OSP) FICS website.

    In 2011 OSP FICS issued 2659 denials, recovered 150 stolen guns, and led to the arrest of 74 people. I honestly can't find anything wrong with this assuming the owners got their guns back. The $10 check fee is a small price to pay to ensure that one of those 2659 guns wouldn't have been used to hurt someone. There's also a bonus for the seller. The seller is immune from any legal action if the gun he sold is later used in a crime, as long as FICS cleared the sale and the seller was unaware of any criminal intent.

    However, I can't support background checks between private parties because I don't want the government involved in transactions between myself and my trusted family and friends.

    As for many of dog gone's other suggestions, well, I guess that's why I donate regularly to the NRA-ILA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't want people involved between private parties, too bad. That is exactly what a straw sale is, a private party buying to turn over a firearm to another private party who is prohibited.

      If you really want to get guns out of the hands of criminals we need to hold people accountable for that transition from legal firearm legally owned to the transfer into the hands of criminals.

      If you look at where many of the school shooters, like the one this past week, get their guns, it is from trusted family and friends. If they're that darned trustworthy, then they can go through a background check like everybody else.

      You are unwilling to address the issue of an aging gun owning population as well - the stereotypical NRA member is old, white, flabby and crabby, and often is a problem drinker. As various physical and mental infirmities develop, we need a way to keep ourselves safe from crabby old white men with guns who are careless, reckless, and who suffer from senility.

      People like Migo want to know why other people object to them having firearms in public. It is simple, they are overeager amateurs who lack the safety and accountability, especially of any kind of insurance requirement that would pay for mistakes they make. In contrast, police tend to be younger (at least under retirement age), they have to prove their ability with a gun regularly, they are professionals not amateurs who are accountable to superiors and the public, and they are insured for when they make a mistake (because people DO make mistakes). And shall issue states far too often give pemits to people who are known to suffer from dangerous mental illness.

      If the gun nuts who want to carry were more like the professionals who do so, there would be less objection to them. You can work with solving the problem, or you can be the problem. You have chosen the latter.

      Delete
    2. A straw sale is defined here. A transaction between two family members or two friends is not a straw purchase, most notably because it is not occurring within an FFL establishment. Anyone who still disagrees with that should study this BATFE example. In fact, it is perfectly legal to purchase a gun at an FFL and gift it to another person. In fact, question 11a of ATF Form 4473 clearly exempts gifting a firearm.

      I will never support disarming older people. Older people are at high risk of domestic abuse and other criminal assault and they have the inalienable right to defend themselves. The inalienable right to self defense was discussed in a previous post where dog gone stated "The ONLY inalienable right you have is for law enforcement to protect you..." which of course clearly contradicts settled law as described in this article.

      dog gone writes People like Migo want to know why other people object to them having firearms in public...

      Actually, I don't. Concealed carry laws are increasingly favoring the private citizen because Americans are increasingly favoring them as is clearly shown here. I believe national reciprocity is not too far in the future.

      Finally, the idea of giving every potential firearm owner a psychological screening is the most absurd of all. Aside from violating the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments, this is a scientifically impossible task to perform accurately without false positives! It can take years of deep therapy to uncover sources of deep aggression or depression. Angry and depressed people can appear perfectly normal today and snap a year from now, like what happened in NYC. It's easy to lie on most standard depression and aggression tests. Typically, people who seek help won't lie, but someone who is forced to take the test can easily pass. The Israelis have an effective psychological screening technique for potential terrorists as described in this article, but it assumes that the terrorist is already aware of the intended crime.

      Your proposals dog gone are extreme and far from common sense and I will continue to support the NRA-ILA as long as they continue to fight extremists.

      Delete
    3. Why couldn't a straw purchase happen between family members? As to older folks with gums you do realize that suicide by gun is fairly common? Would I have wanted my frail mother with sight problems and arthritis to have a gun? Certainly not. The fact that you do says a lot a out your own lack of judgement and common sense.

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    4. A straw purchase can happen between family members, but it must occur at an FFL by lying on form 4473. That's the key. From the link I provided above, The crime committed is knowingly making a false statement on the Form 4473 indicating that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser, when this is not the case. However proving that it is a straw purchase and not a gift can be very difficult.

      Dog gone's statement That is exactly what a straw sale is, a private party buying to turn over a firearm to another private party who is prohibited. is legally incorrect during private transfers where Form 4473 is not used.

      As to older folks with gums... Why should not having teeth affect their proficiency with a gun? I'm sorry, I couldn't resist...

      I agree with you that someone who can't handle a gun shouldn't be handling a gun, but I disagree that the government should dictate that. I would certainly expect in your example that if your mother really wanted to own a gun, that you would convince her otherwise. Yes, there are old people with dementia, but I've also known many old people who were wise and healthy. I would trust that wisdom in determining whether they should carry a gun, what ammunition they should use, and what weapon they should use.

      I also trust the police and the courts to do their jobs. A careless, reckless, senile old man with guns can be adjudicated to be mentally handicapped and there are already laws that prohibit these individuals from purchasing firearms or obtaining concealed carry permits.

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    5. Migo, a straw purchase is generally defined, as distinct from the more narrow for-prosecution definition, as any transfer where someone buys a legal gun and then intentionally transfers it to a prohibited person.

      There is nothing about being a friend of yours or a family member that makes them immune from being a prohibited person. The intent is to stop prohibited people -- ALL OF THEM -- from obtaining legal guns.

      Private transactions, ALL OF THEM, are currently a loophole that allows prohibited people to legally obtain guns who should not be getting their hands on them.

      What Japete and I are talking about is not only making sure that private parties KNOW when someone is a prohibited person - which btw, they now have no way of knowing except luck -- but ensuring that anyone who sells, trades, gifts or makes an inheritance of a firearm has to find out definitively, and then take responsibility for that transaction.

      So your protestations are baloney. I don't really care if it is inconvenient to you to have to do a background check, so long as we stop letting so many guns fall into the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

      And that includes safe and secure storage so we don't have shootings like the one on the first day of school this year where a 15 year old took Daddy's firearm and used it to shoot a disabled student in the back, putting him in the hospital in critical condition, while mommy dearest was married and he was living with a man arrested for drugs and gun violations.

      Seriously, do you think that was ok??????????????????? We CAN stop the wrong people, dangerous people, from having guns. People like YOU MIGO are part of the problem.

      SOMEONE has to stop the senile old people, and the schizophrenic not-so-old people like Ian Stawicki, Jared Loughner, or James Holmes from getting guns. Law Enforcement and the courts are the perfect people to do that; they are far MORE accountable than private parties, and far more the appropriate authority than private parties to do so.

      LOTS of crazy old people don't willingly give up their keys OR their guns. If you think otherwise, you are badly out of touch with aging American issues.

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    6. Yeah, seriously MIGO? It cost our family $7k to go through the court system to get my elderly old-maid aunt separated from her car and car keys when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

      In the case of my great Aunt Florence, with the help of a neighbor who was the top ranking public health nurse, we just DID it, and in her case she had brandished my great uncle's considerable collection of hunting firearms AT people when we removed both car and firearms, although technically we should have gone through the courts to do so. In her case, she was so badly incapacitated that she couldn't contact an attorney and the neighbor saved us having to go into court to deal with a guardian ad litem on her behalf.

      You are profoundly ignorant on this topic.

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    7. Tell me Migo, how many people have you personally known and participated with their being declared some sort of vulnerable or incapacitated adult?

      I've been involved in 5, ranging from extended family members, to neighbors and acquaintances who suffered from some sort of debilitating and incapacitating problem.

      NOT all of them went through the court system; but all of them did go through some governmental review process involving law enfocement and social services of one kind or another. What kind depended on how imminently they were a proven - note that PROVEN - danger to themselves and others. And FYI - NOT ALL OF THOSE WERE ELDERLY PEOPLE. NONE OF THEM SHOULD HAVE HAD ACCESS TO VEHICLES OR FIREARMS; ALL BUT ONE OF THEM HAD ACCESS TO BOTH. Getting those vehicles and firearms was an incredibly hairy process, highly dangerous to those involved. NOT letting those people get access to firearms in the first place, and a more stringent legal testing for vehicles and driving would have been hugely safer for all involved.

      You are willing to arm all kinds of dangerous people just to save yourself a little paperwork. Or maybe you just don't want to be hindered selling or trading guns with prohibited people you know. I don't know or care which; the end results is the same - arming those who commit murder suicides of what you advocate is the same, and other crimes, including mass shootings.

      Tell me why we shouldn't make it harder to keep people like this from obtaining arsenals like this - both through FFL sources AND/OR private sources.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2182974/Mentally-ill-homeless-man-drove-round-huge-arsenal-weapons.html

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    8. This is one very scary story. I wonder how many more people are driving around with this kind of weaponry and intent to use it.

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  7. Joan...

    I call these people who just don't care the "Apathetics." And there are folks out there other than gun owners that fit this profile. Until it happens to them.

    Jack E. Dunning

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  8. I really am not trying to harrass you. Trust me, you have never given a concise statement of what you want. I can tell you what I have determined that you want but you have never ever stated and what you have said is often contradictory. For example you don't want to ban firearms, you just want to ban assault weapons, weapons that hold more than 10 rounds and anything you don't think a hunter needs.

    What I have gleaned that you want is as follows.

    1) A ban on private transfers and a fee on all transfers to make gun ownership more expensive.

    2) A reversion to "may issue" instead of "shall issue" because that will mean "won't issue" in many jurisdictions.

    3) A ban on "assault weapons" or anything you don't think a hunter needs.

    4) A ban on any weapon that would hold more than 10 rounds.

    5) A ban on carrying outside the home.

    6) Approval of a star chamber to take away gun rights with no clear understanding of how people get put on the list and no way off the list.

    7) A ban on gun ownership by anyone convicted of any crime no matter how minor to be extended to anyone who has ever been arrested without being convicted or even questioned by the police.

    8) A ban on anyone who has ever spoken to anyone about their mental health or had anyone question their mental health.

    9) A ban on anything that might lower the cost of owning a firearm and conversely approval of anything that will raise the price of gun ownership.

    10) Disbanding the NRA until the Brady Campaign can take in as much money. Becaused it is okay to band together to take away rights but not to preserve them.

    11) A ban on injuring criminals by anyone but the police because they might not kill you after they get what they want.

    12) Not a ban but nobody but hunters can have a weapon because they might snap.

    13) Disregard any existing laws that protect the use and ownership of guns

    14) Removal of innocent until proven guilty for any gun owner




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    1. i'm actually laughing after reading this. You guys are so paranoid and so mistaken. You will just have to believe what you believe Robin. I have stated, above, in my response and my agreement with dog gone, what I think should happen with gun laws. Apparently you didn't read it. You have decided, instead, to view what I wrote through your own paranoid lens and put your own spin on what I wrote. That is the problem. You take what people like me support and turn it into your own crazy thinking. That is why we have this divide. Please don't distort what I say or write. That is why you want me to get more specific than I already have. You don't like what I have said because it isn't as bad as you fear so you turn it into something that better fits with what you want to believe.

      Have a nice week-end Robin. It's going to be beautiful in Minnesota, as you know. Enjoy your family and friends and try not to be too paranoid about everything.

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    2. Robin the wacko extremist wrote:

      1) A ban on private transfers and a fee on all transfers to make gun ownership more expensive.

      NO. A requirement for a background check is not a ban on all private transfers. The goal is not to make gun ownership more expensive, it is to stop firearms from getting into the hands of prohibited persons - criminals, crazy people like the Aurora CO shooter, etc.

      2) A reversion to "may issue" instead of "shall issue" because that will mean "won't issue" in many jurisdictions.

      It will mean that crazy people like Jared Loughner and Ian Stawicki wont get guns, yes. There is always and should always be an appeal process to ensure that abuses don't happen, but abuses really have NOT been a significant problem compared to the shootings from the likes of Loughner and Stawicki and Holmes and many others.

      3) A ban on "assault weapons" or anything you don't think a hunter needs.

      There is an overwhelming support for a ban on assault style weapons and large capacity magazines. If you need 100 rounds to hit a deer, you're not a hunter bub.

      4) A ban on any weapon that would hold more than 10 rounds. Not necessarily; I haven't defined a large capacity at 10; but something in that vicinity doesn't sound like a bad idea either. We don't need 30 round magazines or drum magazines.

      5) A ban on carrying outside the home.

      No. Again, no one said ban. But conforming to some reasonable standards - like passing an eye exam, proficiency testing, and requiring insurance to do so in case you injure someone are reasonable to protect people. We really don't need the number of people carrying we have now, because every lethal weapon is a lethal risk to everyone --- as those who shoot themselves in the penis have shown, or those who blast helpless and innocent WalMart toilets in the men's room while dropping trou - and guns - when they need to relieve themselves.

      6) Approval of a star chamber to take away gun rights with no clear understanding of how people get put on the list and no way off the list.

      Where the heck did you get that one from the list I mentioned? Not even close to accurate, try again. You don't read well for comprehension, do you?

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    3. and then we have the second half of Robin's nut list:

      7) A ban on gun ownership by anyone convicted of any crime no matter how minor to be extended to anyone who has ever been arrested without being convicted or even questioned by the police.

      Nope. Not even close. Ban on gun ownership for people convicted of a crime; that would be all felonies, and any violent misdemeanors, especially those with guns.

      The rest of that assertion is just too silly to address.

      8) A ban on anyone who has ever spoken to anyone about their mental health or had anyone question their mental health.
      Nope. But your extreme of shall issue means that a lot of people, known to be dangerously mentally ill, get guns. There are very strict rules in place which regulate when a mental health professional can and should report someone as dangerous. It is NOT 'anyone who has ever spoken to someone about their mental health'.

      On the other hand, you might want to check in with a mental health professional about that galloping paranoia of yours, LOL.

      9) A ban on anything that might lower the cost of owning a firearm and conversely approval of anything that will raise the price of gun ownership.

      Again, wrong. The issue here is really putting the actual costs and expenses of guns on the gun owner where they belong. Want to take a guess at the costs involved in the Aurora Colorado shooting? Do you think James Holmes will be picking up that tab? No.

      We're talking here about nominal expenses that make everyone, including the gun owners, more safe and secure, and which would also compensate people from harm done by them with their firearms, the same way we require those things from police. Seriously, do you think determining if someone is legally blind, or too shaky from Parkinsons to safely use a firearm is about making gun ownership more expensive rather than making it a more safe proposition? Do you WANT more Neil Prescotts?

      Add delusional as well as having cognitive deficiencies to paranoia on the need-to-see-a-shrink list.

      10) Disbanding the NRA until the Brady Campaign can take in as much money. Becaused it is okay to band together to take away rights but not to preserve them.

      I actually think the OLD NRA was an excellent organization. Now it has become nothing more than a lobbying group for the gun manufacturers. I suggest you follow the money on that one.

      To educate yourself, because you are clearly factually challenged, check this out:

      http://penigma.blogspot.com/2012/08/for-those-who-dont-know-nra-very-well.html

      11) A ban on injuring criminals by anyone but the police because they might not kill you after they get what they want.

      What a crock of hooey.

      12) Not a ban but nobody but hunters can have a weapon because they might snap.

      Hunters are immune from snapping? Since when. Again, I did not propose bans, on hunters or non-hunters. I proposed some restrictions, and standards, which is not the same thing.

      13) Disregard any existing laws that protect the use and ownership of guns.

      Laws change all the time. They should be flexible, and we should experiment with improving them. This statement is again both stupid and dishonest; it is NOT an accurate reflection of what I wrote, or have ever written or that Japete has written, and you either do no bette or should no better.

      14) Removal of innocent until proven guilty for any gun owner.

      Where did you get that? No. What I wrote was that anyone who shoots someone has to be held accountable if they did so wrongly in either civil and/or criminal court. You're either funny or stupid scary; maybe both.

      But what you are not is honest, or capable of fairly and objectively framing a discussion.

      Delete
  9. Actually, to Robin's point, hunters do snap. Anyone remember this Wisconsin hunter who was responsible for a mass shooting? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,139239,00.html

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  10. dog gone -- I wasn't responding to your posts because you not only have your own opinions but facts as well. I was responding to Joan's. Every point I made was advocated by her in the time I have been reading her blog.

    Star Chamber? She wants to ban people on the terror watch list. Tell me the criteria to get on or off that list? Explain to me how that isn't a star chamber?

    Arrest or questioning equals conviction? Read her posts on Issa and Zimmerman among others.

    Removal of innocent until proven guilty -- look at her comments on Zimmerman among others.

    Raising costs -- read her comments on having to run all purchases through an FFL even though the technology exists for that to not be necessary for a background check. Read her comments on micro-stamping.

    Disregarding laws -- read her comments on Florida legislature after 20 years enforcing preemption. Read her comments on the moves by the BATF that violate the Gun Law of 1968 and the FOPA. We don't even have to talk about Fast and Furious.

    Guns outside the home. How many times has she said guns aren't necessary outside the home and advocated against carrying?

    Injured criminals? How many times has she said it wasn't necessary to shoot them because they might not have harmed anyone but taken the money and left? Or it might just be the neighbor kid burglarizing your home with you in it for drug money?

    My comment about hunters was in relation to the number of times she has mentioned that previously legal people have suddenly committed crimes. What are we supposed to make of that?

    Ban on private transfers. Are you trying to tell me that Joan has not advocated running all transfers through an ffl? If they have to go through an ffl they are no longer private.

    The comments about mental health are not relevent to what is but what Joan wants. Go research her comments.

    The question was not what the NRA does or does not do. The comment was based on Joan being told the NRA didn't do something and her reaction that they would have if they could and her attitude that all evil in the world would go away if the NRA did.

    For you, dog gone, to call me a whacko extremist is a great compliment. For you to talk about me reading without comprehension is ironic. You commitment to "reasoned discourse" is truly something to see. Yet, despite the name calling and the ridicule of my posts we haven't seen a concise statement of what she is advocating unless she is Charley McCarthy and you are Edgar Bergman.

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  11. And to my response to Robin about hunters, they are NOT all safe, wonderful or responsible gun owners/handlers:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/hog-hunter-accidentally-shoots-girlfriend_n_1445474.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/dog-shoots-man-brigham-ci_n_1121998.html

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/sit-stay-aim-fire-dog-shoots-another-hunter/

    and of course the very widely publicized example of why some people maybe shouldn't be allowed out with a firearm, at least not without a bit of retraining on basic safety standards and procedures:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2006-02-12/politics/cheney_1_katharine-armstrong-birdshot-saturday-afternoon-armstrong-ranch?_s=PM:POLITICS

    Because of COURSE, Dick Cheney is a safe hunter........EXCEPT WHEN HE ISN'T.

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  12. Oooh oooooooh, I shouldn't have left out the best example of what is wrong with SOME hunters --- the NRA's own unlawful hunter, Ted Nugent, a serial offender.

    Next illegal hunting incident he should lose HIS gun rights, since he has been illegally taking advantage of public property - the wildlife -- on public land. Why shouldn't the strike three and you're out rule apply to him?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/ted-nugent-guilty-black-bear-kill_n_1442290.html

    http://blogs.kansas.com/outdoors/2010/11/01/nugent-cant-hunt-in-kansas-for-2-years/

    Baiting deer - what a jerk, that isn't hunting,and he's no sportsman, unless you also consider shooting fish in a barrel fishing.

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  13. Good grief Robin. Time to take a break from my blog. You are parsing every word I write. That's really paranoid. Get a life. Have a nice week-end.

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  14. And this Migo, is wishful thinking on your part. Do you know how hard it is to tell elderly parents they can,t drive any more? The government dies decide when people shouldn't drive People fail driving tests so licenses are denied. I think that's a great idea for everyone's safety don't you? Physicians can also help here by calling into to license bureaus to tell them a person is not capable of driving any more. The same should be true for guns. But you must remember that the NRA tried to stop doctors from talking to families about gun safety. Not a good idea. Luckily they failed that one in court. Once again the NRA making us all less safe. I have 2 family members practicing medicine. They understand how important it is for public health and safety to guide families in these difficult decisions. I suspect that the family of gun rights activists could care less about this and think it's fine for their 90 year old Dad to keep his gun. That us why someone else needs to intervene in the best interest of us all.

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    1. Please excuse the typos. Responding from my iPhone tends to do that.

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    2. The NRA and gun owners will fight the following three proposals more vociferously than others because they are silent ways to remove guns from gun owners with no demonstrable public safety benefits:

      1. Requiring that all gun owners carry insurance.
      2. Requiring guns to be discussed with physicians.
      3. Using the terrorist watch list to regulate gun ownership.

      Most gun ranges can't exist today without the NRA providing insurance resources because insuring ranges can be extremely expensive. That being the case, how could a single individual ever afford gun insurance? Earthquake insurance is no longer offered for my home after scientists discovered a fault running under Portland, so do you really expect us to believe that insurance companies would ever even offer gun insurance? Clearly, requiring unobtainable insurance is a silent attempt to disarm responsible gun owners.

      If anti-gun extremist physicians were allowed to make gun related decisions for their patients, then gun owning patients who otherwise have excellent care for rare medical issues would be forced to seek doctors with lesser skills who are more gun friendly. This could seriously jeopardize a patient's care and even result in unnecessary pain or death paralleling the history of abortion rights. Historically, mixing politics and opinion with personal medical care leads to very strong and sometimes bloody opposition.

      The terrorist watch list is flawed because there is no option for redress. I believe this cub scout is still on a terrorist watch list. Worse yet was a proposal a few years ago to classify the NRA as a terrorist organization. Clearly, gun control extremists believe this to be true, but it's far from common sense to claim that all NRA members are terrorists.

      All three proposals are far from common sense, which I thought was the purpose of this forum. Gun control extremists and the overwhelming majority of gun owners will always disagree on these three issues. Some of these issues are even being fought
      by gun-neutral organizations because of their inherent flaws. Gun control extremists have a far better chance of obtaining legislation requiring background checks at all gun shows than they will ever have trying to get these extremist positions to see the light of day.

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    3. " If anti-gun extremist physicians were allowed to make gun related decisions for their patients, then gun owning patients who otherwise have excellent care for rare medical issues would be forced to seek doctors with lesser skills who are more gun friendly. This could seriously jeopardize a patient's care and even result in unnecessary pain or death paralleling the history of abortion rights. Historically, mixing politics and opinion with personal medical care leads to very strong and sometimes bloody opposition."

      What the heck are you talking about here Migo? Doctors can be pro or "anti" gun and still offer the same good and sound advice to patients about the dangers of guns in the home. Why? Because it is well documented that guns in the home are a danger to children and anyone living in the home. Read Kid Shootings blog for abundant evidence of that. Just because a Physician is doing his or her job and recommending common sense does not mean he or she is pro or anti gun. That is specious reasoning on your part and frankly ridiculous. No, the gun right extremists don't want anyone telling them that guns can be dangerous even in the face of the facts. And to think it would jeapordize patient care is absolutely the opposite of what is true. You guys shouldn't go around saying irresponsible things like that. It doesn't make you look good.

      I also love it that you now are saying gun control extremists. Have you already forgotten that the majority agree with us- even gun owners and NRA members. So we are actually representing main stream opinion and you guys are outside of the main stream.

      As to insurance for gun owners? I have an idea- don't carry a gun around in public places and you won't have to worry about that at all. Drivers have to have insurance for very good reason. And cars are not lethal weapons designed to kill people. Car accidents do kill people but not with intention. And don't send me any incidents of people killing people on purpose with cars. Someone else tried that ridiculous analogy and it just doesn't work. So why wouldn't insurance on gun owners be a good idea. They are endangering the lives of others on a daily basis and mostly intentionally.

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    4. Japete: "As to insurance for gun owners? I have an idea- don't carry a gun around in public places and you won't have to worry about that at all."

      I think you just made Migo's point.

      Delete
    5. Joan writes What the heck are you talking about here Migo?

      I'm talking about doctors being granted the legal power to remove guns from responsible gun owners. This isn't happening in the real world yet, but it is what dog gone was implying. What you're talking about - conversations between patients and doctors with no legal binding - is different.

      I also use the term gun control extremists when referencing people who try to hide their real agenda of disarming responsible gun owners by proposing laws that attempt to do that. I'm not convinced that you are an extremist, but some of those who contribute to this blog clearly are.

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    6. So let me get this straight then, Migo. You think that by doctors recommending that people practice safe storage and maybe advise patients who they have good reason to believe are in danger ( domestic abuse) or could cause danger with their guns, is tantamount to legally taking guns away. Dog gone was referring to an idea that it would be a good idea to take guns away from certain dangerous people, if necessary. That sounds reasonable to me. Do you really think it would be good for your 80 year old mother with dementia and sight problems to be able to carry a gun around in public or threaten someone with it? What is your answer? If you leave it up to folks like you, you would think it is just fine, until, of course, suddenly it wouldn't be. Do you remember the older Wisconsin guy who killed a 13 year old boy who he suspected was going to do harm to him when all the kid did was go the garbage cans outside of the house to take in his garbage? Should this guy be allowed to keep his guns? Does this that matter to you? Is this O.K. with you? http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/05/thirteen-year-old-black-kid-gunned-down-while-taking-out-trash-by-white-neighbor/ Was this guy just a regular gun rights extremist who thought he could gun down someone because he suspected that the boy was involved in a home invasion even though he wasn't and there was no reason for him to believe the boy was involved. Come on, Migo. Defend this one.

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    7. So let me get this straight then, Migo. You think that by doctors recommending that people practice safe storage...

      What I understood dog gone to say was that gun owners should pass a physical examination before they could be allowed to carry a gun. If such a law existed, an anti-gun doctor could arbitrarily create exam criteria that would automatically fail gun owners so they could no longer carry or own a gun. I don't have a problem with a doctor giving advice. I have a problem with doctors being given legal authority to remove a person's ability to own firearms. The latter doesn't exist yet, and it most likely won't, because the NRA will fight it viciously.

      We're going in circles with your other question. I already said, "I agree with you that someone who can't handle a gun shouldn't be handling a gun, but I disagree that the government should dictate that." I've also said on previous posts that I don't believe everyone should be armed, and I gave my ex-wife as an example.

      Was this guy just a regular gun rights extremist who thought he could gun down someone... Come on, Migo. Defend this one.

      I'm not going to defend murder. I don't know the details of the case your describing, but it sounds like murder. Murder is a felony, so now the gun owner has lost the ability to own firearms. That is what you and dog gone wanted, right? No doctor need be involved.

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    8. Oh dear, Migo. I'm not sure you want to say it like this. So you just said that the guy who shot the 13 year old kid for no reason is now a felon and has his gun rights taken away. Really? You let someone shoot an innocent kid first and THEN take away their guns. That is sick. We should take away the guns or restrict people like that BEFORE they shoot someone. We are talking about the life of another human being. Do you think some people live's are expendable? That's just stupid and dangerous. I want to keep people from being shot. You want to keep people from having guns restricted so they can shoot someone first and ask questions later. That is backwards world and unacceptable.

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    9. Migo wrote:What I understood dog gone to say was that gun owners should pass a physical examination before they could be allowed to carry a gun. If such a law existed, an anti-gun doctor could arbitrarily create exam criteria that would automatically fail gun owners so they could no longer carry or own a gun.

      What a load of hooey! Are you at all conversant Migo, with the physicals that pilots have to pass to fly? They aren't random, arbitrary tests. As Japete can attest by way of her spouse, they aren't arbitrary tests; MDs have to quantify the results of exams. They don't get to say, hmmm it's the first Tuesday after a blue moon, I think I'll randomly say this guy has high blood pressure, and bad relfexes and is running a fever and has poor capillary refill times. He (or she) has to quantify those criteria with objective measurable information that can be duplicated.

      But lets take the OPPOSITE extreme - lets posit that there is a rabidly PRO-gun doctor, who fakes the numbers on the medical report of someone who SHOULDN'T have a gun.

      Lets say that person then either has an accident, or deliberately shoots someone they shouldn't, because of having really failed that exam where the doctor fudged the data.

      In either case, the MD faces multiple consequences for not doing an honest exam. He(generic here for gender) faces a possible complaint to the medical licensing board for review of medical credentials, he faces a potential complaint to any and every hospital where he has privileges to review those privileges, he faces a claim for medical malpractice against his insurer for failing to properly practice medicine consistent with professional standards, he faces a potential civil suit for falsifying a report.

      This notion you have that doctors, or for that matter, mental health professionals are not held accountable for their professional conduct and for compliance with professional standards is just ignorant and ill informed.
      Further it is the kind of paranoia I expect from crazy old people who are afraid to be honest about health problems with their medical providers.

      Sheesh, try joining the 20th century as a stepping stone to joining the rest of us in the 21st. That is the kind of backward thinking I'd expect from someone isolated int eh backwoods of a particularly backward part of Appalachia where they believe you get warts from handling frogs or toads and use superstitious folk remedies in place of going to a real doctor.

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    10. Joan writes Oh dear, Migo. I'm not sure you want to say it like this...

      Of course, I don't want anyone killed first.

      Are you telling me that a doctor's examination could have found that this man was going to kill someone in the future? Did I miss something? What examination was that?

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    11. Who knows? We can't know that one. There are laws that prevent us from finding that out. Doctors can only give advise as to whether it may be dangerous to public safety or to a patient's health or that of his/her family. They can't predict whether someone will kill someone. They can't predict, either, whether a patient will follow doctor's orders and stop smoking or stop drinking or take needed medication or lose weight. They can diagnose illness and disease and make recommendations to keep their patients and their families safe and healthy. They can tell them that if they don't stop drinking they will likely die of alcoholic liver disease. The patient can heed the advice or not. But doctors and mid-levels and other health professionals are trained to do the right thing for their patients. If they don't they could be in trouble with medical mal practice boards or the law, in some cases. Doctors do what they are trained to do- "do no harm". Are you a trained medical professional yourself or are you just trying to tell them how to practice medicine? Doctors practice under certain guidelines and best practice gleaned from experience and research. Facts tell them that some people could be at risk for disease or accidents based on their knowledge base, their skills at discerning patient concerns, their diagnostic skills, physical presentations, physical symptoms and observations. We expect that our military and airline pilots will be fit and ready to perform their jobs based on medical examinations. We do background checks on teachers and anyone who comes in contact with children to make sure they will not violate children. We do background checks on other professionals to make sure they are not felons or have a record of domestic abuse and are seriously mentally ill. Health insurance companies ask questions about life habits and disease to help keep their insured healthy so they won't have to pay out a lot in settlements. These are just things we do and accept in our society. Why would we not treat people who operate guns differently? We don't want people who drink alcohol to drive. We shouldn't want people who carry guns to drink alcohol. We don't want people who smoke to do so indoors because second hand smoke is a danger to our health. Why would we want people to carry guns around in places where we gather? We try to keep senior citizens safe while driving. Why would we not do the same for senior citizens with guns?

      That's a long answer to your question. But you tried to distract from whether or not you want to keep people safe from senseless shootings by distorting what I said.

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    12. dog gone writes What a load of hooey! Are you at all conversant Migo, with the physicals that pilots have to pass to fly?

      I don't have to be conversant with a pilot's physical exam. I'm sure that whatever it is, the FAA and and airline pilot's union both approved a reasonable compromise that wouldn't immediately ground all pilots. What reasonable compromise could we expect from medical organizations that strongly oppose gun ownership and the NRA? Would you trust a medical test approved by the NRA?

      Which physical characteristics should we test? A gun can be fired by almost anyone. I've seen rigs that allowed a one arm vet to hunt with a shotgun A Louisiana Law now allows hunters who are nearly blind to hunt with lasers. Red dot scopes can also assist the visually impaired to shoot accurately. You don't have to run a single foot, because such a requirement would deny wheelchair bound citizens their right to self-defense.

      Now since just about anyone can fire a gun, then the next reasonable question is, can it be done accurately and under pressure? That's a question that is best answered at the range, not in a doctor's office. Police are given physical exams because they are required to do so much more than just shoot a gun.

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    13. You've made your case for why this needs to be done quite nicely with the examples you provided here, Migo. Thanks. I don't have answers to your questions. This conversation is now becoming ridiculous because there are no such proposals. Relax and stop being so paranoid .Good grief. You guys are like bull dogs. You never quit. I'm done with this thread now. Your demeaning the medical profession tells us all we need to know about your agenda. You guys don't trust anyone to do the right thing. That leads to needless fear and paranoia. Have a good night, Migo.

      Delete
  15. Robin, you may have been reading this blog longer than I have, but through the good graces of a mutal acquaintance, I have the pleasure of actually conversing with Japete one on one.

    I have an opinion, yes - but it is consistent with Japete's. I have facts (and not just 'my facts', but objective, verifiable facts which I try to represent honestly as distinct from cherrypicking something out of context to misrepresent it).

    I'm pretty sure that Japete does not in fact differ with what I wrote in any significant way. We are remarkably similar in our views.

    So for example what you so sensationally call a star chamber, and what we call by the correct name of a terrorist watch list is something about which an overwhelming number of Americans, both gun owners and non-gunowners agree should bar someone from buying firearms because they are a probable threat.

    Are there names that should not be on the terrorist watch list, to take this as a point of disagreement? Absolutely. And I would be the first to agree with you that the list needs to be reduced and made more accurate, and have some method for appeal and review.

    But the good sound solution is not to just throw out the watch list; we know that many of the names on that list ARE legitimately threatening people (and not just islamo-terrorists, as we saw recently with the arrests of the -allegedly- murdering militia group).

    And the good sound solution is not to allow those people who are dangerous to buy guns, ammo, or explosives or explosive components. The answer is to fix what is wrong with the watch list AND to deny them guns and other things that go boom, bang or pop-goes-the-weasel in a manner dangerous to other people.

    So instead of doing what the NRA does, oppose denying dangerous people guns, why don't we find that common ground we agree on to fix what is wrong - 1. keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists who want to hurt us; and 2. fixing the watch list so that improperly added names are removed and a review/appeal process is instituted.

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  16. Taking the added cost of firearm ownership as another example - seriously, the abuse and misuse of firearms in this nation is hugely expensive, and no organization appears to be tracking it. Think for example of the costs resulting from the Aurora Co. shooting, or the 40 person SWAT team and other law enforcement officers, that had to rescue hostages held at gun point from a motel in Woodbury MN this past weekend. add in the costs to the motel, or the death of the person who did get shot and died after being taken by ambulance to a local hospital. No one is going to be compensating the hotel either, for the people who checked out that were booked to stay longer, or the physical damage to the building, which was substantial. Even if some of that will be covered by property insurance (which it might not), hotel insurance coverage tends to have hefty deductibles that come out of what would otherwise be their profits.

    The gunman isn't going to pay any of that. The people who made his firearm(s) and ammo, making a profit, aren't going to pay for any of that. The people who sold that weapon aren't going to pay for any of that. Fellow gun owners specifically are not going to pay for any of that. WE pay for the costs of the use of weapons and shooting.

    The reality is that guns are effectively subsidized because the costs of their use are not born by the users. My suggestion that - LIKE LAW ENFORCEMENT - and like car drivers, if you carry, you also carry insurance is a reasonable one. It wouldn't realistically cover all costs, but it could go a long way to compensating harmed or damaged individuals and entities. It would address the moral hazard issue, in the legal sense of the term as it applies to law and finance, which is something too often gun owners appear not to understand (and is something EVERYONE should have learned in K-12).

    So, please, don't whine to us that we are talking about making gun ownership too expensive. Gun ownership is already too darned expensive, and not to the gun owners. By doing things like mandatory background checks on ALL transactions, commercial or private, we could go a long long long way towards reducing the number of firearms transiting from legal owners into the hands of criminals, which in turn would go a long long way to reducing those costs directly associated with firearms.

    You are wrong in what you wrote about japete. Your take on her positions represent a misreading on your part, one which I have found all too often among those who are so obssessively focused on I-gotta-have-my-gun!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that they can't see beyond their death grip on their triggers and bullets to a more complex and broader ranging understanding of the issues of firearms and regulation.

    You are wrong, sir, and you were unfair and inaccurate.
    I have already pointed out how and where in my previous itemized comments. Re what I wrote about the NRA and the terrorist watch list is true about every single item, where we could improve on our problems with firearms, but the NRA is significantly obstructive.

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  17. Dog Gone, That was what I would call "reasoned discourse." You didn't call me a single name and your dialog was reasoned. I don't agree with you but I understand your points.

    If you want to use the terror watch list to take rights you have to fix it first. Fix it so that it is known who added a name, make that person responsible for mistakes, why the name was added, make sure individual who was added is clearly identified to one individual(so others with a similar name aren't collaterally damaged) and a method in place for review and removal that is clearly funded with a specified time limit on when the review and removal is done and then we can talk about banning people on that list. When these concerns were brought up to Japete her answer was that it would probably get fixed after banning people. Fix it first. Otherwise a mysterious list created by anonymous people where the citizens are not even allowed to review the list is a star chamber. (BTW, were you talking about the Huttaree Militia?)

    As for my list, you may not agree with the motivations I attached to them but every item on the list can be backed up by her writings on this blog. As I said when I wrote it, it is what I gleaned from her writings. Japete, herself, said repeatedly to read her blog to get her positions and implied that it would be plain to anyone.

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    1. And to Robin, I say again, you are reading everything I write through your own filter and mistaken agenda that leads you to believe I am saying something I'm not.

      Delete
    2. I was taling about the guys in the military, who formed the miliita F.E.A.R. and who killed a fellow soldier and his girl friend (allegedly).

      Robin wrote:As for my list, you may not agree with the motivations I attached to them but every item on the list can be backed up by her writings on this blog. As I said when I wrote it, it is what I gleaned from her writings. Japete, herself, said repeatedly to read her blog to get her positions and implied that it would be plain to anyone.

      You have interpreted them incorrectly; what I wrote is the same thing she has written and which I know to be her views. A star chamber is not what you appear to believe it to be, which is about political action against prominent people by their opponents.

      from wikipedia:

      The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Councillors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes. Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

      It is perfectly legal, and is supported incidentally by the overwhelming majority of gun owners including NRA members, that people on the terrorist watch list NOT be allowed to buy firearms.

      The SCOTUS has given authority for terrorists to be put on that list. It is legal to regulate firearms, and the terrorist watch list falls within those regulations.
      Yes, it could be improved upon, but you are instead arguing for an unreasonable risk of harm for a negligable possible - but not well documented - set of abuses. I would argue to you that reasonably the risk of harm is greater with simply allowing everyone on that list to buy firearms and ammo, including in quantity, compared to the risk of possibly restricting someone's right to a firearm.

      Personally, I have a much greater concern for the number of people not allowed to fly, because it is a clear inroad on people's rights to travel between states, and because I could see someone seriously harmed by having to take slower transportation where it is important that they travel quickly - where it could literally be a matter of life ro death.

      That you would put ALL of us at risk to put a few more guns in the hands of a few more people is an example of your misplaced priorities and unreasonable attitudes and interpretations, and further shows how very out of touch you are with the majority of gun owners, and the majority of Americans. I would call being that out of touch a kind of extremism; I think that is a pretty reasonable defintion of it.

      Delete
    3. But then, there's this about flying and firearms-http://www.dailypress.com/news/traffic/dp-nws-tsa-gun-20120902,0,1537140.story

      " n the six-day period from Aug. 10 to Aug. 16, the Transportation Safety Administration seized 30 firearms at airports nationwide, including a loaded .22-caliber handgun in Newport News.

      And it wasn't the only one found this year at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport or at Norfolk International Airport.

      In response to a Daily Press inquiry, the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the TSA, provided data that shows eight handguns were seized at Hampton Roads' two commercial airports since January. Six of the firearms were loaded when they were discovered by TSA officers at security checkpoints.

      The data showed a 9 mm handgun was found at the Peninsula airport on Feb. 17 and a loaded .32 caliber on Feb. 22 in addition to the gun discovered on Aug. 10.


      "We continue to find these types of weapons — 800 so far this year alone," said Kawika Riley, a homeland security spokesman. "If the numbers continue, we're on track for (meeting or surpassing) last year where over 1,300 were found.""

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    4. A star chamber is not what you appear to believe it to be, which is about political action against prominent people by their opponents.

      from wikipedia:

      The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Councillors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes. Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

      You left out the next paragraph .... In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, star chambers. This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings. The inherent lack of objectivity of any politically motivated charges has led to substantial reforms in English law in most jurisdictions since that time.
      Contents

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    5. Robin- you haven't made your case. It's pretty hard to defend the idea that someone on the terror watch list shouldn't have to have a background check like anyone else does when they buy a gun. It won't lead to gun bans, as you guys love to yell about. " The bill would require anyone trying to obtain a weapon to pass the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). If the individual matches any of the prohibitive criteria, they may be denied from purchasing a firearm.

      "We don't want to rob people of their constitutional right," Lautenberg told senators, "But to err on the side of protection is a chance we sometimes have to take."

      Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who sponsored similar legislation in the House, urged senators to support the bipartisan bill.

      "We cannot allow any more acts of violence on account of weapons legally falling into the hands of those who wish to commit acts of terror," King said. "We must do all that is possible to put tighter rules in place to assist law enforcement in their brave efforts to keep our cities and neighborhoods safe and secure. The war on terror must be fought from all directions if we're going to stay a step ahead of our enemies."

      There is currently no law that prevents such people from obtaining a weapon. They can only be denied if they have a felony conviction or are illegal immigrants."

      From-http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/individuals-terror-watch-list-allowed-buy-guns-90/story?id=10561483&page=2#.UEXt0mhYtu8

      So, all a bill to ban actual terrorists from getting guns would do is to make them go through the FBI's list of prohibited purchasers. That actually means that there could be some "law abiding" people on the terror watch list who would not be denied the purchase of a gun at an FFL. That sounds like a good plan to me. Even Rep. King, a conservative, thinks it's a good idea. But the NRA has turned it into a "Star Chamber" because that makes it more fearful and leads to paranoia which is exactly what they want. To equate this issue to a "Star Chamber" is disingenuous and specious.

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    6. You said " It's pretty hard to defend the idea that someone on the terror watch list shouldn't have to have a background check like anyone else does when they buy a gun. It won't lead to gun bans, as you guys love to yell about. " The bill would require anyone trying to obtain a weapon to pass the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). If the individual matches any of the prohibitive criteria, they may be denied from purchasing a firearm."

      Either this is very poorly written or you are building a strawman. No one is advocating bypassing the background check. That was never ever a question. The question was should your rights be abridged by a list that the public is not allowed to see, that no one knows how you get on and that no one can get off of? The clause about allowing the Attorney General to choose who is on is even worse.

      There are over 1 million people on the terror watch list. Are you claiming there are that many actual terrorists in the USA? There are infants who can't fly because they are on the no fly list. Are you honestly trying to defend using that list to remove a constitutional right? Why stop with guns? Lets ban them from having a laptop, a car, freedom from warrantless searches etc. Heck, lets just arrest them! After all, they are on a list. Let's not even bother to try them. I don't care if the Pope endorses the idea, it is still bad and no one who values the rule of law could endorse it.

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    7. O.K. Truce. No one has said there are not problems with the terror watch list. This is not black or white. There are compromises here in the name of public safety. Either you believe it's a good idea to let known terrorists buy guns in America or you think it's a bad idea. I think we can all agree that it is a bad idea. Even NRA members agree to this and want to see something done. You, Robin, appear to be outside of the mainstream on this issue and are so paranoid about the government and secret commissions and lists that you are willing to stop something that makes complete sense. Who are you worried about whose rights will be abridged if they have to go through a background check and are stopped from buying a gun? A baby can't buy a gun. Ted Kennedy was on the list in error. It took him several weeks to get his name off of the list. If someone is denied a gun purchase in error, they can appeal it and get their gun. But if we stop an actual terrorist from getting a gun legally, we will have done something good for the public safety. I know you guys just hate to be at all inconvenienced.

      Since we know that you and I disagree on this, it's time to put it to rest and move on. Have a nice day Robin. You can stop getting your undies in a bundle for now. Take some deep breaths.

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    8. I contend that the later paragraphs do not apply to the terrorist watchlist. Every agency that supplies names to the terrorist watch list has either an ombudsman OR an appeal process. The terrorist watch list is simply like the NICS that centralizes those agency data bases.

      So long as those processes exist, it is transparent and there is a means of getting off the list, contrary to how you portray it. It is not done through the master list keepers, at the terrorist watch list, it is done through the agency that submitted that name on their data base.

      The same way the NICS doesn't add or subtract a name, the state which owns the data base does. So? Are you claiming the NICS is a 'star chamber'? If not, then neither is the terrorist watch list.

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  18. robin wrote: If you want to use the terror watch list to take rights you have to fix it first.

    NO, we don't. We do not have to sell guns or explosives to terrorists while or until we fix it. That is patently unreasonable. That is like claiming we had to allow James Holmes to do what he did, rather than intervene with mentally ill people who are armed and dangerous, because we might inconvenience someone. That is not sane or clear thinking, or in the least bit reasonable. We do not have to endanger people while we argue. Want to speed up that process - stop obstructing! Stop funding the NRA, who do not as an organization represent their members anyway. Become part of the solution!

    It is perfectly correct to deny people dangerous lethal weapons; to claim this is protected by 2nd amenment rights that somehow override this is ludicrous. The Constitution is a founding document, not a suicide pact. We can perfectly legally make regulations and prohibitions UNTIL we fix it.

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  19. A number of people responded to your call for banning those on the terror watch list by saying the list should be fixed first. Here are some of your responses. Tell me where you said Yes, we will fix it first. What you said was it was we have to ban them and we can talk about safeguards. No where did you say the safeguards were essential to the legislation. BTW, you don't get off the list, you get a redress number to make it easier to fly.

    japete January 20, 2012 1:56 PM

    What is your first hand experience Heather? Do you think it's a good idea to allow known terrorists to be able to buy guns? We know they are doing it but we can't stop them. We've gone
    over this one before. The gun lobby blocks the terror gap bill because of fear that some law abiding citizen may lose their ability to purchase guns. While there are problems with the
    terror watch list, I'm sure we can work something out in the interest of public safety. But then, public safety rarely makes it to the top of the list of the gun lobby who blocks everything immediately without working to make changes to improve a bill to make it better for all.

    japeteJanuary 20, 2012 3:07 PM

    Yes, Anthony, I do know that. Many people have been put on the list and have had to fight to get off. It seems as if most who questioned it have been able to get their names off. As I said, this should not be an obstacle to passing the legislation. We will work things out.

    That's what compromise is all about.

    japeteJanuary 20, 2012 4:16 PM

    I'm so "glad" to see the willingness to compromise on the other side. Always nice to know that you guys are so reasonable!

    japete January 20, 2012 9:29 PM

    I've said what I am going to say about the terror watch list. I have gone around about that with you folks before. My beliefs have not changed. I know you don't like them and that you disagree.

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    1. Wow, Robin. Surely you have something better to do than to be pouring over my blog posts on a lovely Sunday afternoon. You really must take all of this seriously. We are engaging in a conversation about what we would like to see happen and you guys are running off scaring everyone about total bans on weapons. Good grief. Any measure put forward will have compromise, if we are lucky. Usually, though, the NRA stops any proposal before it gets to a point of even discussing compromise. That is the problem. So take it easy and back off for a while. You shouldn't spend so much time on my blog. You guys with guns are so paranoid it is almost funny. I'd laugh more except for all of the people being killed every day.

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  20. I don't find it funny that guys with guns are THIS paranoid.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/gun-sales-terrorist-suspects_n_1305233.html

    Gun Sales To Terrorist Suspects Would Be Halted By Passage Of Bill Backed By Veterans

    WASHINGTON -- Under current U.S. law, there are several ways a person can fail the background check required to purchase a gun. Being on the FBI's terrorist watch list is not one of them.

    A group of military veterans is hoping to fix that problem by reviving a long-stalled bill, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act. The proposed law would allow the FBI to block gun sales to people on the watch list, closing what the veterans call the "terror gap."

    "This is common-sense legislation that does not infringe on a gun-owner’s rights, and will protect our troops and our nation," said Vet Voice Foundation in a press release. The group, founded by veteran and progressive activist Jon Soltz, recently formed a new working group to rally veterans and ramp up pressure on Congress to prohibit such gun sales.

    The working group is led by Ruben Gallego and Jackie Rodgers, both veterans and gun owners. Gallego, a former Marine infantryman and now a Democratic member of the Arizona legislature, argued that closing the gap was a smart move. "You wouldn't allow a known terrorist to get an airplane," he said. "Why are we are going to allow known terrorists to go pick up weapons?"
    Both men said they were motivated by the threat to men and women in uniform, who have been targeted by shooting attacks over the past few years. In addition to shootings at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009, that same year a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark., was fired upon. Terrorist suspects also attempted to purchase weapons to attack Fort Dix, N.J., in 2007.

    Rodgers, who served in the Army, said that veterans are uniquely placed to understand the issue. "A lot of veterans are gun owners," said Rodgers, who served in the Army. "And if you have veteran gun owners supporting this, they are speaking from both sides, from an understanding of being a gun owner and from an understanding of the potential of terrorism."

    A 2011 report by the Government Accounting Office found that from February 2004 to February 2010, "individuals on the terrorist watch list were involved in firearm or explosives background checks 1,228 times; 1,119 (about 91 percent) of these transactions were allowed to proceed because no prohibiting information was found."


    Yeah - it makes sense to prohibit terrorists from shooting us with weaponse we sell them, or use them in the course of doing something worse.

    There is at least some interest on the part of those agencies to help people get off these lists that comprise the master list. It is clearly NOT worth arming terrorists just to arm a couple of gun wannas. Sheesh.

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    1. Thanks. I particularly like this part: " But some of the group's members appear to back the the proposal. In a 2009 poll of NRA members conducted for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 82 percent said they would support measures to prevent those on the watch list from buying firearms. "If you look at prohibiting terrorists from buying guns, requiring background checks at gun shows, or other issues, you find widespread support for these measures," said pollster Frank Luntz, who ran the survey."

      Those must be the gun control extremists to whom Migo referred earlier.

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    2. First, I don't believe anything that MAIG or Frank Luntz says or writes any more than you believe Gary Kleck's gun research studies. I lend more credibility to polls performed by and facts provided by independent organizations.

      Second, I think the majority of Americans are in agreement that Timothy McVeigh and members of Al-Qaeda should not be allowed to possess guns. However, if a 10 year old cub scout can be on a terrorist watch list, then I'm certainly going to remain a little skeptical when someone simply says, "terrorists shouldn't have guns."

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    3. Well Migo, that's nonsense. MAIG and Frank Luntz ( a Republican pollster by the way) are dealing in the facts and they have the research to back it up. That is the difference. And as to the 10 year old boy scout on the terror watch list- he couldn't buy a gun anyway. What's your point in bringing that example to the discussion? He shouldn't be on the terror watch list if he is. But he can't buy a gun so he wouldn't be denied any rights by being on the list. I'm sure by now his parents have had him removed from the list. Of course, I suppose it is possible for a 10 year old to be a terrorist. Unlikely but possible.

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    4. Frank Luntz' polls were discredited because of the way the questions were asked. A clever pollster can make anyone say anything by framing the questions appropriately. There are many sources online that describe the flaws with his polls. I don't care if he's Republican. I'm an NRA member and I also treat everything the NRA says with suspicion unless I can confirm it independently. I'm sure that whatever credibility I have here would plummet if I just parroted everything the NRA said.

      It doesn't matter that the 10 year old cub scout can't buy a gun. I don't believe he's a terrorist, yet he's on a terrorist list. So what's to keep you, me, or anyone else from being labeled a terrorist? If terrorists can't have guns, then I could lose my guns even though I could be as innocent as that cub scout. That cub scout isn't the only one. Here's another example of someone being erroneously labeled as a terrorist. That fight went all the way up to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals probably because the accused was an attorney. If that had happened to me, I'd probably still be in jail.

      I'm not going to trust anyone being labeled a terrorist until those lists are transparent, which of course, they can't be for national security reasons. So I'm certainly not going to trust any terrorist list to be used to remove an American's rights.

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    5. Migo- the Frank Luntz polling has not been discredited. Of course you guys don't like it. Find me a neutral source that has discredited the polling- not the NRA or a gun blogger- a neutral source.

      I'm glad you aren't on the list nor am I. I'm sure I would be upset and doing everything possible to get my name off the list. If it meant I had to wait a few weeks to buy a gun, that would be not be a disaster nor should it be to anyone who wants to buy a gun. But it would be a terrible disaster if one of those folks on the list who is a legitimate terrorist purchased his/her guns legally right here in this country. How could we explain that one to the public??

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    6. This link and this link both describe Frank Luntz' questionable polling techniques.

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    7. Really Migo, sometimes you just amaze me. These articles don't say one thing about the Luntz polling about the gun issue. They are both from Media Matters, not exactly a neutral source but I'm surprised you chose that source. It is pretty typically liberal. One link was about questions about the Occupy movement and the other questioned his party affiliation. Please- we are done now. You are just blowing hot air.

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  21. Wow, Robin. Surely you have something better to do than to be pouring over my blog posts on a lovely Sunday afternoon.

    Maybe not.

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  22. Dog gone: “I don't really care if it is inconvenient to you to have to do a background check, so long as we stop letting so many guns fall into the hands of people who shouldn't have them.”

    No, I think you do care that it is inconvenient. That very well could be the main objective of your proposals. For years I have offered up my idea of a compromise for background checks, that quite frankly would even provide more background checks than your ideas- and it is routinely dismissed by you, Japete, and MikeB. You can prove me wrong by answering this: would a modification to your background check proposal that makes it less inconvenient be a positive in your mind, or a negative?

    Look at it this way: “accessibility” is a key word that is brought up often by the Left in debate, like “accessibility to health care”. So along those thoughts, wouldn’t you want background checks to be as accessible as possible? Let’s talk something specific like accessibility to birth control. There is an objective to reduce the amount of unwanted pregnancies, and accessibility to birth control is a way to meet that objective. Cheap and easy is a way to make things more accessible, agreed? Some people will go so far as to argue that “the pill” should be free. In the case of gun transfers, your objective is to increase the amount of background checks on gun transactions. So logically, you should be looking at solutions that are as cheap and easy as possible. Would you say you are following that principle?

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  23. Migo wrote:1. Requiring that all gun owners carry insurance.
    2. Requiring guns to be discussed with physicians.
    3. Using the terrorist watch list to regulate gun ownership.


    The NRA is so often wrong on their positions that it amounts to praise if they don't like something.

    You'd be surprised how many people on the progun side have been persuaded that a mandate for insurance is actually a good idea, a responsible idea, when they understand the benefits to the gun owner.

    Clearly Migo you are one of the uneducated and unwashed who don't appreciate concepts like being indemnified - that means if you have the security required by your property insurance policy, you get your gun replaced if it is stolen; it means that if your gun accidentally injures someone or wrongly intentionally injures someone even if handled by another person than yourself, or their property, the libability costs are covered, including legal expenses if you are sued; this means that unlike other instances where you can be sued and your home ownership is not protected from a judgment, you are judgment protected rather than being at risk of losing everything you have or will ever have if there is a large award against you. (to some degree this is dependent on coverage limits you select, whether or not legal costs are included - sometimes offered as an optional kind of coverage, whether or not you go for replacement value, or actual value in the coverage, etc.). Then there is the issue of what is called in technical financial language as a morals clause.
    No, that's not about what many people think it means.

    Wkipedia has a great intro piece to something that can be quite complex:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_hazard

    But in states where for example you are exempt from law suit if you shoot someone under shoot first laws, where victims of wrongful shootings cannot sue you if you BELIEVE something, correct or incorrect about the shooting situation. That is a moral hazard, where a person who is in a questionable situation is effectively allowed to take the more dangerous option without any accountability.

    People like Japete and I thinkt that is wrong, that if you shoot someone, you should be held accountable through both civil and criminal court review. Firearm insurance would potentially have helped someone like George Zimmerman, on condition that he was acting legally (it is a moral hazard to insure illegal activity - which is why you can't insure an embezzler's actions, but you can insure AGAINST being victimized by an embezzler). Another example, it would protect a gun owner against a negligence claim if in the gun owners home, one kid shot another.

    It benefits both the gun OWNER, and any victim of gun violence. Right now we as communities and as a nation have huge expenses as the result of the prevalence of firearms in this nation. WE are having to pay for gun owners to enjoy something which is an option not a requirement. That is unfair. It is also fiscally not responsible.

    Requiring insurance with a firearm is no different than requiring insurance to own and drive a car. It protects both parties if something bad happens.

    As to the terrorist watch list? An overwhelming majority of gun owners, including NRA member gun owners support it.

    Regardin 2., No one is requiring people to speak with their physicians about guns; however it does allow physicians to speak with their patients where a firearm would be an issue of concern - like someone being suicidal, or where children are in the home, or where there is a medical issue which would affect a patient's ability to use a gun safely. That is reasonable, and attempts to prevent it have been thrown out by courts.

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  24. What I left out about requiring insurance for gun owners and especially for anyone carrying - it is a proactive way to manage real costs and to control risk.

    The NRA has already been partnering with a risk insurance company; they could actually find a way to make this cost effective for their members, and to bring down costs; they have the pre-existing insurance connections and expertise.

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  25. I think that anything that increases cooperation with background checks is a positive. I don't recall my self, Japete, or MikeB disagreeing with that. Let me ask you this - does your proposal result in shifting those costs associated with gun ownershp to other people?

    And why do you think you should not, if you choose to own a firearm, have to pay the costs associated with ownership if you claim to be personally responsible for all aspects of that weapon - IF you really mean that?

    Because gun ownership by others is very expensive to the rest of us. That is not fair, that is not being fiscally responsible, that is not being personally responsible either.

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    1. Dog gone: “I think that anything that increases cooperation with background checks is a positive. I don't recall my self, Japete, or MikeB disagreeing with that.”

      What you guys object to is not needlessly forcing transactions through FFLs. Not having this requirement would greatly increase cooperation- yet you object. MikeB is slightly less objectionable. When faced with these questions, he’ll tell he doesn’t care so long as the checks happen- yet he never endorses it, or changes his stance. Every time he brings up background checks he is right back to requiring the use of FFLs. He is still bitterly clinging to the idea.

      Then there is this question: right now, only FFLs are allowed to do checks, yet the ATF has cut the number of people who can do checks by around 90% over the last several decades. If we went back to the days when private collectors used to be able to get an FFL issued to their home, it would not only increase the accessibility of background checks, but also greatly increase the amount of people legally required to sell only after a background check. You don’t even need to get any laws passed to get this. How does that sound to you? It sounds to me like “increased cooperation” by both sides.

      Dog gone: “Let me ask you this - does your proposal result in shifting those costs associated with gun ownershp to other people?”

      No, but there is no reason for it to be expensive if we are just talking about individuals making a phone call or internet query.

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    2. TS writes: " If we went back to the days when private collectors used to be able to get an FFL issued to their home"

      I assume you mean something other than a Curio & Relic Collector FFL (FFL 03)- which you can get for your home, but isn't anything like the regular Dealer FFL (FFL 01, and variants).

      ATF will issue a FFL 01 to a home based dealer as long as they are operating a legitimate business in a jurisdiction that allows such businesses at home. I do transfers through a FFL 01 whose business is operated from his home.

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  26. TS wrote:What you guys object to is not needlessly forcing transactions through FFLs. Not having this requirement would greatly increase cooperation- yet you object. MikeB is slightly less objectionable. When faced with these questions, he’ll tell he doesn’t care so long as the checks happen- yet he never endorses it, or changes his stance. Every time he brings up background checks he is right back to requiring the use of FFLs. He is still bitterly clinging to the idea.

    I think you are misreading our position T.S.
    Every state owns the actual data base for that state which is maintained but not owned by the FBI as the NICS data base. For example, in MN, that data base is owned by the state of MN, and maintained by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, BCA for short. Citizens in MN can currently access the database of the BCA online now; there is a modest fee (last I checked it was $10 or under, and I believe you could do multiple names for that fee btw, and it was free if you went into their location and used their teminal). It is the exact same data base that for example school bus services check to make sure that drivers are properly qualified (or not disqualified) or that day care and camps or organizations for kids check to make sure that someone isn't a pedophile or other sex offender. The difference is that with the FFL and the NICS, you get ALL the databases (missing names though they are) checked for different states, versus just your home state. Although.....I'm not aware of any resident or citizen requirement to check the BCA data base. You should be able to check it from out of state... Checking that state data base like this is usually what those states that require gun show checks by all sellers use, rather than running them through an FFL. You can also phone the BCA and have them run a check as well, again for a modest fee that pays for their time and access, but in the $10 range from memory (if someone finds otherwise, it may have changed since I last checked the BCA data base a few years ago, but is unlikely to be by much).
    So this is CLEARLY do-able, without great cost, and accessible to any ordinary citizen, resident or not, so long as you know what state someone lives in or has lived in previously. It is not an expensive or herculean effort. You can also have a local LEO do it, again usually for free or something not too far from the cost of a cup of drive-thru coffee. Bryan is correct about the home-address FFL; my cousin is one, his main occupation is commercial pilot, but he does a small but steady business as an FFL from his home as well.

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  27. I think it is hilarious that I know more about the state databases of the NICS and checking than the gun nuts, ROFL. This is not difficult information to come by, guys. Do a little homework for pete's sake.

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  28. TS wrote:No, I think you do care that it is inconvenient. That very well could be the main objective of your proposals.

    That would be a problem for you with your own paranoia TS. Clearly since I offer the solution of using the same existing database provided to the NICS, with existing very cheap checks through state facilities like the BCA, which are already used in states with gun show check requirements of all sellers, you would be wrong.

    Get over yourself; buy a clue with a vowel in it. Get rid of the knee-jerk opposition and honestly join the discussion.

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    1. What you are saying is exactly what I have been on about for the last couple years- here and on MikeB’s blog (that checks need not pass through an FFL). So what is with your pompous “I know more than you” attitude? If you indeed support doing it this way, great! Now please try and convince Japete, because she said it can’t be done (after consulting someone). And you chide me for “not doing my homework”…

      Regarding out of the home FFLs, I do acknowledge that some still exist- my point was how greatly this number has been reduced. These are people who would be required to conduct background checks under current law.

      Perhaps I was hasty, but when I said “you guys” I was referring to your movement. I am very familiar with MikeB’s and Japete’s stance on this, but I am not sure if you and I have discussed this in the past, Still I want to clarify, and I promises I won’t forget you if you say “yes” (because you would be the only one). Do you actually support private citizens doing transfers without the use of FFLs? Is that a yes? If you are indeed different I apologize for lumping you in with the rest.

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    2. TS, I suspect the reason governments control access to NICS-like databases is to avoid violations of the Fifth Amendment.

      This is why the BCA website states the following before one can proceed: If your intention is to access this website to obtain information regarding an applicant for employment, housing, or credit, you must notify the applicant that a background check using this website is being conducted per [Minnesota Statute Section 13.87, subdivision 3(f)]. Falsifying a record obtained from this website is punishable by law.

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    3. Agreed, which is why I have always said it should be the buyer who initiates the check. The buyer proves to the seller that they are not a felon.

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