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, October 12, 2012

I almost died laughing...

I write often on my blog about stupid and dangerous gun owners misusing their guns, causing accidents. Sometimes the accidents are fatal. Sometimes not but could have been. Are they funny? Apparently some people think so. Check out this video showing many incidents with guns that could have ended tragically. People are laughing in the background. It's not funny, but judge for yourself:



So what's so funny again? Is this the kind of gun owners who are supposed to be so responsible for their guns? The NRA and its' minions don't believe law abiding gun owners are irresponsible with their guns. That's because it doesn't fit with their mythical and ludicrous view of the world where the guys with the guns make the rules and anyone should be able to carry a gun everywhere they go. Their other myth is that more guns make us safer. Raise your hand if you think any of the people you saw in the above linked video should be carrying guns around anywhere and would make us all safer. Remember another of the myth of the NRA- "An armed society is a polite society." Such nonsense should not be believed.

Over at the Ohh Shoot blog, things are not so funny. Here's the latest incident showing "law abiding" gun owners acting in irresponsible and dangerous ways with their guns:
A retired Chicago homicide detective shot and killed his son after mistaking him for an intruder in his Northwest Side apartment early this morning, according to police and family.
Michael Griffin, 48, was found shot once in the head a little after midnight in his father’s home in the 5300 block of North Delphia Avenue, police said.
Officers are trained to use their guns. Even those who are trained to use guns properly make mistakes. And when skills are not kept up, as happens with many gun owners, errors in judgement can happen. I would suggest you take a look at the many unfortunate and stupid incidents involving gun owners and guns on this blog. Guns are dangerous weapons designed to kill. Our gun culture promotes some of the behaviors seen on the blog above. Because we have chosen as a country not to challenge the myths of the NRA, we see incidents such as the one above. There is no reason not to have a serious discussion about guns and senseless gun violence. Doing so would send a message to the public that we take gun deaths seriously, just as we take automobile accidents seriously and we intend to protect citizens from accidents and intentional shootings. Changing people's behavior, along with reasonable gun laws, would have the affect of changing the outcome- fewer gun deaths and injuries. That would be something to smile about. We need to demand a plan from our politicians. Not to do so is irresponsible.

Speaking of auto accidents, this new information should make us cry. In some places in the U.S. gun deaths now surpass car accident deaths. This new information comes from the Violence Policy Center:
A new Violence Policy Center (VPC) analysis (http://www.vpc.org/studies/dmv.pdf) of just-released federal firearm and motor vehicle deaths data reveals that gun deaths outpace motor vehicle deaths in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia). The analysis, which uses the most recent complete data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, reveals that in 2010--
Gun deaths in the DMV totaled 1,512 while motor vehicles deaths totaled 1,280. 
In the District of Columbia there were 99 firearm deaths reported in 2010, 84 of which were identified as homicides and 13 of which were identified as suicides. That same year, there were 38 motor vehicle deaths in the District. 
In Maryland, there were 538 firearm deaths reported in 2010, 306 of which were identified as homicides and 222 of which were identified as suicides. That same year, there were 514 motor vehicle deaths in the state. 
Surely you remember how often some of my readers want to talk about comparing gun deaths to auto accidents. Well, here's a comparison and it isn't a good one. Car manufacturers have made cars more safe by installing seat belts, air bags and other safety features. These measures are actually saving lives. States have enacted mandatory seat belt laws and speed limit laws. Why? To protect citizens. To keep insurance rates from going ever higher and higher. We all pay the price for reckless driving and automobile accidents in general. We all pay the price for the many gun deaths and injuries in increased health insurance costs, legal system expenditures and long term care of those wounded by bullets. None of this is to laugh about. Why aren't we doing anything about gun deaths and injuries? In one word- the NRA.

No one is laughing about the added death to the Minneapolis work place shooting. A sixth person now died from his bullet injuries suffered when Andrew Engeldinger decided to shoot up his work place over being fired:
Andrew Engeldinger, 36, went on his rampage after being fired from his job. Only two of the eight people he shot with a semi-automatic handgun survived.
One of the wounded, 41-year-old Battites Wesley of Minneapolis, was grazed by a bullet.
John Souter, 63, of Wayzata, Accent's director of operations, also was shot, but survived.
I wonder if the people in the video above ever think about how dangerous and deadly the weapons they are misusing actually are. Do they understand that many people could be killed in a very short span with those machine guns and other assault type weapons used at the gun range or out in the open spaces where, luckily for them, no one was hurt? Likely not. There is a lack of common sense at the least in the incidents above. Most Americans believe we are better than this.

39 comments:

  1. Did you also notice that all those locations where the gun deaths surpass the auto deaths are have high Brady Campaign report cards? Well, actually, DC isn't ranked but has everything that you guys rank on, you just want to ignore it because the murder rate is so high. Maryland is ranked #7 and Virginia is #19.

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    1. Yes, Robin. We've gone over this before. That is why we need a national background check law so all states have the same law to prevent prohibited people from getting guns without background checks at gun shows and other venues. Some states have this law. Others don't. States that have more permissive gun laws have problems with the guns coming in from other states with looser laws. So the "iron pipeline" is known for trafficking of guns from southern states with looser gun laws to northern states with stricter gun laws. Also see this one- http://blogs.roanoke.com/dancasey/2011/01/gun-deaths-by-state-gun-laws-by-state/

      " Below are the 5 states with the highest gun death rates, and the five states with the lowest gun death rates. Each state also is ranked on the relative strength/weakness of gun control laws (the lower the number, the fewer the controls).

      There’s no hard and fast correlation between gun deaths and the permissiveness of gun laws. Maryland, for example, which ranks 47th on the permissiveness scale, has more gun deaths than Virginia, which is ranked 35th (Something tells me Virginia’s permissiveness ranking should be much higher).

      And Vermont, which is #3 on the gun permissiveness scale, has fewer gun deaths than both Maryland and Virginia. On the other hand, Vermont has the highest gun-death rate among all the states in New England, and all of those have more restrictive gun laws than Vermont.

      And, as the article notes, you’re 5 times as likely to die from a gun in Arizona (which the article calls the most permissive gun state in the nation) as in Hawaii (the least permissive state for guns)."

      Also this one- http://dcist.com/2010/09/virginia_maryland_top_list_of_gun_e.php

      Many of the crime guns used in DC come from Maryland, Virginia and other states.

      This one talks about Virginia gun laws- http://www.examiner.com/article/virginia-s-gun-control-laws-too-much-or-not-enough

      And this one about Maryland's conceal carry law recently changed from a may issue state is also interesting considering the statistics in the VPC report- http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/24/maryland-gun-permit-law-struck/

      I don't know if one can make a correlation there or not.

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    2. Robin, I looked on the Brady site, and they actually dont like Virginia very much. And I think they'll like them even less because I believe they recently repealed the one gun per month law because they determined it had no effect.

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    3. Japete, There is a national background check law already in place. It's the National Instant Check System. Though it appears the individual states need to get better at supporting it. Including Minnesota from what I've found.

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    4. ssg, I can assure you that japete knows all about the NICS.

      We in fact, appear to know a great deal more than you do.

      More than half the states don't provide the names. It is not used for a majority of the purchases / transfers in the U.S., which occur at gun shows and private transactions.

      The NRA consistently opposes efforts to fund participation in the NICS at all levels, and cooperation with it on the state level, and were the entity which lobbied successfully to make cooperation with the NICS voluntary rather than mandatory, so they could obstruct such participation - because it could impede gun sales for their real constituency which is gun manufacturers.

      So long as the NICS is mandatory, it has limited effectiveness.

      But there are other problems with the NICS standards. For example - again, goes to the NRA -- while drug users are a prohibited category for firearms sales under the NICS, a conviction for drug abuse only remains in a data base for one year, and then only if it is a felony.

      Instead, we should have mandatory drug TESTING, to prevent unconvicted habitual drug users from gaining access to firearms.

      As relates to those who are dangerously mentally ill, the NICS only lists those few who are reported who have been ADJUDICATED to be dangerously mentally ill.

      This handicaps our system so that a large number of those who ARE dangerously mentally ill - James Holmes, and the mass shooter in Mpls being two recent examples - are still allowed to legally purchase firearms, even when they are recognized as dangerously mentally ill.

      We need mental health screening to keep dangerously mentally ill people from getting lethal weapons to harm themselves and others. That of course doesn't touch those who become delusional due to illnesses like Alzheimers in an aging population.

      Additionally pro-gun legislation, like that in Wisconsin, has led to more domestic abusers acquiring firearms, because their criminal records are often plea bargained down to misdemeanors. I refer you to the studies done by several WI jurisdictions that found a correlation to their increase in firearm homicides and non-fatal injuries.

      What they found was that under the change in WI law, domestic abusers were the primary group involved in the INCREASE in firearm violence under more lax gun laws in that state.

      That is on top of the number of unarmed victims of gun violence under shoot first laws who should never have been shot.

      You're new to this, and still have a lot to learn about the issues.

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  2. I laughed at them, not with them.

    This is just one more example of why people should require a physical to prove they can safely handle a firearm - that they have the strength, control, eye-hand coordination.

    Just more examples of how dangerous people really are with guns, despite their claims to the contrary.

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    1. Dog gone, The Minnesota carry permit laws do require that by requiring the applicant to pass required training including a range qualification test. I actually took the training online, but had to meet the instructor in person to take the final written exam and do the qualification.

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    2. That isn't the same thing dog gone is talking about.

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    3. Both accomplish the same thing, all a doctor would be able to say is that the person has no health issues that would prevent them from using a firearm safely, though I'm not sure how a doctor would test strength and control.
      The range qualification tests everything that Dog gone said should be tested to insure safe use of a firearm.
      What do you think she was referring to?

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    4. As you know, Mark, the NICS is only for FFLs. All other sales do not require background checks. That is what the problem is and that is what we are advocating. Some states have passed laws requiring background checks at gun shows. Minnesota is not one of them. We have tried but the NRA throws everything it has against laws that might actually stop prohibited people from getting guns in the first place. There is a huge gap in the law. That is what I'm talking about!!

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    5. Japete, FFL holders have to use NICS for their sales at gun shows also. One problem I see with NICS in addition to states doing a better job at keeping them updated as to prohibited persons is that it cant be used by individuals.
      It would be quite easy to set up access online similar to what FFLs use. And many private owners would use it to prevent sales to prohibited persons. You might find it to quite effective on a voluntary basis.

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    6. Yes, Mark. I know that. Private sellers at gun shows, of which there are many, do not have to contact NICS. I believe you knew that was what I was talking about. That is always what I'm talking about. In states that have passed a requirement for everyone selling at gun shows to require a NICS check, the private sellers bring the gun to an FFL and get the check done. It works out well.

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    7. I just wanted to make sure so there isnt a misunderstanding. I believe that allowing individuals to voluntarily use NICS for private sales would be a reasonable compromise.
      It would reduce expense of getting it done through an FFL also.

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    8. The notion that the only way to do it is through an FFL is ludicrous.

      There are already states - like Colorado, which enacted the provision after the way that the Columbine shooters acquired their weapons - require private sales at gun shows to do background checks.

      You could just as easily do it through law enforcement.

      In MN, we run background checks for all kinds of things - you can't be a school bus driver around kids for example without one. The BCA, which is the entity that handles OUR state data for the NICS, has an online data base that you can access for a small fee to run that kind of background check, or you can do so in their office lobby for free.

      There is no problem with running background checks for this or any other reason EXCEPT the opposition to it from the NRA and pro-gun nuts who want no tracking of firearms whatsoever, and no limits on who they can sell or trade them with.

      We should be requiring a record of every transaction, to guarantee that the person to whom someone provides a firearm is not a prohibited person. All guns start out legal; far too many end up being illegal. The solution is to regulate that nexus point...and another good idea is just to have far fewer of them.

      The barriers put up by the pro-gunners are just that - obstacles they create.

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  3. Good morning Japete,
    I havent watched the video yet, but the report from the VPC was interesting. The most interesting thing about the report is that Maryland and DC have about the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. DC ranks number one in the nation for gun deaths. DC's gun laws were so restrictive that they were declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Yet they still come in first.
    You wont find that out from the VPC though, because when they rank states in the area of gun ownership and gun deaths, they leave DC out.

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    1. That's been suggested many times on this blog. I have no idea if it would work or not. Other states do not use it. Perhaps there is a reason.

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  4. ssgmarkcr, do you have something to support your statement that DC has the highest rate of gun violence in the US? The problem with that statement is that DC has a population of 617,996 and had 99 firearm deaths reported in 2010, While having there are sources saying that the number is around 30 per 100k, the number I give would make that figure lower and place it lower on the scale.

    As for DC not being listed as a state, it is not a state. It is a federal territory. It is without representation in the US legislature. It's locally enacted firearms laws were overturned as "unconstitutional" by an unelected body who were petitioned by nonresidents (the Cato foundation).

    There was a standing legal precedent called Sandidge v. US, 520 A.2d 1057 (1987) which said:

    The purpose of the second amendment is "to preserve the effectiveness and assure the continuation of the state militia." United States v. Oakes, 564 F.2d 384, 387 (10th Cir.1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926, 98 S.Ct. 1493, 55 L.Ed.2d 521 (1978). Appellant cannot show that possession of a handgun by an individual bears any relationship to the District of Columbia's desire and ability to preserve a well regulated militia. See D.C.Code '' 39-106, - 201 (1981) (provides for organized militia, called the National Guard, to be armed by government); Miller, 307 U.S. at 178, 59 S.Ct. at 818; Warin, 530 F.2d at 106 (possession of submachine gun by individual has no relationship to preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia).


    As far as I know, nothing was done between 1987 and 2008 which would allow for the DC laws to be found illegal.

    And there is nothing in the Constitution which explicitly provides for courts to overturn legislation.

    The source for the custom Judicial Review (I'll let you find it), says that "It cannot be presumed that any clause in the Constitution is intended to be without effect". Yet the Supreme Court did just that in its Heller-McDonald decisions.

    In fact, they went far beyond that, they re-wrote the Second Amendment.

    I put it to you, ssgmarkcr, that the US Supreme Court engaged in tyranny as understood by the founders.

    How do you like that, the Second Amendment actually was used for tyrannical purposes as the founders understood it. In fact, the Second Amendment has not prevented the tyranny that the founders believe it would.

    Instead, the Second Amendment has shown that its purpose no longer exists and such is not really anything other than a historic curiosity.

    But, I won't argue that out with you. You can read my blog to find out the truth and it has something to do with the US Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 16, not personal arms.

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    1. Laci, I'll have to do some more studying on your assertion, it does sound very interesting. Many could say the same of other decisions by the court. The recent ruling on Obamecare for example. And also Roe v. Wade. I know many have expressed hope that it be overturned eventually.
      As for DC, you are correct, I mistakenly assumed that since they had electoral votes, they had the representation to back them up. As for the statistics I referenced, here is what I found:

      http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-death-rate-per-100-000

      But there didn't seem to be any source data, so I went to the FBI website :

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl05.xls

      A lower number, but better source information. I just find it troubling that VPC only uses DC for data when it seems to support their message. Otherwise it doesn't seem to count.

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    2. As to Laci's points, here is a new article about crime in DC that provides some insight and supports what Laci wrote about the actually fairly low rate of crime in DC.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/as-dc-homicides-decline-murder-still-a-stubborn-crime-to-solve-and-prosecute/2012/10/13/e19132a2-fc23-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_story.html?hpid=z1

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    3. Japete, the article in your post was very interesting. One thing I got from it was most of the improvement in the drop in homicides was an improvement in policing techniques. Keep in mind, the whole time handguns were essentially banned.
      I saw the part where they discuss how closure rates affect FBI statistics, and that would suggest that DC got a break in earlier years, than now that they're doing better and closing old cases.

      I've tried to find some sort of current count online for 2012, figuring that homicides reported might give better real time feedback rather than waiting for the cases to be closed. But I've been unsuccessful so far.
      For example I was able to dind out that there have been 435 homicides in Chicago so far. But it seems tougher to find for DC.

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  5. SSG - Dog gone, The Minnesota carry permit laws do require that by requiring the applicant to pass required training including a range qualification test. I actually took the training online, but had to meet the instructor in person to take the final written exam and do the qualification.

    That seems totally inadequate for someone to be safe SSG.

    When I qualified for my carry, there were minimum hours of actual range time, classroom time, etc.

    Sorry, but 1. why do you think we haven't gone through these hoops, as if you are telling us how it works? We know. Sheesh, we're all firearms proficient - and quite possibly more so than you are.

    That you are so minimally proficient, that our standards are so LOW only underlines why it is that our current carry laws are so tremendously inadequate. It seems pretty clear here just from the series of comments on japete's blog that we are better read on the topic, involving statistics, studies, legal cases, etc.

    MN, and too many other states, lets any fool carry with far too little reason to do so, and far, far, far too little expertise.

    The statistics support our low opinion of gun nuts.

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  6. Dog gone, I'm afraid I must have mistakenly led you to believe that the permit class was the only firearms training I've had. I took the training because it was required. As to our respective firearms experience and training, since we don't know each other there isn't really way to know for sure. And trying to see who has more wouldn't be very productive in this venue.
    You might very well be better read than I on this topic. I'm here to exchange ideas and learn. Are you suggesting that just because you say it's true, that I shouldn't question things? I don't do that here any more than I do it at pro gun blogs.

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    1. No, I'm suggesting you should explore what the actual studies indicate. I'm suggesting that the exchange of ideas has gone further than what is occurring to you now.

      For example, it is clear you were unaware that in a few states - not nearly enough - private transactions already solved the problem of background checks without resorting to FFLs.

      What I'm arguing for is that we don't expend too much time reinventing the wheel here.

      If you feel that your other training did a better job of qualifying you to carry, great -- but you quoted how little was required for you in MN.

      I consider that to be inadequate for safe carry, and as it IS all that is required, that is, as I noted, the problem -- we have unqualified people walking around armed, and as repeated news stories reported here have noted, shooting people who should not be shot.

      This is true of the crazy guy who just shot up a bunch of people at the sign company, this is true of the guy in the parking lot of the county sheriff who shot someone in the face in an incident of road rage, and all the many other incidents I could list here.

      I would argue that our crime rate means that we do not have a reasonable justification for so many people to be armed with lethal weapons. Rather it argues that we are becoming a vigilante society, which is an uncivilized society where everyone takes the law into their own hands, where disproportionate force is not only used, but glorified.

      That is a bad thing....a VERY bad thing.

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    2. And there is a good reason the background checks for selling deadly weapons are left to FFLs. The "L" is licensed. The ATF monitors FFLs for all kinds of nefarious activity which does happen to occur. Licensed dealers are held to different standards than private sellers. They have to go through certain requirements to be licensed. If everyone is to use the system suggested by the gun guys, should they, too, have to go through the same requirements as FFLs? The ATF is underfunded with no permanent director. They can barely monitor the FFLs we now have. That is by design of the NRA, by the way. How would they then monitor all the new folks who are selling deadly weapons? So that is the case for taking the seller to a FFL when you are a private seller, as is done in the states that now require this loophole to be closed. It works.

      Secondly, there is a cost to getting a background check on someone. That is why FFLs charge for it. They would charge the same fee for a gun sold by a private seller as they do for their own customers. My church has to spend money to do background checks on people who volunteer or work with children. It is a cost borne by our church. Will private sellers take that on themselves or charge their customers? That means adding a cost to the guns sold by private sellers. In most of the hidden camera videos, the sellers make it clear that they are offering deals to their customers. "Cash and carry" Simple. No paper work and out the door with your guns. That is the advantage to them. The same is not true of the FFLs down the aisle from the private seller, often selling the same guns. Obviously people who sell their private collections of guns don't want to be inconvenienced with the paper work required by FFLs. They make lots of money selling their deadly weapons with no extra charges- no getting involved with the federal system. Follow the money. The NRA protects private sellers. Private sellers can sell to anyone without knowing anything about that person. The NRA is then protecting a system that allows for just anyone to buy any gun they want in any quantity they want. That is just plain wrong and dangerous. It allows for trafficking of guns illegally once sales are made. In some places, private sellers can account for a large number of sellers at some gun shows.

      Check this out- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_shows_in_the_United_States

      We don't even know that private sellers are actually law abiding. Who is checking them to make sure? That is why the system to make sure gun sellers are also law abiding is really a very good idea, wouldn't you agree? Guns go from the legal market to the illegal market way too easily in America because of our lax system. Since it's legal for private sellers to sell guns in most states, these kind of sales are legal. We should stop that from happening to make it harder for people who shouldn't get guns to get them in the first place. Closing the loophole for private sellers is just one way to do this.

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    3. The reason the public can't access a complete background check system, like NICS, is to limit privacy abuses. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said that use of criminal history may sometimes violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This can happen, the EEOC says, when employers treat criminal history differently for different applicants or employees. I think Montana's Constitution also says it well, The right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest. FFL's have a legitmate state interest. The average Joe down the street might not have that legitimate state interest. How would anyone know? Your own BCA system requires, by law, that the person who is being checked be notified before you do the online check for certain reasons that may violate civil rights.

      Here in Oregon, the background check fee is set by law and is collected by the Oregon State Police to administer the system. Oregon FFL's make no money on background checks, and it's probably similar in other states.

      Full background checks (NICS) are possible at gun shows because gun shows are a controlled environment for a number of reasons. Oregon requires such checks. However, private sales between two people in someone's kitchen can't be controlled anymore than if they were selling pot. Sure, you can pass a law requiring that private parties visit an FFL to complete the sale, just like you can pass a law banning the sale of pot, but do you honestly think those with criminal intent would really obey those laws? Only responsible gun owners would comply and that would not allow the law to be effective. I, and many others like me, simply will not support ineffective legislation, which is why there aren't many private sales background check laws.

      However, there is another way for those of us with a conscious to sell our guns to those we don't know without requiring a trip to the FFL. We could simply require that the buyer have a concealed handgun/weapons license.

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    4. For once we agree,Migo. I share the privacy concerns and have raised them when some on your side suggest allowing private sellers to access NICS. Not even sure the FBI would allow it.

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    5. Very true Migo. Though I believe that with NICS, the FFL doesnt get any further personal information that he enters to make the check. From what I've read, the FFL just gets a denied or approved. A denial comes with a code that the would be purchaser can use to call to ask why. If that is the case, then it wouldnt be a privacy issue.
      I do like your idea of only selling to permit holders though.

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    6. I used to want public access to E-Check, until I realized that even a simple Deny returned by the system could be used to deny a felon housing, credit, job, etc., especially coming from something as powerful and integrated as NICS. If a felon can't find a place to live, or a job, or apply for credit after they are released from prison, then not only do I believe that would be a violation of the 5th Amendment, but it would leave the felon with few possible choices: suicide, live on the streets, or re-offend. I don't believe all felons would choose suicide, and if that is what society truly desires, then they should all be sentenced to death when punished for the first time.

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    7. Dog gone said,

      I would argue that our crime rate means that we do not have a reasonable justification for so many people to be armed with lethal weapons. Rather it argues that we are becoming a vigilante society, which is an uncivilized society where everyone takes the law into their own hands, where disproportionate force is not only used, but glorified.

      I would argue the opposite. That the crime rate justifies the option for law abiding citizens to defend themselves. Law enforcement has no legal obligation to protect the individual, just the public at large.
      May I ask what you consider to be taking the law into your own hands? I can assure you that I'm happy to let law enforcement take care of things if they're available. However, until they get there, I have an obligation to myself and my family to protect them to the best of my ability. I dont think that fits in the definition of being a vigilante.

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    8. Dog gone: “For example, it is clear you were unaware that in a few states - not nearly enough - private transactions already solved the problem of background checks without resorting to FFLs.”

      [my emphasis] You and Japete are contradicting each other. She says it is not done and can’t be done that way.

      I have addresses an idea for privacy concerns here several times. First of all, as ssgmarkcr pointed out, the FFL does not access the database. The FBI does. They send a query; they get a yes or no answer back. Still, the best way to handle privacy issues is to have the buyer initiate the check. Instead of a seller checking to see that a buyer is not a prohibited person, the buyer proves to the seller that they passed the check. As an added bonus this method avoids that awkward moment where the seller has to say “yeah... this says you are a criminal- and I am not legally allowed to sell you this…sorry…” If someone knows they want to buy a gun, they can get their stamp of approval from the FBI good for x amount of time.

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    9. the argument that law enforcement has no legal obligation is bogus and specious. In my community, I've not heard of a law enforcement officer refusing to protect anyone from harm. Give me some examples and then we can talk. There may be a few here and there but overall, law enforcement's job is to protect the safety of the public. When I call 911, they come. If you choose to have a gun for self protection in your home, that is your choice. It comes with a lot of responsibility as well. I hope your gun is safely stored away from children and teens. I hope it won't get stolen. I hope there will be no accidental discharges. As you know, I write about all of these often on this blog. That is what happens with guns more often than using it in self defense. When a gun is available, it may even be used to shoot someone purposely or for suicide. Those are the facts. I don't make them up.

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    10. TS- give me links to articles about which states do this and how they do it.

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    11. Japete,
      I'm not suggesting that the police refuse to protect people, they do their best. However, several times people on this blog have made the argument that we should count on law enforcement to protect us instead of using a firearm. And it's been suggested that to chose to use a firearm for self defense is vigilantism. The most notable is warren vs. DC, here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia
      And there is this one:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Rock_v._Gonzales
      What is your definition to here and there?

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    12. That was Dog gone who said several states do this now. Dog gone, can you provide sources? Thanks.

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    13. You said "the argument that law enforcement has no legal obligation is bogus and specious" How do you explain this then?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/28scotus.html

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    14. I side with the minority justices who said this: " But Justices Stevens and Ginsburg, in their dissenting opinion, said "it is clear that the elimination of police discretion was integral to Colorado and its fellow states' solution to the problem of underenforcement in domestic violence cases." Colorado was one of two dozen states that, in response to increased attention to the problem of domestic violence during the 1990's, made arrest mandatory for violating protective orders.

      "The court fails to come to terms with the wave of domestic violence statutes that provides the crucial context for understanding Colorado's law," the dissenting justices said."

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    15. Japete,

      The Castle Rock event took place in 1999, after the mandatory arrest law was passed. Sounds like the police dropped the ball big time. I thought this article was interesting in that regard. Basically, police discretion is still alive and well.

      http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display&article_id=1961&issue_id=122009

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    16. True, it is my opinion. There was a mandatory arrest law in place, it wasn't enforced, and when asked to take responsibility, the court found the law to basically to be non-binding. Can you share your opinion on this?
      It appeared to support view that police aren't legally responsible for protection of individuals. In Colorado, when a govt. entity wants to ban guns, they're required to control access with guards and metal detectors to insure they everyone is unarmed. Te suggestion being that when the govt requires a citizen to disarm, they must take on the responsibility of protecting them.

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