Gun control again

If we are to make a law that curtails the rights of innocent citizens that law should serve some legitimate public purpose and have some reasonable expectation of solving the problem. None of the proposed laws come close to meeting those burdens.

25 thoughts on “Gun control again

  1. “. . . that law should serve some legitimate public purpose and have some reasonable expectation of solving the problem.”

    First, reducing gun carnage IS a legitimate public purpose. DUH!

    Second, “solving the problem” is a deliberately impossible hurdle. The most that ANY improved gun legislation can hope to achieve is to reduce gun carnage. And many of the various proposals commonly discussed will do that.


    1. “First, reducing gun carnage IS a legitimate public purpose. DUH!”

      You make a reasonable case for why Nicholas Cruz or Adam Sanza should not have access to firearms, however that does not establish a public purpose for limiting my choice of firearms. I do not participate in gun carnage.

      The NICS database provision of the Brady Firearms Act was intended to help keep firearms out of the wrong hands, but for 8 years the Obama administration did everything it could to sabotage the system, starting with Fast and Furious and going on to refuse to prosecute violations. Lying on the Form 4473 application is a felony, as is making a straw purchase for someone not legally eligible to possess a firearm. Yet in 2010, with 72,000 purchases denied for lying on the form and 48,000 straw purchases detected, less than 1 in 1000 of each of those offenses was prosecuted.

      Further, one of the questions on the form is ‘Are you a fugitive from justice?’ The Obama Justice Department removed almost 400,000 fugitives from justice from the NICS database, allowing people who should have been denied to go undetected.

      Nicholas Cruz should have been on the NICS database, but was not because of Obama Dept of Education programs intended to prevent arrest and prosecution for acts of violence in schools.

      Clearly your side of this issue is more interested in the political issue than in solving the problem as they won’t use a good law, crafted with the help of the NRA and gun owners, that would accomplish the public purpose you advocate


      1. RE: “Clearly your side of this issue is more interested in the political issue than in solving the problem…”

        Exactly right. Gun control has become a divide-and-conquer issue.


      2. Honestly, Don, I had no idea Obama was responsible for all our gun deaths. Or at least that is what it seems after reading your post.

        Fast and Furious sabotaged background checks? I didn’t know that.

        The background check system needs to be refined, no doubt.

        But then add total universal background checks. Meaning every transfer of every gun.

        Of course this means registration. Yet most of the illegal guns involved in crime were owned by an accountable person or company at one time. Then something happened to make them available to anyone with a few bucks and no questions asked.

        Today there was a shooting in MacArthur Mall. Details are out, but it seemed gang related. And the guns were probably not registered or passed NICS. How and from whom did the once legal guns become part of the vast pool of unaccounted for weapons?

        Not from you I am sure. Of course not to be flippant, but how does anyone know? I have only met you a few times and chatted many more.

        Anonymity has a big price. The illegal guns at the mall may have killed or injured many non-gang members. And someone, somehow, without the restraints of licensing and registration is providing guns as we write.

        As Reagan famously said “trust but verify”. I trust you and most gun owners I know. Yet…

        Liked by 1 person

          1. “What authority are you talking about?”

            Who knows? Currently Democrats are trying to pass bans on the Federal and State levels.

            Right now, if they come to my house to confiscate my guns, they can’t really know if they got them all or if there is one carefully packed away in a hermetically sealed pipe in the woods nearby. That uncertainty protects me. But if they have a list of all of those I own then I, and millions of other patriots, find ourselves in a ‘use it or lose it’ dilemma.

            Registration makes a violent confrontation between government and patriots far more likely.

            And yes, those soldiers do live among us, and most of them, and most policemen, look at this just like I do.

            Among us, we own 20 million AR and AK and similar rifles, and we have 7 trillion rounds of ammunition on hand. We haven’t harmed anybody and left alone, we never would.

            I really don’t understand why you are so eager to disturb a balance of power that works.


        1. “How and from whom did the once legal guns become part of the vast pool of unaccounted for weapons?”

          Depends on the guns.

          Older guns are circulated on the black market, criminal to criminal. A gun can last for 100 years and have many owners. Stolen guns are sold on the black market, again, criminal to criminal.

          Many of these illegal guns have circulated for decades.

          More up to date guns are mostly obtained through straw purchases.

          Less than 1% are obtained through gun shows or private sales from non-criminals.

          Criminals are not going to report their black market sales in any case.

          So, so-called universal background checks would at most capture that 1%.

          Some things that would help would be draconian prosecution of straw purchases and making the NICS system available to non-dealers.

          Dealers retain records for 30 years which would be an onerous burden for private sellers, but few of us would knowingly sell to a criminal. If private sellers could use the NICS database at no charge, and without the record keeping requirement, most of us certainly would.

          Again, we are talking about relatively few sales, but the availability of NICS checks on a voluntary basis would remove a lot of doubt with little if any downside.


          1. Essentially you are saying the horses have left the barn.

            And that would probably be from decades of lax gun laws, lack of responsible ownership, no licensing and no registration.

            “If the authorities know where all the guns are, you are back to Lexington-Concord.”

            We have 3 branches of government, 50 states each with another 3 branches of government, thousands of counties and untold number of towns and other political jurisdictions with their own police. Our armed forces members live among us.

            What authority are you talking about?


        2. “Honestly, Don, I had no idea Obama was responsible for all our gun deaths. ”

          Add “and his ilk” and you would be on to something.

          The responsibility lies primarily with the criminal or madman, but Obama and his ilk have certainly done their part to enable them.

          Remember that Nicholas Cruz had committed numerous assaults that were not reported to police due to Obama Education Dept policies. Those policies made it possible for him to pass a background check.

          With over 48,000 straw purchases detected in 2010, only 44 were prosecuted even though many were repeat offenders. 78,000 people lied in applying to purchase through a dealer and were caught, but only 75 were prosecuted. 400,000 fugitives from justice were removed from the NICS database, allowing them to lie on their 4473s and gt away with it.

          How much does the Obama BATF and Justice Dept have to do before you will hold them responsible?

          It’s certainly not people on my side working diligently to defeat the NICS system.


      3. Again the solipsistic world view. Sad.

        You stated that there is no legitimate public purpose for gun control measures. That is clearly false. Reducing gun carnage IS a legitimate public purpose. So now rather than admit the first claim was obviously pretty foolish you start shucking and jiving about various maniacs and claim to not be one of them so why should YOU have any of YOUR options curtailed.

        I am not going to take the bait about POSSIBLE administrative errors made by “Obama and his ilk” except to note that the reality is that the NRA does everything in its power to make administering existing gun laws more difficult.


        1. The NRA crafted the NICS database portion of the Brady Bill. Properly enforced, many of the mass shooters would not have been able to obtain their weapons through legal channels.

          It is not a matter of administrative errors by the Obama administration, it was a deliberate decision to prevent it from working to keep the gun control issue alive.

          And again, you have demonstrated no public purpose in curtailing MY choice of firearms. Your irrational fear of armed citizens is not a justification.


          1. “. . . it was a deliberate decision to prevent it from working to keep the gun control issue alive.”

            There is zero evidence for any such decision. You just made that up.

            Just like you are making up the “fact” that the NRA’s influence on gun law enforcement is benign.

            To the extent the NRA crafted anything in the law it was to supplant more effective measures. One obvious example is the database fiasco where the NRA has blocked electronic and centralized record keeping without which enforcing gun laws almost impossible.

            As for the Obama Department of Education role in the case of Nicholas Cruz you display a classic example of the sophist’s cherry-picking, exaggeration and either gullibility or dishonesty. There was no Obama policy that prevented local school authorities from reporting criminal behavior. The guidance – and it was only guidance – from the Department was for schools to take care to make such decisions uniformly with respect to race and ethnic background.


          2. “There is zero evidence for any such decision. You just made that up.”

            Nope, it was policy directed by Eric Hoilder


            And the school policy was to NOT REFER assaults to police.


            Because the number arrested was disproportionately black, leniency was directed for all violent offices at schools as it could not be made racially based.

            Further, the Obama justice dept directed the FBI to remove over 400,000 fugitives from justice from the NICS database.

            The BATF and Obama simply didn’t want the existing laws to be effective as that reduced pressure for new laws.

            BATF wanted national registration and the NICS database, used as intended, accomplished the same end of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals as well as registration would have. So NICS has to fail to get registration.


          3. ā€œ. . . it was a deliberate decision to prevent it from working to keep the gun control issue alive.ā€?

            “Nope, it was policy directed by Eric Hoilder”

            The evidence you provide to support this baloney is a story about statements made by Eric Holder when he as a junior member of the Clinton administration. Long before Obama became President. The position he took was not about keeping the gun control issue alive but against “cookie cutter” justice. And given the damage now known to have been done by mandatory sentencing laws, he was right.

            Your defense of your dishonest characterization on the Obama Department of Education is a story about the policies of Broward County with nothing but innuendos with respect to the Obama government. My characterization of what the Department of Education guidance actually was is absolutely accurate. Yours is a lie. There was NOTHING in federal policy requiring schools to not report crimes to the police. Nothing.

            But, in defense of Broward County, as a matter of policy not turning EVERY school yard scuffle into a criminal matter is entirely defensible. But, it requires judgments to be made on the ground and sometimes people make mistakes. It is typical of your polemics to take one poor judgment (seen in hindsight) by one school administrator and spin it up into yet another baseless attack on President Obama.

            Neither of your “cites” said what you said they said. What is up with that? Let me suggest that if you provide links to support your opinions that you take the trouble to read and understand them.


  2. Gun violence is one of those problems that can be solved only by expanding government tyranny. Given such a stark choice — between bloodshed and tyranny — I’ll go with bloodshed. At least I can have a personal influence on that. Tyranny not so much.


    1. Expanding government tyranny? What are you? A child?

      Actually, I know that you are not. In fact, an adult who spent his life living off service to that “tyranny” and who now supports the wannabe tyrant who thinks he can spend our money and take people’s land on the basis of a whim.


      1. “Expanding tyranny” serves my purpose well in defining the nature of the choices we face in using government to curb gun violence.

        But I notice from your comment that you regard yourself as a superior, self-actualized, mature human being. Next time you share commentary here, please do so by living up your own standards.


        1. “Expanding tyranny” clearly implies that we are living under tyranny. That is a very childish way of thinking about our legitimate, democratic and constitutional government. And, yes, I admit to thinking myself superior and mature compared to people who constantly post childish thoughts. Living up to standards of adult conversation does not require pretending that those who don’t do.


          1. You make a lot of unwarranted assumptions. For example, even if it were true as you propose that there is zero tyranny in America today, further restrictions on gun ownership would be an expansion.

            In my view, liberty is a negotiated condition. The question of gun ownership was settled in the Bill of Rights. I see no reason to change the answer.


          2. Tyranny? Good grief? Why do you hate America?

            I suppose it is “tyranny” when you can get a ticket for not wearing your seat belt or a motorcyclist for not wearing a helmet. Or more generally, you must define “tyranny” as being required to do anything that you would rather not do like, say, paying income tax.

            As I said at the outset, this is a childish view. Tyranny is not a word to be used lightly. Tyranny is a real and ugly thing and neither you nor I have every suffered anything close to it which, I might add, cannot be said for the people of color around us.


          3. “Tyranny is not a word to be used lightly.

            Tyranny also doesn’t come all at once. If it did, we would all rise as one against it.

            But it comes in little nibbles, affecting rights important to only a few at a time. The only way to fight it is to do so when it doesn’t affect us directly.

            The gun owner must stand up for the rights of the pot smoker, the lesbian must stand up for the rights of the Christian baker, the farmer must stand up for the rights of the banker.

            Because if we only stand when the rights that are important to us are under attack and stand by and watch when it is someone else being oppressed, we will all lose in turn.


  3. You are not equating law enforcement with tyranny are you?

    Gun violence and crime in general can be curtailed and reduced by dealing with the root causes. Gangs, poverty, addictions, poor education, more effective policing techniques, efforts to deal with social isolation…these are all non-tyrannical methods to reduce crime.

    And I think that over time, better registration and licensing for guns would also limit access to those who would do us harm without affecting the rights of law abiding citizens.


    1. RE: “You are not equating law enforcement with tyranny are you?”

      You are not equating glibness with insight, are you?

      I don’t think you or anybody else actually knows what the root causes of gun violence and crime really are. In any case, you haven’t proposed any corrective actions that speak to root causes, only coercive measures that limit personal freedom.

      Hence the puzzle as I have stated it: Given a choice between bloodshed and tyranny, I’ll take bloodshed.


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