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Feinstein: Veterans Shouldn’t Be Exempt From Assault Weapons Ban—Because PTSD

military-flag-salute

The RealClearPolitics gang has this bit of oddity from Senator Dianne Feinstein, referencing a proposed amendment exempting veterans from her bill banning assault weapons:

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: If I understand this, this adds an exemption of retired military. As I understand our bill, no issue has arose in this regard during the 10 years the expired ban was in effect and what we did in the other bill was exempt possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States. So that included active military.

The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this.

So, you know, I would be happy to sit down with you again and see if we could work something out but I think we have to– if you’re going to do this, find a way that veterans who are incapacitated for one reason or another mentally don’t have access to this kind of weapon.

Now, of course, post-traumatic stress disorder is not unique to veterans and did not originate with the Iraq War.  The PTSD label is relatively new, having been coined in the 1970s, but the symptoms have been with us since the earliest days of human existence. All manner of traumatic events can trigger the disorder and, naturally, combat has been stressful since its inception.

Further, the fact that some small percentage of military veterans have PTSD is no reason to exempt those with no such diagnosis from owning weapons.

That said, while Feinstein’s reasoning is silly, her conclusion is nonetheless sound. That is, there’s no obvious reason why veterans— even those who served 20 years of honorable service in the military—should be exempt from the laws of the land. It’s true that most of us passed background checks and had training with firearms, including assault rifles. But it’s not as if we carried those around with us 24/7 outside the scope of our official duties. Unless things have changed radically since my Army days, soldiers in garrison check their weapons back in to the armory once training has ended.

To the extent that former soldiers not diagnosed with mental disorders are fit to be trusted with assault weapons in civilian life, it’s an argument against banning assault weapons, period.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Tony W says:

    Totally agree James – If we make the decision as a society to ban weapons of a sort for reasons that are sufficient to win the argument in Congress, then it makes no sense to exempt certain people based solely on former military status. I agree with the Senator on the end result, but PTSD is a stupid reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. superdestroyer says:

    As long as the same rules apply to law enforcement and retired law enforcement. Why should law enforcement be able to own personal weapons and keep them in their homes versus any other citizen. Shouldn’t law enforcement be issued their weapons when they report for their work shifts and turn the weapons back in after the end of their shifts?

    Also, if military are not allowed to carry personal weapons, then personal security (body guards) and private security should not be able to carry a weapon. why should someone who works for Pinkerton security be allowed to carry a weapon at work.

    As usual, politicians say something or propose something for short term political gain without thinking about all of the issues involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  3. steve says:

    Agreed. An assault weapons ban is kind of silly, but if you are going to have one, I see no reason to exempt ex-military. Retired cops shouldnt be exempted either.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  4. superdestroyer says:

    @steve:

    Why should working law enforcement be allowed to have a Bushmaster or AR-15 at home versus any other citizen?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @steve: .

    An assault weapons ban is kind of silly,

    An assault weapons RPG ban is kind of silly,

    FTFY.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. David Lentz says:

    Mrs. Feinstien does propose to grant blanket exemptions to members of Congress. I dare say the average veteran is of much sounder mind than Mrs. Feinstien.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  7. C. Clavin says:

    I don’t think these weapons should be outlawed…but the bar for owning one should be high. Certainly training should be part of raising that bar. And the training that military and law enforcement undergo would qualify. (think well-regulated militia)
    Having said that I don’t think training should be the only impediment to ownership of a weapon capable of this level of carnage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. stonetools says:

    Cue trolls coming by to insist that assault weapons are misunderstood, and that they are really “modern sporting rifles” , as harmless as hammers and knitting needles….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  9. JKB says:

    You would think that politicians, especially ones like Feinstein, would be ashamed of showing how stupid they are. But, you’d be wrong. PTSD is new with Iraq? Moron.

    As for how the military handles firearms, Casta Praetoria just addressed the matter in response to another Democrat moron, the strategist who claimed we can stop rape by simply telling men not to rape. The military is one of the most disarmed places outside of combat. Or are we forgetting how a Army major, aligned with the enemy, who had been provided cover by senior Army leadership in the name of diversity, was able to gun down dozens in the middle of an Army base.

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    An RPG not an assault weapon, it isn’t even a firearm or a gun. It is an anti-tank weapon system consisting of a launcher and various warheads that are propelled by small rocket motors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  10. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You don’t think people should own rifles? Or just ones with scary pieces of plastic attached to them?

    There are only 4 rules one needs to follow to safely handle a firearm. You must violate two to cause a tragedy. Sadly, many police do not take the time to inculcate the rules.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  11. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Ah, DiFi. She’s a classy lady. No, seriously, she’s classy. Especially by left-wing standards. She’s the Mondavi to Barbara Boxer’s Mad Dog 20/20 and to Nancy Pelosi’s Wild Irish Rose, if you catch my drift. And truth be told DiFi is one of the very few U.S. Senators with actual political executive experience.

    But man alive those comments of hers are loopy. They encapsulate, in fact, so much of leftism into one tight package: staggering ignorance, numbing confusion and jaw dropping absurdity.

    PTSD originated with the Iraq War? Really? Uh, huh. Riiiiiiight. And keep in mind this is from someone well old enough to remember Vietnam, not to mention to have known about Korea too.

    Then there’s the whole idea of a “ban” on assault rifles. Forget about exemptions or no exemptions. Focus on the major premise. How does a ban on assault rifles affect the ones already in circulation? The home invader in Compton still has his AR-15. The drug dealer in Miami still has his knock off AK-47. And why would we want completely to retard the domestic manufacturing and sale of industrial products that employ semi-skilled labor, and can be and are exported, and which generate tax revenues for the federal, state and local governments?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: There are only 4 rules one needs to follow to safely handle a firearm.

    I’ve always heard of three rules: 1) Always assume a gun is loaded. 2) Never touch the trigger until you’re ready to fire. 3) Never point a gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.

    What’s the 4-rule version?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB: I think you missed @OzarkHillbilly‘s point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Cue trolls coming by to insist that assault weapons are misunderstood, and that they are really “modern sporting rifles” , as harmless as hammers and knitting needles….

    OK, I’ll skip that. Instead, I’ll just ask you to define what qualities define an “assault weapon.” After all, your side is the one proposing the law, so it’s incumbent on you to explain just precisely you want to do. You have to spell it out carefully, so people won’t inadvertently break the law.

    Prior experience shows that your side is pretty stupid about this sort of thing. The previous legal definition of “assault weapon” included such lethal features as a bayonet mount and an adjustable stock. Also, need I remind you that the vast, vast majority of gun crimes are committed with handguns, not “assault weapons?”

    Yes, I probably do need to remind you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  15. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    There are only 4 rules one needs to follow to safely handle a firearm. You must violate two to cause a tragedy. Sadly, many police do not take the time to inculcate the rules.

    Go here for lots of stories of “legitimate, responsible gun owners” who disobey all of those rules, to the death or injury of those around them. Now if they only killed themselves….

    One example:

    “Where’s my drink?” he joked, aiming a gun he thought unloaded at his wife. She died, bullet through the eye #GunFAIL http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Homestead-Man-Who-Shot-and-Killed-Wife-With-Gun-He-Thought-Was-Unloaded-Arrested-194175761.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Kind of like those “responsible” drivers who get drunk and get in a wreck? Or those “responsible” people who end up with STDs?

    You’ve got an odd definition of “responsible” there, sport.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Actually, Senator Dianne Feinstein is a superb spokesperson for the argument in favor of gun control Obviously, there are some people just too damned stupid to be trusted with guns — such as Senator Dianne Feinstein.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  18. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Whatever, dude. The gun industry and their lapdogs the NRA were happy to call weapons like the AR-15 an “assault rifle” or “assault weapon” until 1994. Then, in an example of Orwellian newspeak, they decided to call them “modern sporting rifles”, causing the NRA and the gun worshipers to flip to criticizing people for using the terms which the gun worshipers previously used.
    The solution for bad definitions is not to throw up your hands and say that its impossible to define these categories, but to come up with better definitions and better legislation. Of course, the gun worshipers want no legislation, not better legislation, because nothing should inconvenience them, and if children die because of lack of legislation, well, that’s just the price paid for watering the tree of liberty, or something.
    In any case, I am not for an assault weapons ban but for the differential licensing of firearms, similar to the Canadian system. Of course you still have to define forearms under that system. Astonishingly, they do this. Maybe Canadians are smarter than Americans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  19. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @stonetools:
    They’re not harmless, they’re just defined by cosmetic features.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  20. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You’ve got an odd definition of “responsible” there, sport.

    The point is that all of these people would have been lauded as ” legitimate, responsible” gun owners until they got careless, or stupid, or drunk , and shot somebody-just like all those car owners were responsible car owners till they did something stupid. Unfortunately, while we closely regulate car owners to minimize the harm that car owners do and hold themselves responsible for the harm they cause, we don’t do that for guns ,because FREEDUMB!!!
    So, driving drunk is a crime-carrying around a gun drunk, perfectly legal, because what could go wrong?
    Universal registration of cars-a perfectly sensible administrative scheme.
    Universal registration of guns- the beginning of tyranny, although, somehow, Canada has avoided tyranny.
    Liability insurance for car owners – reasonable. For gun owners , a violation of our constitutional rights.
    Differential licensing of motor vehicles , according to the size and type of vehicle , for public safety reasons? No one doubts the logic of that approach. Driving a Honda Civic is one thing: driving a semi-trailer is another, with different requirements
    Differential licensing of guns, according to their lethality? Logical and done in democratic countries all over. Here, all guns is guns, and there should be no licensing requirements for carrying any gun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  21. MattT says:

    Well said James.

    Reading DiFi’s comments on this, including another excerpt posted elsewhere, I’m actually a little worried about my senator. Or maybe she just hadn’t had her morning coffee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Actually, Senator Dianne Feinstein is a superb spokesperson for the argument in favor of gun control Obviously, there are some people just too damned stupid to be trusted with guns — such as Senator Dianne Feinstein.

    Wow, that is a whole lot of … nothing.

    Similar to complaining that she referred to a gun as a “weapon” rather than as a “gun.”
    Or that she referred to a “plane” as “aircraft.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  23. JKB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: What’s the 4-rule version?

    4. Always be sure of your target. And what is behind it.

    I prefer a rule 1 of “All guns are loaded until you have personally verified otherwise since the gun was last out of your sight. Verify, verify, verify.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. JKB says:

    @stonetools:

    I’m not sure what you hope to prove. The individual in your link violated 3 or the rules and is now going to jail. He did not verify the firearm was not loaded. He the the muzzle cover his wife and he put his finger on the trigger. The last two cover intent and action. He’s arguing his assumption about the first as a means to avoid accountability.

    We have lots of rules in society. Progs seem to love rules. But for the most part people violate those rules everyday. When something bad happens as a result, the violation of the rule is used to prosecute the person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  25. JKB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Diane “Call me Senator” Feinstein shows her knowledge and understanding of the military by being clueless about PTSD, its history and origins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  26. matt bernius says:

    Well said James. Feinstein’s attention to PTSD is asinine. And using it as a justification is cowardly.

    To the broader point, if there is a ban, then it should be a BAN with no exceptions and no protected classes.

    Likewise if, instead of a ban, there was some type of enhanced regulation, again it should be with no exceptions and no protected classes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Diane “Call me Senator” Feinstein shows her knowledge and understanding of the military by being clueless about PTSD, its history and origins.

    Well, Dianne is a senator, but that’s not my point here.

    My point is that the incident that so enraged conservatives was the result of Senator Barbara Boxer’s insistence that she be addressed as “senator” – which is outrageous, how dare a senator insist on being addressed as “senator.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @ JKB
    Reading comprehension problem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. JKB says:

    @stonetools:

    I don’t know where you live but in most states the mere possession of a firearm on the body while intoxicated will get you arrested and you’ll can lose your permit to carry.

    Most states require a permit to carry a firearm outside of private property. Same as requiring a license to drive a car off private property.

    Are their some torts caused by gun owners that are going unsatisfied. If a gun owner has an accident with his firearm, he is liable and a claim can be made against his assets and it is often covered by his homeowner’s insurance or umbrella policy. Unlawful use isn’t covered by insurance just like unlawful use of a automobile isn’t either. Mandatory liability insurance for autos was imposed due to the number of torts that occur routinely and the lack of assets of most people to pay for the damages, not to mention the cost to sue over every fender-bender. Where is there such frequency of torts involving gun ownership or demonstrated inability to pay such damages by those held liable?

    We do have differential licensing of firearms. Those that operated in a manner to discharge one bullet per trigger pull are available for possession and use by your average citizen, barring certain adjudications where firearm possession is prohibited. To possess, fire, or have independent access to firearms that discharge more than one bullet per trigger pull (NFA firearm), you must possess a Federal Firearms License and submit to stringent requirements. This also applies to other “destructive devices” or controlled items such as safety equipment like silencers. The NFA firearms, destructive devices and controlled items must also be registered with the BATFE.

    So I’m not sure what your point was other than to demonstrate you ignorance of current firearm laws

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: Thank you. That’s a damned good rule.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Apparently your ignorance extends beyond guns, but on legal matters.

    Your side is proposing changes. That means it’s incumbent on you to spell out just what changes you want to make, in very precise language.

    You want to ban assault weapons? OK, let’s talk about that. Start off by defining what you consider an “assault weapon” and what you hope to achieve by banning them.

    Sorry, but liberal magical thinking doesn’t work. That’s when you proclaim your noble goal and intentions, and the unicorns sprinkle their magical dust and make everything wonderful out of respect for your sheer goodness and nobility. No, you need to actually get your hands dirty and do some homework.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  32. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Wasn’t it Senatress Feinstein who first said, “You can take my Senate seat when you pry it from my cold, dead ass.” ???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Apparently your ignorance extends beyond guns, but on legal matters.

    Apparently your ignorance is ongoing and irreparable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  34. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Well, if you knew much about the military, you’d know that above non-commissioned officer ranks using rank instead of “sir” or ma’am” is a way of demonstrating contempt for the individual while respecting their rank.

    Plus, it is a means of serious amusement when someone interrupts another to insist on some title. Such as when Ph.D.s insist on being called “doctor”. The last is so common it is used in movies and TV as a means to show weakness and pettiness in a character.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, come on, sport. Tell us your idea for “common-sense gun control,” as I believe it’s phrased. Share your wisdom and brilliance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  36. al-Ameda says:

    @11B40:

    Greetings:
    Wasn’t it Senatress Feinstein who first said, “You can take my Senate seat when you pry it from my cold, dead ass.” ???

    I believe she said “you can take the entire Republican House … please.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Well, she was certainly ready to take out a whole room of Senate aides when she was waving around that AK, finger on the trigger…

    The tough question: is Feinstein more stupid than corrupt, or more corrupt than stupid? It’s kind of a Zen thing…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  38. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Well, if you knew much about the military, you’d know that above non-commissioned officer ranks using rank instead of “sir” or ma’am” is a way of demonstrating contempt for the individual while respecting their rank.

    #1 – yes I do know that
    #2 – presume it would have been fine if Senator BOXER (not Feinstein) had referred to him as ‘dear’ or ‘honey’?
    #3 – Boxer is and was a senator, I think that he could have said “senator” given that it was a hearing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. JKB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    They are the anti-fun police. They fear that somewhere, someone is having fun with a gun. And the AR-15 is more horrible than all because it is not just a gun but also a gadget. Near-infinitely modifiable with lots of bells and whistles while still being at its core a small caliber semi-automatic rifle.

    BTW, here’s a Democrat who, while being a bit insulting, at least isn’t clinically insane in the matter of guns He puts forth this bit of wisdom that the Progs would do well to take heed of:

    And lawmakers need to stop thinking that the NRA represents gun owners, because only 4 percent of gun owners belong to the NRA.

    That is, that powerful, well-funded, organization that supposedly controls Congress is just a tiny part of gun owners. Think you’ve got the NRA on their heels, well, you’d best look about for the other 96% of gun owners, who vote and take usurpation of their enumerated rights very seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  40. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: Plus, there are plenty of gun owners who hate the NRA for not standing up for gun rights enough. Those gun owners are NOT the natural allies of the gun-grabbers…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  41. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, come on, sport. Tell us your idea for “common-sense gun control,” as I believe it’s phrased. Share your wisdom and brilliance.

    Common sense gun-control? 315 Million people, over 300 million guns, plus a strong cult of gun ownership – it is nearly a lost cause. How’s that, sport?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  42. JKB says:

    @JKB:

    Oops that last paragraph should have been in third person. Not directed at you Jenos.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: “Sometimes, lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.”

    OK, enough Mr. Smith. But with numbers like that, why don’t we have massacres every week? It’s a miracle we haven’t wiped ourselves out by now!

    Alternately… there really isn’t that big a problem. Occasional bad incidents might indicate some minor tweaking to the basic system, but no real crisis. Certainly not one requiring MAJOR ACTION RIGHT NOW, DAMMIT FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!!!

    Did you just argue yourself right on over to my side?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  44. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: strong cult of gun ownership

    A cult? Are there meetings? i haven’t been invited to any meetings? I have been ex-cult-icated? Well, I guess American individualism goes hand in hand with gun ownership. Otherwise, I might feel left out of the collective. But if there is a cult, for God’s sake, if you go to meetings don’t drink the kool-aid. Have coffee and doughnuts, the Progressives will think your a police officer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  45. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: Wasn’t directed to me? Hell, I just springboarded off it to enhance your point. Now you’re yanking the springboard out from under me…

    HEY, Y’ALL, WATCH THIS BELLYFLOP!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  46. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: Yup, it’s a cult. Get three people to buy guns, and you get a free toaster!

    (No, not one of those toasters… dammit…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  47. JKB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    We know the one thing they won’t do “for the children” is protect the rights, privileges, freedoms and liberties they enjoyed as children (and adults) for the children of the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  48. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Well, she was certainly ready to take out a whole room of Senate aides when she was waving around that AK, finger on the trigger…
    The tough question: is Feinstein more stupid than corrupt, or more corrupt than stupid? It’s kind of a Zen thing…

    Or maybe the question is: Do all of Feinstein’s critics have an IQ that is 10 points less than room temperature?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    But if there is a cult, for God’s sake, if you go to meetings don’t drink the kool-aid. Have coffee and doughnuts, the Progressives will think your a police officer.

    Funny you should mention that, my father is a retired city policeman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Did you just argue yourself right on over to my side?

    Yes, I agree with you. Our national fetish with gun acquisition pretty much ensures that we will have periodic mass shootings and mass killings, and that there is not much we can do about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  51. anjin-san says:

    which is outrageous, how dare a senator insist on being addressed as “senator.”

    Especially if she is a woman, and something like “little lady” seems more appropiate to the cro-magnon types.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    Sorry Jenos, It’s still not banter. It’s the prattle of the dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    Especially if she is a woman, and something like “little lady” seems more appropiate to the cro-magnon types.

    Can you imagine the uproar from conservatives if she had addressed him as “honey” or “dear”? Conservatives would have demanded that Boxer be brought up treason charges for “disrespecting” a military officer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  54. anjin-san says:

    In other news:

    Officer Who Fired Shot In New York High School Suspended

    A New York town that began assigning an armed police officer to guard a high school in the wake of the Connecticut massacre has suspended the program after an officer accidentally discharged his pistol in a hallway while classes were in session.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/sean-mccutcheon-officer-gun-suspended.php?ref=fpa

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  55. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    I don’t know where you live but in most states the mere possession of a firearm on the body while intoxicated will get you arrested and you’ll can lose your permit to carry.

    {citation needed}

    Meanwhile, did you know that alcohol abusers without criminal records can buy guns in most states and under Federal law? Didn’t think so.

    Most states require a permit to carry a firearm outside of private property. Same as requiring a license to drive a car off private property.

    And the NRA has been not only promoting those laws, but making getting a permit so easy that anyone with a pulse can qualify for concealed carry. You are also allowed to carrry concealed drunk and even into bars and places of worship.

    Bullets and booze: In Missouri, law-abiding citizens can carry a gun while intoxicated and even fire it if “acting in self-defense.”
    Child-safety lock off: In Kansas, permit holders can carry concealed weapons inside K-12 schools and at school-sponsored activities.
    Short arm of the law: In Utah, a person under felony indictment can buy a gun, and a person charged with a violent crime may be able to retain a concealed weapon permit. Nebraskans who’ve pled guilty to a violent crime can get a permit to carry a gun.
    Sweet Jesus! In Louisiana, permit holders can carry concealed weapons inside houses of worship.
    Without a trace: Virginia not only repealed a law requiring handgun vendors to submit sales records, but the state also ordered the destruction of all such previous records.

    George Zimmerman, may it be remembered was one such concealed carry permit holder.

    We do have differential licensing of firearms. Those that operated in a manner to discharge one bullet per trigger pull are available for possession and use by your average citizen, barring certain adjudications where firearm possession is prohibited.

    Unfortunately, that’s not “differential licensing” since that means that the “average citizen” can acquire such weapons, without showing that they even know how to operate them or that they they can be safe and responsible owners . It would be as if you allowed someone who had never taken a driving course to to own and drive semi-trailers. The result? An “average citizen” such as James Holmes was able to acquire several such weapons, 100 round drums, body armor, and thousands of rounds of ammunition in perfectly legal fashion, with the most cursory of background checks and go on to massacre his fellow citizens. Clearly, more stringent differential licensing is needed to prevent such happenings in future, by preventing what you would call “average citizens ” from acquiring such weapons.

    So I’m not sure what your point was other than to demonstrate you ignorance of current firearm laws

    In light of the above, I’ll just let the audience conclude who is more ignorant of firearms law. .

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  56. JKB says:

    @stonetools:

    You do realize that citing Missouri doesn’t negate “most states”. Also, it hardly matters unless you wish to demonstrate that Missouri has a lot of negligent gun usage by those intoxicated.

    Oh, no, guns in houses of worship? It’s not like there haven’t been gun attacks on churches, or Christians aren’t being massacred in some countries or Democrats in their Klan duties weren’t bombing churches back in the 1960s. If those who control the church don’t wish to ban firearms as is their right as a controller of the propery, why is it a problem to carry in church?

    Well, what criteria would you like to use to prevent “average citizens” from acquiring firearms? We already prevent the possession of firearms by those convicted, i.e., due process, of a felony and adjudicated, i.e., due process, as mentally ill. Are there some other kinds of due process decisions people receive that are relevant to the capability of possessing a firearm?

    You have heard of the Constitution, haven’t you? Perhaps the 5th amendment? It’s the one in the news of recent that the Attorney General was reluctant to let inform his response over whether the President could summarily kill citizens on US soil, without, wait for it, due process and the messiness of a proper trial and conviction, in the absence of an imminent threat.

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  57. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m not sure what your point is other than the officer obviously violated the rules for gun safety, and hopefully his training. Why pray tell was he fingering his firearm in a school? Modern firearms don’t go off unless you pull the trigger…..Rule 3 – don’t touch the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.

    I would be a firm supporter of a rule for those carrying a firearm in a school, law enforcement and not, that the firearm be carried on body, in a retention holster and not be removed from the holster on school property except to stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. If that proves to onerous then the provision of a clearing barrel (a drum with sand in it) would be appropriate for when the firearm must be removed from the holster and fiddled with.

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  58. grumpy realist says:

    We’re probably going to get nowhere on gun control until a bunch of intelligent lunatics decide to use the gaping loopholes in our gun control to get their hands on a lot of firepower and carry out a massacre each weekend. At which point the NRA will use this as an argument that everyone in the US should be armed….

    Look–I don’t mind if you want to buy and carry a gun. I do mind if you are an alcoholic drunk or a doper, convicted of a violent crime, have anger issues, are nuts, or in other ways have shown that you can’t be trusted with a gun. If you want to assume that everyone can be a lawful, responsible gun carrier, ok. But I want you to put the bar QUITE high. for being able to keep that gun. Any evidence what so ever that you fall in any of the above classes should be enough to remove your right to have a gun.

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  59. matt bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Tell us your idea for “common-sense gun control,” as I believe it’s phrased. Share your wisdom and brilliance.

    I’ll take up the challenge (with benefits):

    #1 – Register all guns and require all purchases, including person to person sales and gifting, to go through a background check and be logged. As others have stated, this is the rule with cars, there’s no good reason not to track with guns. To facilitate this open up access to NICS database and create high speed website. Also allow transactions to take place through local gun shops. Note that all existing guns are grandfathered in — registration would be voluntary — until the moment they are passed from person to person. There would be NO COST (this would be made permanent in the legislation) for registration or use of the databases. Failure to register a sale (which includes a background check) would be made a Federal Crime with significant financial penalties. Straw purchasing becomes a Federal Crime with mandatory jail time.

    #2 – Move from a state/locality based licensing system (the NRA’s dreaded patchwork of 1000′s of gun laws) to a federally based system.
    - Benefits to Gun Owners : Single system which means that they can use their weapons in any state/locality.:
    Break things down based on 5 classes of weapons:
    Class 1 (No License) – Fixed magazine long guns (including semi automatics), air guns, and shotguns would still be available with only a background check.
    Class 2 – Handguns
    Class 3 – Detachable magazine “assault” long guns (note the entire feature rules would be done away with)
    Class 4 – Concealed Carry
    Class 5 – Fully Automatic

    Each of these licenses would have a range requirements including class specific training and pass/fail tests. The net result would (a) preserve a general right anyone who can pass a background check to own certain hunting guns and (b) preserve the right to own other sorts of weapons *provided* that one can pass the necessary tests. Licensing would also do away with feature rule set. Basically, if you just *have* to have X gun, you need to do the work to earn it.

    There are no exceptions to the licensing system and no one gets a pass — though certain on the job training can be substituted for class time and lincense tests can be taken as part of on the job weapons certification.

    #4 – Restrict Magazine size and make the sale/importing of pre-ban magazines a federal crime. There are no exceptions for this rule. Even if one is Military or Police, anything that they buy for personal use (that specifically belongs to them) is restricted.

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  60. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @JKB: Plus, there are plenty of gun owners who hate the NRA for not standing up for gun rights enough.

    I know that Somalians and Pakistanis were upset, Eritreans too.

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  61. matt bernius says:

    @matt bernius:
    Also, if I had my way you’d need to re-certify your licensing every X number of years – which would require a pass/fail test. Of course, I think the same should be true of driver’s licenses. But until you have to do it for driving, you shouldn’t have to do it for guns.

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  62. JKB says:

    @matt bernius:

    Your coming at this all wrong. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the American creation. See, we the People have these natural rights. We did form a government and granted it certain authorities in order to form a more perfect union. But we didn’t give away our natural rights, nor did we give government the authority to grant or deny those rights. Now, after we’d put together his Constitution that defined the powers of government, some realized that at some point, some time in the future some morons would come along and think that they could decide everything and the People didn’t have any rights. They were particularly concerned about a few specific rights which they enumerated and then the Constitution was modified by amendment. These rights became known as the Bill of Rights. But number 10 of those rights does reserve inform that the list isn’t all the rights and those rights enumerated or not remain with the People. I know, crazy right? Free people, who owe their allegiance to the Constitution and not to the government, i.e, if the government comes into conflict with the Constitution, the the government has to go.

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  63. Tony W says:

    @JKB: I know what my point would be: The NRA responded to Newtown by suggesting that we put trained, armed guards in every school – essentially their typical more guns == more safety argument.

    This story, for those that bought that crap to begin with, shows the arms-race argument to be complete nonsense.

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  64. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    See, we the People have these natural rights. We did form a government and granted it certain authorities in order to form a more perfect union. But we didn’t give away our natural rights, nor did we give government the authority to grant or deny those rights.

    It is our “natural right” to accumulate as much weaponry as we like, without regard to the collective well-being well being of our fellow citizens?

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  65. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: It is our “natural right” to accumulate as much weaponry as we like, without regard to the collective well-being well being of our fellow citizens?

    Well the natural right is to life and self defense. As well as an effective means to achieve that self defense.

    But your real problem is that there is no correlation between the number of weaponry accumulated by a law abiding citizen and any detriment to the well-being of the collective of fellow citizens. I know people with dozens of firearms and yet no one has ever been harmed by those firearms.

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  66. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    But your real problem is that there is no correlation between the number of weaponry accumulated by a law abiding citizen and any detriment to the well-being of the collective of fellow citizens. I know people with dozens of firearms and yet no one has ever been harmed by those firearms.

    Yes, I know many people who own a gun, or some guns, and who commit no crimes with them. But so what? Many people who commit crimes that involve gun violence WERE law abiding citizens UNITL they committed their crime with a gun – Adam Lanza, James Holmes, the Columbine killers, and on and on.

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  67. Jack says:

    There’s a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to it’s absolute peak and maximum. Can’t take anymore input. The nervous system has either (click) snapped or is about to snap.

    In the first world war, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves.

    That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn’t seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! Battle fatigue.

    Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, we’re up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It’s totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car.

    Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it’s no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we’ve added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder.

    I’ll bet you if we’d of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I’ll betcha. I’ll betcha.–George Carlin (1990 Parental Advisory)

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  68. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    I’ll bet you if we’d of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I’ll betcha. I’ll betcha.–George Carlin (1990 Parental Advisory)

    Honestly, I think you’re exactly right on this.

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  69. mattb says:

    @JKB:

    See, we the People have these natural rights. We did form a government and granted it certain authorities in order to form a more perfect union. But we didn’t give away our natural rights, nor did we give government the authority to grant or deny those rights.

    First, not to be pedantic, but “We the People” didn’t form anything. They , our National ancestors, came together and formed the government. We, inherited it.

    Secondly, while the Constitution recognized certain “natural” rights, it also recognized the ability of the federal government to regulate the expression of those rights — which the founding fathers, i.e. the people who created the Constitution — did almost from the get go (see the immediate curtailment of Free Speech Rights, i.e. the case of a founding father’s own grandson’s newspaper).

    And this ability to regulate rights has been tested and upheld throughout the years (including with firearms — most notably US v. Miller). So I’m having a problem seeing how anything I’m proposing (with the possible exception of limiting magazines) is antithetical to the Constitution or American history.

    My suggestions are pretty tame — all things considered. Far tamer than an “assault weapons” ban, btw (as it would eliminate all of the confusing and, frankly dumb, “>3 of a list of features = an assault weapon” classification system). And it would make it harder for straw purchase of handguns across state lines — which gets to the real driver of gun violence: illegal handguns.

    Further, I really don’t see how your argument is anything but an expression of ideology versus a legal/constitutional argument.

    Not that any of it really matters, there’s little appetite in the country to switch from the broken patchwork of state/local regulation, to a far simpler federal regulation model (as other countries, including Canada, have enacted).

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  70. Jack says:

    @mattb:

    And it would make it harder for straw purchase of handguns across state lines — which gets to the real driver of gun violence: illegal handguns.

    Handguns cannot be purchased across state lines. You must be a resident of the state in which you are buying the handgun to qualify. This requirement is the same for gun shows, private purchase or FFL dealers. Straw purchasing is already illegal, but is not prosecuted as well as it should be. Most crime guns trade hands numerous times between illegal buyers and sellers before they are ever used in a crime. “According to the ATF, the average “time to recovery” (the time span between the initial purchase of a firearm to the time that it is used in a crime) is more than 11 years. This tells us that criminals typically are using older, recycled firearms, not newer firearms recently purchased from licensed retailers. So, unless you believe that criminals are buying firearms only to use them a decade after the purchase, it is clear that straw purchasing is not a common method for criminals to obtain guns.” http://www.dontlie.org/faq.cfm

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  71. John D'Geek says:

    As somebody that has PTSD, I’m disturbed by this on many levels. PTSD does not automatically equal “violent person”. In fact, in my experience, it seems to be pretty rare. One would think that the (Liberal) APA* would be hopping mad about this obvious bias against a serious disorder.

    While I am somewhat disturbed by her notions of gun control, it’s not nearly as disturbed as I am by her notions on mental health. It is just as bad as Rush Limbaugh**.

    *shudder*

    * Very few people question that the APA is liberally oriented. If you really need proof, just read their flagshiop magazine. Take practically any three to five issues.

    ** I’m not making that up. I heard him go on a mental health diatribe once. More emotion, same concept.

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  72. Blue Galangal says:

    @mattb: Moreover, you did answer his challenge: a common sense solution. He’s just moving the goal posts now, talking about rights.

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  73. matt bernius says:

    @Jack:
    Thanks for taking the time for a thoughtful reply. I really appreciate the comments.

    Handguns cannot be purchased across state lines. You must be a resident of the state in which you are buying the handgun to qualify.

    Thanks, I didn’t realize this.

    Though this doesn’t negate the idea of uniform standards across all states, eliminating cross border flow of handguns into places like Illinois from Indiana and other neighboring states with laxer gun laws.

    This requirement is the same for gun shows, private purchase or FFL dealers.

    True, and in the case of FFL dealers it is tracked. Unfortunately, current private purchases rely on the honor system — which is one of the reason why I think we need to move to all transfers being tracked. BTW, what are the rules for gifting/inheriting across state lines? … Need to look that up.

    Straw purchasing is already illegal, but is not prosecuted as well as it should be.

    Completely right. And I knew that — it’s a federal offense (filing false paperwork). But as you said, it’s not prosecuted well. One current case that bares watching is a straw purchaser in Western NY, Dawn Nguyen, who purchased Bushmasters for an ex-con who later used them in a mass shooting.

    Most crime guns trade hands numerous times between illegal buyers and sellers before they are ever used in a crime.

    Correct. But a system where all gun transfers are tracked will help identify the point where they “leave the system.”

    BTW – on that note – an addendum to my list of “smart regs” — All lost and stolen guns need to be reported immediately. Anyone who has a pattern of “losing” guns loses their license. Failure to report a lost or stolen gun(s) would carry heavy penalties, including (if there’s a pattern) extended jail time.

    I had seen the donotlie page and skimmed it. I wish they had linked to the ATF report (or at least provided a cite) they refer to.

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  74. matt bernius says:

    @Blue Galangal:
    It was Jenos who put up the challenge, not JKB. So no, JKB wasn’t moving the goal posts.

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  75. Charles says:

    Most Vets I know have seen enough killing. They would probably be the least likely to hurt any one. But on the other hand, my self as a vet will not tolerate anyone coming to my home and trying to take my weapons what ever they may be. That is just not going to happen. So all this gun ban talk needs to stop. They can pass laws to dooms day and it will make no difference. You are not going to get my guns. End of story case closed. Now move on to the next subject.

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  76. Charles says:

    @JKB: Yes and some times I think it is time it went. I have got to the point to where every time I hear the word government I get sick to my stomach. Really getting bad these days. I no longer view TV. I can not stand to watch a politician any more. If I see Obama’s picture any where I look the other way. Just fed completely up. I don’t like Republicans or Democrats. I just do not like any of them period.

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