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Obama’s Executive Action On Guns Is More Symbolism Than Substance

Gun Flag

In the first major domestic policy push of the final year of his Presidency, later today President Obama will introduce a series of executive actions that his Administration is saying are designed to address the gun violence that has been a major issue at many points since he took office, but the details of those proposals make clear that the move is largely symbolic, suggesting that it is more about laying out a political battle for the 2016 elections than anything else:

WASHINGTON — President Obama will announce executive actions on Tuesday intended to expand background checks for some firearm purchases and step up federal enforcement of the nation’s gun laws, White House officials said Monday, once again trying to sidestep a gridlocked Congress on a politically divisive issue.

But faced with clear legal limitations on his authority, Mr. Obama will take modest steps that stop well short of the kind of large-scale changes to the gun trade that he unsuccessfully sought from Congress three years ago. That legislation would have closed loopholes that allow millions of guns to be sold without background checks at gun shows or in online firearm exchanges.

Instead, Mr. Obama will clarify that existing laws require anyone making a living by selling guns to register as a licensed gun dealer and conduct background checks. White House officials said the president would note that criminal penalties already exist for violating those laws.

“We have to be very clear that this is not going to solve every violent crime in this country,” Mr. Obama said on Monday, ahead of a formal announcement on Tuesday. “It’s not going to prevent every mass shooting; it’s not going to keep every gun out of the hands of a criminal.”

Despite the limited nature of Mr. Obama’s executive actions, advocates on both sides appeared determined to describe them in sweeping terms for their own purposes. Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, said on Monday that “pretty soon, you won’t be able to get guns,” while a news release from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence predicted that “history will be made in the East Room of the White House tomorrow.”

White House officials acknowledge that Mr. Obama’s actions will intensify a fierce election-year debate about the Second Amendment and the limits of presidential power. That debate has grown in the last several days, with gun rights activists and Republican presidential candidates condemning the president’s expected actions as a power grab, and victims’ groups hailing them as a victory.

Frustrated by his inability to secure tougher gun laws despite a series of mass shootings, Mr. Obama is determined to demonstrate that he is doing something on the gun issue, even as he is mindful of the limits on his authority.

Under his plan, the White House said, officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will begin contacting gun sellers to let them know of new standards to “clarify” who would be considered a regulated dealer — taking into account factors such as whether someone has a business card, uses a website or sells guns in their original packaging.

But there will be no set number for defining how many guns sold would make someone a “dealer” — a standard that some groups had pushed as essential to giving the changes more teeth. White House officials said someone could sell as few as one or two guns yet still be considered a dealer whose sales are subject to background checks.

The changes are particularly meant for online gun merchants, who often avoid conducting background checks despite making high-volume gun sales through websites like armslist.com.

“Right now it’s really an Internet loophole,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said Monday. “Gun sales are moving online.”

Mr. Obama will hire more personnel to process background checks in a timely manner, direct officials to conduct more gun research, improve the information in the background check system, encourage more domestic violence prosecutions and order better tracking of lost guns. He will also make it easier for states to provide mental health information to the background check system, which could bar a gun sale.

But officials said it was impossible to predict whether the new directives would have made any difference in recent shootings, such as the one in San Bernardino, Calif.

“We can and must do something about it,” Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to Mr. Obama, said on Monday. “Our politics unite us together when we are taking on other epidemics, so why not gun violence?”

The Washington Post has a more detailed look at the substance of what the Administration has planned:

The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a series of new executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence and making some political headway on one of the most frustrating policy areas of President Obama’s tenure.

The package, which Obama plans to announce Tuesday, includes 10 separate provisions, White House officials said. One key provision would require more gun sellers — especially those who do business on the Internet and at gun shows — to be licensed and would force them to conduct background checks on potential buyers. Obama would devote $500 million more in federal funds to treating mental illness — a move that could require congressional approval — and require that firearms lost in transit between a manufacturer and a seller be reported to federal authorities.

At the president’s direction, the FBI will begin hiring more than 230 additional examiners and other personnel to help process new background checks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has established a new investigation center to keep track of illegal gun trafficking online and will devote $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage, but they can’t hold America hostage. We can’t accept this carnage in our communities,” Obama said in a Twitter message Monday evening, referring to the National Rifle Association.

The president is scheduled to talk about his new policies in the East Room on Tuesday, and two days later he will participate in a town hall at George Mason University that will be televised on CNN.

(…)

One of the main provisions is new federal guidance requiring some occasional gun sellers to get licenses from ATF and conduct background checks on potential buyers. Rather than set a single threshold for what triggers this licensing requirement, it will be based on a mix of business activities such as whether the seller processes credit cards, rents tables at gun shows and has formal business cards.

In some cases, officials said, a person who sells a single gun could be required to get a license, though in other cases, sellers who are classified as hobbyists or collectors could still qualify for exemptions.

A recent survey of more than 2,000 gun owners by Harvard University researchers found that of those who purchased their most recent firearm, about a third did not undergo a background check.

In a conference call with reporters, Lynch said the administration could not estimate how many more people would be affected by the new licensing provisions. She said gun sales are increasingly moving online and into largely unregulated areas of the “dark Web” where illicit activities take place in hidden transactions.

“The industry is shifting and growing,” she said. “If it does stop one act of violence, this will be worth it.”

Other aspects of the president’s plan aim to bolster the FBI’s background-check system, including a push by the U.S. Digital Service to modernize its processing operations and a proposal to add 200 new ATF agents and investigators to bolster enforcement.

Obama will instruct federal agencies, which collectively represent the nation’s largest firearms purchaser, to “explore potential ways” to promote technology that would prevent the accidental discharge or unauthorized use of a gun, according to White House officials.

Another measure will require federally licensed gun dealers to report any lost and stolen guns to the National Crime Information Center. Over the past five years, according to the White House, an average of 1,333 guns recovered in criminal investigations each year were traced back to a seller who claimed the weapon was missing but did not report it to authorities.

“This is a broad set of actions that tackles a variety of the issues related to gun violence,” said Arkadi Gerney, a senior fellow at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, “and in combination it represents a comprehensive effort to strengthen the laws we already have on the books.”

Before getting to the substance of the impending new regulations and actions, of course, there is likely to be substantial argument over whether the Administration even has the legal authority to make the relatively modest changes that will be announced today. To a large degree, the answer to that question will depend upon the language of the laws that the Administration relies upon and how much discretion it actually grants to Executive Branch agencies. For example, the Brady Law and other bills that form the basis of the national background check system contains certain definitions and exemptions for what types of sales are required to submit weapons transfers through the system and which are not. People and companies that are generally in the business of selling firearms for profit are, of course, required to submit their transaction to the system as are, generally, any gun dealer with a Federal firearms dealer’s license. Failure to do so could result, at the very least, in fines and potentially the loss of the license itself. Major exemptions to the background check include private transfers between family members, which are of course next to impossible to track in any case, and sales by people considered hobbyists and collectors, many of which now take place online or privately rather than via a traditional storefront. The Administration’s executive actions on this side appear to be aimed mostly at tightening the definition of what constitutes a hobbyist or collector. In that regard, the legal question is just how much discretion regulatory agencies like the ATF and the Justice Department have in have to tweak the definitions already set forth in the law, and whether the regulations end up covering transfers that Congress intended to exempt when it originally passed the laws in question. The Administration will, of course, argue that their rulemaking is within the bounds of the discretion that Congress granted to the Executive Branch when the law was passed, but just as we’ve seen with certain executive actions regarding the Affordable Care Act and the President’s efforts to use his executive authority to provide immigration relief, it’s likely that there will be those who will argue that the President has exceeded his authority with these actions. Thus, I’d expect that we’ll see court challenges to these actions, most likely from collectors and hobbyists who might be caught up in the new regulations, but also potentially from other parties as well. Depending on how those lawsuits are received by the Courts, it’s likely that the regulations themselves may end up being subjected to a court-imposed injunction and thus not even take effect for the remaining twelve months that President Obama is in office.

In addition to new regulations aimed at tightening up who is required to report gun transfers, there will apparently also be changes designed to restrict the ability of people who may be mentally ill to obtain weapons legally, but while this is a laudable goal the proposed actions also raise as many questions as they answer. The new regulations, for example, will apparently make it hard for anyone who is referred for psychiatric treatment to ever obtain a weapon, even if their mental illness is under control or there is otherwise no evidence that they are a threat to the public. Additionally, the Social Security Administration will be ordered to submit to the background check system its list of people deemed unable to handle their own benefits. In addition to the question of whether or not the Administration has the legal authority to make these changes without Congressional approval, these changes raise serious issues regarding medical privacy. As Jacob Sullum argues at Reason, and as I have argued in the past, regulations like this also bring into question the idea that people should be encouraged to seek treatment for mental illness since it raises fears that doing so will result in having one’s condition reported to the government. In that case, people who should be treated might arguably be inclined to decline it out of fear that their condition, and the stigma that mental illness still carries in society, will impact other areas of the lives.

Leaving aside the arguments about whether or not the President has the authority to take the actions that he’ll be taking today, the overall assessment of what the Administration is announcing today is that there is far less substance here than is being claimed. For an initiative that is being launched via a speech by the President later this morning in the East Room of the White House, followed up by a televised “Town Hall” style event on CNN later this week, there is remarkably little substance to these proposal and they are unlikely to actually capture anything other than a small amount of transfers of weapons outside of those already covered by the background check system either at the Federal or state levels, or both. At the very least, it’s clear that none of these proposed changes would have prevented any of the mass shootings that have taken place during the time President Obama has been in office. In nearly all of those case, the weapons were either obtained completely legally or, in the case of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza, because of the irresponsible actions of someone who owned the guns. In that case, of course, it was Lanza’s mother, who allowed her son to use her guns even though he was still too young under Connecticut law to purchase a weapon legally himself and even though she was well aware of his long standing psychological problems. She, of course, was the first person that Lanza killed the day he shot up a nearby Elementary School.

The fact that the new regulations are likely to have, at best, only a modest impact on national gun sales is, I would suggest, a good indication of what’s really going on here, namely that these actions are designed largely as an effort to try to put the gun control debate on the table for the 2016 election, both at the Presidential and Congressional level. The fact that the regulations are aimed largely at modestly tightening up the background check system would seem to be the biggest giveaway in that regard since polling has consistently shown that this is the one type of gun control that has near universal support, even among Republicans and supporters of gun rights. In other areas, such as the regulation of so-called “assault weapons” and concealed carry laws, polling shows that public is far less favorably inclined to support the gun control position. The President will argue, no doubt, that they are acting to tighten up background checks as best he can within the limits of his authority, but that further action is needed from Congress on things such as the questionable effort to tie the no-fly and terrorist watch lists into the background check system.

The Administration, and Democrats, will no doubt hope that taking this action will move the window on the gun control debate to a position that is favorable to them heading into the election, but it’s by no means clear that they’ll be successful in that regard. As I’ve noted before, even in those areas where the American public has said they would be inclined to support additional regulations, gun control largely a low-priority issue for voters compared to other issues such as the economy, health care, and national security. These same polls show that, other than things like background checks, the American public as a whole remains deeply skeptical of broader gun control measures and are sympathetic to the idea that people ought to have access to the weapons necessary to defend themselves if they want those weapons. Moreover, to the extent that gun control/gun rights is an issue that does strongly motivate voters, history has shown that it’s the gun rights side of the argument that seems to always been more strongly motivated to act at the polls in connection with regulations like this, or proposed laws. Given that, while the Administration may be intending today to give the gun control movement a political benefit, it’s entirely likely that the exact opposite will happen.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    Given that, while the Administration may be intending today to give the gun control movement a political benefit, it’s entirely likely that the exact opposite will happen.

    ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    So’s the opposition to the president’s executive actions so I guess it all works out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  3. Scott says:

    Since Obama’s actions are more symbolism than substance, the wailing and gnashing of teeth with have equal symbolism than substance. It is increasingly hard to keep penetrating through the political BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Wow, so this it? We dodged one, didn’t we?
    And here I thought he was going to unilaterally repeal the Second Amendment.

    I predict that Obama will emerge from this extremely minor and ultimately
    very sensible action to be as hated as ever by the Right.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  5. Mu says:

    I guess the legal standard he employed was “what can under no circumstances be construed as an impeachable offense”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. markm says:

    So….actions of inaction. Again.
    Oher than creating another ‘list’ similar to a no fly list, and, nothing wrong with that with the exception of it will probably be equally as accurate.

    What is this “internet loophole” that is now spoken of?.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. gVOR08 says:

    Doesn’t Obama realize that only Republicans are allowed to take symbolic actions for political purposes? Like voting to repeal Obamacare every month or so.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  8. Guarneri says:

    From a political perspective I wonder how many realize the background check issue represents, not atypically, a prior failure of government regulation. The Republicans should highlight what a weak reed government is to lean on, agree to the provision, and move on.

    From an economic perspective the licensing issue sounds like a headache for the hobbyists who trade these like baseball cards to be displayed as museum pieces, or the tiny dealers. But those interested in harm will just go the the Big Dealers to purchase. Who knew Omaba was a secret Wal-Mart fan??

    Of course the license issue would never be abused, like, oh, I don’t know, IRS approvals or audits. Nice license you got there. Shame if anything would happen to it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  9. Slugger says:

    2008: OMG, Obama is going to take our guns!!
    2009: OMG, Obama is going to take our guns!!
    2010: Even more OMG
    2011: etc
    2012: etc
    2013: etc
    2014: etc
    2015: etc
    2016: Now, it’s NOW!!!
    I’m sorry but reached peak Obama-gun passion long ago.
    American politics appear to have gone from outreach to get people into your party to maintaining the drumbeat that your core supporters like.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  10. C. Clavin says:

    Oh man…he’s coming for our guns!!!!!
    A while back Paul Ryan thought closing the very wrongly named gun-show loophole made perfect sense.
    Now that Obama is moving to do so he thinks it is completely wrong and is a Constitutional crisis.
    In the absence of a Congress willing to do the peoples work…because of their total allegiance to the gun lobby…I applaud Obama’s actions…symbolic or otherwise.
    Only complete morons fail to recognize the serious gun problem we have in this country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  11. markm says:

    Can someone explain both the ‘gun show loophole’ and now the ‘internet loophole’?.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  12. cd6 says:

    We watched a lunatic storm into an elementary school and blow away a bunch of five year olds. And not only did we do nothing, multiple states made it easier to get and carry guns.

    This country is flat out insane.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  13. JKB says:

    @Slugger: OMG, Obama is going to take our guns!!

    Not “Obama”, but rather The Democrats.

    A vote for a Democrat is a vote for gun confiscation.

    (and no, it doesn’t matter about the details, The Donald, and probably others can sell that slogan this election season)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

  14. Jack says:

    With the exception of the Social Security recipient provisions, and the HIPAA violations through executive fiat, this is very Meh.

    In essence, Obama is 1) restating what a FFL is, and 2) is repudiating Clinton Era laws that reduced the number of FFLs and required “brick and mortal” businesses.

    You can’t have it both ways. You either increase the number of FFLs. Win. Or you reduce the number of FFLs and guns can be bought and sold and the individual is not “engaged in the business”. Win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  15. JKB says:

    President Ineffective:

    In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of offense, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 10% purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, 37% obtained it from family or friends, and another 40% obtained it from an illegal source (table 14). This was similar to the percentage distribution in 1997.

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fv9311.pdf

    So the big gun control move is against law abiding citizens where those in prison who possessed a gun at the time of their offense got their guns less than 2% of the time. And even then, the study didn’t determine if the prisoner was a legal purchaser at the time they obtained their weapon.

    Of course, going after the biggest source of firearms for those who possessed a firearm at the time of their imprisoning offense would not have the same impact on law abiding citizens, i.e, 25% (2004) got their gun from “drug dealers/off the street”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  16. Jack says:

    Also,

    So, this means business as usual in Chicago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  17. C. Clavin says:

    I see the prosthetic gang is here making the same tired argument that you have to solve the entire gun problem beyond any conceivable breech…or it’s pointless to do anything at all about the gun problem.
    It’s a stupid argument…but here they are making it. Again.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    A vote for a Democrat is a vote for gun confiscation.

    Dumb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  19. Jack says:

    It took seven years for Obama to realize the FBI background-check department is understaffed?

    GREATEST PRESIDENT EVAH!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  20. Jack says:

    Don’t forget that this is the same administration that won’t follow up on failed background checks because, in Joe Biden’s words, “we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  21. Mu says:

    I still think Obama is doing all this to boycott Hilary. I can’t think of a single swing state where gun control is the winning formula in the election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  22. Rafer Janders says:

    Obama’s Executive Action On Guns Is More Symbolism Than Substance

    Symbolism! In politics! Heavens, Martha, get the smelling salts!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  23. BigT says:

    Here’s the thing that constantly seems to be lost in the gun control debate and the issue of legally-obtained vs. “illegal” guns. Every single firearm purchased in this country was legally sold at one point. It doesn’t matter if you ultimately get it from a gang member or off the street… that gun was once a legitimate piece of commerce.

    Unlike street drugs, guns aren’t made by South American cartels and shipped to the US. Gang members don’t have their own factories that produce firearms. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like firearm manufacturers care where their products end up. Even if Obama’s moves aren’t that drastic, every bit counts. If this hinders “patriots” at gun shows from putting guns in the hands of the wrong people, it will be worth it.

    This Chicago Trib article is a great example of the problems at hand.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-17/news/ct-met-guns-gangs-20130217_1_levaine-tanksley-gun-laws-gun-trafficker

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  24. Pch101 says:

    @JKB:

    Virtually all illegal guns began life as legal guns. Surely even you should be able to figure that out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  25. edmondo says:

    More Symbolism Than Substance….
    Mr. Obama will take modest steps that stop well short of the kind of large-scale changes ….Mr. Obama is determined to demonstrate that he is doing something …
    there is far less substance here than is being claimed. ….
    it’s entirely likely that the exact opposite will happen….

    Why restrict it to gun control? This kinda sums up the entire Obama Administration since 2009, doesn’t it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu: That’s the same argument the “prosthetic gang”, as noted by @C. Clavin: , makes about guns. If a single action won’t solve the whole problem, or win the election, well then what’s the point.

    Tightening gun registration is quite popular. This helps the Dems show how extremist the Republicans are. And, stealing someone’s line, we appreciate the Yokel Haram bunch in OR helping to underline the issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  27. Jenos Idanian says:

    Number of the last 10 mass shootings these measures might have prevented: zero.

    Number of the last 50 mass shootings these measures might have prevented: zero.

    People actually affected by these measures: law-abiding citizens.

    Affects: at least inconvenience; as intended, deprivation of Constitutional rights.

    Obama takes “shooting the hostage” to new heights.

    The vast majority of gun owners never cause any problems. It’s a very small minority that do, and most of them are already breaking existing laws in how they obtained their guns — or even in possessing the guns in the first place.

    So naturally Obama focuses on the majority, while doing nothing about the actual problem-causers.

    Wotta super-genius. We are not worthy of him.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 22

  28. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The vast majority of gun owners never cause any problems. It’s a very small minority that do, and most of them are already breaking existing laws in how they obtained their guns — or even in possessing the guns in the first place. So naturally Obama focuses on the majority, while doing nothing about the actual problem-causers.

    The vast majority of Muslims never cause any problems. It’s a very small minority that do, and most of them are already breaking existing laws in how they obtained their guns and bombs — or even in possessing the guns and bombs in the first place.

    So naturally Trump focuses on the majority, while doing nothing about the actual problem-causers…..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  29. Cd6 says:

    Number of the last 10 mass shootings these measures might have prevented: zero.
    Number of the last 50 mass shootings these measures might have prevented: zero.

    You know Jenna, you and I are in the same page here. I think we agree far bolder action is necessary to curb gun violence.

    I’m all in favor of mandatory gun registration, required training and periodic retesting to get a gun owners license, and insurance required for all gun owners. Id love it if gun owners had to prove a viable need to own and use a gun before they were issued a permit. And let’s start taking off the streets. It won’t happen overnight but it’ll happen eventually.
    I assume you agree with all the above

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. Jack says:

    @gVOR08: Most (~82%) “crime guns” are either stolen or obtained through a straw buyer. This EO does nothing to hinder those avenues as person-to-person sales and gifts remain legal.

    Trust me, criminals will not start running background checks on their customers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  31. Jack says:

    @Cd6:

    I’m all in favor of mandatory gun registration, required training and periodic retesting to get a gun owners license, and insurance required for all gun owners. Id love it if gun owners had to prove a viable need to own and use a gun before they were issued a permit. And let’s start taking off the streets. It won’t happen overnight but it’ll happen eventually.

    You better get around to repealing the 2nd amendment. I’ll wait.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    You better get around to repealing the 2nd amendment. I’ll wait.

    No need to, the “well regulated” part of the Second Amendment will suffice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  33. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: The vast majority of Muslims never cause any problems. It’s a very small minority that do, and most of them are already breaking existing laws in how they obtained their guns and bombs — or even in possessing the guns and bombs in the first place.

    Good God, there’s such a major fail in your argument.

    The people being affected by Obama’s orders are American citizens, wanting to exercise a Constitutional right.

    The people Trump is talking about are not American citizens, seeking the privilege of coming to this country.

    Obama is putting a higher priority on privileges for non-citizens than on rights of citizens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 16

  34. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: Well regulated does not mean gun licenses, a requirement to prove a need, permitting, etc. Nice try though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Not “Obama”, but rather The Democrats.
    A vote for a Democrat is a vote for gun confiscation.

    Yes, it (gun confiscation) was supposed to tested as part of the 2015 Jade Helm Military Operation – thank god Louie Gohmert got the word out and stopped that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  36. grumpy realist says:

    We’re probably going to have to wait until all the Baby Boomers become senile and blow away their grandchildren with their guns before anyone says that our present system is ridiculous.

    At the moment, it’s mainly black gang members in the ghetto and white “good old boys” who are killing each other (and their siblings, parents, offspring, etc.) but since nobody really cares about them it’s all okay. Just deplore the death rate, mutter something about the Second Amendment, and skip lightly over the bloodstains. After all, why worry? They’re not yours.

    No one’s going to care until the 1% start getting regularly picked off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  37. Jack says:

    @grumpy realist:

    No one’s going to care until the 1% start getting regularly picked off.

    You mean people like Bloomberg, Clinton, Michael Moore, Oprah, Obama, Rosie O’Donnell, Bill Gates, etc.,…the people who regularly surround themselves with guards that carry guns???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: I was thinking more Wall Street traders and hedge fund owners. The ones who usually don’t go around with bodyguards.

    And, according to one of my friends who met him, neither does Bill Gates. So you might want to rethink your story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  39. Davebo says:

    @JKB: Well, the GOP base is pretty easy to sell after all.

    Ever listen to the ads on the Limbaugh or Beck shows?

    Gold coins and all natural herbal erectile dysfunction cures abound!

    Interesting that you mention Trump! Talking an easy fleecing of rubes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  40. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. I remember reading somewhere someone saying that it wasn’t the “get the car keys away from your father” conversation that he was dreading, but the “get the damned gun away from your father.” His father was having fits of senility and sporadically assumed that anyone around him he didn’t know was a burglar/terrorist, to the extent of taking potshots at him.

    How incompetent does someone have to be handling a gun before we, as a populace, can take said gun away from him and say “no, you don’t demonstrate the maturity and responsibility to be allowed to have it”? I would argue that the freedom of the Second Amendment as you Second Amendment purists interpret it only makes sense when you have the population density of 1791. As soon as you start interacting with more humans simply because there are many more of them around, you need to show that you will do no harm and can be trusted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  41. Mikey says:

    Gun enthusiasts: “We don’t need new laws, just better enforcement of the existing ones.”

    Obama: “OK, here are some actions I’m taking in my capacity as chief executive that better enforce existing laws.”

    Gun enthusiasts: “OBAMA IS A GUN-GRABBING TYRANT!!!!!”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  42. Senyordave says:

    @Jack: Ah, the old Al Gore flies around in a private plane argument. Famous people who travel with bodyguards would have zero problem with any licensing requirements. It is a total strawman argument. Gun violence in this country is a very serious problem, you should try making serious arguments instead of using conservative talking points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  43. bill says:

    Obama’s Executive Action On Guns “presidency” Is More Symbolism Than Substance

    that sounds more apropos.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  44. Jack says:

    A record number of firearms background checks were conducted by the FBI in 2015 equating roughly to 44 checks every minute.

    The FBI reported Monday that the agency conducted a total of 23,141,970 checks last year, eclipsing the previous record of nearly 21.1 million checks set in 2013.

    He seems to bring that out in people. You know, if he really wanted to get people to stop buying guns, he’d resign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  45. BigT says:

    No, if he really wanted people to stop buying guns, he’d endorse them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    You better get around to repealing the 2nd amendment.

    Apparently you have a reading comprehension problem.
    There’s probably a course at the local community college that can help you.
    Better get to it before Republicans eliminate school funding in order to pay for more tax cuts for wealthy people that won’t ever trickle down to a guy like you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  47. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Mikey: Have you noticed that enforcement of existing gun laws has seriously dropped under Obama?

    I see two possible explanations for this:

    1) The number of actual gun crimes has dropped precipitously, resulting in a corresponding drop in prosecutions. (This undercuts the need for more laws, as they indicate the problem is dropping just fine on its own.)

    2) The reduction in enforcement measures lets the “crisis” build up, which gives a justification for these new rules.

    I think it’s a little of both. You got an alternate one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  48. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Thanks for proving my point beyond any doubt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  49. Tyrell says:

    It has been reported that the president was “tearful” at the announcement. Weird, bizarre !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  50. C. Clavin says:

    Smart folks would game this out and proceed based on that.
    Congress refuses to do anything about a very serious problem in this country; the ability for white christians to get guns and kill lots of folks.
    Obama is limited in what he can do alone…but he does the little he can do. And according to polling 90% of the country is OK with what he proposes, including a bunch of NRA members.
    Predictably Republicans go apoplectic. Per usual they don’t have any logic to their argument, just hyperbole and the same cheap personal attacks. Not a hint at a viable solution.
    Then another white christian terrorist kills a bunch of folks. Maybe it’s the white christian terrorists in Oregon. Maybe someone else.
    So maybe that’s the tipping point. Maybe it takes two white christian terrorist events. Maybe three.
    No matter…as long as the gun fetishists prevent any common sense regulations they are begging for that tipping point to come…and when it comes it’s going to look a lot more like Australia or Canada and a lot less like common sense regulation.
    Like I said…smart folks would game this out. We can do this the smart way…or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  51. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Headline:Obama’s gun control push undercut by fall in prosecutions

    Quote 1 from the article:

    The administration has overseen a striking drop in prosecutions of gun crimes, winning only about 6,000 convictions in 2015 — down more than 15 percent from five years ago,

    Quote 2:

    But the push comes as his lawyers at the Justice Department are winning fewer cases using the laws already passed to ban criminals from buying or owning firearms

    Etc.

    You notice the issue? The author is conflating “prosecutions of gun crimes” with “wins.” They are not the same. That could indicate any number of things, including:

    1. Misapplication of law in trying to win conviction. The Federal government for years–far predating Obama, Bush II, Clinton, etc–has been using anti-terrorism and RICO laws to prosecute crimes wholly unassociated with organized crime or terrorism.

    2. Incompetency by the justice department. Considering Holder’s record, this is probably the case. (We can agree that Lynch’s 20 weeks or so in office precludes her from ownership of the lack of wins over the last 6 years, right?)

    3. Those charged were innocent of the crimes, and were properly released. This is actually how the justice systems is supposed to work. You might have committed a crime, and there is certainly enough evidence to think you have, we try you, and hey, it turns out there’s a reasonable doubt. You are free to go.

    Or, if you are a rapid partisan idiot/incredibly dishonest you think “wins” and “prosecutions” are exactly the same thing, and use it of evidence that something something Obama’s launching a conspiracy to take our guns.

    Tell me, this “reduction in enforcement” that’s going to result in a conspiratorial crises for the gubmint to grab all our guns, is it going to be worse than Fast and Furious? You’ve already established Fast and Furious is the worst scandal to ever hit a presidency ever, even worse Watergate (your words, my paraphrase). I’m just curious if this one is going to be even worse than that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  52. Jc says:

    @Jack:

    He seems to bring that out in people. You know, if he really wanted to get people to stop buying guns, he’d resign.

    Those just represent background checks initiated, not sales. I mean if I was to sell you a gun and the check kept coming back OK, I would just keep checking because the system can’t be right…

    It’s okay, Jack. Go stroke your guns, they ain’t going anywhere. The dark man only has less than a year left and then you can let us know what paranoid delusions you adopt next in your old age.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  53. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    If illegal guns are obtained by stealing them from citizens who own them and through the use of straw buyers (i.e. people who are allowed to buy guns), then it should be obvious that legal gun ownership leads to illegal proliferation.

    Without gun stores, there are no straw purchasers. Without guns in the home, there aren’t guns to steal. This is a no-brainer, which forces me to conclude that you must be brainless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  54. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Edit: Hahaha, it gets worse:

    Of the two most common federal gun offenses — illegally selling a firearm or using one in connection with another crime — the number of cases dropped from 11,067 in 2004 to 8,078 in 2014, according to data kept by federal prosecutors.

    I suppose starting the data set at 2004 makes sense, since any analysis of Obama’s record should start at the beginning of Bush’s 2nd term. Or was Obama’s election to the Senate so frightening to the Bush justice department that they immediately started flubbing their gun crime prosecutions.

    To recap: it’s Obama’s fault, even if Bush was President, and the trend that started under Bush is proof Obama is going to launch a conspiracy.

    Man, C. Clavin is right, Jenos. Reading comprehension is just not your thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  55. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Tyrell:

    Here’s a photo of G.W. Bush crying at a Medal of Honor Ceremony. Describing the heroic actions Jason Dunham, who died saving his comrades, was (rightfully so) an emotional experience.

    Obama recounted the deaths of 20 school children, dozens of moviegoers in Aurora, college students and Virginia Tech, etc. Also an emotional experience.

    Why is that weird or bizarre?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  56. Pch101 says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Caring about human life and stigmatizing violence used to be normal. Apparently, it’s now just a weird liberal thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  57. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    Weird, bizarre !

    Really? What do you do when you think about 20 kids who died at Sandy Hook because an avid gun owner wasn’t responsible for her weapons? Laugh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  58. gVOR08 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: The Washington Times article is apparently based on this report from somebody called TRAC. The Washington Times chose their start date carefully. 1995 was the peak at about 9200 convictions. During the W admin convictions dropped to about 8K, starting a trend that as you note continued under Obama. As TRAC notes, Convictions over the past year are lower than they were ten years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 34.8 percent from the level of 9,206 reported in 2005 but up 51.6 percent from the level of 3,958 reported in 1995. TRAC offers no explanation of cause. One could speculate that it might be driven by other priorities within DOJ, court decisions, agency funding, emphasis on state prosecutions, or declining gun ownership. (Yes, more guns, but apparently owned by a declining number of households.) No one but WT and a bunch of RWNJ sites seem to have picked up the story, so very little journalism has been applied.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  59. anjin-san says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I’m going to propose that we play this any time someone does what you just did to Jenos…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  60. anjin-san says:

    @Tyrell:

    I know! The thought of so many American children shot dead got to him. What a wuss…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  61. anjin-san says:

    @Pch101:

    Dude, you are such a wimp..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  62. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Well, I’m not going to re-iterate Neil’s take-down of that lame “news” item. I’ll just say the fact it was total garbage pretty much fully torpedoes whatever point your loaded questioning was trying to make.

    As far as any “drop” in U. S. gun crimes indicating no need for new laws, well, I suppose if that’s true we should just stand pat. It should only be another couple centuries before our level of gun crimes dwindles to that occurring in pretty much every other nation on Earth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  63. JKB says:

    @Pch101: If illegal guns are obtained

    You are confused as to how the President provides illegal guns. We have the BATF facilitating the purchase and export of guns into Mexico, only to have them return to kill Border Patrol officers.

    But far more are sold by the President via the Defense Department to other governments like Mexico, where they are then stolen or sold to the Cartels by Mexican officials or soldiers. The are then brought back into the US through the uncontrolled Southern border.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  64. Bookdragon says:

    @Mikey: +1000000

    The response to anything Obama is reflexive and irrational that I bet if he proposed that the govt give guns to all able bodied Americans and require them to take a NRA course to learn to use them, the signings would scream Tyranny!! and start opposing gun possession. (Or at least possession by Any American. Might get the ‘wrong kind’ of people Wiggins gotcha know….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  65. stonetools says:

    Well, it’s not surprising that Doug and other gun rights enthusiasts dislike what the President has done, meanwhile continuing to show a callous indifference to tens of thousands of unnecessary gun deaths every year. Yes, Obama didn’t do much but he did the little he could and for once used the bully pulpit to shine a light on one of the greatest stains remaining on American society-the horrific annual slaughter that amounts to half a Vietnam War’s loss of life every single year.
    At this point it looks like gun safety could be the civil rights movement for this generation. Just like with the civil rights movement, there were entrenched business interests and an embattled minority ready to fight furiously in the cause of injustice and backwardness. They too had their pundits and academicians who enabled their (thankfully lost) cause. They too looked unbeatable-till they lost.
    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Possibly Obama’s speech and the little he did constitutes that first step.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  66. Bookdragon says:

    @Bookdragon: gah! I hate spell check….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. dmichael says:

    Doug: I knew I could count on you to find something to criticize about the President’s initiatives regarding gun safety. You’ve managed to do the same on nearly every one of his accomplishments during the last 7 years, especially on economic data. Did you even view the President’s speech on this issue? Do you think he was simply using the deaths of the Sandy Hook children for political purposes? Do you believe that none of the actions he is proposing will reduce ANY gun deaths? Do you really believe that expanding the availability of mental health treatment will cause a decline in those seeking it? By the way, the last time i checked the Social Security Disability program was a federal government program that uses the medical information on those who seek awards for their disabilities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  68. stonetools says:

    @Bookdragon:

    What Obama should do is announce a program to give every minority youth a gun , so that they can exercise their Second Amendment right of self defense against those murderous agents of tyrannical government-the local police. You would see gun safety legislation passed overnight…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  69. Tyrell says:

    @dmichael: What the president needs to do is get with the Congressional leaders and sit down over steak, bourbon, and some good cigars (Cuban ?). Then hammer out an agreement. That is how things used to get done in Washington. The president needs to read “The Art of the Deal”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  70. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    That’s how things got done before we elected a black President.
    Congress should do the people’s business…not the gun lobbies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  71. Mike says:

    While I am glad the spotlight is on the issue again, I don’t see this doing anything and I hope that it doesn’t have the effect of chilling other initiatives. We are a society saturated by guns and if you want to get one to commit a crime it is entirely too easy. Just like it is very difficult to stop someone dead set on committing suicide from doing it unless there are obvious signs and symptoms, the same goes for many if not most of those set on shooting someone. Unless the number of guns readily available declines, it is inevitable it will happen again no matter how many background checks are done. The NRA and gun enthusiasts interpretation of the 2nd amendment and how it has gotten where we are today is sad. The founding fathers could not have meant a society in which we live today w/ respect to gun ownership.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  72. Davebo says:

    @Tyrell:

    Hilarious! I especially liked the “Art of the Deal” reference!

    Touche’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  73. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The people Muslims) Trump is talking about are not American citizens

    Original press release “Total and complete ban” , no exception for US citizens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  74. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    TRAC only monitors federal prosecutions. Most gun crimes are not prosecuted by the feds. As noted by TRAC in 2013:

    Measuring the total number of such prosecutions throughout the nation, however, is very difficult. This is in large part because the burden of bringing weapons violators to court is thought to fall much more heavily on the thousands of local police departments and prosecutors than the much smaller number federal agencies and U.S. Attorneys. But here, because the statistics collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) focus on city, county and state arrests rather than than prosecutions, determining exactly how many gun cases are actually brought to court throughout the country is very difficult.

    In its latest report, for example, the FBI estimated that while there were a total of 12.4 million arrests for all causes in 2011, only 153,519 of them involved what it called “weapons, carrying, possessing, etc.” This number did not include the large number of additional violent crimes which may have involved a gun. And, as just noted, the FBI statistical report does not cover the number of local prosecutions that resulted from local arrests.

    One thing, however, is clear even from these limited numbers. Because of the very different number of the enforcers and prosecutors working at the two levels, state and local gun prosecutions almost certainly dwarf anything that is done by the federal government.

    Federal prosecutions have been declining since 2004. The Washington Times knows this, and they know that federal prosecution numbers don’t necessarily mirror gun crime rates, or even prosecutions, nationally. The Moonie propagandists use this data to push a dishonest conclusion, and trick credulous morons like you into inventing conspiracy theories to explain things, as is your wont.

    I’ve done a fair amount of looking to find total gun crime numbers nationwide, and it’s not easy. Homicides are easy. There are about 30k gun deaths per year, and this number has been generally on the decline for many years. The National Institute of Justice has compiled stats on “non-fatal firearm violence”from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey. This has also generally declined for the past 20 years. In 2011, there were 414,562 non-fatal firearm incidents. I don’t know how many of those resulted in prosecutions, but I’m pretty certain the number dwarfs the paltry number of federal prosecutions (less than 8,000 in 2011). And there are other gun crimes that aren’t revealed by the BJS numbers, such as weapons charges by police that don’t involve victims.

    There could be many reasons for the decline in federal prosecutions since 2004. It could be due to a drop in gun crime, but that doesn’t explain the dramatic increase in prosecutions that started in Clinton’s last years in office and jumped significantly in Bush’s first years. Violent crime was generally falling during those years. Maybe local authorities may have been requesting federal prosecution at lower rates, possibly because stricter local laws allowed them to seek the same sentences the feds can get. Maybe the big jumps in prosecution from 2002-2004 were an overshoot, and the feds have been reeling it back ever since. Maybe budget constraints have led to fewer federal prosecutions. It’s hard to tell. However, it is certainly not due to a conspiracy to create a crisis that was started under Bush and continued under Obama. But you go ahead and believe whatever nonsense you and the Moonie Times can come up with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  75. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    Combine the free gun with a free voter ID card. I think that I would pay to see the reaction to that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  76. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I am verkempt. I am stunned by the logic that has escaped me all this time. It’s all so clear to me now.

    To combat the crisis prompted by decreasing gun violence and a decline in successful gun crime prosecutions, we need to pass a whole bunch of new laws that wouldn’t have done a goddamned thing to stop any of the previous mass shootings. And since Congress refuses to pass these laws, President Obama needs to use the previously-unknown legislative powers vested in the executive branch and just declare them to be. And these laws, which specifically don’t target those who are likely to commit mass shootings, but those who are far less likely to commit the mass shootings. Since they won’t obligingly commit crimes so we can take away their guns, we’ll make new laws that will make it a lot easier to find an excuse to charge them and take away their guns. This will make everything all better.

    And I’ve reconsidered my position on Fast & Furious. It was totally the shit. What a brilliant idea — give guns to Mexican drug cartels and help them kill a whole bunch of other Mexicans. And what was the price? A couple of dead Americans? Totally worth it. As far as the only people to be punished over it being the whistle-blowers who didn’t see the wisdom… well, as they say, snitches get stitches. If they’d kept their mouths shut, then they wouldn’t have needed to get wacked, and maybe we could have given even more guns to the Mexican gun cartels to kill more Mexicans.

    The only problem I can see is that while it did get a lot of Mexicans killed before they could illegally come to the US, and it gave a wonderful excuse to argue for gun control here in the US, it also created a hell of a strong incentive for those not killed to flee to the US.

    So, in the interest of everyone’s safety, we should all give up our guns. I don’t have any, but I’m tempted to buy one just so I can turn it in and do my part. I understand anjin owns at least a few guns; I’m sure he’ll be glad to do his part, too.

    Anyone else here want to cop to owning guns, and want to vow to unilaterally disarm? After all, it’s clear that the whole “good people with guns” is a myth — all guns in private hands are dangerous to everyone. So do it. Put your guns where your mouth is.

    Do it for the common good. Do it for the children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  77. anjin-san says:

    One gets the sense that Jenso has no idea whatsoever that he has no gift for sarcasm…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  78. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian: The gap between what you are and what you think you are is wider than you imagine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  79. Jenos Idanian says:

    For all the talk about the “gun lobby,” why the silence on the “anti-gun lobby?” They fork over millions to push gun control measures — here are two groups that have spent about $12 million.

    BTW, Independence Day USA’s 39 biggest donors are all named “Michael R. Bloomberg,” and in two years they gave the super-PAC about 18 million dollars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  80. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Come on, anjin. You’ve stated on numerous occasions that you are a gun owner. That makes you an expert on this topic — certainly more than I am, who has never owned a gun and has no desire to do so. Why don’t you explain how you’re so much responsible than other gun owners, and why you should be allowed to keep your guns while others should give up theirs.

    Don’t you owe it to the community here to share your wisdom and expertise?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  81. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Shorter Jenso – “No, I’m still not any smarter than I was yesterday”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  82. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: So, you don’t feel like doing anything besides issuing personal insults? And you whine when I call you “annie,” but now call me “Jenso?”

    Don’t say it was a typo. You’ve done it twice. That makes it deliberate.

    So, shorter annie: “No, I’m still the same worthless asshole I was yesterday, and I foresee continuing to be a worthless asshole in the future.”

    Come on, annie, get your guns and turn them in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  83. dennis says:

    @Jack:

    You better get around to repealing the 2nd amendment. I’ll wait.

    You know, it is quite amusing to me how conservatives the current crop of radical Republicans (especially you radical Christian Republicans) get all gaga over the Second Amendment, fellating each other non-stop over it; however, when it comes to the 14th Amendment and equal protection of the law for your fellow citizens (read: LGBT community; racial/ethnic minorities; women’s right to reproduction choices), you all suddenly become rabid anti-Constitutionalists. Funny, that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  84. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos is being pretty F’ing defensive
    Proves he knows he is lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  85. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Fool….the gun lobby spent twice what the gun control folks did in 2014 alone.
    That doesn’t account for previous years when they spent far, far more to pay for congress.
    You hold these really strong beliefs about things you know nothing of.
    Do you ever think that may be a problem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  86. An Interested Party says:

    Well…certainly a libertarian would know more about symbolism than substance…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  87. Jenos Idanian says:

    Is it too late for a belated New Year’s resolution? I’m going to put Cliffy on ignore. The site’s moderators aren’t interested in enforcing their own rules, so I’ll do it myself, for myself.

    I hope I can keep this resolution longer than most of them…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  88. Jenos Idanian says:

    But to repeat my initial point, which has not been challenged:

    Number of the last 10 mass shootings these measures might have prevented: zero.

    Number of the last 50 mass shootings these measures might have prevented: zero.

    People actually affected by these measures: law-abiding citizens.

    Affects: at least inconvenience; as intended, deprivation of Constitutional rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  89. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Nobody has answered because there is no point to answer.
    To paraphrase someone else; the gap between reality and what you think you know is yyyuuge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  90. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: Sorry, Cliffy. In accordance with my New Year’s resolution, I am ignoring you. The site moderators won’t enforce their terms on you, so I’m doing so unilaterally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  91. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    And I expect that to last just as long as any of this moron’s other promises……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  92. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: I’m gonna give it the ol’ college try, though…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  93. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    In other words, abject failure as per usual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  94. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: Succeeded so far… which puts me ahead of a lot of people’s New Year’s Resolutions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  95. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    You have only succeeded if you count responding to virtually every one of his comments with the same response as ‘ignoring’ him. I think we have fundamentally different definitions of ignoring and succeeding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  96. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Succeeded so far…

    Not surprisingly, you seem to be quite confused about what success is…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  97. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Don’t say it was a typo. You’ve done it twice. That makes it deliberate.

    Beanos, Beanos… whatever are you ranting about?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  98. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools:

    You would see gun safety legislation passed overnight…

    That’s pretty much what did happen when the Black Panthers started open carrying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  99. anjin-san says:

    @gVOR08:

    Signed into law by the greatest champion of freedom, Ronald Reagan himself…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  100. Jenos Idanian says:

    Oh, look. More people want to talk about me, and not the issues at hand. Gosh, that NEVER happens. I am positively blushing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  101. anjin-san says:
  102. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: @Jenos Idanian: Too far down-thread for anybody to see this, but yesterday The Guardian had an article about how the ATF has been gutted by congressional budget cutting. Think maybe this might be why gun convictions are down? Another example of GOPs backing up their claims that government can’t work the only way they can, by deliberately sabotaging government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  103. al-Ameda says:

    @gVOR08:

    ATF has been gutted by congressional budget cutting. Think maybe this might be why gun convictions are down? Another example of GOPs backing up their claims that government can’t work the only way they can, by deliberately sabotaging government.

    This should come as no surprise to any one.
    Republicans are to good government what the Kardashian-Jenner family is to sensibility, modesty and silence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  104. Jenos Idanian says:

    @gVOR08: Interesting theory, but if that was the case, you’d expect to see a corresponding rise in gun crimes. Instead, it’s dropping, which makes it look like Congress saw the ATF didn’t have too much to do, so they cut the budget a bit.

    Let’s also remember that the ATF found money in its budget for the Waco massacre, Fast & Furious, tons of other failed gun “stings,” and a host of other gross incompetencies. So cutting their funding sounds like an acceptable alternative to simply shutting it down and folding its responsibilities (which it’s failed at spectacularly) into existing agencies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  105. bill says:

    maybe he’s just scamming y’all? maybe, just maybe he has all sorts of gun manufacturer stocks in his blind trust ( and knows it)….and he’s making a killing as their values soar every time he spews this rubbish!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  106. David M says:

    I’m not sure I understand the dynamic that results in Obama being criticized for symbolism over substance. Here’s the basic facts of the issue:

    1. Mass shooting
    2. GOP offers prayers and nothing more, opposing all proposed actions
    3. Democrats support substantive actions
    4. Repeat x 1000
    5. Obama makes small, but substantive changes

    How on earth can Obama be the one criticized for only making symbolic actions?

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  107. gVOR08 says:

    @David M: Absolutely. But a quibble on 2. They oppose all SANE proposed actions. They do propose more guns.

    @Jenos Idanian: Gun crimes of the sort dealt with by the state, murder, armed robbery, whatever are down, following a trend that all violent crime is down. There may also be a contribution from lower rates of gun ownership. (We do seem to have more guns, but fewer gun owners.)

    As to falling rates of gun crimes dealt with by the ATF and DOJ, argument from facts not in evidence.

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  108. Jenos Idanian says:

    @David M: 5. Obama makes small, but substantive changes

    I repeat: none of these “substantive” changes (also often called “common-sense,” with as much justification — as in, none) would have stopped a single mass shooting that’s happened under Obama.

    Obama as diet counselor: “You need to eat less. Start out by cutting down on your vegetables.”

    Edit: Add “sane” as another bogus adjective. Just calling it something positive doesn’t mean it actually do a damned thing about the problem.

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  109. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Even if the actions Obama has taken are too small, or are the wrong actions, the criticism that his actions were symbolism over substance is simply ridiculous, given the political realities of the issue.

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  110. Jenos Idanian says:

    @David M: Symbolism would be one thing. I’d just mock him for that. But these are actually counterproductive. They have substance that will not affect the bad people, but will penalize the law-abiding ones.

    I just stumbled across this: the murder rate nationwide went up last year. Over half of that increase can be attributed to murders in Baltimore and Washington, DC — two cities that have had decades of Democrat governance and some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.

    Obama’s proposals say that he wants to have the same level of gun control across the nation that these two cities enjoy — and, somehow, produce the opposite results.

    What’s that old definition of insanity again? About doing the same things over and over again, expecting different results?

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  111. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Dammit, forgot the link to the report. Sorry.

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  112. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I’m glad to see you voicing support for much stricter gun control nationally, to help solve the problem that the areas with lax gun control laws are causing for the rest of the country.

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  113. Jenos Idanian says:

    @David M: And you were doing so well towards having a real discussion before you had that attack of Sudden Twat Syndrome.

    Or should I say, you won’t be happy until the whole country has gun control laws like Baltimore and DC, along with the corresponding murder rates? ‘Cuz that’s what you’re arguing for…

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  114. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Restrictive gun laws will both inconvenience legal gun owners and reduce gun deaths. Arguing otherwise, as you are doing, is just trolling, and badly I might add.

    I’ve also read what the Obama’s actual executive actions are, and I’m having a hard time seeing how they “penalize” anyone, unless of course that person wishes to sell or buy guns without involving a background check. It’s also not clear how anything in the actions would qualify as actually “counterproductive”. More actions may be needed, but that doesn’t remotely mean these actions will actually make things worse.

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  115. Jenos Idanian says:

    @David M: Restrictive gun laws will both inconvenience legal gun owners and reduce gun deaths. Arguing otherwise, as you are doing, is just trolling, and badly I might add.

    So, disagreeing with you is “trolling?” Bite me.

    Please cite examples where restrictive gun laws have reduced gun deaths in the US. As shown by the Baltimore and DC examples I cited, there is a tremendous correlation between restrictive gun laws and higher gun crimes, murders by gun, and other gun violence. And you stated your belief as an absolute, indisputable truth — that’s an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

    But even if I were to accept your flawed declaration, it boils down to “we need to take away the rights of innocent people to protect them.” How would you work the numbers? Would taking away the guns of 100 people be worth the life of one person? 500? 1000? Everything in life is a tradeoff.

    Do NOT make me bring out the Franklin quote. I’m sure you know the one I mean…

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  116. David M says:
  117. Jenos Idanian says:

    @David M: I cite cities, you respond with stats on states. Ranking very highly on that chart of “safe” states are DC, Maryland, and Illinois — so I guess there aren’t any real problems in Washington, Baltimore, and Chicago?

    And before you get pedantic on me, yes, I referred to DC as a “state.” The source you cited did so, and in this context DC is essentially a state for the purposes of this discussion. That the state consists of a single city and isn’t legally a state anyway aren’t relevant here.

    And when I scrolled to the bottom of the chart you cited, two things jumped out at me. The most dangerous state, by these standards, is Alaska, with 19.8 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2013. Rounding that to 20 and setting Alaska’s population at 700,000 (it’s calculated at 738,000) to keep the math simple, that’s 140 gun deaths. In the same year, Chicago reported 415 murders. That’s about three times as many as were killed in Alaska.

    The other thing that jumped out at me was the legend: “Figures include homicides, suicides, accidental gun deaths, and firearm discharge with undetermined intent. Legal interventions involving firearms are excluded.”

    That’s weaselly-enough worded that it could mean that it excludes cases of self-defense, or that it excludes shootings by police ruled justified. Given the angle of the report, my hunch is that self defense shootings were lumped in as “undetermined intent.”

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  118. Bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: That would sound persuasive if one didn’t look up the population of Chicago: over 2.7 million, or almost 4 times the population of Alaska.

    If you actually runs the numbers, Chicago has fewer gun deaths per capita.

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  119. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Bookdragon: But it isn’t Alaska that is complaining about gun violence, it’s Baltimore, it’s DC, it’s Chicago. The 140 people killed in Alaska aren’t cited as the reason we need better gun control, it’s the 415 in Chicago, the 235 in Baltimore, the 103 in DC. (Using 2013 figures to stay consistent with the original source.)

    Rating the problem by state is hiding the problem. It reduces the cities to statistical outliers, when they are the ones with the actual problems.

    It’s like saying that a brain tumor isn’t a real problem, because it’s very small and the vast majority of the body is tumor-free. While that’s technically true, it’s also grossly misleading.

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  120. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Of course the useful metric is states or countries, given our current discussion is about actions by the Federal Govenrment. Cities are a meaningless distraction at best.

    Again, pointing out how city gun control efforts are undermined by lax laws in the surrounding areas isn’t relevant to actions by the federal government, and isn’t a very convincing argument against gun control on a wider scale.

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  121. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: No, if your argument is that gun control doesn’t work because Chicago with strict laws has X number of gun deaths compared with Alaska that has Y deaths and lax laws, then deaths per capita is an important consideration.

    Cities generally have higher rates for any crimes and accidents because of higher population density, yet Chicago has a lower per capita number of people killed by guns (and DC’s is shockingly low – significantly fewer gun deaths than a state with roughly the same population) Therefore the question isn’t why don’t Chicago’s or DC’s gun laws eliminate all gun-related crime, but how much higher would the death rate be without the laws they have. And, as others have pointed out, city regulations can be only marginally effective when a criminal or psycho or stalker/abusive ex can just drive to a gun show in the next county or order a gun over the internet, no questions asked.

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  122. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    the 415 in Chicago, the 235 in Baltimore, the 103 in DC

    No, that’s just people like you – people who are using murder victims to try to score partisan political points – trying to make it look like large cities with Democratic governments are where the problem is.

    But it isn’t Alaska that is complaining about gun violence

    Really? The families and loved ones of the victims have no complaints?

    It reduces the cities to statistical outliers, when they are the ones with the actual problems.

    Hmmm. Some of us think that anyone being murdered/wounded by gunfire is a problem anywhere. To claim that the cities are the only places with “actual problems” is imbecilic.

    bookdragon @

    deaths per capita is an important consideration.

    Absolutely it is, but Jenos:

    A. Knows less than nothing about statistics
    B. Is only interested in scoring points for his team
    C. Is not very bright

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  123. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    As shown by the Baltimore and DC examples I cited, there is a tremendous correlation between restrictive gun laws and higher gun crimes, murders by gun, and other gun violence.

    Hawai’i has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and has the lowest rate of gun violence in the US. You are cherry picking high population density, high poverty cities in an attempt to stack the deck, knowing full well that these cities with more restrictive gun laws are adjacent to other areas with much less restrictive gun laws. Your comparison is not honest.
    David M’s statistics on state level gun laws related to gun violence and country level comparisons are much more fair.

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  124. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Hey, anjin, mind if I fast-forward through our standard exchange?

    — I argue against gun control laws

    — You come in and make snide cracks and personal insults denigrating my arguments

    — I remind you that you’ve acknowledged being a gun owner, and accuse you of hypocrisy for arguing for gun control laws

    — You point out that you haven’t actually defended the laws, you’ve only sniped at my arguments (and me, personally)

    — I remind myself that you have a very lengthy record of avoiding making any actual commitments to positions, of taking stances, of actually offering opinions.

    There, all done. Wasn’t that a wonderful time-saver?

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  125. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Grewgills: You are cherry picking high population density, high poverty cities in an attempt to stack the deck, knowing full well that these cities with more restrictive gun laws are adjacent to other areas with much less restrictive gun laws. Your comparison is not honest.
    David M’s statistics on state level gun laws related to gun violence and country level comparisons are much more fair.

    Of course his stats are “more fair” to you — they support your side. But can you support the “adjacent” argument with examples?

    In these urban areas, the people doing the killing aren’t exactly known for going on lengthy trips outside the city limits for these guns. And the numbers of guns in the urban areas are too high to be explained by gun-running black marketeers — we’d have a hell of a lot more evidence of such operations if it was that big. We’ve routinely broken up drug-smuggling rings, human-smuggling rings (both willing and unwilling smugglees), even cigarette-smuggling operations. The biggest gun-running operation I can recall being uncovered wasn’t busted by the ATF, it was run by them.

    “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.” The problem isn’t the guns, it’s the people who misuse them. How’d prohibition work on booze? On drugs? On prostitution?

    Let’s run with that for a moment. Drunk driving wasn’t considered a serious problem for a very, very long time. Then that changed. The problem was the combination of alcohol, cars, and people acting badly. The activists didn’t go after the cars, or the booze — they went after the people.

    Three elements to the problem. Any two of them together are fine.

    People + cars: driving. Been going on for over a century.

    People + booze: drinking. Been going on for centuries.

    Booze + cars: nothing happens. Hell, cars (well, mainly trucks) transport alcohol all the time, and cars burn alcohol all the time. (Look at the gas pump next time you fuel up your car.)

    So why not use a model that has actually worked? Going after the animate part of the equation instead of the inanimate. Go after people who do bad things, not after everyone on the theory that they might do something bad someday.

    Here’s a theory: because by going after the objects and not the actors, you can exert control over people you don’t like. You can act on your fears and somewhat neutralize people who you feel threatened by, because your fears trump their rights. Which means you have to nullify the idea that what they want to do is a “right” in the first place.

    Like I said, a theory. Just something that appears to explain a phenomenon I have observed. I don’t believe in it, but nor do I discount it. Just something I thought up and need to kick around a bit more.

    One last point: your argument fails on the practical level when it comes to people. I sincerely doubt you’d find people saying “Alaska’s just too dangerous, with its lax gun laws. I need to move someplace safer, like Illinois. What’s it cost to take a U-Haul from Wasilla to Chicago, where my family can be safer?”

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  126. bookdragon says:

    @anjin-san: Yes. I notice he hasn’t bothered trying to reply to my points. He’s only thrown up the same trite snark to you that he always does.

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  127. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: If you are sincere in the analogy to DUI, then there is an obvious way to apply it to guns:

    Backgrounds checks to make sure criminals, domestic abusers, stalkers, and mentally ill and/or incompetent cannot buy guns. Also permit law enforcement to remove guns from those who fall into any of those categories (e.g., if a permanent restraining order is placed against someone, he should not get to keep his weapons. Ditto if someone is identified as dangerous due to mental illness, although I would want to have a process that would allow them to apply for their return upon demonstration of recovery and staying on whatever therapy/meds lead to it).

    This is basically the DUI approach. Deal with the bad actors by addressing the confluence of potentially dangerous device and behavior that makes it an immanent danger to others.

    Hmmm… that common sense approach sounds a lot like something someone proposed recently…

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  128. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bookdragon: I’ve taken on the “background check” argument before; let me see if I can sum it up briefly.
    The law as it stands says if you’re a professional seller, then you have to do a background check, no matter where or how you make the sale. If you aren’t a professional seller, then you don’t. Obama’s plan is to declare pretty much anyone who sells a gun a profressional and require the check.

    The problems with that? The infrastructure required to support the checks.

    Currently, dealers have to register with the government to gain access to the good/not good database. Which means that they can lose their dealer’s license if they abuse it.

    And how would one abuse it? Suppose I’m stalking this woman, and I want to know more about her. I pretend I want to sell her a gun, and get all kinds of good info her.

    Suppose I’m thinking of breaking into someone’s house. First, I call up and say I’m thinking of selling him a gun. If it comes back no sell, then I don’t have to worry about him having a legal gun to defend himself.

    So we go past that part. Suddenly we have a whole bunch more background checks going on. That means we have to hire more and more people and buy more and more equipment to conduct those checks. Alternately, if we have an administration like the current one, they can simply underfund the program and slow the process to the point of complete uselessness.

    One final point: how many of the recent mass shootings — say, in the last 10 years — would have been thwarted by a background check? This is a solution that is looking for a problem. And when people propose a solution that won’t actually do anything about the problem they’re complaining about, I start wondering what their real agenda is.

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  129. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    your fears trump their rights

    Except we are not talking about “fears” – we are talking about the reality of people dying from gunshot wounds at an insane rate. The lifeless bodies of the Sandy Hook victims were not some “fear” dancing around in a liberals head.

    I remind you that you’ve acknowledged being a gun owner, and accuse you of hypocrisy for arguing for gun control laws

    I’m not arguing that anyone should have to live with laws that I am not willing to live with. Do you have a point?

    Suppose I’m stalking this woman, and I want to know more about her. I pretend I want to sell her a gun, and get all kinds of good info her

    Might be simpler just to use Google. This is a pretty thin reed to grasp, even by your standards.

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  130. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    We get that you don’t like the executive actions take by Obama, but what you haven’t done is offer any evidence that they are actually counterproductive, or why Obama merits criticism for choosing symbolism over substance (rather than the GOP in Congress.)

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  131. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    And how would one abuse it? Suppose I’m stalking this woman, and I want to know more about her. I pretend I want to sell her a gun, and get all kinds of good info her.

    And this works because all women are constantly on the lookout to buy a gun?

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  132. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: What a lot of nonsense.

    First, either of the scenarios you posit can occur now. There is nothing about background checks that either prevents or encourages these scenarios.

    Second, cold-calling someone would get zero useful information in either scenario. If someone cold-called, asking if I want a gun – presuming I’d even pick up on a number from someone I didn’t know – I’d say ‘No. I’m not interested.’ Does that mean I don’t have a gun or that I have all the guns I want? Or that I’m not an idiot who would respond to such obvious fishing?

    If he pressed, I’d hang up and report it to the police to as a potential scam, the same way I’d report someone asking to ‘verify’ my credit card or bank account info. The only affect of Obama’s proposal here is that I could ask for his dealer ID, which, if he provided it, would give info in addition to his phone number to identify him. One more way for police to track down criminals – yeah!

    As to the rest

    Alternately, if we have an administration a congress like the current one, they can simply underfund the program and slow the process to the point of complete uselessness.

    Fixed that for you.

    As I recall from the press conference, Obama is proposing adding more people to conduct backgrounds and speed the process.

    On your last question, I’m not only concerned about mass shootings. Over half of the women killed by guns in the last few years have been killed by guns wielded by men in their lives, usually after they leave an abusive partner. Even worse, these men will often also target their children.

    http://everytownresearch.org/reports/guns-and-violence-against-women/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-gun-control-domestic-violence_568d5ff7e4b0c8beacf54c1c?cps=gravity_5059_1286023935460901219&kvcommref=mostpopular

    However, on the mass shooting side

    Mass shootings in the U.S., meaning those in which four or more people are killed, are often related to domestic violence. In 57 percent of mass shootings, the shooter targeted either a family member or an intimate partner

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  133. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    And this works because all women are constantly on the lookout to buy a gun?

    No, it would work because you could always claim to be a private seller in a fictional sale.

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  134. bookdragon says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: You can claim to be a private seller in a fictional sale right now w/o the excuse of a background check and get all kinds of information from someone stupid enough to give it to you – address (for delivering gun), credit/debit card number or require other financial info to take a check.

    I suppose a person could avoid that by showing up in person and paying cash, but very few women looking for a gun for self-protection would meet agree to meet a stranger for such an exchange. If one does, the seller ought to be at least a little concerned that she plans to use the gun for a crime.

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  135. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “— I remind you that you’ve acknowledged being a gun owner, and accuse you of hypocrisy for arguing for gun control laws”

    Apparently, hypocrisy is yet another concept of which you have no understanding whatsoever. It is not hypocritical at all for a gun-owner to argue for gun control laws; it would only be hypocritical if he argued for laws he had no intent to follow. By your reasoning, it’s “hypocritical” for a rich person to argue in favor of higher taxes on the rich, which so completely distorts the meaning of the word it’s as useless as anything else you type.

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  136. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    and get all kinds of information from someone stupid enough to give it to you

    His issue is that requiring private sellers to do background checks would require them to get access to the background check database. If one has that access, one can get the listed information without any need to contact the potential victim.

    Not saying it’s a serious or insurmountable problem but, assuming the background check database works the way he describes, the issue is real as private sellers would probably not be required to undergo the professional seller certification process by the AFT.

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  137. bookdragon says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: Ah. I was under the impression that a seller took down information, submitted it, and then had NICS come back with either ‘approved’ or disapproved’.

    It’s a bit frightening to think that a clerk at Walmart would have access to a database of personal information for pretty much anyone in the country.

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  138. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius:I’ve been AFK for most of the day, so thank you for clarifying my point. I understand it must have been painful, but I appreciate it. And yes, your answers were the ones I would have given, and you understood my point perfectly.

    @bookdragon: A friend of mine bought a gun at a Wal-Mart. It was a member of management who submitted the 4473; Wal-Mart wants some control over accesses that system under their name. They don’t want some part-time cashier screwing up the application and subjecting them to some huge liability if they sell a gun to someone who shouldn’t buy it.

    Obama’s proposal will impose a burden on pretty much all sellers, and require that the database be opened to pretty much the general public. Will they be trained on how to operate the system? Will they have to pass some kind of competency test? Will the government keep track of who is using the screening system, and watch for abuses? Will those who do so ineptly be prosecuted or otherwise punished?

    And most importantly, how will this huge increase in demand on the screening system be handled, and how will it be paid for?

    OK, those aren’t the most important questions, but they’re pretty important. The most important one, to me, is what would this have done in the cases of the mass shootings of the last ten years? Were any of those shooters on the “don’t-sell” list, and did they then get their guns from a private-party sale?

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  139. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Of course his stats are “more fair” to you — they support your side. But can you support the “adjacent” argument with examples?

    I already did. David M’s stats pointed out that states with tougher gun laws have less gun violence. I added to that the example of Hawai’i that has tough gun laws and no easy way to cross a border to buy a gun that would be illegal in Hawai’i and bring it easily back in.
    Your only examples have been high population, high population density cities and even those have lower per capita (the number that matters) rates of gun violence than lax gun law and very low population density Alaska. One would expect much higher rates (not just numbers) of crimes and violent crimes from high population density areas, yet there is Alaska.
    You have given not real counter argument to this instead doubling down on whole number comparisons between places with wildly disparate populations and population densities. Your argument to this point has been, to be kind, weak.

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  140. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    your argument fails on the practical level when it comes to people. I sincerely doubt you’d find people saying “Alaska’s just too dangerous, with its lax gun laws. I need to move someplace safer, like Illinois. What’s it cost to take a U-Haul from Wasilla to Chicago, where my family can be safer?”

    Here you are just arguing against people being able to make rational risk assessment. How is that a valuable argument against tighter gun regulations?

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  141. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Grewgills: Here you are just arguing against people being able to make rational risk assessment. How is that a valuable argument against tighter gun regulations?

    Because, theoretically, we live in a democratic republic, and people’s ability to make their own risk-assessment judgments should not be subject to your veto. They should not have to subject their exercising of their rights to your — or anyone else’s — approval.

    BTW, don’t expect the attempted assassination of the Philadelphia cop to be cited as an argument for more gun control. It hit too damned many right-wing talking points, and no left-wing ones.

    –The shooter wore Muslim garb and said he was acting on behalf of ISIS

    — The shooter said he was justified in shooting the cop because the police enforce un-Islamic laws

    — The shooter was charged with a gun crime a couple of years ago, but was allowed to plead down to no jail time

    — The shooter’s gun wasn’t bought at a gun show or a private buyer, but stole the gun from the police.

    Damn, doesn’t it suck when reality refuses to reinforce your prejudices? And instead just goes and flips you off?

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  142. Bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: It seems as though there would be an opportunity for Wal-Mart or other trained sellers in providing their services in submitting the form for a fee. (Plus the seller and/orcustomer might look around and buy ammo or other stuff – half of sales is just getting people in the door).

    But, honestly, I don’t see a problem with someone who uses the system ineptly being questioned. And if they do so on multiple occasions, it seems to me that they are either knowingly doing so to conclude illegal sales or too incompetent to be allowed to continue selling guns.

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  143. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Bookdragon: Interesting notion about Wal-Mart (and, by extension, other dealers), but it also raises some interesting points. Will they be required to participate? Will they be allowed to set the fee for their services? Will they then become legally liable for the sale?

    And Obama’s proposal apparently covers someone who sells more than 2 or 3 guns in a year becoming a “dealer.” Which is kind of awkward, because the law (as passed by Congress) has already defined “dealer, but then again since when has the law constrained Obama?

    I saw a comment from someone who inherited a relative’s gun collection of about 30 guns, and they didn’t want them, so they sold them. Would you consider that person a “dealer?” Suppose they just inherited 4 or 5 guns — Obama would consider them a “dealer” and require them to register with the database and use it flawlessly for those transactions — despite never having bought a gun before, having no interest in owning guns, and extremely unlikely to ever buy or sell a gun ever again.

    Or an actual concrete example — our own anjin-san. Suppose he suddenly decides he isnt so exceptional and responsible, and decides to unload his gun collection. (I’ll say he has four guns.) Right now, he has no legal access to the database. (I’m assuming he’s not a dealer, and quite frankly don’t expect him to say one way or another, so for this example he isn’t.) But under Obama, he has to get access to this database and run the checks for all the people who he wants to sell his guns to, and then never use that database ever again — but if he makes any mistakes doing so, he is not only likely to be held legally liable for the sales, but (we’re talking about the Obama administration here) will be stripped of his right to ever own guns again.

    Unless he can do like the would-be Philadelphia cop assassin did a few years ago, and plead down from the charges. But that’s a long shot.

    Again, I repeat my main point: these person-to-person sales have not been tied to any mass shootings, so I don’t see why there needs to be a crackdown on something that has not been any kind of a threat. A bigger problem would be cases like the would-be cop killer — convicted of a gun crime, but skates with no jail time. And yet he still managed to get a gun — by stealing it from the cops.

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  144. Bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I wasn’t proposing that as legislation, but as a business opportunity. I expect that businesses or enterprising people with the appropriate knowledge and training will consider the issues and set it up if it looks like a need to be filled for which they can earn a profit.

    As to the inherited gun collection, there are licensed dealers and auction houses who could handler the sale for him, probably getting a price for it too. And I would much rather he have to deal with that or doing the background checks than let him sell those guns to just anyone regardless of whether they’re criminals or abusive ex’s looking to kill the woman who finally left them.

    Which brings us back to your constant harping on mass shootings. If you bothered to read the links in my other reply, you’d know that mass shootings are not my primary concern in keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not be able to buy them. Or perhaps women terrorized and executed by abusers and stalkers doesn’t strike you as important. If so, I have nothing more to say to you.

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  145. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Bookdragon: My apologies; it’s the mass shootings that get hollered about the most, so that’s what I was responding to. But as for women… there’s a reason why guns were called “equalizers.” They made women the equals of men when it comes to use of force.

    At Obama’s little staged event the other night, two women who have been victimized by violent crime spoke up. One was a rape survivor who now has two children; the other was widowed when her husband was murdered by a guy with a gun and mental problems. Both of them opposed Obama’s plans, saying they valued their ability to defend themselves and their families. And I’ve seen the widow shoot; she’s pretty damned good.

    Taking away guns won’t help women be safer; it removes one of the ways they can counter how men tend to be bigger, stronger, and more aggressive. And it does so in a way that helps protect other women — if there’s a good chance a woman is packing, then an attacker will leave her alone. But if you guarantee that the woman is unarmed, she’s more likely to be attacked.

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  146. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Because, theoretically, we live in a democratic republic, and people’s ability to make their own risk-assessment judgments should not be subject to your veto. They should not have to subject their exercising of their rights to your — or anyone else’s — approval.

    When we are arguing about what regulations are rational, people’s irrational risk assessment isn’t a valuable addition to the argument.

    BTW, don’t expect the attempted assassination of the Philadelphia cop to be cited as an argument for more gun control. It hit too damned many right-wing talking points, and no left-wing ones.

    The attack in San Bernardino was rightfully part of the gun regulation debate, the ethnicity or motivation of the Philly shooter, won’t be relevant either. What might be relevant is how the person got their guns.

    Damn, doesn’t it suck when reality refuses to reinforce your prejudices? And instead just goes and flips you off?

    You tell me.

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  147. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Taking away guns won’t help women be safer;

    Well, women can rest easy, since Obama is not going to take their guns away.

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  148. anjin-san says:

    @Bookdragon:

    Or perhaps women terrorized and executed by abusers and stalkers

    I know someone who’s ex was executed by an abuser/stalker, the story is beyond bone chilling. She died a very, very bad death.

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  149. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    At Obama’s little staged event the other night, two women who have been victimized by violent crime spoke up.

    Sounds like they fared much better than people who “speak up” at Trump events. You know, the people who are assaulted and dragged out as Trump cheers the attackers on…

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  150. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Crap, I’m actually responding to anjin as if he’s worth a serious response, but the flagrant falseness of his comparison needs to be smacked down.

    The women in question were respectful and polite, and were treated accordingly. The Berniebots at Trummp’s rally were neither, and were treated accordingly.

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  151. anjin-san says:

    were treated accordingly

    Trying that brown shirt on for size, eh?

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  152. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: You got one serious answer, annie. That’s about 17 more than you dserve, so take your little Godwin and shove it up your ass.

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  153. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    shove it up your ass.

    Ah, I forgot that you are all about TOS and “respect for our hosts” :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  154. anjin-san says:

    In other freedom news, you can now bring guns into a state run psychiatric hospital in Texas. What could go wrong?

    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/guns-now-allowed-in-texas-state-run-psychiatric-ho/npztT/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  155. Pch101 says:

    Jenos desperately wants you to take him seriously. One can presume that nobody in the real world does, so why should you?

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  156. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: No one is talking about taking away women’s guns or even making it particularly more difficult for a woman to buy one for self-defense.

    You cite the women at the town hall but fail to mention Obama’s response, which was spot on.

    What he’s proposed would only make it more difficult for men like the crazy who murdered the one’s husband or the rapist (once he gets out of jail) to bypass NICS by buying a gun from some random seller at a gun show or on Craig’s list. A gun which the rapist btw could then use on other victims or to come after the woman who put him in prison. (The fact that she has a gun too is little use there. Unless she can be alert 24/7 and is a better fast draw than Billy the Kid, she’s in trouble if he comes after her with a gun).

    As to the ‘equalizer’ myth, I wish it were true, but it’s not. A gun is an effective weapon against someone at least ~4 ft away. In most cases the attacker will be closer than that by the time you realize he’s threat. And if someone grabs you from behind, a gun is pretty much useless. Reaching for it will only alert the attacker that there’s a gun he can take.

    In most cases, when a woman who is attacked is carrying a gun, the attacker is more likely to take it away and use it against her. There are statistics out there on that, but what really convinces me is 15+ years of involvement in Women’s Self-Defense classes, both as a student and asst instructor. I’ve seen the scenario played with hundreds of students in dozens of different classes. Only 3 times out of 10 will the woman be able get the gun out of her purse and bring it to bear before the attacker can grab her hand and take the gun himself. So about 70% of the time, reaching for a gun puts you in a worse situation in terms of fighting back. Using a shoulder holster improves the odds somewhat, but only to about 50-50. And that was in a class where the person playing victim knew she was going to be attacked. In real life most would be even less alert, and since the majority of rape victims are not attacked by strangers but men known to them, they would hesitate even longer to draw.

    A big part of the problem is that the gun is too much of a ‘magic talisman’ – the idea that simply having one makes you invincible means that the whole focus is on struggling for the gun, which keeps the victim from thinking of other effective responses: stomp on his foot, kick out his knee, knee him in the groin. Even firing the gun despite not having it out of the purse will at least draw attention and maybe a call to police. Simply owning a gun and learning to be a good shot is not enough to ‘equalize’ things.

    However, the gun does have a helpful placebo effect – a woman who feels more confident because she has one will project an attitude that makes her less likely to be picked out as a victim. I can do that without a gun, and prefer to, but if only a gun will do it for someone else, fine. I’m not anti-gun ownership. I just want to prevent psychos, rapists and stalkers from getting them – which is why I support the president’s proposals. They are not perfect, but they are a step in the right direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  157. anjin-san says:

    As to the ‘equalizer’ myth, I wish it were true, but it’s not. A gun is an effective weapon against someone at least ~4 ft away. In most cases the attacker will be closer than that by the time you realize he’s threat. And if someone grabs you from behind, a gun is pretty much useless. Reaching for it will only alert the attacker that there’s a gun he can take.

    Spot on. My advice to people who are concerned about their personal safety is to study Krav Maga.

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  158. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bookdragon: The woman who was raped says she believes having a gun gives her an opportunity to defend herself and her family. Are you really telling her to not worry her pretty little head, the big bad rapist will either get her before she can get it or will take it away from her?

    She wants to exercise her right to choose in how she protects herself and her family. She does not want to be a victim again. And I support her right to choose how to defend herself.

    As far as Obama’s response… he doesn’t want to take away people’s guns. He talks praisingly of the UK and Australia, where they took away people’s guns. He praises China, where the people can’t have guns. He just wants to impose new rules (that wouldn’t have prevented most previous crimes) that make it harder to get guns and keep your guns, making it easier and easier to innocently break the new rules on guns….

    At which point they will take your guns.

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  159. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Pch101: When someone (in this case, anjin) calls me a Nazi, it’s pretty fscking clear that there won’t be any serious discussion, so I don’t bother.

    It’s my own fault, really. I said it was probably a mistake to actually take him seriously, and it was…

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  160. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    When someone (in this case, anjin) calls me a Nazi,

    You don’t seem to have a problem with people who have not committed any violence being physically assaulted at Trump rallies, with the endorsement and encouragement of the candidate himself.

    This is more than a baby step down the road to fascism. The proper method for dealing with non-violent disruptions of a political event is to have security remove the offending party in a manner that does not put them at risk for physical harm, not to encourage mob action.

    When it comes to advocating actions and policies that can legitimately be called fascism, Trump’s campaign has been moving out of the gray area and in to the red zone on multiple fronts. I can’t think of any other way to categorize policy proposals that penalize people en masse – people who in almost every case who have done nothing wrong – for their religious beliefs and affiliations.

    Godwin is not a magic shield that the right can hide behind when it comes to supporting actions and polices that are clearly antithetical to the ideals of a free, democratic society.

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  161. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: This is where I normally would say that if the saboteurs went along peacefully as they were lawfully removed, there wouldn’t be any violence, but it’s you, so I’m not going to bother, because you’re not worth it. Instead, I’ll do what you have made an art of and focus on the diversion, the trivial detail, and ignore the overall topic. (You’re a good teacher.)

    So, it’s not really bad to call someone a Nazi when you really think they are a Nazi?

    What a complete load of shite you can spew to rationalize your hatred. You sound like a slightly dumber version of the people who call Obama a Communist.

    The Communists, by the way, killed more people than that Nazis by about a factor of 17 to 1. They just had better PR. Meaning, a ton of useful idiots on the left who covered for them and excused them.

    You know… people like you, generally.

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  162. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: There are a whole bunch of idiots whose definition of fascism is “things I don’t like and think are bad.” What a surprise that, among your other forms of idiocy, you’re one of those, too.

    Someone actually took a widely-accepted definition of fascism and applied them to Trump, and it was a total failure. His conclusion might sound familiar: Bottom line, fascism is the sort of insult you use when you have bad feeling about a person in power. It is an abandonment of reason.

    Why, it’s like he was talking about you.

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  163. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    So, it’s not really bad to call someone a Nazi

    Well, I did not really call you a Nazi, so please stop all your sobbing. I said you were playing footsie with a candidate who is flirting with fascism (well, perhaps Trump has reached the “heavy petting” stage). I think my take on where you are with your politics is pretty accurate, I certainly seem to have touched a nerve.

    BTW Jenos, don’t you know that every time you direct one of your spittle-fill rants at me, I win?

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  164. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Oh, look, dishonest ahole-san is being dishonest again. You took a question I asked and changed it into a declaratory statement.

    You called me a Nazi. And not just “Josef down the street who joined the party to get ahead at work” Nazi, but said I was trying out for the SA, the original paramilitary arm of the Nazis.

    Any response I give you that is more polite than Golf Foxtrot Yankee is far more courtesy than you deserve.

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  165. anjin-san says:

    Jenos, Jenos… You are far too big of a weenie to be an actual Nazi. Ernst Rohm would have simply laughed at you. I doubt honest-to-goodness brownshirts would even keep you around as a court jester. (The denizens of OTB are more generous)

    You are the kind of guy who sits at home alone getting a quiet charge off of watching Trump’s fanboys rough up a protester and drag him out of a rally. A little mob violence is just about right for you, as long as you are observing it at a nice safe distance.

    And Trump himself? What did he say after some of his fanboys beat a homeless man with a metal pipe, breaking a number of ribs and then urinating on him? Oh yes, “They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

    If someone is not done, done and done with Trump after that, it reveals quite a bit about them.

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  166. anjin-san says:

    I’m sorry Jenos, I have to run. Obama is at the door, and he wants my guns.

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  167. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san:I’m sorry. I can’t hear you over the sound of you calling me a Nazi. Or a Nazi wannabe.

    When you (and the others around here) call people “Nazis” and “Y’all Qaeda” and “Yokel Haram” and “Teahadists.” you show just how little you think. Behind the cutesy wordplay, you are equating people who practice genocide with those people who say mean things.

    Trump employs a lot of Mexicans. Obama gave guns to people who kill Mexicans by the tens of thousands. But Trump says mean things, while Obama says nice things, so Trump is the evil, hating racist.

    Go fondle your phallic substitues, anjin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  168. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump employs a lot of Mexicans.

    Ah, the old “some of my best employees are Mexican!” excuse….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  169. anjin-san says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    No doubt Trump is careful to weed out all the rapists…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  170. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: What part of “compare and contrast” do you not grasp?

    I know. My mistake was making it two separate sentences. Let me try that again:

    Trump employs a lot of Mexicans, while Obama gave guns to people who kill Mexicans by the tens of thousands. And Obama didn’t tell the Mexican government that he was giving guns to the people who pose an existential threat to the Mexican government.

    I can see how that is dwarfed by a private citizen saying mean things.

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  171. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Seriously? After what I wrote you come back with

    Are you really telling her to not worry her pretty little head, the big bad rapist will either get her before she can get it or will take it away from her?

    Look, rape survivors need to reclaim a sense of power and control. As part of that, most of them tend to focus on one or two things that they think might have prevented what happened to them. If having a gun gives this woman peace of mind so she can sleep at night and feel like she can go out without constantly looking over her shoulder than I am 100% in favor of her having a gun. (Also I do not for a moment believe that Obama has any intention of taking guns away from people like her, or any law-abiding citizen).

    HOWEVER, the fact is that simply having a gun will not protect her. If I saw her in a survivor’s meeting and heard her claiming that she was safe b/c she had a gun, I would explain to her what I outlined in my last post and strongly urge her to also get some training in martial arts like Krav Maga or jujitsu.

    I would do that because I care about her actually being safe. If having a gun helps her get by, great. I personally have a variety weapons in addition to training in hand-to-hand. But if – God forbid – she is ever attacked again and the guy does take this gun she has come to rely on away from her and uses it against her, then (providing she survived at all) that would be completely devastating. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, which is why I’d make her aware of the truth about the effectiveness of guns in rape scenarios.

    It appears that you, otoh, are perfectly content for leave her at risk, and encourage other women to remain at risk, as long as it plays into your talking points.

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  172. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bookdragon: HOWEVER, the fact is that simply having a gun will not protect her. If I saw her in a survivor’s meeting and heard her claiming that she was safe b/c she had a gun, I would explain to her what I outlined in my last post and strongly urge her to also get some training in martial arts like Krav Maga or jujitsu.

    “Safe” is an absolute, and there is no such thing as “safe” in this world. She believes she would be safer with a gun, and I have no problems with her taking steps to make her feel safer. As I have no intention of attacking her (or anyone else), her possessing a gun is no real threat to me.

    And your “attackers just take the gun away from their victims” is an old canard. Here is an example of a rapist stopped by a woman with a gun, and here’s a mugger stopped by a woman with a gun.

    In the second case, the would-be victim is a 65-year-old grandmother who works until 11:00 at night. I doubt she has the time and the physical fitness to devote to learning a martial art. And what’s to keep the bad guys from learning the martial arts, too?

    Yes, I know that anecdotes don’t trump data, but reality trumps theory. And there are two examples where the attackers didn’t just take away the guns from their would-be victims.

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  173. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    reality trumps theory

    It does. The reality is you have no idea what you are talking about. You don’t know anything about self-defense, and you don’t know anything about guns. That you know how to cut and paste is not in question.

    In countless cases, gun create more danger than they mitigate. Gun fueled false courage can very quickly lead to tragedy. Countless people simply buy a gun without learning to shoot well, carry themselves in a manner that discourages attackers, do competent threat assessment and avoidance, and so on.

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  174. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: If only you and your guns were there to protect those poor women from their attackers. Instead, they had to defend themselves, and entirely adequately.

    I have no idea why you are so devoted to making women defenseless against attackers, but it’s not a very positive thing. You really should be pro-choice to women defending their right to choose how to protect their bodies.

    Cite all the statistics and studies and other bullshit you want. It doesn’t disguise that you are piss-your-pants scared of other people making their own choices, because they might choose something you don’t like.

    And it’s especially appalling because you make all these arguments why people shouldn’t have guns while you have your own guns. You put yourself out as some kind of expert on guns (at least, as far as these bullshit hypotheticals you postulate), but you won’t explain what your reason for owning guns that is magically exempt from all the arguments you put forth.

    We are polar opposites here. I don’t own any guns, but I support the right of others to do so. You do own guns, but you put forth all kinds of arguments why others shouldn’t.

    It makes you look like you want to be one of the few who is armed, among millions who can’t be. And that leads to some very ugly speculations…

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  175. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    you make all these arguments why people shouldn’t have guns

    You need to work on your reading comprehension. I did not argue that “people shouldn’t have guns”, I did argue that there are more effective and reliable methods of self-defense and that guns often create more danger than they mitigate.

    You put yourself out as some kind of expert on guns

    Please show where I claim to be any kind of an expert on guns. Or, failing that, you could simply shut up.

    Seriously dude, try and bring some more brain cells online before you start typing.

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  176. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    It makes you look like you want to be one of the few who is armed, among millions who can’t be. And that leads to some very ugly speculations…

    I suppose a bird-brain with paranoid tendencies – such as yourself – might think that. Well, wait a minute, that’s a little unfair to the birds, who are more intelligent than most people think.

    Tell you what. Please show where I have argued that people other than the severely mentally ill and felons should not be allowed to have guns. I will stand by, but I won’t hold my breath.

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  177. Grewgills says:

    Jenos, why not try to actually engage the arguments being put forward rather than constructing straw man arguments and countering data with anecdotes?

    I have no idea why you are so devoted to making women defenseless against attackers, but it’s not a very positive thing.

    Absolutely no one in this conversation other than you has said anything approaching this. Period.

    You really should be pro-choice to women defending their right to choose how to protect their bodies.

    Further enhancing background checks and the other measures being discussed by all of the rational actors in this discussion (including the administration) do not remove a woman’s (or a man’s) right to choose how to protect themselves (more than they are already limited*) in any meaningful way.

    Cite all the statistics and studies and other bullshit you want.

    Statistics and other things you choose to lump in as bs (self defense experts etc) are part of rational risk assessment. Our laws should be based more on rational assessments than by fear mongering. Why do you disagree with that? Why do you think that fears, whether rational or irrational, should be more important than rational assessments when determining law?**

    And it’s especially appalling because you make all these arguments why people shouldn’t have guns while you have your own guns.

    Again with the straw man. Arguing for tighter gun laws is not making that argument. It is also not at all hypocritical if the arguer is willing and able to purchase and legally hold guns under their preferred regimen. That remains true no matter how much you say it isn’t.

    You sometimes put forth cogent arguments, but whenever race or guns come up you seem utterly unwilling to engage in the actual arguments people put forward in favor of cut and paste attacks on straw arguments. Why is that?

    * Shooting someone across the street because you think they look threatening, for instance, is (rightfully) a limit on how one can choose to defend oneself.
    ** See, I can do it too 😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  178. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    And that leads to some very ugly speculations…

    Well Jenos, no one doubts that what goes on in your mind is ugly…

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  179. Bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Where exactly have I attacked this woman or any other for having a gun?? What part of “I am 100% in favor of her having a gun” did you not understand?

    Also, I believe I mentioned that women could get a gun out and use it about 30% of the time, so a few success stories are hardly surprising. It’s the other 70%, where the attacker gets hold of the gun and the woman is in an even worse situation that worry me because a woman who buys you BS will not know that is the likelihood and therefore be at greater risk

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  180. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Grewgills:@Bookdragon: In case you missed it, that whole comment was not directed to you, but to ahole-san. He’s told me, repeatedly, that trying to engage him in civil discourse is a waste of time, so I don’t bother.

    You would save yourself a great deal of time if you simply ignored any and all exchanges I have with him.

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  181. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Bookdragon: Also, I believe I mentioned that women could get a gun out and use it about 30% of the time, so a few success stories are hardly surprising. It’s the other 70%, where the attacker gets hold of the gun and the woman is in an even worse situation that worry me because a woman who buys you BS will not know that is the likelihood and therefore be at greater risk

    I don’t accept your numbers, but I will accept them for the purposes of this discussion, because to me, they aren’t relevant.

    Are those numbers so overwhelming to you that you are comfortable insisting on asserting your judgment over hers? Are you saying that you are willing to insist on your preference over hers?

    In your preferred scenario, you are guaranteeing that either neither party will have a gun, or only the attacker will. And you are saying that because there’s a 70% chance that the gun will not be helpful, there will be a 100% chance that she will not have a gun.

    I am, in many ways, pro-choice. I respect people’s rights to make their own choices regarding their own bodies, and if a woman (or a man, or a whatever) believes that their bodily integrity is worth the risk of carrying a gun, I will not second-guess them And I will not want to deprive them of their rights without some serious persuasion — and “the odds are that it won’t help you” are far insufficient for me to substitute my judgment over theirs. Especially when they have to live with the consequences of my judgment, and I won’t.

    I read that there’s a joke in the military, that the motto of the intelligence branches is “we bet your life.” That’s what your position sounds like to me — and I really, really don’t like it.

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  182. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    ahole-san

    Most of the commenters on OTB seem to have a reasonably high opinion of me and find my comments (for the most part) to be positive contributions. Have you ever considered that the “ahole” in this equation might not be who you think it is? After all this time, I can’t don’t see what your purpose here is beyond annoying people, drawing attention to yourself (and complaining when you get it) and filling empty hours in your life.

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  183. Bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Again, what part of “I am 100% in favor of her having a gun” did you not understand?

    I am in favor of her having a gun if she chooses and it helps her feel more confident and secure. I am however also in favor of people having the facts, because a sense of security based on an misconception can put you in unnecessary danger.

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  184. anjin-san says:

    Police: Ohio Man Mistakes Teen Son For Intruder, Kills Him

    CINCINNATI (AP) — Police in Cincinnati say a man has fatally shot his 14-year-old son in their home, thinking he was an intruder.

    Police say the man thought his son had caught the bus for school Tuesday morning, but the teen returned home soon afterward. Police say the man heard a noise in the basement and checked on it with a gun in his hand. Police say the father fired after apparently being startled, hitting the boy in the neck.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/cincinnati-man-kills-son-intruder

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  185. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: ;Have you ever considered

    It’s been quite a while since I seriously considered anything you suggested.I believe it was right around the time you admitted you don’t engage me to have serious discussions, you just do it to amuse yourself with baiting me away from the subject at hand.

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  186. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Bookdragon: I am however also in favor of people having the facts,

    Isn’t that rather similar to the arguments of the people who say that women seeking abortions should be given the facts about what their procedure will entail, what the development of the fetus is, and so on?

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  187. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Since I wouldn’t lobby to have the government require that anyone has to read a paper on the statistics or view images of children who had been accidentally shot by their parents before being allowed to purchase a gun: No.

    Although I do think a patient should be given the facts about what any surgical procedure will entail and, afaik, any medical provider gives a list of potential risks to the patient and things to avoid or watch out for during recovery for even minor out-patient procedures. Also, afaik, the main objections to this where abortion is concerned have to do with mandated inclusion of information designed to be shocking and/or information that is scientifically inaccurate (like the claim that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer).

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  188. David M says:

    This seems like a good way to close out the thread.

    Mapping Gun Deaths by US States’ Political Leanings

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