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Obama’s Gun Plan Uses Sandy Hook, Wouldn’t Have Prevented It

US President Barack Obama speaks on the

In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama has unveiled a set of restrictions that wouldn’t have stopped the Sandy Hook Massacre. Some are nonetheless be good policy.

NYT (“Obama Unveils Proposals for Toughening Laws on Guns“):

President Obama called upon Congress on Wednesday to toughen America’s gun laws to confront mass shootings and everyday gun violence, betting that public opinion has shifted enough to support the broadest push for gun control in a generation.

At a White House event at noon, Mr. Obama announced plans to introduce legislation by next week that includes a ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks for gun purchases and new gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country.

He also promised to act without Congressional approval to increase the enforcement of existing gun laws and improve the flow of information among federal agencies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn’t have them.

[...]

The officials said the president will call for a new and tougher ban on military style assault weapons and to limit the number of rounds that can be in a magazine to 10. That would eliminate the 30-round magazines that were used in Newtown as well as other mass shootings at Virginia Tech, a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and a congresswoman’s public event in Tucson, Ariz.

The proposals also would require criminal background checks for all gun sales, closing the longstanding loophole that allows gun buyers to avoid such checks by purchasing their weapons at gun shows or from a private seller. The background database, in place since 1996, has stopped 1.5 million sales to felons, fugitives, convicted domestic abusers and others, but today nearly 40 percent of all gun sales are exempt from the system.

In a document and in a conference call with reporters, administration officials called the enhanced background check requirements the single most important thing that could be done to prevent gun violence and mass shootings. The only exceptions would be transfers between family members and certain “temporary transfers” for hunting and sporting purposes.

The administration also said it will strengthen the background check system by addressing legal barriers that keep some mental health records out of the database, improve incentives for states to share records and direct law enforcement agencies to crack down on those who evade the background check system.

Mr. Obama called on Congress to ban the possession or transfer of armor-piercing bullets. He urged lawmakers to crack down on “straw purchasers” who can pass background checks and then pass along guns to criminals or others forbidden from purchasing them.

I’m a gun owner and supporter of gun rights. I’ve never encountered a rational argument against requiring those who wish to purchase a gun to pass a speedy background check to make sure they’re not criminals or crazy. So long as the check isn’t tantamount to a poll tax—onerously expensive or otherwise intended to deny decent citizens their Constitutional rights—I support it.

And, obviously, if we have a system of background checks, it would be odd, indeed, not to make it illegal to commit fraud  in its circumvention.

Similarly, banning armor-piercing bullets is a no-brainer. Hell, I thought we’d done that decades ago.

I’m less enthusiastic about the ban on assault weapons and larger magazines. On the one hand, there’s no real “need” for ordinary people to have these things. But we allow people to have all manner of dangerous toys for which they have no need (jet skis, private planes, and the like) and a lot of them get killed as a result. They even kill other people with them through reckless use. The burden of proof, then, is on those who wish to ban these items to demonstrate that they’re so inherently dangerous to others that they can’t be allowed in private hands. And, if that’s the case, then their possession–not merely their sale–would seem merited. After all, there’s a ton of AR-15 variant rifles already out there and large magazines are a dime a dozen.

The Sandy Hook killer had no criminal record prior to that horrible morning. And he didn’t buy his own guns and ammo, anyway; he used his mother’s. If his mother would have passed a criminal background check, he would have been able to access any guns she left unlocked in the house, anyway. And, if she had bought the guns and magazines before they were banned, he’d have had access to them.

For that matter, while the killer uses 30-round magazines, he reportedly used several of them. Which means he changed magazines repeatedly. While having to do that presumably makes a mass shooting ever-so-slightly more difficult, the fact of the matter is that it takes a fraction of a second to accomplish and that frightened, unarmed victims—especially if they’re 6 year-old children—are unlikely to have the instinct to take advantage of the interval.  Ditto the Glock and Sig Sauer pistols; the difference between the 15- and 20-round magazines with which they come standard and a 10-round magazine is largely academic.

So, the bottom line is that, while the Sandy Hook shooting was both the impetus for this push and may indeed fuel public sentiment in passing some perfectly sensible laws, the net result likely won’t be fewer Sandy Hooks. If we avoid more ordinary murders—and suicides—it would nonetheless be a good outcome.

UPDATE: Ben Domenech points to an article at something called ExtremeTech from yesterday: “3D-printed 30-round AR magazine brings us ever closer to a fully 3D-printed gun.” While I think it’ll be awhile before 3D printing becomes cheap enough for normal people to do at home, it’s definitely going to be increasingly hard to police this sort of thing.

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

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    The Sandy Hook killer had no criminal record prior to that horrible morning. And he didn’t buy his own guns and ammo, anyway; he used his mother’s. If his mother would have passed a criminal background check, he would have been able to access any guns she left unlocked in the house, anyway. And, if she had bought the guns and magazines before they were banned, he’d have had access to them.

    And that’s why we need to laws that provide for punishment of negligent gun owners who allow their guns to get into the hands of anyone else. Nancy Lanza should be imprisoned for a long time for her part in the murders. Without her carelessness, it might have never happened.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 13

  2. Geek, Esq. says:

    Nancy Lanza should be imprisoned for a long time for her part in the murders.

    I believe she gets a pass on this as she’s dead.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0

  3. scott says:

    The whole ideas of these regulations is not prevention, but risk reduction. Risk is a combination of probability and consequence. Probability will never be zero and neither will there be no consequences. However, sensible rules can reduce both to levels that are tolerated. Currently, they are not being tolerated (at least I hope not) so maybe something will be done. As long as any ideas are not being talked about as “the answer”, then there may be a chance.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  4. C. Clavin says:

    On my initial reading there apppear to be a number of Mental Health initiatives that may very well have prevented Sandy Hook.
    Also the limited magazine size may have had an impact..although that is a tough call.
    What Obama has proposed may not be perfect…the White House itself has acknowledged that.
    But as with so many issues today…the unending Republican endorsement of the status quo over any other idea…any idea at all…is cowardly and irresponsible.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

  5. Facebones says:

    I’m less enthusiastic about the ban on assault weapons and larger magazines. On the one hand, there’s no real “need” for ordinary people to have these things. But we allow people to have all manner of dangerous toys for which they have no need (jet skis, private planes, and the like) and a lot of them get killed as a result. They even kill other people with them through reckless use.

    Really? That old straw man is getting shabby from the constant use. See if you can follow along. Unlike jet skis and Lear jets, the primary function of assault weapons is to kill a large number of people in as short a time as possible. Deaths that occur from private planes are accidental, and to even be in a position to crash a plane accidentally you still need hours and hours of training to fly. It has been aptly demonstrated that any idiot can fire a gun.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 16

  6. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Geek, Esq.:
    Correct. Though one to watch is the case of Dawn Nguyen, who in 2010, acted as a straw buyer for convicted murderer William Spengler here in the Rochester area. Two years later the guns she purchased for him (in fact he was apparently standing next to her and telling her what to buy) were used in a mass shooting.

    To James’ point about these sort of rules not preventing Sandyhook, it’s also important to note that most if not all of these will have grandfather clauses. Which immediately serves to detooth them.

    Likewise, if its anything like the 1994 legislation (which I suspect is a safe bet) under a new assault weapons ban, AR-15 platform guns will continue to be produced — you just can’t have all the accessories (though they can be illegally added aftermarket).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. JKB says:

    These just shows the ignorance of these proposals but also the underlying plan. Armor piercing bullets are illegal for private possession. Even those with enhanced abilities due to non-lead content are illegal when used in a crime. But we have to look from the Progs other prong of attack, they are attempting to ban lead ammunition through the EPA. So, you are going to have to make a choice non-lead bullet content which improves its ability to penetrate armor or lead bullets. BTW, .22 long rifle round fired from a pistol can penetrate police patrol level armor, although I wouldn’t count on it. And all rifle rounds can penetrate armor that doesn’t include ceramic plates.

    Background checks already cost around 10% of the cost of most guns, $25-35. Private sales are usually for lesser prices so that would increase the relative cost. Of course, one could exempt sales to already backgrounded carry permit holders but that cuts down on the revenues. The irony is, the increase in calls to NICS is likely to increase the cost of running the NICS which would induce an increase in the cost per check, which would soon be a “poll tax” moving the checks into unconstitutional range. As it is, it works to deny the poor the purchase of a firearm.

    So they’ve rolled out their gun control wish list and dipped it in the Sandy Hook killings hoping no one will see the underlying uselessness of their proposals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  8. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    BTW, the entire topic of printed guns gets into the scary fact that near future technology is going to expand civilian arms possibility in really scary ways.

    Personally, I’m more immediately concerned about people who will argue that it should be legal to arm civilian drones for hunting purposes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Rafer Janders says:

    On the one hand, there’s no real “need” for ordinary people to have these things. But we allow people to have all manner of dangerous toys for which they have no need (jet skis, private planes, and the like) and a lot of them get killed as a result.

    Good point. After all, just like guns, it’s not like we require extensive testing and licensing to fly private planes, drive cars, operate motorized water craft, etc., or have widespread federal and state safety standards governing the manufacture, sale and registration of such things.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

  10. Rafer Janders says:

    But we allow people to have all manner of dangerous toys for which they have no need (jet skis, private planes, and the like) and a lot of them get killed as a result.

    I’ll never forget that case last year where that deranged man brought a jet ski into a school and killed dozens of people with it within only a few minutes. That, after all, is what jet skis are designed for — to kill multiple people quickly, efficiently and from a distance.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 10

  11. matt says:

    Par for the course. Making effective legislature is tough so it’s much easier to just go for the feel good stuff. This applies to a lot more then just gun control.

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation): Indeed. During the last AWB you could get an honest for goodness semi-automatic ak 47 (AKM model) that might of been issued to a military. It was a Romanian practice gun for the military and they were called SAR-1s. All they had to do was grind off the bayonet lug and suddenly they were legal for import. Of course without the AWB you can no longer import the SAR-1s and the prices have gone up..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  12. Scott F. says:

    But we allow people to have all manner of dangerous toys for which they have no need (jet skis, private planes, and the like) and a lot of them get killed as a result. They even kill other people with them through reckless use. The burden of proof, then, is on those who wish to ban these items to demonstrate that they’re so inherently dangerous to others that they can’t be allowed in private hands.

    James – I would say that burden of proof is met prima facie. Even with premeditation, a Sea-Doo not’s going to be used to kill a couple dozen school children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  13. anjin-san says:

    @ James

    I’ve never encountered a rational argument against requiring those who wish to purchase a gun to pass a speedy background check to make sure they’re not criminals or crazy.

    Yet your party will not allow this to happen. How do you feel about that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  14. C. Clavin says:

    “…But we allow people to have all manner of dangerous toys for which they have no need (jet skis, private planes, and the like) and a lot of them get killed as a result. They even kill other people with them through reckless use. The burden of proof, then, is on those who wish to ban these items to demonstrate that they’re so inherently dangerous to others that they can’t be allowed in private hands…”

    Emphasis mine…can’t is the key word.
    I believe they should be available…but given the potential danger the bar for acquiring them should be comensurately high.
    I believe the same thing about motorcycles that are capable of extrme rates of speed. Not just any bonehead should be able to ride one.
    There is no reasonable explanation for why a 30 round clip has to be $8 or else someones 2nd Amendment Rights are being infringed upon.
    There is no reason that absolutely any bonehead that can cobble together $1000 should be able to purchase a Bushmaster.
    I have nothing against guns.
    But I also do not want to have to be strapped to go to the movies. And I sure the f’ don’t want to be in a dark theater when a bunch of yahoos like JKB, Tsar, Florack, Jenos, Bill, and Jack start firing indiscriminately.
    As per usual the NRA and Republicans offer no solutions to what is obviously a problem in our society..they will only offer protestations when someone else tries to offer remedies.
    It would be nice to have them step up and contribute to solutions instead of just contributing to the problem. Unfortunately, I’ve grown to know better than expect that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  15. anjin-san says:

    @ C. Calvin

    On my initial reading there apppear to be a number of Mental Health initiatives that may very well have prevented Sandy Hook.

    That was my thought as well. This is very good news.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  16. James Joyner says:

    @Rafer Janders: But all guns, certainly all handguns, are designed for the express purpose of making it easy to kill people. And I’d actually be fine with stringent training and licensing restrictions on gun ownership; that would actually be meaningful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  17. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    Just to follow up on the Dawn Nguyen thing (more on this can be found via wikipedia and other news sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Webster,_New_York_shooting)… part of the reason that this bares watching is the gap in time between her illegal act (the straw purchase) and the gun being actually used.

    As things stand she’s been charged with knowingly making a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee and is also facing state charges of filing a false business record—the form she filled out stating that she was the owner of the guns.

    Nguyen faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or both.

    Who knows to what degree she can also be held civilly accountable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @James Joyner:

    And I’d actually be fine with stringent training and licensing restrictions on gun ownership; that would actually be meaningful.

    Seconded.

    The issue here is that we currently run into a conflict between Feds, States, and Localities over licensing. The US is a really ugly patchwork of gun regulations. It’s an area where it would be worth looking to our Northern neighbor’s example and revamp and centralize the entire system (which of course would truly make heads explode).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama has unveiled a set of restrictions that wouldn’t have stopped the Sandy Hook Massacre.

    Stop it. Please. This isn’t about stopping Sandy Hook. This is about stopping the next one.

    For that matter, while the killer uses 30-round magazines, he reportedly used several of them. Which means he changed magazines repeatedly. While having to do that presumably makes a mass shooting ever-so-slightly more difficult, the fact of the matter is that it takes a fraction of a second to accomplish and that frightened, unarmed victims—especially if they’re 6 year-old children—are unlikely to have the instinct to take advantage of the interval.

    Funny thing… There were two guys at the Tucson shooting with concealed carry. Know why they didn’t do anything? ‘Cause they couldn’t tell who was doing what with all the screaming, yelling, and people running every which way… Thank Dog they didn’t think they were Rambo. Want to know something else? It was a couple of frightened, unarmed victims who had the instincts to take advantage of the interval and tackle Jared Loughner when he changed mags.

    Kinda funny isn’t it? No it isn’t. If he had had to change mags at 15 rounds, maybe a 9 year old girl would still be alive. Maybe not. We’ll never know. Reality is a real beach.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

  20. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @matt:

    Of course without the AWB you can no longer import the SAR-1s and the prices have gone up..

    You need to explain this part. How did the lifting of the ban end up stopping the (legal?) import of the SAR-1s?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Rob in CT says:

    one to watch is the case of Dawn Nguyen, who in 2010, acted as a straw buyer for convicted murderer William Spengler here in the Rochester area. Two years later the guns she purchased for him (in fact he was apparently standing next to her and telling her what to buy) were used in a mass shooting.

    This is what I’m talking about when I ask about the “supply side.” Thanks for bringing that up. Perhaps an example must be made of Ms. Nguyen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    But all guns, certainly all handguns, are designed for the express purpose of making it easy to kill people.

    Which was my point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  23. Mikey says:

    Here’s a summary of the President’s executive actions, from the UK Guardian:

    Obama executive actions to reduce gun violence – in summary

    This is all pretty reasonable stuff. I’ve no problem with any of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. stonetools says:

    Shorter James and the Matts (Doug too):

    Passing meaningful legislation is difficult, therefore we should do nothing.

    In the spirit of Kennedy:

    “We chose to enact gun safety legislation, not because its easy, but because its hard”.

    Every major legislative advance in US history, from emancipating the slaves to passing the ACA was achieved through hard work and against ignoring the counsel of “reasonable people” . This is going to be no different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  25. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: If you got off your high horse and actually started looking at the impact of lead on the environment, you’d see why the EPA is worried.

    Of course, if all of you mighty hunters picked up the litter you had left behind yourselves, there wouldn’t be a problem. But you can’t be bothered to do that, can you?

    Hence the EPA….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  26. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Mikey:
    Thanks for the link. Seconded on all your points (man that Guardian rocks). And all of those make sense as smart executive actions (though I’m sure there will be a lot of blow back from the right wing). And the good news is that all of it can be done without congressional approval.

    I’m particularly interested in:

    10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

    It sounds like the report already exists. I’ve been wondering about this a lot — in particular, how many owners, after discovering that their guns have magically transformed into money, report the gun as lost or stolen (sorta like the dog owner reporting that their goodp-natured, gentle dog suddenly “snapped” and mauled someone in order to avoid responsibility).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Banning “armor-piercing” bullets for domestic sale is one thing, but a broad law that bans the “transfer” of such bullets would be a serious problem, given that there are export markets to foreign militaries and foreign law enforcement. Jobs in this day and age are scarce and we shouldn’t be jettisoning them so cavalierly.

    It also would be necessary to make clear that we’re not talking about magnum slugs. There are times people need the stopping power of magnum rounds. I don’t know about you, but if I’m out camping in the wilderness I don’t want to find out the hard way that a .45 is not quite enough to stop a bear. And home invaders sometimes show up wearing kevlar vests. Magnums won’t go through those but they’ll at least break a lot of ribs and give you a better chance of suriving the assault.

    And how exactly do you enforce a ban on the “possession” of armor-piercing bullets. With a 100,000-person federal ammunition police task force?

    Concerning assault rifles it’s important in addition to the cited items not to forget there are export markets for those weapons. In our zeal not to prevent the next Sandy Hook by “doing something” we shouldn’t lay off a bunch of semi-skilled factory workers.

    The devil’s always in the details.

    That all aside, a national law with common sense background check requirements is and always has been a no brainer. Nobody on Planet Reality ever has opposed that. The trick at this point on time, with the left-wing in full high dudgeon mode, will be keeping the genie in that bottle. Ironically enough it’ll be red state Democrat Senators who’ll do that for us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  28. michael reynolds says:

    It’s all reasonable stuff. It will probably save a few lives in the future.

    But all of this is just a skirmish. The gun cult has to be broken. There’s no helping the brainwashed members already in the cult, people like some of our commenters. But attitudes can be changed over time. We did that with relatively small-bore issues like littering and cigarettes. We did it with bigger issues like race and gender.

    A long-term, persistent effort to convince younger people not to buy guns is what’s needed. It has no effect on the 2d amendment. It requires no legislation. We just have to make those with open minds that owning a gun is an inherently anti-social act. Owning a gun has to be an embarrassment.

    Would the NRA vehemently oppose any such effort? Of course. But ask yourself why. If it was private and educational and had no legal impact, why would they object? Because the NRA isn’t about rights. It’s about the profit of its real members: the gun manufacturers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  29. The Q says:

    From the Tucson shooting and the NRA clamor that good guys w/ guns kill the bad guys BS, here’s a real world example of what actually did happen and the tragedy that could have happened if gun freaks arm everyone:

    “JoeZamudio was in a nearby drug store when the shooting began, and he was armed. He ran to the scene and helped subdue the killer. Television interviewers are celebrating his courage, and pro-gun blogs are touting his equipment. “Bystander Says Carrying Gun Prompted Him to Help,” says the headline in the Wall Street Journal.

    But before we embrace Zamudio’s brave intervention as proof of the value of being armed, let’s hear the whole story. “I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready,” he explained on Fox and Friends. “I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this.” Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. “And that’s who I at first thought was the shooter,” Zamudio recalled. “I told him to ‘Drop it, drop it!’ ”

    But the man with the gun wasn’t the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. “Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess,” the interviewer pointed out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  30. James Joyner says:

    @C. Clavin: We actually don’t disagree here, at least not much. I do think that there should be high levels of training required, just as there is for motorcyling and piloting a private plane. Probably more in line with the former than the latter.

    I think and said and the piece that some of the proposals are good policy. Some strike me as pure feel-good, though, rather than meaningful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools:
    Where I differ from Matt is that I agree with your paraphrase of Kennedy. We should enact legislation because it is hard and because it would be good for the nation.

    The problem is that the legislation that people keep pushing for is what is *easy* rather than what is *good*. And it tends to get approached as a box that can be checked off and the problem can then be forgotten about.

    I also have a problem with the legislation because it doesn’t do what it sounds like it does. It doesn’t ban assault weapons (at least not in the way that most people apparently think it does). And if it includes grandfathering, which makes it utterly useless for quite sometime. And if, like the 1994 law, there’s a sunset provision in it, the fact is it will run out just as it approaches the point where it could have a tangible effect.

    Personally, I’d rather see all of this effort going into provisions that unify licensing laws and rather than trying to “ban” assault weapons, make them require a license. BTW, that actually might have prevent Newtown and the Webster shooting.

    In the case of Newtown, there’s no evidence that Nancy Lanza had a pistol permit, and, extrapolating out, she might not have done the work to get licensed to buy assault rifles. Likewise, it would have made it harder for William Spengler to find a straw buyer.

    But (again) the difficulty is how to deal with the states rights issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. bk says:

    James, the “headline” that you chose (“Obama uses Sandy Hook”) is uncomfortably close to yesterday’s “Obama Uses Kids As Shields” from Limbaugh. Or was that your intent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  33. mantis says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    I believe she gets a pass on this as she’s dead.

    Yeesh, good point. I forgot she was among the victims too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @michael reynolds:
    The problem with the path that you are suggesting is that isn’t not going to work. Essentially you keep laying out a “war on guns” that mirrors the failed “war on drugs.”

    Even if we were to launch a massive public service campaign tomorrow, there are countless forces outside of the gun industry that would doom it. And one of the biggest ones is the entertainment industry.

    NOTE I AM NOT SAYING THAT MOVIES/MUSIC/BOOKS/VIDEOGAMES CAUSE PEOPLE TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE. However, there is plenty of evidence that they help feed the gun cult. And frankly, I’m not sure what the best answer is to that problem. But so long as a section of the entertainment industry feeds the population a steady stream of gun pornography, its hard to see how the back of the gun cult is broken.

    This isn’t to say that public opinion cannot be changed. Or that steps should be taken to heavily regulate guns. But as with drugs, I think that the best types of regulation begin from the premise that we have to accept that guns are for the foreseeable future, a part of our culture.

    But the answer, generally speaking, isn’t prohibition (not even in the long term). Which isn’t to say that everything, including military grade firearms should be legal. Thankfully fully automatic weapons were stopped pretty early on.

    The challenge is that semi-automatics — including assault weapons — were not stopped in the same way.

    Concentrating on licensing makes a lot more sense (which, it should be noted, seems to also be the going direction for drug policy).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  35. rudderpedals says:

    The president’s proposals for limited bans suck because:
    1. Wouldn’t have stopped Sandy Hook
    2. Doesn’t ban possession
    3. Unconstitutional to regulate firearms along with other dangerous toys
    4. Firearms are not inherently dangerous

    Two of them because they don’t go far enough, I agree with you. I was taught #4 for airplanes (it calms fears) even though flying little airplanes really is inherently dangerous in the way blasting, firing artillery, and driving a gasoline truck tanker is inherently dangerous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  36. labman57 says:

    Conservative dogma never changes.

    The arguments used by conservatives today in their fight against sensible federal gun regulations mirror those of conservatives over 150 years ago in their self-serving opposition to the abolishment of slavery.

    Once again, conservative politicians and pundits indignantly thump their chests, encourage their followers to take the law into their own hands — self-righteously believing that they must take an ideological dump on the fundamental tenets of our democracy in order to preserve them, and angrily chomp at the bit over another opportunity to be on the WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  37. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    In the case of Newtown, there’s no evidence that Nancy Lanza had a pistol permit, and, extrapolating out, she might not have done the work to get licensed to buy assault rifles.

    To keep my terms straight that should have read:

    In the case of Newtown, there’s no evidence that Nancy Lanza had a pistol permit, and, extrapolating out, she might not have done the work to get licensed to buy assault rifles weapons.

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  38. anjin-san says:

    Of course I am a bit biased due to personal circumstance, but I hope everyone can get behind this:

    Obama gun plan calls for long-awaited rules on mental health
    By Sam Baker – 01/16/13 12:31 PM ET

    President Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence calls for long-awaited rules requiring insurance companies to cover mental health services.

    Obama said his administration would finalize rules on mental health parity, the requiring of mental healthcare to be covered the same way as physical healthcare. The regulations have languished since 2008

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/mental-health/277529-obama-gun-plan-calls-for-long-awaited-rules-on-mental-health

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    But so long as a section of the entertainment industry feeds the population a steady stream of gun pornography, its hard to see how the back of the gun cult is broken.

    You know, Canadians watch the same movies and TV shows that we do, listen to the same music, play the same videogames. And yet they don’t have the same sick, fetishistic fascination with guns that we do. It’s something particular to Americans, a sort of free-floating racial-nationalist etc. paranoia, that pre-exists and stands separate from whatever the entertainment industry does.

    (Not that I’m saying that there’s far too much violence in many movies and TV shows. There is. But that violence, by itself, doesn’t seem to have the same effects in other countries which consume the same garbage we do).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. TheColourfield says:

    I once held out great hope for someone like James to realize the folly of what the Republican Party is pushing and to become a force for the good.

    Sadly, based on these and earlier posts, it’s become apparent that James stands for nothing other than his tribal instinct in favor of his party.

    I will still likely frequent OTB because of Steven Taylor and the commentators. In large part, like me, they are citizens that recognize that some of the ideals the Republican party used to hold are appealing and they are interested in actual policy discussion, not dumb talking points, and are looking for solutions.

    James it seems would rather vote for a soulless liar like Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  41. legion says:

    @James Joyner:

    And I’d actually be fine with stringent training and licensing restrictions on gun ownership; that would actually be meaningful.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, that’s one of many useful, productive solutions that Obama _can’t_ enact by Executive Order – he’ll have to brave the nut stew that is the House Republican Caucus to even propose such things. Let’s not roast the man for things that aren’t actually in his sole control…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  42. The Q says:

    Mattb you are “dead” wrong and Mr. Reynolds is right on when he wrote… “A long-term, persistent effort to convince younger people not to buy guns is what’s needed.”

    In fact,the process has already started and gun freaks will soon go the way of the dinosaurs in this country because of:

    In the Congressional survey last year of 1000 respondents, younger Americans, between the ages of 18 and 29, who fueled Obama’s rise and reelection, were the most supportive (56 percent) among all age groups of the focus on stricter gun control.

    And this: “According to a 2011 Gallup Poll only 31% of those 18-29 owned guns as opposed to the 45% in the 50-64 cohort.” In other words, younger folks are about 50% less likely to want to hump their non existent guns, unlike some of the gun nuts posting here.

    So gun freaks, Mr. Reynolds has it exactly right. The moronic boomers who are arming themselves to the teeth to buck the coming Wehrmacht takeover of the good ol’ USofA are fetish freaks who will die out to be replaced by those much more amenable to sensible gun control efforts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  43. stonetools says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Personally, I’d rather see all of this effort going into provisions that unify licensing laws and rather than trying to “ban” assault weapons, make them require a license. BTW, that actually might have prevent Newtown and the Webster shooting.

    Actually, I agree with you here and apologize for characterizing your position.
    The question is where you should start from. From a realpolitik standpoint, you want to include an assault weapon ban, because its such a focus for the gun lobby. You can deal it later for major concessions from the gun lobby,who can go back to their followers to say, “At least we prevented a ban.” You could trade it for universal background checks ( opposed by the gun lobby), weapons safety training requirements for semi-automatic weapons owners (which they would fight tooth and claw) , or mental health record checks.
    The Obama Administration used to start its legislative proposals by starting with what everyone would likely agree on, essentially making concessions ahead of time. That never worked.
    In the current setup, its best to start with maximal proposals and work toward the middle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  44. Dr. Evil says:

    @Facebones: The problem, define an assault weapon. For the most part, all definitions of assault weapons are cosmetic. You can take the exact same hardware and it can be either an assault weapon or not depending on things that are just for looks. I have a .22 target rifle that will likely be classified an assault weapon unless I change the stock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @ jAMES…
    The problem with both motorcycles and guns is that the training required is woefully inadequate.

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  46. stonetools says:

    @Dr. Evil:

    So are you saying that you have a better definition- that would include functional features?Or,are you trying to say its impossible to define a particular category of weapon, and that we shouldn’t even try? Because if that’s what you are saying, YOU.ARE.WRONG.
    The Miller Act has been settled law for generations, and it has defined and excluded from sales to the general public several categories of weapons, including personal firearms.
    The problem with the assault weapons ban is that the gun industry negotiated enough loopholes in the definition that it could get away with creating functionally similar weapons that fit the loopholes. Its at least theoretically possible to come up with better , loophole free definitions, but the gun industry would oppose closing the loopholes -then lambast the definitions as being inadequate and cosmetic. Funny that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. swbarnes2 says:

    @JKB:

    Background checks already cost around 10% of the cost of most guns, $25-35. Private sales are usually for lesser prices so that would increase the relative cost. Of course, one could exempt sales to already backgrounded carry permit holders but that cuts down on the revenues. The irony is, the increase in calls to NICS is likely to increase the cost of running the NICS which would induce an increase in the cost per check, which would soon be a “poll tax” moving the checks into unconstitutional range. As it is, it works to deny the poor the purchase of a firearm.

    So, it’s bad to have a $35 background check fee for the one-time purchase of a weapon designed to kill people.

    But if women can’t afford to spend $70 a month to prevent themselves from developing cysts the size of tennis balls, too bad for them.

    Perhaps you think women’s health care should consist of women buying guns, and shooting whatever part of their body ails them? Is that the kind of women’s health care that conservatives support?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    As it is, it works to deny the poor the purchase of a firearm.

    But denying the poor health care is just A-OK, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  49. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools:

    From a realpolitik standpoint, you want to include an assault weapon ban, because its such a focus for the gun lobby. You can deal it later for major concessions from the gun lobby,who can go back to their followers to say, “At least we prevented a ban.”

    While I agree in theory with this statement, I am unconvinced that this is the case in practice. I’d feel better about if I heard anyone proposing realistic regulations that would be worth trading the ban for. Unfortunately, I think it’s become accepted fact for most pro-gun control folks that the 1994 legislation was *good* legislation and is the end goal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. Liberty60 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The gun cult has to be broken.

    This needs repeating. It is a cult,and the religious zealotry of it- or rather, the political power of the religious zealots- needs to be overcome.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  51. James Joyner says:

    @bk: I haven’t listened to Limbaugh in years, so was unaware of the parallel. I’m constrained by space in headlines and am trying to get across a complicated idea: “Obama is using the public outcry over Sandy Hook to pass legislation on guns that he already favored. Whatever their merits–and I think they’re mixed–they wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  52. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Dr. Evil:

    For the most part, all definitions of assault weapons are cosmetic.

    This is a load of BS comparable to folks on the other side saying that there is no difference between an *assault rifle* and an *assault weapon.* For the last two decades the definitions of both have more or less crystallized to:

    Assault Rifle: Military grade, selective fire long gun

    Assault Weapon: Semi-automatic weapon that features a detachable magazine, descended from or constructed to resemble a military weapon, and the ability to add a number of additional features including, but not limited to, flash suppressors, silencers, bayonets, and rifle grenades.

    And trying to pretend that those features are purely cosmetic is a fundamentally dishonest argument. A pistol grip on a stock changes the way the long gun can be handled and makes it easier to perform certain tasks with it.

    So please, drop the BS on this particular line of thought.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  53. James Joyner says:

    @swbarnes2: @Rafer Janders: This is a mind-boggling argument. While I support both tighter restrictions on guns and a single-payer healthcare system, they’re different animals. In the one case, a government fee is making something otherwise affordable unaffordable. In the other case, something already unaffordable is made affordable by having some other poor sap pay for it. Both inhibit freedom through the coercive power of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  54. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    I disagee with extreme gun control types who assert that all guns are designed to kill people, especially “lots of” people. Long barrel single and double shotguns are designed to kill birds (or clays) one or two at a time.

    If you wanted to make them efficient for the other job you’d add “tactical” features, shortening the barrel, expanding the capacity …

    I wonder if you adopt “all guns are for killing people” so that you can make an all or none argument?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  55. anjin-san says:

    @ Rafer Janders

    But denying the poor health care is just A-OK, right?

    Game, set, match. Keep up the good work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. john personna says:

    (We are decades from consumer printers in metals. A full machine shop might print a gun sooner, but a full machine shop can already make a gun. Many WWII resistance guns were made it in much more primitive conditions. )

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    You know, Canadians watch the same movies and TV shows that we do, listen to the same music, play the same videogames.

    Actually, this isn’t true. There is crossover. But if you actually do a sampling of Canadian TV and their other media, you’ll find a marked difference in the amount and representation of onscreen violence. The same is true in most of Europe. The most violent media in most of these countries is that which is exported from the US.

    I’ll have to dig up the surveys, but the fact is that there are a lot of differences in the media environments.

    On the flip side, sex and language is where everything flips (generally speaking).

    The one outlier in this area is Japan — which I’d say has a far higher degree of violence in areas of their media.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  58. anjin-san says:

    @ James

    something already unaffordable is made affordable by having some other poor sap pay

    When freebird conservatives refuse to adequately insure themselves, and subsequently suffer a serious injury or illness, you and I are the poor saps that pay for it.

    Frankly, I do not think of myself as a “poor sap” if some of my tax money goes to help those less fortunate than myself. I think of myself as, well, fortunate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  59. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    We have had firearm restrictions since 1934 or whatever.

    We are quibbling about boundaries and of course a tactic is to pretend small changes are revolutionary or unprecedented.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @The Q:

    In the Congressional survey last year of 1000 respondents, younger Americans, between the ages of 18 and 29, who fueled Obama’s rise and reelection, were the most supportive (56 percent) among all age groups of the focus on stricter gun control.

    And this: “According to a 2011 Gallup Poll only 31% of those 18-29 owned guns as opposed to the 45% in the 50-64 cohort.” In other words, younger folks are about 50% less likely to want to hump their non existent guns, unlike some of the gun nuts posting here.

    Understand that *stricter gun control* is not the same as banning guns. Additionally, without previous data about gun ownership rates over time, saying that younger people own less guns than older people doesn’t say much at all (unless you erroneously think that means that they won’t acquire more guns later in life).

    Again, I fully support trying to reduce the cult of the gun. But what I’m saying is that what Michael is describing sounds a lot like the general shape of the “War on Drugs.”

    And part of the problem is that many folks here can’t seem to wrap their heads around the legitimate reasons to own a gun. And part of that ties to a City/Country divide that isn’t going to go away any time soon.

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  61. legion says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):
    Well said.

    A pistol grip on a stock changes the way the long gun can be handled and makes it easier to perform certain tasks with it.

    Most notably, it makes rapid fire, especially “from the hip”, a lot easier. That’s something a soldier defending himself from a group of attackers finds very handy, but it’s pointless in a weapon meant for hunting or personal defense.

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  62. Mikey says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    But if you actually do a sampling of Canadian TV and their other media, you’ll find a marked difference in the amount and representation of onscreen violence. The same is true in most of Europe.

    I lived in Germany for several years and have visited several times since my return to the States, and one thing I’ve always noticed about German TV: when compared to American TV, there are far fewer guns and far more boobs.

    I do think Rafer is accurate in the inclusion of video games–those generally don’t differ. If it’s sold in the States, it’s sold in Canada, and in fact some of the most violent video games are actually developed there (the Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed franchises are done by Ubisoft Montreal).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. stonetools says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Unfortunately, I think it’s become accepted fact for most pro-gun control folks that the 1994 legislation was *good* legislation and is the end goal.

    Then you need to get out more. PLenty of folks, both here at elsewhere, have proposed legislative ideas other than an AWB. Unfortunately, to the anti-gun safety regulation folks, all such proposals are characterized as “banning guns” or s a prelude to “banning guns”.
    According to the NYT, this is the core of the President’s proposal:

    Obama announced plans to introduce legislation by next week that includes a ban on new assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks for gun purchases and tougher gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country.

    Note that the NRA and their lackeys in Congress opposes ALL those measures.

    Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, considered a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, quickly made it clear that Mr. Obama’s proposals will face intense opposition in Congress.

    “Nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook,” Mr. Rubio said. “President Obama is targeting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence.”

    It may be in the end the President can get everything else in return for trading away the ban. That would be progress, in addition to the executive orders.
    Its less than I would want, but just like the relatively toothless Civil Rights Act of 1957 led to bigger things, so too this may lead to bigger things. Its a long war, not a short campaign, unfortunately.

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  64. TheColourfield says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    I’d love to see your back up for this.

    There is very little difference between Canadian and US TV. Virtually all of Canadian markets (i.e. the population near the border) receive US stations. I have been to a few Euro countries and it is very different but Canada ? No.

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  65. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @legion:

    That’s something a soldier defending himself from a group of attackers finds very handy, but it’s pointless in a weapon meant for hunting or personal defense.

    Quibbles — it also makes holding and targeting a gun easier in the shoulder position (good for hunting) and for home defense (moving from room to room) it makes the gun easier to handle (as is also the case for soldiers clearing a scene).

    If I was to use a rifle for either, I’d prefer one with a pistol grip (which gets back to the entire “not just cosmetic).

    The ease of use is another reason why I think it should require a license.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  66. Rob in CT says:

    one thing I’ve always noticed about German TV: when compared to American TV, there are far fewer guns and far more boobs

    If I could vote for this to be duplicated here, I would. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  67. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools:

    PLenty of folks, both here at elsewhere, have proposed legislative ideas other than an AWB.

    My use of folks was a poor word choice. I meant legislators.

    Though, I think if you scan many of the gun control ideas that have surfaced here, the vast majority of them ARE WORSE than the proposed weapons ban (and again, I say that as someone in favor of more regulation).

    I already touched on the presidents proposals in an earlier post. Of them the only two that make sense (as useful legislation) are:
    – expanded background checks for gun purchases
    – limits on high-capacity magazines

    With the magazines, it needs to have no sunset or grandfather provisions to have any teeth. Likewise, expanded background checks are a good thing, but will do all but nothing unless they are applied to person-to-person purchases. The fact is that they will not prevent people from buying AR-15 platform guns (not, in fact, would the assault weapons ban).

    And no offense, but comparing gun control legislation to civil rights legislation is a pipe dream. Look where the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban led us to… i.e. this moment, where attempting to reinstate the ban is considered a huge victory.

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  68. matt says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation): The ATF made a rule change that stopped the importation of SAR-1s. It wasn’t actually connected to the ban at all.

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation): I don’t find monte carlo stocks to be comfortable anymore. I have a large frame with large hands so your average gun is too small for me to use. I like having an adjustable stock because it allows me to adjust the length of pull to fit my situation. If I’m hunting in cold weather all the extra clothing is going to effectively lengthen my pull. Having an adjustable stock allows me to counter that by shortening the stock. Then when I go hunting on a warm day I can lengthen the stock. I also prefer to run a longer pull if I’m going to be shooting at +100 yards vs a shorter pull for closer range hunting.

    @legion: Rapid fire from the hip can occur with a monte carlo stock sans pistol grip. You’re not even using the pistol grip if you’re bump firing. You’re also not shooting anywhere near your target if you’re bump firing. There’s a reason you usually see people shooting dirt or water 10 feet in front of them when they bump fire..

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  69. swbarnes2 says:

    @James Joyner:

    While I support both tighter restrictions on guns and a single-payer healthcare system, they’re different animals. In the one case, a government fee is making something otherwise affordable unaffordable. In the other case, something already unaffordable is made affordable by having some other poor sap pay for it.

    The poor sap being Sandra Fluke’s friend who was paying for health care, when some sanctimonious twit decided that her ovaries didn’t count as being part of her body that should be kept healthy?

    Both inhibit freedom through the coercive power of government.

    You have to be kidding. You’ll defend the “freedom” of powerful employers to decide that anything female isn’t really health care? How much freedom did Sandra’s friend have when she was hospitalized following emergency surgery?

    Keep talking on the topic, James. Don’t let the naysauyers tell you that conservatives should shut up about woman’s issues. “Reasonable” conservatives like you voted for creeps like Bob McDonnell; decent people need to know that it’s no accident that the people you vote for pass the hideous policies that they do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  70. scott says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation): I think I disagree in part. I see the campaign to change the culture as not analogous to the War on Drugs but the campaign by the anti-abortion forces to change the culture on abortion. There are two parts: to change the hearts and minds of Americans by using language (killing babies, culture of death, etc) but also using laws and regulations to put barriers to abortion in place (waiting periods, medical licensing, etc.)

    I would like the gun culture broken by means of what Michael Reynolds talks about. I would also like to see much tighter rules on training (and retraining), tracking, and registering of weapons and ammo as well as safety engineering regulations.

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  71. The Q says:

    Mattb, hows that 1935 “tommy gun” ban working for ya?

    To my knowledge in the last 70 years, there hasn’t been one documented case of someone going berserk with a Thompson machine gun during a gun massacre.

    I am sure there were gun freaks back then (ironically the NRA at the time wasn’t) saying EXACTLY the same things as you and other wingnuts opine, viz. “banning the machine gun won’t ban criminals from using them in bank robberies in the future.”

    Wrong again wingnuts….they HAVEN’T BEEN USED.

    Also, MattB and his ilk ALWAYS conflate gun control with outlawing ALL guns.

    Stop this BS. Thats like saying if we ban heroin, next thing Bayer aspirin will be banned.

    We need to stop the senseless idiocy surrounding this issue. Its the same old wingnut “cigarettes don’t cause cancer” denial.

    We are done wasting time and helplessly waiting for the next mass murder to occur.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  72. matt says:

    @Facebones:

    Unlike jet skis and Lear jets, the primary function of assault weapons is to kill a large number of people in as short a time as possible.

    IT’s funny you should say that considering “assault weapons” are involved in fewer then 1% of all murders. Rifles are one of the least used murder weapons according to the FBI. So as a primary function it seems that “assault weapons” are failing badly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  73. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @scott:

    I see the campaign to change the culture as not analogous to the War on Drugs but the campaign by the anti-abortion forces to change the culture on abortion.

    And, generally speaking, you’ve gone from one losing battle to another one.

    I would like the gun culture broken by means of what Michael Reynolds talks about. I would also like to see much tighter rules on training (and retraining), tracking, and registering of weapons and ammo as well as safety engineering regulations.

    Therein lies the problem. The two don’t work well together. At some point, you need to make a decision if the game is to (a) eliminate guns/abortion/drugs or (b) to accept and enact good regulations.

    Unfortunately the desire to eliminate often prevents good regulations from being enacted (hence the focus on “banning” assault weapons versus increasing their regulation through licensing).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  74. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @The Q:

    Mattb, hows that 1935 “tommy gun” ban working for ya?

    I can’t remember if it was in this thread or another one, but I specifically stated that (thankfully) the ban on fully automatic weapons occurred early enough that the genie was placed back in the bottle and has been kept from escaping.

    That hasn’t been the case with semi-automatic weapons. And as with drugs, there is no effective way to remove them from the population (even if there was the political will to enact a true, grandfathered ban).

    But listen believe what you want to believe (and keep ascribing to me positions that I clearly don’t hold)… whatever makes you happy dude.

    Its the same old wingnut “cigarettes don’t cause cancer” denial.

    And, as with drugs, how’s that total elimination of cigarettes going for you?

    The fact is, unless we completely ban production and sales, cigarettes are here to stay. And if we did completely ban production and sale, they’d still be here to stay — just as part of the drug trade.

    Hence we do our best to control public consumption, but we still continue to regulate their sale.

    But that isn’t what people are arguing about guns.

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  75. bk says:

    @James Joyner: Fair enough – thanks!

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  76. Rafer Janders says:

    @TheColourfield:

    Same with movies. Think Canadians don’t watch Transformers, Battleship, Taken, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty, Hostel, Hostel II: The Hosteling, Saw, Saw II: Saw Harder, etc. etc.? Of course they do. But somehow, watching these movies doesn’t turn Canadians into bloodthirsty killing machines the way some commenters imply it does to Americans.

    And as to TV, the overwhelming majority of the Canadian population lives near a border with the US and has access to American TV. And of course with Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, etc. etc., even if they can’t get it directly they can always download it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  77. john personna says:

    @The Q:

    The 1934 “ban” (really a Constitutional licensing requirement) has absolutely worked.

    Rare criminals have used illegally modified weapons but they certainly could not “shop and go.”

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  78. stonetools says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Though, I think if you scan many of the gun control ideas that have surfaced here, the vast majority of them ARE WORSE than the proposed weapons ban (and again, I say that as someone in favor of more regulation).

    Hey, I didn’t say all those proposals were good. I said that they were different from AWB.

    I would add that anti-gun safety legislators proposed no legislation whatsoever. They are happy with the status quo. This the position of the gun cultists on this website also.

    Both you and James propose special licensing requirements for owners of semi-automatic weapons. The NRA and the gun cultists oppose that too, seeing that as virtually the same as a ban.
    I’d also point out that the gun lobby would oppose any measure that would have stopped Sandy Hook from happening :

    A comprehensive assault weapon and high-capacitive magazine ban would have kept those weapons out of the Lanza home.
    A law requiring a special license for semi-automatic weapons, including passing a weapons safety course, may have kept the weapons from Ms. Lanza. If the law required that a regular user of such weapons who is not an owner pass such a course, it may have at least alerted the authorities to Adam Lanza.
    A law requiring the owner of semi-automatic weapons store the weapons in a locker outside the home, say at a shooting range, would have likely prevented the massacre, especially if only the owner could have signed them out.
    A law requiring that owners of semi-automatic weapons store them at home in a safe to which only the owner has the combination would also have been effective.

    All of these would have been opposed by the gun lobby.

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  79. The Q says:

    Again Mattb, whose talking about banning cigarettes.

    Usage plummeted when we educated, deglamorized and put warnings on smoking as a public health hazard.

    Similarly, the reason we rank so low in life expectancy is due in large part to gun deaths in the US via-a-vis the rest of the OECD.

    Again, Reynolds point is that we are not gonna get rid of guns (or cigarettes for that matter) but we will wage a war against their use.

    And just as we have seen big declines in the # of smokers, we will see a concomitant effect on the gun freak culture.

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  80. michael reynolds says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):
    People always say that minds can’t be changed. They are often wrong. Slavery existed as an institution far longer than we’ve had a gun cult. Minds were changed. Ditto the oppression of women. Ditto the oppression of gays. You may not want minds to be changed but they can be and they will be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  81. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Trust me — I actually want to see the current cult of the gun go away. I find the entire thing really uncomfortable on lots of levels. Again, if you read what I’ve been writing, I am for restricting access via licensing of everything except fixed magazine rifles.

    But that is different than thinking that guns, in total, should go away. Or that there is no place for guns in a modern society. Or that we’re going to be able to successfully “disarm” with cult of the gun, without a much broader societal shift.

    And I’m sorry, but trying to compare guns rights to either slavery or civil rights (including gay rights) is absurd regardless of which side is doing it.

    That said, every side needs agitators and who knows, I might be wrong. It happens a lot.

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  82. Facebones says:

    @matt:

    IT’s funny you should say that considering “assault weapons” are involved in fewer then 1% of all murders. Rifles are one of the least used murder weapons according to the FBI. So as a primary function it seems that “assault weapons” are failing badly.

    Oh my mistake. They are obviously only used to put the holes in swiss cheese.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  83. john personna says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    I can’t remember if it was in this thread or another one, but I specifically stated that (thankfully) the ban on fully automatic weapons occurred early enough that the genie was placed back in the bottle and has been kept from escaping.

    It’s sad that when we think about what gun owners will accept, we have to think about a segment whipped into an “Obama will take your guns” frenzy. A frenzy created and maintained since 2008.

    I’d like to think a rational gun owner would accept a bullet button modification, but we know there are others who will go nuts. Literally.

    It is a sad state of affairs when an unstable element has so much political power that they must be eased into a rational solution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  84. James, you wrote, “While I think it’ll be awhile before 3D printing becomes cheap enough for normal people to do at home, “

    Not really. A couple of weeks ago or so Business Insider had an article on the home 3D printers already on the market. Prices ranged from about $400 to about $1,300, IIRC. Several of them are more than capable of printing something so simple as a 20-round magazine.

    It would be a plastic one, of course, since metal-printing machines are incredibly expensive still. But a very high-quality plastic magazine with even a printed feed spring would be well within the capabilities of most of those printers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  85. john personna says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    Home printers are limited to soft, low melting point, plastics.

    If soft plastic actually worked as the shell of a magazine (doubtful), you’d still need rigid bits for the interface to the weapon, and a properly sized spring and rails.

    A big project of which the shell is a small part.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  86. Spartacus says:

    James wrote:

    In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama has unveiled a set of restrictions that wouldn’t have stopped the Sandy Hook Massacre.

    The following proposals would dramatically reduce the likelihood of another Sandy Hook or other horrible crimes:

    1. Mandatory registration of all firearms.

    2. Mandatory, mental/psych exams and safety and gun use training for all gun owners w/ periodic (ex. every 2 years) re-exams and training certifications.

    3. Mandatory training on anger/conflict management w/ periodic renewals.

    4. Registration of all ammo sales and no ammo sales for unregistered guns or to un-permitted owners or for guns owned by someone other than the ammo buyer.

    5. Periodic home inspections to ensure guns are safely stored.

    6. Mandatory jail time for failure to comply with any of the above.

    7. Mandatory jail time for brandishing a gun or using a gun during a crime.

    8. Funding for public service announcements discouraging gun ownership and use.

    9. Substantially higher taxes on guns and ammo.

    10. Legislation that increasingly diminishes gun lethality.

    Basically, guns should become less pervasive and less lethal, and the people who own them should be model citizens who wouldn’t dream of killing a fly. That’s the long-range goal and there’s no single approach that will get us there, but if we ever do get there, then this will be a much safer society and the benefits of that increased safety will greatly outweigh the burdens imposed on those who oppose these proposals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  87. TheColourfield says:

    @Facebones:

    Why bother with Matt ?

    He is more happy discussing caliber, stock, firing range etc.

    He never shows up on other threads and, from what I’ve seen, he’s far more concerned with having enough firepower and capacity to kill hogs at his convenience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  88. legion says:

    @matt:

    Rapid fire from the hip can occur with a monte carlo stock sans pistol grip. You’re not even using the pistol grip if you’re bump firing. You’re also not shooting anywhere near your target if you’re bump firing.

    Bingo. There are trade-offs in any product design… On a weapon intended for military/assault use, getting a good number of rounds downrange rapidly is generally more important than individual shot accuracy (except, obviously, for sharpshooters). In a hunting weapon, OTOH, that’s pretty pointless. As @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) points out, it can be easier to clear a room with a pistol grip, but frankly I believe that kind of use encourages poor “gun behavior” in a home-defense situation. In a miltary-style room clearing, you’re probably in a “target-rich” environment – it’s not as big a deal if a stray round goes through a wall. If you’re looking for bad guys in your own house however, you’ve got a lot more invested in making sure any shot you fire hits a proper target.

    To broaden the point – although all guns are, fundamentally, designed to kill, there _are_ ways to differentiate “military” weapons from “civilian” weapons, and there are capabilities that civilian weapons simply do not need & that only make it easier for nutballs to murder lots of innocents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  89. stonetools says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    And I’m sorry, but trying to compare guns rights to either slavery or civil rights (including gay rights) is absurd regardless of which side is doing it.

    That said, every side needs agitators and who knows, I might be wrong. It happens a lot.

    Its like the civil rights movement in that its a long war, in which we have to change hearts and minds. The civil rights movement began with the Niagara Movement in 1905, and made only incremental progress till WW2. It was a multi-generation struggle, not just a matter of coming up with a legislative package that resolves things all at once.
    A better analogy may be the anti-tobacco movement. You have a powerful manufacturers lobby ,backed by an army of users who see tobacco smoking as a positive good. That lobby can deploy its psuedo scientists like Dr. Lott, who can generate “studies ” that show that the more guns the better, produce propaganda that frame the issue not in terms of public health but of the individual rights and buy influence in Congress and the media. It took decades to win that fight as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  90. Bill Sullivan says:

    @Facebones: I notice you were careful to use “Private” in your statement about planes “private planes are accidental”, don’t forget 9/11 you liberal idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  91. Rafer Janders says:

    @Bill Sullivan:

    Facebones was quoting Joyner, you moron. It was Joyner who wrote “we allow people to have all manner of dangerous toys for which they have no need (jet skis, private planes, and the like) and a lot of them get killed as a result.” Learn to read, you conservative ignoramus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  92. Aidan says:

    What the hell happened to this site? Jet skis?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  93. matt says:

    @Facebones: I’ve put holes in a lot of paper clay and various animals (including aggressive animals).

    @TheColourfield: Details matter if you want to craft effective legislation. If you’re only interested in feel good stuff then yeah details don’t matter just ban the scary looking ones!!…

    @john personna: Metal 3d printers are right around the corner for consumers.

    http://production3dprinters.com/slm/direct-metal-slm

    @legion: You’re not going to use bump firing to put rounds down range. Unless you consider 5 or 10 foot down range or you’re happy with your bullet just being within 50 feet of your target. In a room situation you’d shoot the hell out of the ceiling or floor in front of you and that’s about it. With a shotgun I can put a shit ton of bullets down range (OO buckshot with 9 bullet sized projectiles per shot in a nice killing spread). Even an old repeater rifle can put a crapton of bullets down range and at a much more accurate rate. If shot correctly a lot of bolt actions can crank out a shot a second much like my SAIGA or the AR15s while using a much more powerful and accurate round (wound damage increases dramatically). Even my mosin-nagant can crank out a shot as second and they are notorious for having sticky bolt issues.

    So my question is how do you deal with the fact that a well maintained bolt or level action can fire as fast as a semi-auto? Do you intend to visit those next when the current round of laws fail to live up to expectations?

    Does it even matter to you that the rifles you’re referring to account for only a tiny percentage of murders?

    Why do the less then 50 that died to “assault weapons” matter more then the 3000 that died to handguns last year?

    Honest questions so if you could answer those I’d appreciate it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  94. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    Exactly.

    I’m all for legislative nibbling around the edges. In the tobacco context that was laws limiting smoking on planes, for example. But the necessary precondition is a shift in beliefs. People accepted early legal moves against smoking because they were already convinced that cigarettes were dangerous.

    From there it’s a spiral. More education, fewer people smoke, there’s less opposition to commonsense regulation, still more education, still fewer people smoke, still more regulation. I will never support outlawing cigarettes. And I think some moves in some jurisdictions are overly intrusive. But it begins with hearts and minds. If we reduce the number of gun owners by half in 30 years they’ll be politically neutered, and we can take rational steps to deal with the guns that are left: mandatory smart locks, legal liability that covers accidental misuse, limits on ammunition stockpiling, banning large magazines, banning armor-piercing rounds, etc…

    Thirty years from now we would still have gun owners, but they would be fewer, less politically potent, and therefore able to be brought within a rational regime and rendered less dangerous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  95. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: What does ammunition stock piling have to do with anything? Every spree shoot we’ve had only used a couple boxes worth of ammo which is easily purchasable at Walmart. Hell I use more ammo when I go to the range.

    Armor piercing rounds have been banned for decades now DECADES. It’s ridiculous that you should be so clueless about a subject yet so loud in your demands..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  96. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s a simple tech fix: develop smart locks that recognize the specific biomarkers of the owner and allow the weapon to be fired only by that owner. Register and track the system, and allow it to be turned off by law enforcement in an emergency.

    Right now if you steal my iPhone I can track you, I can wipe my data, and I can send out an alarm signal. Something similar incorporated into guns could be do-able within a few years. My kid has thumb print identification for his desktop computer. So, again, that’s not rocket science. The Newtown shooter would never have taken a life if the gun he took from his mother was slaved to her biomarker.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  97. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Oh boy you’re going to love it when you get compromised like the wired writer…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  98. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    Right:

    200 rounds of .30-06 caliber military surplus black tipped AP or armor piercing ammunition, loose in a military surplus .30 caliber ammunition can. This AP ammunition is headstamped AYR and was manufactured in 1955 by Raufoss in Norway under agreement with the U.S. military. This ammunition is berdan primed and is non-corrosive. The .308 caliber projectile weighs 163 grains. This ammunition has some mild tarnishing but absolutely no corrosion. This ammunition can be fired in any .30-06 caliber military rifle or any .30-06 caliber commercially produced rifle. Multiple cans are available for now. $190.00 per can face to face in Minnesota or cans may be shipped at actual shipping charges to buyer’s location. Shipping and insurance for one can runs around $24.00 by Fedex ground and up to four cans can be shipped Fedex ground in one box at a cost ranging from $40-$50 depending on zip code of the destination. No sales to NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, MA, HI and some areas of CA and MD. No sales to AK due to high shipping costs. Proof of legal age to purchase ammunition is required, IL buyers must also provide a copy of their FOID.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  99. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Notice it’s made in 1955 and was here already. I guess you could make it illegal to transfer the pre-ban stuff but good luck with that.

    If you look you can find some pre-ban automatic rifles listed too. Of course the few you can legally transfer are worth tens of thousands and up..

    I’m surprised you don’t remember the whole cop killer crap back in 85 when NBC revealed (against the wishes of police) that cops were wearing bullet proof vests. Not only that but there was this mean evil bullets that were designed solely to kill cops. This story is usually remembered by the anti-NRA people because the NRA opposed the first bill because it was so poorly written that most hunting rifle ammunition would of been banned. It was after the failure of the first bill that the NRA was able to help create the bill that was then passed.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d099:HR03132:|TOM:/bss/d099query.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  100. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    Here’s another, posted today:

    I have 150 rds of brass cased heavy ball Armor Piercing rounds for any gun chambered in 7.62×54. This is perfect for your Mosin Nagant or PSL. Get it before Obama bans it….
    $125 for all 150 rds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  101. michael reynolds says:

    @matt:

    So, for $125, thanks to people like you, any psycho can buy enough ammo to shoot and kill 150 police officers right through their vests.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  102. Tyrell says:

    @stonetools: I think that this is something that should be decided by the voters of each state. And why should I and other law abiding citizens have our rights taken away ? I have a couple of prized antique flintlocks that I do not want to part with. I haven’ t done anything wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  103. matt says:

    @michael reynolds: You can already do that with about any bullet fired from a rifle. Most police body armor can’t take a hit from anything bigger then a handgun (and not even all handguns). So for 5 bucks you could shoot 20 officers through their vests. Guess what guns have more then enough power to bust through a vest? Hunting rifles…

    I provided you a link to the relevant law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  104. matt says:

    Even dragonskin has weakness issues against rifle rounds.

    According to the standard for AP rounds pretty much every rifle bullet in existence counts as AP. The ATF dude I talked to was extremely coy about specifics though ugh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  105. john personna says:

    @matt:

    @john personna: Metal 3d printers are right around the corner for consumers.

    I really doubt that.

    Maybe you should link your nearest example.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  106. stonetools says:

    @Tyrell:

    I have a couple of prized antique flintlocks that I do not want to part with. I haven’ t done anything wrong.

    Er, who said anything about going after antique pieces?
    This is the kind of unreasoning paranoia that passes for analysis in the world of gun nuts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  107. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    SO…. you admit that you can buy armor-piecing ammunition? or are you still saying that Michael was clueless and dead wrong being concerned about armor-piercing ammo?
    It seems to me that you are more concerned with pettifoggery such as what things are called than to the danger faced by the people in the real world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  108. john personna says:

    matt’s whole gig is to say that we can’t change X in the gun law because there is a corner case X’ that exists in the world.

    X’ may be tiny, unlikely, or remote, but that doesn’t matter.

    If elephant guns weighing 40 pounds can pierce a police vest then hey, why restrict armor piercing rounds at all?

    If some guy “needs” to shoot many hogs from a helicopter, in a “spree,” then every casual shooter should have the same ability.

    etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  109. john personna says:

    or as just a moment ago:

    Since there exist expert riflemen who may achieve the same rate of fire as any idiot with a high capacity assault rifle, there is no reason to restrict the untrained fools with their big box purchase.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  110. Herb says:

    @matt:

    “It’s ridiculous that you should be so clueless about a subject yet so loud in your demands..”

    Do you ever get tired of knowing it all?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  111. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Here’s a simple tech fix: develop smart locks that recognize the specific biomarkers of the owner and allow the weapon to be fired only by that owner.

    I’d actually go the opposite way. Guns started simple. We are less concerned now with flintlocks, or muzzeloaders, or even six-shooters.

    And as people multiply and game animals face higher pressures, many regions move to “primitive method” seasons.

    If we increased licensing requirements on the modern and convenient people would fall back to the simpler and less mass-dangerous.

    A single shot 45-70 rifle would be very deadly to man or moose, but not very spree-worthy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  112. legion says:

    @matt: A lot of your questions can be answered similarly to this:

    So my question is how do you deal with the fact that a well maintained bolt or level action can fire as fast as a semi-auto?

    Because even the smoothest bolt or lever action rifle can only be fired that fast by someone who is knowledgeable and practiced with it. Such a person is quite likely to hit what they’re aiming at. Any idiot can buy an AR-15, take it to a range once, stick it under his bed, and never touch it again until some noise wakes him up at 2am, whereupon he empties a 30-round clip into his wall, because he’s still an amateur. If I were a criminal, I’d be far more worried about the practiced guy with the lever-action than the amateur with the AR. If I were an innocent bystander, I’d feel exactly the opposite way.

    Basically, Matt, you assume every single gun owner is just as experienced and serious about their guns as you are, and that just ain’t so. You want gun laws that don’t require you to change what you do or inconvenience you in any way and that just ain’t gonna happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  113. matt says:

    @stonetools: The original ATF dude said that new AP was banned. The one I talked to today said that almost all rifle ammunition is technically AP and he’s correct. SO for handguns AP ammo has been banned since 1986 but for rifles it doesn’t matter because the overwhelming majority of rifle ammunition classifies as AP (hunting ammo included).

    SO yes and no. I was still correct as far as I linked but I had been mislead about rifle ammo. That said being wrong about the rifle ammunition doesn’t matter because it’s impossible to ban rifle based AP without banning rifle ammunition in general.

    Unlike you I’m more then willing to admit when I’ve been mislead by others. This isn’t a clearcut case though as stated.

    @john personna: WIth the pace of technological development we’ve seen in the last 10 years you’re really going to make that declaration?

    http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/extras/articles/jay-lenos-3d-printer-replaces-rusty-old-parts-1/

    Today rich people tomorrow everyone else.

    @john personna: I’ve provided several reality based methods for lowering our murder rate with guns. Your response has been to mock me for things I didn’t type or to completely disappear from the topic. You’re not really interested in a conversation you just want to keyboard commando some gun owners.

    Anything bigger then a .22 LR could penetrate a vest. Hell the ATF itself has said that most if not all hunting ammo would be considered AP. So we’re clearly not talking about elephant guns we’re talking about the vast majority of rifles including almost every hunting rifle.

    @john personna: Facts they are so tough. You don’t have to be an expert to get that rate of fire out of a bolt action you just need to be familiar with the firearm. I’m pointing out the hypocrisy and the silliness of your crusade against semi-automatic firearms. Instead of attempting sane rational regulations on the people buying guns you’ve spent far too much time trying to demonize the gun.

    @john personna: How would you do that?

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  114. matt says:

    @legion: You really think it’s that hard to fire a bolt action rapidly?

    You don’t think people are effectively training when they shoot at the range?

    You think someone planning to murder people wouldn’t practice?

    Do you think the Aura shooter wouldn’t of just used his bombs or shotgun instead?

    The sandyhook shooter certainly would of cranked off rapid fire even with a bolt action due to his practice with firearms.

    The gun laws I’ve suggested would be an inconvenience for me but apparently it’s too much of an inconvenience for you to bother to completely read my posts instead of assuming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  115. john personna says:

    @legion:

    Basically, Matt, you assume every single gun owner is just as experienced and serious about their guns as you are, and that just ain’t so. You want gun laws that don’t require you to change what you do or inconvenience you in any way and that just ain’t gonna happen.

    He doesn’t really believe that. He just uses it as a corner case to negate the common one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  116. john personna says:

    @matt:

    More corner cases.

    Sure, someone could develop a murder fantasy around gasoline bombs.

    Tell me though, why haven’t they? It would be much cheaper and easier, right?

    I said that mass murders had a “revealed preference” for large capacity semi-automatic weapons and you answered me in a way that showed you didn’t want to acknowledge what that meant.

    A “revealed preference” is an economic term for what people do and choose in real life.

    Saying “oh, they could use something else” completely misses the point. They CHOOSE THIS, and they probably do it because THIS SPECIFICALLY dials in to their sick fantasies.

    If something else satisfied that need, especially at lower cost, THEY’D ALREADY BE DOING IT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  117. matt says:

    @john personna: MAybe I should just leave you alone so you can argue with yourself?

    I can only speak for myself and the experiences I’ve had with my friends and family who own guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  118. john personna says:

    @matt:

    That’s pretty dumb.

    My family experience is that none of us own guns. None of us have hurt anyone. None of us have ever been the victim of any violence whatsoever.

    And so … guns are not needed at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  119. matt says:

    @john personna: The Aurora shooter had for more then gasoline bombs at hand according to the bomb squad that cleared his apartment.

    Saying “oh, they could use something else” completely misses the point. They CHOOSE THIS, and they probably do it because THIS SPECIFICALLY dials in to their sick fantasies.

    You know it’s pretty amazing how you always seem to know what everyone is always thinking. You should start a 900 number or something to cash in on this amazing talent.

    Or…

    You have already stated to me that you want semi-automatic weapons banned. I’m trying to have an honest conversation about your desire to ban semi-automatic weapons and all I’m getting back is crap.

    You’re not interested in any of my proposals to lower gun violence as evidenced in other threads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  120. john personna says:

    matt offers nothing constructive.

    it is all a game to insure that every fringe “tacticool” element of gun ownership remains legal.

    He says “oh, I’m not tacticool” as he reloads his AK-derived rifle, 30 round magazines, and goes off to shoot hundreds of rounds a month.

    Just what every normal person does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  121. john personna says:

    @matt:

    It is a documented “revealed preference.” It is what people purchase and use for mass killings.

    The Swedish shooter could not shop for those large magazines in Sweden, and so he mail-ordered from America.

    Revealed preference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  122. john personna says:

    (The “revealed” part of “revealed preference” is that you DON’T need to look inside peoples heads. They show you, with their purchases.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  123. john personna says:

    Basically matt wants to act exactly like an effective spree shooter, except for that one last step, where he goes off and does it.

    He’s fully prepared for it.

    And so HE MUST claim that preparing for a spree killing is perfectly normal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  124. matt says:

    @john personna: Derived means it uses a gasblowback system similar to an AK. Other then vague looks there’s nothing else that is the same. So why does it matter?

    In case there’s anyone that’s reading other then John Persona. I showed him a link to my 10 round magazines that look like 30 rounders last time he disappeared. I don’t use a full 30 round magazine when hunting as the extra weight is not needed… It’s also perfectly legal in my state to use 30 round magazines. Now when shooting hogs from a helicopter the 30 round capacity is very handy.

    @john personna: “Spree killing” with a gun is highly inefficient…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  125. anjin-san says:

    You think someone planning to murder people wouldn’t practice?

    Do you think the Aura shooter wouldn’t of just used his bombs or shotgun instead?

    Someone who is delusional is probably going to be too disorganized to do these things, or so symptomatic that there will be some kind of intervention if they try to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  126. Herb says:

    @matt:

    “You’re not interested in any of my proposals to lower gun violence as evidenced in other threads.”

    Seems your primary interest is in preserving easy access to this kind of weaponry, even to people who will use it to ill effect.

    Your secondary concern is asserting the superiority of your view.

    Way down on the list, if it even appears on the list, is “lower gun violence.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  127. matt says:

    @anjin-san: I will grant you that it’s certainly an individualistic case.

    That being said the Sandyhook shooter certainly was practicing without anyone noticing. Same thing for the Aurora movie shooter.

    @Herb: My primary purpose is to get laws passed that will be effective. The AWB which seems so loved was a piece of crap and was mocked as the “scary gun ban” for a reason. The last school shooting spike even occurred during the AWB. So why would we want to enact similar legislation when it’s been proven ineffective?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  128. matt says:

    This is where I should of pointed out that the Aurora shooter was noticed by his psychiatrist but fell through the cracks anyway. Making sure that doesn’t happen again would probably be a good idea.

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  129. Stan says:

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for James Joyner after reading this post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  130. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    That being said the Sandyhook shooter certainly was practicing without anyone noticing. Same thing for the Aurora movie shooter.

    And you know this how? Mind reader are we?

    The plain and simple of the matter is that semiautomatic assault rifles-whoops , “modern sporting rifles” have become the weapon of choice for mass killers. They could use bombs or nerve gas or whatever, but those are difficult and unreliable, and you need to learn bomb making techniques.Also too, unlike guns, the authorities keep careful track of those who buy bomb-making materials. Don’t have to worry about that with guns!
    Its just easier to buy a semi-automatic assault rifle, which you can get at your handy gun shop with its minimalist , no-mental history background check.(Indeed you could buy several). While there , you can stock up on any amount of ammo necessary , or for maximum convenience, order it over the Internet, along with body armor.
    You are now set for your spree killing. You just do minimal target practice, because with these guns and high capacity magazines, you just have to be able to hit the side of a barn from inside the barn. With a bolt action rifle , you have to be a marksman to kill 26 people in 20 minutes. With a semi-automatic assault rifle, you can just pull the trigger 30 times shooting from the hip and spray death in most satisfactory fashion. Its almost like Call of Duty , except the kills are for real. And when you’re done with one magazine, you reload in a few seconds and are ready to spray some more. It really is the perfect weapon for the mass killer.
    Unfortunately, its also the perfect weapon for the gun hobbyist and would be weekend tactical warrior, which is why we can’t regulate it in sensible fashion.

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  131. JKB says:

    @James Joyner:

    Well, if we’re going to require gun safety training, what better way than to start in elementary school with gun proofing programs to teach kids about real guns and how to deal with them if they run into them as well as remove the taboo allure.

    Then about 12, we can run kids through the NRA gun safety course. It has a proven record of teaching millions of kids over the years how to safely handle firearms.

    But beyond that, what is recommended? Combat courses are a superfluous for most gun owners who even in self defense use the firearm up close and without maneuver.

    So I think we could get the NRA to go along with government funded gun safety training for all citizens so that they can safely enjoy their 2nd amendment rights should they choose to keep and bear arms.

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  132. matt says:

    @stonetools: His mom was a prepper and according to interviews of friends and family the shooter was well practiced in the usage of his mom’s guns.

    Experts agree that the Aurora suspect clearly had practice as his accuracy was higher then what you would expect from even a police officer in that situation.

    The rest of your post is drivel that contradicts reality and the suggestions I’ve made for changes to the law. I don’t even know why you post such crap.

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  133. Herb says:

    @matt:

    “My primary purpose is to get laws passed that will be effective.”

    I see. And calling people ignorant is going to accomplish that how exactly?

    FWIW, you don’t seem to know anything about the Aurora shooter. His name was James Holmes. He lived five blocks from my house. He shot up the theater that I used to go to. One of my (former) co-workers was there that night and he is now on permanent disability.

    Holmes’s psychiatrist? She contacted the police, but there is no way for her to know he was planning a massacre.

    The folks who had a better clue were the ones who sold him 3000 rounds of ammunition, an “urban tactical vest,” leg protection, neck protection, gas mask, concussion grenades…..

    We’re constantly reminded that he acquired all of this stuff legally. You want to change the laws to be “more effective?” Here’s how:

    Don’t sell that stuff to civilians.

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  134. anjin-san says:

    That being said the Sandyhook shooter certainly was practicing without anyone noticing. Same thing for the Aurora movie shooter.

    I don’t think “certainly” means what you think it means.

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  135. matt says:

    @Herb: …

    FWIW, you don’t seem to know anything about the Aurora shooter. His name was James Holmes. He lived five blocks from my house. He shot up the theater that I used to go to. One of my (former) co-workers was there that night and he is now on permanent disability.

    Are you kidding me? Really? What is wrong with you that you actually think I don’t know the douchebag’s name?

    Maybe I don’t think he should be remembered by name because that gives him the glory he oh so desperately wants? Maybe I think that by plastering the names of shooters all over we’re goading more into action so they too can be remembered for raising the score?

    Holmes’s psychiatrist? She contacted the police, but there is no way for her to know he was planning a massacre.

    /facepalm… I clearly said he fell through the cracks and maybe we should do something about that so it doesn’t happen again and this is your response….

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/02/13081771-report-psychiatrist-warned-university-about-aurora-suspect-weeks-before-massacre?lite

    To me this clearly warranted further action and the fact that further action did not occur is part of the problem.

    The folks who had a better clue were the ones who sold him 3000 rounds of ammunition, an “urban tactical vest,” leg protection, neck protection, gas mask, concussion grenades…..

    It was 6000 rounds of ammunition and all of that was through a variety of retailers.

    Don’t sell that stuff to civilians.

    Yeah that works so well for drugs right?

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  136. Herb says:

    @matt:

    Experts agree that the Aurora suspect clearly had practice as his accuracy was higher then what you would expect from even a police officer in that situation.

    You made that up.

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  137. anjin-san says:

    So I think we could get the NRA to go along with government funded gun safety training for all citizens so that they can safely enjoy their 2nd amendment rights should they choose to keep and bear arms.

    So your idea of “limited government” is to have the taxpayers underwrite a manufactures lobbying group?

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  138. matt says:
  139. Herb says:

    @matt:

    “Are you kidding me? Really? What is wrong with you that you actually think I don’t know the douchebag’s name?”

    From the quality of your comments, I have no choice but to think you really need to be sat down and have some things explained to you.

    Sorry if that makes you feel bad.

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  140. matt says:

    @Herb: Mirror…

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  141. anjin-san says:

    the glory he oh so desperately wants

    This is the second comment along these lines I have heard in the last few days. It suggests you don’t know jack about how the mind of someone who is psychotic works.

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  142. matt says:

    @anjin-san: sure

    http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/2012/07/neil-prescott-first-aurora-shooting.html

    Just a clarification that you don’t have to be psychotic to commit a crime.

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  143. Herb says:

    @matt: You really are a genius aren’t you?

    If you’re going to provide links backing up your assertions, best to find one that actually does that.

    Last month Holmes applied to become a member of the Lead Valley Range in Byers, Colo. However, the gun range’s owner denied his application, owing to what he characterized as a “bizarre . . . freakish” voice mail greeting he heard when responding to Holmes’ application.

    And…

    Miller said investigators have been to two gun ranges Holmes tried to get into to but didn’t.

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  144. matt says:

    @Herb:What’s your point? You think that people only shoot at shooting ranges? Really?

    “Here’s an individual who we see kind of lolling in court but who went into that theater, actually shooting and hitting with bullets more than 52 people of the 70 injured,” said Miller on “CBS This Morning.” “Here’s a guy who went in with what we think was about 100 rounds; that gives him a 50 percent hit ratio.

    “From law enforcement, when you go on the range and you’re shooting at a paper target – it is standing still and waits for you – that’s a 90 to 94 percent hit ratio in a lot of places. In combat shooting in the street, police officers often hit in ranges of 21 to 25 percent of their targets.”

    In addition, Miller said, the shooter was able to maintain that high ratio with three different types of weapons.

    “He chose the shotgun, which you know the expression the ‘shotgun effect’ — it’s blasting out. That is one weapon, but he transitioned neatly from that to the AR-15 [semi-automatic assault rifle], which had that drum magazine of 100, which we believe jammed. And then he transitioned from that to the pistol until he was out of that ammunition.

    “He was working effectively with three weapons,” Miller said. “So the idea that transitioning from three weapons he could have a 50 percent hit rate on moving targets in a confusing environment really goes to the idea that he’s been practicing somewhere.”

    I’m actually surprised you didn’t jump all over the assault rifle comment which was added in by CBS.

    How disingenuous can you be?

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  145. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    The rest of your post is drivel that contradicts reality and the suggestions I’ve made for changes to the law. I don’t even know why you post such crap.

    Shorter matt: I can’t refute it, so I’ll call it drivel.Do you really think that works?

    It is a fact, though, that most modern mass murderers use these semi-automatic weapons. Thinking people would ask why, and formulate legislative scheme aimed at keeping such weapons from being misused that way.

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  146. anjin-san says:

    The well-armed shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre had a hit ratio twice what a police officer might achieve engaging with armed assailants in a street setting.

    That suggests, says CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, that the suspect – who is believed to have planned his assault with precision – practiced shooting prior to the attack on the theater audience last Friday.

    I do not find this especially compelling. We have a TV reporter using the word “suggests” – that does not sound conclusive. Is this reporter an expert on the subject matter? Or just a dude on TV?

    The comparison between a street battle with armed thugs in the open and shooting patrons in a theater seems bogus – they are entirely different situations. And I note the use of the word “might.”

    This article proves nothing, and you know it. Others have suggested that you are not arguing this issue in good faith, and I am inclined to agree.

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  147. matt says:

    @anjin-san: You skip the numbers?

    You skip the fact this is a former FBI official too?

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  148. Herb says:

    @matt:

    What’s your point?

    That you have no clue what you’re talking about.

    If you’re interested in fixing that, I can put you in touch with a guy who was there that night. He’ll be more than happy to tell you about it and if you ask, I bet he’ll even show you the scars.

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  149. matt says:

    @Herb: Alright it’s readily apparent at this point that you have absolutely no interest in having a real discussion. So what’s your goal right now?

    Are you just trolling for trolling sake right now? Do you want to sit here calling each other poopie head? What do you want?

    EDIT : Good for the dude that survived. It’s too bad that no one did anything about an obvious mental case before it got to that point. It’s also too bad that people were hurt.

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  150. matt says:

    @Herb: Can we at least agree that this is ridiculous?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/psychiatrist-who-treated-_n_2481457.html

    She reported him and it’s not her fault that the higher ups did nothing about it.

    I have no idea why they think 72 hours of confinement would of mattered.

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  151. Herb says:

    @matt:

    Alright it’s readily apparent at this point that you have absolutely no interest in having a real discussion. So what’s your goal right now?

    Hey, man, I’m trying to help you out. At some point you must realize that having such a weak game is damaging to your cause.

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  152. Herb says:

    @matt:

    Good for the dude that survived. It’s too bad that no one did anything about an obvious mental case before it got to that point. It’s also too bad that people were hurt.

    I’m glad you said this.

    I’m also glad that you mention the psychiatrist and how the higher ups didn’t do anything. You’re getting warmer……

    See, with James Holmes it’s not a case of “no one did anything.” Someone did something. They sold him guns, ammo, and all the tactical gear his evil heart desired.

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  153. matt says:

    @Herb: /facepalm.

    @Herb: So what do you want?

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  154. anjin-san says:

    Just a clarification that you don’t have to be psychotic to commit a crime.

    So you are adding being an ass to your bag of tricks?

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  155. Herb says:

    @matt:

    So what do you want?

    I want you and anyone interested in preserving easy access to weaponry to be responsible. I really hate to quote something as frivolous as Jurassic Park on something so serious, but “They were so worried about whether they could, that they didn’t stop to think whether they should.”

    If you, responsible gun owners like you, and the gun lobby do not want a nanny state solution, then you’ll have to demonstrate through responsible actions that it’s not what you need.

    Study your history. Back in the 50s, when people were freaking out about comic books, the industry adopted the code. The movie biz were threatened with the same level of censorship, so they devised the ratings system. Video games, porn, same thing. Faced with heavy-handed government regulation, they said, “No, that’s alright. We can handle this on our own.”

    The gun industry needs to do something similar. 2nd Amendment supporters need to demand it. If they don’t…..expect the heavy hand of government to come down hard.

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  156. anjin-san says:

    You skip the fact this is a former FBI official too?

    If you can’t tell that I was referring to the CBS piece from what I wrote, I really can’t help you. I am not going to diagram it for you with crayons.

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  157. anjin-san says:

    Yeah that works so well for drugs right?

    People get addicted to drugs (I know this firsthand)

    Are you addicted to guns?

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  158. matt says:

    @Herb: You’re not answering the question. What do you want. I’ve listed several times what I want and apparently law enforcement agrees with me as some of my suggestions are being taken up by Obama after consulting with law enforcement.

    Your turn.

    @anjin-san: John Miller the guy that made those comments in the CBS news piece is a former FBI official. On top of that the numbers are there plain as day. His shooting ability clearly showed some practice.

    Yes he’s a journalist now but that’s irrelevant.

    Are you doing this intentionally?

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  159. Herb says:

    @matt: What do I want? A lot of things, but on this one, smarter gun people would help.

    Some maturity would be nice too. Think less James Yeager, more James Yeager’s attorney. (You saw that video, right?)

    His shooting ability clearly showed some practice.

    No, by all accounts, he fired indiscriminately.

    911 calls record 30 shots in 27 seconds. They were not well-placed, disciplined shots.

    Step it up, dude.

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  160. markm says:

    I wonder how much the upcoming midterm elections played into the ‘Gun Plan’?. It looks like weak sauce to me. The only thing that jumps out that may possibly have a real world impact is a background check that cross refrences medical/mental health checks…..I am not a doctor though but it appears that it is easier said than done AND will be another burden for doctors. We’ll see.

    Other than that, there is no there there.

    I don’t see the Senate or the House moving on anything like an ‘assault weapons’ ban.

    As expected.

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  161. sevenmiles says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “Stop it. Please. This isn’t about stopping Sandy Hook. This is about stopping the next one.”

    The proposed gun controls wouldn’t stop Sandy Hook 2.0. The gun was purchased legally, in a state with an assault weapons ban, by a woman who would have likely passed any background check.

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  162. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools & @michael reynolds:
    I think there is a lot to learn in terms of gun control from the anti-smoking campaigns. One interesting aspect to note is that part of getting anti-smoking to work was a concerted effort on the part of the entertainment industry to downplay (at least for a while) smoking in popular media.

    However, there is one key different that needs to be addressed and seriously thought about — and again, this is a key problem facing the US — where as cigarettes are by their nature, temporary, consumable items, guns are not, Which means that once in circulation, something has to be done to take a gun out of circulation.

    Hence part of the problem — in particular with assault weapons, is that there are so many of them already out there — and generally speaking, even if a “ban” is enacted, the amount of AR-15 platform guns is only going to increase because all that’s required to own one is still a background check.

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  163. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Herb:

    Back in the 50s, when people were freaking out about comic books, the industry adopted the code. The movie biz were threatened with the same level of censorship, so they devised the ratings system. Video games, porn, same thing. Faced with heavy-handed government regulation, they said, “No, that’s alright. We can handle this on our own.”

    While this is entirely true, it’s also missing a couple key points.

    First the nature of regulation and social norms has changed pretty radically since the time of the Comics Code and the formation of the MPAA. Generally speaking it’s hard to imagine the same things going on today.

    And to that point, the Comics Code has been more or less dead since the 90’s — I’m not sure if any book is currently published under it.

    The MPAA code was far more about controlling sex and language than violence. In fact, the only real change in terms of violence was and agreement to forbid criminals to “win” at the end of a film. And that has more or less been dropped. Today’s rating system is pretty toothless and arbitrary.

    As far as video games and regulation… let’s all admit that its a joke. Yes there is a rating system. But that hasn’t altered the content of games. At best, if a retailer decides to enforce the rating system, it means that certain kids can’t buy certain games in a store. That’s about it.

    As far as porn, ummm… unless we’re talking about child pornography or certain bodily fluids, I’m having a hard time thinking about what the industry is intentionally not producing for fear of regulation.

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  164. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools:

    A comprehensive assault weapon and high-capacitive magazine ban would have kept those weapons out of the Lanza home.

    If by a “comprehensive assault weapon ban” you mean something that would have banned the AR-15 platform all together, then yes, you’d be right. The problem is *as I keep writing* that IS NOT what the 1994 ban was. It’s most likely not what the proposed ban will be. In part that’s the problem with having “ban” in the title of the law — it’s not really banning anything significant. AR-15 platform guns will still be able to be bought with only a background check.

    Both you and James propose special licensing requirements for owners of semi-automatic weapons. The NRA and the gun cultists oppose that too, seeing that as virtually the same as a ban. I’d also point out that the gun lobby would oppose any measure that would have stopped Sandy Hook from happening

    I am NOT defending the NRA. In fact, in another thread I specifically stated that their current position that any regulation is “bad” is irresponsible and not in the best interest of gun owners. Frankly they should be the ones IMHO pushing for a national licensing system.

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  165. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @john personna:

    The 1934 “ban [of fully automatic weapons]” (really a Constitutional licensing requirement) has absolutely worked.

    Correct. But what everyone who keeps bringing this up refuses to acknowledge is at the time the ban was enacted THERE WERE NOT MILLIONS OF AUTOMATIC WEAPONS ALREADY IN CIRCULATION IN THE US.

    What the 1934 legislation did was keep a genie from getting out of a bottle. The problem is Assault Weapons are completely out of the bottle. And despite its name, the “assault weapons ban” does nothing to put them back in. In fact, nothing short of a true ban — with no grandfathering included — is capable of doing that. And the chances of that getting through the congress is next to nil.

    This is a HUGE issue. The key problem. As of 2012, there are an estimated 2.5-3.7 million rifles from just the AR-15 family of rifles in civilian use in the United States. Note that a large number of those were bought under the last assault weapons ban.

    I realize that people will now bring up Australia’s 1996 Assault weapons ban. Note that when the legislation was enacted some 600,000 guns were bought back. That’s a mere 17% of the AR-15 platform of guns in the US (and the AR-15 isn’t the only legal assault weapons platform). And given the Heller decision, it’s debatable whether a comprehensive national assault weapons ban would pass constitutional muster.

    Licensing — either at the state level or the federal level — still remains the best option for control (and is exactly what most other countries have done).

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  166. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    I realize that people will now bring up Australia’s 1996 Assault weapons ban. Note that when the legislation was enacted some 600,000 guns were bought back. That’s a mere 17% of the AR-15 platform of guns in the US

    Yes, but Australia only has a population of about 20 million as compared to America’s 300 million, so when you compare Australian to American stats, you have to multiply by 15 to account for the population ratio. 600,000 guns in Australia is therefore equivalent to 9,000,000 guns in the US, which is very close to the total number of AR-15s.

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  167. john personna says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    The 1934 “ban [of fully automatic weapons]” (really a Constitutional licensing requirement) has absolutely worked.

    Correct. But what everyone who keeps bringing this up refuses to acknowledge is at the time the ban was enacted

    I was addressing that specifically when I wrote …

    It’s sad that when we think about what gun owners will accept, we have to think about a segment whipped into an “Obama will take your guns” frenzy. A frenzy created and maintained since 2008.

    I’d like to think a rational gun owner would accept a bullet button modification, but we know there are others who will go nuts. Literally.

    It is a sad state of affairs when an unstable element has so much political power that they must be eased into a rational solution.

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  168. Herb says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    “While this is entirely true, it’s also missing a couple key points.”

    Not really. The essential point is that industries that don’t want to be subject to heavy handed government regulation take steps to self-regulate. That’s a rarity in the gun industry.

    Here in Colorado, Jax Outdoor took AR-15s off the shelves and now refuse to sell magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The government isn’t telling them to do it. They’re doing it on their own.

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  169. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    Fair point, but I think it’s also worth noting that the relationship of population size to government complexity isn’t a linear scale. My understanding is that — for a variety of reasons — it’s easier to get that type of legislation though the feds in Australia. But I could be wrong.

    @john personna:
    I really don’t understand how those points in any way address the point I was trying to make. I might be thick headed though.

    @Herb:
    I think what you are missing is that in the case of Movies, Comics, and Video games, the regulations all occurred at a time when the respective industries were not particularly politically powerful: Movies (1930), Comics (1954ish), & Video Games (1994).

    And — as an example — GTA3 came out in 2001, under the regulations and went on to be one of the best selling games of all time.

    The Gun Industry — sadly — is in a far more secure position that Hollywood, Comics, or Video Games were at the time of their self regulation. Not to mention its more tied up with the US government as well (as, for example Movies have become).

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  170. john personna says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    In a simpler world, if a rational case could be made, we could expect a high “turn in rate,” and so installed base would be moot.

    In our world, as impolite it is to mention it, we actually have people who propose mayhem if unacceptable laws are passed.

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  171. john personna says:

    In other words, we consider gun law in an environment of low social cohesion.

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  172. Herb says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    the respective industries were not particularly politically powerful

    While that’s true to a certain extent, if the gun industry really wants the federal government off their backs, it would be easier and cheaper for them to self-regulate.

    If I owned a gun company, I know I’d rather my profits go into my pocket rather than some politician or lobbyist group.

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  173. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Maybe your reader got disgusted. When you want to defend every fringe attribute of tactical weapons for public use, where is progress possible?

    You need to kill things. Lots of hogs. Not as a hunter, because a hunter eats what what he kills. You rack up a bigger toll than that, and leave it. You’ve found a niche where killing lots of things looks like a social service.

    And so killing lots of things is defended.

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  174. john personna says:

    (An ethical hunter would go out every week, bag a hog, dress it, and take it to the homeless shelter. He wouldn’t alternate a few thousand rounds at the range with shooting masses of hogs and leaving them to rot.)

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  175. Mikey says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    As far as porn, ummm… unless we’re talking about child pornography or certain bodily fluids, I’m having a hard time thinking about what the industry is intentionally not producing for fear of regulation.

    I propose you do a comprehensive study, and return to us with the results. We’ll be extra-patient because we understand you’ll have to wait until the calluses heal to start typing again.

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  176. Rob in CT says:

    I don’t really see why we can’t go the relatively low-key route MattB (and mostly Matt too) is suggesting and see what happens. Which I think is what will end up happening (since I think the AWB will fail in the House).

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  177. john personna says:

    I apologize for the all upper case, just copying from the original source:

    HUNTERS HARVEST IS A SIMPLE, YET BRILLIANT IDEA; TO MAKE USE OF A VIRTUALLY UNTAPPED RESOURCE HERE IN TEXAS. THAT RESOURCE IS HUNTERS. PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND I, THOSE THAT LOVE TO HUNT. WELL HERE IS A CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE, AND HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE.

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  178. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Fair point, but I think it’s also worth noting that the relationship of population size to government complexity isn’t a linear scale.

    Yes, but you were the one when you made a direct linear comparison when you said that 600,000 guns in Australia was only 17.5% of the total AR-15s in the US, without accounting for the fact that the US population is 20 times higher.

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  179. wr says:

    @Herb: “Study your history. Back in the 50s, when people were freaking out about comic books, the industry adopted the code. The movie biz were threatened with the same level of censorship, so they devised the ratings system”

    I’m with you on guns, which actually present a danger to the community. But the production code and the comics code were both reactions to prudish hysteria whipped up by puritans terrified of free thought, and both did serious damage to their respective art forms and to adult discourse in this country.

    Now, of course, Matt will choose to believe this makes me a hypocrite. But until a written or spoken word can be hurled through the air fast enough to penetrate a human body and destroy organs, I’m staying absolutist on freedom of speech… In fact, I believe that nutballs like JKB should be free to spew all the gibberish they want… but I am scared by the thought of him with advanced weaponry.

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  180. john personna says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    It is also part and parcel of American gun culture that many bought those AR-15s BECAUSE the government might want to take them away.

    The worry about regulation helped create demand and a culture for it. I mean, we remember all election season those GOP fundraisers with AR-15s as door prizes, right?

    Prove you are a real American, and buy an AR-15, rather than a nice bolt action sporting rifle.

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  181. john personna says:

    (The GOP swallowed “militia” culture.)

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  182. Rafer Janders says:

    Speaking of responsible gun owners:

    MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Two men are under arrest after their target shooting with an AK-47 assault weapon sent bullets flying through a Medina County neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.

    One Parnham Drive resident, unaware of the hail of bullets, scurried back into her home as police arrived to warn her and her two small children of the danger, another homeowner ran to her basement.

    Montville Township police found themselves dodging bullets as they tracked down where the shots were originating.

    “When I get about a half mile back in the field up on a hill, gunfire started again, and started hearing rounds go over my head,” said Montville Police Sgt. Matt Neil.

    Police said the men on Windfall Road were shooting at a target in a field with handguns and an AK-47.

    “They were drinking alcohol, they had some drugs on them and they were just outside, in their backyard shooting paper targets,” Neil said. “They felt because they were shooting at a downward angle, that it would have been OK.”

    Bullets skipped off the ground, and carried over hills striking at least two homes police estimated to be a 500 yards from where the target shooting took place….

    Mary Kuruc heard a crash and found debris on a sofa. Her daughter discovered a hole in the wall and a place on the ceiling where a bullet ricocheted. They called 911 and while officers were investigating, her home was hit again.

    “We noticed a second bullet hole, followed the trajectory of it and noticed the bullet landed in the microwave,” Kuruc said.

    She and her two daughters left the kitchen just moments before the second shot hit the far kitchen wall at eye level.

    Police removed the wall-mounted microwave as evidence as the bullet remained lodged in the appliance.

    Police said dozens of shots were fired. The AK-47, three handguns and over 700 rounds of ammunition were seized.

    Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_medina/Bullets-strike-Montville-homes-narrowly-miss-officers-as-AK-47-target-practice-goes-awry#ixzz2IFpAbuo5

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  183. Rob in CT says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Am I a “gun grabber” for wanting those clowns to be barred from owning guns in the future?

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  184. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I’m just happy they weren’t using hands and feet, or a jet ski, or a swimming pool…think of the damage they could have done then.

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  185. stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Indeed. Kagro X has been recording a seemingly infinite number of incidents on his Twitter feed.

    Matt says of course, “That has nothing to do with me, I am careful with my guns.” But if a lot of “legitimate” owners are careless or reckless in the use of their guns, then its a public health problem, not just a matter of individuals. And since Sandy Hook, over 900 Americans have died from guns.
    God Bless America.

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  186. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    No offense, but this particular story doesn’t do the gun regulation crowd much good other than to point out that there are criminals who are irresponsible gun owners. Unfortunately, the story is unclear as to whether or not the AK-47 these idiots were shooting was a legal model or not. If it was a fully automatic AK-47 the two were already in violation of the law by simply possessing it. Plus there’s the entire drugs part as well.

    A story like this — especially if the AK-47 was fully automatic — is akin to a conservative using a terrorist act as a reason to say all Muslims are a danger to us (after all, like owning a gun, religious preference is a choice).

    & @Rob in CT, considering they are up on felony charges, if convicted on a single one, they most likely could never own a gun again (and that’s a good thing).

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  187. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools:

    And since Sandy Hook, over 900 Americans have died from guns.

    Correct… but how many of them were killed by assault weapons? Again, I believe you shouldn’t own an assault weapon without a license.

    The thing is the current legislation (as we understand it) does very little to help with handgun issues (which is where the bigger problem is). The magazine capacity thing is a step in the right direction, and it should be enacted. But while its easy to get twisted up about the role of Assault Rifles in mass shootings, handguns are the far bigger problem when you look at the numbers.

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  188. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Herb:

    While that’s true to a certain extent, if the gun industry really wants the federal government off their backs, it would be easier and cheaper for them to self-regulate.

    If I owned a gun company, I know I’d rather my profits go into my pocket rather than some politician or lobbyist group.

    Dude, I dig you, but you don’t understand the broader issues here. Much of this ties back to corporate capitalism and manufacturing.

    First, remember that the sole purpose of a corporation — which all of the major gun manufacturers are — is to provide value for shareholders. Which means that they need to continue to grow their market size. Regulation of any sort is antithetical to that purpose. Likewise, while in theory they don’t want their guns to end up in the hands of criminals, the fact is that they want sales to continue to rise as long as it doesn’t directly hurt the company. Their guns ending up in criminal hands doesn’t hurt the company (and legislation pretty much protects a company from ever being harmed by that).

    Second, any regulation would require them to either (a) stop manufacturing certain types of guns (market loss) or retool to reduce certain features (which costs significant amounts of money as well). So long as it’s cheaper for them, on a quarter to quarter basis, to fight change, they will fight change. Plus, the record suggests that the safer bet is that no legislation will pass.

    Given the choice between taking a profit hit on retooling/drop in sales — which in turn would lead to a drop in share price — or reserving X amount of dollars to fight to maintain the status quo and the share price, almost all corporations will always choose the latter regardless of industry.

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  189. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    One last point on Technological Solutions — Biometrics and Bullet Buttons.

    First, biometrics make a lot of sense and would most likely help decrease accidental shootings (i.e. kids finding family gun). However, in terms of general crime and mass shootings, they probably will have little to no effect. People are very good at getting around these sorts of solutions — for proof look no further than all of the failed DRM efforts (sharpies defeating millions of dollars of research into copy proofing CDs as an example).

    Likewise, post market modifications like Bullet Buttons make very little sense. As others have pointed out, they can be easily removed. However, @JP, as I know you’re a fan of the bullet button, if legislation made it so that the bullet button was hard designed into the gun (in the same way that the guts of the AR-15 platform was changed to make it near impossible to convert it to fully automatic), then it makes more sense.

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  190. john personna says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Our problem, Matt, is that bullet buttons and increased licensing for semi-automatic weapons with removable magazines, face exactly the same problem.

    The AR-15 buyer is programmed to think that his purchase is a symbol of his freedom.

    If he was … our grandfathers, there wouldn’t be an issue. My grandfather at least hunted grizzly territory with break-action and repeater weapons. He never needed a semi-automatic in his life.

    If the shooting population was willing, I’m sure that modifications could be found. If there was some corner case that couldn’t be fixed, you cash them out at fair market value and let them buy a qualified gun.

    None of that would be unreasonable … but “reasonable” is not the bar here. There are people on (pardon me for the metaphor) a hair trigger. That is the problem we face.

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  191. Herb says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    “Given the choice between taking a profit hit on retooling/drop in sales — which in turn would lead to a drop in share price — or reserving X amount of dollars to fight to maintain the status quo and the share price, almost all corporations will always choose the latter regardless of industry.”

    From a manufacturing standpoint, sure. From a retail standpoint….it’s another story.

    Just look at how Wal-Mart stopped selling guns in urban locations, or the Jax Outdoor example I cited above.

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  192. john personna says:

    And with bio-metrics you would absolutely be cashing people out for millions of historic guns.

    That would be a great taking and replacement.

    There simply isn’t room in … really any existing design to insert “fire by wire” in a tightly designed mechanical system.

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  193. john personna says:

    (The bio-metrics contrasts with a bullet button which is in most cases a surface modification.)

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  194. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Herb:

    From a manufacturing standpoint, sure. From a retail standpoint….it’s another story.

    But you’ve just moved the ball. You’re no longer talking about guns manufacturers, you are talking about big box retailers.

    And in that case, you’re entirely correct — unlike the government, if Walmart says “jump,” most manufacturers ask how high.

    But at this point Walmart isn’t interested in saying “jump” on guns. And I can’t see that happening any time soon. Everyone knows that, that just like Networks who shelved certain shows in the wake of Sandyhook, once a few months pass, those TV shows will air and big box stores will start selling the guns again.

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  195. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @john personna:

    The AR-15 buyer is programmed to think that his purchase is a symbol of his freedom.

    If he was … our grandfathers, there wouldn’t be an issue. My grandfather at least hunted grizzly territory with break-action and repeater weapons. He never needed a semi-automatic in his life.

    Yeah… color me skeptical on this point. It’s like people who claim that Andsel Adams would never use a digital camera. I don’t doubt your grandfather hunter without a semi-automatic. But if he was still kickin and shooting today, who knows.

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  196. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools:

    Matt says of course, “That has nothing to do with me, I am careful with my guns.” But if a lot of “legitimate” owners are careless or reckless in the use of their guns, then its a public health problem, not just a matter of individuals.

    I can’t let this one pass…. Individual anecdotes on a twitter stream is anecdotal not hard data. This type of project is the same as @manning or others pointing to individual stories about behavior of Muslims as justification for the idea that there is an Islamic Third Column inside the US. It’s part and parcel to what people like Glenn Beck do on a regular basis.

    Likewise, you see similar use of reports of “dangerous dog breed” attacks by people interested in banning all pit bulls.

    One thing that is great about Obama’s executive order is it frees up federal money to once again be spent on gun violence studies. Lets wait for some of that data rather than trying to make conjectures about across the board irresponsible ownership based on news reports.

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  197. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    The AR-15 buyer is programmed to think that his purchase is a symbol of his freedom.

    Isn’t it, though? I mean, he’s able and permitted to own a weapon that’s identical in form, and identical save one aspect in function, to those used by the American military. You don’t get much freer than that.

    (Of course, he can’t own an F-16 or an M109 self-propelled howitzer, but that’s generally glossed over in the gun culture.)

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  198. stonetools says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    But while its easy to get twisted up about the role of Assault Rifles in mass shootings, handguns are the far bigger problem when you look at the numbers.

    In the end, you have to go with the legislative possibilities you have, not the ones you would like to have .We now have the chance to move the dial in the right direction on gun safety, so we will take what we can get. Universal background checks will help keep ALL types of guns out of the hands of the “bad guys” and anti-gun trafficking legislation will do the same.
    I do think assault weapons/rifles have become the weapon of choice for mass killers, and we need to focus a little on that. I think the ban will most likely fail, much to the relief of those who need their ” man cards”, but the possibility of it passing will suck all the opposition in its direction, and allow passage of the rest.
    I think it will happen the way Wonkblog predicts:

    here’s one possible way the debate could go: The assault weapons ban could suck up all the attention only to die toward the end of the process, when Republicans and centrist Democrats kill the proposal in order to remain in the NRA’s good graces. That will infuriate supporters of gun control, but it could help the laundry list of proposals behind the assault weapons ban to slip through as a compromise package. The result won’t necessarily feel like a victory to supporters of gun control, but it might be one, and it wouldn’t be possible if the assault weapons ban wasn’t available to be thrown overboard.

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  199. stonetools says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    One thing that is great about Obama’s executive order is it frees up federal money to once again be spent on gun violence studies. Lets wait for some of that data rather than trying to make conjectures about across the board irresponsible ownership based on news reports.

    That was big. The gag rule on gun violence studies was one of the worst results of the gun lobby hegemony. I know the Twitter stream was anecdotal, but it detailed a LOT of incidents of carelessness, recklessness, and suicides. I think the NRA is right to fear gun violence studies. They are going to undermine a lot of myths about the harmlessness of mass possession of guns.

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  200. stonetools says:

    @Mikey:

    Isn’t it, though? I mean, he’s able and permitted to own a weapon that’s identical in form, and identical save one aspect in function, to those used by the American military. You don’t get much freer than that.

    Careful. According to matt, that’s heresy.The AR-15 et al. are completely different from military assault rifles. They are just harmless “modern sporting rifles”. I’m afraid you have incurred the wrath of the Gun Inquisitor.

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  201. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @stonetools:
    You mentioned realpolitik earlier, and I expect that things will go down the way that Plummer predicts. And obviously anything that reduces mass shootings is most likely a good thing.

    But we all need to understand — so people can keep agitating — that even if we were to *eliminate* mass shootings tomorrow and brought all rifle deaths down to zero, it would only put a dent into the current American gun problem.

    Again, any dent is most likely a good one. And generally speaking* the executive action by Obama will be helpful. So despite my pessimism, I’m all for getting wins where we can.


    * – The one piece I’m concerned about is the mental health reporting portion of it. I have a lot of anti-gun friends in the mental health profession that are really concerned that while it sounds good in practice, it will be absolutely impossible to implement and puts everyone (patients and practitioners) in a really bad position.

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  202. Herb says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    “But you’ve just moved the ball. You’re no longer talking about guns manufacturers, you are talking about big box retailers.”

    Yeah, sorry….I didn’t mean to imply I was talking about gun manufacturers. (Well, not all of them….the ones who do direct sale, maybe.) We need the gun manufacturers to keep it up so that police and the military can get the weaponry they need to do their jobs.

    I picture a world in which retailers can, and will, refuse to sell to any Joe off the street (or Jared Loughner or James Holmes) unless certain conditions are met. “Sure, I’ll sell you this AR-15, but you have to take our AR-15 class/ pee in this cup/fill out these forms,” however they decide to do it.

    It should be almost like having to get a job. “Show us your certs, and we’ll sell you the weapon.”

    Of course, I know I’m just dreaming here. That’s almost too reasonable.

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  203. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Herb:

    I picture a world in which retailers can, and will, refuse to sell to any Joe off the street (or Jared Loughner or James Holmes) unless certain conditions are met. “Sure, I’ll sell you this AR-15, but you have to take our AR-15 class/ pee in this cup/fill out these forms,” however they decide to do it.

    It should be almost like having to get a job. “Show us your certs, and we’ll sell you the weapon.”

    Of course, I know I’m just dreaming here. That’s almost too reasonable.

    Yeah… umm… dude you’re glasses a couple shades beyond rose colored.

    I refer you back to my response on manufacturers and shareholder value. Walmart wants everyone — including mass shooters — to buy their guns there. And, unless legislation is enacted that allows retailers to be sued for civil damages if they sell guns to an unhinged person who passed a background check, this is never going to change.

    Hence why working to enact licensing at the state or federal level for assault weapons is the better way to go.

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  204. Mikey says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    And, unless legislation is enacted that allows retailers to be sued for civil damages if they sell guns to an unhinged person who passed a background check, this is never going to change.

    I think that would discourage them selling any guns at all ever.

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  205. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Mikey:
    Ya think? Which is why it’s not going to happened in our lifetimes. Which is why Walmart is never going to ask for anything more than the minimum the law requires — at this point a background check. Which is why, while Herb’s heart is in the right place, his ideas are utterly disconnected with reality.

    Shareholders — for better or worse — come before all public good.

    BTW, the entire criminal/civil damages issues is part of the problem with the mental health portion of the executive order.

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  206. matt says:

    @Herb: While doing that he hit 70 people killing 12 of them.

    If you wish to believe his rate of fire makes well placed shots impossible then that’s fine (his results say otherwise). You can find videos of people doing that firing rate or faster with a bolt action and semi-automatics WHILE hitting targets at longer range if you wish to further study.

    So tell me why you believe that his 50% accuracy in a chaotic environment while pumped full of adrenaline isn’t at least well placed?

    What makes you think he wasn’t practiced?

    Do you really believe people just pick up rifles and because it’s an “assault weapon” that they can suddenly hit a relatively slim object in movement in a hard to see environment at a 50% accuracy rate?

    Have you ever shot indoors?

    Do you know the effects of the intense sound and the amount of smoke produced by the process of shooting?

    @john personna: How do you define a tactical weapon?

    I’ve only seen that used in relation to a dressed up semi-automatic rifle. So which part of that dressing up are you worried about? The pistol grip? The scope? The plastic? The forward grip?

    You need to kill things. Lots of hogs. Not as a hunter, because a hunter eats what what he kills. You rack up a bigger toll than that, and leave it. You’ve found a niche where killing lots of things looks like a social service.

    No. I will not allow you to continue to make shit up. I cut up what I kill and I’ve said that many times. I’ve even outlined the costs and what I make from killing a pig when Micheal tried to claim it was a money loser for me. Your dishonesty is just ridiculous

    (An ethical hunter would go out every week, bag a hog, dress it, and take it to the homeless shelter. He wouldn’t alternate a few thousand rounds at the range with shooting masses of hogs and leaving them to rot

    .)

    Then what would you have farmers do about this?
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/A-Plague-of-Pigs-in-Texas.html

    I’ve posted this link many times and every-time you refuse to read it. Either that or you’re just being utterly dishonest again.

    So what is a farmer supposed to do about hogs that have moved on to his farm and are in the middle of destroying their property? You can’t poison them without risking wildlife. You cannot trap them usually because they are already educated on various trapping techniques. Are the farmers supposed to just sit there and go “oh golly sucks that my entire livelihood is being destroyed”???

    What’s wrong with shooting at a range?

    Do you find my willingness to practice with my firearm so that my first shot when hunting is a killing shot to be bad?

    How many times have I “(shot)masses of hogs and (left) them to rot”?

    Hunters harvest has no interest in coming to the helicopter hunts that are staged around the state. I know because the guy I know that does it responded to me that he would have to spend several tens of thousands of dollars to dress and deliver the hogs in a manner that Hunter harvest would consider proper. It’s not going to happen because it’s not worth the time and money for the results.

    @Rafer Janders: It’s exceedingly unlikely the gun was a real ak-47. Regardless you should be applauding this because we need enforcement of our current laws. Not only were they rightfully arrest and had their weapons confiscated but they are also going to end up felons which will hinder future attempts at legal firearm acquisition. If I had my way I’d keep guns out of their hands for a very long time if not forever.

    @stonetools: Are you mad because I listed a lot of the differences in the gun and all you can do is say “THEY LOOK MOST THE SAME!!!!”…

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  207. matt says:

    @matt:
    I would like to add that the helicopter hunt friends will strip at least the back off the hogs. So it’s not a complete “waste”.

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  208. Mikey says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Which is why Walmart is never going to ask for anything more than the minimum the law requires — at this point a background check. Which is why, while Herb’s heart is in the right place, his ideas are utterly disconnected with reality.

    Unfortunately true–and I think Herb’s idea is fantastic, because it’s something the retailers institute voluntarily and therefore the 2nd Amendment isn’t an issue at all.

    BTW, the entire criminal/civil damages issues is part of the problem with the mental health portion of the executive order.

    The shrink who dealt with James Holmes is being sued, we’ll have to see how that turns out.

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  209. john personna says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Hunting is still about one well placed shot. There have been many advancements on that, but none of it is about assault rifle features or culture.

    That was a petty distraction, not a serious answer on US gun culture.

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  210. matt says:

    @john personna: Correct me if I’m wrong but you consider assault rifle features to be a pistol grip, forward pistol grip, and an adjustable stock? What other features are considered assault rifle features by you?

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  211. john personna says:

    @matt:

    I have never in my life made a cosmetic argument.

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  212. john personna says:

    I am actually sympathetic to “mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation)” when he makes increased licensing proposals.

    The thing is, I doubt gun culture, as more typified by matt without the b, is never going to accept those.

    So it is odd when mattb speaks to defend the culture which would defeat his own proposals.

    … and of course odd when he suggests that no one else, besides he, is allowed to press for more than the assault rifle identity culture is willing to accept.

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  213. matt says:

    @john personna: Once again you’re absolutely wrong.. Here’s my suggestions that I have been linking over and over. I’m pretty sure I’ve pasted this into every gun thread in the last month.

    We need a public option with strong treatment options for mentally ill people (especially for the poor).

    We as a society need to stop glorifying violence and insisting on using it to solve our problems (Iraq the drumbeat for war with Iran etc).

    We need to stop glorifying everything military even when clearly we shouldn’t be.

    We need to close any NICS related loopholes and provide for a free easy way for private sales to involve a NICS. That will fix the gun show loopholes that do exist.

    We need for some tightening in CCW requirements with training and background checks as a minimum requirement.

    We need to stop militarizing the police and focus on community outreach. Removing the stigma of snitching will increase the chances of discovering a shooting plot before it happens.

    We need to look at our culture and ourselves in an honest light.

    we should consider requiring gun owners to carry insurance to cover accidents with their firearms.

    We should consider a national FOID card like system with required training classes.

    My problem with you is your admitted desire to ban all semiautomatic guns.

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  214. john personna says:

    @matt:

    So of all those, some guns might be eliminated at the margin because “a free easy way” will be available, but not required, and by CCW background checks?

    The rest is “consider” and stuff?

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  215. matt says:

    @john personna: What?

    So basically it seems you’re now forced into objecting about my choice of language?

    I don’t like speaking in absolutes on subjects that I don’t have mastery over. I think spending the time to consider and carefully crafting a law is a good idea. I believe that consulting with experts and others to see possible problems with suggestion legislature is a good idea too.

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  216. john personna says:

    BTW, “stop militarizing the police” is another clunker in there.

    Why is it that people most likely to argue a pro-gun ownership position, also want to arm citizens strongly, relative to the police?

    Doesn’t sound like a good guy on a COPS episode.

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  217. john personna says:

    @matt:

    None of that removed a gun from anyone, with the exception of the CCW check.

    All else was optional, a wing and a prayer.

    Even the people getting free healthcare keep their guns, right?

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  218. john personna says:

    @matt:

    You can edit your posts, I can’t mine.

    It wasn’t your phrasing, it was that after all of your proposals for “gun control” gun ownership remains exactly the same, except in the corner case of some CCWs refused.

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  219. john personna says:

    @matt:

    BTW, when did you sneak this line in?

    My problem with you is your admitted desire to ban all semiautomatic guns.

    Everybody reading knows that is complete bullshit.

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  220. matt says:

    @john personna: We’re causing countless unneeded deaths a year by giving our police military equipment. Unnecessary SWAT raids are at an all time high and as a result a lot of innocent people are being harassed, injured or even killed. It’s about militarization making it an us vs them thing where the Police see themselves as fighting against the civilians aka us. Reversing this trend and increasing community outreach has paid dividends in decreased crime and increased arrest rates.

    I’m sorry that looking at the big picture upsets you because of your obsession with guns but we have to do something.

    You should try reading Radley Balko for a while. While I don’t agree with him on politics he’s done an excellent job of highlighting the militarization of the police force.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/the-agitator

    http://wonkette.com/476644/small-town-police-departments-really-need-those-tanks-okay

    Do you really want your local police having 50 cal machine guns that have no safety?

    @john personna: REally you’re going to try to turn the public option into a welfare argument? How rightwing of you..

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  221. matt says:

    @john personna: So wait you’re reversing your position from the last discussion?

    You stated clearly that no one should have semiautomatic firearms and that hunters like your ancestors used bolt action and lever action guns. Remember how you introduced me to the savage and some other stuff in that same conversation?

    @john personna: No it doesn’t. My suggestions even include a freaking nation wide foid with MANDATORY TRAINING and you say it’s no difference.

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  222. john personna says:

    @matt:

    I have been steadfast in support for magazine limits and bullet buttons. I’ve said I could accept mattb’s enhanced licensing for semi-autos with removable magazines.

    Those are positions. Those are separate from my opinions. My opinion is that semi-autos are not strictly required in civilian use. I know the Australians get by with very few of them. If I thought an Australian, or for that matter Canadian, solution would fly here, I would adopt that as my position. Of course, given my opinion.

    Now, if your position is today that we should have a national FOID with mandatory training, I’ll support that too.

    But I don’t trust politicals and lobbyists too far. If someone just says we should “consider them” I son’t see much happening. I’m sure some people have been “considering them” for years already, with no action.

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  223. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    You can edit your posts, I can’t mine.

    Browser issue?

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  224. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    Chrome user.

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  225. john personna says:

    @matt:

    BTW, on all that, police procedures matter more than the militarization of their weapons.

    I care more about civil liberties than whether the no-knock raid comes with military weapons.

    I wouldn’t want them no-knocking the wrong house with old fashioned 38’s.

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  226. matt says:

    @john personna:I’m glad to see you’re no longer advocating for a complete banning of all semi-automatic firearms.

    My position has been utterly consistent in that we need to look into having a national foid card with require training. If that is possible or not I have no idea but declaring we have to have it without looking at the effectiveness or repercussions or even how to write the bill is foolish.

    Do you think that trying to figure out how to avoid the problems that plagued the concept behind real ID is a bad idea?

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  227. john personna says:

    @matt:

    Gosh, isn’t that convenient?

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  228. john personna says:

    (Also, learn to read, and remember that adults can separate positions from opinions. Opinions are ours alone. We craft our positions in an attempt to reach agreement with others. They include moderation and compromise.)

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  229. matt says:

    @john personna: I find it illuminating that you inevitably resort to mockery or insults when confronted in a debate..

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  230. matt says:

    @john personna: Once again it’s the mentality attached to those weapons that are the bigger problem. I don’t believe that the rapid increase in SWAT raids is independent of the police department scoring military “toys”. That’s why you end up with people being raided for a joint…

    I don’t see how a small town of under 20k people need to have APCs with 50 cal machine guns or tracked armored vehicles that damage roadways either.

    I don’t want them no knock raiding the wrong house EVER.

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  231. Criss says:

    Does anybody use common sense or is everybody just right wing or left wing? Not that everyone here is either but it seems like thats all i see in the news a bunch of politicians on both sides with no common sense and no actual real world experience of criminals. I’m not sure what I am but I will tell you I am a female police officer in a town of about 100k. I own several weapons for work protection and hunting. my children are trained to use these weapons. My weapons have a purpose. In ten years I have had NONE that means Zero law abiding legal gun owners threaten me with a gun. Every criminal I have disarmed or removed a gun from their vehicle/home/person did NOT have it registered to them. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen Im sure it does. To date I have had more people try to kill me with something other than a gun than with a gun. Look at statistics.
    Banning AR 15s…. Eh… Okay fine… No you don’t really need it it’s an expensive toy that’s cool. I have one mostly used for the job. You want to ban them from sale, fine, but don’t slap a band aid over that and think its going to stop anything like this (rare occurence) from happening again. That’s just ignorant and unless you deal with criminals on a daily basis people don’t seem to realize this. I know my average call response time and my heart hammers in my chest as I race as fast as I can to a call where people are in danger of someone with a gun..two minutes people…. Do you know how many bullets can come out of any gun in the two minutes it takes for me to get to you??? No matter how many are in the stupid magazine, that’s just ignorant have you heard of reloading? I pray as I’m going please let a good guy have a gun too! People should never rely solely on the government to protect them or their family.

    Taking guns away from law abiding citizens (pry it from my dead fingers sorry I’m with the republicans in this) ill give up my badge first. Sorry I got on my soap box there but I’m also a veteran. I have spent my whole life in public service trying to protect good people from the bad.

    Open carry, that’s what I’m for and of course background checks, mental health checks(I had to have one to be a cop) and required yearly training with said gun. I mean if the govt can require you to have health insurance/car insurance for your own protection why not yearly training with a weapon for your own protection? just another type of insurance. If the bad guy can see you have a gun or can defend yourself he is less likely to attack you. Criminals are lazy. The harder they have to work to get their reward the less likely they are going to do it. Someone said earlier that there is never 100% safety that these laws are to minimize the risk and I agree but Lanza didn’t attack a high school with more people that might fight back and possible security guards/ officers on campus. He picked an easy target. Harden the Target because no matter what you do there will always be evil people in the world out to harm the innocent.

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  232. Herb says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    “I refer you back to my response on manufacturers and shareholder value. Walmart wants everyone — including mass shooters — to buy their guns there.”

    I admit, it’s a bit rose-colored, but the small retailer has no need of “shareholder value.” The large retailer does not want to supply mass shooters with weapons. Businesses, at heart, should be interested in continuing to operate. I’m sure Wal-Mart will be just fine when the government bans certain weapons. Other places, not so much. The good news, I guess, is that when their stores close, they’ll have plenty of time to write their congressman.

    @matt: I’m not getting into this with you. Except for this….

    “Do you really believe people just pick up rifles and because it’s an “assault weapon” that they can suddenly hit a relatively slim object in movement in a hard to see environment at a 50% accuracy rate?”

    Apparently you do. James Holmes had his guns for less than two months before he committed the massacre. Plenty of time to become an expert marksman……

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  233. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @john personna:

    (Also, learn to read, and remember that adults can separate positions from opinions. Opinions are ours alone. We craft our positions in an attempt to reach agreement with others. They include moderation and compromise.)

    Look, in @matt’s defense — and I’ve felt more than a bit of this myself on this issue — a lot of people’s opinions have seemingly bled into their positions on this issue.

    It’s really hard to tell when people, who are of the *opinion* that semi-automatics (or all guns in some cases) should be off limits to civilians, are arguing for regulation. @Michael Reynolds is a great example of this. I’ve posted enough stuff in support of @MR on other threads to hopefully indicate I have no beef with him or most of his positions (I wish I wrote like him). But when @MR get’s on the topic of guns, I really have not idea where his opinions and his positions diverge — and I think, in general I’m a pretty close reader of posts.

    Likewise, I feel like you’re posts sometimes suggest you’re on one side and sometimes on the other. If this was a cocktail party — btw, when is someone organizing the first whiskey/beer/whine OTB get together? — I think we could work this out quickly. But in the asynchronous, text only world of OTB, we’re left to try and figure out each others positions based on posts.

    Things have been pretty confusing on this topic (and I realize I’m a bit hard to read, not just because I’m a “Matt” but because I can often seem like I’m coming down on both sides).

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  234. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Herb:

    The large retailer does not want to supply mass shooters with weapons. Businesses, at heart, should be interested in continuing to operate.

    Without getting too maxist, I have no doubt that anyone in Walmart’s leadership (and I actually know a few of them) ever wants a gun sold at Walmart to be used in a crime. From the CEO down, most individuals there always want to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.

    However, the corporation is separate from it’s leadership and employees. And as long as legislation protects corporations (and other businesses) from things like civil repercussions of weapons sales, the fact is Walmart (or any publicly traded big box or gun manufacturer) doesn’t care who they are selling to as long as it’s not going to hurt the company.*

    To your point, unless there’s a threat to their continued operation, why should they change?

    Corporations — despite what Mitt Romney claims — are not people. And while they are made of people they are something wholly different.

    * Note, that I don’t necessarily think this is wrong. The fact is that Walmart and other retailers are doing what they are supposed to do — i.e. acting as the law says they should. And so, I don’t necessarily think they should be held accountable for what someone does with a gun that’s bought there.

    But, to my point above, while we might agree that is would be the *right* (in terms of society) thing to do to make Walmart regulate its sales at a higher level than the law requires, we need to understand that from a shareholder’s perspective it’s not the *right* thing to do. In fact, it’s entirely the *wrong* thing to do.

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  235. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Criss:
    Thanks for your input. Some of what you say matches things I’ve heard from LEO acquaintances. One questions…

    Open carry, that’s what I’m for and of course background checks, mental health checks(I had to have one to be a cop) and required yearly training with said gun.

    I’m assuming that, hand in hand with this, you’d see a stricter licensing system for anything above, let’s say, a fixed magazine long gun?

    Do you think that anyone should be able to purchase a semi-auto assault weapon (detachable magazine, ability to add military-grade modifications) without a license (which requires a pass/fail handling test)?

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  236. matt says:

    @Herb: Two months is quite a long time to familiarize yourself with a weapon. The individual had stopped attending classes and I can’t seem to find any hints that he had a job. Just for reference Army basic training is a little over two months (10 weeks) and they cover a whole hell of a lot more then just shooting.

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  237. Herb says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    To your point, unless there’s a threat to their continued operation, why should they change?

    Because freedom means making good choices, not being coerced into them.

    @matt: Listen to yourself. You’re just guessing now. You know why? Because you have no clue.

    I’m done with you.

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  238. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Herb:
    Herb, like I’ve said in the past, I dig you and I appreciate your idealism. That said:

    Because freedom means making good choices, not being coerced into them.

    This is completely disconnected from the reality of our times. It *might* be true for the individual. It’s entirely not the case for the corporate form as currently understood.

    I agree that, for the good of the nation/people, this should be the case. But the entire nature of capitalism as currently understood, is against this.

    And this gets to a broader point. Many imagine that — thanks to Milton Friedman (among others) — that Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” always works in the public good. This is a great example (which I think Smith would acknowledge) where the direction of the hand of capitalism and the public good move in two entirely different directions.

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  239. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @matt & @Herb:
    Don’t you think that the conditions of the particular enviornment — i.e. a movie theatre, tightly packed with limited means of immediate escape — had something to do with the hit ratio?

    I’m, based on previous experience, not a particular good shot. But if it was to plunked down onto a stage a popular concert or packed movie theatre, I think I would have a pretty good hit ratio even if I fired wildly into the crowd.

    In the same way, I suspect that the theater environment (depending on how many people were at that showing) was a perfect situation for Holmes to shoot proverbial fish in a barrel.

    BTW, @matt, as we’ve discussed on threads long past, it’s also why the possibility of an armed audience member stopping the shooting would be difficult as well.

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  240. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Herb:
    BTW, my middle name is Herbert. Based on my experiences, I cannot imagine how you got through junior high.

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

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  241. @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    “This is completely disconnected from the reality of our times.”

    Yes, I will acknowledge that. This is why I’m a liberal and not a libertarian.

    Just because things should work that way doesn’t mean they will.

    And by the way, Herb is my nom de guerre. I’ve been thinking about shedding my secret identity for a while now and this is probably a good time to do it.

    The Herb name comes from high school. One of my unfortunate classmates embarrassed herself reading out loud, mispronouncing the word. She should have said ‘erb, but she said herb. From then on, we called her Herb. Still cracks me up every time I hear the name.

    Then there’s “Some folks say that smoking herb is a crime….”

    Then there’s Spock saying “I am not Herbert” that was sampled in an old Information Society song.

    At any rate, the name’s James. Pleased to meet ya.

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  242. matt says:

    @Herb: I’m not guessing. The results are clear as day and experts agree with me. You’re the one guessing that he never had time to practice.

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):I’ll fully admit we’re just guessing when it comes to the circumstances of the rooms/hallways during the shooting. I’m going purely off his results and the analyzations of experts including a former FBI official. We know that the shooter had planned this (albeit not specifically the theater) for some time (comments the shooter made). We know he had the weapons for some time. We also know that he had a good level of accuracy across three types of firearms too. I can shoot extremely well with rifles but my ability to shoot a pistol is terrible unless I’ve had some practice with the specific weapon. Maybe he was some sort of weapons savant capable of effectively wielding different functioning weapons under a high stress high adrenaline situation with no prior practice (including familiarizing himself with the sounds). I find it more likely he went and practiced a couple times a week..

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  243. matt bernius says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

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  244. john personna says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Again, we both have positions which separate semi-automatics with removable magazines from repeaters and fixed magazines.

    We both have to answer people who say that everybody, hunters, target shooters, needs those things.

    What are you going to do, say sure everybody needs an AR-15, and lets put licensing in place so they can all have them?

    Let’s put licensing in place so that someone, not yet a law breaker, can legally acquire everything he needs for a spree?

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  245. john personna says:

    Some people are ready for real movement in gun control, and some want to go to great effort to stay in the same place.

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  246. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    The Herb name comes from high school. One of my unfortunate classmates embarrassed herself reading out loud, mispronouncing the word. She should have said ‘erb, but she said herb.

    Maybe she was British at heart?

    Eddie Izzard – Being Bilingual

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  247. @Mikey: Ha! I think we were just jerks.

    (BTW. Eddie Izzard is hilarious!)

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  248. matt bernius says:

    @john personna:

    What are you going to do, say sure everybody needs an AR-15, and lets put licensing in place so they can all have them?

    Yes… and that’s what most modern countries do.

    Let’s put licensing in place so that someone, not yet a law breaker, can legally acquire everything he needs for a spree?

    Correct. This is a distinct possibility – See the 2011 Norway Mass Shooting. At some point there is a price to certain freedoms.

    Moreover, and here’s where I WILL sound like the other Matt, history has proven that time and time again, someone interested in doing spectacular violence will find a way to do it. If they can’t easily legally purchase an assault weapon there are other means.

    The thing is, if the licensing requirement is structured correctly (background check, X hours of training with a pass/fail test, etc) it’s going to weed out a lot of people. In other words, it’s about inserting friction ahead of the gun purchase (versus after, via modifications).

    As I pointed out somewhere up to, a licensing regulation for assault weapons could have very likely stopped the Sandy Hook and Webster shootings. The 1994 Assault Weapons ban would have done little to nothing about either.

    I realize it isn’t prefect. But if one, IMHO correctly, accepts that the semi-automatic genie is forever out of the bottle, it’s the best solution moving forward. Yes, people will grumble, but if sold correctly it could ultimately work (again, the biggest challenge is that it would take power away from the States).

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  249. matt bernius says:

    @matt:

    I can shoot extremely well with rifles but my ability to shoot a pistol is terrible unless I’ve had some practice with the specific weapon.

    But you’re thinking range work… It seems to me Holmes was shooting at targets that were far closer. And despite the pandimonium, it’s not easy to get out of a theater, things tend to jam up, especially turning corners.

    Maybe he was some sort of weapons savant capable of effectively wielding different functioning weapons under a high stress high adrenaline situation with no prior practice (including familiarizing himself with the sounds). I find it more likely he went and practiced a couple times a week..

    It’s entire possible that he metabolized adrenaline more efficiently. That can go hand-in-hand with being wired up “special.”

    Either way, this is way to morbid a conversation for a beautiful (at least by me) Friday morning.

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  250. john personna says:

    @matt bernius:

    The Swedish shooter ordered his large capacity magazines from the US because they were illegal in Sweden.

    How bizarre is it to say “see, it can happen in Sweden?”

    (About as bizarre as saying assault rifles are easily available to citizens of most developed countries.)

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  251. john personna says:

    Seriously matt, are you giving up your “rationalist” credentials at this point?

    Wikipedia has a rundown on wide restrictions on AR-15s around the world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15#Legal_status_of_civilian_ownership

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  252. john personna says:

    The sick thing is that US gun nuts have managed to make a 6 round magazine sound like oppression by the repressive state …

    For German hunters, their semi-automatic firearm’s magazine must be modified in such a way that its maximum capacity is only 2 rounds (excluding handguns), meaning that when hunting game animals only 3 shots in total can be fired (as one additional round is loaded in the chamber) without reloading. This rule is stated in german hunting law and not in german gun law. In fact magazines are not regulated by german gun law and free to purchase and possess in any capacity and type for anyone.

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  253. Criss says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Do you think that anyone should be able to purchase a semi-auto assault weapon (detachable magazine, ability to add military-grade modifications) without a license (which requires a pass/fail handling test)?

    Hmm… It’s an idea and not a bad one but will it stop a criminal from completing his goal of killing as many people as possible? No. He will just use something easier to get his hands on. Again regulating weapons does not harden the target, it does not make someone less easy to kill. It makes it harder for a good person to protect themselves. A criminal is always going to take the easier route. Look at it this way. Silencers are not illegal and in some parts of Texas are legal to hunt with. I have a friend that has several silencers and he pretty much had to give over DNA, his oldest child, etc. to be in possession of these silencers (on top of the fact that they are enormously expensive) licensing/waiting periods etc. Do you see many crimes committed with silenced weapons? No? I know this sounds like I’m in favor of stricter regulations but I’m getting there. A silenced weapon would be a good idea if you wanted to commit a home invasion/burglarly etc. Basically things that normally alert law enforcement because the sound of the weapon made some one call 911. They don’t use them because they are too hard/expensive to get a hold of for a lazy criminal. Does this stop them from committing the home invasions/burglaries? With a silencer YES but No. Have these crimes gone down? NO. Because it’s not the weapon that commits a crime. Even if you rounded up EVERY weapon in the country and melted them down these crimes would still happen they just wouldnt involve a gun. People have been killing people since the dawn of time. They would use something else. The whole “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” The only thing that stops a bad guy in general is a good guy and people are mostly good. A very small percentage of people are truly evil the question is how doe we create laws/regulations to identify these people BEFORE they commit a crime that they would commit not mater what weapon they could get a hold of.

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  254. Criss says:

    A question. If the Sandy Hook shooting was committed by a terrorist instead of Adam Lanza would this be the same response from the government/populace? To disarm it’s citizens and attempt to regulate morality? I think not. And if you think that can’t/won’t happen then you need to get out of La La Land.

    What is the one thing that would completely terrorize our country? A few targeted terrorist hits on elementary schools maybe? No one would send their kids to school/ they wouldn’t go to work because they had to stay home, crippling us. Running an airplane into a few buildings has been done already they’re not likely to do that twice. Again with the hardening of the target. You can’t get on a plane with a pair of tweezers now let alone a gun.

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  255. john personna says:

    @Criss:

    Criss, it is far easier to buy 20 gallons of gasoline now, than 200 rounds of ammunition.

    Why are there actually no gasoline spree killers?

    See the difficult thing for people seeking to justify semi-automatics with high capacity magazines, is that these things are already “harder,” and yet they are still preferred.

    There might even be a connection in the fantasy stage, before plans become concrete, something that makes the semi-automatics more attractive. If that’s true, with less assault rifles, less fantasies, less people going out and collecting the goods.

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  256. Criss says:

    @john personna:

    Actually yes the terrorist attack that killed more people (168 I believe) than any school shooting ever has involved racing fuel. I believe total for people killed in school shootings since the 90’s is a little over 200. Oklahoma City Bombing NO ASSAULT RIFLES (I beleive he did have guns but they were not used) And if you google “killed by gasoline” you will get more different news reports than you do for “killing spree”. 3000 People killed by air planes slamming into buildings. NO ASSAULT RIFLES.

    Do you know the definition of a killing spree or anything about criminals? Do you know how many actual killing sprees there are a year? Very very few compared to other crimes. People are actually killed more by gasoline!!!! (maybe not intentionally killed I will concede that).

    I will also concede that less assault rifles will probably mean less “targeted shootings with assault rilfes” (I believe that is actually a pretty low occurence too) Targeted means, I’m ticked off at you and I am going to kill you and only you with this gun/bat/chair/car.

    A mass shooters entire intentions is to kill as many people as possible. That does not take an assault rifle and not being able to get an assault rifle will not stop that and that is the debate. Shootings like Sandy Hook can not be prevented by taking away a single gun or making it harder to get. Headlines will say Bombing at Anywhere Elementary School kills hundreds. Look at the one in the 20’s, michigan I believe? Bombs and a car NO GUNS killed more students. Clebold and Harris intended on blowing the collums in the cafeteria and dropping the library roof on the students. The guns were the last resort. They studdied and mapped out the cafeteria and the time in which it would contain the most students.

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  257. john personna says:

    @Criss:

    I was really thinking the easier Molotov cocktails, but ok.

    That was one, a long time ago, with a diesel and ammonium nitrate bomb. Since then we’ve tightened up ammonium nitrate sales.

    We’ve had many more domestic fantasy shooters than domestic mad bombers since then.

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  258. Criss says:

    @john personna:

    That was one, a long time ago, with a diesel and ammonium nitrate bomb. Since then we’ve tightened up ammonium nitrate sales.

    We’ve had many more domestic fantasy shooters than domestic mad bombers since then.

    You’re exactly. Yes Bombings are down but Mass Killers are not. Tighten up gun sales and domestic fantasy shooters will go down ABSOLUTELY I agree. But they will use something else. I’m in favor of gun regulations but I don’t like how people think this will stop mass killings. It will just stop mass killings with guns.

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  259. matt bernius says:

    @john personna:

    The Swedish shooter ordered his large capacity magazines from the US because they were illegal in Sweden.

    How bizarre is it to say “see, it can happen in Sweden?”

    (1) The shooter was from Norway.
    (2) He did use an assault rifle in the spree
    (3) You are correct he illegally imported the high capacity magazine. He was orginially going to get it in Sweden (where they are legal) and switched to the US because it was cheaper.

    My point is that the semi-automatic assault weapon that he used was legally acquired under Norway’s gun code.

    Seriously matt, are you giving up your “rationalist” credentials at this point?

    Wikipedia has a rundown on wide restrictions on AR-15s around the world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15#Legal_status_of_civilian_ownership

    Uhhh, JP, did you read that page?! In most of the countries listed AR-15 guns are regulated but still available for those who acquire special licensing.

    And what do I keep saying should be the case in the US?
    That AR-15 platform guns should be available to those who acquire special licensing…

    I don’t really see where I stopped being rational…

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  260. @john personna:

    Try again. It’s already being done. See:
    http://defcad.org/ar-15-magazine-30-round-mag/

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  261. matt says:

    @Criss: Suppressors are legal in England. I’m all for legal suppressors as it lowers the noise levels of ranges.

    Even with a suppressor a gun can be clearly heard when discharged. In order for you to get the sound effect used in movies you have to use subsonic ammo which will mostly likely turn your semi-auto into a bolt action (guns rarely cycle properly with subsonic ammo) and has a far reduced lethal range.

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