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Rand Paul’s Gun Control Filibuster Gains More Support

Rand Paul’s threatened filibuster of the proposed Senate Gun Control Bill is gaining steam:

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s threat to filibuster any new gun restrictions is gathering steam, as a dozen of his Republican colleagues have now signed onto his plan.

The Kentucky Republican and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah ) first wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid late last month to warn him of their intention to try to tie up the Senate if, as planned, Reid moved forward with legislation that would expand background checks and attempt to crack down on interstate gun trafficking.

Reid is expected to bring a gun-control bill to the floor as early as next week, or perhaps the following week, and Paul is renewing his vow to try to block the measure. Paul’s follow-up letter, obtained by POLITICO, bears Monday’s date and is signed by 13 Republicans, including fellow potential 2016 presidential aspirant Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — who signed on shortly after Paul’s first threat was issued — and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas.

While Paul gained a new measure of fame among libertarian-minded voters on the right and left during a recent filibuster sparked by the administration’s policy of targeted drone strikes, Reid has an ace in the hole. A new Senate rule would allow him to circumvent a filibuster on the motion to proceed to the gun bill by promising each party two amendments on the legislation. Under that scenario, Paul and his allies would still get a chance to raise their objections on the floor for hours on end, but they couldn’t stop the Senate from starting debate on the bill.

Reid’s aides have discussed that option, but they haven’t yet said that they’ll use it. Reid may be able to break a filibuster with bipartisan support, which would obviate the need to do an end run around Paul’s group. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said he won’t support a filibuster if Reid promises to allow for amendments on the floor.

In the letter due to be sent Monday, a carbon copy of the first missive, Paul and his expanded group of allies reiterate that they “intend to oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance.”

So, be prepared for some fireworks when this bill comes up.

More broadly, though, it does appear that the NRA and other gun rights groups are succeeding in their bid to block gun legislation in Congress:

Over the past two weeks, while Congress has been in recess, Begich said he was approached repeatedly by constituents who echoed NRA views, telling him not to, in his words, “mess with our gun rights” or “ban anything.”

The NRA’s recent successes on Capitol Hill — as well as a string of victories in state legislatures across the country — demonstrate the effectiveness of the group’s strategy to overcome a post-Newtown tilt toward gun control. The organization has drafted and circulated legislation, mobilized its members and continued to put pressure on politically vulnerable lawmakers. At the same time, groups attempting to promote stricter gun- control measures have faltered.

New restrictions that a couple of months ago seemed possible, even likely, such as bans on assault weapons and universal background checks on gun purchases, are now in doubt.

“The NRA is one of the most important groups in my state,” said Begich, one of several Democrats from conservative states who are up for reelection next year. He and others like him are the swing voters in the gun debate in the Senate, where deliberation over new legislation is expected to begin this month.

The gun rights group has suffered some serious setbacks since the December school shooting. New gun limits have passed in reliably liberal Maryland and New York and in Colorado and Connecticut, where two of the most recent shooting rampages occurred.

But even gun-control advocates acknowledge that the NRA is getting the better of them, both in Congress and state capitals across the country.

The NRA’s congressional operation is so effective that one of the gun lobby’s most outspoken critics, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), initially signed on as a sponsor of the NRA-supported background check bill. Blumenthal said he had no direct contact with the NRA when he signed on to the measure but had been drawn by the idea of a bipartisan initiative to improve background checks.

On Friday, Blumenthal withdrew his support, saying in an interview that he was no longer comfortable with the bill because of “serious unintended consequences” related to provisions governing the mentally ill.

The NRA strategy has stretched into the states, as well. For instance, the group dispatched a lobbyist to Minnesota for much of the past three months because lawmakers there were considering expanded background checks and other measures.

Spurred by e-mail alerts from the group, NRA members and other gun rights activists jammed legislative committee rooms, deluged lawmakers with e-mails and phone calls — and succeeded in killing proposals that were once widely expected to pass.

“I was sabotaged by the NRA,” said state Rep. Michael Paymar, a St. Paul Democrat who authored the gun-control package he thought had a good shot at passing the liberal state House and Senate.

The Minnesota measures had been supported by the White House, with President Obama paying a visit in January and Vice President Biden calling legislators in March.

But their efforts were not enough to counteract gun rights advocates. NRA alerts warned that the background checks proposal would result in increased costs and could lead to the establishment of a government gun registry, while achieving no provable reduction in the crime.

Republican state Rep. Tony Cornish said he received 2,897 e-mails about the bills while they were being considered last month. “Only five were in favor,” he said.

Now, the legislation gathering the most support in Minnesota is an NRA-backed bill, similar in some ways to the one being pushed by the group in Congress, designed to improve reporting of mental illness.

In Congress and in some states, the NRA has already found ways to expand gun rights in the months since Newtown. The group successfully won congressional approval for new rules to ease importation of firearms that contradicted what Obama requested in the January launch of his anti-violence initiative.

This was, I would submit, completely predictable.

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

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    Charles Kruthhammer called it, the energy on this debate is on the Constitutional rights side.

    It has to have an effect on blowing-in-the-wind politicians when they see gun parts (MagPul), outdoor sports (Outdoor Channel) and gun manufacturers (Barretta) willing to move their businesses out of states become hostile to law abiding gun ownership. This isn’t setting up some abandoned store front operation by political gypsies who move on after their damage is done. These decisions have financial impacts and are not funded by some rich 1%er who travels with heavily armed guards.

    Plus they saw the massive run to stock up ahead of CT’s ill conceived law and no doubt this interview with a young woman, who just wants to protect her family, juxtaposed against the MAIG’s Hartford mayor in his slick suit pontificating in hopes of hiding the failure of his blue state policies that leave is city in violence.

    “When you clamp down so hard where everything is restricted, it feels like you’re infringing on second amendment rights.” – Shari Reilly, Connecticut gun owner

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  2. mantis says:

    Objectively pro-mass murder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Idiotic spin. It is “pro-constitutional” now to do no background checks, and put guns into the hands of criminals?

    Funny, I thought the NRA position was actually to be hard on criminals and not guns … but I guess when push comes to shove, the guns are more important than stopping those same criminals from getting them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  4. john personna says:

    (If the low bar of more background checks is not passed, I will be very surprised, especially given the 94% approval for them. Congress, and the GOP in particular, will be shooting themselves squarely in the foot. Wear this, next election, boys and girls.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  5. This should help Paul sucker a couple more GOP primary voters in 2016. But it also has the side benefit of making it easier for murderers to get their hands on high-capacity weapons.

    It’s win-win!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  6. JKB says:

    @john personna: especially given the 94% approval for them

    Perhaps you missed this bit from liberal Minnesota on their background check legislation:

    Republican state Rep. Tony Cornish said he received 2,897 e-mails about the bills while they were being considered last month. “Only five were in favor,” he said.

    As they say, politics are local.

    Remember, remember, 1994’s November, when gun grabbing politicians feel to defeat. Could in 2014 be a repeat?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  7. @JKB:

    It has to have an effect on blowing-in-the-wind politicians when they see gun parts (MagPul), outdoor sports (Outdoor Channel) and gun manufacturers (Barretta) willing to move their businesses out of states become hostile to law abiding gun ownership.

    A couple things:

    A) “Law abiding gun ownership.’ All of the weapons used in these high-profile massacres were all acquired legally, so it’s not enough to talk about “law abiding” gun owners. James Holmes was a “law-abiding gun owner” until he shot 70 people. We need to talk about responsible gun owners who have their heads on straight. “Law-abiding” is too low a bar.

    B) These companies moving out of states “hostile” to gun owners….good for them! If they are unwilling to operate according to local laws and regulations, they should move. Just don’t think it’s some kind of political statement. It’s business. It’s their choice. And these companies will be fine. They’re all shopping for tax breaks in other, more gullibel locales right now.

    Heck, you might be lucky enough to help fund their move with your hard earned tax dollars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Charles Kruthhammer called it, the energy on this debate is on the Constitutional rights side.

    So, a “well-regulated militia” is not part of the Constitutional rights side?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  9. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    You need to catch up on the latest SCOTUS rulings. The militia and the right of citizens to keep and bear arms are two different things. The latter being of value in having a well-regulated militia but the prior not being the deciding factor in the right to keep and bear.

    In any case, the gun rights side seeks to retain, even expand, the Constitutional right, whereas, the gun grabbers want to restrict, even remove the Constitutional right.

    It has already been conceded that none of the infringements being sought by the gun control side would have stopped the killings that have been exploited to promote the gun grabbers’ cause.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  10. JKB says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): If they are unwilling to operate according to local laws and regulations,

    These companies’ operations were not impacted by the legislation, although, MagPul employees in CO are now unable to possess the companies products as private property. They did not react to tax incentives from elsewhere. They did act in part because their customers are willing to forego their products because their operations in the state were supporting gun grabbing politicians. As a bonus, the movement of operations to freer parts of America also places these companies in more business friendly environments. Informal efforts are underway to influence Colt to move from MA and Strum Ruger to move from CT.

    But, the relocation of these companies is not due to more stringent regulation of them directly but the increasing restrictions on the rights of their customers.

    BTW, there are already reports of cancelled hunting and fishing trips in CO as gun owners choose where they’ll spend their money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  11. michael reynolds says:

    The NRA is a shill. This is about the gun a manufacturers and profit. The supposed constitutional issues are bullsh!t. The gun cultists are useful idiots.

    100 dollar profit from murderer equals 100 dollar profit from murderer. From their point of view there is no difference.

    Ditto Wal-Mart and other retailers. It matters not one whit whether they sell a gun to a woman who needs protection or the man who intends to shoot her. Cha-ching.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  12. @JKB:

    In any case, the gun rights side seeks to retain, even expand, the Constitutional right, whereas, the gun grabbers want to restrict, even remove the Constitutional right.

    Keep telling yourself that, bud.

    The gun rights side doesn’t want to “retain” or “expand” the Constitutional right. They want no limits whatsoever. This is why universal background checks are being described as a “gun grab.”

    That’s why they scream when magazine restrictions are proposed. “But I don’t want to just shoot six bullets. I want to shoot 30!

    And like most petulant children, they continue to insist they are neither petulant nor children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  13. JustAnotherPoster says:

    I’m curious how the ‘universal background check’ supporters believe the government can enforce such a scheme without a registry of gun owners.

    Namely, how do you limit Person A from buying a firearm from Person B without knowing that Person B owned the firearm in the first place?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. @JKB:

    As a bonus, the movement of operations to freer parts of America also places these companies in more business friendly environments.

    Ha! They could move to the Dakotas. I hear they’re the freest states in the union. (Just don’t take your weed! )

    there are already reports of cancelled hunting and fishing trips in CO as gun owners choose where they’ll spend their money.

    So? We survived Barbra Streisand’s boycott. I think we’ll survive the boycott from the handful of hunters and fishers who base their decisions on politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  15. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    That wasn’t terribly smart either. Don’t you push STEM?

    Well, knowing the “M” part you’d certainly know that 2,897 e-mails do not disprove a national poll.

    Indeed you could use it to teach set theory, in this case a small but vocal subset of the whole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  16. JKB says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    It’s not just a registry. The whole thing is just a scheme to make criminal normal life.

    Last year, my brothers guns (along with tools and other pilferables) were collected by a neighbor for safekeeping while he lay dying. Especially necessary after the newspaper reported my brother’s illness to not only those with interest in my brother but also those who seek to profit from people being away from their homes. Then the guns were transferred to a friend of my bother’s who also became the executor, then the guns were transferred to me, where I now have them, except for the one returned to the person who had given it to him as a memento to be passed down to his son.

    All this was done without involving the G’d damn government nor paying the bureaucrats fees. Not one of these individuals would have been prohibited by a background check so the only purpose of the “universal’ checks it to generate money for the government, make it costly to exercise 2nd amendment rights and generally annoy those who dare wish to own firearms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. JKB says:

    @john personna: Well, knowing the “M” part you’d certainly know that 2,897 e-mails do not disprove a national poll.

    It isn’t math, it’s politics and in politics, 2,897 people who take the time and effort to email their representatives trumps all the polls and surveys. And this guy doesn’t run nationally, he runs in his local state district.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  18. Jeremy R says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    I’m curious how the ‘universal background check’ supporters believe the government can enforce such a scheme without a registry of gun owners.

    There clearly should be a federal registry. While the constitution defines rights, it certainly has no clause forbidding legisation that nutters feel would be inconvenient in some distopian future dictatorship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    The current gun bills try to enforce background checks for sales, and then to ensure that sellers don’t just do a “long term loan” for a price equal to the purchase, to get around it. As I understand it, the proposed laws would not want the neighbor to hold the guns for more than a week, or to go hunting with them.

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    A database implies data retention. We could do a thing where I just call a hotline, say I want to sell to you, here is your driver’s license number, and they say “he’s clear” … and keep no records. That will have run you against criminal and psychiatric databases (which would themselves have to be maintained).

    If the NRA were about shooters, and keeping the guns for themselves, they’d be totally behind a “national shooting license” which did not include gun tracking. If you have a gun, you better have a license, or the gun is impounded. That would totally keep guns out of the hands of the petty criminals they fear.

    Of course, it would reduce total gun sales, per Michael’s point. The manufacturers love it when petty criminals have guns, so that the fearful need more to defend themselves, and so on, in an infinite circle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  20. JustAnotherPoster says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Then I’d urge ‘universal background check’ supporters to re-brand and be more honest about what they’re proposing.

    “Universal Gun Registry” is what they’re actually proposing. I haven’t seen any polls using that language, but my hunch is that it’ll be wildly unpopular and will never happen, IMO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  21. john personna says:

    tl;dr – the manufacturers (and the NRA) want everyone to have guns, criminals included

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  22. john personna says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    You can read about the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

    It is a people database, not a guns database.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  23. JustAnotherPoster says:

    @john personna:

    The NCIS database only helps with enforcement because there is a lineage of where the gun came from, i.e., which FFL sold a particular serial number.

    Again, unless the police or FBI can track a firearm back to a particular seller, the system is of no enforcement value. You could, I suppose, make the system available to private sellers on an optional basis and some might use it for their own piece of mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  24. rudderpedals says:

    The seller-transferor could phone in the background check and get a confirmation code memorializing the background check with some permutation of the validating entity’s id, the validator’s timestamp, and the transferor and transferee’s identities. Every transfer should have a code but the only record that’s kept is the “receipt” with the code, kept by the transferor.

    I wonder how much of the resistance to universal checks is from the seller’s side? Some portion of it is tax avoidance, a smaller portion, fencing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  25. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    You are missing that only a law enforcement agency can run a check against the NICS because the FBI will only release background check information to other law enforcement. That means a government bureaucrat who has to be paid, which means the bureaucrats will seek as they do now to impose a fee, which means only the well off will be able to afford their 2nd amendment rights.

    All for very little benefit. since without a gun registry, there would be no way of knowing if the firearm was transferred without a background check. The felon or other prohibited person could simply say they’ve had the gun since before the law went into effect.

    So in 5 years, your kind will be back here saying we need a gun registry to effectively enforce the law. It’s not rocket science so all your denials are ignorant dissembling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  26. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    So the final defense is that a background check will cost a buck or two (no need for a human, if you only punch in a driver’s license number). So everyone could check felon-or-crazy with a driver’s license number. Big deal.

    Rather than pay that buck or two, you really want felons and crazy people to have guns.

    You really will rue this on the next election cycle. You’ll be hit with it like a big cartoon hammer. This is the party that wants criminals to have guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  27. john personna says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    You are just playing a game now, of demanding something else, something more – so that you can say the something else, something more, is too much.

    (If you can find a national guns registration database in the currently proposed identity check legislation, post it, otherwise, stop making things up.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  28. john personna says:

    Remember, in the fiscal cliff fiasco the Republicans had the votes to do something the country did not want. They went ahead with it, and then suffered the consequences on the next election. Again they are positioned to do something the vast majority (94%) oppose. Sure, they have vocal supporters within a small minority, the 6% … but those 6% are never going to win them an election.

    I’m sure they had a 6% share who wanted to halt government and default on debts.

    Perhaps some of you were in that group too.

    You know how that worked out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  29. JustAnotherPoster says:

    @john personna:

    No Sir, I’m pointing out (so far unchallenged) that ‘universal background checks’ cannot work without a gun registry.

    If you disagree, feel free to argue the point. If you can’t, then I rest my case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  30. stonetools says:

    Oh well, in due course, there will be another massacre. Maybe then the Democrats will get their heads out of their a$$es and press for legislation in the immediate aftermath, instead of acting like “gentlemen” and waiting for the emotional impact to pass.
    But then, let’s face it. Obama never seems to learn the lesson than time is the enemy of legislative success. He is a good man, but not so good a passer of legislation .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  31. matt says:

    @stonetools: Do tell me how your gun registry and background checks would of stopped the aurora or sandyhook shootings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. stonetools says:

    @matt:

    It would have stopped many other shootings. That’s good enough for me.

    Other legislation could have stopped, or at least greatly lessened, the likelihood of shootings like Aurora and Sandy Hook-which is why such shootings don’t happen in other, more civilized countries where men aren’t encouraged to resolve their masculinity issues by buying sleek, long barreled killing machines

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  33. matt says:

    @stonetools: How? Just declaring something is true doesn’t make it true.

    Except shootings do happen in other countries.

    You are touching on part of the problem with the USA and why even making every single gun disappear would only lower the murder rate by 40% at most. We’re a violent culture that glorifies violence and jockdom..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  34. john personna says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    So show us a current proposal to create a national registration database.

    If you are right that should be trivial.

    Of course if I am right you won’t find it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    In any case, the gun rights side seeks to retain, even expand, the Constitutional right, whereas, the gun grabbers want to restrict, even remove the Constitutional right.

    Remove the Constitutional right? More self-induced fear fantasy from the Right.

    Even Justice Scalia, in Heller, said that the Second Amendment does not preclude reasonable regulation. The problem is that gun nuts and their lobby (the NRA) now consider any regulation to be unreasonable. Now the NRA is pimping the notion that expanded background checks are the beginning steps toward creating a national registry and government confiscation of weapons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  36. john personna says:

    @this:

    You are kidding me, right?

    Someone thinks a downvote equals a link?

    Put up, or admit there is no national gun registration in the background check plan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  37. john personna says:

    (You can also read about “passive aggression” as a dangerous mode of behavior.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  38. john personna says:

    lolz

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  39. JustAnotherPoster says:

    @john personna:

    Our readers should note that you’re unable to rebut my assertion that UBC *cannot* work without a gun registry. Is it too much to ask that new laws have a rationale for efficacy?

    Re: proposals going farther than UBC: California: http://bit.ly/ZomKwS

    While I’m at it, clear signs that whatever is being proposed now is just the beginning, here http://bit.ly/XwhMwz and here: http://bit.ly/141vDhq

    And the ACLU warns of the danger of UBC-like systems: http://bit.ly/Y3iu3L

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  40. john personna says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    You have done a swap. You’ve set up a different, more complete, system of gun control, and said that since yours is so good, no one could do anything less.

    But the proposed laws, here, are less.

    Note what it says:

    The right is generally comfortable with improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, by integrating mental health records, for example. When we hear conservatives endorse stronger “background checks,” this is what they’re talking about.

    But what the right doesn’t want to do is close existing loopholes. Republicans continue to support a system in which someone can go to a gun store, fail a background check, then go to a gun show and buy a military-style assault weapon without any background check at all.

    We ARE talking about the National Instant Criminal Background Check System which I pointed you to above.

    IT HAS NO FIREARM DATABASE.

    Sure, you can now point to other different proposals, not at the federal level, but that’s BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  41. john personna says:

    Basically, I gave JustAnotherPoster the correct facts above, and he made up his own instead.

    When reality isn’t good enough, make something else up to scare yourself, that’s the ticket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  42. al-Ameda says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:
    As discerning OTB posters will note, John Personna has dismantled your assertion that he was unable to “rebut my assertion that UBC *cannot* work without a gun registry.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  43. JustAnotherPoster says:

    @john personna:

    First, you asked me for evidence of proposals beyond UBC and you preened that I wouldn’t be able to. I provided just that evidence at the state level, and provided quotes from national gun control leaders vowing that whatever is proposed now would just be a start.

    Second, the enforcement mechanism in the NCIS database requirements for FFL’s requires a database of guns. I’ve stated this fact several times but you don’t seem interested in addressing it. Perhaps you can inform our readers how the current requirement for FFL’s to check the NCIS would be enforced absent the database of firearm serial numbers required to be maintained by FFL’s? It can’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  44. JKB says:

    I just came across this bit of discussion by researchers who literally wrote the book on the psychology of killing. You know, experts.

    You know what school shooters have in common? It isn’t race, or sex, or economic class. Not type of gun or even that they chose to use a gun? Wild guess?

    The killers are white, Native American, African American, and Hispanic. They are upper class, middle class, and lower class. They are from broken families and intact families. While most are males, several are female. There is no profile–although the FBI research says that a “fascination with violent media” is a common factor with all the school shooters.

    Yes, that’s right, boys and girls, violent media. Movies, TV, video games that sensationalize violence. So if we’re going to put controls on something, perhaps we ought to put those controls on what the killers have in common

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Yes, that’s right, boys and girls, violent media. Movies, TV, video games that sensationalize violence. So if we’re going to put controls on something, perhaps we ought to put those controls on what the killers have in common

    It’s a supply side problem – over 300 million guns.

    I watched “Goodfellas” and “The Bourne Supremacy” a couple of weeks ago, and yet, somehow I did not kill any one in the interim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  46. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: I watched “Goodfellas” and “The Bourne Supremacy” a couple of weeks ago, and yet, somehow I did not kill any one in the interim.

    Well, perhaps YOU do not have a fascination with violent media but rather can handle your carnage.

    I had an alcoholic drink a couple weeks ago, and yet, somehow I did not drive drunk, destroy relationships or wake up naked feeling used in a frat house in the interim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  47. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    I had an alcoholic drink a couple weeks ago, and yet, somehow I did not drive drunk, destroy relationships or wake up naked feeling used in a frat house in the interim.

    I guess we don’t need laws against driving under the influence of alcohol after all!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  48. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: So you’re arguing that we should have laws against “violent” media?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al-Ameda: So you’re arguing that we should have laws against “violent” media?

    No, why do you ask?

    I’m arguing that we have a supply side problem with respect to guns, and that expanded background checks seem to be a sensible regulation. Although, unfortunately I do recognize the obvious fact that gun nuts (including their lobby – the NRA) now view expanded background checks as a precursor to establishing a national gun registry, and from there possible confiscation of guns by the federal government. We’re a very dumbed down country these days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  50. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: Seemed like you were implying that since we have laws regulating alcohol that we should have laws regulating violent content.

    How would you setup a background check system that would of stopped the aurora killing spree from occurring? How would that system of stopped the sandyhook killings?

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  51. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    How would you setup a background check system that would of stopped the aurora killing spree from occurring? How would that system of stopped the sandyhook killings?

    Well, we do not know if the Sandy Hook or Aurora massacres would have been averted, do we? That said, I’m willing to institute more background checks and incorporate screening for mental health into the backgrounding in order to find out. We don’t give up on DUI sobriety checks simply because we don’t prevent all drunk driving accidents. Why should we give up on trying to prevent gun violence?

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  52. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: I’m willing to institute more background checks and incorporate screening for mental health into the backgrounding in order to find out.

    So you are willing to deny someone their enumerated rights without due process? Or is this screening for mental health going to some fly by determination submitted to a judge?

    Here’s the funny thing, we could just work to remove violent media from being so prevalent in our society. Perhaps require background checks for those wishing to play FPS games?

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  53. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    So you are willing to deny someone their enumerated rights without due process? Or is this screening for mental health going to some fly by determination submitted to a judge?

    In other words, mental health background screening is out, too? Of course we can build in an apeeal process – but none of this is going to happen.

    The cult of gun ownership in America makes it impossible to reduce the supply or availability of weaponry to the people. The fact is we’re not worried about external enemies as much as we’re worried about our own government coming to take our weaponry.

    We’re not actually serious about gun regulation, and we’re willing to put up with the occasional annual mass shooting as the price we pay to interpret the Second Amendment as a carte blanche ticket to indulge our self-defense shoot out fantasies.

    My expectations are very very low when it comes to passing any national gun-control regulations. People become unhinged at the thought of mental health background checks.

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  54. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: I would like details beyond “I would institute a background check program”. How will that background check function? How would millions of people interface with that background check system?

    I will agree with your statement that we’re not serious about gun control. When we have legislature written based upon the looks of a gun and not it’s actual function. When we have laws requiring a certain number of american made parts when building certain weapons (922r etc) then you’re not being serious about gun control.

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  55. JKB says:

    @matt: How would millions of people interface with that background check system?

    That can’t happen, millions of people interfacing with background information. Federal law and FBI operating regulations do not permit the release of NICS information to non-law enforcement. Not to mention, someone has to make a determination based on the information and there has to be an appeal process.

    As the background system works now, a registered user of the state system, a licensed firearm dealer, calls the state police, gives them their user identification info, the state employee takes the information, runs it through the computer then determine if any prohibiting element is returned before approving or denying the transfer in accordance with the state’s regulations. For example, in AZ, there is a 10 day waiting period from purchase to transfer.

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  56. matt says:

    @JKB: I know how it currently works as I am a firearms owner. The problem is two fold. One they want to increase the required background checks to EVERY sale thus increasing the amount of “traffic” by an order of magnitude. Second the current system wouldn’t of stopped any of the mass shootings even if it was expanded to every sale.

    So instead of hollow words I’d like to hear real legislative suggestions on how they would expand background checks to stop mass shootings.

    EDIT : I can’t help but think of the “no fly” list and how GREAT that turned out..

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  57. matt says:

    I’m also curious to know how they plan to address the printable gun and magazine.

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  58. al-Ameda says:

    There are 300 million guns in this country. You would think that we’d be the most safe and least violent advanced country in the world? We are not. I guess the solution is to double that number, then we’ll probably the most safe country in the world (except for maybe Somalia or Iraq.)

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  59. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: Do you intend to continue your nearly incoherent rant?

    There are other countries with higher gun ownership rates and lower murder rates. There are also other countries with lower gun ownership and higher murder rates. Saying that our high murder rate is solely the fault of an inanimate object is childlike in it’s simplicity of thought. On par with such thoughts as it’s all Israel’s fault that there’s so much trouble in the middle east or gays are the reason marriages are falling apart etc etc..

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  60. Rob in CT says:

    It’s pretty clear that “gun rights” folks will not accept anything. No background checks. No regulation of mag size (though I think they’re probably right this is pointless).

    I guess we should all be thankful they’re not rioting because full auto weapons are banned. Wanna roll that back too, JKB? Gosh, in a FREE country, they’d be legal! No goddamned government stopping you (or even slowing you down) from having your own belt-fed machine gun.

    Regarding background checks – I do think they’re pretty useless unless a record is kept (how do you charge someone with illegally selling a gun to someone who failed a background check if there is no record of the background check?). This, then, triggers the “gun registry!” argument.

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  61. JKB says:

    @Rob in CT: Wanna roll that back too, JKB? Gosh, in a FREE country, they’d be legal!

    Sure, why not. I don’t see much chance on that front though until automatic weapons start being used in real world crimes like they are in violent media. Then you could argue, right to self defense. Or police started carrying them as their duty weapons, then you could argue in common usage.

    But I would expect the government to have a lot of push back against such proposals. After all, the Federal Firearms License is a tax and the government is loath to give up a tax.

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  62. al-Ameda says:

    @matt: Incoherent? Not at all. You’d think that with 300 million guns in this country that we’d all feel a strong sense of safety and that we’d have low rate of gun-related violence – yet we do not. Go figure.

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  63. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: Overly simplistic “thinking” at it’s finest. Let me know if you decide to get serious about the subject.

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  64. grumpy realist says:

    @matt: Maybe we could at least keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons? And idiots who have shown themselves to be lunatics enough to not be allowed around guns? Dummies who think that shooting in the air is perfectly fine, not realizing that the pullet is going to have to come down somewhere?

    We’re not going to do anything about gun control in this country until some group like Al Qaeda takes full advantage of the incredible laxity we have about guns in this country.

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  65. al-Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al-Ameda: Overly simplistic “thinking” at it’s finest. Let me know if you decide to get serious about the subject.

    I am serious – we have 300 million guns in this country and we’re the most violent “advanced” country in the world. Yet gun owners “think” that more guns is the answer to all questions concerning gun regulation.

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  66. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: Well it’s clear you have no intention in having a conversation with anyone but yourself.

    @grumpy realist: NIC and other background check systems are already supposed to keep guns out of the hands of felons yet that appears to be failing (straw buyers who are rarely prosecuted etc)? How would you make it work then?

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