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Right of the People

guns-usa

In light of the recent murder incidents, including the firemen of today, I wanted to share some thoughts and solicit feedback on what the 2nd amendment means.

I should stress that I’m not an attorney and, as I said above, I just want to throw some thoughts on the table and solicit feedback.

The thing that got me thinking was a series of tweets by Nouriel Roubini where he states emphatically that the 2nd amendment doesn’t confer an individual right and he sets up a straw man by saying that if people can own any weapons, they should be able to own ALL of them, including nuclear weapons. Of course, no one is arguing this.

In fact, as I understand it, in the Heller decision Scalia didn’t overturn the machine gun ban and allowed for the fact that there will always be regulation of private firearm use. I don’t have a problem with any of that.

Now, to the point. Even though I’m a liberal these days, I’m not that far to the left. I am largely unbothered by the Heller decision because it still allows regulation of private firearm use, which I assume means that the courts will have to apply some sort of rational basis test on a case by case basis.

In reading Roubini’s tweets, I couldn’t get past one thing: the 2nd amendment contains the phrase “right of the people”. As best I can tell, that phrase occurs in two other places in the Bill of Rights: the 1st amendment and the 4th amendment. In each of those instances an individual right is conferred and, furthermore, they have been applied to the states via the 14th amendment.

My question is: if this phrase confers an individual right in the 1st and 4th amendments, why wouldn’t it in the 2nd?

That’s the main point of my post, but I want to add a couple of thoughts. My own stance is that I don’t own a gun and never will. While I agree that the 2nd amendment confers an individual right, it will be limited, Roubini’s straw man notwithstanding. I agree with most of the limits that have been batted around in the Twittersphere:

  • Assault weapons, as defined by Congress, should be banned. This would include weapons that can mimic a machine gun, without actually crossing that line, and others.
  • Armor piercing bullets (“cop killers”) should be banned except for military and police use.
  • High capacity clips should be banned, except for military and police use.
  • Secondary markets (gun shows, private sales) should be regulated in the same way as other firearm sales.

These restrictions will set some people’s teeth on edge, but so be it.

One final point: I’ve seen a lot of people argue that a ban will be ineffective. Basically, they’re saying since our solution won’t be perfect, we shouldn’t try at all. That’s the most infantile argument I’ve ever heard and it’s stupid to boot. There will be some trial and error in this, but if we can stop, or reduce the likelihood, of another Newtown, it’s worth doing.

*I’m not addressing another point – mental health – because I don’t have a lot of clear thoughts on it other than we don’t spend enough and it is too hard to involuntarily commit someone.*

Addendum: It’s already come up in the comments and it’s a favorite of gun enthusiasts: what is an “assault weapon?” Or, the definition is arbitrary.

Well, an assault weapon is what congress determines it to be, presumably in consultation with experts. As for it being arbitrary, we do this all the time. In the 1960s, congress determined that if your credit card is stolen you’re only liable for $50. Is $50 some miraculous number handed down by God? No. Congress determined it, as they will with what constitutes an assault weapon.

Related Posts:

About Robert Prather
Robert Prather formerly blogged at the now defunct Insults Unpunished and, unlike his co-blogger Dodd, can not kill a mime using only his thumb. Follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    If laws were the solution, none of this would have happened.
    and if we”re talking about banning guns, the record result there suggests its far from the way to go.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 33

  2. Blue Shark says:

    Robert,

    …in 1776 and before we are talking musket technology. The second amendment establishes a right to bear arms in a militia in a well regulated fashion. Period.

    …Imagine the response of any founding father to the murder of 20 1st graders with an assault weapon.

    …Today’s republican party is cringe worthy on so many levels, but on this one especially so.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 9

  3. legion says:

    These restrictions will set some people’s teeth on edge, but so be it.

    Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with the restrictions you lay out. Neither the right to bear arms nor any other right is without limit. The people whose teeth get set on edge need to grow the hell up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  4. @Eric Florack: Bithead, I addressed your comment in the post. It will require some trial and error, but doing nothing shouldn’t be an option.

    Only a slack-jawed survivalist needs the things listed above.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4

  5. legion says:

    @Eric Florack: And your counter-suggestion is… what? Change nothing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  6. Spartacus says:

    [Roubini] states emphatically that the 2nd amendment doesn’t confer an individual right and he sets up a straw man by saying that if people can own any weapons, they should be able to own ALL of them, including nuclear weapons. Of course, no one is arguing this.

    Roubini knows no one is arguing for nuclear weapons. And, he’s doing much more than setting up a straw man. He’s asking those who claim to be in favor of “reasonable” restrictions to justify the rather loose restrictions they advocate.

    I share Roubini’s position and I’ll post here a comment I posted on another thread at OTB:

    [Someone] may want to be in favor of “reasonable” restrictions, but when pressed he knows he cannot rationally justify any kind of restrictions because once he tries to explain why he would favor any particular type of restriction he would have to explain why that same rationale doesn’t justify a greater restriction.

    If you think fully automatic weapons or 30-round magazines should be outlawed, you’ll be hard pressed to explain why semi-automatic weapons or 12-round magazines shouldn’t also be outlawed. It’s not like you’re going to make the battle between a crazed gunman and unarmed first-graders a fair one just by limiting the gunman to a semi-automatic, 12-round magazine rifle.

    I went on to argue why it’s important to ask people why they’re willing to limit the kinds of restrictions they will impose:

    It forces people to answer what it is they’re trying to accomplish by enacting any kind of restriction. Once you acknowledge that the purpose of the restriction is to create a safer society, then you must answer whether the restriction you support is (a) effective and (b) whether it goes far enough.

    Most reasonable people will agree that outlawing fully automatic weapons and large magazines will make society safer, but there’s still an argument on whether such restrictions go far enough. Well, we know that the more restrictive the legislation, the greater the burden on gun owners. So, then, is the burden on gun owners outweighed by the benefit to the rest of society?

    I have yet to hear any poster or commenter at OTB argue that the benefit to society of very restrictive gun laws is outweighed by the burden on gun owners or those who want to own a gun. But I don’t think we’ll even have that argument unless we first come to grips with the fact that the “reasonable” restrictions that are usually discussed do not go far enough to create the benefit that we’re after.

    Now, I’ve readily admitted that practically and politically America is not yet at the point where we can pass, and enforce, the kind of restrictive laws that would limit gun access to the degree that we should. But we’re not going to move in that direction until we have an honest discussion about the balance of interests between gun owners and a safe society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  7. @Blue Shark: it doesn’t change the fact that rights are conferred. We need to establish those limits in a way that optimizes both gun owners’ rights and public safety.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  8. @legion: doing nothing is his argument and I addressed it in the post. I don’t think he read all, or any, of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  9. Argon says:

    What are a gun owner’s rights, specifically?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. Tsar Nicholas says:

    ■Assault weapons, as defined by Congress, should be banned. This would include weapons that can mimic a machine gun, without actually crossing that line, and others.

    Banned how? New sales? What about those already in circulation? Do we set up a federal gun police force to track them down and to confiscate them? Is a shotgun an “assault weapon?” What about a semi-automatic shotgun? What about exports to other countries? Is our goal to lay off a bunch of semi-skilled assembly line workers? Why not only ban new purchase-money sales of assault rifles unless limited to single-shot? Why the complete ban? Should fertilizer also be banned? Tim McVeigh killed a lot of people with fertilizer.

    ■Armor piercing bullets (“cop killers”) should be banned except for military and police use.

    Are magnum slugs also banned? If so we might cause a few people to be eaten by bears and other wild animals.

    ■High capacity clips should be banned, except for military and police use.

    Is a 10-round clip “high capacity?” Fifteen rounds? Seven rounds? It really would suck if someone defending against a home invasion, you know, got murdered simply because he ran out of ammo.

    ■Secondary markets (gun shows, private sales) should be regulated in the same way as other firearm sales.

    What about a sale from father to son or vice-versa? Among other family members? What about two Army comrades in arms exchanging guns or engaging in a private sale? Let’s say both fought together in Iraq. Or Vietnam. Or WWII. Same result? All private sales get regulated? Really? BTW, how do you enforce that? Which agency? ATF? IRS? Commerce? A new federal agency entirely?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 17

  11. @Argon: the right to own a gun within the law. Most of that will be hashed out by the courts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  12. @Tsar Nicholas: there are a number of ways to handle this, but as I said in the post, Congress will define what an assault weapon is based on expert testimony.

    Can magnum slugs pierce armor or kevlar?

    A ten round clip should be adequate. If more is need, they can buy additional clips. No one outside of the military or police needs a thirty round clip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  13. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    1) Re: Regulation: I would appreciate a specific explanation about how or when “regulation” is
    different from and precluded from becoming “salami-slicing”.

    2) Re: “The Right of the People” : What happens when this becomes “our people” or US
    Attorney General Holder’s personal favorite “my people”.

    What people who are disturbed by the Second Amendment seem to be unwilling to conceive of is what happens when the our governors become tyrants. Just as our Constitution organizes our government in a system of “checks and balances”, is not the right to have effective arms a balanced check ??? Nibbling away at the limited capability of individual’s firearms seems to progress just as local police forces are becoming more and more militarized with fully automatic weapons and armored vehicles. If the colonial militias which, to my knowledge were not under central government control, only had muskets, how now such militarized police forces.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  14. @11B40: of all the lame arguments in favor of guns, protection from tyrrany is the worst. What are you gonna do when the president lifts posse comitatus and a buch of insurrectionists have to face our military? We live in a constitutional democracy with adequate protections without having to arm a bunch of nuts.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 9

  15. David M says:

    @11B40:

    Let’s not plan for a civil war, that seems to be a bad idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  16. JKB says:

    @Argon: What are a gun owner’s rights, specifically?

    A citizen’s rights are to keep and bear arms. Which means to possess upon their own property firearms in a state where they can be ready for self defense. Also, ammunition for that firearm. They may also transport that firearm off their property for practice, maintenance and repair, and lawful uses.

    Carrying a firearm (having the firearm at hand or on the body in a ready state) off private property in public can be regulated but recent cases seem to indicate it cannot be prohibited out right

    Prior to Heller, a case from the late 1800s decided by the TN Supreme court had the most detailed decision. Glenn Reynolds wrote an article about it when Heller was being decided, perhaps he’ll post a new link?.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. john personna says:

    @Argon:

    Your question favors those who would regulate.

    The rights of gun owners are already lost in a nest of local, state, and federal law.

    Why can’t you wear a gun in a courthouse? Because someone determined that the courthouse had special safety concerns that overrode the right to keep and bear arms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Even on your own property you face limits. Shotguns have barrel length requirements, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. Murray says:

    Since we are in the legalese of all this. I too am not a lawyer, but by reading this:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    I see a single sentence, the first part of which clearly defines a context in which the second part should be understood.

    I would really appreciate a summary of the SCOTUS decisions that managed to dissociate “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” from “A well regulated Militia”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  20. JKB says:

    @Robert Prather:

    Not reliably but a .22 Long rifle can penetrate a kevlar vest. Slugs can penetrate vests. Almost all rifle shot can penetrate vests used by patrol police. The military use ceramic plates in their vest for rifle fire.

    That said, the FN five-seven is .223 cal and only one type of ammunition is authorized for non-government (unless licensed) use due to the armor penetrating capability of the rounds.

    Ten rounds? Adequate for what? How are you certain. The right size of magazine is on that holds 1 round more than required to stop the threat. If that is 30, then it is 30.

    This young lady found three 30 round magazines inadequate

    Police operate in the same environment as non-law enforcement citizens. Why do you think they should have more chances to stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to themselves than those citizens who choose not to work for the government?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  21. @Murray: I have to disagree. The first clause modifies only the second clause. The third clause is what address the people, and if the phrase “right of the people” confers an individual right in the 1st and 4th amendments, why not the 2nd?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  22. wr says:

    @Murray: “I would really appreciate a summary of the SCOTUS decisions that managed to dissociate “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” from “A well regulated Militia”.”

    It’s a very short summary: “We belong to a party that is funded in large part by money from gun manufacturers.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  23. @JKB: if thirty rounds are needed, buy three clips. The reload time in a massacre may be what gives the victims time to subdue the perpatrator. In the Loughlin case, where he shot congresswoman Giffords, Loughlin had a thirty round clip, but it jammed and that time allowed him to be subdued.

    You’re looking only at narrow individual areas without looking at the impact on society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  24. wr says:

    @Robert Prather: Why would the first clause modify only the second? That makes no sense at all, and introduces the only complete non-sequitur into the Bill of Rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. JKB says:

    @Murray: I would really appreciate to have a summary of the SCOTUS decisions that managed to dissociate “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” from “A well regulated Militia”.

    google up the Heller decision.

    I haven’t read all these recently but I expect it will give you the scope of the decision

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Murray says:

    @Robert Prather:
    I gave you the version as passed by Congress, how about the one ratified by the states

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. JKB says:

    @Robert Prather:

    Very large capacity magazines do that, they jam. A jam is often more disruptive than an empty magazine since it requires clearing and is unexpected.

    But it takes little time to swap magazines and if you do a bit of training, you do it before the other can react. Smaller capacity magazines also make it easier to ensure you swap while the last round is still in the chamber thus being available to meet an attack.

    But I’m glad you with your admitted lack of knowledge of guns know how many rounds it will take to stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury, even when with multiple attackers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  28. Trumwill says:

    The limits on ammo clips are without a doubt the strongest argument that gun control advocates have. I struggle to think of a good reason we shouldn’t do that except the fact that it won’t work and non-working half-measures invite more intrusive complete-measures.

    The problem with “assault weapons” is the lack of any worthwhile definition. The Assault Weapons Ban basically tried to delineate between icky-scary-people guns and okay-hunter-guns. When differentiating between the dangerousness of guns, I couldn’t care less if it contains a bayonette. The more I read about attempts to define what does and does not constitute an “assault weapon” the less consideration I give the notion.

    I am up in the air on regulating sales. The vast, vast majority of sales occur with little or no negative effect. What percentage of the time should something have to be abused before really cracking down on it? I am at least open to this one.

    Universal registration is a much tougher sell for me. I can support closing the gun sale loophole if it makes registration less necessary. I fear, though, that it would actually move us closer to it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. @Murray: See here. The comma is there right after the word militia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. @JKB: the reason large clips are needed is because people aren’t very good shots in the first place. Perhaps the NRA could train them rather than lobbying.

    I still think you have a very provincial view of this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  31. @Trumwill: see my addendum at the bottom of the post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. anjin-san says:

    Only a slack-jawed survivalist needs the things listed above.

    Guys who live in fear tend to adopt gun culture and military fantasies as a coping mechanism. They don’t have a real world need, but there is one in their heads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  33. anjin-san says:

    If laws were the solution, none of this would have happened.

    Gosh, I guess if laws were the answer, there would be no crime at all. No crimes would happen. Perhaps we should abandon the whole rule of law thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  34. legion says:

    If you are in a situation such that 30 rounds – or even 10 rounds – won’t stop your attackers, then no gun will help you. If your idea of “self-defense” is to dump 10 ot 20 rounds in the general direction of your attacker, then you are even more of a danger to society than the people attacking you. If you can’t be bothered to train with a gun – learn gun safety, aiming, keeping a cool head when it’s needed – then you cannot responsibly operate a gun. Period. If you think anything Robert has suggested would in any way make you less safe, then frankly, you’re a lousy gun owner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  35. Trumwill mobile says:

    Robert, I don’t consider “let congress define assault weapon however it wants to” to be a satisfying answer. They screwed it up last time. It’s an attempt to convey a meaning where there essentially is none. And a decsision to call rifles that aren’t assault rifles assault weapons. It’s a useful political term but not a useful policy distinction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Before I get in depth, I have 2 questions: How many here have witnessed a murder?

    2nd, how many here have witnessed a suicide?

    Let me say right now, I have “witnessed” both. I heard a man blow his wife away. Then I watched him blow his brains out. I walked up on “the scene of the crime”… He was still breathing but his brains were in the gutter, his wife was long gone….

    Their children???? I had to pick them up off the street, one by one by one….

    I still here their screams.

    For the record, he had a .30-30 lever action and shot 3 people (Keokuk street in south St. Lou) I have no doubt, if it had been an AR-15 a lot more people would be dead. Probably me among them. I was # uno on the crime scene.

    ps: I had a neighbor blow his brains out. I looked at his silhouette for a week. Didn’t know he was dead until the cops asked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  37. Peter says:

    @legion:
    There are a number of analyses of defensive shootings available online, and one thing I remember from reading several is that the great majority of such incidents involve only one or two shots being fired. In fact something like 98% of defensive firearms uses aren’t “shootings” at all because no shots were fired, the mere display of a weapon causing the criminal to skedaddle.
    In one analysis I read, covering about 450 defensive shootings in the late 1990′s, there was only one incident that required more than ten rounds to stop the attacker. The gun owner fired 17 shots, reloading a couple of times along the way.
    The attacker was an escaped lion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  38. stonetools says:

    @Trumwill mobile:

    The problem with “assault weapons” is the lack of any worthwhile definition.

    Of course, the solution to an imperfect definition is not NO definition. Its a BETTER definition. We can discuss what a better definition could be, but the gun cultists want to end the discussion by pointing out that the definition is imperfect -about “scaredy-looking ” guns that are actually, quite harmless, according to them (although in real life, they are great at slaughtering children).

    For the gun cultists, no definition would be perfect, so its unclear whether its even worth engaging with them. Have you, for example, ever heard of a gun cultist offering a better definition of ” assault weapon?”. Of course not, and I expect you never will.

    I am up in the air on regulating sales.

    Back in 1934, the Miller Act “banned” or at least, heavily regulated, the sales of fully automatic weapons, and various other types of military weapons . Do you have a problem with that?

    Sales of any kinds of guns to felons are barred. Any problem there?
    Sales of guns are already regulated. The argument now is for BETTER regulation.

    Universal registration is a much tougher sell for me.

    We’ve had universal regulation of cars for quite some time. Somehow we’ve managed to stave off tyranny, although the “government” knows WHERE YOU LIVE! as a result of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    My point is… People live, People die, but the vast majority of people have no idea what it means.

    I know. It means. Nothing. We are beside the point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. george says:

    @Eric Florack:

    If laws were the solution, none of this would have happened.
    and if we”re talking about banning guns, the record result there suggests its far from the way to go.

    So its grenades and nuclear weapons all around? Because there’s no point in making them illegal?

    The fact is, there are already limits on the kind of weapons allowed by the 2nd amendment (see grenades and nuclear weapons above). And some of the laws are fairly effective (again, see grenades and nuclear weapons above). The argument is over the placement of the line, not whether drawing such a line is constitutional or effective – because lines are already drawn with some types of arms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. stonetools says:

    @Trumwill mobile:

    Robert, I don’t consider “let congress define assault weapon however it wants to” to be a satisfying answer. They screwed it up last time. It’s an attempt to convey a meaning where there essentially is none.

    So its impossible for Congress to effectively define any category of firearm because ipse dixit

    Well, at least , you are honest about your bad faith. Awrighty then.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. george says:

    @JKB:

    Ten rounds? Adequate for what? How are you certain. The right size of magazine is on that holds 1 round more than required to stop the threat. If that is 30, then it is 30.

    But if she’d been allowed to buy grenades and IED’s it might have worked even better. So lets sell them in the local hardware store, as home improvement devices. Because you can always imagine a threat which takes a bigger bang to solve. Just imagine how much safer our streets would be if everyone could buy grenades and IED’s.

    If you don’t accept the right of society to put on limits to arms, why not nukes all around?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. Trumwill says:

    @stonetools:

    Have you, for example, ever heard of a gun cultist offering a better definition of ” assault weapon?”. Of course not, and I expect you never will.

    I’d offer a definition if I knew what, other than “scary-looking gun”, proponents were looking for. The term “assault rifles” already exists and the sale of them is heavily regulated. The entire term “assault weapon” comes across to me as a term that attempts to lump things that are not assault rifles into a very similar category without a definition of what, precisely, makes them more like assault rifles and less like guns-that-are-okay.

    Back in 1934, the Miller Act “banned” or at least, heavily regulated, the sales of fully automatic weapons, and various other types of military weapons . Do you have a problem with that?

    No. By “regulating sales,” I was referring specifically to the sorts of thing that Prather was lending his support to. I don’t support a completely unregulated gun market.

    Sales of any kinds of guns to felons are barred. Any problem there?

    I have mixed feelings. I think bans on gun sales to all ex-felons is problematic given that we have defined felonies down to the extent that we have. I don’t have a problem with banning sales to people convicted of violent felonies or gun-related felonies, but am not sure that I support the measures required to assure that they can’t get their hands on them.

    We’ve had universal regulation of cars for quite some time.

    I am unfamiliar with attempts to use car registration for the sake of confiscation and/or forced buy-backs. Nor are there nearly as many people that believe that private ownership of cars should be banned the same way that many people believe that the private ownership of guns should be banned. My concern with registration is specifically concerned with what it would lead to. If I were confident that it would not lead to anything, I would probably be supportive of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  44. Trumwill says:

    @stonetools: I don’t have a problem with a “fully-automatic weapon” ban because I know what that means. I don’t know what “assualt weapon” ban is because I don’t know what is meant by it. If congress can come up with a definition that really defines a class of guns that is uniquely dangerous – the same way that fully-automatic weapons are – then I could lend my support for it. I’ve already said that I could support actual things that make guns more dangerous – like larger magazine clips.

    If you want to take this as bad faith, feel free. I’m sorry that I have the temerity to have a different perspective on the issue than you do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  45. stonetools says:

    Its interesting that all the opponents of weapons safety regulation seem to pretty rapidly come to the conclusion that the concept of law itself is ineffective and unworkable.

    A news flash for the gun cultists:

    1. The Second Amendment is itself a kind of law
    2.It is notoriously not clear or unambiguous in its definitions.

    Should we then just throw it out as a bad job? I’m betting the gun cultists will say no.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  46. Trumwill says:

    I did want to add that despite my disagreement with portions of it, I consider Prather’s post here to be quite cogent and reasonable in tone and substance. Unlike a lot of others who say that they don’t really have a problem with guns or private gun ownership, I think that really is the case here as a matter of ideology and not just as a matter of political limitations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. legion says:

    @Trumwill: Indeed – aside from the nuts-and-bolts of defining “assault weapon” (despite the gun industry’s own ability of distinguishing a “hunting weapon” form a “home defense weapon” from a “personal defense weapon” from a “target weapon”…) I think this is the only form actual change can eventually take. How then should we address the hurdles? It shouldn’t be impossible to mollify the gun manufacturers – after all, the people who _want_ guns will still _buy_ guns, they’re just going to have to buy _different_ guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Trumwill says:

    @legion: Categorization as a matter of advertising and categorizing as a matter of legislation strike me as two different things. I can guarantee you that if you assigned legislation to the different marketing categories, the marketing categories would change pretty quickly. I genuinely find the vagueness of the term – especially as we talk about banning or allowing the guns based on whatever definition we come up with – as being very problematic to the discussion that’s supposed to be occurring.

    I’d really prefer the conversation focus on concrete characteristics a gun has that makes it particularly dangerous. That helps us delineate between those aspects of a gun that can represent a heightened danger – like magazine clip size – and those that merely make a gun scarier or seem more frivolous (bayonettes).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. Jim Henley says:

    @Peter:

    In fact something like 98% of defensive firearms uses aren’t “shootings” at all because no shots were fired, the mere display of a weapon causing the criminal to skedaddle.
    In one analysis I read, covering about 450 defensive shootings in the late 1990′s, there was only one incident that required more than ten rounds to stop the attacker.

    And in another analysis, a panel of experienced legal experts determined that the majority of “defensive gun-use incidents” were really unlawful intimidation, even granting the dubious premise that the respondents were giving a true, unbiased account of their actions.

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  50. Jim Henley says:

    @JKB:

    Why do you think they should have more chances to stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to themselves than those citizens who choose not to work for the government?

    1. Because of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Most of you people who think you are competent to responsibly “defend” against “threats” with guns aren’t. And the more sure you are, the less likely it is to be true.

    2. Armed cops are a huge social problem, despite probably being necessary to at least some degree. Why increase a huge social problem?

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  51. rudderpedals says:

    @wr:

    Why would the first clause modify only the second? That makes no sense at all, and introduces the only complete non-sequitur into the Bill of Rights.

    Could someone also clearly explain how the first clause modifies the second clause? There doesn’t seem to be a limiting principle at all, not in effect. Would anything be changed by erasing the first clause?

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  52. wr says:

    @stonetools: “Its interesting that all the opponents of weapons safety regulation seem to pretty rapidly come to the conclusion that the concept of law itself is ineffective and unworkable.”

    Shockingly, it’s the same when the conversation turns to raising taxes on the rich — simply no point, since they’ll just hire fancy accountants and get out of it, so why bother trying? It’s amazing how useless the law is when it comes to things they like.

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  53. @wr: I don’t think it’s a non-sequitur. To me, it appears that the second amendment does two things: it provides a right for the states to maintain their own militias (first and second clauses) and the third is related to the people. That’s how it appears to me.

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  54. Mike says:

    The assault weapon definition isn’t “arbitrary,” it’s pointless. An AR-15 is an “assault weapon,” a Ruger Mini 14 is not. They are literally identical, in both function and caliber, yet one is banned and the other isn’t. If you want to ban all semi-automatic firearms under the guise of an “assault weapons” ban, then fine, just come out and say it. But don’t try and play word games with stuff like “assault weapon.” It’s also worth pointing out that trying to tie assault weapons to machine guns like they’re some sort of legal loophole shows your ignorance on the issue; they are nothing similar. Here’s a really good educational video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yATeti5GmI8 (And it’s even by a law enforcement officer, not a “civilian gun cultist with penis issues” or whatever slur some around here would level at people who don’t think guns are literally nothing more than baby murdering machines.)

    And as far as “Congress determining what an ‘assault weapons’ is based on expert testimony,” this would be the same Congress that thought the internet is a series of tubes and that SOPA/PIPA was a great idea. Dianne Feinstein is to firearms what Lamar Smith is to the internet. All the (actual) experts will tell you that “assault weapons” literally have no common definition and your options are basically “don’t ban them” or “ban all semi-automatic firearms.” (The ATF expert in that video I linked above pretty much says exactly that.) Anything in between will be completely pointless…like literally, pointless, insofar as after an AWB passes I will still be able to go out and buy a gun that is functionally the same as one that is banned.

    Also armor piercing (sorry, “cop killer”) rounds have been heavily restricted (to the point of practically being available only to cops/military) at the federal level since 1968. And machine guns aren’t banned, just heavily regulated…and have been since 1934. I appreciate your civil tone, but you need to further educate yourself on the subject. Despite those that will attack these as “meaningless technical details from a gun fetishist” or whatever, the truth is that technical details matter, and if you want to have a law that actually does something you need to do the research necessary to understand the subject as opposed to just throwing scary sounding terms (“assault weapon,” “cop killer bullet”) out there and hoping something sticks.

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  55. Dave A says:

    @Robert Prather:
    How are you for an “assault weapons” ban while admitting that you don’t know what an “assault weapon” will be defined as? That line of thinking tends to bother people like me, who enjoy shooting but are open to an increase in regulation and new legislation. It sounds like “assault rifles sound bad, so let’s ban them. I don’t care how the legislation actually impacts what capabilities are banned or not.” That may not be what you intended, but it is the impression that I got. See this:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/21/just-say-no-to-dumb-gun-laws.html

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  56. Jack says:

    @Murray: A well educated electorate, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books, shall not be infringed. Now, does that mean only the electorate (people elegible to vote) can keep and read books, or does that mean the people are free to keep and read books, becasue a well educated electorate is necessary? If you say it means all people must be able to keep and read books, then the dependent clause of the 2nd amendment is supurflous to the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

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  57. Ernieyeball says:

    @Robert Prather: I always thought that the well regulated Militia of the 2nd Amendment was the same Militia mentioned in:

    Art. I Sec. 8 Par. 15,16
    The Congress shall have power…
    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
    and:
    Art. II Sec. 2 Par. 1
    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

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  58. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: If everyone else has divested themselves of “large capacity” magazines, then why do the military and police still need them? Isn’t my need for them as great as the need of the police?

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  59. Dave A says:

    Also, I don’t think that your addendum addresses concerns in the way that you think it does. The number chosen is somewhat arbitrary because there is no specific number that has any uniquely important role in question. The entire question in regards to “assault weapons” is that they are uniquely dangerous and worthy of banning. It’s being argued that it is a difference of kind not degree, as opposed to the credit card point you make in the addendum. If you can successfully ban high capacity magazines, “assault weapons” is irrelevant.

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  60. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    If everyone else has divested themselves of “large capacity” magazines, then why do the military and police still need them? Isn’t my need for them as great as the need of the police?

    No.

    Do you have any hard questions?

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  61. Jack says:

    @wr: Robert, take some basic English. This–> “A well regulated, militia being necessary to the security of a free state” is not a complete sentence. It is an incomplete thought, therefore it is dependent (dependent clause) on something else. This–> “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” is a complete sentence and is capable of standing alone without anything else. Therefore it is an independent clause. The first part is relies upon the second part in order to have a complete sentence. Thus, the dependent clause is an example only, for why the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

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  62. @rudderpedals: I think the answer to that is that militias are state entities, unless you want to go with every (white) male 18 or older.

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  63. Jack says:

    @legion: Luckily the oriental owned businesses in LA after teh Rodney King verdict were’nt being advised by you. Had the looter and rioters known that they only had ten rounds they would have burned down their businesses and looted their property.

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  64. @Mike: fine, forget assault weapons. Congress can go and ban weapons by name with the proviso that any weapon with the same essential attributes is banned as well. There you go.

    They would still have to give a name to these, even if it’s “banned weapons.”

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  65. Jack says:

    @stonetools: Unfortunatley, driving isn’t a right. Also, only those cars driven on public property are regulated. All others, to include my farm truck, are not regulated.

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  66. @Ernieyeball: I can’t tell if you’re agreeing with me or disagreeing. What you’ve put there certainly doesn’t contradict anything I’ve said before.

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  67. @Jack: you could argue the police don’t need them, but the military is different.

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  68. Jim Henley says:

    Amendment II is legitimately odd. It’s the only article in the Bill of Rights that evinces a need to explain itself. The founders were perfectly capable of writing the following:

    “Amendment II: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Tarted up with as many arbitrary commas as the typesetter had lying around. But they didn’t. They threw all that ungainly phrasal modifier in too. That’s weird. Even when I was a libertarian with a libertarian’s love of the 2nd Amendment, that seemed like it had to be significant.

    It’s not enough to just try to puzzle out what the specific point of the full text of II is. You also have to grapple with why it’s formally distinct within the Bill of Rights.

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  69. Jack says:

    @george: Strawman much? The courts have said, firearms. Not grenades, not grenade throwers, not IEDs, not nukes. You do know that flamethrowers are perfectly legal for anyone to own don’t you? A lunatic could do a lot of damage in a grade school with a perfectly legal flame thrower. Yet these are not regulated under the second amendment. Stick to firearms and don’t go all Piers Morgan on us.

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  70. @Jack: perhaps you should take some English lessons, as well as improve your googling skills. The entire text of the amendment:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    You’ll note there are four clauses in there (you omitted the last comma above). There are two distinct ideas here: the first two clauses refer to states; the third refers to people; and, the last brings these two ideas, as in neither shall be infringed.

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  71. Mike says:

    @Robert Prather:

    And what is the point? An AR-15 is literally equivalent functionally to a Mini-14, except the AR-15 looks like a “bad scary rifle” while the Mini-14 looks like a “good hunting rifle.” The only thing that matters functionally are the attributes that they are both semi-automatic rifles, chambered in 5.56, that are capable of accepting external magazines; all other “attributes” (things that were banned under the ’94 AWB like pistol grips, bayonet lugs, folding stocks, threaded barrel, etc) are purely cosmetic that do not impact the function of the weapon in the slightest.

    And if you want to ban those attributes…well, good luck (not only is banning semi-automatic weapons politically impossible, but you’re “banning” a 100+ year old technology…good luck with that). This is what I’m talking about when I say you need to educate yourself…I’m not trying to play semantic word games here, technical stuff like this matters. Did you watch the video I posted?

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  72. Jack says:

    @Ernieyeball: Robert, why would our founders limit the government (Bill of Rights) by saying that only the government can have a militia?

    A militia is effectively everyone over 16 that can defend their country. All militia members were expected to provide their own firearms.

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  73. @Jack: you assign too much significance to guns being rights. No right is without limitation and the decision that created the right to own a firearm (Heller) states as much. It will be limited and regulated for public safety.

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  74. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Jim, you don’t get to say no. That’s the point. No cop has any more right to defend himself than I do.

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  75. Mike says:

    I should add that the attributes that matter (semi-automatic rifle, chambered in 5.56, capable of accepting external magazines) are the ones that are shared by both rifles. The other ones (pistol grip, bayonet lug, etc) that are purely cosmetic are not shared by both rifles. Again, I hate to keeping referring back to the video but it does a better job of explaining this than I can in words. It isn’t a matter of semantics or playing word games as far as “assault weapons” or “banned weapons,” there are hard technical details that are going to be very hard to pin down, short of “banning” all semi-automatic firearms.

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  76. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: No there are two clauses and three apostraphies. A comma does not a clause make. Otherewise, this sentence, would contain three clauses.

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  77. @Jack: they’re still state entities as the text of the constitution says this:

    Art. II Sec. 2 Par. 1
    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

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  78. Jack says:

    @Jack: three commas… not apostraphies.

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  79. Jim Henley says:

    @Robert Prather: As an aside, gun fandom is fond of noting that “The second amendment says nothing about hunting.” Which is true. But it also says nothing about self-defense from crime. You can make a case it says “Wolverines!” or “tree of liberty, blood of tyrants, press Replenish” or “You can have whatever weapon your state deems necessary to fulfill your responsibilities to its militia.” But it says bupkis re self-defense.

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  80. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: That’s what the national guard is today. The state militia. A militia doesn’t have to be a formal entity. I am a militia of one, regulated neither by a state or a federal entity.

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  81. Jack says:

    And still no one has answered teh following. They just seem to ignore it.

    A well educated electorate, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books, shall not be infringed. Now, does that mean only the electorate (people elegible to vote) can keep and read books, or does that mean the people are free to keep and read books, becasue a well educated electorate is necessary? If you say it means all people must be able to keep and read books, then the dependent clause of the 2nd amendment is supurflous to the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

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  82. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Mr. Prather, others have addressed your proposals piecemeal, and covered much of what I want to say, but I’m going to take them on one by one.

    Assault weapons, as defined by Congress, should be banned. This would include weapons that can mimic a machine gun, without actually crossing that line, and others.

    “Assault weapons” is a meaningless term. As others have alluded to, many of the defining characteristics of an “assault weapon” are purely cosmetic and do little or nothing to the weapon’s utility for mass murder. Bayonet mounts? A flash suppressor? A pistol grip? The gun manufacturers made trivial changes and kept selling effectively the same guns — after they pumped out a whole bunch of the old ones before the ban, which were snatched up by gullible buyers.

    Armor piercing bullets (“cop killers”) should be banned except for military and police use.

    I can go along with this one, but I’m sure that people will find loopholes — such as making a trivial change to the ammo, change the name, and keep selling effectively the same stuff.

    High capacity clips should be banned, except for military and police use.

    As noted, these tend to be more trouble than asset — they jam more easily, make the gun heavier and bigger, and are more sensitive to damage. Plus, there are zillions of these already in circulation. Part of that is because of the prior ban, when people suddenly NEEDED them because they were about to be banned, and manufacturers went into overdrive to meet that demand.

    Secondary markets (gun shows, private sales) should be regulated in the same way as other firearm sales.

    You don’t use the phrase”gun show loophole,” but you seem to allude to it. That “loophole” is a myth, as the very same laws that cover gun sales outside of gun shows apply there, too — dealers must do background checks, private sellers don’t. Gun shows just make it easier for buyers and sellers to find each other.

    But for the idea that ALL gun sales should be subjected to the same laws as dealers… that just won’t work. We have laws that limit how many guns someone can buy and sell before they legally qualify as a dealer, and that’s good. We have laws that regulate the hell out of dealers, and that’s also good. (We also have a BATFE that has a history of bullying gun dealers into making gun sales they KNOW are bad — see Fast and Furious — but that’s another issue.) But to require every single gun sale to effectively go through a dealer? That’s simply not feasible. The only solutions I can see to that would cost billions and billions, and most likely achieve very little — most people who commit gun crimes get their guns illegally already.

    I don’t have a magic solution to make these problems go away. But just because I don’t know what will work, doesn’t mean I can’t see what won’t work. And most of the current “proposals” (“demands” would be more honest) simply won’t work. Partly because they go after superficial elements and irrelevancies, partly because they are too impractical, partly because they’re unconstitutional.

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  83. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: Again, why would our founders limit the government (Bill of Rights) by saying that only the government can have a militia?

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  84. @Jack: I don’t see any apostrophies. Just three commas.

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  85. @Jack: I answere that here: @Robert Prather:

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  86. @Jack: on top of this, I don’t see why you’re banging on me. I agree that people should be allowed to own guns. Why are you talking to me about militias?

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  87. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: Yes, that was what I meant, and clarified in the immediate followup comment.

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  88. Spartacus says:

    @Mike:

    An AR-15 is an “assault weapon,” a Ruger Mini 14 is not. They are literally identical, in both function and caliber, yet one is banned and the other isn’t. If you want to ban all semi-automatic firearms under the guise of an “assault weapons” ban, then fine, just come out and say it.

    @Dave A:

    @Robert Prather:
    How are you for an “assault weapons” ban while admitting that you don’t know what an “assault weapon” will be defined as?

    You both make excellent points. While I’m at the other end of the spectrum in that I want to restrict gun access as much as possible, and I want to make the guns that are available the least lethal possible, the arguments I’ve heard thus far for “reasonable” restrictions are discouraging. It seems that people want to pass some kind of gun law without first settling on what harm it is that we’re trying to prevent and then tailoring a law that that would effectively meet that goal.

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  89. @Jenos Idanian #13: then the law simply needs to be written better this time around.

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  90. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: I’m just replying as fast as I can to whomever made a post.

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  91. @Jim Henley: excellent point Jim. The gun enthusiasts tend to take self defense for granted when it’s not mentioned anywhere.

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  92. Mike says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s worth mentioning that armor piercing ammunition (ACTUAL armor piercing ammunition, not “cop killa teflon coated hollowpoints” or whatever crap the Bradys are trotting out today) is already heavily regulated and for all practical purposes restricted to LE/military. Like I think I’ve said that probably 5 or 6 times here yet people still think that it isn’t restricted or something. It has been this way since 1968. And they did so by banning it based on solid technical attributes, not brand names or meaningless cosmetic details (like the AWB). Armor piercing ammo, as defined by the ATF, is “A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.” So regardless of what you call it or if you make some trivial change to the composition, if your ammunition is technically capable of penetrating body armor it is regulated/restricted.

    (Although as others have pointed out any rifle, including a single shot hunting rifle, will more than likely be able to penetrate the kevlar vests that your average cop wears because it is only designed to be capable of providing protection from most handgun ammunition…you need ceramic plates, like the SAPI/ESAPI plates the military wears, to provide protection against rifle fire, and those are going to be far too heavy/bulky for your average street cop.)

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  93. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: Still not finding an answer…A well educated electorate, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books, shall not be infringed. Now, does that mean only the electorate (people elegible to vote) can keep and read books, or does that mean the people are free to keep and read books, becasue a well educated electorate is necessary? If you say it means all people must be able to keep and read books, then the dependent clause of the 2nd amendment is supurflous to the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

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  94. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    Jim, you don’t get to say no. That’s the point. No cop has any more right to defend himself than I do.

    I get to say no if I have the votes. I get to say no in re the cops too, with the same proviso.

    Both you and the cops are a danger to others. The cops have the only somewhat persuasive defense that:

    a) they are formally responsible for the safety of people beyond themselves
    b) they train continually enough that there’s at least a chance they’re competent enough to do less harm than good
    c) there are examiners empowered to strip weapons from police officers they deem unworthy of possessing them

    These limitations aren’t as good as they could be because of institutional culture and politics, but they’re at least something.

    You don’t have this safety net underneath you. I justifiably presume you to be incompetent to wield a weapon with an eye toward “self-defense” anywhere until and unless you can demonstrate that you undergo at least the same level of continuous training a police officer undergoes. That means re-qualifying every month or so under the eyes of examiners You should justifiably presume the same of me. I reluctantly – and I stress reluctantly – leave your family to their own devices: that is to say, if you imagine guns in your home are “protecting” it, I’m not willing to come in and take them from you. I apologize to your family: their risk of falling victim to murder, accident or suicide is higher than it would be if you didn’t have those guns. But that’s on you and them.

    But I sure as, er, shooting, don’t want you toting the damn things out where the rest of us are. We truly do not need your help – at least, not that kind of help.

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  95. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: Why would a government tell you that you cannot defend yourself? A firearm is the most effective manner to do that sometimes. Therefore…gun = self defense.

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  96. anjin-san says:

    @ Robert

    then the law simply needs to be written better this time around.

    Nah, it’s too hard. We should just give up.

    Welcome to tea party America…

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  97. @Jack: alright, I’ll address this if you can tell me why you’re obsessing over it. We agree that people have a right to own guns.

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  98. Ernieyeball says:

    @Robert Prather: I am not a Constitutional Scholar. I just read what it says.
    If the “well regulated Militia” of the 2nd Amendment is the same Militia of Articles I and II (what else could it be?) it seems that those that “keep and bear Arms” would be subject to training by the States “according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

    Isn’t that what the Constitution says?

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  99. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Cops are NOT responsible for the safety of others. They have no legal requirement to come to anyone’s defense.

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  100. @Jack: I’m not saying they would, I was just agreeing with Jim that it isn’t mentioned and therefore doesn’t make a strong case for gun ownership, at least constitutionally.

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  101. @anjin-san: God, I hope you’re wrong.

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  102. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: JIm we are not a democracy. The wolves don’t get to decide to have the sheep for dinner. I never signed on for a suicide pact with my citizenship. Votes or not, which by the way are not there, you will never take my firearms unless they are lead first. You volunteering to lead the charge? I thought not.

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  103. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack: Fair enough. Like I said, I am totally willing to support reducing the level of law-enforcement armament. Let’s take that up as a separate crusade, shall we?

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  104. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: yet, there are those who don’t believe it, and those that say only the militia can have them. Not picking nits.

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  105. @Ernieyeball: why does it say “right of the people” which was the original intent of this post. Everywhere else in the BoR this phrase confers an individual right. Why not here?

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  106. Jack says:

    @Ernieyeball: Whatever milita the Congress calls up then are no longer militia. They then become standing army. Just like when state guard troops ar called up. The milita in teh 2nd are not the same as those in Article II.

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  107. @Jack: that’s what I’ve been saying all along. The way the clauses break down it distinguishes between a militia and the people.

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  108. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    JIm we are not a democracy. The wolves don’t get to decide to have the sheep for dinner. I never signed on for a suicide pact with my citizenship. Votes or not, which by the way are not there, you will never take my firearms unless they are lead first. You volunteering to lead the charge? I thought not.

    Your willingness to murder people in defiance of what would, at that point, be the law of the land is noted – or at least your braggadocio in that direction, tough guy. Do you imagine this braying supports your case that ordinary citizens can totally be entrusted with firearms?

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  109. Jack says:

    @Robert Prather: 100% agreement from me on that one Robert.

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  110. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Jim, this is what’s called an IF/THEN statement. If this happens, then this is what I would do. Just a the SCOTUS said that it’s not threatening the president to say that if “Johnson forces me to carry a gun, he’ll be the first one I shoot” in reference to being called up during Vietnam, I am not threatening anyone. It seems so easy for you to take away something I hold dear. The BOR does not confer SHIAT on the people. These belong to the people before the BOR. Therefore I will keep my guns even if teh 2nd is repealed as it is a law of nature. You don’t have to like it, you must simply accept it.

    Finally, I’m not just a 2nd supporter. I support them all. There are some less threatened today (3rd) than others, 2nd, 4th, 5th) but I served and will defend all of them until I die.

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  111. Mike says:

    @Spartacus:

    Technical details matter. Like I said in another thread, it amuses me that the same people who are more than willing to mock Congress when they pass laws that show their ignorance of an issue, like the internet or civil liberties, will turn around and proudly maintain their willful ignorance when it comes to firearms.

    If you want to ACTUALLY do something about gun violence, the solution isn’t a new AWB or high capacity mag ban, because despite the media circus mass shootings are a statistically insignificant event (children are more likely to be killed by hand by their own parents than by a firearm in the hands of a mass shooter), it’s dealing with handgun violence in urban areas. And before anyone says “well ban handguns” I think it’s worth pointing out that the vast majority of that violence is committed by people who have obtained firearms illegally, in violation of the laws that are already on the books. So maybe the solution isn’t to pass new laws to say we’re “doing something,” it’s doing the hard work of dealing with the socio-economic situation that creates the grounds for that violence while also supporting increased enforcement of the laws that are already on the books.

    To that end, as an ardent gun rights supporter I’d be alright with doing away of legal face to face with no background check sales in favor of a Canadian style PAL system, where everyone has to take a (easily available and low cost) safety course and pass the standard background check (basically the NICS check you have to pass now to purchase a firearm from a dealer), at which point you get a little card that basically serves as a mini-FFL. In order to buy a gun, either at a gun shop or non-dealer, in person or over distance, you have to show your PAL. It would close the “gun show loophole” (which as others have pointed out isn’t really a “loophole” at all) while simultaneously actually making it easier for law abiding citizens to purchase firearms since now you wouldn’t be required to go through an FFL for interstate transactions (which can be a hindrance because in some areas there are limited FFLs and they charge exorbitant rates for transfers) since all law abiding citizens would have a PAL.

    There are still issues with it in practice, but it would be so much more productive if we were talking about that or a whole society approach to tackle urban violence as opposed to freaking out over “ASSAULT WEAPONS AND HIGH CAPACITY LOUGHNER STYLE ASSAULT CLIPS THE CHILDREN!!!!!!111″ that won’t actually do anything effective in practice.

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  112. anjin-san says:

    I never signed on for a suicide pact with my citizenship.

    I like my guns, but I don’t see how giving them up would be “suicide” – perhaps you could elaborate…

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  113. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Jim, just like people defy drug prohibitions? Just like they defied alcohol prohibitions? You cannot prohib a person from defending themselves. A firearm is the natural extension of self defense. Please, name one other item that is concealable, able to be used by the young and old, that puts a 270 pound linebacker and a 14 year old girl on the same footing?

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  114. Ernieyeball says:

    @Robert Prather: I guess it therefore does not mean “you have the individual right to bear arms as long as you follow the rules prescribed by Congress”

    This would seem to make Art. I Sec. 8 Par. 16 meaningless.

    I suppose there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech or the press regarding slander or libel.

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  115. Jack says:

    @anjin-san: anjin, criminals and the governemnt..but I digress, will still have them. I will then become helpless to their demands.

    There are two ways to get someone to do what you want, convice then through conversation, or force. When someone knows they don’t have to do the first, they will rely on force to get you to do whatever they want. I will not become a serf to government and thieves in my own country.

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  116. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    You don’t have to like it, you must simply accept it.

    You keep telling me that I must do things that I don’t actually have to do. I do not actually have to believe that your (or my!) right to firearms was burped out by the Big Bang or chiseled onto part of the tablet that broke off when Moses went to pick it up or muttered as an aside by Krishna to Arjuna during the really loud part there during the big battle.

    But if we do manage genuine disarmament laws in this country, I promise not to hold you to your ex ante pronouncement! Come the day, you may realize that it’s not actually so terrible to not have a bunch of semi-automatic weapons around, and I’d hate for that self-destructive male stubbornness we’re all prey to to make you feel obligated to do something stupid.

    Because, besides: drones. I’m just sayin’. ;)

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  117. Jack says:

    @Ernieyeball: There are no restrictions. Or to be more precise, there are no prior restraints. Meaning, I can say or write whatever I want. Only afterward will I face the consequences.

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  118. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Again, please be the first in line to get them. We’ll see. You threaten me and I will fight back. Taking my posessions (5th ammendment) and leaving me defenseless is a threat. I will fight back.

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  119. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    Jim, just like people defy drug prohibitions? Just like they defied alcohol prohibitions?

    In fact, we could make all of us a lot safer by ending drug prohibition than by doing our damnedest to increase Bushmaster’s annual revenue.

    You cannot prohib a person from defending themselves.

    Nor do I desire to. I just want to keep people from carrying guns around. In fact, limiting the number of guns in circulation is the best self-defense there is.

    A firearm is the natural extension of self defense.

    See, here is where you go very, very wrong. I’m not going to link it again, so search “Dunning-Kruger Effect.” And check the video on the front page of Wonkette now. You’ll know which one as soon as you see it.

    Please, name one other item that is concealable, able to be used by the young and old, that puts a 270 pound linebacker and a 14 year old girl on the same footing?

    We haven’t even named one yet, since a gun doesn’t do that.

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  120. @Ernieyeball: I’m not sure what you’re talking about, I’ve been clear that I favor restrictions. Did you not read the post and just dive into the comments? Anyway, I’m getting worn out.

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  121. Ernieyeball says:

    The milita in teh 2nd are not the same as those in Article II.

    Art. I Sec. 8 Par. 16
    The Congress shall have power…

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
    —-
    Which Militia is mentioned in this clause?

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  122. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Link to all you want…five, a hundred times. You cannot with a straight face tell me I can more effectively defend myself against a thug, a group of thugs, a home intruder, or anyone else without a gun than with one. And yes, a gun does make a 14 year old girl equal to a 270 pound linebacker. That 270 pound dude cannot do what he wants as long as that girl has the ability to defend herself with a gun.

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  123. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    Again, please be the first in line to get them. We’ll see. You threaten me and I will fight back. Taking my posessions (5th ammendment) and leaving me defenseless is a threat. I will fight back.

    Jack, despite myself, I’m starting to like you. It’s in that spirit that I say, Dude, get over yourself. You’re not impressing anyone with your “cold, dead fingers” routine. Also your confusion about the meanings of “threaten” and “defenseless” really does make you sound like a bit unhinged. You’ll end up in Mister LaPierre’s database.

    And your misprision of the 5th amendment is embarrassing. Obviously if we got to the point of confiscation there would have been due process. Personally I favor buybacks in combination with a ban on new sales (and heavy taxes on ammo) rather than confiscation. I’m willing to let the process of disarmament work itself out over the course of a generation – or two! – because I don’t actually want to start a new civil war. But either way, the 5th doesn’t come into it.

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  124. Jack says:

    @Ernieyeball: We now call these milita reservists/national guard. They are supplied and trained by the federal government then subordinated to the states until called for federal service.

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  125. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    Link to all you want…five, a hundred times. You cannot with a straight face tell me I can more effectively defend myself against a thug, a group of thugs, a home intruder, or anyone else without a gun than with one.

    You’re not properly sighted-in.

    And yes, a gun does make a 14 year old girl equal to a 270 pound linebacker. That 270 pound dude cannot do what he wants as long as that girl has the ability to defend herself with a gun.

    Here again: you don’t even spec the proper dimensions of the problem.

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  126. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: You cannot have a buyback of something you never owned. Additionally, you cannot force me to sell anything but through emminent domain…at least according the that nasty old Constitution thing.

    Forcing me, through a vote or not, to give up something is a threat. We;ve had a vote, and all white people have to move out of their homes and sign them over to minorities. You have effectively threatend my life, safety, and family. When doing so, you will have those who are will to die and kill to defend what they have. There is no confusion over threaten/defend.

    A full ban on guns/semi autos will never happen. There is a BOR for a reason. Get over it and move on. We had this conversation and your side lost!

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  127. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack: Buybacks would be voluntary. That’s why I said I’m willing to let it take a generation. Also, the conversation isn’t actually over. It never is.

    Your choice of example – white people being voted out of their homes? – is, though, kinda weird, man.

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  128. Jack says:

    @Jack: OK Jim. Apparently you need it spelled out. A 14 year old girl, at home alone. A 270 pound thug comes breaking through the family room window intent on who knows what. There is no other object available that a 14 year old girl can use that will STOP the 270 pound assailant like a firearm, especially if the thug is armed as well.

    Have I spec’d the proper dimension for you?

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  129. Jim Henley says:

    Re “the conversation”: http://www.whoarethispeople.com/blog/blogimages/watchmen-nothing-ever-ends.jpg

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  130. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: How can you, as you have so clearly written above, advocate a law that makes it illegal to own something and then have a voluntary buy back? At that point I am forced to either participate in teh buy back or break the law. Afterwards, the police state will come knocking and take whatever guns I own and put me in prison for breaking your utopian law. That is force and that is a threat.

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  131. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Jim, this is a Democracy…we had a vote….you don’t like the result…to bad. If a segment of the society can vote to take away my means of self defense they can also vote to take away my belongings.

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  132. stonetools says:

    The assault weapon definition isn’t “arbitrary,” it’s pointless. An AR-15 is an “assault weapon,” a Ruger Mini 14 is not. They are literally identical, in both function and caliber, yet one is banned and the other isn’t. If you want to ban all semi-automatic firearms under the guise of an “assault weapons” ban, then fine, just come out and say it. But don’t try and play word games with stuff like “assault weapon.”

    First of all, I think we should all understand that there can be no such thing as a perfect legislative definition. Yes, Virginia, there are no perfect laws. The gun cultists seem to argue that unless Congress comes up with a perfect definition of what an assault weapon is, there can be no further regulation of such firearms. Its plain to see that their objections are self-serving, especially since they insist ahead of time that its impossible to define and categorize such firearms in any way.
    Now why was the “assault weapon” definition “arbitrary”? Its because like most laws – including even the Second Amendment-Praise Be Unto It- its the product of compromise. The pro-ban legislators compromised with the gun lobby to to produce compromise legislation. Since then, the gun lobby has relentlessly attacked definitions which they agreed to as inadequate and unclear.
    Now it is certainly possible for the legislators to create bright line definitions of firearms to be regulated -such as all semi-automatic weapons. We can expect the gun lobby to instantly object to such a definition as being ” too rigid”and ” too broad” and to ask for “common- sensical ” and “limited” exceptions.Once such exceptions are made, the gun lobby will then attack the “assault weapon” definition as being “confusing”, etc. Its a game those advocating for gun safety regulation can never win, because gun cultists oppose any gun safety legislation, period. If James Madison came back from the dead and approved the legislation, the gun cultists would still oppose it.
    .

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  133. Jack says:

    @stonetools: You confuse the terms gun safety with gun control. Safety means, among other things, not pointing it at anyone I don’t want dead. What you want is gun control. Let’s not focus group this and change the terms mid stream.

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  134. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    Have I spec’d the proper dimension for you?

    Not even close. You’ve merely demonstrated even less reason even someone with some military experience in their background should be trusted to possess firearms, let alone anyone else.

    Proper dimensions:

    1. Odds this event happens.
    2. Odds that girl can get to weapon in time.
    3. Odds that girl can wield weapon effectively in time.
    4. Odds that girl could have escaped out the back door if she hadn’t foolishly tried to go for the weapon.
    5. Odds the girl’s unsuccessful use of a firearm enrages the thug into inflicting more harm than he would have otherwise.
    6. Odds that the girl doesn’t harm herself in her panic.
    7. Odds that the girl doesn’t harm another resident of the house in her panic.
    8. Odds that during all the days and nights no “linebacker” is crashing through the door, the gun’s presence leads to an accident.
    9. Odds that during all the linebacker-less days and nights the gun becomes the thing a domestic dispute escalates to.
    10. Odds that, during all that etc., someone in the house realizes the gun is handy when they feel suicidally low.
    11. Odds that, because someone knows there’s a gun in the house, someone decides to target it for theft.
    12. Odds that, because there’s a gun in the house, someone in the house murders the other residents to get the guns for a spree killing.
    13. Stuff I haven’t even thought of.

    Item 12 is the least likely though it is exactly the fate of Nancy Lanza. Item 2 and Items 8-10 stand in inverse relation: the better the odds of getting to the gun during this break-in, the less secured the weapon is against accident, temper tantrum or fugue. Item 3′s odds are simply low in an absolute sense. And so on.

    If you said, “My electro-suit means any mugger who tries to touch me will suffer a debilitating shock and you dare not take away my self-defense,” my response would be, “Jack, bubelah, you keep zapping random people on the subway.”

    A gun is just an electro-suit.

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  135. Jack says:
  136. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack: I’m going to spell out the legal regime in my hypothetical as clearly as possible in hopes of clearing up your confusion.

    1. Ban on new sales of [whatever type(s) of gun].
    2. No ban on possession of guns in Step 1. It is still legal to possess them.
    3. Voluntary purchase of those gun types from owners using government funds. If you want to sell, to the government, you may.

    Over time, the incidence of possession of those types of guns declines. In some cases it’s from the owners voluntarily divesting themselves. (Between 1980 and 2010, households owning guns declined from 50% to 30%. So voluntary disarmament happens.) In other cases it’s because even guns eventually get old and break. Population growth and new household formation further reduce gun (of that type) ownership in percentage terms.

    This takes a long time. I wish it took less time. But I have no desire to have a War on Guns augment or replace the War on Drugs. I’d like to end the War on Drugs already.

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  137. stonetools says:

    @Robert Prather:

    The gun enthusiasts tend to take self defense for granted when it’s not mentioned anywhere.

    You should understand that according to the gun cultists, the Second Amendment enshrines not only the right to hunting and self defense, especially against those people, but also the right to keep and bear semi-automatic weapons in particular. Its all there, if you use the right decoder ring.

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  138. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack: Oh Jack, you don’t win sh;t. I can find plenty of anecdotes about gun use gone wrong. Is it that you really don’t understand probabilities? Most people are pretty innumerate. The fact that you think a handful of anecdotes somehow answers all the dimensions of risk I outlined above suggests that you just have trouble thinking statistically. As does your obsession with low-probability responses to low-probability events. (Home invasions of all things!)

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  139. Ernieyeball says:

    @Jack: And the Militia of the 2nd Amendment is you and your muzzle loader?

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  140. Argon says:

    @Jack:

    Please, name one other item that is concealable, able to be used by the young and old, that puts a 270 pound linebacker and a 14 year old girl on the same footing?

    A taser? A lawyer? A cop in the bushes?
    And why does ‘it’ have to be concealable? And why would a 14 year old be allowed to carry a concealed, lethal weapon?

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  141. Jack says:

    @stonetools: Semi-auto weapons are the most popular weapons in use. Therefore the people have a right to them. What don’t you understand. The 2nd says nothing about hunting. It’s there to defend against an autocratic government, like we are seeing today with the numerous Czars (yes, they’ve been around for decades) and presidential signing statement saying this doesn’t apply to me.

    So in your world a weapon is only allowed to be used against other countries invading us? Then why does our military and police have them. We have not been threatend with invasion for over 150 years.

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  142. Jack says:

    @Ernieyeball: I don’t see muzzle loader in teh 2nd. Nor do I see radio, TV, or internet in the 1st.

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  143. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: To use a phrase of the leaft…”but it’s for the children.” If having a gun available saves just one life…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  144. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: You end the war on drugs and most of the gun crime seen today will cease to exist. No need to repeal the 2nd.

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  145. Jack says:

    @Argon: You want to call a lawyer or a cop with a thug breathin down on you? You do that and tell me how it goes. A taser, while semi effective against one assailant, will not help you if there are two or more. Next question.

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  146. Jack says:

    @Argon: Argon, if you’re going paraphrase what I say, please use more than the bare minimum. I said young and old. And why shouldn’t a 14 year old, with proper training, be able to use a gun? Besides, all guns, until thay are retrieved are in effect concealable.

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  147. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    To use a phrase of the leaft…”but it’s for the children.” If having a gun available saves just one life…

    Yeah, that trick doesn’t work on me. I’ll bet it wows them in the Townhall comment threads though.

    Also, would you please serve as neutral arbiter in a dispute from earlier in the thread?

    @Jack: JIm we are not a democracy.

    @Jack: Jim, this is a Democracy…

    I hate to see these kinds of disagreements fester.

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  148. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    You end the war on drugs and most of the gun crime seen today will cease to exist.

    Hey. A point of agreement! Sweet!

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  149. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    You confuse the terms gun safety with gun control. Safety means, among other things, not pointing it at anyone I don’t want dead. What you want is gun control. Let’s not focus group this and change the terms mid stream.

    I’m following James Fallow’s wise counsel and not letting the gun cultists define the terms in a way politically advantageous to them. The legislative scheme I prefer would not “control” guns at all- just limit ownership of semi-automatic weapons to those that show themselves capable of being safe and responsible owners which is why I call my approach “gun safety” or “responsible gun owner ” legislation . More Fallows:

    I will henceforth and only talk about “gun safety” as a goal for America, as opposed to “gun control.” I have no abstract interest in “controlling” someone else’s ability to own a gun. I have a very powerful, direct, and legitimate interest in the consequences of others’ gun ownership — namely that we change America’s outlier status as site of most of the world’s mass shootings. No reasonable gun-owner can disagree with steps to make gun use safer and more responsible. This also shifts the discussion to the realm of the incremental, the feasible, and the effective.

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  150. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Jim, 1) a ban on new sales requires a repeal of the 2nd. To do that you need 2/3 of both houses and 2/3 of the 50 states. It will not happen. 2) There are over 30 million firearms in the US today. We can’t round up 12 million illegals, yet 30 million guns are going to be turned in? At $100 apiece, that’s $3,000,000,000 or more than our annual federal budget. We don’t have better things to do with that money? What happens to the guns then? Does Eric Holder get to take them to Mexico?

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  151. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Semi-auto weapons are the most popular weapons in use

    {Citation needed}

    I know gun cultists tend to cream their pants over semi-automatic weapons. Indeed according to this ad an AR15 re-issues a buyer’s man card, for those who need that sort of thing. But there are a lot more bolt-action rifles and shotguns out there than there are semi-autos, IIRC

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  152. Jack says:

    Jim,

    1) To ban new sales you must repeal the 2nd. This takes 2/3 of both houses and 2/3 of the 50 states. Not gonna happen. Will cause a civil war.
    2) There are 30 million guns in the US. We can’t find 12 million illegals yet 30 million will voluntarily hand them in?
    3) At $100 per gun that equals $3,000,000,000 which is more than the federal budget. We don’t have better things for that money? What then happens to teh bought back guns? Does Eric Holder get to ship them to Mexico?

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  153. Jack says:

    @stonetools: Semi autos are also handguns. You said semi autos not semi auto rifles. Yes of course, I own all the guns I have to compensate for the size of my penis. Why do you guys always go there? Can’t I have guns because I enjoy shooting them? Because I will not subcontract my safety and that of my family to the police who are under zero obligation to come to my aid? Can’t I have them becasue I like to collect them? The reason I have them are those and because I CAN. I don’t need anyone’s permission or blessing. I am not Oliver Twist saying “please sir, may I have another?” Just like I don’t need anyone’s permission to drive my SUV earthF^&ker that get 14 miles to the gallon. I will not subserviate myself to the whim of those who are pushing the pussification of the american male.

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  154. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    1. Nope. You can “keep and bear” existing arms. Also, I never said I would ban ALL types of guns. So Amendment II doesn’t come into it. You’ll still be able to buy bolt-action rifles, revolvers and breach-loading shotguns yay! So will the cops…

    2. Nope, there’s 300 million guns – 10 times more than your figure. I’m surprised you got that wrong. ;)

    Also, you seem to really not be absorbing what I’m saying about “willing to take a generation” here, or that I’m not talking imagining a reduction to zero. Please try to clear your misconceptions about what I must mean and pay attention to what I do mean.

    3. At $100 per gun that would be $30 billion. Over, as I said, as much as a generation. But honestly, we’d probably have to pay 10 times that, so $300 billion, right? EXCEPT!

    a) I said not all gun types, remember?
    b) Clearly not everyone will sell.
    c) There actually aren’t a lot of clearly worse investments for $20-200Bn over 2-3 decades, since an America with fewer guns is measurably safer. (Rates of household gun ownership, rates of violent crime and even rates of mass shootings all declined steadily together in the 3 decades beginning in 1980.) Annual GDP is presently, what? $16Tn? So 30-year real GDP will be more than $500Tn. We can swing spending less than 1/10 of 1% of that over that period.
    d) Eric Holder? Mexico? Can you please find at least one way to suggest that “gun-owner” and “wingnut” are not identities?

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  155. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    I will not subserviate myself to the whim of those who are pushing the pussification of the american male.

    Aw, that takes me back, man. This whole thing has been worth it.

    Um, what about the pussification of 14-year-old girls, though? Are we pro or con?

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  156. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Jim,
    And when the next shooting happens after you’ve implimented your plan, then what? More regulation? More laws? Will we make it illegaler to shoot and kill innocents? What if the next shooting involves a revolver with a speed loader? Also, the criminals will not turn their guns in. So they will have them. How is this making anyone safer?

    Come on, you must admit Holder was all over Fast and Furious like a fat kid on a cupcake.

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  157. Jim Henley says:

    Speaking of pvss;f;cat;on and its opposite, I regularly walk around downtown DC after dark, with only my fighting fists of fury to protect me. Because I am just that much of a badass.

    What’s that word? Oh yeah. Booyah!

    (Okay, and also DC is pretty damn safe these days. But let’s leave that aside…)

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  158. Jim Henley says:

    Also, dude who wrote the original “Pussification of the Western Male” essay had massive man-boobs and a weenie beard. Just saying.

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  159. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: It’s definately safer since the Heller decision. You can than Alan Gura for all that safety you feel as you walk around the nation’s capitol at night.

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  160. Jim Henley says:

    Adored George W. Bush as his “strong father.” Kinda pervy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, screwing up the nation’s politics aside, except dude was married.

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  161. Jack says:

    Jim, do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? How about home or auto insurance? Do you wear seatbelts? My gun is in case shit. I hope to never use it in self defense, but if I need it it’s there.

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  162. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Hey, buddy, I’m OK with you doing anything you want with your guns on your own time and your own property. I just want legislation to assure that you are not the kind of owner that doesn’t need to “defend himself” against 6 year olds because some voice in his head told him to. Right now according to the gun lobby, we should just trust the gun owners because any further gun safety legislation means that tyranny wins, etc. I think that’s BS for ” I don’t want be inconvenienced in buying guns in any way, and if 6 year olds have to die, so be it. ”
    All your posts just confirm me in the belief that gun cultists arguments are in fact just such BS.

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  163. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    It’s definately safer since the Heller decision. You can than Alan Gura for all that safety you feel as you walk around the nation’s capitol at night.

    This is factually inane. DC’s murder rate peaked in 1993 and has been dropping ever since. Heller was not broadcast via tachyon beam. I don’t owe Alan Gura jack. And you’ve plainly never been anywhere near DC.

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  164. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    My gun is in case shit. I hope to never use it in self defense, but if I need it it’s there.

    It’s a stupid choice. And evidence that you don’t think straight about this stuff.

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  165. al-Ameda says:

    America is different than most advanced countries in that we have strong cult of gun ownership.

    Someone once observed that an important difference between America and European nations is that, Europeans are suspicious that there are people out there conspiring to overthrow their government, while Americans believe that their government is conspiring against the people. I think that goes a long way toward explaining our nearly irrational infatuation with weapons.

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  166. Jack says:

    @stonetools: There is NO legislation that can make somone that’s nuts and wants to kill a bunch of kids not kill a bunch of kids! Getting a gun is plenty tough. You make it sound like I can walk into the nearest gas station and get one with a fill-up. I have a CCP. I’ve been vetted by teh FBI and state police. I have a security clearance and have been vetted by the CIA, DIA, DOD, and NSA and I still have to go through all the same bullshit that a first time buyer has to go through.

    How about we go after the 1 million people that are denied every year because they are felons? How about we make the penalties harsher for straw buying? You cannot, repeat cannot kill a person more than once. And that is the worst penalty they will face when they go on these mass shootings.

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  167. JKB says:

    Can we stop with the “clip” business. I don’t know if it is used out of ignorance or stupidity. The morons in the MSM have gone so far as “high magazine clips”

    Magazine – A chamber in a gun for holding a number of cartridges to
    be fed automatically to the piece.

    This is a very old definition. Today, we have detachable magazines, which is what people seem upset about.

    Clip – An embracing strap for holding parts together; such as cartridges

    Long ago, the magazine gun (a portable firearm, as a rifle, with a chamber carrying cartridges which are brought automatically into position for firing.) had a fixed magazine. Cartridges were held together by a clip for rapidly insertion into the guns magazine. When magazines became detachable, the use of clips for loading faded although some erroneously called the detachable magazine a clip.

    Here is a slow mo video of a M1 Garand showing the insertion of a clip of cartridges, firing and the ejection of the clip.

    I have no personal knowledge of a current design but one could use a clip to rapidly load cartridges into a detachable magazine if the magazine had a proper design to accommodate the clip.

    So clips are clusters of cartridges held together for rapid insertion into a magazine. Magazines are fixed or interchangeable chambers that hold cartridges that are fed automatically when the bolt is cycled.

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  168. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Funny how you say murder rate, yet the violent crime rate was and still is sky high. Just like Chicago. Hmmm what do these two cities have in common? I’ll take Stringent gun laws for $1000 Alex.

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  169. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Opinions are like A@@holes, everybody has one.

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  170. Jack says:

    @stonetools: Oh, and there are no cultist arguements from the gun grabbers. No, they’re the cream of the crop. Yet how many of them have armed guards for themselves and their children. Pelosi, Obama, Micheal Moore, Rosi O’donnell. Their do as I say and not as I do attitude sickens me.

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  171. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack: Nope. Violent crime rates are also down nationwide. Same is true in DC. Of course if the violent crime rate in DC were NOT dropping, your Heller paeans would be even more hollow, huh?

    Chicago is a well-known outlier in terms of crime rates and it’s a genuine puzzle what’s going on there. I think you’ll have a hard time showing that the difference between Chicago and DC/NYC/etc. is that Chicago has stricter gun control, though.

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  172. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack:

    @Jim Henley: Opinions are like A@@holes, everybody has one.

    Not only that, everybody needs one!

    But what about the “democracy” thing? I hate to leave a dispute like that hanging out there.

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  173. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Hmmm, this says that according to the U.S. Department of Justice, violent crime increased 17 percent from 2010 to 2011.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/23/report-violent-crime-rates-rose-nationwide-in-2011/#ixzz2G2RO7EYF

    But of course the crime rate in DC is going down, it’s practically the only city in America that has unemployment under control thanks to all that Obama money.

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  174. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack: You caught that, “first time in ten years” part yes? You’re not just frantically googling around for sh;t that sounds plausible without checking it out?

    Of course, gun ownership rates started rising again after a 30-year decline in 2009. So I guess it just makes sense that violent crime would go up with all those extra guns around, right? I’m sure you agree.

    Or, may be an outlier. Those happen.

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  175. Jack says:

    Well it’s been fun debating you fellas, but I can’t stay up all night. Funny though, none of my guns killed anyone during the last 2 hours….they must be broke.

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  176. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    I will not become a serf to government

    Assuming the government has interest in making you into a serf, how exactly will your gun(s) prevent it? Let’s venture into a fictional universe and say you refuse to carry out a government edict. The DA issues a warrant for your arrest. You see the cops coming up your walkway.

    What do you do? Open fire? You might take one or two out, but many more will come. Before the sun goes down, you will either surrender and be on your knees with your hands behind your head, or you will be dead.

    I assure you that a government that has the power to crush nations has the power to crush individuals. Even if they are armed.

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  177. Jack says:

    @Jim Henley: Yes, all those post Heller legal guns that are only allowed in the house after taking every exam known to man to include prostate (women too). Those are the guns causing the uptick in crime.

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  178. Jack says:

    @anjin-san: Anjin, crush insurgencies like Iraq and Afghanistan? That’s what would happen in America post gun ban.

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  179. Jim Henley says:

    @Jack: Jack, the increase in gun ownership since 2009 is a fact. The increase in nationwide crime victimization in 2011 is a fact. You’re the one who went there. I think you’re probably as tired as you say. Get some sleep, try not to shoot Santa, and have a Merry Christmas. Though I suppose, to avoid confounding your stereotype of “leftists,” I should say, “Happy Holidays.”

    DC’s crime rates, mind you, continued to decline in 2011: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm

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  180. Jim Henley says:

    Also, I don’t think you can bring yourself to go to bed without getting the last word in. But you should probably try.

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  181. anjin-san says:

    That’s what would happen in America post gun ban.

    What on earth are you talking about?

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  182. Jim Henley says:

    @anjin-san: I think Jack is really trying to not have to get the last word in, so I’ll take a stab. He’s saying that armed Iraqis put up a fierce resistance to US plans for the country post-conquest. In substantial measure they frustrated those plans. Whatever the fvck they were supposed to be. And this is kind of true! Interestingly, Iraq actually had pretty high rates of private gun ownership under Saddam Hussein. I remember blogging about this in 2003. Now, the fact that Iraqis had high rates of private gun ownership under Saddam Hussein may make you wonder just what private gun ownership has to do with freedom, but let’s leave that aside.

    Armed Iraqi resistance made Iraq substantially ungovernable in the manner in which the US hoped it would be governed. That’s absolutely true. That said, it didn’t work out so well for the Iraqis – a couple hundred thousand dead and maimed, a couple of million displaced persons. And Sunni power was, in the end, completely broken, because eventually the US stood aside and let the Shiites ethnically cleanse them from whatever parts of Baghdad and Southern Iraq the Shiites wanted. So the fate of the post-Baathist Sunni resistance shows not just the potential but the limits of armed resistance to foreign invaders and domestic oppression. In the end, Sunni families moved or died. No Sunni is still in a home in 2012 because they had a gun to defend it in 2005.

    The Shiite triumph is itself interesting, but it seems like trying to reduce it to personal weapons ownership would obscure more than it revealed. The Shiites had a lot of things going for them, starting with numbers, moving to powerful patrons in Tehran and continuing through a pretty skillful manipulation of the US government.

    Best case scenario, gunsgunsguns enabled the Sunni resistance to make Iraq ungovernable and nonfunctional for a period of years, at a cost of turning their own country into a complete sh;thole while failing to restore their antebellum status. And how much of that was achieved by weapons they already had around the house, versus weapons they bought on the black market, filched from military stores etc.?

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  183. sam says:

    @Murray: “I would really appreciate a summary of the SCOTUS decisions that managed to dissociate “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” from “A well regulated Militia”.”

    Simply put, the prefatory clause to the 2d Amendment states a reason for securing the right of the people to bear arms, not the reason.

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  184. sam says:

    @Jack:

    I will not subserviate myself to the whim of those who are pushing the pussification of the american male.

    Anybody else get the picture of Jack standing there, dick in one hand, Desert Eagle in the other?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  185. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: That is how a democracy works. If you don’t like living in a democracy, please move elsewhere.

    If your city decides to regulate your guns and puts a (Constitutionally acceptable) limit of, say, 10 guns only and you have 15, and it says that for every gun over the limit they will buy it back for $100 (no 5th Amendment problem), what will you do? Hole up in your bunker and have a fight-out with the police? “They’ll take mah guns over mah daid body!!!”

    You see why we call you gun nuts? You don’t want to live in accordance with the laws that were passed by a majority of your fellow citizens. You don’t want to live under reasonable restrictions. It’s all or nothing with you, and frankly, it makes you sound like one of those race war nuts.

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  186. Jim Henley says:

    @sam: Please don’t pick on Jack. He’s not good at Internet. There’s the “isn’t a democracy/is totally a democracy” thing. If you do find yourself making a boo-boo like that, minimal graciousness calls for you to own up to it.

    And there’s the “don’t say it’s about my penis!!!/pvss;f;cat;on of the western male” thing too – those feet tripped over each other inside a single post!

    This day of all days is about mercy not justice, and Jack needs our mercy.

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  187. Tyrell says:

    Watch for unauthorized controls and monitoring of the internet: site take downs, interference, blocking transmissions and wifi, getting into email.

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  188. rudderpedals says:

    @Robert Prather: Thank you for hanging in and responding to a huge # of comments. I find myself remaining in agreement with Ernieball as to today’s rendering of the militia clause as mere surplusage but this does not detract from my admiration of your stamina and the good-natured way you’ve responded to critics and commenters. Kudos to Jack and to Jim Henley on the interesting overnight dialogue, too.

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  189. matt says:

    Apparently linking to outside sites has resulted in my comment getting caught by the spam control. If someone could rescue that I’d appreciate it.

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  190. matt says:

    Once again is it too much of me to ask for you to bother to educate yourself about guns and the law before commenting on the subject? It’s getting ridiculous how much bullshit is being spread.

    Assault weapon is a made up term that is used by extremist gun control advocates to scare people. The reality is that those so called assault weapons are in a lot of cases just dressed up hunting rifles. It’s putting a wing and fart can on your honda and then calling it a race car..

    This video explains the concept further.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysf8x477c30

    There are only so many methods of building a semi auto action and so when you start banning the scary looking guns you will find yourself banning the non scary looking guns.

    AP bullets have been banned for decades. HR 3132 was the first bill to cover that “problem”. No cop has ever been killed by an AP round through their body armor.

    Well before you start banning anything maybe you should learn a little about the subject at hand.

    http://i47.tinypic.com/245n2fp.jpg

    Who decides what a high capacity magazine is? My gun’s standard capacity magazine is 30 rds. High capacity is the 40-55 banana mags or the drums.

    You cannot CANNOT regulate private sales the same way as dealer sales. There’s so much paperwork and crap involved that such a law would present a clear and unreasonable burden on the seller. Such a demand would result in a massive amount of people ignoring the law. My offer to expand the NICS for free to public sales is a much more realistic thing.

    What’s hilarious about your post is that none of your suggestions would of stopped the firefighters from being killed (two shots) or the deaths that occurred at the school. All you’re suggesting is feel good legislature that when it fails will be used as an excuse to push even more ill advised gun control laws.

    Scared of being killed by a gun? Don’t own one and don’t associate with those that do and don’t deal drugs. That will knock your chances of being murdered with a gun below your chance of drowning in your pool or your neighbors pool. The reality is only bout half of all murders even involve a gun and of those murders most of the victims knew their murderer. The vast majority of gun deaths are domestic or criminal disputes.

    Our current laws have seen us through a massive decline in violence over the last several decades. I see no reason to pass ill conceived laws just to make soccer moms feel better.

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  191. Spartacus says:

    @Jim Henley:

    1. Ban on new sales of [whatever type(s) of gun].
    2. No ban on possession of guns in Step 1. It is still legal to possess them.
    3. Voluntary purchase of those gun types from owners using government funds. If you want to sell, to the government, you may.

    All very good ideas. I would go a few steps further:

    1. Require registration of every gun
    2. Permit only bullets that can be traced to the registered gun
    3. Require the registration of all bullet purchases
    4. Heavily tax all gun resales and all bullet purchases
    5. Periodic checks of mental fitness as well as gun use and safety training for all owners
    6. Annual home inspection to ensure guns are stored securely
    7. Require timely reporting of all lost/stolen guns
    8. Mandatory jail time for failure to register gun/bullets or failure to report lost/stolen gun
    8. Mandatory jail time for brandishing or firing a weapon except for self-defense

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  192. anjin-san says:

    Seems like we are spending a lot of time talking guns, and very little talking about the disgraceful state of community mental health care…

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  193. Meredith says:

    The Bill of Rights does NOT confer rights. It RECOGNIZES certain inalienable rights.

    How far those may be restricted, is the matter to be determined.

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  194. Eric Florack says:

    @<a hr@Meredith:
    no, it cant be. is there something about “Shall not be infringed” thats hard for you to understand

    if there is anything that Webster teaches, its that glaw and government cannot protect us.
    iIn general as wWebster showed, but also law and government cannot protect us from law and government

    And let me address the misbegooten notion that only government should have a particular kind of weapon…. maybe we should ask Germany how that works out.

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  195. anjin-san says:

    is there something about “Shall not be infringed” thats hard for you to understand

    You tell us. You were a vocal supporter of torture and domestic spying in the wake of 9.11. You said “The Constitution is not a suicide pact” more that a few times…

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  196. Mike says:

    @Spartacus:

    #1 – Only law abiding citizens will do this…so congrats, you’ve done nothing to address the cause of most of the gun violence in this country, which is centered in the urban population and which generally involves illegally acquired handguns (usually through straw purchases…something that is already illegal.)

    #2 – Show me technology that actually works for this. Hint: you won’t find any, CSI is a TV show, not reality.

    #3 – Again, that law abiding citizen thing.

    #4 – So you’re going to limit gun ownership to the wealthy, i.e., those who are least likely to actually need a gun for self defense? Not very progressive of you…

    #5 – I would possibly be okay with this, I’ve actually said as much in some of my other posting discussing possibly going to a Canadian style PAL system. However, it would have to not be restrictive to the point of becoming a de facto gun ban. I’m not saying it should be a rubber stamp, but passing “common sense” gun legislation and then ratcheting it down is something that has been done before (see DC’s behavior after Heller…”Oh, we have to allow you handguns? Well, there will only be one FFL, he will only be open for an hour each day, and you have to register them in person at the police department…and the register’s office is only open for a couple of hours a month, always in the middle of the day when most people are at work. Good luck!”

    #6 – You don’t see ANY way in which law enforcement would abuse a required annual visit to someone’s home? There’s some pretty clear Fourth Amendment issues there.

    #7 – Already required for FFL’s; if we’re going to require it for everyone then we need to reattack the entire two-tiered FFL/private sale system of gun sales, possibly moving towards something like a Canadian style PAL system.

    #8 – See above, also again, only something law abiding citizens are going to do.

    #8.1 – Already illegal in every jurisdiction to at least some degree (the penalties and what actually constitutes “brandishing” vary, but it’s not like there’s some state out there where you can wave a gun at someone not in self defense and not be brought up on charges for it.) I don’t see how making it a federal offense would help things.

    @anjin-san:

    Mental health doesn’t get votes (on either side of the aisle.) Sad but true.

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  197. anjin-san says:

    Mental health doesn’t get votes

    It will if voters make enough noise.

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  198. Eric Florack says:

    Oh… as for what should be changed, Webster shows us that as well…. why was this nutbag released? from prison?

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  199. @Meredith: So I might be guilty of using sloppy language. What are you gonna do, shoot me? Oh wait…..

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  200. Mike says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m all for it, the state of mental health care in this country is criminal. I just don’t see voters making noise for it, it’s a complex issue that doesn’t easily break down into soundbites of “GUNS BAD” and “GUNS GOOD” (even though the gun issue itself is quite a bit more complex than either the “ban assault weapons” or “arm teachers” sides want to make it.) Mental health isn’t even capable of being broken down into over-simplistic soundbites, which is why I don’t see it getting play.

    I’d love to be proven wrong, though.

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  201. Jim Henley says:

    @Mike: Hey, Mike. Thanks for the perspective.

    If a system like the Canadian PAL is the most viable replacement for the two-tiered system in place now, that sounds great. In principle, there’s no reason technology can’t take a lot of the administrative burden off the private owner making a one-off gun sale. I appreciate your pointing a viable way forward. That covers points 5 & 7 I think.

    A few other reactions:

    1 & 3. Those of us in favor of increased safety protocols around gun traffic, possession and wielding don’t put nearly as much stock in the “good guy”/”bad guy” dichotomy as you do. We’re more sanguine about regulations that primarily impact “law-abiding gun owners” therefore. You seem to have been keeping up with the thread so I won’t bother rehearsing the concerns. I recognize there’s a gap in world views here. That’s what makes it political. :)

    2. Accepted!

    4. Here again, we think it overwhelmingly likely that “you” don’t “need” a gun for “self-defense.” I’ll go further: most people who think they do are so wrong that their belief itself makes them a danger to others.

    6. I agree with you here. Instead I’d suggest that “losing” a second gun – as in, reporting more than one gun lost or stolen over x weeks/months/years – should count as probable cause for a pretty thorough investigation into your affairs. You’re either way too careless to be trusted with these things or you’re a crook. How’s that?

    8. I take your point, but this is actually a key issue. In a lot of cases, the gun-bearer’s self-perception is “I defended myself by exposing my weapon,” but the other person’s perception is, “That maniac flashed a fracking gun at me!” In at least one study, legal experts overwhelmingly rated “self-defense” actions as illegal intimidation even when instructed to assume the gun-wielder’s self-report was an honest, complete and accurate account of the facts of the incident. So you’re right that it’s already illegal, but it’s also a reason to want to minimize the number of people actually packing.

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  202. @Eric Florack: Right, Bithead, because America is just like Nazi Germany. Your brain really is a fever swamp.

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  203. Jim Henley says:

    @Mike @anjin-san: The thing about improving mental health “care” is, there are much bigger liberty interests involved in that issue than in gun-traffic protocols. In the dystopia where I’m totally lying about gradualism and buybacks and manage to take away all your guns, you will indeed be out of guns. But you’ll still be able to get a job, live wherever you can afford to live and travel freely.

    But when someone like Wayne LaPierre starts by talking about “mental illness” and quickly segues to a national database of “lunatics” it sounds much less like improving care than imposing controls. On movement. On employment. On travel and even speech. (“He sounds crazy! Let’s lock him up with the expanded involuntary commitment protocols the NRA backed.”) In PAL America people who want guns can’t have all the guns they want whenever they want them, no. In Hoplophobic Dystopia America people who want guns can’t have any. But they can have all the other good things of life. In LaPierre Database America the mentally ill can’t count on having anything.

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  204. Jim Henley says:

    @Robert Prather: I respectfully suggest we let Bithead earn attention in this thread through contributions he has yet to make.

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  205. matt says:

    @anjin-san: I’ve been advocating for better treatment for those with mental health issues. I’ve also been advocating for an honest discussion on the subject of mental health as part of my plan to reduce violence and those parts have been utterly ignored. Almost everyone only seems interested in talking about the guns.

    Better treatment and a more honest discussion about mental health in this country would go a lot farther to reduce violence then a few token bans.

    @Robert Prather: So are you going to edit your original post to correct your blatant errors?

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  206. Mike says:

    @Jim Henley:

    Yeah, I think we’re in agreement as far as the Canadian style PAL system replacing the two-tiered FFL/private sales system we have today. There are still some detail issues to be worked out with implementation, but I really see it as the best way forward that is going to offer something for both sides (eliminate the “gun show loophole” for the gun control folks, allow the gun rights folks to get guns shipped directly to their door, provided they’ve gone through the process to get a PAL and have submitted a copy of it to the person selling the gun.)…which is why something like that would never pass, because both sides will get their hackles up at having to give something up, but I digress.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on the good guy/bad guy thing, although again, I’ll just point out that if you want to truly do something about gun violence (and not just statistically insignificant mass shootings) you need to address the problem of (already illegal, either through purchase, possession, or both) handguns in the inner city, which is where the vast majority of that problem comes from (and even then, addressing the “gun” specific side of that equation is only one small part of it.)

    As far as losing a second gun being cause to look at you more closely, I agree; I actually wish the ATF would do a more thorough job with this regarding FFL’s now (a gun rights advocate wishing the ATF would do a more thorough job with something, the sky must be falling). The truth is that despite the image of jackbooted thugs stomping around looking to jack gun owners up for the slightest violation the ATF is extremely lenient when it comes to FFL’s violating laws like straw purchasing, records keeping requirements, and other stuff…of course, the amount of people violating that stuff intentionally is a very small percentage, but if you look at the cases when the ATF actually came down hard on somebody it’s stuff like intentionally trafficking machine guns illegally across international borders, like stuff that is so far out there you’re left wondering how that person thought it was a good idea in the first place. When it comes to more procedural (but still serious) violations like intentional straw purchases or poor records keeping, they tend to let people go with a slap on the wrist. That’s what I’m talking about when I say we need to enforce the laws we have before we go around creating new ones.

    As far as brandishing, I would actually be okay with increasing prosecution for that (with the caveat that it shouldn’t be used to unfairly prosecute concealed carry individuals who unintentionally reveal their gun when they bend over to get something at the store or whatever.) As far as I’m concerned (and this is the attitude of every responsible CCW individual I’ve encountered), when I am carrying, the gun doesn’t come out unless I am in reasonable fear for my life or someone else’s life, and I am therefore prepared to use the gun. I’m not saying that I’m going to automatically use the gun if I draw, but I will only draw in a situation where I am confident that I am legally justified in using lethal force, if that’s what it comes down to. Of course there will be some grey area here, and I think that grey area is best left at the local level so the local population can determine what they’d like (i.e., rural Idaho is probably going to be more favorable to the gun owner in that situation than say, urban CT), but in cases of clear cut brandishing I am completely okay with throwing the book at someone for being stupid with a gun. I’m thinking of stuff like “there was a guy walking towards me on the street, and he looked suspicious (i.e., black), so I drew on him.” I don’t care if you felt you honestly felt in fear of your life because you’re a racist, you didn’t even come close to meeting the legal justification of a reasonable man in the same situation feeling the same way, so congratulations on a brandishing conviction.

    And yup, there are definitely some serious liberty concerns involved when it comes to mental health discussion…the concept of locking someone up for the rest of the life with poor (sometimes criminal) care because they were “different” that institutionalization meant 50 years ago was indeed horrible, and I think the current environment is at least partially a reaction away from that idea (budget/funding cuts also certainly haven’t helped), but there has to be a middle ground somewhere. I would agree that a national database of lunatics isn’t part of that middle ground, and I would also add that from the gun rights side you are going to get into some sticky Constitutional issues regarding being declared unfit to own firearms, since in a post-Heller world the right to own arms is a fundamental individual right. Now I’m not saying that there can’t be restrictions on that, because Heller was very clear about that as well, but when you tell someone that “no, your mental state is such that you can’t own or possess firearms,” you aren’t just telling them that about firearms, you are saying that “your mental state is such that we need to deny you a fundamental individual Constitutional right.” That is a high bar to cross (as it should be).

    Again, I’m not trying to throw a complete wrench into the works or say that “well we can’t restrict anyone’s gun rights,” because I agree that things are probably too lenient now and that our “let them sit for 24 hours, give them basic care, and turn them loose again” system isn’t just bad, it’s criminal (for both the patients and the population at large), I’m just pointing out how complicated and complex the issue is going to be (just one more reason it isn’t going to get any play, because nobody wants to do the hard dirty work necessary to actually come up with a solution.)

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  207. Spartacus says:

    @Mike:
    #s 1, 3 and 8 – Seriously, your argument against a law is that only law-abiding citizens would obey it? All of your grammatically correct sentences led me to falsely believe that you were capable of making a more challenging argument. If you have an argument that the burden on ownership is outweighed by the benefit of knowing who owns every gun and where that gun is located I’d be interested in hearing it.

    #2 – Of course no such system exists today, and I haven’t suggested that there is. But, unless you’re arguing that it’s impossible to develop such a system, then you haven’t said anything meaningful on this point.

    #4 – Really? Without even knowing the amount of the tax or who would continue to buy guns and bullets, you’re arguing that only wealthy people will be able to buy guns and bullets if we tax them highly. Funny how that hasn’t stopped people who aren’t rich from buying gas, cigarettes and booze. In any case, I have no problem whatsoever if poor people can’t buy guns and bullets.

    #6 – Of course, law enforcement could abuse this. That potential is outweighed by the benefit.
    Secondly, your 4A rights are not absolute. If you want to own a gun, you would be required to give consent for the inspection.

    #8.1 – Of course, those things are already illegal everywhere, but every jurisdiction does not require a mandatory jail sentence.

    I’d be very interested in hearing compelling arguments against my proposals and why the burdens they impose on gun ownership are not outweighed by the safety benefits to society. You either can’t make those arguments or you’re not willing to take the time to make them.

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  208. anjin-san says:

    @ Jim Henley

    LaPierre is an idiot. It’s tragic that he even has a voice in this discussion. Any mention of mental illness he makes is a bait and switch, not an honest attempt to address the problem.

    @ Mike

    The good news on mental health care is that much of it is managed at the local level, where politicians tend to be a bit more responsive and you can actually attend the meetings.

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  209. anjin-san says:

    A comment from Webster PD Chief Pickering:

    Chief Pickering said in an interview: “We know that people are slipping through the cracks, not getting the help they need. And I suspect that this gentleman slipped through the cracks.

    We need to get real about the fact that people are not “slipping through the cracks” – the cracks are actually chasms…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  210. Mike says:

    @Spartacus:

    Let me turn this around on you for a second…you say I need to make an argument that the burden imposed by these restrictions on gun owners is not outweighed by the safety benefits to society. I assume this is based on the idea that no one needs a gun, they have no compelling benefit to society, they are only good for recreational use, it is possible to live a full and fulfilling life without owning a gun, etc. Fair enough.

    Per the CDC’s data from 2009 (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf) there were around 11,000 homicides due to gun use in that year. That same year, there were around 24,000 people killed due to alcohol…and that doesn’t even count deaths due to DUI. From the CDC data from 2010 (http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html, first I could find, I feel fairly safe in assuming that the numbers from 2010 and 2009 are fairly similar) there were around 10,000 people killed in DUI related motor vehicle accidents. Alcohol has no compelling benefit to society, it is for recreational use only, it is possible to live a full and fulfilling life without ever drinking alcohol, you can live in pretty much any part of the country and live a normal life without alcohol (in contrast to say, something like a car). Yet despite the statistics showing there are many more deaths each year attributed to alcohol than firearms homicides (and even if we include the firearms suicides, the numbers are about even), we don’t hear calls for “common sense alcohol control.” No one (other than maybe the teetotalers at MADD) is advocating that in order to drink an alcohol higher than 8% ABV you have a special license, or that you be restricted from purchasing more than one six pack at a time, or that everyone undergo a background check before buying a bottle of wine, because alcohol is something that everyone enjoys and we all instinctively understand that despite it being responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year the vast majority of Americans are able to engage in it recreationally without harm. Guns are the exact same thing.

    Yes, there is a baseline of restriction (you have to be 21, you pay a REASONABLE tax, there are limits on distribution, etc) but those restrictions are generally similar to the restrictions we have on firearms already. Calling for inspections of homes just to have a bottle of wine would rightly be considered ludicrous, but as soon as we start talking about evil guns it becomes okay to start trampling all over everyone’s rights.

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  211. Mike says:

    @anjin-san:

    Good point about it being local. And yes, the cracks really are chasms.

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  212. An Interested Party says:

    It’s nice to see that this post has brought out the tough guys talking about the “pussification” of men and how no one will take all their guns away from them and making comparisons to Nazi Germany…and yet, these tough guys with their need for so many guns seem to be overcompensating for something…perhaps they have a paranoid fear of the government or they’re simply impotent…they seem to be almost as nutty as these deranged mass shooters…speaking of which, I wonder how these tough guys would feel if one of their wives, sisters, mothers, or children were shot dead by a deranged mass murderer….

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  213. Alex Knapp says:

    Yay, someone brought up Germany! My dear Eric, here’s a fun fact for you: the Nazis didn’t impose gun control. They deregulated gun ownership, made buying guns easier, and lowered the minimum age for owning a gun.

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  214. Jim Henley says:

    @Alex Knapp: That’s unpossible!

    Also, like I was saying, Saddam’s Iraq. Lousy with the things.

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  215. @Alex Knapp: Also, didn’t Hitler and his stormtroopers violate gun control in the process of taking power?

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  216. Spartacus says:

    @Mike:

    Calling for inspections of homes just to have a bottle of wine would rightly be considered ludicrous, but as soon as we start talking about evil guns it becomes okay to start trampling all over everyone’s rights.

    I’m completely comfortable with new regulations that would substantially reduce the number of alcohol-induced deaths. For example, several of us on these threads have supported the installation of a breathalyzer in all cars. We know that would dramatically reduce the incidence of DUI deaths. However, for the life of me, I can’t imagine what purpose a home inspection of my wine collection would serve. Unlike an unsecured gun, it’s not like my neighbor’s kid might sneak into my house, steal a bottle of unsecured Muller-Catoir Scheurebe and accidentally kill himself with it.

    Even if he did try to drink himself to death, enough time would elapse between the day he stole my wine and the onset many, many years later of liver cancer or some other ailment that there would be plenty of opportunity for people to intervene and prevent his death. If you’re not able to discern the difference between these two circumstances you definitely should not own a gun.

    Secondly, if you’re going to compare alcohol-induced deaths with gun-related deaths, then the 11,500 gun deaths is not the right number to use. Instead, the alcohol-induced deaths (including DUIs) should be compared to 30,200 gun-related deaths, which include 11,500 homicides and 18,700 suicides by gun.

    Most importantly, your entire spiel about alcohol seems rather silly. You’re arguing that since there are large numbers of alcohol-related deaths that could be prevented by regulations that we have not yet adopted we, therefore, should not adopt regulations that would prevent large numbers of gun-related deaths. You haven’t argued against gun legislation; you’ve simply argued for more alcohol legislation. I’m fine with more alcohol legislation so long as we take into account the balance of interests. Of course, none of you guys who oppose more restrictive gun laws will even try to make an argument that the burdens on gun ownership would be outweighed by the safety benefits to society.

    Again, if you have a logical, compelling argument as to why we should not enact any of the specific proposals I made, I would be very interested in hearing them. Twice, now, you’ve failed.

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  217. freethinker says:

    In sweden we have people killing each other every day in the streets nowadays in every major town of recognition. We the people dont have a right to bare arms and defend ourselfs. How can laws fix this problem by prohibiting law abiding citizens from carry guns for selfprotection? It´s a circular argument at best to be against guns for the people to protect them selves. Only in police states guns are prohibited for the middle class, like for instance Nazi-Germany. But the view on guns in USA begins to correspond with the view on money and the overall national economy, it´s a nazi inspired, no wrong, it´s a fully fledged, nazi-economy, just likein EU, Russia, BRICs and China.

    So, you see, it is not law abiding people running around in the streets shooting randomly at will that is a problem, it´s an agenda at play, plain and simple, an agenda to try to disarm the american middle class. Look at the not-so-wild-west, for example, cool and tranquil because villains knew that you don´t mess with armed civilians. No, the Hollywierd version of the aforementioned time period is not accurate. America didn´t have any police force as we know it today until 1835. A public in arms would be better for the whole society and the police who already is failing to protect the people. It is just with all this amount of enraged socialistic morally devaluated masses that we see today guns doesn´t fit in the picture. They love the Big altruistic welfare state handouts. They truly believe that gun licences is a middle class problem. And please, spare me the what-if-card.

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  218. anjin-san says:

    Yay, someone brought up Germany!

    Say bithead, how did the torture and surveillance state thing work out in Germany? You know, the stuff you are in favor of…

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  219. matt says:

    @Spartacus: Frankly breathalyzers in every car would be an extremely stupid idea. First off you have to calibrate breathalyzers on a regular basis or they start chucking out bad results pretty quickly. Second off most police breathalyzers aren’t even that accurate to begin with (a dirty secret involving the sensor and the programming). Third off something as simple as using Listerine mouth wash would cause you to fail. Fourth off I imagine something like that would create a booming industry in the black market for disabling the device. Finally just like with guns there are a shit ton of cars out there and I’m not sure how you would retrofit every car ever made.

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  220. matt says:

    I want to know where people are getting the 11000 homicide number when the FBI database itself lists 8552 for 2011. That number includes non-negligent manslaughter.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20

    Notice how despite all the talk about the scary assault weapons and other made up terms that handguns account for far FAR more death than rifles. Probably because inner city violence is the leading driver of the murder rate. Heck even shotguns are outdoing rifles in murder. You might want to reevaluate your scary rifle fetishes.

    Notice how crime is heavily concentrated in metropolitan areas. The majority of gun related murders involve drugs and/or gangs.
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table_14_crime_trends_by_metropolitan_and_nonmetropolitan_counties_by_population_group_2010-2011.xls

    Spousal dispute is also a driver of the murder rate but those murders break down somewhat evenly amongst guns and other methods like poisons or blunt objects.

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  221. matt says:

    @Robert Prather: I’m still waiting on you to fix your factually incorrect statements. You’re only adding to the problem by spreading blatant falsehoods.

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  222. Tell me what they are and I’ll consider it.

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  223. Skips says:

    Can we just re-name the article “I support banning things I have little grasp of because it seems like an easy solution”?

    “Right of the People” seems so vague (and interesting).

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  224. @Skips: See my newest post.

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  225. Mike says:

    @Robert Prather:

    For starters armor piercing bullets are already banned, and they have been since 1968. See here: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/guides/importation-verification/firearms-verification-gca-ammunition.html

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  226. Mike says:

    And before you say it, no, “teflon coated bullets” and “black talons” aren’t armor piercing bullets.

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  227. matt says:

    @Robert Prather:

    Well at this point I would at least like you to acknowledge that AP bullets have been banned for several decades now. At this point expecting you to know the difference between a magazine and a clip is probably asking too much. Let alone the differences between an assault rifle and a rifle that looks like an assault rifle….

    @matt:

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  228. @matt: fine, if you say they are banned, I’ll trust you, though this seems a minor point. If I used the incorrect words, you have my apologies. I get the difference between a magazine and a clip.

    Check out my new post on the subject.

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  229. matt says:

    @Robert Prather: Don’t take my word for it take the word of the ATF above and the Library of congress.

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

    I hope someday you can see the difference between an assault rifle and a tacticooled civilian semi auto.
    This link would help you
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjM9fcEzSJ0

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  230. Juliet says:

    Hello i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this article i thought i could also create comment due to this brilliant piece of writing.

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