Gun Rights, Mental Health, And A Denial Of Due Process

New York State's gun law takes rights away from nearly 35,000 people without any due process whatsoever.

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In the wake of the mass shooting incidents that grabbed headlines in 2012, especially the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many states reacted by passing laws to restrict gun ownership or otherwise close perceived loopholes in their gun control laws. One of the most prominent examples of that came in New York State where, under the strong support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state passed a law called the Safe Act which, among other things, included provisions that make it easier for the state to deny a permit to own a weapon and to take weapons away from people deemed to be a threat to themselves and others. One problem with the law, though, is the fact that the law includes almost no due process rights for either people seeking to own a firearm or for people who legally own firearms under New York law. In essence, the law give near unfettered discretion to mental health authorities and the individual New York counties that control the permitting process for firearms, and which even before the Safe Act had an extensive amount of control over firearms ownership in the state. One example of the problems that this can create was revealed a year ago and involved a man named David Lewis, a Buffalo resident who had his guns taken away from him solely because he had once taken anti-anxiety medication. Lewis eventually had his guns returned to him by Court order, but as I noted at the time the case raised serious concerns about both due process and medical privacy:

I don’t disagree with that proposition, but the manner in which it was applied in the case I linked above demonstrates quite clearly why it is going to be difficult to use background checks to screen out people who may be mentally unstable. The SAFE Act in particular seems to me to be overly broad in defining what qualifies as a reportable condition. It’s one thing for a person who is delusional on the level of a Seung-Hui Choi or Jared Loughner to be caught up in the net, it is quite another for someone who was apparently merely on an anti-anxiety drug to have their Constitutional rights limited. If taking that kind of medication is enough to get you on a list, then what about the millions upon millions of Americans who are on some form of anti-depressant or who take medication that alters their mood in any manner? Are they going to get put on a government list too, and what, exactly, is the government going to do with that list? History is replete with examples of psychiatry being abused by the state, and the danger of abuse becomes even higher when the law broadens the number of conditions that are reportable to the state.

Saying that people who are dangerous, or potentially dangerous, because of their mental condition shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns is a good talking point, and in general it’s an idea that I don’t have any objection to. How you implement that idea, and what it means for the medical privacy of American citizens, is quite another

Now, a New York Times investigation reveals that there are some 34,500 people that the Safe Act has put on the list of people who are not allowed to own weapons:

Under the 2013 law, the reports prepared by doctors, psychologists, nurses and social workers are first sent to county officials. If they agree with the assessments, the officials then input the names into the state database. The information is retained for five years. If the authorities find a person in the database has a gun permit — necessary to purchase a handgun in New York — they are required to revoke the license and seize any guns. The people in the database are barred from obtaining a permit until their names are purged.

Among the people named in the database, fewer than 300 were found to have a permit. State officials said they did not know how many guns were subsequently seized from them.

Under the 2013 law, New York is one of the most restrictive states in the country in terms of mental health and firearms.

Under federal and most state laws, people with serious mental illnesses lose their gun rights only if they have been involuntarily committed to a mental health center, or have been legally designated as mentally ill or incompetent; both relatively rare occurrences. A small number of states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland and New York, have stricter criteria for people with serious mental health issues to purchase and possess firearms.

New Yorks law gives county officials the responsibility of reviewing the reports from mental health workers, ostensibly providing an added layer of oversight. But several said in interviews that they had little capacity to independently confirm whether the finding that a patient was dangerous was justified.

The way the law has played out, local officials said, frontline mental health workers feel compelled to routinely report mentally ill patients brought to an emergency room by the police or ambulances. County health officials are then supposed to vet each case before it is sent to Albany. But so many names are funneled to county health authorities through the system — about 500 per week statewide — that they have become, in effect, clerical workers, rubber-stamping the decisions, they said. From when the reporting requirement took effect on March 16, 2013 until Oct. 3, 41,427 reports have been made on people who have been flagged as potentially dangerous. Among these, 40,678 — all but a few hundred cases — were passed to Albany by county officials, according to the data obtained by The Times.

(…)

Kenneth M. Glatt, commissioner of mental hygiene for Dutchess County, said that at first, he had carefully scrutinized every name sent to him through the Safe Act. But then he realized that he was just “a middleman,” and that it was unlikely he would ever meet or examine any of the patients. So he began simply checking off the online boxes, sometimes without even reviewing the narrative about a patient.

“Every so often I read one just to be sure,” Dr. Glatt, a psychologist, said. “I am not going to second guess. I don’t see the patient. I don’t know the patient.” He said it would be more efficient—and more honest—for therapists to report names directly to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, which checks them against gun permit applications.

Jazz Shaw, who has written about this law several times in the past, comments:

For the vast majority of the people on this huge list, they have never had a day in court to challenge their accusers as to their fitness to exercise their Second Amendment rights, nor have they been adjudicated as being truly dangerous. In New York you can show up on this list and lose your rights simply because some anonymous “medical professional” (who doesn’t even have to be a doctor) has reported you.

Jacob Sullum, meanwhile, notes the law seems to be designed to encourage over reporting by mental health professionals, and to thereby encourage people who are reviewing the reports at the county level to basically rubber stamp the recommendations in no small part because of the sheer volume of requests that they have to process and because, as Glatt notes above, they have not personally treated the person in question. If you happen to take the view that the best way to approach this issue is a “better safe than sorry” approach, then it likely isn’t a problem for you that people who shouldn’t be dragged into the Safe Act’s net are being deprived of their right to own weapons, a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment and that the Supreme Court recognized in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. More importantly, they are being denied those rights without any notice until a decision is made any then given the burden of having to apply to a court to try to overturn the decision of the permitting authority. Given that in many cases in some of New York State’s rural counties those are sometimes the same people, or at least people who are closely related politically and personally, the odds are often stacked against a gun owner who has had their property taken from them without due process or proper notice. Regardless of how one feels about gun rights, that ought to be troubling.

Obviously, it is a good idea to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally ill to the point where they could pose a danger to themselves and others. At the same time, of course, we want to encourage people suffering from mental illness to seek treatment for their problems rather than hiding it and, potentially becoming the next Jared Loughner or Adam Lanza. This is where laws like the Safe Act pose a dilemma. When mental health professionals become de facto agents of the state who are required to report to the government authorities when someone seeks treatment, it helps to create a disincentive for people to seek treatment to begin with. As I wrote in the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords when we learned that Jared Loughner had serious mental health issues that never went treated, the system ought to discourage situations where people are scared away from seeking treatment for fear that their condition will become public. Obviously, in the case of someone who is displaying signs of dangerous mental illness, the default position ought to be to make sure they get treatment so that they and others are safe. In those situations, denying them of their right to own a gun, and even their personal liberty, for a limited period of time seems to me to be an acceptable idea worth talking about. Even then, though, there ought to be some kind of due process given to people before such drastic action is taken. The Constitution, not just in the 2nd Amendment, but in the 5th and 14th Amendments, would seem to demand no less.

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FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control, Health, Privacy, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    Obviously, in the case of someone who is displaying signs of dangerous mental illness, the default position ought to be to make sure they get treatment so that they and others are safe.

    How do you “make sure” they get treatment? The only way to get someone who is non-cooperative (as people with mental illness tend to be) is – to strip them of their rights and force compliance. One you are over that hill, who pays for this treatment? I live in a high wealth area and there is not nearly enough money budget for mental health treatment and the infrastructure that is necessary to facilitate it.

  2. @anjin-san:

    As I noted in the posts I wrote after the Giffords shooting, which I linked in the post, those are definitely concerns. Most of all, though, we need to do more to diminish the stigma that attaches to mental illness in this society, which discourages people from seeking treatment. And, obviously, we’re talking here about people who are generally functional but in need of treatment. Those who are so mentally ill that they are incapable of functioning in society are a class unto themselves and we already have commitment laws that are meant to deal with them.

  3. Davebo says:

    Most of all, though, we need to do more to diminish the stigma that attaches to mental illness in this society, which discourages people from seeking treatment.

    I think that all that can be done in that regard has already been done. And IMO it’s been quite effective.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    I don’t like this Cuomo guy…he gives me the skivvies.

  5. anjin-san says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Those who are so mentally ill that they are incapable of functioning in society are a class unto themselves and we already have commitment laws that are meant to deal with them.

    That system is almost totally broken. Funding is a major issue, but there are other problems as well.

  6. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Those who are so mentally ill that they are incapable of functioning in society are a class unto themselves and we already have commitment laws that are meant to deal with them.

    Well, yes and no. In order to commit someone, they generally have to be an active danger to themselves and/or others. If you are incapable of functioning in society, but are not actively dangerous (as opposed to being a sort of passive danger to yourself through long-term neglect) then there’s litle if any hope of involuntarily commintting you.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    So, summarizing:

    1) Someone like me says, “Guns are bad.”

    2) NRA-bot says, “No, they’re not, crazy people are the problem.”

    3) Someone like me says, “So you want to take guns away from crazy people? How is that going to work?”

    4) NRA-bot says, “Duuuuuuuuuh, more guns!”

    And around and around we go, a dialog between rational people and complete, cult-brainwashed morons. In fact, just the kind of people who should not have guns.

  8. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Lewis did not have his firearms taken away from him; he voluntarily surrendered them, then promptly availed himself of that due process you strangely believe is being denied to him to get them back. He prevailed, and in the space of less than a week.

  9. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: Let’s consider some infamous serial killers: Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John W. Gacy, Charlie Manson. I am not sure if any used an automatic assault rifle. Think about Ed Gein, one of the most famous of all, the subject of many a book and movie. Again, no assault rifle. Gein was as looney as you can get, but was a danger only to people who looked like his mother. He was sentenced to life in a mental asylum, where he was described as a gentle, likeable person !
    Equally famous was Jack the Ripper, whose weapon of choice was surgical knives. Countless books, films, and documentaries have been produced about this elusive murderer. Some day the mystery may be solved: a police file found in some dusty cabinet, a diary, or a letter could finally close this case. Many researchers point to some member of a royal family.

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    It’s worth noting that the legislature crafted the criteria in the 9.46 standard (the one added by the SAFE Act) to match those of the 9.39 / 9.45 emergency admission & removal standards, not the far more lenient 9.27 non-emergency standard.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    I’m sorry, did I say anything about assault rifles?

    Guns should not be in private hands except in rare cases. They are dangerous to other people and their owners. And anyone who has a gun in a home with a child is by definition too irresponsible to own a gun.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s an assault rifle or a derringer. Guns kill people and do nothing useful in return.

    And before you launch the usual rote NRA-bot 2d Amendment response, I’m not talking about laws. I’m talking about maturity, responsibility, rationality, knowledge — the things that would cause a sensible person to refuse to own a gun.

    I’m talking hearts and minds. I want to convince people that bringing a gun into a home is dangerously stupid.

  12. James Pearce says:

    I don’t believe in gun control or due process. I believe in cops with tanks.

    (I’m kidding, of course.)

    @michael reynolds:

    And anyone who has a gun in a home with a child is by definition too irresponsible to own a gun.

    I’m not so sure I’d agree with you. Home is where you should keep all your stuff, the guns, the bongs, the S&M gear, the kids.

    I’d be willing to go with “anyone who brings their gun to the grocery store” though. There is a line to be drawn, but I’m not sure we should draw it at possession.

  13. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Agreed. I pretty much don’t care what sort of arsenal someone wants to keep in their home, as long as it stays there (with the caveat that mentally ill is quite possibly the best rationale I have ever heard for justifying disarming someone).

    It’s when they decide to cruise on down to Gymboree, etc. while carrying their cannon that I start to get upset.

  14. anjin-san says:

    @Davebo:

    I think that all that can be done in that regard has already been done. And IMO it’s been quite effective.

    Do you have anyone close to you with serious mental health problems?

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    By coincidence I just got a call from my wife. My daughter reported that her boyfriend admits to dreams about killing people, her included. We know the family has guns.

    It would just be a dream, and nothing much for me to worry about, but for the sickness that permeates this society with regard to guns. There is no such thing as a safe gun. If you bring a gun into your home you create the possibility that your child will kill a friend, a sibling or themselves.

    The shooting in Ferguson and many, many others like it, are the result of our sick infatuation with guns. Our cops are all on hair triggers because of guns. They wear body armor and think they need tanks because of guns. And the only reason you see any of that as acceptable is because you have grown up in a country that is mentally deranged when it comes to guns. Grow up in a loony bin and pretty soon it’s hard to see what’s really crazy. Everyone else in every other developed nation gets it, and when the whole world thinks you’re nuts, it’s time to check yourself.

    Now I have to go violate my daughter’s confidence, inform the school and email the kid’s parents. He’s always seemed like a nice kid, but he has access to guns, so I am left with no alternative but to ruin my daughter’s relationship, cause the boy’s teachers to view him with suspicion, and perhaps get him in trouble with his parents.

    Why? Because of f–king idiots and their f–king guns.

  16. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Less than one in a thousand guns in this country is ever used to commit a crime and less than one in 20,000 is ever used to kill someone (and most of those are owned illegally). We’ve seen a huge drop in violent crime over the last 20 years despite the loosening of gun laws and increased ownership. And as for guns “doing nothing”, millions of hunters would disagree as would the two million (if you believe Kleck’s work) to several hundred thousands (if you don’t) that use them for self-defense. Every year, we send what amounts to the largest army in the world into our woods to hunt deer and few are even injured, let alone killed.

    Sigh. Gun control is to the Left what global warming denial is the Right. Facts don’t matter as much as The Revealed Truth.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    No one hunts with a goddamn 44 magnum. Spare me the NRA-bot Turing-fail auto-responses. Only one gun in a thousand? Yeah? Far fewer jets kill anyone but we regulate the hell out of them and don’t allow any random jackass to hop in the cockpit.

  18. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The shooting in Ferguson and many, many others like it, are the result of our sick infatuation with guns. Our cops are all on hair triggers because of guns. They wear body armor and think they need tanks because of guns. And the only reason you see any of that as acceptable is because you have grown up in a country that is mentally deranged when it comes to guns. Grow up in a loony bin and pretty soon it’s hard to see what’s really crazy. Everyone else in every other developed nation gets it, and when the whole world thinks you’re nuts, it’s time to check yourself.

    Nonsense. The Ferguson police were pointing assault rifles at unarmed people and launched a violent response to rocks and taunts. The man they shot later that week was armed with a small knife. The Fruitville Station killing was of a man pinned down by cops. Kelly Thomas was beaten to death when he was clearly unarmed. Every day we see violent assault on people who are not only unarmed but clearly unarmed. We routinely deploy SWAT teams for no-knock raids without ascertaining whether guns are present or not (as in the Habersham County raid that critically burned a toddler but found no drugs). Assaults on cops are at an all-time low. Killing of cops is at the lowest rate in a century. The spate of North Hollywood shootouts never materialized. And the inner city minorities who are most likely to be the victims of these shooting actually have low rates of gun ownership.

    This is just police state propaganda.

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Oh? Then how is it that police in any other developed nation shoot so few people? German cops, British cops, French cops — virtually no shootings.

    Here’s a hint, genius: when the people are packing, the cops are scared. When the cops are scared, they shoot first and ask questions later.

  20. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Why do these countries kill fewer people? Maybe because they are not receiving military-style training without military-style discipline. They are not being given military-grade hardware by their own government and told to patrol their “sectors” of their cities. They are not routinely launching no-knock raids with no oversight. They do not have a constant drumbeat about how they are in constant danger of being killed when, in fact, they are safer than they’ve been since Lucy Hayes was hosting tea parties in the White House. And if a UK cop did kill someone, he might actually be accountable for it. It’s been two months since Michael Brown as gunned down in the street and nothing has happened.

    We’ve had guns in this country for a very long time. it wasn’t until the War on Drugs and the police militarization that people began to be routinely gunned down in the street.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:
    Right. By sheer damn coincidence EVERY other country in the 1st world restricts gun ownership and EVERY one if them has a minuscule number of police shootings and it’s all a huge coincidence. Of course it is.

    Now run off and masturbate your gun while reveling in your sad little hero fantasies. You aren’t a human being, you’re an NRA program.

  22. beth says:

    @michael reynolds: Damn Michael, that sucks. A lot of my daughter’s classmates and friends have guns and it always scared me. Teenage boys, hormones and guns – every parents’ nightmare. Hope all works out well for your daughter.

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I fully agree, but it is what it is. We live in a society encumbered with a 2nd Amendment, and barring repealing or changing it, there are limits to what we can accomplish with respect to dealing with the problem of guns (and people who bizarrely refuse to associate guns with gun related crime).

    I detest the damn things, but I’m a realist. I deal with the possible.

  24. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Except Switzerland. And Finland. And Norway. And France. And Canada. And Austria. And Germany, all of which are in the top 15 world-wide for gun ownership, with more than 30 guns per 100 people but have almost no people being shot to death by the police. Their laws are more restrictive, but they are hardly your dreamworld of “guns should not be in private hands except in rare cases.”

    Now run off and masturbate your gun while reveling in your sad little hero fantasies. You aren’t a human being, you’re an NRA program.

    You’re so much fun when you run out of liberal boilerplate.

  25. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What next, the horrors of sugar? How about your opinions on sex, and how it will affect the rest of us?

  26. anjin-san says:

    @Guarneri:

    the horrors of sugar?

    How much is the obesity epidemic going to cost this country in the next 25 years?

    Excess weight harms health in many ways. It increases the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers, to name just a few, and reduces the life span. Treating obesity and obesity-related conditions costs billions of dollars a year. By one estimate, the U.S. spent $190 billion on obesity-related health care expenses in 2005—double previous estimates.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic/

  27. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Their laws are more restrictive, but they are hardly your dreamworld of “guns should not be in private hands except in rare cases.”

    That’s putting it somewhat mildly, don’t you think?

    France, for example. Your typical handgun, category 2, requires a sport shooting license.

    How does one obtain such a license? One has to actively belong to a shooting club, visit said club at least three times per year, and visit a doctor every year to be pronounced physically and mentally capable of owning a firearm. Forget any of those steps, and your license can be revoked (and your weapons seized) at the whim of the police. We won’t even get into the months of paperwork involved in getting said license to begin with.

    Best of all, the entire process repeats every three years, and can be revoked at any time.

    To get any category one or four weapons, like the Glock or the Sig Sauer used in Newtown, you need to be 21, to have joined a shooting range for the last six months, provided a blank criminal record and a certificate of physical and mental health not older than two weeks. Then, the local police precinct starts a “morality investigation” in your neighborhood that rivals the clearance work done by the FBI for anybody employed at the White House.

    Even better, once you buy a gun, you still don’t own it. Property rights don’t apply to weapons. Even the European community, in spite of its principles of free enterprise and individual liberties, confirmed that there is no such thing as a right to own a weapon. A license is a temporary exception to the rule of prohibition. It is a privilege revoked after three years, before a new application.

    Forget even thinking about applying for a concealed carry permit in France, and don’t even think of carrying openly. It can involve a prison sentence.

    Comparing that to places like Louisiana and Utah is like comparing Mars to the Earth. Yea, they’re both planets, but the similarity ends there.

  28. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: so how do you get guns away from those who abuse them? by and large they’re the ones who can’t legally own them anyway- and what about those who hunt for food? they’re all not ted nugent wannabes. the avg. joe gun owner maintains his/her weapon with safety in mind- and hopes they never have to use it for self defense.

  29. T says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The shooting in Ferguson and many, many others like it, are the result of our sick infatuation with guns.

    you should get down to st louis! those protesters think it is about something entirely different. i’m sure they’ll be relieved when they find out that the police are just afraid of them.

  30. Eric Florack says:

    Well, let’s see, here.
    We have a government which has assigned to itself and its minions, the role of defining what is mental illness and then removing rights based on that diagnosis.

    Hmmm. sounds like a fair idea, until you consider what they claim shows mental illness…
    http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/info_schedule_battle/Anti_Government_Phobia.html

    What could possibly go wrong, here?

  31. Gustopher says:

    So, 35,000 people are put on a government list of “possibly dangerous” people, and only 300 of those have gun permits. Doing the math, rounding to the nearest thousand. Nearly 35,000 people are on a government list as “possibly dangerous”. Not “a danger to themselves or others” where they can be committed, but just mildly unstable, maybe with anger issues, but not an imminent threat to anyone.

    There are no significant checks of why people are put on this list, and no checks at all unless they actually have a gun permit, which basically none of them do. In fact, most people would not even know they are on this list.

    And we are to assume that this list will never be used for anything else. I don’t find this reassuring. There’s a huge stigma against seeking help for mental health issues, and this just seems prone for abuse.

    I think I would rather have the psychiatrists checking their “possibly dangerous” patients against the list of registered gun owners before reporting them. Then we are down the the 300 or so who actually have gun permits, which is a number small enough to get much better oversight involving second opinions, etc.

  32. Eric Florack says:

    @michael reynolds: The second amendment isnt about hunting. Its about protection from government.

  33. Mu says:

    The real thing is, how many people will not seek treatment due to a law like this.
    Guy at work: “Lately I’m so easy to piss off, nearly smacked my wife the other day. Ought to see a doctor.”
    Budy: “Gonna take your guns for sure”
    Guy: “NO way, I work it out somehow”
    Newspaper headline to follow.
    Any law that disrupts confidentiality prevents people from seeking help.

  34. LaMont says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Less than one in a thousand guns in this country is ever used to commit a crime and less than one in 20,000 is ever used to kill someone (and most of those are owned illegally).

    Yet there are still a significant amount of gun related deaths and injuries in this country compared to other developed nations. This only confirms that this society is saturated with guns and any law abiding citizen or crazy mental patient and everyone in between has easy access to them.

    We’ve had guns in this country for a very long time. it wasn’t until the War on Drugs and the police militarization that people began to be routinely gunned down in the street.

    That’s like admitting that you’ve kept spilled gasoline laying around in your garage for a long time but it never was a problem until people began to smoke in the garage. What exactly did you expect?

    There is no doubt in my mind that you are a reasonable person Hal. However, Michael is right on with this. We have grown up in a society that has always had this sick infatuation with guns. This infatuation is so deep that most reasonable and rational people are convinced that guns are needed out of nothing other than fear rather than for recreational use. And so, without the proper controls in place to limit gun usage for those that really should not have them, there is an oversaturation of them in our society – which leads to the kind of fear that justifies police militarization.

    It is not a stretch to understand the terrible impact guns have had on our society. What frustrates me the most is that “we the people” do not appear to understand that that real and quantifiable harm exceeds whatever perceived value we think we get from owning them. The slippery slope to the bottom with guns started a long time ago. We are just too brainwashed now to realize or even care to do anything about it.

  35. Jack says:

    @LaMont: Shorter Lamont: Guns are bad, mmmmkay.

  36. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: Shorter Michael: I don’t trust myself with a gun, therefore everyone must get rid of their guns.

  37. stonetools says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The second amendment isnt about hunting. Its about protection from government.

    NO. I won’t even ask you to cite the history or court opinion stating that because there is none. That’s pure gun nut propoganda.Even the Roberts Court doesn’t buy into wingnut fantasies that the Second Amendment somehow gives people a kind of right to armed insurrection.

  38. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    Your snarky comment might’ve been somewhat amusing if Michael insinuated anything of the sort!

    As for my comment you are right on – guns are bad – “mmmmkay”! Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out…

  39. Jack says:

    @LaMont: And yet, there are more deaths in vehicle accidents and falls than there are by guns. So presumably, cars and stairs are bad, too, mmmkay?

  40. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Except Switzerland. And Finland. And Norway. And France. And Canada. And Austria. And Germany, all of which are in the top 15 world-wide for gun ownership, with more than 30 guns per 100 people but have almost no people being shot to death by the police. Their laws are more restrictive, but they are hardly your dreamworld of “guns should not be in private hands except in rare cases.”

    I think you missed the memo. I and many gun safety advocates would be plenty happy with laws like France or Germany. It is the gun cultists who are going around saying that such countries are now crime infested hellholes suffering rising rates of violent crime because of their overly restictive gun laws.
    Now I certainly agree with you about the the effect of the War on Drugs. But it is simple common sense that the logical police reaction to an increasingly more heavily armed populace would be to want to arm itself more heavily and to be more trigger happy. Unfortunately, an armed society is not a more polite society. It’s simply a more trigger happy and more deadly society.The science fiction guy got it wrong. It’s not practical to have colonies on the moon farming wheat and gun-infested societies have much higher rates of gun violence than societies with reasonable gun safety laws.

  41. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    And yet, there are more deaths in vehicle accidents and falls than there are by guns

    If you are saying that guns should be regulated like cars, and that gun owners should be registered, should be required to buy insurance, and should have pass a licensing exam abefore being allowed to carry around a gun in public, then yes I agree with you.

  42. Eric Florack says:

    LaMont…. It would be impossible to under-estimate what a lack of firearms would do to our society. for openers, ponder the fact that every government-perpitrated mass murder in history, from Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc on down the line to ISIS, involved the removal of guns from the hands of citizens.

    every.
    single.
    one.

  43. LaMont says:

    @stonetools:

    Many 2nd amendment advocates (and I suspect Florack is one of them) argue that “the government” is representative of the British hierarchy that wanted to control the land before the constitution was written. The 2nd amendment was written in response to British control. Except that it only states that a well regulated militia is empowered to arm themselves for the security of a free state. Problem is, the US military sufficiently replaced the militia and our conservative led Supreme Court justices somehow interpreted that amendment to mean individual right to own guns. So now you have folks like Florack that spew these ignorant arguments that are void of context while somehow replacing the British government with the US government. Ironically, the US Government’s job, through the military, is to preserve the same freedom folks like Florack believes is in jeopardy without individual funs ownership. Crazy isn’t it?

  44. LaMont says:

    @Eric Florack:

    See my comment above. You are delusional to think that any firearms the government allows us to have will sifficiently arm ourselves from the US military. That line of reasonong is a boldfaced LIE.

  45. Jack says:

    @stonetools: I’ve gone over this before. I would love guns to be regulated like cars!

    1) No background check
    2) No registration, insurance, or license required unless driven on public roads
    3) No questions asked…if you have the money you can buy one
    4) License recognized in all 50 states and many countries
    5) I can buy a car even before I am old enough to drive, as long as I have the money
    6) No state laws barring maximum MPH
    7) I can alter a car in any manner I want and won’t break any laws if driven on private property
    8) I can buy a car without a background check at a car show

  46. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    And so it goes – a logical conversation about the impact of guns in our society is redirected to the impact of cars in our society. You just lost the argument…

  47. Jack says:

    @LaMont: You are delusional to think that any firearms the government allows us to have will sifficiently arm ourselves from the US military. That line of reasonong is a boldfaced LIE.

    So, that’s why we’ve had such overwhelming success in Iraq and Afghanistan…oh, wait.

  48. Jack says:

    @LaMont: “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
    – George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

  49. Jack says:

    @LaMont:

    Problem is, the US military sufficiently replaced the militia and our conservative led Supreme Court justices somehow interpreted that amendment to mean individual right to own guns.

    You mean like this conservative led supreme court waaaay back in 1876?

    The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. – United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876)[

  50. LaMont says:

    @Jack: @Jack:

    So, that’s why we’ve had such overwhelming success in Iraq and Afghanistan…oh, wait.

    Except that the US never intended to permanently subdue the land in Iraq and Afganistan.

  51. Jack says:

    @LaMont: Jane, you ignorant slut.

    I was responding to stonetools argument that guns should be regulated like cars.

    There are a plethora of reasons for death in our society and we don’t blame the thing used. How many times have you blamed the car in a drunk driving accident. I’m guessing not to many.

    Don’t be a douchebag.

  52. Jack says:

    @LaMont: Sure, sure, it has nothing to do with the enemies ability to outlast, out maneuver, and outsmart a superior force.

    I suppose the Soviets never planned to permanently subdue the land in Afghanistan either.

  53. stonetools says:

    Before we go on, let’s look at what the law is designed to prevent. It is designed to prevent the situation in which a mentally ill guy gets an AR-15 and a couple of handguns, breaks into a school, and murders 26 people in 5 minutes, most of them children. Doug and other gun cultists gloss over this in a sentence, but really, that’s a BFD-especially if similar incidents happen again and again.
    Balanced against that is a situation where a middle class white guy goes through the inconvenience of giving up his guns for a few days.With all due respect, I don’t just don’t see this as the kind of undue burden that rises to constiutional dimensions. Doug conveniently leaves out the following:

    Patients can challenge the revocations of their gun permits in court, and at least one has: a man in Otsego County, in central New York, who lost his gun license after being admitted to a hospital because he had threatened to harm himself, according to court papers. He also said he had accidentally exposed himself to a young girl and was racked with guilt. The county judge ruled the license could be revoked.

    Ya think maybe the court got that one right?

  54. Jack says:

    @stonetools: And yet, you still fight voter ID. You know, because it’s sooo inconvenient.

  55. KM says:

    @LaMont:

    What frustrates me the most is that “we the people” do not appear to understand that that real and quantifiable harm exceeds whatever perceived value we think we get from owning them.

    I agree. Not just “value” – there is a large segment of the population utterly convinced there is a “need”. Not for legit safety purposes, mind you, but for some nebulous threatening maybe. The way some of my co-workers talk, you’d think they live in downtown Fallajuah instead of one of the safest cities in the country (hell, people leave their luxury cars unlocked on a regular basis around here!). Meanwhile, the guy that has actually been to Fallajuah on a tour gives them the hairy eyeball and commented a real firefight would have many of them pissing themselves.

    We are just too brainwashed now to realize or even care to do anything about it.

    They’ve become a status symbol, a cultural need rather then a practical one. Always remember, they are a tool and nothing more. Do you buy a hammer just to have it or do you buy one because you need to actually use it? Do you buy a hammer just because you have the freedom to do so? Sure you can but why have it just laying around? Practicality taking a backseat to frivolity… and passing whims are not a good thing when it comes to something lethal. We’ve lost touch as a society with what guns are and their function. Until we reconnect with that on a fundamental level, we will continue to have stupid arguments like these.

  56. Hal_10000 says:

    @stonetools:

    The thing is that there is little evidence to back up the assertion that gun control will reduce crime. Advocates like to point out that violent crime dropped in Australia when guns were outlawed. But violent crime dropped in the United States even faster without gun control laws. We tried heavy gun control a few decade ago. The environment was so different that a major presidential candidate advocated a federal duty to retreat law that applied to people’s own homes. And crime surged.

    When the crime bill was passed in 1993, gun control advocates lamented that it didn’t go far enough. But crime was already falling. When the assault weapons ban expired, a bloodbath was predicted. It didn’t happen. When conceal-carry laws flourished, a bloodbath was predicted. And gun violence continued to plunge. Gun control advocates have criticized the work of Gary Kleck and John Lott. But they have yet to produce research that’s even remotely comparable. They are reduced to cherry-picking obscure studies in order to try to prove their points. Or sometimes outright fraud. The simple fact is that crime has plunged in America at the precise time that gun laws were being loosened. Maybe that’s a coincidence; but we seem to end up with a lot of coincidences on this subject.

    This is why I say gun control is the Left’s global warming. I see the same tactics: cherry-picking data, ignoring large studies in favor of tiny ones, sweeping generalizations and, ultimately, ad-hominem attacks like Michael’s last comment above about me being an NRA program (for the record, I’m not even a member).

  57. LaMont says:

    @Jack: @Jack:

    You mean like this conservative led supreme court waaaay back in 1876?

    No I mean the right granted in 2008 – District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. __, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 171 L. Ed. 2d 637

    http://www.lawnix.com/cases/dc-heller.html

  58. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    Patients can challenge the revocations of their gun permits in court, and at least one has: a man in Otsego County, in central New York, who lost his gun license after being admitted to a hospital because he had threatened to harm himself, according to court papers. He also said he had accidentally exposed himself to a young girl and was racked with guilt. The county judge ruled the license could be revoked.

    And yet, this person still lost, possibly thousands of dollars in personal property with zero compensation due to a theft by the state.

    The fact is, this law is an end run around due process. You must prove yourself innocent prior to getting your property back.

  59. KM says:

    @Jack:

    The fact is, this law is an end run around due process. You must prove yourself innocent prior to getting your property back.

    Ummm, he wasn’t by his own admission. So your point was a self-admitted mentally unstable person challenged the law regarding mentally unstable people and guns and lost? Color me surprised.

  60. Jack says:

    @LaMont: OK, let’s be clear. I countered your conservative Supreme Court argument in Heller v DC and McDonnel v Chicago with a decision that happened over a century ago in which the justices stated that “The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution.”

    Effectively, this has been settled law for 138 years, yet you want to blame the Robert’s Court. That may work with the less educated, but not around here.

  61. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    I know exactly what you are responding too and it is an ignorant response. If I received 100 bucks for every time I got that brain-dead response in a gun control discussion I might be rich enough to pay our political leaders to change the laws myself!

    Fact of the matter is, guns – whose entire purpose is to kill or injure as efficiently as possible does not add any quantifiable value in return for the public interest as automobiles or any other non-gun tool you can think of that likely provide quantifiable returns on value that exceeds the risks associated with it. That is the bottom line = Get a clue!

  62. Hal_10000 says:

    One last thought, re: tyranny and guns. I don’t think tyranny is likely to come to this country. But anyone who thinks it is impossible is unfamiliar with our history or our current political state.

    I do wish, however, that those who advocate for our second amendment rights to protect us from tyranny would advocate just as zealously for other other civil liberties. Defending the other nine amendments is the surest way of making sure we don’t have to worry about the second.

  63. Jack says:

    @KM:

    Ummm, he wasn’t by his own admission. So your point was a self-admitted mentally unstable person challenged the law regarding mentally unstable people and guns and lost? Color me surprised.

    Um, no. That’s not what I said. What I said was that his legally purchased property was stolen. Period. He went uncompensated for that property. period. I would have much less problem with this law if the state couldn’t simply steal from those it deems unworthy.

  64. Jack says:

    @Hal_10000: Hi Hal. I’m Jack. I have fought here for just about every one of the first ten amendments or the Bill of Rights. The 3rd doesn’t come up that much but there was a case about a police force commandeering and trashing a lady’s home for 6-7 hours because there was a person threatening his family with a gun next door.

  65. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    This is why I say gun control is the Left’s global warming. I see the same tactics: cherry-picking data, ignoring large studies in favor of tiny ones, sweeping generalizations and, ultimately, ad-hominem attacks like Michael’s last comment above about me being an NRA program (for the record, I’m not even a member).

    Er, no. The organizations that are steadfastly dedicated to banning fedrally funded scientific studies of gun violence are all “gun rights” organizations, and there’s a rational inference to be drawn from that. Lott’s and Cleck’s studies were paid for by the NRA and have been shown to be fraudulent. Lott is a marketing consultant, FFS, not an academician or scientist.

    We tried heavy gun control a few decade ago

    {Citation needed}

    Advocates like to point out that violent crime dropped in Australia when guns were outlawed.

    Gun violence fell. And there has never been a mass shooting since, wheras here we have mass shootings every couple of months or so. we are due another any day now.

  66. Jack says:

    @LaMont: Awww, someone is butthurt for being called an idiot on a public forum.

    My gun makes me a murderer in the same manner as your vagina makes you a prostitute.

    There are over 330,000,000 guns in the US and on any given day 329,999,999 are not used to commit a crime or injure someone.

    Maybe you still have a little sand in your mangina from the last time you visited the beach and it’s still causing you some problems.

  67. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    Click on the link and read the dissenting views. The ruling 138 years ago only started the sick infatuation this country has with respect to guns. This ruling affirms it. It is what it is, in spite of everything we know about guns today, this country remains stuck on stupid concerning them with advocate like you who are so willing to use the letter of the law, affirmed by some of the same brainwashed people, to keep your freedom. It is utterly mind f^&%ing stupid!

  68. Jack says:

    @LaMont: The letter of the law? You disparage the letter of the law. The letter of the law is what allows me to flip off and tell a cop to go f&ck himself while stomping my rights. The letter of the law is what allows me to tell a cop to get a warrant. The letter of the law is what guarantees me a right to own a firearm and not ask permission from a central authority.

    We are a nation of laws.

  69. KM says:

    @Jack:

    I would have much less problem with this law if the state couldn’t simply steal from those it deems unworthy.

    I’d agree with you in theory except there’s this whiff of judgmental jerk on this statement I can’t quite define. You label it stealing when someone who breaks the law has the thus prohibited item removed from their care – thus feeling personal ownership trumps any law. That’s a rather selfish view. Should a convicted drunk driver’s car not be impounded? Is that stealing by the state? I do think some compensation (fair market value) is in order, I’m just uncomfortable with how you are rationalizing it. That way lies a lot of the ugly underpinnings that are causing this whole controversy in the first place.

  70. Jack says:

    @KM: The government should not be allowed to take anything of value, i.e. property from a person without just compensation. Yes, there may be people who have lawfully purchased firearms that later in life are determined temporarily or permanently unfit to own those firearms. That is no justification to steal their property.

    On a side note, the VA, simply because soldiers/sailors/marines/airmen have requested a financial power of attorney to a spouse to oversee financial matters while deployed, has deemed certain veterans unfit to own a firearm. This is B.S. and is just one example of the slippery slope laws like this bring about.

    BTW:

    You label it stealing when someone who breaks the law has the thus prohibited item removed from their care – thus feeling personal ownership trumps any law.

    Being declared unfit is not breaking the law.

  71. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    One last thought, re: tyranny and guns. I don’t think tyranny is likely to come to this country. But anyone who thinks it is impossible is unfamiliar with our history or our current political state.

    Again, let’s get back to the the specific law. Where is the “tyranny” here?
    If you are talking “slippery slope”, just remember that “slippery slope” is a logical fallacy. Just because the state passes seat belt laws doesn’t mean the government is coming to take away your cars.(A popular libertarian/conservative argument in the 70s, now largely forgotten). Just because the government passes Medicare doesn’t mean “We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

    But anyone who thinks it is impossible is unfamiliar with our history or our current political state

    All sorts of things are very unlikely yet possible. It’s possible that I could be struck dead by lightning. But that doesn’t stop me from leaving the house.

  72. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    Ahh let me change that – Not – “letter of the law” but rather the “interpretation of the law”

    See what I did there? I acknowledged a wrong and changed the wording to fit the initial purpose of my stance. That wasn’t so hard now was it? Now please, explain to me the initial purpose of the 2nd amendment. Without all the brainwashed crap added over the years.

  73. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    We are a nation of laws.

    Indeed. And this was a law duly passed by a state legislature and upheld by the courts. Your point being?

  74. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    Again, let’s get back to the the specific law. Where is the “tyranny” here?
    If you are talking “slippery slope”, just remember that “slippery slope” is a logical fallacy.

    So, all of the liberals that were saying there would be blood in the streets if they passed a concealed carry law, were wrong???

    Color me shocked!

  75. Jack says:

    @LaMont:

    Now please, explain to me the initial purpose of the 2nd amendment. Without all the brainwashed crap added over the years.

    Easy, let’s use the words of the founders so we don’t get into all that messy discussion that has occurred over the years. “On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
    – Samuel Adams

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
    – Patrick Henry

    “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
    – Richard Henry Lee

    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
    – Richard Henry Lee

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
    – James Madison

    “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
    – James Madison

    “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
    – Noah Webster

    “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
    – George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

    “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.”
    – John Adams

    “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
    – Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “A free people ought to be armed.”
    – George Washington

  76. Jack says:

    @LaMont:

    Now please, explain to me the initial purpose of the 2nd amendment. Without all the brainwashed crap added over the years.

    Now, please explain to me how the plain language of the 2nd amendment does not allow a person to carry a firearm.

  77. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Being declared unfit is not breaking the law.

    I’m very curious as to how you define “breaking the law” and “unfit” since you’re trying to make a distinction that’s essential to your point. Sticking with my drunk driver theme, they are declared unfit when not sober and thus break the law when DUI. Their actions under their “unfit” status is the violation; something they do daily sober is now illegal when “unfit”. Hell, being drunk in public is a legally “unfit” state. You are trying to divorce two interrelated concepts in order to complain about a third (compensation). Being denied compensation is its own legitimate gripe; I’m not sure why you’re trying to drag the others into it.

    You are correct that being declared unfit is not the lawbreaking action in and of itself. However, that declaration doesn’t exist in a legal vacuum – it comes with a whole host of associated consequences. Under this law, he was in violation due to his status and he knew it. You can argue about the unfairness on non-compensation (which again, I agree with you on) but you seem to be focused on the fact that this man was declared “unfit” (rightly by what I’ve read) and thus consequences he didn’t like happened. If he is a danger to himself or others (and he admitted to it), bye bye guns. Period. Pay him for his property and move on. This is not the hill to die on.

  78. Jack says:

    @KM: The state, not necessarily a medical professional declares a person “unfit”, and then the state confiscates the firearm. First, in our society there is the belief that a person is innocent until proven guilty. A declaration by the state is not proof. No law was broken in this process.

    A man asks his doctor for some anxiety medication and the state decides he is unfit. See, no law was broken.

    Even if he is shown to be unfit before a judge, there must be compensation for his loss. Otherwise the state could simply pass a law that says if you are unfit we can take your home or your car.

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

  79. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    How exactly does those opinions enforce what is written in the 2nd amendment? They are opinions given in context of a time British control was a real proposition to consider. What only matters is what was written in the constitution and why. Furthermore, you, as well as gun advocates like you, love to treat the founding fathers like Gods. In spite of changing times you hold these opinions in the same regards as the Ten Commandments. The constitutional amendments were created as an ongoing process to amend the constitution according to the changing times. Yet, we have guns advocates that are all too happy to use the opinions that were represented in a different time and state (over 100 years ago). This is not logical.

    Notwithstanding the fact that you and I have totally differing opinions on what the 2nd amendment actually means, the fact that many gun advocates do not recognize that stringent gun control measures (“well regulated”) does more to protect that interpreted right than anything else is baffling to me. In response to the initial point of this article – any reasonable and law abiding citizen should not mind having to jump through a few more hoops to keep that right if it means people who should not have them would not be able to get them so easily.

  80. Hal_10000 says:

    @stonetools:

    Er, no. The organizations that are steadfastly dedicated to banning fedrally funded scientific studies of gun violence are all “gun rights” organizations, and there’s a rational inference to be drawn from that. Lott’s and Cleck’s studies were paid for by the NRA and have been shown to be fraudulent. Lott is a marketing consultant, FFS, not an academician or scientist.

    Talk about citation needed. Look at my link. I show all over the place how the gun control-favored studies are cherry-picked, obscure and flawed. Try again. This is something I’ve been looking into for years. I specifically cite the research that counters their claims — much of which is from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. You cite nothing other than a “consensus” that only exists in the minds of gun control advocates.

    Oh, and Lott is an academic. He has a PhD in economics from UCLA — hardly an online diploma mill – and a was a professor at numerous universities. He was not paid by the NRA — the University of Chicago specifically refuted this. There’s this thing called Google where you can look these things up.

    You can contrast this against the work of Bellesiles, which the Left still cites and has been proven to be a fraud to the point where its Bancroft prize was revoked and Columbia fired him. That’s the guy you’re thinking of: the gun control advocate.

  81. stonetools says:

    Please free my comment from spam defenses. Thanks.

  82. Jack says:

    @LaMont: First of all, you were the one that wanted me to not use all “brainwashed crap added over the years”. So, I did. And now you are complaining.

    Second, you are mixing 17th century words with 21st century meanings. Well regulated as written in the 2nd amendment does not me overly burdensome state dictated regulation of today. To glean the meaning of well regulated at the time, determine it’s meaning from context.

    The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

    1709: “If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations.”

    1714: “The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world.”

    Well Regulated never meant stringent gun control measures. You cannot read the quotes I provided and tell me those people meant guns should be under stringent control of the state. How about a little intellectual honesty here?

    In response to the initial point of this article – any reasonable and law abiding citizen should not mind having to jump through a few more hoops to keep that right if it means people who should not have them would not be able to get them so easily.

    How many more hoops, ladders, slides, and hurdles do you expect the law abiding to jump through to exercise a right? Additionally, this law does nothing about the bulk of murders in this nation by criminals that have gotten their weapon illegally. The criminals in NY do not get a permission slip from the state to own a firearm and will not lose their firearms by a declaration of mental incompetency.

  83. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    Indeed. And this was a law duly passed by a state legislature and upheld by the courts. Your point being?

    Segregation was passed by state legislatures and upheld by courts. Voter ID was passed by state legislatures and upheld by courts. Stand Your Ground Laws were passed by state legislatures and upheld by courts.

    I’m simply repeating Doug’s concern about due process and theft of property under the V Amendment.

  84. KM says:

    @Jack:

    The state, not necessarily a medical professional declares a person “unfit”, and then the state confiscates the firearm. First, in our society there is the belief that a person is innocent until proven guilty. A declaration by the state is not proof. No law was broken in this process.

    There it is! I couldn’t put my finger on it before but what was bothering me about your rather circular argument is you feel the state has no authority to declare someone “unfit” You keep referring to “breaking the law” in relation to it even after I pointed out it’s not the lawbreaking action in and of itself. You equate “unfit” = “legally guilty” and “fit” = “innocent”. They are not the same concept. You do understand the only reason a doctor can declare you unfit is that the law gave them that right, correct? The doctor has no inherent ability to make that call – the law as written gives them that privilege and spells out what exactly that entails. Just like a priest doesn’t legally marry you solely because he’s a priest – it’s “by the powers vested in me” by the state! Thus the government by way of the doctor is telling you who’s fit and unfit as a matter of course. One can be innocent as a lamb in action and thought (legal state) and completely unfit due to biological or mental circumstances (physical state). Not the same thing by a mile.

    All in all, your argument is you don’t think the state should be able to do that because you don’t feel they should. But they already do as a basic function of society so it comes across as rather anti-government complaining rather then a legitimate point. If you want to argue the legitimacy of the criteria, that’s fine but stop complaining about one of the most primal functions every government ever – to make laws regarding what is considered legally acceptable actions and states in citizens.

  85. Jack says:

    @KM: I am not equating fit or unfit to innocence or guilt. I am stating that the way this law works is you are declared “unfit”, your weapons are confiscated without compensation, then you have your day in court. If you win, you get your guns back. If you lose, you don’t and you remain uncompensated.

    My only concern with the “State” is that, as the article shows, bureaucrats which zero contact with the “accused” fill out forms, sometimes based upon little or no contact with a mental health professional, declaring these people unfit.

    Again, the Veterans Administration has started doing this for returning soldiers that requested financial Powers of Attorney while they were deployed. The VA sasy that since they were not competent enough to oversee their finances (many times while they were deployed for months on end), they are unfit to own a firearm.

  86. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    I wanted YOU to explain to me YOUR opinion of what the 2nd amendment meant. You proceeded to cite the opinions of some of our founding fathers. That is the very crap I meant. However, from that crap, I understood your opinion of it – however brainwashed it may be.

    I use the word “stringent” because, well, isn’t it obvious that we are not regulating firearms well? If you believe that we are, than stringent is definitely in order. There are a whole host of other rights we have that are very much regulated and require us to jump through all kinds of hoops. But when it comes to guns, we treat it as some taboo of sorts. All of it is illogical.

  87. Jack says:

    @LaMont: The firearm industry is more regulated than the nuclear industry. There are over 20k firearms on the books already. Do you really think one more law is going to be the “Silver Bullet” that prevents future firearm related death?

    No other “Right” is as heavily regulated as the 2nd amendment.

  88. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    The firearm industry is more regulated than the nuclear industry.

    And that is exactly where we will agree to disagree.

    Not only do we need “one more law”, but perhaps a change or added amendment along with some obvious changes in policy that support it. And I’m talking changes that the majority of people, even NRA members as polling suggest, would except.

  89. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    The firearm industry is more regulated than the nuclear industry.

    BTW – I work for an energy company – so I personally know this to be false…

  90. Jack says:

    @Jack: I meant to say over 20k firearm laws on the books.

  91. Jack says:

    @LaMont: Name any other industry that has over 20k laws on the books concerning production, sale, and use of it’s product.

  92. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    That link doesn’t do it for me. Even, assuming you may have refuted some weak gun safety arguments, you haven’t refuted the best ones-see, etc. After all, there are weak and even fraudulent pro-evolution arguments. Refuting them doesn’t refute the theory of evolution. Sorry.

    John Lott’s credentials debunked here.

    In any case, the courts have already ruled on this and other laws. Even Heller accepts that the state has a rational interest in regulating firearms on public safety grounds. The question is how much.

    The Supreme Court, however, was also quick to note that Second Amendment has its limits. As explained by the Court, “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

  93. Jack says:

    @stonetools: Why do liberals always quote that section, yet ignore this section?

    The Court holds that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self- defense within the home. The Court based its holding on the text of the Second Amendment, as well as applicable language in state constitutions adopted soon after the Second Amendment.

  94. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    Not having cited it – even if it is correct that we have “20K laws on the books” it still doesn’t appear to be enough to regulate it sufficiently now does it? I will tell you that if people died from nuclear radiation in this country at anywhere near half the rate they die from guns then nuclear energy regulation would be considered an utter failure. It’s not about how many laws we “have on the books”. It’s about what are considered to be meaningful measures taken and enforced in the form of policy changes or additions to ensure the safety of everyone. That might very well mean treating humans as unreliable retards when drafting policies…

  95. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    I certainly don’t ignore it, although I think its wrong.But even if the Supreme Court is right about this, it doesn’t mean that you have an unlimited right to have a firearm, which is how the gun cultists interpret it.

  96. Hal_10000 says:

    That link doesn’t do it for me. Even, assuming you may have refuted some weak gun safety arguments, you haven’t refuted the best ones-see, etc.

    Holy cow, your primary gun control study is a model? Not hard data from the FBI? Good Lord. I think you’ve made my case for me.

  97. Jack says:

    @LaMont: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the most prominent regulator of firearms. For example, in order to sell firearms, an individual must be licensed with ATF as a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer. An FFL holder is required to keep meticulous records of all firearms acquired and sold. These records include the firearm’s serial and model number, the manufacturer, the caliber and type of firearm, the date of the transfer and the person to whom the firearm is sold. These records must be kept in a bound volume and ready for inspection by ATF agents.

    Additionally, federal laws govern how and under what conditions a firearm may be sold to an individual. For example, every gun purchaser must complete an ATF form 4473. On this form, they must provide verification of identity and answer questions regarding any criminal history, mental competency and drug use, among other things.

    Many firearms and firearm-related products are banned under federal law. For example, it is illegal to manufacture and sell to the public: sawed-off shotguns, machine guns and armor-piercing ammunition.

    Federal law also requires manufacturers to include an indelible serial number on all firearms. The manufacturer must keep records of the serial number, date of manufacture, type of firearm and to whom it was sent. The ATF routinely traces firearms used in crime by contacting the manufacturer and recreating the chain of distribution.

    Other agencies and regulatory bodies also regulate the firearms and ammunition industry. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration has regulations regarding transporting firearms on aircraft. Shipping regulations and package-labeling requirements promulgated by the Department of Transportation regulate how ammunition must be shipped. With a few specific exceptions, firearms can only be shipped across state lines between federally licensed FFL holders. Individuals cannot buy firearms through the mail.

    In total, an estimated 20,000 federal, state and local gun laws are on the books. Some of these laws cover individual buyers; some govern what can be made and sold. Others regulate how and under what terms and conditions firearms and ammunition can be distributed throughout the country. Firearms and ammunition, while exempt from the CPSA, are subject to the same product-liability laws as other products. As such, the firearms and ammunition industry is dedicated to the manufacturing of quality, safe products for use by responsible, law-abiding citizens.

    Just because someone dies of something does not mean we need more regulation or that there is fault with that something. There were 33,561 deaths from auto accidents in 2012. Should we reduce who can own an auto, who can drive an auto or force better safety standards on the auto industry as a result?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

  98. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    There’s plenty of data-driven studies that show gun safety laws work. I haven’t bothered to cite them now, because I’ve cited them many times in the past. Generally, gun cultists say these studies aren’t enough, or cite Lott, or whatever. Again, I’ve yet to see a coherent explanation as to why US gun death rates differ so vastly from the UK’s apart from gun control, and I suspect I never will.We’re talking religious belief here, and I accept that now.
    I’m moving on to point out that the courts accept the logic of gun safety laws, regardless of our views on the issue. You believe that restrictions on firearms have nothing to do with the rate of gun deaths, take it up with the Supreme Court. They’re convinced, which is why they don’t allow firearms in the Supreme Court, even by law abiding citizens.

  99. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Name any other industry that has over 20k laws on the books concerning production, sale, and use of it’s product.

    The financial industry.

    The medical industry.

    The aviation industry.

    The automotive industry.

    The pharmaceuticals industry.

  100. LaMont says:

    @Jack:

    And there you go again, citing the impact of automobiles in a gun control discussion. Yet, you still can not refute the obvious fact that guns and gun control regulation is no where near decent enough to significantly reduce the rate of death and injury by guns in this developed, non-third-world nation we call the United States of America. Now you are arguing the same points I and others have already addressed. I’m done!

  101. Jack says:

    @stonetools: If I am not a criminal and I am over 18 years of age, I have a right to buy and own a legal firearm. Period. If I am over 18 and in an Open Carry state (roughly 30), I have a right to safely carry that firearm openly. Period. If I am over 21, and in a state that has concealed carry with a license, I am allowed to apply for a license.

    At this point, the only discussion left is what is considered a “legal” firearm.

  102. Jack says:

    @LaMont: You cannot reduce death to zero with 330,000,000 people! That’s like trying to regulate drowning deaths.

  103. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    The financial industry.

    The medical industry.

    The aviation industry.

    The automotive industry.

    The pharmaceuticals industry.

    I would put money on the fact that automotive, pharmaceutical, and medical industries had over 30k deaths attributed to their product last year alone. Yet no one is saying we should rid the country of automotive, pharmaceutical, and medical industries.

  104. Hal_10000 says:

    Also, re: Lott. I’m aware that his research can not be reproduced. There’s a long way to go from there to “fraud”. Again, I’m reminded of Global Warming, where deniers claimed that missing original date in Climategate proved … something. I’m also aware that no one else who had tried to reproduce it has disputed the conclusions. And the few studies that do — such as the recent Missouri study — turn out to be flawed.

  105. Hal_10000 says:

    @stonetools:

    The Supreme Court has said that some regulation is acceptable. I agree. I don’t oppose all regulation. But when you’re talking about, as was discussed above, taking them away from most people, that’s ridiculous.

    (Also, it’s Tuesday. Mondays are when you say there are lots of studies. Tuesday is when you say the GOP has prevented any studies being done.)

    There are many many difference between the United States and other countries beside gun control laws, some of which I have already cited (our awful racial history, the War on Drugs, police militarization, a far different police culture). You can twist and turn like a twisty turny thing, but you can’t get away from the fact that gun violence has been cut in half over the last twenty years while gun control laws have decreased. And the cut has been more dramatic here than it has been in countries that instituted stricter gun control.

  106. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    I would put money on the fact that automotive, pharmaceutical, and medical industries had over 30k deaths attributed to their product last year alone. Yet no one is saying we should rid the country of automotive, pharmaceutical, and medical industries.

    Well, here are the 15 leading causes of death in America, as enumerated by CDC/NHS, National Vital Statistics System, with the percent (%) indicated to the right of the cause. Homicide keeps good company, don’t you think?

    1. Diseases of the heart, 28.5
    2. Malignant tumors 22.8
    3. Cerebrovascular diseases 6.7
    4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5.1
    5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) 4.4
    6. Diabetes mellitus 3.0
    7. Influenza and pneumonia 2.7
    8. Alzheimer’s disease 2.4
    9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 1.7
    10. Septicemia (blood poisoning) 1.4
    11. Suicide 1.3
    12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 1.1
    13. Primary hypertension and hypertensive renal disease 0.8
    14. Parkinson’s disease (tied) 0.7
    15. Homicide (tied) 0.7

  107. T says:

    @LaMont:

    And so, without the proper controls in place to limit gun usage for those that really should not have them, there is an oversaturation of them in our society – which leads to the kind of fear that justifies police militarization.

    Ferguson happened because to police, black lives do not matter.

    And it’s not just in the south. Happens all over the country. Black people are not seen as people by the police.

    Police are not scared of protestors. Most of these guys are ex military and well trained. They KNOW they have enough manpower and equipment to go in there and start busting heads and hauling everyone off to jail. They signed up to be the cowboy hero. If they got shot, they know they can easily change the narrative and come off looking like a hero. What police are actually afraid of is being held accountable for their actions.

  108. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    I would put money on the fact that automotive, pharmaceutical, and medical industries had over 30k deaths attributed to their product last year alone.

    First, that’s not what you asked. You asked, simply, if anyone could name any other industry that was as similarly heavily regulated as the gun industry, which I did, handily.

    Yet no one is saying we should rid the country of automotive, pharmaceutical, and medical industries.

    Second, yes, you are quite correct. No one is proposing to get rid of cars and medicine. Probably because, on average, the use of cars and medicine is (a) useful and (b) drastically improves our quality of life and productivity.

  109. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: So, it looks to me that we have 13 other things to focus our attention on before we get to guns.

  110. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Also, it’s Tuesday. Mondays are when you say there are lots of studies. Tuesday is when you say the GOP has prevented any studies being done.)

    NO. I said that the GOP prevented federally funded studies. That’s a matter of record. Do you distort what your opponents say EVERY day?

    There are many many difference between the United States and other countries beside gun control law

    And by far the biggest is that those countries have sensible gun safety laws. That’s why countries as different as Germany and Australia, Canada and Israel all have much lower gun death rates than the US. F**king NOBODY thinks the reason that the UK’s and Japan’s rates of gun homicides are often in the single digits is their similar cultures or histories or whatnot. It’s the lack of guns , pure and simple.
    I’m getting tired of this, frankly. The nuttiest gun nut in Gunnutistan understands perfectly and accepts without reservation the case for bomb control and poision gas control. Its when we substitute the particular kind of “arms ” we call guns that you get the specious arguments, the parsing of eighteenth century language, the counting of commas, the calls for absolute proof, and the appeals to what the founding fathers really thought, but didn’t write.
    OK, it’s time to move on from trying to discuss theological beliefs about (certain kinds of) arms and discuss what the courts say. The courts allow regulation, and specifically prohibits the ownership of firearms for he mentally ill. They have have upheld these laws. I see no constitutional violation here.

  111. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Probably because, on average, the use of cars and medicine is (a) useful and (b) drastically improves our quality of life and productivity.

    So, a product is only appropriate if is useful (in your opinion), and drastically improves our quality of life and productivity (in your opinion). I’m certain I could find all kinds of products and services that I don’t find useful or improve my quality of life and productivity. Simply because I don’t like or use them does not mean they should be banned.

    Additionally, doctors kill 2,450% more Americans than all gun-related deaths combined. So should we ban medicine as a result?

    http://www.naturalnews.com/038889_doctors_guns_statistics.html

    “It’s true: You are 64 times more likely to be killed by your doctor than by someone else wielding a gun. That’s because 19,766 of the total 31,940 gun deaths in the USA (in the year 2011) were suicides. So the actual number of deaths from other people shooting you is only 12,174.

    Doctors, comparatively, kill 783,936 people each year, which is 64 times higher than 12,174. Doctors shoot you not with bullets, but with vaccines, chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals… all of which turn out to be FAR more deadly than guns.

    This is especially amazing, given that there are just under 700,000 doctors in America, while there are roughly about 80 million gun owners in America.”

  112. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    The courts allow regulation, and specifically prohibits the ownership of firearms for he mentally ill.

    I don’t disagree, but….

    Who then gets to decide who is mentally ill. According to michael reynolds

    And anyone who has a gun in a home with a child is by definition too irresponsible to own a gun.

    According to some liberals, the mere desire to own a gun indicates mental instability.

    Here, non medical bureaucrats are making a decision and people then must pay to fight against a bureaucrats decision. And if they fail to convince a court, they are out possibly thousands of dollars.

    All I am saying is the process needs tightened up a bit and confiscated guns should be paid for at a retail value.

  113. Tyrell says:

    @Hal_10000: Let’s take a look at some cases. :Ted Bundy, Jeff Dahmer, Boston Strangler, John W. Gacy, Charlie Manson: some of the most infamous and heinous murderers in history. Yet they did not use automatic assault weapons. Ed Gein: the topic of many a book and movie, did not use an assault type gun, wound up in a mental asylum where he was described as a model patient (actually Gein was not a serial killer, he killed two, but was looney as you can get). Of course, Jack the Ripper, who weapon was surgical knives. The most famous of unsolved murderers, but new technology may finally reveal his true identity.
    See my point ?

  114. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    So, a product is only appropriate if is useful (in your opinion), and drastically improves our quality of life and productivity (in your opinion).

    No, I never said they were “only” appropriate if they were useful and productive — you kind of inserted that word there yourself. Honestly, I don’t know why you bother with this kind of dishonest argument — it’s appallingly obvious and all-too-easy to pick apart.

    I’m certain I could find all kinds of products and services that I don’t find useful or improve my quality of life and productivity. Simply because I don’t like or use them does not mean they should be banned.

    And mazel tov. You won’t find me arguing with you.

  115. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Here, non medical bureaucrats are making a decision and people then must pay to fight against a bureaucrats decision. And if they fail to convince a court, they are out possibly thousands of dollars.

    All I am saying is the process needs tightened up a bit and confiscated guns should be paid for at a retail value.

    Actually, what you’re saying is @&#$&#* bureaucracy. I guarantee, if a system of nothing but fully-accredited first-rate medical personnel made all the calls the whole way through, you’d still be pissed and bitch about them stealing your stuff. You keep talking like him having his day in court is a bad thing – he was admitted to a hospital due threatened to harm himself. Not a temp psych hold, admitted. Medical personnel already weighed in on this one but you are conveniently ignoring that little fact. He had a chance to talk to the judge and was unconvincing in his arguments.

    And what’s “medical personnel” anyways – a doctor, a nurse, a counselor? Hell, I’m “medical personnel” according the government due to my degree and job but you don’t seem to like my opinion so far 🙂 I’d be one of those people you’re putting so much faith in as a proper judge of fitness and I doubt very much you’d accept my decision – or for that matter, the gentleman in question would either.

  116. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Doctors, comparatively, kill 783,936 people each year, which is 64 times higher than 12,174.

    OK, now you’re in Crazy People Town. Doctor’s don’t kill 783,936 people every year. The US is a nation of 310 million plus people, of whom about 2,515,00 die every year. You’re claiming that one out of every four Americans who die every year are killed by a doctor?!?! That’s just nuts, and shows that you don’t understand numbers, statistics, or the practice of medicine at all.

    Doctors shoot you not with bullets, but with vaccines, chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals… all of which turn out to be FAR more deadly than guns.

    Um, again, no. People don’t die from the vaccines, chemotherapy and medicines — they die from the underlying illnesses and diseases that those therapies tried to treat.

    Seriously, at this point, you’ve become too stupid to argue with. You’re making such clownish arguments that you’re convincing no one but yourself.

  117. Jack says:

    @KM:

    Under the 2013 law, the reports prepared by doctors, psychologists, nurses and social workers are first sent to county officials. If they agree with the assessments, the officials then input the names into the state database.

    Nurses and social workers are not qualified to determine if a person is mentally unstable to the point that a right should be immediately denied. Second, the article I read said the bureaucrats are pencil whipping the paperwork. They read every one to begin with and now just sample but check off every one.

    This is not a system. It’s a joke!

  118. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: I didn’t claim anything. I linked to an article, read it for yourself.

    Doctors shoot you not with bullets, but with vaccines, chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals… all of which turn out to be FAR more deadly than guns.

    Did you not see the quotes? Or don’t you know what the ” ” means at the beginning and end of a passage?

    You should really reconsider calling me crazytown and reevaluate yourself.

  119. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Nurses and social workers are not qualified to determine if a person is mentally unstable to the point that a right should be immediately denied.

    Involuntary admission can take place in one of three ways:
    2. Certification by a director of community services, or an examining physician designated by the director of community services.

    Director of community services….. you know, kinda like social worker type person? Listen, just because you have an MD doesn’t mean you are qualified for psych work. I know plenty that would freak and scream for the resident lowly counselor who’s never set foot in med school. The MD had better things to do (like treating sick people) then to cater to your authority issues. Social workers and nurses see first hand the crap people do so they can be consider front line reporting. The social worker you see repeatedly is far more likely to see evidence of a problem then a doctor you see for 5 damn minutes once in a blue moon. Half of the time, the doctor is just there for the official signoff on a decision someone else made because people like you insist they aren’t “qualified”. If they are properly trained and certified, then they are qualified.

    I know this is not a joke – I do this crap for a living. It’s far from ideal. It’s also not a panty-twisting horrorshow like you imagine.

  120. KM says:

    @Jack:

    Doctors shoot you not with bullets, but with vaccines, chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals… all of which turn out to be FAR more deadly than guns.

    But they’re good enough to determine your mental health in regards to rights? Are you for real?

  121. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    @al-Ameda: So, it looks to me that we have 13 other things to focus our attention on before we get to guns.

    Actually, it looks to me like the gun lobby and gun owners want us to focus our attention on anything but guns.

  122. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    Doctors shoot you not with bullets, but with vaccines, chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals… all of which turn out to be FAR more deadly than guns.

    Yes, I have a Neighborhood Big Pharma Watch sign on my front lawn. Every night I worry that a doctor (or a nurse, a medical assistant) will break into my home and give me a flu shot or some other vaccine.

    Do you believe that a flu shot is more dangerous and threatening to the average American, than some insecure guy bringing a gun into a Starbucks, a Costco, or a Burger King?

  123. michael reynolds says:

    That’s what, 122 comments proving my point that NRA-bots do not engage with facts.

    Here are my personal experiences with those guns that are no danger to me or my family.

    1) I was held up at gunpoint while managing a 24 hour restaurant. Both I and my waitresses were threatened.

    2) My wife was pistol-whipped walking home from work as part of an attempted rape at gunpoint.

    3) I accidentally discharged a Colt 45 auto in a room with my sister, my girlfriend and my uncle.

    4) This is the best friend of my sister-in-law: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-01-23-family-deaths_N.htm I’m confident the gun nuts won’t bother to click through, so I’ll give you the short version: teenager finds the key to the locked gun cabinet, murders entire family.

    5) Just today I’ve had to violate my daughter’s confidence in order to call to her school’s attention a matter involving confidential disclosures from a male student. Both kids hideously embarrassed, all the parents upset, school upset, everyone’s time wasted, all because the boy has access to guns.

    So, in the course of 60 years, that’s Gun in my face, Gun against the side of my wife’s head, Gun nearly killing my loved ones, a single-degree of separation of a gun mass murder, and this latest thing.

    Now, before the inevitable NRA-bot response, no, having a gun would not have been of any help to me or my wife, it would have gotten us both killed.

    Don’t tell me your guns are safe. It’s a lie. If you own a gun it is a danger to you and everyone around you. If you bring a gun into a house with a child you are a reckless fool.

  124. Jack says:

    @KM: Involuntary admission can take place in one of three ways:
    2. Certification by a director of community services, or an examining physician designated by the director of community services.

    I’m not talking about admitting someone. I’m talking about this law. All that is needed to put someone’s name on the list is a social worker or nurse filing paperwork which is then rubber stamped by a bureaucrat.

  125. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Actually, it looks to me like the gun lobby and gun owners want us to focus our attention on anything but guns.

    So, when your house has a tree fall on it causing the roof to cave in, damaging the roof, ceiling, structure, walls, and carpet, you would focus on sweeping up the leaves instead of getting the tree out of your house. Yeah, that’s smart.

  126. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    3) I accidentally discharged a Colt 45 auto in a room with my sister, my girlfriend and my uncle.

    So, because you can’t safely handle a firearm, all non-violent law abiding citizens should give them up? I think not. Go back to what you’re good at, writing fiction.

  127. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    So, when your house has a tree fall on it causing the roof to cave in, damaging the roof, ceiling, structure, walls, and carpet, you would focus on sweeping up the leaves instead of getting the tree out of your house. Yeah, that’s smart.

    Strange analogy. Not sure where it came from.

    So, when your house has a tree fall on it causing the roof to cave in, damaging the roof, ceiling, structure, walls, and carpet, you would focus on sweeping up the leaves acquiring more weaponry instead of getting the tree out of your house. Yeah, that’s smart.

  128. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: You listed 15 things that cause death and guns were number 14(T) at 0.7%. Yet you are suggesting we focus on guns. Have fun sweeping up the leaves.

  129. Jack says:

    As a side note: Eric Holder says his biggest failure was the lack of more gun control.

    As an AG, passing laws is not your fucking job. Alas, he tried with Fast and Furious.

  130. Jack says:

    As a side note: Eric Holder says his biggest failure was the lack of more gun control.

    As an AG, passing laws is not your effing job. Alas, he tried with Fast and Furious.

  131. Jack says:

    Three robberies at Kroger stores. Kind of goes against Moms Demand Attention’s claim you don’t need a gun at a grocery store.

    http://bearingarms.com/armed-robber-strikes-ohio-kroger/

    Most Kroger stores are in low income neighborhoods with high crime. Yeah, no need to defend yourself there.

  132. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    You listed 15 things that cause death and guns were number 14(T) at 0.7%. Yet you are suggesting we focus on guns. Have fun sweeping up the leaves.

    No, Jack. I’m suggesting that we focus on guns also, you know … in addition to the other items enumerated in that list. Are you saying that we can’t focus on each of those items?

  133. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    Dumbest argument ever.

  134. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    Three robberies at Kroger stores. Kind of goes against Moms Demand Attention’s claim you don’t need a gun at a grocery store.

    Of course. Who, what family, doesn’t want to go a Kroger, a Costco, a Starbucks, or a Target (appropriate, yes?) store and see a bunch of insecure men brandishing open carry weapons? Isn’t that what weekend shopping is all about?

  135. Grewgills says:

    @al-Ameda:
    That’s how the world works Al, the government can only focus on one thing at a time. Today is guns, that means that no other function of government goes through until tomorrow when we can focus on making christians get gay married.

  136. T says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I was too glib in my first response to you, my second response to you was better, but it was swallowed up by nonsense.

    Do you really not think that the centuries of institutionalized racism had nothing to do with ferguson? The media portrays black people as animals and savages all the time. They dehumanize them. Hell look at what is happening with the pumpkinfest rioters compared to Ferguson. It’s disgusting. If police were just scared, they would be shooting EVERYONE. not just minorities…but all they can do is seem to kill black men.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/10/10/3578877/black-teens-were-21-times-more-likely-to-be-shot-dead-by-the-cops-reported-deaths-suggest/

    Unsurprisingly, past analyses have also found disproportionate violence against blacks, including a 2007 investigation by Colorlines and the Chicago Reporter in 10 major cities. An NAACP report of Oakland, California, found that 37 of 45 police-involved shootings were of blacks, while zero were of whites. “Although weapons were not found in 40 percent of cases, the NAACP found, no officers were charged,”

    So i’d assume you still want police to have firearms despite the fact that they are clearly targeting a certain race? Or would you take them out of their hands too? Do you really think they would give up their expensive military grade toys so easily?

    I find myself agreeing with a lot of your comments on here. But you have an attachment to authority that I don’t understand, or rather; based on your other comments, it is a strange trait to me for you to have. Do you come from a family of police officers?

  137. al-Ameda says:

    @Grewgills:

    That’s how the world works Al, the government can only focus on one thing at a time. Today is guns, that means that no other function of government goes through until tomorrow when we can focus on making christians get gay married.

    When will we ever get to the problem of the ending the wars on Christmas and Easter?

  138. LaMont says:

    @michael reynolds:
    After about Jack’s fourth response to my comments it became clear to me that Jack is a NRA bot. Several responses later it became obvious to me that engaging in further debate with him might actually make me dumber!

  139. beth says:

    @LaMont: If you follow the link Jack posted about three armed robberies, the article states that someone was robbed in a restroom by someone who put something the victim thought was a gun to the back of his head. Security photos of the guy don’t appear to show a gun. One other incident is a mob of kids beating up others in the parking lot, no guns mentioned. The last is a guy who was robbed at an ATM outside who shot the robber. Again no mention of the robber having a gun. So we’re supposed to carry guns to protect against non-existent guns I guess.

  140. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: Really? You want to focus on the item that causes only .7% of deaths. Do you understand cost benefit analysis?

  141. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: You mean you don’t like your own words used against you in a rational argument?

  142. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: Yeah, that’s so much worse than being robbed or beaten.

  143. Jack says:

    @LaMont: And based upon your mangina answers, you are obviously a member of Mom’s Demanding some Action.

  144. Jack says:

    @beth: People carry for self defense. Or don’t’ you understand that concept. Crimes occur when people are out and about performing their daily routines. The suggestion made by Mom’s Demanding some Action, that ordinary people should not be able to carry in public, specifically places where crimes have recently occurred, is, like all other Moms Demanding some Action ideas, simply stupid.

  145. beth says:

    @Jack: Sorry but I just can’t imagine killing someone over a stolen wallet or gunning down teenagers fighting in a parking lot. I think Moms Demand Action is right on those counts. We don’t live in the Wild West.

  146. Jack says:

    @beth: IT’s not a matter of gunning someone down for a stolen wallet or gunning down teenagers fighting n a parking lot. Do you think the robber asked politely for the man’s wallet?

    Pardon me Sir, if you would be so kind as to hand over your wallet it would be much appreciated.

    For some reason I doubt that was how it went down. Do you think the guy being kicked outside the front door of Kroger’s enjoyed it?

    No, it’s about defending one’s self from deadly force. Deadly force, or the threat thereof was applied to get the wallet and while beating/kicking the man in the parking lot. Protecting one’s self from that is called self defense and it’s a right in every state.

    If more thieves died while trying to mug people and more violent teenagers died while beating innocent bystanders, maybe these things would stop.

    But, I guess that all of us will just have to bow down, accept your opinion as gospel, and do what you think is best. You are an expert in weapons/use of force, right? Silly me…

  147. beth says:

    @Jack: By the way Jack, how’s that lab worker on the cruise who’s OMG SHOWING SIGNS OF EBOLA!!!!! and starting an international incident? Forgive me for not giving anything you say any weight.

  148. wr says:

    @beth: “Forgive me for not giving anything you say any weight”

    Then, with all due respect, why do you keep engaging with him? He only gets more irrational and insultling. It’s certainly not llike there’s a real conversation to be had here.

    I like reading your messages, and only wish there were people on the other side who could respond as intelligently.

  149. michael reynolds says:

    @T:

    Boy, do you have me wrong.

    1) Of course I believe in institutionalized racism. Obviously that’s part of Ferguson. But just as obviously cops are armored up and on a hair trigger because they are afraid. Afraid of what? Of being shot.

    2) I’m the child of a soldier, but no one who knows me even a little would be able to resist a spit-take at the suggestion that I’m fond of authority figures. This should be a link to a pic of me at about age 17. I’m the one with the hair. Note hand position. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=301487253108&set=a.298903873108.182319.715153108&type=1&fref=nf

  150. bill says:

    speaking of guns and hypocrisy?
    it’s nice how her lawyer says “she needs it for protection”- she must be that much better than her constituency.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/anti-gun-missouri-dem-arrested-with-9mm-pistol-refuses-breathalyzer-test

    now here’s something weird, the huffpost has the same story, just no mention of her having a 9mil on her.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/21/jamilah-nasheed-arrested_n_6019006.html

  151. Hal_10000 says:

    fter about Jack’s fourth response to my comments it became clear to me that Jack is a NRA bot

    The ultimate liberal fallback: if you disagree with me, it’s because you’ve bee deluded by special interests. You can’t have an opinion of your own, certainly not one that disagree with the correct point of view. Your a pawn of NRA, Big Oil, the Tea Party, the Christian right, hate groups, the GOP, Antonin Scalia and the Freemasons.

  152. Eric Florack says:

    @stonetools: arrrrrr. Wrong answer.
    Jefferson:
    When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny

    and wasnt it jefferson that called for a revolution every ten years?

    amazing that Democrats still use old Tom as a party icon.

  153. beth says:

    @Eric Florack: He also said “half the stuff you read on the internet isn’t true”. He never said your quote. No one who’s ever studied Jefferson can document any time he said or wrote that.

  154. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    You’re not “deluded” you’re brainwashed, there’s a difference. You’re not rational people tricked into error, you willingly submit to brainwashing. You’re cult members.

    None of you is capable of responding rationally to anything gun-related. You just repeat talking points even when the talking points are totally off the point. Witness Tyrell launching into a rant about automatic weapons not being the problem in response to a comment where I made no mention of automatic weapons. Or the way you obsessively go back to 2d amendment even when I say I’m not interested in legislation. That’s your programming, you have no choice.

    That’s the sign of someone who is brainwashed, programmed, in a cult. You could literally not pass a Turing test when discussing this issue, you’re that thoroughly programmed.

    Like any cult member you start from fear and a sense of inadequacy. Koresh, Scientology, the Gun Cult, it’s all the same base for recruitment: the weak, the frightened, the inadequate, the damaged. The cult appears to fill that void in your life, so you become wholly dependent and intellectually neutered. You cease to be an individual. You submerge your identity in the hive mind. Which is why “conversations” with you are as useful as talking about monarchy with a worker ant. Love queen, obey queen, must dig tunnel, love queen, obey queen, must dig tunnel.

  155. T says:

    @michael reynolds: “This content is currently unavailable
    The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.”

    also you didnt answer my questions.

    So i’d assume you still want police to have firearms despite the fact that they are clearly targeting a certain race? Or would you take them out of their hands too? Do you really think they would give up their expensive military grade toys so easily?

    If you want to leave guns in cops hands when they have shown time after time to not be able to use them for anything other than killing minorities, then i’m genuinely at a loss for words.

  156. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: The police aren’t afraid of getting shot they are afraid of their authority not being respected enough. This gunho military mentality is what pushes out the good cops. I’m friends with several ex cops who all say they quit because it was no longer about protect and serve it was about busting heads and serving warrants/tickets..

    The statistics on officer injuries and deaths shows being shot not even ranking high. By far most officers are injured or die in vehicle related accidents. Hell being a police officer isn’t in the top ten dangerous jobs in the USA…

  157. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    @al-Ameda: Yeah, that’s so much worse than being robbed or beaten.

    What? You don’t find the humor in the so-called wars on Easter and Christmas?
    Yes, Jack. The homicide rate concerns me. It happens that I don’t think that having insecure guys walk into a Starbucks or a Costco open-carrying weaponry contributes anything to the general safety and well-being of sensible people.

  158. LaMont says:

    @T:

    Give it up! This is totally off the subject…

    Ideally, if you could somehow totally take guns out of society, the police would not have any justifiable use for them. That doesn’t mean that Black folks wouldn’t still get the crap beat out of them for no tangible reason – but at least they would stand a living chance…

    The militarization of the police force is happening everywhere – even in quiet suburban neighborhoods where there are little to no African Americans. It’s the result of fear due to an over population of guns in this society. The fact that they may be more willing to use them in communities like Ferguson is related to an entirely different discussion about racial issues in this country.

  159. Matt says:

    @LaMont: The militarization of the police force has almost nothing to do with guns and everything to do with the war on drugs and the defense department giving military weapons away to police departments. Add in the fact that most police recruits are now former military (having served oversees) and you get the real driver of police militarization.

    Even if there wasn’t a single gun on the streets the police would still be clamoring for military hardware. This proven everyday via SWAT raids on non violent offenders like Salvatore Culosi. Guns weren’t even remotely involved with that activity and the police still raided with military gear.

  160. LaMont says:

    @Matt:

    So what you are telling me is that if civilians did not have access to guns we would still allow our local police officers to become militarized? That is nonsense. We can’t even agree to simple gun control measures without gun nuts crying about a possible governmental takeover. How in the hell could you believe that we would allow them to get away with becoming militarized if guns were totally taken away from civilians? Civilians with no guns and the police force with military weaponry would be a sure way to unite every civilian into getting political leaders to change that policy. Everyone would turn on the NRA because they would only be on the side of the military, almost ensuring that any political leader supporting them would be elected out of office. As I mentioned, there would be no justifiable reason for the local police to become militarized if civilians did not have easy access to guns. And “we the people” would make sure of it if we could not also have our own guns. So in the real world, what you are stating is just not possible given the political environment

    Concerning the war on drugs and the defense department giving military weapons to local police – the saturation of guns on the streets is directly related to the severity of the two. See my response to Hal here:
    @LaMont: