Taxing Ammunition Should Be Considered to Reduce Gun Violence
Another option for reducing gun violence is to tax ammunition. I prefer the option of forcing gun owners to buy liability insurance for guns and either of these options would be better than a ban.
The dollar amount of any tax on ammunition would have to be reasonable. If it were punitive it would violate gun owners’ rights. A reasonable amount to me would be on the order of $2 to $3 per bullet. Interestingly, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in the early 1990s suggested an exorbitant tax on particular types of bullets:
“These mostly simple machines last forever,” Mr. Moynihan said.
But he wasn’t through.
“On the other hand, we have only a three-year supply of ammunition.”
His solution: Increase the tax on bullets. He wouldn’t raise the tax on ammunition typically used for target shooting or hunting. But he proposed exorbitant taxes on hollow-tipped bullets designed to penetrate armor and cause devastating damage.
“Ten thousand percent,” Mr. Moynihan said.
That would have made the tax on a 20-cartridge pack of those bullets $1,500. “Guns don’t kill people; bullets do,” said Senator Moynihan, a Democrat who died in 2003.
A right to own firearms wasn’t recognized federally until the Heller decision, and Moynihan’s idea today would almost certainly be unconstitutional.
This excerpt brings up a good point: you don’t want to tax the bullets that are used for hunting or target practice. Another shortcoming of the taxation idea is that many gun enthusiasts know how to do their own reloads (lead poisoning is a risk if you do this enough). To make this work, the tax might have to be aimed at gunpowder.
Matt Yglesias had a good piece on this last week:
But while I’m not sure it’s a true story, I can at least tell a plausible story about how an ammunition tax could lead to a much lower level of violence.
The key thing here is that the use of handguns in gang conflicts is at least in part an equilibrium problem. If two rival organizations are conducting disputes with guns rather than knives and fists, that’s worse for both gangs and for the city at large. The legal risks are higher, the risk of death is higher, and up-arming yourself gives you no systematic advantage over rivals. But whole cities get stuck in the bad high-fatality equilibrium because nobody wants to be the guy who brings the knife to a gunfight. Yet at the same time, these gangs are at least in part economic institutions that should be sensitive to the price of production inputs. If bullets get more expensive, you need to start conserving them. And if your rivals have the same problem, then perhaps the citywide basis of competition can ratchet down to a less-deadly dynamic of melee rather than drive-by.
As he points out in that excerpt, if both sides have to endure the same costs — and both sides know it — it will put them in a position to where it would be beneficial to conserve bullets. Now, the only way to insure this is to tax the bullets at the wholesale level, i.e. as soon as they are manufactured.
This is another idea worth considering, though I still lean toward liability insurance for guns. If we really wanted to cut gun violence, we would end the drug war. Regrettably, that is not going to happen.
So it would appear that society wants an egalitarian society until it comes to guns. Then it’s okay to keep them out of the hands of the “po’ folks.”
That’s an echo of the origins of gun control, Robert. 150 years ago, the good white folks didn’t want the darkies to have guns. But anti-gun bigots are different than racial bigots, apparently.
The real problem is I don’t think taxing bullets is going to make people already willing to kill other people with guns less likely to do so.
Want to lower gun violence? Get rid of the drug war (most gun deaths are still related to the drug war not crazy people marching into gun free zones to kill sitting ducks).
Also, rework commitment procedures and mental health treatment so mentally ill people aren’t on the streets unmedicated. We recently had friends deal with involuntary commitment. They have a mentally ill adult son (he is 22). He was recently making threats before Christmas. The family tried to have him hospitalized the courts refused since he wasn’t deemed to be a risk to himself or others. Two days later he set his parent’s house on fire and all but burned it down. Now the son is in the psychiatric wing of the county jail rather than in the hospital with no criminal charge had he just been hospitalized in the first place. And the parents may not get reimbursed by insurance because the fire was arson and set by a family member.
Also, while liability insurance for gun owners makes some sense, how would it work in the case of Lanza who stole his mother’s guns? How does the payout work and who gets sued for liability in cases where a gun owner was responsible but ended up with guns stolen?
@Boyd: Not really. Guns are inherently dangerous and society has an interest in minimizing gun violence. Also, why do you assume all black people are poor?
@Just Me: The claim would be against her estate and the insurance company would either cover it or not.
@Robert Prather: First, I didn’t say all blacks are poor, but thank you for putting words in my mouth. Or my keyboard. Whatever.
Secondly, are you going to deny that the poverty rate among blacks is almost three times that of whites, Robert? Why, when a state wants to require Voter ID, it’s economically targeted racism, but when you want to do something even more extreme with guns, it’s perfectly reasonable? No racism here, no. Move along.
@Boyd: It’s really a matter of intent. No one is trying to target the tax at minorities and minority neighborhoods would benefit more than most because that’s where a lot of the gun violence occurs.
Your liability insurance would be unconstitutional, in my opinion. Owning a gun is a right in of itself. Requiring a separate product to be purchased in order to own a gun is an infringement on that right. Rights are not dependent upon another variable.
@Robert Prather: Just as Voter ID isn’t targeted at minorities. And I’m sure you have a friend who’s
blacka gun owner.
Your “awesome” proposal is just like all the other gun control nonsense, Robert. The responsible and law-abiding would pay the price, while the lawless continue to ignore the law as they always have. It would have no effect on a huge percentage of the ~300,000,000 guns in the US, which have never shot anything more than a paper target, a tin can or maybe a varmint or other animal.
Who would get the gun insurance, Robert? You can bet your bottom dollar it’s not the people who commit crimes with guns.
The Republicans claimed that minorities and minority neighborhoods weren’t the targets of Voter ID either, but they certainly would feel the brunt of the policy, just as they would with an ammunition tax. I agree with Boyd. One is apparently racist, but not the other? You just said poor minority neighborhoods would “benefit” the most from this policy so you acknowledge they would be adversely affected by an ammunition tax. Are poor people not allowed to defend themselves like the rest of us?
@Sam: I doubt it. The test will be whether the government has a compelling interest in forcing insurance. If the judges think that it does, the right can be abridged for that purpose as long as it’s narrowly tailored.
@Sam: The problem with the voter ID law is that in OH and PA it was passed just this year with the intent of suppressing the vote. The PA House leader said as much. Or, rather he said it was intended to help Romney carry the state. In Louisiana we’ve had voter ID requirements for years, but it wasn’t dumped on us in an election year with the intent of suppressing votes.
I’ve never pulled the race card on the voter suppression laws, but it’s quite clear that the liability insurance and/or the ammunition tax is designed to help, not hurt the poor. Not so with voter suppression.
A $2 tax on a .22 round would be kind of crazy. If you do not rate it by destructive power it leads to unintended consequences. You might as well own a .44
@john personna: Look more closely at the post. I addressed that.
@Robert Prather: So, you’re going to help the poor folks by making it too expensive to defend themselves, but the middle class and rich can go ahead and have that option.
So poor folks will be safer. Yeah, that makes perfect sense, Robert. Make the law abiding poor safer by disarming them, while they’re surrounded by the lawless with guns who will ignore any law you write. And if you make ammunition more expensive, they’ll just steal more to cover the cost.
Yup, makes perfect sense.
I’m squinting at my phone, but I don’t see it. A gunpowder tax would also hit muzzleloaders, something you want to encourage over cartridge guns.
@Boyd: Your thinking is one dimensional. What will make them safer is a general decrease in gun violence. I have nothing against people owning guns for their protect and the protection of their families, but it is are that it is needed. Most people aren’t very good shots either, hence the need for high capacity magazines.
@john personna: I said in the post that ammunition that is typically used for target practice and hunting should be exempted. That would seem to cover .22 bullets.
It comes down to whether you are trying to discourage ownership in general, or working at the margin in the most unsafe types. A bullet, powder, or primer tax would discourage ownership but would not have a political hope in hell.
@Boyd and others: Try not to be so hard on Mr. Prather, guys. He’s just another guy who is struggling to find a magic unicorns solution to a very difficult problem. He needs to find a solution that involves doing something to the guns because if he can’t solve the problem by tackling the guns he realizes that the only thing left to tackle is people.
But he knows he can’t fix the people… sooooooooooooo back to the guns. Does anybody have any pixie dust? I’m almost out.
“Target and hunting” is a nonsensical grouping, sorry. It groups the most mild with the moose killing.
@Robert Prather: Your thinking is fact-free, Robert. Try answering just one question.
@john personna: Well, like I said, I prefer to go the gun liability insurance route anyway.
@Boyd: Yes, they have strict gun control in Britain and Japan. There, I gave you two.
Regarding Moyinhan’s quote, it is (again, as with most things you seem to post on this subject) blatantly factually incorrect. Hollow tipped bullets aren’t “designed to penetrate body armor,” in fact, hollow point bullets are LESS effective at penetrating body armor than “normal” target full metal jacket bullets. That isn’t me being a crazy gun nut or “splitting hairs” or whatever, that is cold hard physics. If you want to penetrate body armor, you need a hard solid bullet that will maintain its shape when it impacts a surface. This is the exact opposite of what hollow points do, which is mushroom out when they impact a surface, which maximizes the amount of energy they dump into what they are hitting while simultaneously creating a larger wound channel if it is penetrating soft tissue. So hollow points are basically the last thing you want to be shooting if you intend to penetrate body armor (or any other hard surface)…but they sound scary, which is why gun control folks use them as a boogeyman so frequently, nevermind that they are almost exclusively what law enforcement uses. Here’s a video that shows what hollowpoints do against kevlar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPKbOrxgx-w Wow, those really cut through the vest like butter! Oh wait…no, it didn’t, at all.
Furthermore, guess what most hunting bullets are? Hollow or soft points. Surprisingly enough, the same type of bullet design that is most effective at imparting the most damage to an animal is the same basic bullet design that you will use when you are preparing to shoot humans (who are, biologically speaking, two legged animals). And before anyone goes “WELL WHY WOULD YOU BE PREPARING TO SHOOT HUMANS IF YOU AREN’T A MASS MURDERER, HUH?!?!?” hollow points are what law enforcement uses across the country, as do the vast majority of law abiding citizens intending to use a firearm in self defense. So it is impossible to tax “evil baby killing hollowpoints” while simultaneously not taxing “good saintly hunting ammunition.” And to take it just a step further, despite not having the same terminal ballistic properties, most target shooting ammunition (actual long range precision target shooting ammunition, not plinking FMJ) is ALSO technically hollow-point ammunition, because they have a small depression in the nose of the bullet because it gives it a better ballistic coefficient (makes it fly further and remain faster, and thus more stable, during that flight).
So again, “taxing hollowpoints because they are used for murdering babies” is going to be quite a bit more complicated in practice than you think…because there are technical aspects here that are more complex than “one type of bullet – bad, other type of bullet – good.” But I’m sure you’ll brush them off just like you’ve done every other time I’ve brought up technical concerns in any of your other threads on the subject.
If you want to try and address violence in the inner city, you might be better off taxing “handgun” ammunition, but even then you are going to run into issues because there is not clearly delineated “handgun” and “rifle” ammunition…yes, there are rounds that are generally used in handguns, and there are rounds that are generally used in long guns (and obviously there are large magnum rifle rounds that are only used in long guns), but there are lots of pistol caliber carbines out there (a long gun shooting 9x19mm, for example) just like there are lots of “rifle” caliber pistols (“rifles in 5.56x45mm or 7.62x39mm, for example). And that assumes that people who are engaged in inner city handgun violence will only shoot people with hollow points…if you do tax hollow points but don’t tax “practice/target” ammunition like FMJ, it’s not like they won’t use those, which while not AS effective are still quite lethal. Also, FMJ is much more likely to overpenetrate compared to hollow points, so there’s that.
Finally, while I am a gun enthusiast I do not consider myself to expend a large amount of ammunition by “gun guy” standards…and I probably go through at least 500 or so rounds a month (NOT including .22lr…if you include .22lr throw in at least another 500 rounds there). $2-$3 a round is insanely high.
Oh, and lead poisoning from hand loading isn’t a risk if you “do it enough,” it’s only a risk if you do it improperly. But far be it from me to let facts get in the way again.
@Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:
He should look again at the Australian system.
A .22 rifle is less risk to society than a 9mm pistol. “Guns is guns” does us no good, and ultimately plays into the hands of the NRA.
“We have a right to bear, and guns is guns, what can we do?”
That was a pretty good and fair post.
Welcome to why actually crafting meaningful (vs cosmetic) gun legislation is so difficult. If you don’t know what you’re talking about with the technical details all you do is craft feel good legislation that at best doesn’t do anything and at worst has a negative impact on law abiding folks while having zero impact on the gun violence or whatever you intended for it to deal with. I’m not talking about getting down into the weeds about whether 124 gr or 147 gr 9x19mm is better (I’m partial to 124 gr Gold Dots myself), but knowing what the word “hollow point” actually means is kind of necessary.
I might have overdone it on the snark, but thanks.
And for a tl;dr watch the video to see what hollow points do against body armor (spoiler: Moynihan was full of crap, spoiler 2: it bounces off the vest), almost all hunting bullets as well as most long range target shooting bullets are also hollow points, and “practice” bullets like FMJ bullets are still lethal (it’s not like “oh no, I got shot with hollowpoints in my pinkie, I’m automatically dead, if only he had shot me in the head with a FMJ round, it would’ve bounced off and I’d be fine.”)
@Mike: I didn’t say anything about hollow points. That’s from the article. I know what hollow points do.
Then why quote that portion of the article? Saying that hollow points “penetrate body armor” isn’t just a debatable point, it is blatantly factually untrue.
And more importantly, if you aren’t going to tax “hunting or practice” bullets, what kinds of ammunition would you tax? Specifics would be nice.
Okay, you realize the problem is your master plans all revolve around your desire to make gun ownership, hence the right to keep and bear arms, expensive so as to inhibit people from enjoying their right?
And it is amusing that you and Matt Yglesias think gang bangers buy their ammo retail. Or buy it at all. They are criminals, if they buy ammo, they do so through criminal sources. Sources that do not pay taxes but rather bribe military members to steal it (along with military firearms). Or if you make it valuable enough, by breaking into gun owners homes, which newspapers kindly map out for them.
Or druggies break into homes to get ammo to sell for their drugs. And if a druggie breaks into a home, they don’t worry about it being occupied and their rate of murder is high. Now, it is possible this would be a solution to culling druggies with castle doctrine and all but you are going to end up with some raped and/or murdered women and children along the way.
All so you can feel good about making guns to expensive for law abiding people in the lower economic stratas to afford.
@Mike: Tax things that are not for hunting or practice.
As for the quote, I wanted it mostly to cover the issue of exclusions.
Practice ammo is simply cheaper ammo. Sometimes considered not as reliable as the more expensive ammo carried for self defense. Crazy people valuing reliability when their life is on the line. So your purpose is to make gun owners use substandard ammo? I assume there’d be some exemption for police so government employees are given special privilege in self defense?
And how in the hell do you define that? I use hollow point “handgun” ammunition (9×19, .45 ACP, etc) for practice occasionally, because while it is quite a bit more expensive than cheaper “practice” FMJ ammunition I think it is responsible to be familiar with the ammunition I carry with. So does that get taxed? After all, unless I am forced to use a firearm in self defense all I will ever use that ammunition for is practice. “Stuff that is used for hunting and practice” is about as broad and useless a definition as you can get, because in all honesty you’ve just described all ammunition, ever.
What will make them safer is a general decrease in gun violence.
I decrease in gun violence would make them safer, what I am yet to see a good argument for is how taxing ammunition or requiring liability insurance is going to make them safer. It might make them less likely to buy a gun or the ammunition for it, but it isn’t going to make the criminals think twice. They aren’t going to buy their ammunition from an approved source that collects the tax and they very likely won’t bother with liability insurance on the gun, which very possibly didn’t come from a legal source either.
That said-the drug war probably causes more gun violence in poor neighborhoods than any other factor. Stop fighting the drug war, and put some sensible drug policy in place, and a lot of that shooting will likely stop.
Oh, and make mental health treatment and in some cases hospitalizations easier and that would likely do far more to stop the Sandy Hook’s and Aurora’s from happening than taxing bullets.
@Just Me: I mentioned ending the drug war in the post.
@Robert Prather: Guns are inherently dangerous and society has an interest in minimizing gun violence.
Oh, horse hockey. If guns were inherently dangerous, there’d be a hell of a lot more shootings at places where you find lots and lots of guns. When was the last time there was a mass shooting at a gun show, a firing range, a police station? There’s been exactly one on a military base, and it was where the vast majority of the soldiers present were unarmed. It took civilian cops to protect our soldiers.
The common theme of your solutions is “reduce the number of guns available for use,” and your focus is on diong so economically. That means that the first people to be disarmed (literally or effectively) are those who can’t afford private security, alarm systems, or to move to safer neighborhoods. And as we’ve seen in the arguments over voter ID laws, the poor are disproportionately members of minority classes, so the effect is racist. (Well, not really, but that’s the argument used by those who generally also support measures like yours.)
The solution is NOT “take guns away from as many people as possible,” because inevitably those first affected will be, by and large, NOT those who were in danger of committing gun crimes. It’s getting the guns out of the wrong hands. Convicted felons, like the guy who shot the firefighters. Documented nutcases, like the Newtown shooter, the Virginia Tech shooter, the Tuscon shooter. And minors, like the Columbine shooters and a lot of gang members.
The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.
SCOTUS would almost certainly overturn any bullet tax that was large enough to make a difference. They have done this before, overturning laws on exercising Constitutional rights that that try be cute by not actually banning them but making them difficult to exercise (prior restraint on speech, taxes on publications, etc.). It also be ineffective, most likely, as a black market would spring up instantly.
If a special tax on bullets ever were in the pipeline I’d use leveraged call options to buy shares of companies that make reloading equipment. Because obviously in that case what people would do is simply avoid the tax by making their own reloaded cartridges. Rendering any such tax largely meaningless.
And since there are, oh, say, only hundreds of millions of rounds of ammo already in circulation, and thus obviously not subject to any prospective special tax, it goes without saying — everywhere except in the loopy academe and on the Internet, of course — that taxing bullets “to reduce violence” will work about as well as rent control in Manhattan has reduced rents in Manhattan and as gun control in D.C., Detroit, Philly and Chicago has reduced gun violence in those murder-laden cities.
Robert, first of all thanks for putting your ideas out there. At least you want to do something. The gun cultists simply want us to forget that the school massacre happened, so they can go back to playing with their fetish objects. When the cultists express concern for African Americans, this particular African American wants to check his back. The only time the cultists seem to care about minorities is when they want to make self serving arguments against gun safety laws.
As for the mentally ill, their concern now seems to be that they want to round them up and lock them into institutions. The NRA called for a database of the mentally ill, and resists a database of the gun owners. Let’s state the obvious, for those who don’t want to see it- mentally ill persons without guns don’t commit mass murder. It’s an inconvenient fact, but there it is.
It’s not clear that these indirect methods are going to work. I’d rather go with the many time tested regulatory schemes that seem to work well in other countries , such as Switzerland , Israel , Australia and the UK. Here’s a fun fact: more people have been killed in this country since the school massacre than were killed in those countries combined for last year. Think about that when the cultists bang on about ” gun control not working”.
You know that’s a fake, made-up quote, right?
@Stonetools: Let’s state the obvious, for those who don’t want to see it- mentally ill persons without guns don’t commit mass murder. It’s an inconvenient fact, but there it is.
Timothy McVeigh, Theodore Kaczynski, Jack the Ripper, Al Qaeda, Eric Rudolph, and the Weather Underground would beg to differ.
It’s remarkable how many conservatives suddenly give a shit a about poor people.
Do you have any evidence that there is mental illness in the leadership of Al Qaeda?
@Stonetools: thanks for the kind words. What I’m really trying to do is fish for ideas that might work. I don’t expect the gun guys to accept anything, no matter how reasonable, because of their enthusiasm for guns. Something should be done, it’s just a matter of finding out what.
@JKB: you keep mentioning that the people and the government should have the same right of self defense and presumably the same weapons. You seem to be suggesting that.
The problem is that in a civil society, the government is supposed to have a monopoly on force, except in self defense. Why do you need weapons that are comparable to police weapons in order to exercise your right to self defense? You aren’t entitled to police or military style weaponry.
Yes, it is our mindless enthusiasm for guns that leads us to deride your proposals, the fact that there are some serious technical issues with implementation (particularly with this one) has nothing to do with it.
Still waiting on any expansion/elaboration on what you would tax besides “stuff that’s used for hunting and practice.”
@Jenos Idanian #13:
So far as I know, none of those people were found to be mentally ill, apart from the Unabomber, so distraction FAIL. The recent spate of mass murders were all committed with guns. Thanks for playing, though.
You are right….the first gun control laws were devoted to removing the rights of Blacks to access firearms. You know you cant have new freed slaves all upset and getting access to guns.
I think things may have changed with the school massacre. Let’s face it, the usual NRA lies just seem crazy and obscene against the reality of those dead children . Note that none of the gun cultists posting on these threads ever mention them. It’s because in the end it’s bizarre and sick to say that their purported ” right” to unlimited access to semi automatic weapons trumps guarding against the massacre of children.
The fake quote debunked:
Thought exercise for you….
I think things changed with 9/11. Let’s face it, the usual ACLU lies just seem crazy and obscene against the reality of those dead Americans. Note that none of the civil liberties fetishists posting on these threads ever mention them. It’s because in the end it’s bizarre and sick to say that their purported “right” to unlawful search and seizure or unlawful detention trumps guarding against the massacre of American citizens.
FYI, arguing from emotion is really poor form, hope this helps.
And before anyone says it, I am a gun rights person who was opposed to the Patriot Act and who doesn’t consider themselves conservative or a member of the GOP. So please save the “well but the GOP was worse *smug look*” retorts. I was just using a rhetorical device to show how invoking the specter of a tragedy to justify your policy initiative is generally poor form.
“Automatic weapons, and especially assault weapons, are a threat to good order and liberty and must be heavily regulated if freedom is to flourish in our land.” — George Washington
The police carry firearms for self defense. A firearm is deadly force. Deadly force is only justifiable in response to a threat of death or serious bodily injury.
Your implication is that the police you are familiar with are using their firearms for something other than self defense. Are you saying the police you are familiar with are using their firearms as force against citizens in situations in which there is not justifiable self defense?
That doesn’t actually debunk the quote but neither does it confirm it. I got it from Brainy Quote
@Mike: why would I detail it out. That’s something that will require experts to look at, both in economics and criminology. You don’t have that expertise either.
So your idea is “tax the one unspecified type of ammunition, but not this other overly broad category of ammunition, this will help gun violence because….?”
And you wonder why some of us don’t take your ideas seriously.
You can ask all the experts in economics or criminology you want (funny you didn’t include a…what’s the word, oh, “firearms” expert on there), and you won’t find an answer to the question of “what constitutes ‘non hunting or practice’ ammunition?” because such a thing doesn’t exist. I tried to get a similar point across to Dr. Taylor in another thread…firearms/ammunition/etc aren’t imbued with inherent intents in mind, they only are capable of certain physical performance. Over there I said that the same “good hunting” rifle that is being held up as an example of what gun owners should aspire to own today (instead of baby murdering assault weapons) can just as easily be used, without any modifications, by a tower scaling mass murdering sociopath as a MILITARY STYLE SNIPER RIFLE (because the rifle is capable of firing a fairly powerful round accurately over a considerable distance, and that is what both intents require.) Regarding this thread, a hollow point bullet can be used by me as a practice round, or by a law enforcement officer, or by a criminal committing a felony…and here’s the important part: ALL of us can use a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF AMMUNITION (FMJ ammunition, for example) FOR THE SAME PURPOSES.
Look, at the very least can’t you at least detail a little more specifically what your intent is with “stuff that is used for hunting or practice”? Like I said above, that category as described includes every type of ammunition ever manufactured.
And before you say it, no, most criminologists are not firearms experts. Not even close.
@ Just Me
Good idea. Too bad conservatives don’t want to pay for improved mental health services, or really even the crap ones we have now.
Reminds me of this Chris Rock set (starts at the 2:50 or so mark):
@anjin-san: And liberals care so much about the poor people. That’s why they put so much effort into keeping them poor, and making more people poor all the time.
Except that the ACLU arguments in favor of civil rights aren’t self serving nonsense, comprised of appeals to paranoia , ( ” they’re coming to take my guns!!!”) and lacking evidence for most of its claims. There isn’t a major industry funding the ACLU and paying Congresspersons to support civil rights. Also too, if my rights against search and seizure are protected, no one dies.
Other than that, the gun cultist’s right to unlimited access to semi automatic weapons is exactly the same as every one’s right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Pointing out that people die as a result of gun cultist extremism is not poor form, it’s highlighting an inconvenient fact.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Don’t forget, genius. An armed society is a polite society.
Until the massacre in Connecticut, the gun cultists had exactly zero concern for mental health services. Now it’s all the rage on these threads.
I’ll also point out that the NRA has said nothing about paying for improved mental health services. Rather, they just talk about ” having a database of the mentally ill”. Apparently, collecting info about gun owners bad, collecting info about the mentally ill good.
Also….I’m a little tired of hearing “self defense self defense self defense.” It’s true. Many people do have weapons for self-defense. I know several women who have guns for self defense. I had an ex-girlfriend who slept with a .44 under her pillow when I wasn’t there.
But neither she nor I nor anyone we know has ever been in a situation where we had to defend ourselves with a gun because…….well, those situations are rare.
Good to be prepared, sure……but we need to be honest about this:
Most gun usage is recreational.
If self-defense were the issue, reasonable people would agree that a hand gun (for the car/purse/etc) and a shot gun (for the bedroom) would be sufficient. They wouldn’t find any Constitutional reason to object to any policies restricting high caliber or high capacity weapons. They would sleep soundly, knowing they can defend themselves if they need to and also that their rights are protected by law.
But what we have are people taking an overly expansionist view on this issue because they enjoy shooting guns as a hobby.
They know that “AR-15s are fun to shoot” isn’t a good reason to keep them legal. So they fall back on this self defense crap.
I fail to see the connection between the cost of ammunition (I assume that ‘ammunition’ is rifle/pistol rounds only) and the crimes that bring up this conversation.
If a round was $3, would Jared Loughner have skipped the shooting of Gabby Giffords?. Maybe he would have budgeted for the deed?.
If a round was $3 could the Newtown Ct. shooting been avoided?. Not really likely as it sounds like the shooters mom was of money.
What about the Aurora Co theater shooter?. I don’t know but I doubt it. People hell bent on a task probably won’t be put off by a small amount of money….particularly if it is their last task.
Maybe this would cause them to use a shotgun instead. I think the end result would be the same with a shotgun (or two).
What about reloads?. Reloading rifle/pistol/shotgun rounds is very common. I know plenty of people who do not purchase their ammunition over the counter and haven’t for years. Their numbers aren’t few either.
I am all for having a discussion on anything and everything that can be done to minimize the killings of innocent people….I just don’t see an assault weapons ban or a ammunition tax or a scad of new laws or any combination removing or minimizing that threat.
While that’s true……there is no reason to make it easier for them to accomplish their task. Let them bend hell….if they can.
Robert, the problem with your proposals (insurance and tax) is that they are exemplary examples of static analysis. You apparently think that when adding costs, even exorbitant costs, to a hugely popular activity done by almost half the country (47 percent of households at last estimate) then their behavior either will not change or will change only in ways you desire, namely that people will either (1) simply pay the extra money and keep up their activity or better yet (2) will stop the activity.
This is hopelessly naive. Nowhere in the world where it has been tried has it worked, as I commented in detail at your last post.
Your proposals are really nothing but ones to bell the cat.
But I tell you what – when you come up up an doable plan that will disarm the existing criminal class to more than 95 percent assurance, then I will be much more agreeable to restrictions on people who lawfully obtain and use guns. Until then, all you are proposing is a way to create another criminal class of gun owners without doing anything at all about the existing criminal class. And that is, frankly, entirely unserious.
I would also point out that you seem not to distinguish between someone using a gun for actual, legally-justified self defense and using one to commit an act that is already criminal. Why is that? And you should also consider that in huge swaths of the country, using a gun to shoot attackers doesn’t mean the human kind.
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, said last week “confiscation could be an option” for certain types of guns.
Now, he may have been talking out his backside, but when the governor of the nation’s third most populous state–a state that already has some of the most stringent firearms registration and licensing requirements–starts throwing out the word “confiscation,” thinking “they’re coming to take my guns” seems a lot less like paranoia and a lot more like what the Governor has plainly stated he considers a viable option.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
When was the last time there was a mass shooting at a gun show, a firing range, a police station? There’s been exactly one on a military base, and it was where the vast majority of the soldiers present were unarmed.
Actually at Fort Hood everyone was unarmed except the MPs and the civilian police force. State-issued carry permits are not valid on military installations, which are very much the most gun free of all gun-free zones you can find. (I am retired Army, btw.)
Why is it that when someone needs to make up a number that sounds reasonable they always pick “47%?”
But that’s the definition of paranoia. “Baseless or excessive suspicion of others.”
It’s baseless because no matter how Cuomo would like to confiscate weapons, he can’t.
It’s excessive because he said it was an option. It’s not clear whether it’s the option he prefers or one he would necessarily fight for.
Now while I can understand why you’d like to elevate that to “Democrats are coming to take our guns” but that makes it no less baseless and no less excessive.
You’re trying to parse his statement out of existence. He said it, he obviously considers confiscation an option. Note that I did not say he would, or even could, but for many people his statement moves the possibility from the realm of unfounded suspicion into reality. It’s no longer an appeal to paranoia at that point. It may be unlikely, but it’s no longer impossible.
Basically, he just gave a big, steaming pile of credibility to anyone who actually thinks Democrats are coming to get their guns. (Which, just to clear things up, I don’t.)
@Mikey: What Cuomo is thinking is almost certainly unconstitutional, and not just via the 2nd amendment. It’s very unlikely he’ll be able to do that.
Well that’s weird, isn’t it? Somehow soldiers, who have more familiarity with guns than most people, don’t seem to feel that the more guns around, the safer everyone is. It’s almost as if they recognize that having everyone carry around hot weapons everywhere would be kind of, I don’t know, unsafe….
You know what’s truly amazing about all this nonsense emanating from Planet Liberal?
It’s the inherent duplicity of leftism. The inherent lacunas in liberals’ thought processes. The layers upon layers of ghastly ironies.
A school gets shot up and instantly the “something must be done!” crowd goes into extreme high dudgeon mode and demands various items of legislation that for decades not only have been proven to fail but in most instances to have had the exact opposite of their intended results. And these aren’t guarded state secrets. All you have to do is to read a metro section of any newspaper in places like D.C., Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Philly, Boston, New Orleans, L.A., Newark, Baltimore, etc.
But then there’s terrorism. Lanza killed around 25 people. Al Qaeda on 9/11 killed 3,000. And long before that, ironically before a material percentage of the Internet’s chattering classes even were born, Islamic terrorists were killing people by the dozens, scores and hundreds, Americans and otherwise, in various places across the globe. Munich. Beirut. Pan Am 103. Khobar. Tanzania and Kenya.
With terrorism, however, the loopy left not only is of the opinion that something doesn’t really need to be done, in various respects they actually believe that what the government has tried to do, especially if it occurred between 9.01 and 1.09, if you catch my drift, is illegal, or immoral, or evil, or racist, or unconstitutional, or grounds for impeachment, or the root cause of terrorism itself.
So to summarize:
Deranged kid takes his mother’s registered guns and kills a bunch of people in a state with strict “gun control” statutes and ordinances and according to the left the entire world must stop and we must have more gun control.
Al Qaeda and other Islamic terror groups want to murder every man, woman and child in America, but dammit to hell we can’t dunk a guy in cold water to find out if he knows of any upcoming attacks. So sayeth the left.
More twisted than pretzel logic.
@Robert Prather: Yes, I understand that. The point I was trying to make (obviously too clumsily) is that in saying it he has lent credibility to the statements of others who fear a gun grab.
I was in a jury pool, the gang bangers most certainly went to Big-5 to buy their ammunition. Them, on security footage shorty before a shooting, was part of the case.
And those people are paranoid. The reality is that Cuomo won’t be able to confiscate people’s guns.
The suspicion is that there is some way he may be able to. There isn’t.
The old “gun grab” canard is decades old and while it may have had heft when Charlton Heston was talking about cold dead hands, it doesn’t make sense in a post Heller world.
There will be no gun grab. There may be a grandfather clause. There may be a voluntary buy-back program.
But there will be no jackbooted thugs coming to take anyone’s guns.
Just curious: Is Planet Liberal near Zombieland?
In the slew of recent shootings, is it known that more expensive ammunition would have made the act(s) more difficult to pull off?. I don’t think ammunition costs are factored in to the deed.
My understanding is that the shooter in Aurora Co had legally purchased the weapons he used. In doing so he probably had North of $2k worth of weapons (not counting the gas mask and body armor). What’s a couple hundred bucks for ammunition?. I don’t see that being a deterrent.
So what happened when they restricted tommy guns?
I assume that people not seeking the license turned them in. I assume that they didn’t grandfather all previous owners.
Why do we constantly pretend that things we’ve done before are totally impossible?
(Stonetools is sympathetic to Robert’s effort, but like Just Nutha’ I think it is a bit silly. It’s looking for secret sauce in some corner rather than taking the problem straight on. We have gun laws which distinguish between types of firearms. Some, like black powder are easily purchased. Some, like most cartridge guns, require a medium effort. Finally some, like tommy guns, have real legal hurtles. We can move those boundaries, and we can even further divide cartridge guns to make some of them easier to get than others.)
The law should be structured so that matt says “hell with it, a fixed magazine is all i need.”
Sane law abiding citizens with guns don’t commit mass murder either.
Who do you think there are more of??.
@john personna: I had to Google what a “Big 5” is. We don’t have them here on the East Coast.
Sane, law abiding, citizens are not going to feel slighted when they can’t buy a 30-round magazine.
There is no sane, realistic, scenario actually requiring those.
Cheesy sporting goods 😉
I have no doubt about that, but Cuomo’s statement makes it more difficult to convince some people.
I guess I could have stated this much better by simply saying “Cuomo is feeding some peoples’ confirmation bias.”
Hmmm…do you know how much ammo he bought?
Amazing that Chad Weinman, CEO of TacticalGear.com was not speaking ironically when he said he sold to “weekend warriors.”
Sure….but so what? Despite the best efforts of scientists, some people thought the world was going to end according to the Mayan calendar.
Those people should not be listened to. They should be dismissed.
But again….why listen to those people?
The owners had the choice, though. What Cuomo suggested–confiscation or “mandatory buyback”–doesn’t leave anyone a choice. As Robert and Herb have pointed out, both the 2nd Amendment and the Heller decision make it pretty much impossible for Cuomo to impose either of his stated options.
I see no reason to treat Cuomo as God. I don’t even know what he’s talking about.
To satisfy the constitution we only need to go in the 1934 mold, and segment some guns as too dangerous for unlicensed ownership. It is important to segment some as legal for ownership as well.
I will say that if someone suggested a reasonable boundary and a buyback, it would matter to me how generous it is. Paying 150% of 2012 market price would seem pretty fair. It would not even hurt the economy if you printed money to do a lot of that. If money is traded for guns, and guns are destroyed, the wealth remains the same.
Some of them are decent folks who are just misguided. They could be convinced. Others, not so much, but there will always be those no matter what issue is being discussed.
@john personna: Indeed!
What gets me is that they were shocked that they sold weapons to a killer. They’re accepting orders from random internet people. Yeah, one of them might be a killer.
Funny story. I had some back problems a few years ago and went to a chiropractor. They put me on this table with massaging rollers. Oh man, it was awesome. It occurred to me that I wanted one for the house. So I looked around.
Almost every vendor will only sell them to licensed practitioners. (Haven’t found one that will sell it to the general public.)
The point: You can’t buy a massage table unless you’re a licensed chiropractor.
But you got a credit card and a shipping address, you can buy an “urban assault vest” and bullet-resistant leggings. No license required, no questions asked. Pretty ridiculous, if you ask me.
(Looking now, I see that Coumo’s talk does distinguish type, and might pass constitutional muster for that reason. It doesn’t take away all guns. Still, we probably need to keep all types “possible,” to be on truly safe constitutional ground. Semi-automatics with detachable magazines should just require more stringent licenses … and fees. We want hunters to be happy with simpler guns.)
No doubt. I’m a firm believer in the inherent decency of most folks, even the misguided ones.
But……I’m less inclined to believe they can be convinced. While people are capable of being reasonable, it’s not really our default mode.
As others have pointed out, there is no such distinction (with a few very rare exceptions). And let’s say you draw the line somewhere – well, then people will start using the cheaper ammo since there won’t be much difference. And mass shooters who intend to go on suicide rampages are probably unconcerned about the marginal expense of ammunition. The ones in Europe over the last few years used .22 rimfire ammo which is one of the quintessential practice cartridges.
Like the insurance proposal, this proposal doesn’t make much sense. Like the insurance proposal, this one seems unlikely to have any measurable effect on gun violence.
I don’t have or need a 30rnd mag so I don’t have any irons in that fire. But, they don’t need 30 round magazines when five rounds of buckshot from a shotgun gives roughly the same number of projectiles (and can be reloaded very quickly).
Australia’s system favors single and doubled barrel shotguns for sportsman for that reason. A pump gun is dangerous, though with a fixed magazine of 5 or less it does require fairly constant reloading for a “spree.”
Large magazine semi-automatic shotguns for public use are just nuts.
It’s not perfect, that’s true.
But it’s not enough to say “That won’t work.” Especially if the fear is that it might.
What I’m getting from the “That won’t work” caucus is:
A) Nothing can be done about gun violence.
B) So why bother?
And well….it should be no surprise that’s not going to be acceptable to a lot of people. I don’t know how many…..but I’ll guess 47%.
Yes but instead if buying cases of ammunition he buys smaller boxes to achieve the same goal…which is a net gain of nothing.
I can tell you right now that .223 rounds are selling for more than 1$ per round and cases are being sold as fast as it comes in. If the price is increased by whatever means, people will reload their ammunition or purchase reloads.
Yeah, it’s well-nigh impossible if the person isn’t already at least somewhat open to convincing. Still it seems to me the issue is important enough that we should at least try. Sometimes the ones you think will be the hardest to convince will surprise you.
First time I heard that five rounds of buckshot is just as good as 30 rounds from an AR-15….
Using the “markets in everything” hypothesis, what does it mean that 4 out of 5 (hell, let’s just make it 47% for safety) spree killers prefer the AR-15?
Right. Many remind us that schools used to have rifle ranges. A single shot .22, especially used with .22 short, is pretty safe and unsuited to crime of any type.
.22 long and a high capacity semi-automatic can kill a lot of people, though it would leave more survivors than a .223
There are, as has been my theme, classes of weapons here and classes of risk.
Everyone is “law abiding” until they’re not. It’s a tautology. Plenty of people were considered to be sane law abiding citizens up until the exact moment when their shooting spree started.
And as I’ve written before, the odds of me being shot by a professional criminal are almost nil — criminals simply don’t have a reason to shoot me. If I’m ever shot, it’s far more likely to be by a “law-abiding, responsible gun owner” who’s enraged that I’m dating his ex-wife, or that I’ve cut him off in traffic, or who decides to even things up after losing to me in a barfight, or is distraught that I’ve broken up with her, or assumes that I’m a burglar after I’ve drunkenly let myself into the house at 4 AM, or by a cop with poor aim who hits me after shooting at a suspect on the streets, etc. etc.
It’s true and not true. A 00-buckshot shell might have 9 bullet-sized projectiles in it, but you can’t place them all on separate targets.
Easy enough and quick enough to reload that the results will be the same.
Define ‘large magazine’ on a semi-auto shotgun please.
I have multiple semi-auto shotguns that I use for hunting and occasionally shooting clays. I do not see how these are ‘just nuts’ to own. I also have many ‘pump’ style shotguns. There is little difference in shooting and reloading rates between the two. Where do you draw the line.
Well, he didn’t buy it all at once, so I’m not sure this point is relevant. The point is that the cost of acquiring these weapons was no barrier for him. Increase the costs, and he’d need a credit card with a bigger limit if he wanted to achieve the same goal.
What does “just as good” mean?. I said
I know enough to know you are being coy with me. If you shoot a semi-auto bird or clay gun, it does have a pretty low capacity, doesn’t it?
It wasn’t hard to google an example of the opposite. This damn thing is an ar-15 style 12 gauge, if you can believe it.
“The gun ships with two 5 round magazines that are the same color as your gun. High cap mags are being retrofitted and tested right now and should be available within a couple months”
Well, I’m not asking for perfect, just something that has a reasonable chance of being effective.
So our standard for implementing policy is a vague notion that something “might” work?
If you want to shut up the “that won’t work” caucus, then maybe it would be better to submit proposals that actually do work. I understand and appreciate that people are trying to come up with alternatives to the more obvious, effective, but politically difficult options, but that doesn’t mean those alternatives are any good.
So in other words, the guy with the shot gun can kill 5 people before reloading, while the guy with the AR-15 can kill 30.
True, sure, but mostly not.
So the solution is increasing the cost of both weapons and ammuntion….to what?. It seems to me that you might see a decline in new legal purchases but I fail to see what this does for all the weapons and ammunition already in circulation.
This is where you give us an impossible assurance.
This is the line in the sand where gun arguments go from the reasonable to the crazy.
Stop right there.
You obviously cannot tell us that someone reaching to their “weekend warrior” vest ever 5 shots is going to have exactly the same destructive ability as someone reaching ever 10, or every 30.
This is where you play dumb, or lie.
Pretty much. In a tight crowd at the right range the buckshot might spread enough to get 2 people
Hey, that’s the standard we used when we attacked Iraq. Didn’t hear you complaining then….
But more seriously, yes, to some degree it is the standard since, lacking clairvoyance, we can never know with perfect certainty whether a policy will or will not work until we actually implement it. If you have some other system that will let us know that something will definitively work in the future, I’m sure we’d all love to hear it — it would at the least make us tons of money in the stock and bond markets.
Well, as I have said before, it’s situation-dependent. Sometimes it matters, and sometimes it doesn’t.
If someone intends to kill, explain how a marginally higher price on ammunition would make any difference? They are already either willing to die or spend the rest of their lives in prison. I would think that ammunition taxes would be pretty low on their list of concerns.
Ok, let’s issue a gun and 100 rounds of ammo to every person in America. It might work!
We are not completely ignorant about the effects of proposed policy. We can, and should, examine proposals with regard to cost and effectiveness.
The problem with that is that the “that won’t work” caucus is not really interested in gun control policies that actually work. They’re more interested in making sure they can continue to enjoy their hobby unrestricted.
Which is fine. I just wish they would admit it. Not only so that we can have this argument in good faith, but also to expose how ridiculous that is.
Sorry, I assure you I am not being coy with you. In watching the ‘debate’ unfold, there is so much missinformation out there that is taken as gospel. Everyone seems to have their version of what means what and how much capacity my weapons need or should have. I wanted your take.
I don’t own any ‘AR style’ (whatever that is) weapons but in looking at the link you posted….did you read the specs on the weapon?.
So 5 in the mag, one in the chamber. Is this too many rounds?….if so, by how many??.
Yes, but also it isn’t that simple, as “sometimes.”
Consider the great divide between fixed and removable magazine guns. Someone with a semi-auto shotgun is dangerous, but he also has to reach vest-to-gun for each and every round. He’s going to have a much lower rate of fire than 30-round, AR-15, guy.
The goal isn’t to reduce the number of weapons and ammo in circulation.
It’s to curtail gun violence.
Very few people have access to unlimited funds to finance their kill crazy rampage. They may not be concerned about the price…..but it will influence their ability to acquire this stuff regardless.
It’s the same logic of raising taxes on cigarettes to get people to quit smoking.
I know that a nice respected semi-auto shotgun like a Remington 1100 in civilian trim has a 4+1 capacity. You load shells one by one.
The thing I showed you comes with 2 fast change 5 shot magazines, and as I noted, higher capacity magazines are on the way.
You’d be better off extolling your gun as an example of responsible shooting, and throwing the nimrods with military-style high capacity guns under the bus.
Do you even want to know the guy who buys an AR-15 style shotgun?
“In the United States, a destructive device is a type of firearm or explosive device regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.
Examples of destructive devices include grenades, and firearms with a bore over one half of an inch, including some semi-automatic shotguns. While current federal laws allow destructive devices, some states have banned them from transfer to civilians. In states where banned, only law enforcement officers and military personnel are allowed to possess them.”
You are defending”destructive devices” rather than sport-purposed guns.
No, that is an assumption on your part. Speaking only for myself, I’m pretty ambivalent about gun control. I wouldn’t mind seeing, for example, state-level mandatory registration and a national-level background check, for example. One should not assume that opposition to policy based on “that won’t work” automatically means the person is a gun-rights absolutist.
The problem as I see it is there simply isn’t political support for the really effective measures, such as banning the manufacture of firearms with removable magazines or a comprehensive licensing scheme. Realizing that, gun control advocates then fish around at the margins looking for something -anything- that is politically possible that has any chance to hinder gun ownership . There’s nothing wrong with that, but a lot of those marginal proposals are ineffective, counter-productive or just downright dumb. Bad policy is bad policy regardless of intentions.
I am saying with a shotgun and buckshot, I can put 30 projectiles down range, reload quickly and repeat.
In a scenario such as the movie theater, particularly with the short barrel he had on the weapon he purchased, even if you hip shot, that’s a lot of carnage.
Keep in mind, I would imagine that everyone was on the floor after the first shot or two. He most likely wasn’t aiming but was just spraying the seats.
And I stand corrected…..one 3″ round of12Ga 000 buckshot has 10 .350″dia lead pellets. I think you can load a minimum of 5 rounds of 3″ in a standard magnum shotgun. 5×10=50.
Why is it that when someone needs to make up a number that sounds reasonable they always pick “47%?”
More unserious commenting from the gun-o-phobes, confusing witty speech with insightful speech. But thanks, you’ve just proven yourself completely ignorable.
So the weapons and ammuntion are not the problem…..
@Mikey: You’re absolutely right. Cuomo should have kept his mouth shut. There are a lot of upstate New Yorkers who would react harshly if he tried any such thing and it would ruin any chance he has for running for president.
So your “guns is guns” argument says that we must ban them all, or none. That is what you are setting up.
Other nations are smarter.
But on dark days I think we are stupid enough as a nation to deserve what we get.
You want a 4+1 automatic, and so hell, legalize the Armsel Striker, it’s all the same.
Unless you can raise the price of ammunition to Chris Rock levels (which is not possible), then the cost is marginal and will not be a barrier to anyone intent on murder.
It would not even hurt the economy if you printed money to do a lot of that.
Please learn some economics.
There are a lot of upstate New Yorkers who would react harshly if he tried any such thing and it would ruin any chance he has for running for president.
Oh gosh, do you promise? Please, oh, please say this is really so.
I know. It’s terrible how we want to make things like college, vocational training, and medical care available to the poor.
I have an 1100. Very nice multi-use weapon. I don’t know that I would have a use for the ‘AR style’ shotgun you linked but do you not see that the only difference between the 1100 and the one with the magazine is reloading time?. Once you empty the one or two magazines on the ‘AR style’, it’d probably take you longer to reload than it would the 1100.
I would not shun a friend for owning an AR shotgun/rifle anymore than I would shun a friend for being poor or being gay or driving the wrong kind of car…..but all the poeple that I know that I hunt and shoot with are very responsible upstanding people.
@Donald Sensing: I can’t see it happening any other way. He has to know it’s unconstitutional, but if he tried the rural upstate people would be livid.
Also, as for running for president, he could lose some strongly Democratic states, like Illinois and Iowa, which have large rural populations. I lived in Illinois for several years, both in Chicago and downstate, and there was a saying: if you remove Chicago from Illinois, what you’re left with is Alabama.
I think Eddie Izzard has this covered:
Sorry, Donald, but if you liked my band….that would mean my band sucks.
Not really. Listen to these anti-gun control people, it becomes quite obvious they’re looking for reasons NOT to implement gun control. The 2nd amendment and “that won’t work” is their last refuge.
“state-level mandatory registration” – Resisted
“national-level background check” – Resisted
” banning the manufacture of firearms with removable magazines” – Rejected out of hand
“comprehensive licensing scheme” – Unconstitutional!
Read their words, man. They say “The only thing that will stop a spree killer is a good guy with a gun.”
They do not want gun control AT ALL. The people “fishing around the margins” are at least trying to deal with the problem. The other folks are pretending there’s not actually a problem.
Sitting there inert, no they’re not a problem. But put them in the hands of “King Jeremy the Wicked,” and –woah nelly– we have a problem.
Kinda like how driving a car isn’t a problem unless you’re drunk.
I think I can go toe to toe with you on the economics of that.
There is GDP and there is underlying wealth. Guns and money are forms of stored wealth. Substituting one for the other, and destroying one, is no net change.
When you create money and spend it, for exchange, you have two outputs rather than the one. That is a different scenario.
@Robert Prather: Robert, this has been tried and ruled unconstitutional. Sort of. In 1983 the Supreme Court ruled against an ink tax. Minnesota attempted to tax ink and paper used by newspaper publishers and the court ruled it unconstitutional in a 8-1 opinion written by Justice O’Connor as an unreasonable restriction on the 1st Amendment. It did not matter that the motive of the law was not to censor. So too would a bullet/gunpowder tax be viewed as an unreasonable restriction on the 2nd.
You recognized that the difference is reloading time.
You know that spree shooters take more than one or two magazines.
@john personna: I have to agree with Donald Sensing here. The economics are not what you describe. Inflation and money printing are not tied to wealth, they’re tied to GDP.
In our current situation, with a depressed economy and caught in a liquidity trap, doing what you said probably wouldn’t cause inflation. But, if we were on a normal growth path, it probably would.
I don’t know, Andy. Seems to me that murderers are subject to the same laws of physics and economics as the rest of us. It’s not just that this stuff is relatively cheap, it’s that it’s easy to get.
Jared Loughner and James Moore didn’t go broke buying their weapons. But they should have.
You aren’t getting that the government rarely does what I’m describing.
You can’t “parallel” a swap between stored wealth with some other sort of market intrusion.
Go ahead, name the last time money was swapped for private assets AND THE PRIVATE ASSETS WERE THEN DESTROYED.
(In quantitative easing the government swaps for private assets, but retains the private assets, expanding the money supply.)
Here is a poll -Mayors Against Illegal Guns- that measures public support for various gun safety measures:
What’s important is that these are measures that gun owners overwhelming support.
This in excerpted from this article, The gun-owners’ Gun Safety Act of 2013: A blueprint for sanity?
I recommend everyone take a deep dive in that article and the poll, then discuss. Significant gun safety legislation may be more possible that we realize.
@john personna: we’ll have to agree to disagree.
If I’m wrong, I’ll be happy to learn. I’m open.
Explain to me how acquiring assets for money, and destroying the assets, creates a net increase in wealth and inflation.
(And note that “agree to disagree” makes the “how not to argue lists,” as it is a flag for “refuses to accept or post evidence or logic.”)
Cigarette taxes roughly doubled the price of cigarettes. Let’s say we double the price of all ammunition with a tax. Instead of 40-50 cents per round of .223, the price would be about a dollar a round. You really think that a spree shooter can’t come up with 100-200 dollars for ammo? Do you really think that the economics of bullet taxes will have any effect on the guy who decides to murder his wife?
Not to mention, spree killers expect to be dead before the bill arrives.
Here is what Cory Booker, Democrat mayor of Newark, NJ, proposes:
1.) Make background checks universal, including sale or transfer between private individuals.
I have already commented on another post on this blog that I support this. (Note, though, that this would not have kept Adam Lanza disarmed, since he murdered the guns’ owner to take them to the school.)
This measure will, of course, increase the marginal costs of purchasing or giving a gun to another private individual, but it is the system already required for buying a gun from an FFL holder or any transfer across state lines. Several years ago I bought a target (trap) shotgun from an FFL seller in another state. I had to find a local FFL holder to handle the transfer, who had to send the seller a copy of his FFL, receive the shotgun from him and run the background check on me before I could take possession of the gun. The costs to me for all this was $30, most to the local FFL holder. As a percentage of the cost of the target gun, it was pretty insignificant. So I don’t think that a lot of dodging would go on, although there would be some just because some people are ornery.
2.) Improve mental health and other prohibited purchaser sharing with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
I think this should be done, but I also think it would be difficult to do. What kind of mental health care would disqualify? Counseling over the loss of a child in an accident? Or would it require an actual diagnosis of a mental illness empirically associated with violence? I don’t know the answer. It can be worked out, I suppose, but as I said, it would be difficult.
3.) Tighten anti-trafficking laws.
On the one hand, selling guns as a business without an FFL should be treated differently than selling chickens without the proper licensing:
(What license is required to sell chickens? I have no idea.)
On the other hand, I am doubtful that this will much reduce gun trafficking in the criminal underground since, as Booker says, 80 percent of prison inmates say they obtained their guns through “private transfers,” which in their context means the existing network of unlawful gun dealers, not occasional transfers from a cousin across town disposing of his uncle’s WW2 .45 ACP.
Nonetheless, should anti-trafficking laws be tightened? Absolutely.
Booker’s suggestions seem to me to be sober, considered, more than potentially marginally effective and politically achievable.
Cash for Clunkers.
No, I do not think that raising the price on ammo will make it impossible for a spree killer/wife shooter to acquire it. I think that it will make it more difficult.
@stonetools: Those all seem to make sense, with the exception of the gun-show one.
There is no “gun show loophole” in the laws as they now stand. Sales at gun shows must comply with the very same requirements as sales at any other place. If the seller is a dealer, they have to do a background check, just like anywhere else. If the seller is not a dealer, then there is no requirement for a background check, just like anywhere else.
And I can already see how this can be avoided. “OK, let’s go out to my truck and we’ll finish this sale.” Or “Meet me at Denny’s in half an hour and we’ll do business.”
The rest, though, make perfect sense and might actually work. I’m a little troubled by the vagueness of “other people” and “suspected dangerous people or terrorists,” but I think that can be worked out in the end.
Not at all. I am not setting up an argument. I recognise there are differences between weapons and what they can and cannot do. I can just see where the ‘debate’ is going to go and I am more than skeptical that new rules/regs will do little to achieve the desired results.
No I don’t….and I don’t recall saying I did.
@Stonetools: Tell you what, Stony: you tell me when you finish moving those goalposts, and then I’ll think about answering you again.
Here is a poll -Mayors Against Illegal Guns- that measures public support for various gun safety measures:
These seem pretty reasonable to me, but I have less confidence in the skills of the agencies concerned than perhaps you or the mayors do.
I would want to add, though, that there should be a defined and effective appeals process for person on the deny list, especially when you consider that the TSA’s no-fly list is a monster to manage and includes persons who are guilty of nothing except having the same last name as a legitimate threat.
Overall, the proposals seem reasonable to me, but there would need to be a lot of detail work done, too.
@Herb: So you effectively tax all law abiding gun owners to make it more difficult? Well then let’s start a war on drugs that will raise the prices on all illegal drugs to make it more difficult for illegal drug users. I see where you’re going with this.
@john personna: OK, you mistakenly think that wealth plays a role in inflation when only production of new goods does, plus inventories that are yet to be put on the market. That you’re destroying existing wealth has no bearing on inflation.
I stand by my original comment on this.
A marginal increase in price does not make it “more difficult.” It makes it marginally more expensive.
And, the ironic thing is, no one has yet mentioned would could be done with the tax revenue. It seems to me there are much better arguments than what is being offered here – namely using the additional tax revenue from taxing weapons or ammo to fund other initiatives.
I wonder, for instance, what the NRA and gun-control advocates stances would be if it was proposed that the “cops in every school” idea was funded entirely through taxes on guns and ammo.
@john personna: the reason I said “agree to disagree” is because I don’t know how to tell you that inflation and wealth are not tied. The only relationship they have is that inflation reduces the value of existing wealth, ceteris paribus.
@Robert Prather: In theory, yes, but wealth does’t exist in isolation. If destroyed wealth is replaced, then that requires additional production.
Unless you have a way to tell the law abiding gun owners from the killers….sure, why not?
(Here’s a perfect example of the “won’t work” caucus. Can’t make acquiring weapons more difficult. No way. Law abiding gun owners would be inconvenienced. I guess the logic is that spree killers will do anything to get weapons, but hobbyists won’t?)
@Andy: So, what you’re saying is that killers and everyone else don’t operate under a budget constraint?
@Andy: true, but the money supply will be tied to the new production, not the destroyed wealth. In John’s scenario, it is more likely to be inflationary because the guns won’t be replaced.
@Robert Prather: Robert, I have to agree with Andy on this. This is commonly known as the broken window fallacy. Taking an object that is already paid for a destroying it causes money that would have been used productively for something else to be diverted away from valuable enterprise.
@Jack: I agree with the broken window fallacy, but it has nothing to do with inflation.
C’mon, man. If something is more expensive, it’s more difficult to acquire. It’s kind of the onus behind this whole idea.
I’m saying that marginal price increases through taxation will have no measurable effect. Again, we’d have to believe that bullets costing $1 instead of 50 cents would dissuade or prevent someone from committing a gun crime. If you believe that is the case, then please present your evidence.
@Andy: I didn’t say that.
And neither did I.
In theory, yes. The problem is that the difficulty is raised by so small an amount. Is an extra 50 cents per bullet enough to prevent people committed to murder from getting the tools necessary to commit their crimes? I’d say no – an extra couple of bucks will make no difference. I would like see an argument opposing this view along with a scenario where a marginal cost increase in ammo would actually dissuade or prevent a murder.
@Robert Prather: Oops, hit reply to the wrong comment, sorry.
WTF??. Seriously. What is a ‘military characteristic’ and how does it relate to gun violence?.
So a 22 Marlin will be banned?. REALLY?.
I don’t have the stats in front of me but does anyone know how many people were killed or injured last year from a ‘thumbhole’ stock?.
@Herb: Making weapons more difficult to get has been done. I used to be able to buy a firearm from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. I didn’t say get rid of NICs, I said you want to tax a right for law abiding citizens to make yourself feel good about the lawless acts of a few. And in the end, there will be 0 net change. Illegal murder with bullets will still occur. Too many people just want to DO something to say they’ve addressed the problem. I’m not against reducing these mass shooting incidents, I’m against taxing a specific subset of individuals that do not commit these acts of violence to simply feel better about it.
@Robert Prather: I think the gist is, the FED printing money to make these purchases will results in inflation.
This excludes 22’s.
@Jack: yes, subject to my first comment on this above, regarding a depressed economy and liquidity traps. It might not cause inflation now, but it probably would if we were on a normal growth path.
On the other hand, the amount of money we’re talking about could be so small that it wouldn’t matter.
There’s a big qualifier in there. “Committed to murder.” I think we can all agree that people who are committed to murder other people will do so, regardless of the cost.
If the cost of weapons and ammo were prohibitively expensive, those not yet committed to murder may commit to something else. Like therapy.
Feeling better has nothing to do with it.
That’s what I have been trying to say but failed. Well said.
@Herb: Herb, any law that does not actually do what is intended is a feel better law. Raising the price of bullets will NOT decrease mass shootings. After Virginia Tech it was all about closing the “gun show loophole” but Cho didn’t buy his guns at gun show. Columbine happened during the last “Assault Weapons Ban”. After Colorado there were calls for getting rid of high capacity magazines/drums yet most of his killing occurred with a shotgun. Taxing bullets, while probably unconstitutional, will drive more people to make their own or see the rise of a black market and still have no effect on mass murder.
@Robert Prather: The UK and Japan examples fail. In the U.K.:
Japan is not comparable due to it being a very homogeneous society, essentially a police state government, and furthermore you have not supplied any before and after data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ban on firearms.
Please try again or stop claiming any good can come of any gun control proposal.
@Jack: You keep saying that, Jack, but I think it’s quite obvious that things can be done to prevent mass shootings. Seek refuge in the Constitution. Cry about the “effectiveness” of various laws. (Hey, you ask me, speed limits aren’t very effective.)
But understand, these are not compelling arguments for doing nothing.
Herb, I didn’t say do nothing. I said don’t add a worthless tax to bullets because it won’t work. Come up with a more viable option. The only options I’ve seen posted are those related to prior restraint, which no court will allow. This is not seeking refuge in the Constitution. As a nation of laws verses a dictatorship, all laws must pass Constitutional muster. You show me an idea/law that will pass Constitutional muster, that will have even 50% effectiveness, and not be overly burdensome to law abiding gun owners and I will get behind it.
No, that’s false, and another instance of lying with numbers. After the initial gun ban, gun crimes did go up, however, they quickly peaked and have been falling ever since.
Overall, Great Britain has one of the lowest worldwide rates of gun homicides in the world. They suffer 0.07 recorded intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants, as compared to the United States’ 3.0 (meaning the US is over 40 times higher).
Last year the UK had eight handgun murders. If that’s failure, sign me up.
I see you have thrown in the towel on Japan, arguing that it has succeeded at being a gun safe society because its a “homogenous police state” . My wife, who lived in Japan , can assure you that its not a police state.Maybe you ought to visit there before asserting specious claims?
One stat tells all about the efficacy of gun safety legislation.
That’s a combined annual total of 263 for those 7 countries versus over 10, 000 deaths for the US. Tell me again which country is failing to limit gun deaths ? As usual, math has a liberal bias .
The Germans realized this a while ago.
But, then, they actually train people how to drive over there, not merely how to operate a motor vehicle. The two are very different in concept and execution.
People keep saying this as if it means something. So what if it is or isn’t homogeneous? There are plenty of non-homogenous societies, such as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, etc. that have low rates of gun violence, and plenty of relatively homogenous societies, such as Somalia, Thailand, Slovakia, Jamaica, El Salvador, etc. that have high rates of gun violence. This game of “oh, that one doesn’t count because I can think of a non-correlated fact about it” is just silly.
Japan is not essentially a police state government. What nonsense.
Keep moving those goalposts. Push ’em down! Shove ’em down! Waaaay down!
And lastly, you cannot be expected to be taken seriously if you post a link to a WSJ Op-Ed, a site which notoriously twists and lies about facts and figures.
When you propose any law aimed at keeping guns out of hands of the irresponsible gun owners, then I’ll believe you are serious to preventing mass shootings.
Is Canada comparable? It should be — just like us, it’s non-homogenous, a nation of immigrants, multiple ethnic groups, languages, nationalities and religions, also a frontier past, same continent, same level of economic development, big cities and small towns, not a police state, etc. etc.
So Canada, 52 deaths per year by gun, versus 10,728 for the US. Of course, there are 10 times as many Americans as there are Canadians, so if we adjust that for the population ratio, it would be 520 against 10,728 — or still 20 times as many.
@Donald Sensing: I can confirm this statement. You can’t even use fort Hood’s shooting range without registering your firearm with them.
Because that’s the exact results of the latest poll?
@Joe Huffman: what you’re claiming is absurd. No good can ever come of a gun control proposal. Whatever about the UK, but their homicide rate is much lower than our.
@stonetools: yep, that’s it. This Huffman guy is deranged.
Again, curious that the US Army, an institution which seems to have some familiarity with how guns work, requires registration and strict gun control, even with a population of trained soldiers which presumably trains all the time and has gun safety drilled into their heads. It’s almost like the Army doesn’t believe that it’s safe to have lots of guns around…..
@stonetools: So now it’s not just crazies, you want to include irresponsible gun owners too. So a word as vague as irresponsible now becomes your ideal. Talk about moving goal posts. It’s not my job to come up with the ideas/laws.
When you propose any law aimed at keeping alcohol out of hands of the irresponsible drinkers, then I’ll believe you are serious to preventing drunk driving. I guess since you haven’t proposed such a law that means you’re not serious about drunk driving.
Looking at the article I referenced, most people to seem to prefer a licensing approach to gun safety legislation, rather than a banning categories of firearms approach, although majorities support that approach as well. Another poll in 2008:
I think a law requiring criminal and mental history background checks for all gun sales, registration of all gun sales, and maybe requiring some kind of waiting period or evaluation for fitness for handguns and and semi-automatic weapons could be done.( Of course gun cultists oppose all restrictions of any kind as being too inconvenient, but the gun cultists aren’t even all gun owners).
@stonetools: OK, now apply those proposals to the 1st Amendment freedom of speech, religion, and assembly and see how far you get. Do you read what you write?
@Rafer Janders: What are you talking about? Seriously is there a nutter to English translation available? Gun clubs will sometimes require you to register your firearm with them too. It’s not what you think by any means..
EDIT : As stated clearly that population of soldiers is unarmed and that is why the shooter was able to last so long.
Criminal background checks for all bible sales (83 percent all adults and 84 percent bible-owners).
Registration and licensing of bible owners (68 percent all adults and 60 percent bible-owners).
Waiting period of five days for bible sales (65 percent all adults and 64 percent bible-owners).
Limiting the number of bibles that can be bought at one time (54 percent all adults and 42 percent bible-owners).
None of the above (4 percent all adults and 5 percent bible-owners).
@Jack: In case you haven’t noticed, guns and Bibles are not the same thing. Depending on your viewpoint, Bibles are not inherently dangerous.
I think it’s more that the Army doesn’t believe it’s safe to have a bunch of young, rambunctious males in the same place as lots of guns.
You’d be surprised how seldom in-garrison troops actually handle weapons, and how controlled the environment is when they do. Yet when I go to the civilian range, which has a far more relaxed atmosphere, there’s no lack of good range discipline. But the shooters at the civilian range are generally a lot older than the kids going through basic training.
On another of these discussion threads, someone (John Personna?) suggested gun licensing requirements inversely correlate with age–the older one is, the more relaxed the requirements. Given that so much gun crime is perpetrated by young men, this would seem to make sense.
@Robert Prather: Robert, if it can be legislated for one “Right” then it can be done to all of them. I’m not suggesting inherent lethality of a book.
@Mikey: That and there’s the fact that the weapons on base are true assault rifles and such that are illegal for your average private citizen to possess. They don’t want someone slipping a m4 or m16 our of base by pretending it was their rifle they took to the range. So they check numbers etc to make sure nothing illegal happens.
@Jack: Although, there have been millions killed in the name of religion and without the book to pass on the beliefs, those beliefs would eventually die out.
I actually wouldn’t be surprised at all.
Actually, there are laws that keep cars out of the hands of drunk drivers, and they seem to work. Nobody says cars are just inanimate objects or tools , so we shouldn’t keep drunk drivers from continuing to drive .
No one says , “Cars don’t kill people, people kill people.”
No one says, “Universal registration, licensing and liability insurance laws are a tax on responsible drivers, and that only those who drive drunk or have accidents should register or insure their cars.”
No one says that we should sell cars to anyone, and allow them to operate cars on public highways , without checking or requiring that such operators have training and evaluation to show they can be responsible operators.
We don’t do that because we as a society aren’t stupid, the way we are with guns.
Perhaps you wouldn’t–you could also be a veteran.
It’s been my experience that most non-veteran civilians think the military trains with weapons more frequently than it actually does. (Right up there with “You were in the Air Force? What did you fly?”)
I spent a day at a qualification range with Swiss soldiers (long story). You would not believe how lackadaisical they are on the firing line compared to American procedures. Same with the German troops I trained with over there.
The Swiss troops even brought beer to drink. Since literally half the Swiss generals in their army were present, and drank beer, too, this was accepted practice.
The Germans didn’t drink beer, but they saw no problem with the ammo smoking on the job.
We legislate rights all the time. People have a right to marry, but we require marriage licenses. People have a right to drink alcohol, but we have open container laws and laws against drunk driving. People have a right to free speech, but we legislate libel and slander and blackmail. People have a right to freedom of religion, but we don’t expand this right to allow polygamy, etc. etc. etc. This is really the weakest of slippery slope arguments.
@Jack: gun enthusiasts keep forgetting this, but Heller allows for regulation already and it maintained the machine gun ban, so, presumably other weapons can be banned as well. Heller defines the scope of your right and it isn’t limitless.
When someone uses a Bible to massacre twenty children, mate, we can have a discussion.
Try a Vietnamese Army shooting range. That’ll put the fear of god into you.
@stonetools: Actually, there are no laws that keep cars out of drunk drivers hands.
No one says , “Cars don’t kill people, people kill people.”–fail
Yes, but after a drunk driving accident they don’t blame the car
No one says, “Universal registration, licensing and liability insurance laws are a tax on responsible drivers, and that only those who drive drunk or have accidents should register or insure their cars.”–fail
This is only done if the driver is on public land
No one says that we should sell cars to anyone, and allow them to operate cars on public highways , without checking or requiring that such operators have training and evaluation to show they can be responsible operators.–again fail
I can sell my vehicle to anyone that has the cash without checking or requiring that such operators have training and evaluation to show they can be responsible operators.
@Robert Prather: Robert, what I specifically wrote is what would/could be passed into law and it would be declared unconstitutional. No court would allow that degree of repression of religion. No court would allow that degree of repression of the 2nd either.
@Jack: true, but they will allow gun bans, in some instances, and other regulations.
@stonetools: Stonetools, ever heard of a little thing called the Crusades?
@Robert Prather: The UK violent crime rate is higher than in the US.
Those that argue about “gun crime” apparently regard “knife/feet/fist crime” as either orthogonal or irrelevant. Neither are true. Criminals substitute other weapons in the absence of, or scarcity of, firearms. The defenders are always impacted more than the offenders.
Until you can demonstrate a society was safer after a ban on weapons than it was before my claim stands. Claiming a society that is drastically different in demographics, culture, economics, and politics is safer because of differences in gun laws is ignorant at best.
Read the research done by the CDC on the topic. After much study by many experts they were unable to find clear evidence gun laws make people safer. For you to claim you now have such evidence is incredible arrogance, naivete, or brilliance. My bet is on one or both of the first two options.
@Robert Prather: Robert, they have allowed them in the past before Heller. The Assault Weapons ban was based on entirely cosmetic features that I doubt will pass muster today.
Crusades, Salem Witch trials, Witch hunts because of plague, school girls pushed back into a burning school because they were not wearing proper head covering, all due to religion–a book. Religion or hatred of religion has killed more people than all the guns combined, mate.
So, basically, this “just one question” boils down to “answer this just one question about any society that is exactly the same as the US in demographics, culture, economics and politics.”
Which, when you define it that way, is nonsense. You’ve set the question up to be unanswerable.
Canada is very different fromTaiwan, which is very different from Sweden, which is very different from Singapore, which is very different from Australia, which is very different from Chile, which is very different from Germany, which is very different from Israel, which is very different from France, which is very different from New Zealand, which is very different from Azerbaijan, which is very different from Switzerland, which is very different from Qatar, etc. etc. All of these countries have vastly different demographics, culture, economics, and politics from each other.
And yet there’s one thing they do have in common — strict gun control, and low rates of gun violence.
@Mikey: You’d be surprised how seldom in-garrison troops actually handle weapons, and how controlled the environment is when they do.
No, actually, a lot of people wouldn’t — those people who heard about the Fort Hood shootings and noticed that it was civilian cops who took down the shooter, while all the soldiers present were unarmed.
Before then, you’d probably be right — but the Fort Hood shooting educated a LOT of people, me included.
Printing presses are taxed.
Just one more thing you’ve got factually wrong. Machine guns aren’t banned, they are simply heavily regulated. There’s a whole thing I could get into with the Hughes Amendment and pre-86 guns being okay for anyone to own (albeit with a substantial background check, law enforcement sign off or setting up a legal trust, fingerprinting, fees, and de facto waiting period while all that processes) while post-86 guns are only legal for holders of a specific type of FFL, but since you apparently can’t be bothered to read more than a couple of sentences when it comes to the technical details of these laws I’ll leave it at that.
But more importantly the issue is that machine guns are defined by clear mechanical characteristics. They fire more than one round with each pull of the trigger. “Assault weapons” are defined based on cosmetic features or “what they are based on” (a clear definition if I’ve ever heard one), rather than clear mechanical characteristics. So you’re going to run into some legal issues here with definitions…but hey, that hasn’t stopped you with your “ammo tax” idea, so why should it stop you here?
As a gun rights guy I’ve got plenty of reform proposals that would actually do something about gun violence while being relatively unburdensome on law abiding gun owners (actually enforcing the laws we have on the books, going to a Canadian style PAL system/outlawing face to face gun sales without a PAL, etc) but with a couple of exceptions they’ve been ignored by most everyone every time I’ve brought up. It’s so much easier to rant and rave about the insane gun fetishist cultists and their uncivilized guns and how they are just the worst.
Cash for clunkers was an interesting one, wasn’t it?
To the extent that the car was traded for equal value, and the car was destroyed then it would not have been inflationary, even if the money had been printed.
The money wasn’t printed though, it was borrowed.
I think you get it. Inflation comes from an increase in wealth chasing same (or fewer) goods.
Consider a tropical island toy model. Robert and I are the only ones on the island. Robert has a gun valued at $200 and $10,000 in cash. I only have $10,000. If we print $200 for Robert and destroy his gun, he still has a $10,200 net worth. His ability to purchase is unchanged. That he might be inclined to go shopping would be mildly stimulative, but over the long term it is all equal. Robert’s net worth is $10,200 before and after.
The problem is that if safe, responsible, shooters defend … basically the Lanza family plan, then they become party to it.
The NRA president talks about good guys and bad guys, but up until the day before Sandy Hook, the Lanza family was a poster family for the NRA.
That because semi-automatics and 30-round magazines are “mainstream” to the NRA.
@Jack: any ban will have to be written better
@Rafer Janders: Great so gun violence is all that matters. All the thousands of people murdered a year by non guns don’t..
BTW, “Inflation comes from an increase in wealth chasing same (or fewer) goods” only at the first approximation.
It is much more complicated than that. It depends on what circles the money travels in. We have had huge increases in certain types of money since 2008, but when they favor financial assets they have less impact on main street shoppers.
Bleed into corn and wheat prices is typical of the indirect influence.
@Rafer Janders: No. Read my blog post.
Compare before and after gun control is implemented in a society or between two very close geographical and political jurisdictions such as inside/outside Washington D.C. or Chicago. Compare the violent crime rates (not just “gun crimes) where they have strict gun control and “next door” where they do not.
After months of study the CDC could’t find evidence that gun control is a net benefit to society and you guys think you found it in the last few days? And you think I’m the one who is deranged?
The problem with the 1994 ban wasn’t poor writing – the problem is that it’s very difficult to only ban some weapons in a given category. For example, it’s a lot simpler to ban “semi-automatic rifles with detachable box magazines” (a category of firearm) than it is to try to ban only some weapons in that category. This isn’t a problem of writing, it’s a problem of coming up with clear, meaningful and enforceable technical criteria for what should be banned and what shouldn’t be. That’s why the 1994 ban and California’s current ban focus on features like pistol grips, bayonet lugs and such – it’s easy to identify and prohibit those features.
@Andy: that’s what I meant. They need to describe them better and avoid terms like “assault weapon.”
And I think it’s worth mentioning that the category of “semi-automatic rifles with detachable box magazines” includes several popular “good hunting” rifles, and is far more broad than the commonly accepted definition of “baby killing assault weapon.” So one wouldn’t just be able to say (as I suspect Robert might) “well fine, I don’t care what you call it technically, that’s what I want to ban” because “assault weapons” (as defined under both the 1994 ban and most current state bans) are a rather small subset of “semi-automatic rifles with detachable box magazines.”
If one wants to ban all semi-automatic rifles with detachable box magazines, then that’s a conversation we can have, but it’s not remotely close to the same thing as talking about banning “assault weapons.”
Which is what we’ve been trying to point out since the start of this.
Like I said, that’s because “semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a box magazine” and “assault weapons” aren’t even close to the same thing.
Not to commit heresy or anything, but let’s go back to the original article. Both this and the insurance idea share a common theme: to make it more expensive to own guns. The effect of this will be to disarm poor people, leaving alone the wealthier and those who simply steal their guns and ammo.
Just how will this improve the current circumstances?
Gosh, such a short time ago conservatives were proclaiming their contempt for the poor from rooftops. And now, suddenly, they are just dripping with concern for poor folks.
And they wonder why they just got crushed in the election…
Don’t make the mistake of conflating “gun owners/gun rights activists” with “conservatives.”
@anjin-san: I can express contempt for criminals yet still drip with concern when their civil rights are trampled. You seem to think there are not more than one position when it comes to various groups or ideas. Liberal ideals have made poor people poorer yet they still claim to represent the poor. Lawyers are supposed to ensure that justice prevails yet there are lawyers for both the prosecution and defense. They can’t both be right. I’m a Christian but still believe religion or hatred of religion has caused more death than all guns combined. There is no conflict there.
@Jack: Quit being so complicated with your beliefs!!
@matt: Complex problems require complex solutions. So therefore, let’s only require the criminals to pay a bullet tax and get liability insurance.
Oops, that would violate the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The liberals and ACLU would go NUTS!
Of course they can. Having representation on both sides is what makes due process possible. Our system of law promises due process, not justice or figuring out what/who is right and wrong.
@anjin-san: Are you being purposefully thick? My point is regardless of the subject, there can always be multiple points of view both for and against.
I did hear of the Crusades. The way I heard it, they killed each others with swords, knives, bows, arrows and catapults, not by throwing Bibles at each other. How did they fight the Crusades in your parallel universe?
@stonetools: Another intentionally thick response. You know damn well the Crusades were based upon religion. These particular religions are passed down from generation to generation via the Bible and the Koran. One of the first things that occurred after adopting the formal religion was to write down its tenants in a book. Without which Christianity and Islam would not exist. Because of religion and a book, millions were called upon to fight and die in the name of their religion.
Maybe you want to read all the way the end of the article you referenced:
Also too, The Economist:
You may want to update your talking points. They seem out of date.
Well, that is beyond obvious. Does this sort of thing pass for deep thinking on right wing sites?
Now why don’t you prove that “Liberal polices make poor people poorer” – I won’t hold my breath.
You are in a state of confusion. You are trying to conflate the laws relating to weapons to the laws relating to the ideas. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t treat them the same way. The law has NEVER treated them the same way. The founding fathers didn’t treat them the same way. The current Supreme Court doesn’t treat them the same way. You are in a minority of one on this approach. That is because everyone lives on Planet Earth , and you live on Planet GunCulto, where you can apparently kill people directly with a Bible, and where you haven’t heard the Supreme Court say this, in the middle of the Heller case:
IOW, even Justice Scalia, writing in a decision affirming gun rights, held as a matter of law that the government could regulate gun sales. Now this should be clear to even you, Jack, but I expect you will find some way to misunderstand it.
Sigh. And once again I point out that most people here are not in favor of a ban. Apparently gun cultists call ANY proposed gun safety regulation a ban , regardless of the details of the proposal. It must be nice in live in such a simple, black and white world.You just repeat one talking point in an infinite loop.
I support using taxes to recover costs that are born by all of us from the actions of a smaller group. I want airline ticket taxes to cover the entire cost of the TSA, I want a shipping container tax to cover the security on ports, I want gasoline taxes raised to cover the medical and first responder costs associated with cars.
But I dont like a tax on ammunition to recover the costs of guns. The costs are much higher for high caliber, fast shooting guns handled and stored improperly. Liability insurance tracks all those variables but a tax on ammo would not. Liability also has a direct payout to the victims. A tax could recover the raw $ amount for the cost of medical and first responders for all gun related events but it would not target the core problem people like liability would. Some people after a few claims would be uninsurable but they would always be able to buy ammo.
Still better than nothing.
I was responding to Robert who said:
“any ban will have to be written better”
“that’s what I meant. They need to describe them better and avoid terms like “assault weapon.””
To me that sounds like he is talking about a…what’s the word…ban.
So no, I wasn’t referring to the original subject of this post (ammo tax) as a ban, I was responding to someone who was explicitly discussing a ban. Regarding calling “all safety regulation a ban,” I’ve offered up various gun safety regulations that I would support IN THIS VERY THREAD. But please continue to assume that because I am advocating increased gun rights that I am an idiot cultist incapable of critical reading or thinking skills.
Also I have a small penis, murder babies for fun, and worship Satan. Did I miss any other ad hominems?
@Mike: Also I have a small penis, murder babies for fun, and worship Satan. Did I miss any other ad hominems?
How the hell did you miss RAAAAACIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!
Sheesh, I’m almost ashamed to be on your side…
A small contribution to the taxing of ammo suggestion to reduce gun violence:
Most of the gun enthusiasts I know stock ammo for their guns in preparation for going to the range to shoot perhaps 200 rounds per gun or going hunting expecting to shoot 50 to 100 rounds depending on the quarry, including zeroing in. At any one time, the enthusiast may have in store a mix of rifle, pistol and shotgun rounds amounting in total to around 1,000 rounds or more. The most extreme gunner I know has over 30,000 rounds in his basement safes. The safes I have examined are not all that “safe” either.
The point is that these rounds are accessible by family, acquaintences or thieves, along with the weapons, right now, with perhaps a bit of manipulation, and probably will be for some time to come–even years. All a spree shooter has to do to equip himself rather well is to raid an enthusiast’s house, bust the safe if needed, and he is home free. Not all enthusiasts have safes for their guns and ammo, either, which makes the job much easier. This is, of course, exactly what the Sandy Hook shooter did.
Short of confiscation, what gun laws would prevent this?
@stonetools: When the Supreme Court affirmed the individual right to arms in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) it suggested among other things that the Second Amendment protects firearms in “common use”. An AR-15 is a common use weapon. A semi auto handgun is a common use weapon. The Heller decision would exclude “dangerous and unusual” weapons, like fully automatic machine guns that are numerically uncommon, functionally distinct and have been specially regulated since the 1930’s. It also would answer snarky questions, like do individuals have the right to own bazookas, stinger missiles, tanks etc? Both the majority and the dissent acknowledge that the AR-15 is a gun in common use. How they proceed from there is illuminating. The dissent treats common use as a solid liberty-protecting standard. Guns in common use cannot be banned.
Addressing a variety of challenges to the new law, the Court of Appeals applies the emerging dominant standard, asking 1) whether a restriction impinges upon a core right protected by the Second Amendment (with “longstanding” regulations presumptively lawful), and if it does, then 2) whether the restriction passes muster under the level of constitutional scrutiny the court deems appropriate.
Now this should be clear to even you, Stonetools, but I expect you will find some way to misunderstand it.
Now why don’t you prove that “Liberal polices make poor people poorer” – I won’t hold my breath.
Government schools over charter schools and social promotion for students who can’t do the work, Affirmative Action that places a minority in a job or school over a better qualified applicant, often resulting in an inability to do the work, taxing producers to give the money to moochers who neither work nor are inclined to find work, promoting single mother families that increases the likelihood of continued reliance on welfare, among many other policies have kept the poor in poverty and reliant on government to meet their daily needs.
What liberals fail to understand, however, is that the very means they choose to combat poverty — socialism and interventionism — actually exacerbate the problem that they claim to address. Their war on poverty hurts the very people they say they are trying to assist.
There was a reason John Smith told the resident of Jamestown that if they didn’t work they wouldn’t eat. There was a large group of settlers that were taking food without making significant contributions to the town as a whole causing the food to run out and starvation was becoming a possibility. That is the US today thanks to Liberal ideals.
@mannning: If ammo was taxed, there would be a lot less of it stored (assuming a none trivial tax rate). As ammo would be more expensive, there would be more of it stolen which means people would keep it under lock and key better as well as keep less of it around.
I could see something like all ammo bought and consumed at a licensed gun range would be tax free which would reduce the amount of ammo stored in homes.
I dont think ammo tax is better than liability and it would take a long long time to work through existing inventory but an ammo tax would reduce the amount of ammo stored in the public.
As far as stopping spree shooters through gun control, nothing will do that. Spree shooters happen on a regular basis, it is a mental health issue. What has changed recently is the increase in the body count. What you can do is reduce the body count by restricting the speed at which the gun shoots. Some kind restriction on shot count plus require manual reloading, no clips bascially. Decrease the shots fired before reload and increase the reload time. Give people a chance for cover or to attack the gun man.
Obviously we are a long way from this. This is a long term project.
@Jib: What about those of use that don’t go to a licensed range to practice? I shoot skeet, rifles, and handguns on a secluded farm. So now, either I am forced to go to a licensed range to practice or reduce the amount of rounds I use during practice. This would reduce my proficiency and thus cause a rise in calls from the gun grabbers that since I don’t practice enough I shouldn’t have those weapons. It’s a catch 22–like Chicago insisting that everyone that owns a weapon must shoot at a range then outlawing all ranges.
I agree this is a mental health issue but suggesting limiting people to smaller magazines or none at all is not the answer.
@Mike: frankly, if they were going to ban weapons it would be more honest to call it “The Banned Weapons and Public Safety Act of 2013.” At least we could focus on the real issue then.
@Jack: Well you could pay the tax. Whats it worth to you to shot on your own? Thats the beauty of it, if its worth it to you, you can do it. No ban. And you will be able to afford it. Maybe you buy a new car every 5 years instead if 3 years to pay for it, or you live in a 2000 sq ft house instead of a 4000 sq ft house. You move the money where its important to you. I know, I have a 35 ft sailboat I pay for with a smaller house and crappy cars.(Now THATS an expensive hobby but come the end times I can always sail north and live off salmon, crab and berries)
As far as your second point, reducing shots between reloads and increasing the time to reload WILL SAVE LIVES. I think everyone who can do math understands that. Its a matter of how we get there within the 2nd amendment
When the Supreme Court affirmed the individual right to arms in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) it suggested among other things that the Second Amendment protects firearms in “common use”. An AR-15 is a common use weapon. A semi auto handgun is a common use weapon
At this point, we just don’t know that the Supreme Court would recognize an AR15 as a common use weapon. What’s certain,IMO, is that it would defer to Congressional regulation of such weapons. If congress determines that certain semi automatic weapons were deemed to be ” unusual and dangerous weapons” I suspect the courts would go along with that. Given that a 20 year old without special training massacred 26 people in a few minutes, I suspect that Congress may very well agree that the AR 15 is a peculiarly dangerous weapon. I suspect that all those claim thatt the AR15 is not dangerous would be the first over the horizon were an AR 15 pointed at them.
Hate to tell you this, but right wing boilerplate is not “proof” – it is the prattle of the dead.
Look up proof in the dictionary. Come back when you have some.
@anjin-san: Anjin, did I hit a nerve? Proof is 47% of the population living off the rest. You must be one of the moochers. Go have some bonbons and pop out another child with your baby moma.
@Stonetools: An AR -15 is no more dangerous than a 9mm handgun. Cho used two 9mm and killed more than the Newtown shooter. The guy in Colorado did most of his killing with a shotgun. Where does the banning stop? What an AR-15 is particularly useful for is killing at medium distance, normally 100+ yards the distance they are normally sighted for. It’s a stand off weapon. People want to ban it because it looks scary not because it is particularly “unusual AND dangerous” weapon. Like I said, in Heller, both the majority and the dissent acknowledge that the AR-15 is a gun in common use.
Sorry Jack, 10%er here. I need someone to rake up the leaves in back, are you available? 🙂
Keep talking, eventually you will get something right.
Sounds like a reason to regulate both types of weapons so that they dont fall into the hands of people who would massacre others in this way. Do you even read what you type? You acknowledge that both of those weapons are the kind of types that could be used to massacre up to 32 people in a few minutes, but you assert that they aren’t ” dangerous weapons”. So what are they, harmless? Should children be allowed to play with them? Should we just sell them to everybody and just trust to fate that the potential buyer won’t be a mass killer? Because thats what we are doing now and it sure ain’t working. Just ask the parents of the children massacred in Connecticut- but of course , you don’t. give a damn about those chlldren, so long as you can buy and play with your ” man cards”. Pathetic.
And what would that real issue be? Reading in between the lines it kind of sounds like you’re saying I’m “distracting from the real issue” or some such by insisting that we get the technical details right…crazy things like, y’know, the fact that there is no such thing as “non-practice or hunting ammunition.”
A lunatic in Austin in 1966 managed to kill 11 people and wound another 32 with a bolt action hunting rifle. But wait, all you folks who want to “regulate” other types of weapons keep telling us that hunting rifles are “good” and couldn’t possibly be used for any other purpose other than hunting, which is why you’re okay with not “regulating” them. How did that tragedy happen??
And seriously dude, the ad hominems are getting old. Yes, because I am advocating for gun rights I literally want to murder children. Literally. Especially non-white children because as a gun owner I am of course a racist
Stonetools says: “you don’t. give a damn about those chlldren”
You take it as: “I literally want to murder children”
Grow up, Mike.
Funny you mention Charles Whitman. Haven’t you seen Full Metal Jacket?
There’s that number again…..
Newsflash, dude…..”47%” is 100% BS.
‘Gun Control Fails,’ Say Statistics from … Gun-Control Advocates
I was replying to Jack, who says that ALL restrictions on (presumably non-automatic)gun sales are unconstitutional. Dunno if you want to join into that wingnuttery. Since you are guys are part of “the brotherhood of the Bushmaster users” and such, may be you have to join in. How does that work btw? Does possession of a Bushmaster grant you mastery over those with bushes? OK, I kid, I kid…..
So because Whitman used a bolt action rifle for mass murder in 1966, we can’t regulate semi-automatic rifles in 2012? Logic,how does that work?
The fact that you had to go back 46 years to find a significant mass shooting with a bolt action rifle shows that bolt action rifles aren’t the problem. Sure, you CAN commit mass murder with a bolt action rifle. But Whitman actually had be highly skilled in the use of that rifle to achieve that carnage. You don’t need that to be an assault rifle, whoops, semi-automatic rifle mass murderer. You just load up on your 30 round magazines, fill ’em up with that harmless .223 ammo, walk into your friendly neighborhood mall, movie theater, or school, get about 30 feet from the nearest group of “targets” and start pulling the trigger over and over. No real need for the kind of marksmanship that Whitman displayed to such deadly effect. Heck, I could do it, and I was lousy the one time I went target shooting.
The logic of the Miller Act is that some weapons are simply so dangerous that they have be heavily regulated because they enable people to easily commit military type mass carnage.From where I sit, its not really clear there is a chasm in lethality between the 1933 Thompson sub-machine gun and the modern semi-automatic only military style rifle, however named -assault rifle, tactical rifle, battle rifle, modern sporting rifle-whatever.
Fun fact- the first people to call these AR15 type rifles “assault rifles ” and “assault weapons” was the gun industry . At that point, both the NRA and the gun nerds happily signed on to such usage. After 1994, the gun industry began to call these weapons “modern sporting rifles” and the NRA and the gun nerds stepped smartly to heel. The so called “experts” who earnestly tell us that there is no such thing as a “civilian assault rifle” are simply following turns in gun industry propaganda since in 1982 the gun industry did claim these weapons were assault rifles.
Hopefully, this will end the lectures about naming things, but I doubt that. Maybe I can create a macro .
Dude , you linked to a Pajamas Media site. So far as I am concerned, those guys have about as much credibility as Goebbels and Pravda.
Bio of the writer of the article:
@Stonetools: They aren’t UNIQUE and DANGEROUS. That is the requirement set by the Supreme Court.
@Herb: Herb, that number is statistically accurate as of 2012.
@anjin-san: Anjin, 5% here. I need someone to clean my garage. Send your spawn. On second thought don’t bother, they probably have no work ethic having been raised by such a libtard.
@Mike: you need to quit reading between the lines and focus on what I’m actually saying. The real issue is identifying particularly dangerous weapons and requiring high liability premiums, taxing them heavily, or banning them.
@Robert Prather: They are called assault rifles and we’ve already banned/taxed/regulated them to high heaven.
According to the FBI statistics on murders the biggest problem is handguns followed by shotguns. Yet you only focus on the scary looking semi-auto rifles.
Not very original, are you? You and Jenos should talk.
Here is the language from the opinion:
Now an AR -15 with a 30 round clip is obviously “dangerous” . A 20 year old killed 26 people with it in a few minutes. Could Congress and the Supreme Court find that it is also “unusual?” While there are a lot of semi-automatics out there, most gun owners don’t have semi-automatic only assault rifles with 30 round magazines .
Also too, the Supreme Court said only that weapons in “common use” were “protected”. That doesn’t mean “cannot be regulated”- it just means “cannot be banned”. Even under Heller, handgun sales are being regulated in all sorts of ways. There are time, place, and manner restrictions (No handguns in a courthouse). There are restrictions on whether felons or the mentally ill can have handguns, etc.
Frankly, even post Heller, the government has broad powers to regulate and indeed even ban certain categories of firearms. Its really more a matter of political will.
@matt: I didn’t say anything about the weapons other than they particularly dangerous. You assumed I was talking about assault rifles.
@Jack: Um….I didn’t see anything in that link that indicates “47% of the population living off the rest.”
Care to revisit that “statistically accurate” crap?
@Herb: the surprising thing about this is that most of the people pulling the 47% nonsense don’t realize that these people pay social security and medicare taxes, as well as sales taxes.
They also don’t seem to realize that this is largely the result of the Bush tax cuts, which expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit and doubled the child tax credit. They’re so full of themselves, thinking that everything comes down to makers and takers, I can’t imagine why they lose elections. They’re also obnoxious.
@ Herb & Robert
It’s interesting that the people you hear spouting “47%” nonsense invariably sound like they would not be able to successfully run a shift at a taco bell. Yet they also seem to identify with plutocrats. The 1% has done a wonderful job finding rubes to shill for them…
@anjin-san: yep, it’s an amazing thing that they have gotten people to vote against their own economic interests. One of the worst examples of this I have seen is this young woman. She’s been reading too much Austrian Economics and thinks the Fed should be dissolved. She’s still in college and regrettably, reminds me of myself at that age.
@Robert Prather: You said
I am merely attempting to inform you that we as a country have already identified the weapons you refer to and they are called assault rifles and they are already banned/taxed/regulated to high heaven. Aside from genuine assault rifles we also already have banned/taxed/regulated to high heaven short barreled shotguns and rifles amongst other potentially dangerous weaponry.
Or are you trying to pull more crap like you did with AP bullets?
Yeah, I understand. What is clear is that even if the appropriate experts look at this and determine that reasonable measures can be used to reduce gun violence, you will oppose it.
Wonder how that “Pledge to fire Obama” thing is working out for her…
@anjin-san: yeah, I know. It’s some of the most misguided and infantile stuff I’ve ever seen. She gripes about QE and the additional reserves banks got and complains about the interest paid on those reserves. She also complains about inflation without realizing that the interest is paid to prevent that.
Reading her timeline is painful. Oh, as with the rest of her timeline, firing Obama will not work out well for her.
Yea, but if she is willing to wear a short enough skirt, she may wind up on Fox someday.
Bingo. Frankly, the gun cultists are going to find reasons to oppose any and all restrictions on the sale of these weapons. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that their strings are being pulled by an arms industry that makes its highest profits precisely from these types of semi-automatic weapons.
Folks like Matt and Jack would deny it, but they are repeating NRA talking points almost word for word, even as they claim ” independence” from the NRA. As I demonstrated above, Matt’s obsession about the naming of his favorite weapon is simply gun industry propaganda. The gun industry called these guns “assault rifles ” until 1994, and then like trained poodles the gun industry lobbyists and gun “experts” turned 180 degrees and started insisting that the term “assault rifle” was anathema and new term ” modern sporting rifle” was preferred. If the gun industry marketers decide in the future that the term ” assault rifle ” is in, I expect another pirouette in terminology from the gun lobby and its experts.
In the end, the pro-gun people are most concerned about “convenience”. Yeah, they bang on about Constitutional rights but frankly, there aren’t any Constitutional issues in taxing ammunition, requiring liability insurance, or restrictions on the sale of certain weapons . No, the problem isn’t constitutionality: its convenience .
The issue is that a lot of the the folks I would imagine you would refer to as “appropriate experts” (like, say, police chiefs) don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and/or deliberate obfuscate the truth. For exhibit A of this, look at the recent LAPD gun buy back where they got not one, but two MILITARY ROCKET LAUNCHERS!!!!!!
Except they weren’t rocket launchers, they were empty trainer tubes completely incapable of firing anything (and as such completely unregulated), much less firing actual explosives (which are already individually regulated as Destructive Devices under the NFA anyway) and the police knew that at the time they were turned in because they didn’t pay out the gift cards, since the tubes weren’t “firearms,” or even “weapons.” That didn’t stop the police chief and mayor from posing with the tubes in a photo op as an example of the insane military style weaponry that our streets are supposedly awash in, while making sure that every major news agency picked up the story that “MILITARY ROCKET LAUNCHERS ARE ON THE STREETS OF LOS ANGELES,” never mind that nothing of the sort actually occurred. So yes, if the same type of person who would hold up an empty tube and proclaim it as a military rocket launcher is the type of person you have in mind as an expert, then of course I will oppose them because they are deliberately being untruthful.
As I’ve said time and time again, I am all for reform that would actually impact gun violence. I have proposed additional regulation that I think would actually impact gun violence (increased enforcement of existing laws, particularly in urban areas where already illegal handguns are rampant, and some sort of system that makes face to face sales without a background check illegal.) So please, stop acting like all gun owners are adamantly opposed to all gun regulation on principle. Just because I don’t support your (misguided, impractical) ideas like an ammo tax (but only on “non-practice or hunting” ammunition) or a “dangerous weapons” ban (definition of “dangerous weapon” TBD) doesn’t mean I am reflexively opposed to all additional gun regulation/reform.
@anjin-san: yep. She even has the right hair color for Fox News.
@Mike: I won’t deny that politicians are opportunistic and if they did what you said, they were being profoundly dishonest.
One of the fall backs of many gun enthusiasts is to say “enforce existing laws” and use that to set aside new regulations. I don’t buy it, but I will grant you this: I saw a study a few years ago that said the most cost efficient way to reduce crime is to hire more police officers. That seems right. I can’t find a link to that study, but here is one that is similar.
I believe that better enforcement through more police officers is something we should pursue, but I’m not willing to use the “enforce existing laws” excuse to preclude other action.
Oh man. Reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother a couple years ago. “It’s a fact that the Federal Reserve is illegal.”
It kind of saddened me that I had to explain that it’s a fact that the Federal Reserve plays an important legal role in the economy and “the Fed is illegal” is an argument, a particularly poor one considering, you know, the reality of the situation.
@Mike: Sorry you feel maligned, man….but it’s pretty funny you support this:
* increased enforcement of existing laws (with no suggestion of how to pay for it with our tax averse, fiscally strapped public sector….which is routinely maligned as moochers by your political compadres)
* a system that makes face to face sales without a background check illegal
And think that’s the magic solution.
Look, we get it….you don’t like our ideas. But yours are no better. In fact, they’re kind of dumb.
Hey, I’m all for expanding background checks. But they’re not free. In Colorado, where I live, the system is overwhelmed and expensive.
It’s almost as if in order to implement you’re preferred policy, we’ll also have to……tax ammunition.
@Herb: I know where people get these ideas, but it amazes me that they’re still considered worthy of consideration by some people. The Fed’s illegal? Give me a break.
The people saying this probably don’t understand fractional reserve banking and they certainly don’t understand that banks, even healthy one, have liquidity problems due to timing issues, i.e. people withdrawing more money than expected, bank liabilities coming due at a time of low cash, and so forth. That’s what the discount window is for. Sheesh.
But if we aren’t effectively enforcing the laws we have currently on the books, what sense does it make to create new laws? And believe me, we aren’t enforcing the gun laws currently on the books…as just one example, despite there being rather strict penalties on the books for straw purchases (lying on the Form 4473 is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison) people who are caught doing straw purchases (often women doing so for a felon boyfriend/spouse/brother, almost always someone buying for a felon friend or relative) almost never get convicted of a felony, much less spend any time in jail (and many times they aren’t charged with a crime at all). There have been more cases than I can count where a prior felon will use a gun to commit a relatively high profile crime (shoot a cop, etc) and after tracing the purchasing records back it turns out that a close relative of the felon bought the gun for them, often in a rather egregious manner (felon was standing at the gun counter, telling the person which one to buy, for example), yet in such cases it is rare for anyone to take action against either the straw purchaser or the FFL. That’s a foul. (Although to be fair, that attitude is slowly changing…but prosecution rates are still extremely low.)
Now, I’m not trying to say that we should undertake a “war on guns” reminiscent of the “war on drugs,” since I think we would agree that the latter has been an abject failure. Nor am I necessarily saying that increased incarceration is the sole answer, since I also think we would agree that the incarceration/mandatory minimums portion of the war on drugs has been one of its worst features, but it seems kind of silly to me that we have laws on the books that could be utilized to deal with the bulk of gun violence (handgun violence in urban areas) but for various reasons (not the least of which is the war on drugs taking precedence) choose not to…and you think that we should pile even more laws on top of this, which will presumably be enforced in the same hap hazard manner? I mean, just to illustrate the absurdity of priorities in enforcement right now, the federal sentencing guidelines for possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine are more than double (5 years) the sentencing guidelines for someone engaged in up to a dozen straw purchases (2 years). If we want to get serious about dealing with gun violence, then maybe we should look at changing something like that as opposed to proposals about arbitrarily taxing certain types of ammo but not others or banning unspecified “dangerous weapons” (which, assuming that doesn’t include handguns, are responsible for a tiny percentage of overall gun violence anyway.)
And I will fully admit that under the current laws it is difficult to prove a straw purchase (although that still doesn’t excuse letting people off the hook when it is provable), which is where the second part of my proposal comes into play. It’s a lot easier to prosecute straw purchasers if they commit a federal felony by the very act of transferring a gun to someone who lacks a PAL/who they don’t call a background check on as opposed to having to prove that they intended to buy the gun for someone else and/or that they knew the other person was a prohibited possessor.
Like I mentioned to anjin-san above, making gun rights into a right/left issue is a false dichotomy. I know PLENTY of gun rights folks who are rather left wing, including many who voted for Obama (and I mean actual gun rights folks, not “well I owned a gun once 10 years ago and I shot with my grandpa as a kid but yeah, feel free to ban whatever you want I don’t really care” types). Personally I dislike the GOP more than I dislike the Dems. Believe me, I fully appreciate that many of the systems in place are undermanned/underfunded…in fact, that’s why Feinstein’s current proposal to register all “assault weapons” under the NFA is ludicrous. There are currently right around 20 NFA examiners working for the ATF, the turnaround for a Form 4 (form you submit for a NFA item) is right around 6 months. In FY11 there were a little over 100,000 applications for NFA items submitted…and the wait time was around 6 months. There are several million “assault weapons” (as defined in Feinstein’s bill) in private hands in this country. At the current manning registering all those weapons would take decades, and even if you increased manning by some absurd amount (say, 500%, which isn’t going to happen) you’re still looking at years before everything is registered.
I’m not sure why CO chooses to have the CBI run their own state call/internet center, because that seems to be adding an unnecessary step to the system, since many (most, actually) states allow FFL’s to contact the federal NICS center directly. The federal NICS center has had some delays/backlogs during periods of increased volume, but nothing like CO’s. In any case, expanding NICS to all sales (which would indeed cause a sharp increase in call volume) is not the only option…there is always a Canadian style PAL licensing system, which I have proposed before. And while I would prefer the money came from another source (say, from paring back the bloated defense and/or homeland security budgets) if it was determined that the best way to pay for this was a reasonable (key word…say, 5-10%) tax on all firearms and/or ammunition, I’d support that.
My issue with the tax was never the idea of a tax in general, it was a) the focus (punitive/restrictive, intended to price people out of being able to exercise a Constitutional right…and self defense with a firearm in the home is a Constitutional right, per Heller/McDonald) b) the arbitrariness (there is no way for “experts” to effectively define “non practice and hunting” ammunition based on solid physical characteristics, so who knows what would actually be taxed), and c) because of the punitive/restrictive focus, the tax rate was insanely high. Your average self defense oriented handgun ammunition (so evil baby killing hollowpoints) costs around $0.50 per round (maybe more, maybe less depending on the type and if you are buying in bulk or not). A $2 tax per round is a 400% tax. That’s ludicrous. On an average box of 50 rounds, I would be paying $25 for the ammunition…and $100 in tax.
Actually, I just realized the piece I was getting the federal sentencing guidelines from was a few years old, so I may be wrong on the 5 years for 5 grams of crack since I seem to recall that getting changed a couple of years back. Regardless, the guidelines are heavily biased in favor of convicting people of drug crimes as opposed to firearms violations.
@Mike: I’ll try to give a more detailed response tomorrow. At first glance, the stuff you say seems reasonable. Now, off to watch “Runaway Train.”
@Robert Prather: So, let’s see: you’re not okay with having to show ID to vote (despite ID being cheap-to-free to get), but perfectly fine with a huge tax on the means to keep and bear arms. (They’re not “arms” without ammunition.)
Is the Bill of Rights a Chinese take-out menu? What else is in column A or column B? Maybe bloggers ought to show ID and be required to pay a per-word tax, to keep debate from becoming too acrimonious? (Or perhaps, in the interest of “fairness,” Congress should tax the usage of obscure words that some readers might have to look up?)
The U.S. isn’t a social-engineering experiment and its citizens are not lab rats. Those ten amendments lit some of the inherent rights of all individuals; infringe them, and many people will just go around them.
An unfree press in the USSR resulted in samizdat. Gun bans in Chicago result in only criminals carrying guns. Alcohol prohibition in the US established the mafia as a major force and encouraged scofflaws; drug prohibition has done much the same. Ban/tax guns and/or ammunition and what will we get? A new Mob? Militias? An expanded black market? –What we won’t get is a reduction in violence. It’s not having an ax that makes a man an ax murderer.
@Stonetools: All weapons are dangerous — including a stone ax. That’s the whole point.
But most of them require strength and/or serious, constant training. An old maid like me, not so good with a stone ax, a spear or a sword. Firearms are egalitarian; that’s the whole point. Why do you want the strong to be able to prey on the weak with impunity?
@Roberta X: Actually, what I’m opposed to is voter ID laws introduced during an election year and designed to suppress the vote. Also, in-person voter fraud is an almost nonexistent problem. Gun violence is a very real problem. Heller says we can regulate weapons, and I’d like to think we will when it will improve public safety.
@Robert Prather: I’ve proposed many reasonable measures in several threads. Where as all you seem to want are feel good measures that will have no noticeable impact on violence.
We need a public option with strong treatment options for mentally ill people (especially for the poor).
We as a society need to stop glorifying violence and insisting on using it to solve our problems (Iraq the drumwar for war with Iran etc).
We need to stop glorifying everything military even when clearly we shouldn’t be.
We need to close any NICS related loopholes and provide for a free easy way for private sales to involve a NICS. That will fix the gun show loopholes that do exist.
We need for some tightening in CCW requirements with training and background checks as a minimum requirement.
We need to stop militarizing the police and focus on community outreach. Removing the stigma of snitching will increase the chances of discovering a shooting plot before it happens.
We need to look at our culture and ourselves in an honest light.
we should consider requiring gun owners to carry insurance to cover accidents with their firearms.
We should consider a national FOID card like system with required training classes. I’m worried about this bit because we cannot even get a national ID passed. There’s also the problem that such a requirement will become a manner for the government to restrict ownership solely by passing ever ridiculous fees. There’s also the unintended consequences of such a precedent.
@stonetools: Plain and simple you’re a nutcase. Only a nutcase would make so many huge leaps in assumptions. You don’t have a single thing right about me or my beliefs. Truth and facts don’t matter because you’re too busy virtually slaying the evil gun nutters who hate children and want everyone to die.
People call trucks and SUVs cars all the time. People say Kleenex instead of tissue paper or a qtip instead of a cotton swap. People use the wrong term for objects on a regular basis. If someone is calling a semi-automatic rifle an assault rifle they are wrong and need to be told so. I’ve found myself having to educate gun owners about the proper definition of an assault rifle.
So it doesn’t surprise me when gun control nutters get it wrong because most of the time they can’t even be bothered to learn the current law (like prather and some of the others here that thought AP ammo was legal lol).
I use the proper term and I cannot be held responsible for others not using it properly..
@Mike: Maybe he means these experts..
@Mike: I voted for Obama and I’ve voted heavy Democratic since the early 2000s. Prior to that I leaned heavily Republican.
@matt: I like the idea of a national FOID card and mental health treatment. The rest is OK, but kind of meh…
@Robert Prather: So I’m curious if you heard about the shooting spree that occurred down by where I live (San Antonio) around the same time as sandyhook?
@matt: No, I didn’t.
@Robert Prather: Probably because an armed person (off duty deputy) stopped it before anyone was killed.
@Joe Huffman: They did a metastudy, and found that the evidence was generally insufficient to judge, oftentimes because of methodological issues. Across the categories of studies they assessed, most simply had studies with conflicting results. Several had too few. This study does not say what you seem to think.
This just in: police officer stops crime!
. . .
Therefore, taxing ammunition is wrong.