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On Letter: Courage lacking

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Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

Seems to me that one man's politically expedient is another man's courage. I applaud our senators.

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

Why shouldn't we close the loopholes and create a uniform national system of background checks?

Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

Because, and feel free to call me paranoid, it will morph into a gun registry and even more gun control.

Look at the immigration bill they are proposing - Marco phones and exceptions in it. Look at all the surprises found in the ACA after it was passed. Lots of promises are made but few kept when politicians want to pass laws.

Plus, tell me how the new law will really affect crime. Lets enforce current law first.

People get all fired up at voter ID and life begins at conception laws - why? Because they know the side pushing for these laws have an agenda. The same applies to gun control laws. It is not just about the law, but the agenda behind it.

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

Ok - you're paranoid.

Background checks are meaningless if not everybody buying a gun has to have one.

It's obvious, isn't it? What's the point of having laws if there are significant loopholes that counteract the very same laws?

Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

And what is the point of having laws that you don't enforce? Enforce current law and you will reduce gun violence.

As I said, it isn't about the law, but about trust. Blame the government for creating an environment of mistrust. You can't believe what politicians tell you. I might support increasing background checks if I believed that it wasn't the first step to creating a gun registry. Once the government has all gun owners going through a federal background check it doesn't need a new law to create a gun registry - it has the data and it can misuse it or do it by executive order.

Tell mental health advocates that you want to reduce privacy laws just for gun background checks and that information will not be used for anything else and watch the outcry against it. People, and for good reason, do not trust the government.

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

What current laws aren't we enforcing in this regard?

In other posts, you've claimed that pretty much everybody has to have a background check now, but in this one you admit that's not true. Which do you actually believe? If almost everybody has to have one now, then making it universal is a small change, and opposing it doesn't make sense. If, on the other hand, lots of people don't now, it would be a big change (but clearly necessary, in my view).

Do you support removing background checks entirely? That would be the only logical place for you to stand, but I doubt you would really want that.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

As an example Chicago is last in enforcing laws pertaining to felons caught with firearms. Kansas is near the top.

I've never claimed almost everybody has to have a background check. Private sales are exempt. Since they are exempt we have no way of knowing what percentage of total sales they comprise. And of course criminals don't get background checks either.

I suspect excluding criminals most sales involve a background check but no one knows for sure either way do they?

No, I don't support removing the current background checks. They are there so let it be.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/22802/gun-control-facts-existing-gun-laws-would-reduce-crime-but-these-are-not-enforced

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

I looked at your link. It's interesting.

If accurate, I agree that we could be doing a lot more to enforce existing laws. Providing funding for NICS is something that Congress should be doing, and isn't, so we shouldn't be quick to blame Obama for that, as the article does.

The other examples would lead to that, though, if the Justice Department could simply prosecute more cases like the ones mentioned.

Obviously, the exemption for private sales is a huge loophole. It makes no sense at all to have required background checks if people can just buy them privately without those.

I understand some of the concern about the federal government, but the only conceivable way to have a system that would work is for it to be nationally consistent, and without loopholes. Even the examples in your link are examples of federal laws that are being broken, and the need for federal enforcement.

And, the fact that one state can be lax in enforcement while another isn't is also evidence that state to state variation is a problem with this issue.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

jafs - private sale background checks really won't do a lot to stop crime. Yes, it might stop someone who is not eligible to possess a gun from buying one, but it will do nothing to stop the person who wants to buy a gun to commit a crime. Think about it - damn, I want to rob a store with a gun, but I can't buy one legally. Oh well, guess I will lead a decent upstanding life instead. NOT.

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

This is the odd argument that because laws aren't 100% effective, we shouldn't have them.

Do you lock your doors and windows? Why? Don't you know that somebody who's determined to get in can just break them?

We pass laws, and do things, to make it harder for people to commit crimes, not impossible. Anybody who's determined enough will commit a crime. Should we just eliminate our laws because of that?

It makes little sense to me.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

You're right, we pass laws that make it harder for people to commit crimes, but we are talking about a Constitutional right, and while all rights are not absolute and are subject to regulation, we must be careful not to make it so difficult for people to exercise their right that it goes beyond reasonable restriction and becomes infringement.

When a law does little to deter crime, but makes it difficult for law abiding citizens to exercise their right then in my opinion, it is a bad law. Additionally, when a law, on its face, seems inoccuous, but when coupled with past laws and future laws, incrementally erodes the right, it too is a bad law. This is how I view this law.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, since we don't know how many people are buying guns privately without background checks, we don't know how much of a problem it is.

Kind of like the voter fraud argument, isn't it?

If it's ok to require people register to vote, and prove that they are in fact entitled to do so (which I have no problem with), then it must be equally ok to make them prove they're entitled to buy a gun, since not everybody who wants to do that has that legal right in this country.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 7 months ago

Do you really thing criminals are going to do a background check while trading drugs for a gun? Or even just paying money for a gun, they aren't going to ask permission from the feds to buy a gun. It is a violation of the 2nd amendment for the lawful.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, since hard core criminals don't follow laws, why have them?

It's an odd, and not convincing argument for me.

We have laws to make it harder for people to commit crimes, not impossible. Do you lock your door? Why? Any criminal who really wants to get into your house can just break a window, right?

A check to make sure you're entitled to buy a gun legally isn't a violation of your rights any more than requiring people to register and prove they're entitled to vote is, in my view.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 7 months ago

We have laws against murder, to punish someone if they violate it. The law is a warning to those who are mentally fit and consider consequences to their actions. We don't need laws on guns, which are objects or tools. We limit laws to acceptable behavior in society, not objects like guns. People have a Right in the Bill of Rights to have and bear arms. A background check is asking the government for permission to buy a gun or exercise your Right. This is unconstitutional. We need to get rid of background checks and simply make a list from the medical industry which people are in treatment for mental illness and are temporarily not allowed gun purchases. When they are recovered, their Rights should be reinstated, since the government does not have the authority to withhold Rights, only temporary restraint for mental illness or prison, where the person could not be trusted to handle firearms in a responsible manner as any other in society.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 7 months ago

At the federal level, according to the Preamble of the Bill of Rights; the amendments are restrictions on government to not legislate in those areas. In these areas, the amendments would be without limit at the federal level.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 7 months ago

You have decided to believe Judge Scalia's unconstitutional decision instead of the Preamble to the Bill of Rights. Judge Scalia made his decision outside of the Constitution. His decision does not alter or make new law. It can only strike down existing legislation, not a right listed in the Bill of Rights. It was the Judge's attempt to open the door to legislate and change the Bill of Rights with regulations. The Preamble says that this is illegal. The Constitution only allows amendments to be changed through the amendment change process. Otherwise we don't need to ever change an amendment if we can just legislate a right away.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 7 months ago

If I'm not mistaken, I believe a person that gets out of jail can have his/her rights reinstated.

Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

"Background checks are meaningless if not everybody buying a gun has to have one."

Then we should stop doing them altogether.

chootspa 1 year, 8 months ago

If you don't want it to morph into a gun registry, why not pass the legislation that specifically forbids a gun registry? The slope really isn't that slippery.

Charles L Bloss Jr 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree Fred. We have 20,000 gun laws, many are not enforced. Killers break a number of laws. Laws do not stop them, only law abiding citizens obey laws. We need to enforce the laws we already have strictly. I am a retired peace officer, I served 30 years. I have also been an FFL dealer. I know about what each is like. The universal background checks being called for will not work with the current information we have. All persons adjudicated as mentally ill must be in the database, many are not due to HIPPA and other reasons. The "universal" background checks, and the ones we now have, can be used by a government who does follow the law. They can be used to create a database of gun owners. I don't know about you but the current administration lies about many things. The chief law enforcement officer of the US was involved in "fast and furious" which resulted in the murders of over 200 mexican citizens and one US border patrol agent. He refuses to answer his involvement in testimony before Congress. Does that make you feel like you can trust Obama and his cohorts? Not me, I know how much Obama lies, and I know he will do anything to get our guns. Remember the most recent example, the Nazi's. Once they got information on who owned guns, they confiscated them. I think anyone knows what happened after that. No, Fred is not paranoid, he is realistic.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 7 months ago

"People get all fired up at voter ID and life begins at conception laws - why? Because they know the side pushing for these laws have an agenda. The same applies to gun control laws. It is not just about the law, but the agenda behind it. "

I agree. It is not about courage, it is about caution and not being naive.

Crazy_Larry 1 year, 8 months ago

Please explain how background checks would have stopped the mass murders in Newtown or Aurora.

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

Why do people insist that laws about guns prevent all problems with them, when they don't insist on that with any other laws?

No laws are 100% effective - should we stop having them entirely?

Crazy_Larry 1 year, 8 months ago

Isn't that the purpose of the law? The impetus of these new regulations? Why, YES! YES IT IS! Your response is exactly what I've been saying the entire time...We don't need new laws...There are thousands of gun laws existing on the books already...New laws will accomplish nothing...

Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country...did they stop the crazy guy with the gun? So what's the point of these new laws?

If you really want to save lives and keep our children safe, then we need stricter laws on vehicles and the people driving them. And stricter laws on cheeseburger consumption. What's the point of a car that can go faster than the speed limit? Why shouldn't every car have a breathalyzer ignition system? Why do we give drivers licenses out as if they're Cracker Jack Box prizes? What's the point of "HEART ATTACK GRILL"? Who really needs a triple-cheese burger?

Please Nanny State! Save us!

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

No it's not. I'm not saying we don't need any new laws. I'm saying that laws aren't 100% effective, but that's not a good reason not to have them.

And, that those on the right use that odd argument, but only about gun laws. On all other laws, they're very "law and order" oriented. It makes no sense.

I'd be very glad to have stricter laws about driving, and a breathalzyer ignition system on all cars, if that helps prevent automobile related injuries and deaths - please note I said help prevent, not eliminate.

You're mixing up activities which harm others, like shooting people and running them over with a car, and other activities like eating too much junk food, which harms oneself. In my view, laws are designed for the first group, not the second.

chootspa 1 year, 8 months ago

If we need to enforce existing laws, why does the NRA consistently push for legislation that weakens existing laws and makes studying the true impact more difficult?

Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

chootspa, can you provide an example where the NRA has pushed for legislation that weakens existing law? I can't think of any recent legislation introduced that would weaken existing law.

chootspa 1 year, 7 months ago

The Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986. This law mandated that the ATF could only inspect firearms dealers once a year. It reduced record-keeping penalties from felonies to misdemeanors, prohibited the ATF from computerizing purchase records for firearms and required the government to prove that a gun dealer was "willful" if they sold a firearm to a prohibited person.

The Tiahrt amendments. Beginning in 2003, the amendments by then-representative Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., to the Justice Department's appropriation bill included requirements such as the same-day destruction of FBI background check documents and limits on the sharing of data from traces.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act. Most recently introduced in 2011, the bill proposed changing several regulations, including redefining the burden of proof for agents investigating firearms dealers accused of selling to prohibited individuals and capping fines for other violations.

In 2006, Congress passed a bill to require the head of the ATF to be confirmed by the Senate like their counterparts in the FBI – a bill supported by the NRA. They haven't had a permanent head since then.

Here's an article that mentions ten ways: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/13/nra-weakened-gun-control-laws

Or here's the funny version:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-16-2013/there-goes-the-boom http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-16-2013/there-goes-the-boom---atf

skull 1 year, 7 months ago

Damn those facts and their liberal bias.

Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

It isn't about murders, it is about the left trying to put up barriers to gun ownership by even the most law-abiding citizens. We need to shut them down now before they try another firearm or magazine ban.

I stand with those that lack the courage of our gun-grabbing friends on the left. I'd rather be a coward advocating for the constitution than a hero advocating more of its forfeiture.

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear from background checks.

I was discussing this issue yesterday with some friends, all of whom had fired guns, and several of whom owned them. They were all completely in favor of universal background checks, and had no problem with them.

They were of the opinion that those who oppose those checks are people who wouldn't pass them.

Hardly "gun grabbing friends on the left" - I was the only one there who hadn't fired a gun.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 8 months ago

It isn't the background check that is the problem, it is collection and retention of information by the federal government that is the real problem.

Yes, I know Obama, Biden and others said they don't want to create a national gun registry, but i don't believe them. Maybe I trust the government less than others because I lived when the government killed innocent unarmed students at Kent state, killed a mother while holding her infant child, but no weapon at Ruby Ridge and caused children to be incinerated at Waco.

Yes, I've seen the evil the government can do so I am a bit jaded.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Government, being composed of human beings, is fallible and corruptible - there's no question about that.

And, I also lived through Kent State, etc.

But, that's not a good argument against government, it's a good argument for the people to be involved politically, and to hold elected officials accountable.

Otherwise, we can't have an effective federal government, if the response is to simply hamstring it at every turn. And, we need one, in my view, given multiple challenges in modern day America.

Frankly, although I'm not at all sure it's constitutional, requiring all would be gun owners to register, and pass tests, both written and practical, about gun laws, safety, and competent operation of them would be a very good idea in a lot of ways, it seems to me. Just as it's a very good idea to require that of automobile owners/operators.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 7 months ago

A federal government is needed, but not a national government. You're right, the people must become more involved so we can hold politicians accountable.

It is hard to trust the government and not to hamstring them when they constantly try to pull fast ones. For example, the aid to the East coast was filled with pork and the bipartisan immigration bill that seemed reasonable turns out to have pork and lots of exceptions.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear from background checks."

Tell us about the no-fly list and how people don't have problems passing a cursory background check at 6 years old and can't get on a plane.

What other constitutional rights do you believe we should be allowed only after a background check?

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, let's see.

First, there's no constitutional right to fly on planes, as far as I know, so people who can't fly on them aren't losing a constitutional right. Second, the no fly list may be problematic, for a number of reasons, but it's hardly analagous to background checks for gun buyers.

Not everybody who wants to buy a gun has the legal right to do that, in this country. So, it makes sense to me to make sure they have that right before selling them a gun.

If we can be made to prove we have the right to vote (which is fine with me), we can be made to prove we have the right to buy a gun.

And, did you notice the part about the folks I was with, all of whom had shot guns, and several of whom owned them? The view that background checks are good was the universal view at the gathering.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"First, there's no constitutional right to fly on planes"

That plainly true, but the point is the federal government is so bad at implementing background checks that they infringe on innocent people's ability to fly. Granted, flying is no right, but if it was, the feds would be violating it constantly. Do you want the same people putting the six year old kid on the no-fly list deciding if an American can have a gun?

"If we can be made to prove we have the right to vote (which is fine with me), we can be made to prove we have the right to buy a gun.."

Point our where constitution says the right of the people shall to vote shall not be infringed. Don't come back with "person can't be prevented from voting because they are ____" amendments. They guarantee nothing but equality.

I can tell you where it say's " the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". It comes right our and say's it, look, right there -> "shall not be infringed" It doesn't say you shall not be kept from owning a gun because you are black or a woman.

"And, did you notice the part about the folks I was with, all of whom had shot guns, and several of whom owned them? The view that background checks are good was the universal view at the gathering."

All the people from that meeting should form a group and promise each other to get background checks before buying guns. I'm not subject to a law because your group of friends think it's OK. Why would you think that matters?

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

So, then we should make sure the government works better.

It doesn't infringe on a right to ensure that the people trying to buy guns actually have the right to do so. If everybody who wanted to had the right, it would be different, but we've decided that certain people don't have that right, even if they're American citizens.

The point is that it's not just "gun haters" on the left who think it's a good idea.

Do you think that because of the 2nd amendment, all American citizens have the right to own guns? It's the only purist answer, but I've yet to meet anybody who'll say it - even the most avid gun enthusiasts seem to think it's ok to deny that right to felons and those who've been adjudicated mentally ill and dangerous.

I don't want to get into a long and technical analysis of the "right to vote" - my point there is that from where I sit, it's perfectly reasonable to ensure that those who are trying to vote meet the criteria for voting, and buying guns is analogous to that.

Charles L Bloss Jr 1 year, 8 months ago

I do as well. See my comment on the other letter about the NRA.

infidel 1 year, 8 months ago

Every gun I have purchased online or at a gun show has required a background check. I don't know of any one who has bought a anything online without one.

Kate Rogge 1 year, 8 months ago

Why aren't the conservative Kansas state and federal legislators firmly behind gun control and background checks? How is it different from requiring valid IDs before exercising our Constitutional right to vote to require rigorous background checks before exercising our Constitutional right to purchase and bear arms?

jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

Interestingly, you can turn the question around and ask why aren't liberals in favor of I.D.s when voting since they back background checks when people exercise their Constitutional rights in owning a gun. If your intent is to point out an inconsistency, that inconsistency runs both ways.

Kate Rogge 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm asking why there is a discrepancy in the conservative legislators' view about verifying a citizen's identity before voting or gun purchase? Especially as the majority of Kansas citizens support background checks?

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"discrepancy"

Voting is dealing with the government. They are obliged to positively identify you every time you conduct official business with them. When you buy a gun from a private entity, it is none of their business what your name is, much less any other info, and it is dangerous to give such information to a person you do not know.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Then everybody who buys guns from private entities can do so, whether or not they have the legal right to buy them.

Hmm.

Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

"Constitutional right to vote"

Doesn't exist.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

It guarantees equality (equality, meaning... EQUALITY) at the voting booth, but it does not guarantee the right to vote. Read it again.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Nobody has a constitutional right to vote, at least under the US Constitution.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

By all means, lets pass more laws for the sole purpose of disenfranchising the will of the American voter. I can really appreciate the state of the country you are supporting.

Mr_B9 1 year, 7 months ago

sunflower-voter says "our constitutional right to vote"

I do not believe voting is a constitutional right. Please read below:

The Constitution contains many phrases, clauses, and amendments detailing ways people cannot be denied the right to vote. You cannot deny the right to vote because of race or gender. Citizens of Washington DC can vote for President; 18-year-olds can vote; you can vote even if you fail to pay a poll tax. The Constitution also requires that anyone who can vote for the "most numerous branch" of their state legislature can vote for House members and Senate members.

Note that in all of this, though, the Constitution never explicitly ensures the right to vote, as it does the right to speech, for example. It does require that Representatives be chosen and Senators be elected by "the People," and who comprises "the People" has been expanded by the aforementioned amendments several times. Aside from these requirements, though, the qualifications for voters are left to the states. And as long as the qualifications do not conflict with anything in the Constitution, that right can be withheld. For example, in Texas, persons declared mentally incompetent and felons currently in prison or on probation are denied the right to vote. It is interesting to note that though the 26th Amendment requires that 18-year-olds must be able to vote, states can allow persons younger than 18 to vote, if they chose to.

Who knew?

SouthWestKs 1 year, 8 months ago

Patrick, Maybe the senators voted the way most of us Kansas's wanted them to vote. I believe that is why they are elected, to represent the majority of people.
That is normally opposit of you all in Lawrence/Douglas County.

chootspa 1 year, 7 months ago

I know Kansans are into electing radicals these days, but I find it hard to picture the state differing so radically from what even fellow Republicans think on the issue in nationwide polling.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Senators technically represents the interest of the state itself, like Kansas or Missouri. The House of Representatives represents the will of the people.

Having a look at the federal House, no gun control bill will pass muster there, so this was not only a hollow loss for the gun-grabbers, but an obviously hollow battle to waste time fighting. All these people saying "will of the people" are wasting their breath because the people chose Republicans as the majority to represent them in our federal government.

chootspa 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, the Democrats got more votes in the house overall, but because of gerrymandering at the state level, the Republicans got more seats. Even ignoring that, the overwhelming majority of Republicans still support widened background check legislation.

bearded_gnome 1 year, 8 months ago

SouthWestKs 26 minutes ago

Patrick, Maybe the senators voted the way most of us Kansas's wanted them to vote. I believe that is why they are elected, to represent the majority of people. That is normally opposit of you all in Lawrence/Douglas County.

[ding!]

besides, the "background check" check legislation requirement legislation was deeply flawed, "we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it ... " type thinking. in it was the requirement that every transfer had to have a background check, even if a dad passed a gun to his son, yet that dad wouldn't be registered with the authorities as a firearms dealer, and there was no mechanism to plug him into the system to enable him to do that. would've effectively stopped those.

chootspa 1 year, 8 months ago

The M-T amendment specifically exempt friend and family purchases. That was what the senators filibustered. Please stop believing NRA lies.

chootspa 1 year, 7 months ago

I remember when the NRA used to be gun safety advocates. Those were the days.

notaubermime 1 year, 7 months ago

Are you suggesting that we need fewer guns in circulation in order to enforce current laws? That seems a bit extreme.

Maybe the first thing we need to do about mentally ill people with tendencies towards violent behavior is find a way to get them treatment. It seems to me that defusing the ticking time bomb is probably the best route.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 7 months ago

If they could pull it off, the far left would disarm the American people for the first time in history.

We would be completely dependent on the government to protect us.

...as we are becoming dependent on the government for everything else.

And they say gun owners are illogical.

chootspa 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes. You're illogical. Because that's a total straw man. Sheesh.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

The left tried to get a foot in the door with the "assault weapons" ban. After that debacle they cannot be trusted to with any gun control legislation.

Ken Lassman 1 year, 7 months ago

OK, folks, there have actually been a number of genuine discussions in this thread, especially between fred and jafs, clearly stating without too much emotion the gist of the disagreements. The NRA has provided boatloads of anecdotal information advocating for merely enforcing existing regulations and selling more guns as a way to curb gun violence, while the other side has provided boatloads of anecdotal information advocating for the need to tighten up the loopholes in background checks at least, restricting semi-automatic gun and large clip sales at most.

How is a person to decide? The typical way is to actually do some kind of objective research, providing unbiased facts for folks to mull over in their discussion. Back in the 90s, the CDC actually tried to do this, but when the data began to show that household guns actually increased the probability of gun violence, the NRA stepped in and put pressure on legislators to restrict any research in this area. Of course the legislators were only too eager to comply, and reasonable research in this area has been squelched, despite the fact that other major sources of accidental/violent death in the US receive millions of dollars annually to better get a handle on ways to reduce mortality.

Here's just one article for those interested in this historical suppression: http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/01/14/blackout-how-the-nra-suppressed-gun-violence-research/ there are many more.

I don't see how any reasonable argument either way can proceed past the current deadlock without more research, and I think our legislators should be held accountable for surppressing research to assist reasonable citizen discussion on this important health issue. In the meantime, since what research has been done indicates that gun ownership is correlated with gun violence, improved background checks is justifiable and should proceed.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks Doug - we try :-)

I found some interesting data on private sales, etc. According to a link somebody posted, 40% of those polled had bought their guns without a background check, and 80% of guns used in crimes had been bought that way.

Seems as though the problem is rather large - I was surprised at the numbers.

gphawk89 1 year, 7 months ago

I propose a different way to tackle this problem. Why don't we simply create a law that makes it illegal to murder (or attempt to murder) someone? Then we can all have as many guns as we want but the new law would prevent them being used to harm anyone. Oh... wait... we already have that. That one doesn't seem to work, either.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Right.

So, should we get rid of the laws that make murder illegal?

Do you think we'd have more or fewer murders that way?

Kate Rogge 1 year, 7 months ago

It isn't that we can legislate away crazy and murderous. It's that we can do much better to make sure crazy and murderous isn't armed and dangerous to others.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Democracy is fine until you're on the losing end. Then it's all cheating and fraud. Right?

If you don't trust the system, I suggest you protest by dropping out.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

In addition to those adjudicated mentally ill and dangerous, felons are also not supposed to own guns.

It's the same argument as with voting - only citizens are supposed to vote, and not felons, etc. Laws which require people to prove they have the right are reasonable.

I find it odd that so many have differing views on the two topics - for me they're very much the same.

Also, if you want to believe that laws only exist to punish people after the fact, go ahead. I find that a very poor reason to have laws, since I'm much more interested in preventing crime than punishing criminals afterwards.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 7 months ago

The point has been made here that increased gun ownership correlates with increased gun violence, therefore we have to look at this as a problem and implies that we need to correct this if the data turns out to be accurate.

This can only mean limiting the ability of the American people to purchase a gun which is their constitutional right. The direction of all anti-gun arguments are toward this type of conclusion. What they say is that they are interested in improving background checks and identifying and providing help for the mentally ill, but in fact their rhetoric is not limited to this.

Gun owners and gun haters are on two different planets right now, but if the gun issue continues in the way that it has, there will be a Republican in the White House after the next election. I will almost guarantee that.

We can make a case that increasing automobile usage in the United States led to increased fatalities, etc.

You can make the same case for power tools and industrial machinery. You can make that case for almost anything including baby cribs.

I believe we can improve gun safety and it is a very noble and good thing to do. However, this was never about that. This was about politics. The Democrats wanted an issue to rile up their constituents. They have succeeded.

What they have done is reveal a lack of respect for the fundamental freedoms of the American people and a willingness to cross a line that they should never have crossed.

This President does not have the political capital to make the kind of changes he is trying to make in this country. We have not yet implemented his national health care plan and it is worrying a lot of companies. He continues to browbeat Republicans from his soap box and the country has never been more divided. Obama is not about unity, he is about division.

Ken Lassman 1 year, 7 months ago

Your reasoning falls short, hawk. I never said that I hate guns; I own two myself. But just as I think it is a wise law to prove your competence in order to drive a car, I think it is very prudent for someone to prove that they are not a high risk for using a gun for a crime. Even tho, unlike driving, we have a constitutional right to bear arms, we also have laws that take that right away from folks who we as a society deem as at high risk for committing gun violence. This is a public safety issue first and foremost, and all of the other items you mentioned also fall under that realm. It's really a matter of where you want to draw the line, and what gives you the most bang for the buck (pardon the pun).

That's why I find it reprehensible that the NRA, a group that promoted gun safety much more before it was taken over by extremists, is suppressing research on the most effective way to reduce gun violence. It is a public health issue that can ruin a life every bit as much as alcohol, so spending money on quality research can help take some of the anecdotal emotionality out of the debate so real, effective measures can be taken to reduce gun violence for our children's generation.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Dividing the world into "gun owners" and "gun haters" is simplistic and inaccurate.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 7 months ago

In a political environment that only allows two sides to any issue, I do not think it is off the mark to generalize the two groups involved in this debate. It is becoming a tradition in this country in recent years. Not my idea but it is political reality.

There is a large group of gun owners that are moderate but most of them are suspicious of the motives of extreme elements of the Democratic Party. These people do not want to belong to the NRA but at the same time they understand what is at stake if we let politicians take away our freedoms with the excuse that they are making us safer.

Tyranny always finds its start on the backs of the most innocent and idealistic people because they are the most trusting.

This issue is too fundamental and important to have turned it into a political campaign that is designed for political effect. This irresponsible manner in which Obama promoted his anti-gun agenda demonstrates a serious lack of leadership and puts the implementation of his national health care plan at greater risk of failure.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

I think it's very off the mark, and counterproductive as well, to oversimplify a complex issue, and make inaccurate broad statements like the one you made.

It continues the unnecessary polarization in politics which is destructive.

There's a lot of rhetoric in the rest of your post, which I find unhelpful as well - but you're of course free to engage in simplistic division-making and rhetoric. If you do, though, you can hardly criticize others/politicians for doing it.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 7 months ago

Why is regulating guns "unconstitutional" and "violating the Second Amendment" when a 70 page omnibus anti-abortion law that violates at least three of those amendments (the First, Thirteenth and Fourteenth) perfectly hunky dory? I just don't understand the GOP mindset....

Ken Lassman 1 year, 7 months ago

Puh-lease: 54 Democrats voted to close discussion and of the 4 who didn't, Harry Reid voted against it so he could bring it up again when it became clear that .

Compare that with 42 Republicans voting against closing discussion, and only 4 voting for closure, most of whom were on the bipartisan committee who drafted the legislation.

Mark Currie 1 year, 7 months ago

Ok to kill unborn babies, not ok to own nasty gun. I give up, going to beat my head against the wall again.

jonas_opines 1 year, 7 months ago

Use the strawmen you just made for cushioning, so you don't get whiplash.

jayhaitch 1 year, 7 months ago

"The right to keep and bear arms." What would the definition of "arms" be when that was written? If you say that it changes with the times, then I want my nuclear missle and I don't want to have to pass some stinking background check to get it.

If it doesn't change with the times then all you're allowed to have is a musket-type of "arm."

verity 1 year, 7 months ago

Hmmm, I do believe maybe you've got a point there.

redneck 1 year, 7 months ago

Here is my 2 cents. Yes, you can purchase a firearm off the Internet, but they will only ship it to somebody who has a Federal Firearms License. The person with the Federal Firearms License will run a background check on you, and you will pay them a small fee for their service. You can also purchase a firearm at a gun show without any kind of background check. This is allowed so gun owners can sell their weapons privately to other gun owners without having to go through a Federal Firearms License dealer. If a convicted felon purchases a firearm from another person privately, they are breaking a federal law and could go back to prison for doing so. Please tell me of one instance, where somebody committed one of these mass murders, and they purchased their weapons at a gun show or privately from another person. Name me just one instance. I don't believe there are any instances, but please let me know if I'm wrong. They either stole them or purchased them from a dealer who ran a background check on them, and they passed the background check. It's not the weapon that needs to be controlled; it's the loose nut behind the trigger who needs to be controlled. The nut job that is responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary incident broke more than one law. He murdered his mother and stole her guns. What other silly law would have prevented him for doing what he did? It seams to me that he didn't care about any laws, or he wouldn't have broken them. Maybe we need to include mental records, when a background check is performed. The problem is that the bill that was presented to the US Senate contained all these other silly agendas, which are included to slowly eat away at our rights to own firearms. These agendas include limiting the magazine capacities or outlawing anything that could be considered an assault weapon. I have a 22-caliber rifle that may be included in an assault weapons ban, just because I can purchase a 50 round magazine for it. It's a peashooter for Christ sake! Lets end the madness and pass laws that make sense or stop letting criminals out of prison because of overcrowding or commit those who are a danger to our society.

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