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  •  Another viewpoint (16+ / 0-)

    What the diarist and others like him/her (including myself) are frustrated with is that the bans target features that people think are scary and somehow make the targeted items beyond the pale of any non-evil use.

    When we argue terms, it's not because of errant pedantry and our tender sensibilities are offended that you used clip instead of magazine. That's annoying on the level of seeing your used when you're was appropriate, or the apostrophe used to form a plural outside of any possessive, but not a big deal.

    No, our concern is that people understand what the actual items are and how they are used. That doesn't mean we think you'll automatically be swayed to be against any gun control (and by the way, very few gun owners want zero gun control). But it does mean opening up the question why a specific rifle is being targeted across the board or why ten is a magic number (or 7 in New York's case) for magazines. It means wondering why an intermediate power range is vilified when most hunting rifles are a more powerful caliber (and more accurate than most AR-15s, for that matter).

    A lot of the panic gun restrictions legislators are proposing, and that an uneducated but panicked segment of the voting public are okay with, is the equivalent of wanting to reduce vehicular deaths by banning red convertibles and restricting automobiles to manual only, grandfathering in those who already own automatic transmission automobiles. A laudable goal, but the focus is on features either irrelevant or incidental, and not targeting the vehicles involved in the majority of vehicular deaths and not dealing with the real underlying issue at all.

    •  So fix it. (4+ / 0-)

      They amend laws. Do it. Add more types of guns to the restricted list. Don't use whatever your definitional dilemma is here as an excuse to do less.

      •  And there you go (12+ / 0-)

        My argument is that people are trying to ban things that don't have an effect and the response isn't to change the focus or drop those features, just amend the laws to add more guns to the restricted list.

        But if you really want an honest restriction, then it would be to ignore rifles and their magazines altogether. That's right, no legislation about pistol grips or rounds, no worry about whether someone has a 30 round magazine. Instead, focus on handguns. And by that, I don't mean just outlawing them outright or enacting ridiculous restrictions that have the same de facto effect: I will not ever believe that lazy lawmaking to placate those whose only argument is "I'm scared and want action now---any action!"

        No, that's useless. Off-the-cuff, here's some things I'd like to see. Let's start with an expanded NICS check and a revision of the 4473 form. I would like to see the government seriously study high-risk zones of gun violence and enforce controlled gun buying a la Hartford's police department. I would like to see a program in place for anyone who has a mental illness so they can be evaluated without stigma if they want to purchase a gun (any gun for this part), which would include requiring a written reason for denial and an explicit mention of what progress the patient would have to make. For veterans, their should be special care given to those suffering PTSD and free ongoing therapy, regardless of whether the purchase denial is ever overturned. Have the BATFE be fully funded and staffed, and for it to aggressively go after felons who purchase or try to purchase handguns. I want an end to law enforcement using FFLs to conduct sting operations or to become civilian informants. Don't let straw purchasers off the hook. Put money and genuine effort into an educational program on how to safely handle and store firearms, especially around children. Give a tax credit for individuals who purchase gun safes.

        Again, that's off the top of my head. They're not necessarily well-thought out and there's a lot more one could add. But the main point is not putting together a list of magical Chaotic Evil guns that incite murder as opposed to the True Neutral ones. Legislation needs to target behavior and acquisition of firearms generally, as well as the current most dangerous class of firearm (not individual models) specifically.

        •  Oops (7+ / 0-)

          That whole bit of proposed legislative reforms really applies to all firearms. I mentioned felons buying handguns but (hopefully obviously) the BATFE should go after felons who illegally try to buy *any*firearm.

          •  Are you organizing to make this happen? (0+ / 0-)

            I think gun owners who are troubled by NY's law or others should share their dismay directed with their representatives. These laws are not all written in stone -- there will likely be lawsuits, revisions ,etc.

            The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

            by LiberalLady on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:33:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Depends on your definition (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              annecros, theatre goon

              I'm not sure what exactly you mean by organizing, but yes, I write regularly to my senators on many issues. My senators are Boxer and Feinstein, though, so I suspect my gun law-related mail gets filed in a trashcan.

              I also write my representative and my state legislators.

              And I even write snail mail sometimes.


        •  These sound like very reasonable proposals. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
        •  Good closing paragraph (0+ / 0-)

          I like the sentiment of your last paragraph.  If I was a resident of New York, I'd be researching proper brand-neutral language and lobbying my elected representatives about improving the law.

          Speaking to your opening sentence: Seeing a friend still warm, but dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound has an effect.  Someone waving a gun in your general direction and saying stupid shit has an effect.  

          Reducing the sheer numbers of firearms will have an effect.

          •  Reducing the sheer numbers of firearms will have (4+ / 0-)

            an effect
            i wish i could agree w/ you, but i dont
            I also would love to see someone like Nate silver
            do a study ''how many 'illegal' guns need to be 'grabbed' to prevent 1 crime or suicide''
            Every time theres a mass shooting, i think about friends, relatives who live/lived there..

            Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

            by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:08:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let's do it all. (0+ / 0-)

          That's my point.

          Register and ban and insure and study and keep studying and fully fund enforcement and educate, etc.

          Don't use the current imperfect law as an excuse.

          •  I get your point---you still are missing mine (0+ / 0-)

            When a bad law is written, complaining about it is not "an excuse": it is legitimate outrage. When a bad law purports to solve a pressing issue, but does nothing toward that, and serves to limit the rights of law-abiding gun owners arbitrarily, it is not "an excuse" when people point out the flaws: it is the very heart of democracy to debate and discuss the law.

            I will note that not only have I pointed out that there are serious questions that should have been asked and still need to be asked, I also provided a list of what reform I think should take place. The next logical step in a conversation isn't to say, "Fine, add more restrictions, but how dare you complain about the bad law already enacted! Just pile on more restrictions." That's not how rational progress is made.

      •  Exactly. Active engagement by (0+ / 0-)

        responsible gun owners and (dare I say it?) the NRA to effect meaningful improvements to existing gun control mechanisms would be enormously constructive. Sitting on the sidelines and complaining about how foolish the current legislative plans are doesn't seem very useful.

        •  The NRA (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erratic, KenBee

          I'd be fine if the NRA just moved back to its original mission of providing soldiers with additional marksmanship and handling training, as well as general educational programs, and stepped aside for a more in-touch and inclusive gun owner group to tackle the political realm. The NRA has alienated a lot of people who own guns. I don't want to support a group that fetes Sarah Palin and Oliver North at their events and I would like to see a genuine minority outreach (my wife and I are definitely not the only non-white gun owners in this country).

          I don't know how to get that group off the ground, sadly. But I wish I did.

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