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View Diary: Universal background check could be as dead as assault weapons ban (614 comments)

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  •  You sound awfully defensive for someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    trying to seem cock-sure of yourself. And what are you going to do when these laws are passed--and you know it's just a matter of time? Take to the woods with Ted Nugent?

    And no, no one's calling for the ATF to presumptively break into anyone's home unless they're suspected of having illegal guns. I'd absolutely be against that, being a staunch 4th supporter. But if registration was the law and you were found through lawful means to have an unregistered gun, you'd have to register it, or it would be confiscated.

    I don't want anyone's lawfully owned guns taken away.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:30:55 PM PDT

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    •  Re (0+ / 0-)

      But you do want to narrow the options for people to lawfully acquire new guns.  After all, that's what the AWB is for.  You want to "dry up the supply," is Senator Feinstein put it.  And I imagine you want some flexibility in defining "illegal guns" (and "illegally held," for that matter).

      I know BATFE isn't going to confiscate any firearms because gun rights activists have fought long and hard to ensure that such a thing could never happen.  It's ongoing fight.  And if you want universal background checks, you're going to have to offer physical as well as legal guarantees that confiscation will never happen.  So what is it you truly want?

      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

      by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:37:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The guarantee would be in the law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FogCityJohn

        Register the gun, provided that it's one you can legally own (if registered), and it won't be confiscated, period. Don't register it, or possess an illegal gun, and if the law knows you have it, you lose it. What's so complicated about that?

        It's no different with a car you intend to drive. It has to be registered or you lose it. And you can't own certain kinds of vehicles at all, such as a tank, unless you get a special permit because you have a museum or fantasy camp where you could drive it unarmed. What's the problem? Are we back to the black helicopters and things we're supposed to fear even though they don't exist?

        As for AWB, I can see exceptions, such as museums, gun ranges and rural dwellings, but for people who live close to others, it makes no sense to let people own them. But if we can't ban them, and I agree it's not likely to happen, I'd prefer they at least be registered and background checks be made, with it made clear that lawful owners get to keep their guns.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:53:52 PM PDT

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        •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

          Physical control of the records.  That's our price.  Take it or leave it.  We will accept no lesser guarantee.

          Sorry, but there's no need to even discuss a national AWB.  Simply not going to happen.

          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

          by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:08:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Physical control by whom? (0+ / 0-)

            If you mean by non-government entities, except perhaps by a highly regulated contractor, then obviously that'll never happen, nor should you want it to. If instead you mean a tightly controlled database with all sorts of checks to prevent leakage or abuse, then I'm 100% with you on that. Gun owners have as much right to the sanctity of their records as does anyone else.

            You would, though, have a decent argument if you argued that even the tightest of legal restrictions and guarantees, history has shown that these are regularly abused by people in power, e.g. library records and warrantless wiretaps. I myself am worried about that, even in this instance.

            Although, I have to say that your negotiating attitude leaves a little to be desired. It's not up to you to decide this, but the political process. If it happens, it happens, whether you like it or not. And if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, whether I like it or not.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:21:12 PM PDT

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            •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

              I mean by individuals or institutions of their choosing.  You can specify the form recordkeeping will take and the manner in which they may be lawfully transmitted, but I'll require said records to remain under physical control of parties to the transfer or the physical control of entities selected to hold records in trust.

              If that's unacceptable to you, explain why.  I say this method is just as effective as yours in cutting down the flow of firearms into the wrong hands.  You should explain why it is not.

              When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

              by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:36:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Well-Regulated Militia (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing in the 2A about your gun rights having to be wrapped up in a pretty bow.

        You want to exercise the right, you take the responsibility. If that means proving you're of sound mind and body, and not otherwise limited by your inability to abide by the law, then sorry if that causes you a little inconvenience. Nothing in the Constitution grants you the right not to be inconvenienced.

        And if that means the "supply" is dried up...then suck less at the guns you already own.

        How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

        by athenap on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:27:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You shouldn't have to prove that you're sane (0+ / 0-)

          The burden should be on the state to prove that you're not sane, through legitimate and non-intrusive means, e.g. you've been committed to a mental hospital or have been prescribed anti-psychotics which are already recorded. But if you're determined to not be sane, you don't get the gun.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:34:03 PM PDT

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          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

            Why not?  We haven't even gotten to training requirements and you think it's crossing a line to include certification of sanity?  Guess what, that can be as simple as providing a state certification that you haven't been adjudicated to be a danger to yourself or others.  Even simpler than that.  It can be a simple binary yes or no that includes no underlying health record; just state certification.

            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

            by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:42:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's usually the burden of the state (0+ / 0-)

              to prove a negative, not for a citizen to disprove it. It's one thing to pass an eye test, another to prove you're not crazy. There are probably enough ways to determine if someone's crazy that we don't have to invent new ones.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:45:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                So no training requirements?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not actually opposed to leaving these things out (after all, if all you require is adjudication records I'm perfectly fine with that).  But it sounds like you're advocating straight up constitutional carry provided you pass a background check, in which case let's go the distance and give control of the record to the public.

                When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:53:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Calling for X does not exclude calling for Y (0+ / 0-)

                  We're talking mental competence requirements, which I believe the state should have to prove aren't met for gun ownership. If all you're asking for is for someone to affirm on a form that they have not within the past X years been found to be insane or such, under pain of perjury, then I'm fine with that. But being subject to a test seems excessive to me, and quite arbitrary. Usually (if not always, except when applying for certain jobs) when you're found to be mentally incompetent, it's because you were presenting as such and thus indicating the need for testing, and not due to some test without cause.

                  As for training requirements, I'm all for it, with regular refreshers. If I can't give CPR without taking a course once or twice a year, I certainly shouldn't be able to own a gun.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:12:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                    That's not what I'm asking.  I'm asking that someone present certification from competent authority (the state, if you will) of their mental fitness.  Basically a note saying "yeah, Joe Schmoe has not been adjudicated to be a danger to himself or others."  You don't even have to worry about perjury, because you can't forge this certification if done properly (and digitally).

                    I wouldn't mind people seeking out mental health counsel if managed discreetly and voluntarily, and I wouldn't mind denying certain activities to those who do not, but I'm not married to the idea.  A simple certification from the state that a purchaser has no prohibiting adjudication is enough.

                    When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                    by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:17:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No one should be required to prove that they're (0+ / 0-)

                      sane. That is presumed to be true unless proven otherwise, via the same process currently used to prove that someone's insane, upon presenting with indicators and determined to be insane. Otherwise, you've created a whole new process by which sane people could be determined to be insane by corrupt officials trying to shake them down. Do I have to prove that I'm not a felon? No, I just have to affirm that I'm not, and it's your job to prove that I'm lying.

                      This is not like an eye test, which uses a very objective standard.

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:21:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                        Proving I'm not a felon is a subjective standard?  Proving I haven't been adjudicated dangerous is a subjective standard?  And mind you, I only have to do this when I attempt to purchase a gun, which you plan to do anyway by performing a background check.

                        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                        by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:27:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Affirming, yes, proving, by subjecting oneself (0+ / 0-)

                          to an intrusive, subjective and potentially misused test, no.

                          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                          by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:42:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                            Why subject yourself to a test?  You can just get a letter saying you have no such record.  Done and done.

                            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                            by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:45:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who would you get this letter from? (0+ / 0-)

                            Who could be in a position to issue it?

                            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                            by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:47:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                            The courts.

                            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                            by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:48:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And on what basis would they be able to issue them (0+ / 0-)

                            absent either a test you had to take showing you weren't crazy, or the ability to check your records, revealing no indication that you were found to be crazy?

                            And why is the latter not sufficient?

                            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                            by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:00:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                            This is very simple, kovie.  You want to buy a gun.  You request a letter (or some form of certification) from the courts stating you have no been adjudicated to be a danger yourself or others.  The courts check their records.  They find no such adjudication.  They give it to you.  You do this in every jurisdiction in which you have ever lived; that, too, can be certified.  You then go to a retailer or a unlicensed seller and present said certification, along with your most up to date criminal history (or certified lack thereof, probably obtained through a similar process).  You present to the buyer.  You both record your transfer.  You go about your business.

                            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                            by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:09:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why can't the gun dealer simply (0+ / 0-)

                            request a background check that would, among other things, check the very same records that the courts would check to issue you this letter, processed in a way and via a system that would protect your privacy and not be abusable, any more than the system the courts accessed could be? This would safe you time, money and effort. I don't understand the problem here.

                            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                            by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:12:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                            Could be, if you have that data.  No reason two systems couldn't coexist, or be implemented as one.  Remember, the principle reason is technical; we've had a decade of problems with centralizing criminal history and mental adjudication records.  And to be honest, large data warehouses to store a mix of public (criminal record) and confidential (medical information) is not an elegant design.  I don't see a reason to send the federal government down that path when you can get the same results by shifting a small burden on parties to the transfer at an almost negligible cost.

                            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                            by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:19:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Like I said, whatever works (0+ / 0-)

                            as far as the back end design is concerned, so long as this doesn't unfairly or unnecessarily burden or prejudice the prospective gun purchaser, and makes it hard for authorities to abuse a la FISA.

                            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                            by kovie on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:11:13 PM PDT

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        •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

          Possibly, but you're not going to get universal background checks any other way.  Of course, cutting off the flow of weapons to criminals and mentally ill isn't your primary goal, is it?  In which case, if you think you've got the political muscle to grab guns than go for it.

          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

          by Patrick Costighan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:39:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My primary goal? (0+ / 0-)

            Is making sure another classroom full of kids doesn't get mown down. It's making sure another DVI doesn't turn into a murder-suicide. It's making sure people don't have to watch movies from concrete bunkers. It's making sure it's just a little harder for a momentary feeling of desperation to turn into a permanent tragedy.

            My primary goal is to quit letting the yahoos drive this conversation so the sane grownups can make some decisions about responsibility. Every time someone suggests "background check" the shrieking begins and everybody starts seeing the ghost of zombie Hitler coming for yer gunz. The rush starts and the National Rifle(makers) Association hears the sweet cha-ching of just how profitable fear can be.

            My primary goal is to stop otherwise rational people from getting all butthurt that someone else has the gall to ask them to demonstrate that they possess the sanity, training, and responsibility one would expect with any other dangerous piece of equipment. Most of those same people who take off their shoes to catch an airplane, freely and cheerfully pass through x-ray scanners, and will, 9 times out of ten, get out of the car if a traffic cop asks them nicely.

            Quite frankly, if you can demonstrate that you are sane enough to own one without indiscriminately killing, smart enough not to blow your own damn foot off when playing with it, and skilled enough (not to mention...not-blind) to hit what you're aiming at, then have at it.

            If you don't feel safe without a dangerous weapon at your side, that's your problem. If you don't have the responsibility or capability not to harm yourself or others, then it becomes everybody else's problem. And we have a right to do something about that.

            How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

            by athenap on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:48:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas, andalusi

              Then prove it.  I've given you an alternative that goes just as far as yours in preventing mass murders.  Farther in fact.  Declare your support here and now, or explain why my alternative is unacceptable or flawed, or admit that preventing another 12/14 is not your objective.

              When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

              by Patrick Costighan on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:56:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The burden of proof is on you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Glen The Plumber

                If you really think the majority of people advocating for gun control and a little personal responsibility are ZOMG COMING FER YER GUNZ!!! then it's your conspiracy theory.

                Prove there's real reason for concern that trumps the real fact that a shit-ton of people die every day from gun-fail that could have been prevented through some simple common-sense regulations like "oh, take a class so you know which end to point at other people" and "take a test so you know how many fingers I'm holding up in front of your face" and "oh, maybe let somebody know your serial numbers so if you ever lose the thing or it gets taken from you, you can report it as a law-abiding citizen and have law enforcement track it down and rule you out of being a suspect in a crime."

                These are not unreasonable requests. Not for driving, operating heavy machinery, being around dangerous chemicals. All of which have primary purposes besides "point at someone else's face" I might add. Yet put them in the context of a weapon, and otherwise reasonable people flip their shit.

                Almost as if they want the gubmint to come fer their gunz so's they can start the revolution they've been bucking for. Like they're so unhappy with the society in which they live that they might be happier living outside of it.

                How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

                by athenap on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:10:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                  No, the burden is on you.  I've outlined a system that achieves the same ends as national registration.  You've raised no objections to said system.  I can only conclude you oppose it because registration rather than reducing gun violence is your objective.

                  If you can't keep to the topic, then we have nothing further to discuss.

                  When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                  by Patrick Costighan on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:42:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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