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  •  the longer they wait (6+ / 0-)

    the crazier it gets ...


    Mapping the Dead: Gun Deaths Since Sandy Hook

    huffingtonpost.com -- 03/22/2013

    The Huffington Post compiled news reports of gun-related homicides and accidental deaths in the U.S. since the massacre in Newtown, Conn. on the morning of Dec. 14.


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    Hey Congress, your Inaction has a Cost
    by jamess -- Mar 24, 2013
    •  The map is part of the legislative problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, jamess

      If you are part of the Congressional delegation from one of the states with minimal red, you do not see a substantial problem with gun violence in your state, and neither do your constituents. You cannot go back to your state and say "you folks are privately selling guns to people who turn around and commit murder with them". You would not say that anyway, but pushing for universal background checks in someplace like South Dakota is like trying to push Arizona's "papers please" law in South Dakota. South Dakota will not perceive itself as having a problem that requires either piece of legislation, and that's even if it considers the legislation appropriate for elsewhere.

      Whether it is because of low population, more responsible gun ownership/culture or whatever, these areas do not perceive a need for a universal background check. "That's a problem for all those irresponsible people in the other states, why should we be restricted because of their misconduct."

      Some of the opposition may just be knee-jerk anti-Obama bias, but there is also going to be some "we're not the ones causing the problem" opposition. Read the comments on SD newspaper sites when the subject comes up. "why do they insist on proposing new laws that will have no effect at all on criminals?" (actual quote) is a common theme. I picked SD as an example from the map, but it is certainly not alone.

      We would like our representatives to serve the nation on behalf of their state, but since they have to get elected by the people back home with their local concerns, in practice it does not work that way.

      •  It's provincialism and denial (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal, jamess

        It's provincialism to argue that "we" don't have to care about problems that face others, such as flooding/drought risk along the Mississippi River.

        It's denial that guns can and do travel across state lines.

        It's denial that representatives from rural states carry outsized influence in the Senate.

        Senator Coburn holds 1/100th of the power to make law in the senate, and he represent 3-4 million people. He almost commands an effective veto level influence.

        Senator Gillibrand casts 1/100th of the power to make law in the senate, and represents the 3-4 million people in Manhattan, AND represents another 17 million people in the rest of the state.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 06:29:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never said it wasn't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, jamess
          It's provincialism to argue that "we" don't have to care about problems that face others
          I agree 100%. But that provincialism does exist, and so it has to be taken into account when working on a legislative strategy. As does the notion that we aren't giving up the Senate anytime soon, so five low-population states without much in the way of red circles on that map (Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana) may only be 1.4% of the population, but they are 20% of the votes in the Senate.

          Whether this is a good or bad thing is irrelevant, since it does exist and will continue to exist. I'm just saying that any effective legislative strategy needs to take it into account.

          •  What do you propose? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shamash, SoCalSal, jamess

            How do we counter the "not my problem" attitude at the local level? How do we neutralize the NRA's message of "They can't make you do __!"

            so five low-population states without much in the way of red circles on that map (Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana) may only be 1.4% of the population, but they are 20% of the votes in the Senate.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:25:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No perfect solutions (0+ / 0-)

              Our state/federal split of powers almost guarantees a perpetual provincialism, plus we have the rural/urban split, north/south, racial, ethnic and other differences that are both local and concentrated enough to make a difference in Congressional elections.

              Am I saying to give up? No. I think the easiest way to make it non- or less provincial is to find a way to recognize the inherent differences and make people feel good about themselves.

              People are more likely to support law that makes them part of the "good guys" than they are one that makes them part of the "bad guys". I support laws against discrimination in the workplace, laws against sexual abuse, rape, etc. My support of those laws would be much reduced if those laws treated me at all times like I was a potential rapist or child molester and I had to constantly demonstrate that I wasn't one. I would feel villified and stigmatized at being constantly assumed as guilty until proven innocent just because I belonged to the class of people known as "men".

              The same principle could be applied to gun laws and gun owners. If the laws are designed to recognize that the huge, huge majority of gun owners are not the problem, and assume that the lawful are on the same side as you (good guys) and want a safe world for themselves and their children, then those laws will probably get more support than ones which treat these lawful gun owners like they are part of the problem (bad guys).

              Not easy, since some lawful gun owners do end up doing unlawful things. Some people who buy alcohol legally, then turn around and drive drunk. But we have the support of alcohol drinkers when we make drunk driving laws because we do not treat the lawful as potential criminals. No one complains about showing ID to buy beer. I wouldn't complain if I had a "legitimate firearms owner" ID that I would have to show. Instead of "demonstrate each and every time that you are not a criminal", it becomes "you are presumed to not be a criminal". Big difference in perception of the situation.

              The law you end up with after thinking about this might be virtually identical to the one you have now, but how you present it and minor changes to the wording that don't stigmatize the lawful could make a big difference in the level of support you get from certain groups.

              •  Totally with you re not stigmatizing (0+ / 0-)

                responsible lawful gun owners.

                One message that needs more play, and more granularity, is the fact that the relative utility / relative risk of injury varies so much across the country.

                A person living on 500 acres in Idaho where police response time might be an hour or more away faces very different utility/risk profile than someone living in any city on the Canadian border, than someone living in 1000 square feet in Brooklyn.

                Every gun starts out as a legal gun. Some stay in the same hands or in the same family for generations. But how do we begin to clear illegal guns from circulation?

                In my opinion, the only practical point of enforcement is at the step of transfer; sale, lend, gift.

                One idea that is not on the table is a new class of FFL that would keep no inventory, would not buy or sell guns, but would be authorized to do background checks and would be responsible to keep the records for 20 years. Like a notary for witnessed signatures, but for witnessing gun transfers. It could be your neighbor, someone in your county clerks office, the loan officer at your local credit union, someone you work with. I would favor regulation of the fee that can be charged for such a service.

                What that would do, is make it easier to build out the existing 65,000 FFL to small towns and rural areas so that someone who wants to gift a gun to their cousin doesn't have to drive a long distance to do the background check.

                It would also empower some individuals who want to get a license to go through a full background check and be able to have a little side revenue stream.

                What objections would you see?

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:25:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Objections? (0+ / 0-)

                  Practically speaking, you may have to drive a ways to find a gun store in a rural area, but that is only because concentrations of people sufficient to support a gun store are not as close. In my opinion, the "record-keeping" FFL you propose would not make all that much difference in rural areas, but you never know. The local barbershop might become a record-keeper FFL, but only if the town doesn't have a gun shop.

                  From an administrative/bureacratic standpoint, the ATF does absolutely minimal inspection of FFL records as it is (Republican objections to funding, etc.), and adding another class of FFL's to the mix, I dunno.

                  I agree that the "gun dealer posing as a private seller at gun shows" is a loophole that should be closed. Doing so can be done without making actual private sellers feel like they are on the wrong side of the law, and having someone available to do background checks for "guy selling one hunting rifle out of his trunk in the parking lot during the gun show" is perfectly reasonable (and something I would use).

                  Fo "private transfers to people who cannot own firearms" we have:

                  • dealers masquerading as private sellers
                  • straw purchases
                  • "I don't care who buys it" private sales
                  • friend/family transfers

                  Laws to fix a gun show loophole deal with the first. I believe the second is already a crime.

                  The third and fourth are the tricky ones. We don't want felons buying guns off Craigslist, but if the seller does not care, then making it illegal is probably not going to do anything, and it does move towards stigmatizing the fourth group.

                  Something I've suggested is a way for any private seller to do a background check. Like taking your limited FFL idea and making it universal. I could call up a number and get a "yes, that guy can own a gun" result, write down some sort of confirmation number for my records, and if that gun is ever used in a crime and the police trace it back to me, I can say "here's the transaction number, this is the guy I sold it to."

                  This lets me be a conscientious gun owner and seller, and can help law enforcement if that gun is used in a crime, and demonstrates that I acted in good faith when I sold the gun in case there is a question of liability. So, I'm being a good guy and covering my ass, what's not to like?

                  That's just an outline, I'm sure it has flaws too, but it might have elements worth considering.

                •  Clarification (0+ / 0-)
                  But how do we begin to clear illegal guns from circulation?
                  There are very, very few "illegal guns" in circulation. The problem is people who use guns in an illegal fashion, people who cannot legally own them, or stolen property, but property itself has no "illegal" quality in most cases.
      •  Gun trafficking is a national problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess

        The term "gunshow loophole" actually covers three kinds of sales that are already illegal but occur in large numbers every weekend, somewhere. The volume of private sales is larger than many people realize.

        Illegal Sale #1: I don't think I could pass a background check

        Illegal Sale #2: My friend is here to do some paperwork for me. (The so called straw buyer)

        The Loophole: Private sellers who aren't private sellers. (They are selling a volume of firearms that should require a Federal Firearms License).

        For more detail, follow the links and read the report available from the homepage:
        An investigation by NYPD in 2009
        http://www.gunshowundercover2009.org/

        A follow-up investigation by NYPD in 2011 two weeks after the mass shooting in Tuscon, AZ
        http://www.gunshowundercover.org/

        New York State Attorney General investigated sales within NYS and prosecuted 10 sellers who were selling firearms without doing background checks. Since then NYS AG has worked with the industry to develop best practices and hold the show operators responsible for oversight to check which guns were sold and ensure that background checks were performed by all sellers.

        The result will be no more cash and carry for people who are buying and selling firearms through the private sales loophole without a background check.

        Following A.G. Schneiderman’s Investigation, Two Of New York's Largest Gun Show Operators Agree To New Guidelines To Protect The Public
        http://www.ag.ny.gov/...

        Albany gun show promoter signs on to AG’s procedures
        http://blog.timesunion.com/...

        Summary: This is about regulating the transfer of firearms to protect the right of lawful gun owners AND firearms dealers, from unscrupulous dealers who sell firearms without a background check.

        In my view any politician, from any state, can stand up to support UBCs, on the principle that they will protect lawful firearms dealers from unfair competition by unlicensed dealers who may be selling hundreds of firearms a year, but are not subject to ordinary business expenses and taxes, mandatory record keeping and inspections.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 06:45:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You missed one (0+ / 0-)
          In my view any politician, from any state, can stand up to support UBCs, on the principle that they will protect lawful firearms dealers from unfair competition by unlicensed dealers who may be selling hundreds of firearms a year, but are not subject to ordinary business expenses and taxes, mandatory record keeping and inspections.
          You missed something. Part of the opposition is going to come from the "You're going to make it so I can't just sell a gun to my best friend or give a gun to my son without jumping through bureaucratic hoops." This person might be in favor for restrictions to stop unscrupulous dealers, but still be opposed to something that is going to treat him or someone he knows exactly like the unscrupulous people the law is aimed at.

          Your argument is that you are protecting lawful gun owners by subjecting them to the same treatment you are aiming directly at the unlawful. To put it in perspective, you are going to a group of young black men in New York City and telling them that from your point of view as a white woman(I'm guessing), "stop and frisk" is for their own good and why can't they be sensible enough to understand that?

          You and I may agree on background checks, but I can say as a gun owner that the way you are framing your argument is going out of your way to offend the group of people (lawful gun owners) you are protecting the rights of.

          •  I would like to explore this further with you (0+ / 0-)

            I like a lot of your ideas, even though I don't always agree on specifics.

            You and I may agree on background checks, but I can say as a gun owner that the way you are framing your argument is going out of your way to offend the group of people (lawful gun owners) you are protecting the rights of.
            Would you please elaborate?

            I'll respond to the rest of your comment separately.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:36:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Do you have any sense of how much JQ Public (0+ / 0-)

            might be depending a little money under the table buying and selling guns on the side?

            I don't have any sense of how critical that cash flow stream might be to some people who are struggling. But in this economy I can easily accept there will be resistance to closing that private sales option, if it helps put food on the table.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:41:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  As for what New York State is doing, (0+ / 0-)

            to close the gun show loophole, it's my understanding that it benefits upstate/downstate in different ways.

            Upstate and Long Island is where the firearms dealers are (I admit I'm guessing about that), and they are the ones facing competitive pressure from private sales at gun shows who don't have to do background checks under the "don't ask/don't tell" practice. This is grossly unfair in my opinion, although "dealer" is not defined in the law.

            Closing the loophole benefits New York cities, both upstate, and NYC, by reducing the flow of guns into illegal hands. PA is still not far away but I think regional progress is possible even if a federal law fails to pass.

            After the NY AG investigation, and prosecution of 10 dealers who were not doing background checks, AG Schniederman worked with the industry to develop "best practices." Mostly, the practices amount to a local inventory management for that operator on that day.

            Two main points: Hiring enough to security to prevent unlawful transfers in the parking lot, and a tagging inventory system for every firearm that goes into a show.

            It makes FFLs available to do background checks at cost, so that every firearm that comes out of a show can be checked to see if it was purchased at the show, and ensure that a background check was done.

            One of the best things about that approach, IMHO, is that it places part of the burden for compliance with the law on the gun operator, in the same way that concert tour operators are responsible for security and prevention of criminal activity at a concert.

            What's the fly in the ointment? Do you see any?

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:53:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is a guess on your part - and you're (0+ / 0-)

            pretty far off target. I'm not offended and appreciate your willingness to try to find an analogy to illustrate your point.

            Your argument is that you are protecting lawful gun owners by subjecting them to the same treatment you are aiming directly at the unlawful. To put it in perspective, you are going to a group of young black men in New York City and telling them that from your point of view as a white woman(I'm guessing), "stop and frisk" is for their own good and why can't they be sensible enough to understand that?
            I have family members, close friends, and colleagues who are subject to all the problems of "living while black" and also have family members, friends and colleagues who know they directly benefit from white privilege (and privileges of class).

            NYPD's stop and frisk is an embarrassment to most NYers that I know, across a pretty broad spectrum. Most of the people I'm close to are extremely glad that it will finally be adjudicated for what it is - blatant and persistent harassment and targeting by the police.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:03:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for the responses (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              And tolerating me being wrong on my guess. You asked for suggestions, I gave a detailed one in a different part of the thread.

              •  I'll think about them some more (0+ / 0-)

                A few weeks ago I made a request to some RKBA members about the possibility of doing some hosted diaries about regional firearm law, in which members in the know, would lay out current law, and some of the unique features of each state or region.

                E.g. New York's population is quite diverse, from hunters and hunting in the Adirondacks at one end, and Long Island, Staten Island, and Manhattan at the other end.

                The biggest problem New York has is guns trafficked up the I95 corridor from Virginia and to some extent across the state line we share with Pennsylvania.

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 08:33:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  The problem - as I understand it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shamash

            is that a presumption of responsibility, good faith, and an honor system for following firearms law has been over-extended for a long time.

            You missed something. Part of the opposition is going to come from the "You're going to make it so I can't just sell a gun to my best friend or give a gun to my son without jumping through bureaucratic hoops." This person might be in favor for restrictions to stop unscrupulous dealers, but still be opposed to something that is going to treat him or someone he knows exactly like the unscrupulous people the law is aimed at.

            Your argument is that you are protecting lawful gun owners by subjecting them to the same treatment you are aiming directly at the unlawful.

            The silent majority on both sides is awakening now. It happens whenever an industry, or sub-industry group fails to effectively police its own extremes.

            Physicians used to enjoy broad respect and presumption of dispensing trustworthy advice. But then too many of them were ghost writing articles for pharma and steering patients to expensive branded drugs. The unchecked greed of some contaminated the scientific literature with undisclosed bias and conflicts of interest. Editorial boards  were asleep at the wheel. Now all three groups (scientific literature, clinical trials, which are rightly funded by pharma, and physicians who will eventually prescribe approved drugs) are under increasing scrutiny, increasing regulatory pressure, and can no longer enjoy a presumption that they are trustworthy sources of medical knowledge.

            It sucks for the next generation. It is much, much harder to establish an independent practice now that it used to be.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:00:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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