This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

In the wake of last week's Senate defeat of new gun regulations, Vice President Joe Biden met Thursday with law enforcement officials and six gun-safety groups, delivering what one participant characterized as a message of "It's the beginning. It's not the end."

Some of those groups, notably Americans for Responsible Solutions established by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, and the Michael Bloomberg-funded Mayors Against Illegal Guns, are looking ahead to 2014 with the intent of making opposition to new gun regulations a problem for some potentially vulnerable senators.

But several senators, including Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, are talking seriously about bringing up a tweaked background-check bill this year along with, possibly, a federal gun-trafficking bill along the lines that Gillibrand already sponsored.

To many rank-and-file Democrats for whom passing new gun regulations is a low-priority matter, or worse, a guarantee that they will suffer at the ballot box, continuing the fight now may seem like a fool's errand. However, there is evidence in this poll and these polls that the American public still backs reasonable gun laws, particularly a broad background-check law and, more importantly, that they might punish elected leaders who oppose them.

But the way forward is not to tweak the existing background-check bill by weakening the already watered-down Manchin-Toomey proposal that fell way short of the 60 votes it needed. Better to start over with something simpler, fairer and easier to explain. And then push the proposal with tough ads that describe opponents as favoring the currently unfair system instead of backing one that treats all gun sales equally, fairly.

What would that proposal look like? Find out below the fold.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

It would simply expand the existing system of background checks by requiring, with reasonable exemptions, private gun sales to be handled by federal firearms license-holders for a fee. These licensed dealers already must contact the government to run a background check on every sale they make. Last year, there was a record 19.6 million of these FBI background checks, run by the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems. NICS, for short.

Extending NICS to the vast majority of private sales would require no complicated instructions, no gun registry, no new bureaucracy, no new system at all, and minor inconvenience and costs. Sellers and buyers could meet as they do now—at a gun show, at a gun range, over the back fence, at church, via advertising—and settle on a price for the proffered firearm. Then they would seek out one of the nation's 55,000 licensed dealers to handle the required background check and to record the sale for a fee.

The federal reporting requirement would remain the same. Within 24 hours, NICS would destroy records of all who pass background checks, just as it does now. Dealers would keep a record of all sales-for-fee for 20 years, just as they are required to do now for their own sales.  

Reasonable exemptions could be allowed for transfers of firearm ownership among immediate family members and, perhaps, for people who live far from a licensed dealer as long as the latter is not allowed to become a giant loophole for the unscrupulous.

The bill might also mandate funding for upgrading the NICS operation to make it more user-friendly and for prosecuting buyers who tell substantive lies on their background-check forms. The low level of prosecutions is something gun-rights advocates complain about and they're right about that even though the numbers aren't nearly as low they seem once local prosecutions arising from these checks are accounted for.

Campaigning for this easy-to-explain proposal should focus heavily on the fairness issue. Why treat some gun purchases differently than others? Why force gun dealers to run background checks while letting off the hook other people, including many who sell dozens of guns a year but don't have licenses? Why make it easy for individuals that the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners do not think should own a firearm to buy one with no hassle?

Tweaking the weak Manchin-Toomey bill that both advocates of gun safety and gun rights had serious problems with is a waste of time. Starting fresh is by far the better approach.  

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 12:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.