One thing that I've noticed is that Daily Kos has a diversity of opinions on guns, and there are basically three groups that all Kossacks fall into. These groups are not necessarily fixed as people can change their minds. I know that I did in the week after the Newtown school massacre. I am writing this diary to help generate some constructive dialogue and I hope the conservation can be civil in this diary. I will try my best to be neutral in how I describe each group.
The three schools of thought are:
1. The 2nd Amendment Repealers. Their philosophy is that the 2nd Amendment is so archaic and dangerous to the general welfare of this country that the 2nd Amendment has be either completely repealed or severely amended so that most of the guns in this country can be made illegal. Generally, their goal is to completely rid America of guns and they want this to happen now or within the next decade(which would be the amount of time it would take to get a Constitutional Amendment done). Some even want to call an Article V Constitution Convention to circumvent Congress(an Article V Convention has never be called in the history of this country). Their models of gun laws are Japan and the UK.
2. The Gun Reformers. Their philosophy is that gun safety reform is necessary to prevent massacres like Newtown from ever happening again, but they also see the need for a balanced approach where the general welfare and the 2nd Amendment reach a kind of equilibrium. Often, this group sees the need for strict gun licensing and mandatory gun insurance so that guns are regulated much like motor vehicles. Some in this group follow what the American mainstream seems to be at, and an assault weapons ban is the most controversial thing they'd try(which has majority support but it's in the mid-50s as far as percentages) and their main goals are items that have overwhelming majority support(universal background checks). The models for this group are Australia, Canada and Switzerland
3. The RKBA(Right to Keep and Bare Arms). Their philosophy is that the 2nd Amendment speaks for itself, and that the status quo or very small changes to it(repealing the laws that have handcuffed the ATF, more funding for federal agencies) are the only political solution. Some will support universal background checks, but that is the further that they wish to go. Some oppose the proposed limits on magazine capacity and some will reluctantly agree to a high limit(30 rounds). Most oppose an Assault Weapons Ban on grounds of practicality or on grounds that the weapon itself is not the problem. Some insist that mental health screenings and single payer health care would be a better solution than an Assault Weapons Ban. This group however hates the NRA as much as any other Kossack as they see the NRA as a gun manufacturer lobby and not a gun owner's group. The models for this group are the states of Utah, Arizona and Texas.
Personally, I used to think of myself as an RKBA'er. I saw the NRA as a powerful interest group that wasn't worth the political capital of taking on and even though every mass shooting had an effect on my conscience, I saw no way forward other than mental health reforms and single payer. Since Newtown and seeing how the American people have responded and how Piers Morgan has spoken out and framed the pro-gun zealots as being really out there, and true conservatives like Joe Scarborough(whom I rarely agree with on anything) have said that the GOP are going to lose because of their gun policies, I have changed my mind. I now count myself as a Gun Reformer. Having thought through the best policies on guns, I have come around to gun insurance and stricter licensing and training. I read a great diary today and I highly recommend it: http://www.dailykos.com/...
Please rec up xaxnar's diary. I also welcome constructive criticism if I got any details wrong on how these three groups think. I am not an expert on guns. I have never fired a gun nor do I have any interest in ever firing one. I will also try to keep with any conversation in comments.