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Back on February 4, officials from the Brady Campaign as well as Women Against Gun Violence announced that California had the toughest gun laws in the nation. Ellen Boneparth, President of the Calfornia Brady Campaign Chapters, stated that "California has done the best job in adopting laws designed to make it harder for criminals and other dangerous people to access guns," and Ann Reiss Lane of Women Against Gun Violence declared, "We should seize what is a terrific opportunity to show other states what effective laws can do."

Well, fellow pro-RKBA Democrats, take a good look at what California's gun laws have done to curb violent crime.

Lovell Mixon, a convicted felon who had an arrest warrant hanging over his head for violating parole, killed one police officer in Oakland and critically injured another with a handgun during a routine traffic stop. Two hours later, the SWAT team surrounded the apartment where Mixon took refuge. A gunfight ensued, during which Mixon killed two more police with what the Oakland PD identifies as an "assault weapon" before being gunned down by police.

Let's break this down further. According to the Brady Campaign's 2008 State Scorecard for California, the state scored 79 out of a possible 100 points because of its gun laws. In California, a permit is required to purchase a handgun, and a law-abiding Californian may only purchase one handgun per month. Even so, there is also a waiting period that governs all handgun purchases, and background checks are performed on all legal gun transfers in California.

Lovell Mixon was a convicted felon. His previous conviction for which he violated parole was for assault with a deadly weapon. Despite state laws regarding background checks, Mixon was able to obtain two guns - one of them an "assault weapon," whatever that is - which he used to kill three cops and leave a fourth fighting for his life.

So if these anti-Second Amendment activists want to stop patting themselves on the back and take a good hard look at what just happened in California, they wouldn't like it one bit.

Maybe it's time for them to take a step back and let those of us who actually respect the Second Amendment try a different approach towards reducing violent crime in California before another officer is gunned down - an approach that insists that "We, the People" have certain inalienable rights that are finally going to be honored.

Cross-posted from Amendment II Democrats blog on MySpace.

Originally posted to derby378 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This isn't an isolated incident in California... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna M, debedb, palantir, JesseCW

    Despite the state's draconian gun laws (which are only getting tighter), we continue to see reports of gang violence, shootings, and even robbery of banks by crooks with automatic weapons. The current paradigm of gun control is not working, and must be jettisoned. Perhaps we could start by replacing Gov. Scwarzenegger with a pro-RKBA Democrat.

    •  Some say restrictive gun laws... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viscerality, debedb

      ...are restrictive only in the fact that it prevents law abiding citizens from owning guns.

      The criminals will always get their hands on them.

      I don't know if that is true or not, but it sounds like in this case, it may be.

      •  But if there are less guns, overall (8+ / 0-)

        there are less guns for criminals to get, right? That is the point that seems to be missing from this conversation, there are 200 million guns in the US, how in the world will criminals not get them when there is one for 2 out of three citizens?

        Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

        by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 10:51:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a nonsensical position. Guns are everywhere (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          viscerality, debedb

          Do you think it's particularly difficult to get drugs into the country? If one is willing to pay for contraband, one can acquire it, by hook or by... well you know how that finishes.

          If we tried to confiscate all the guns in the country, how many do you think would still be left? And who would you suppose still had them.

          •  It is only nonsensical in the sense (5+ / 0-)

            that we allowed 200 million guns to be put into our society. I will give you that the horse is out of the barn and the barn has been replaced with a mini-mall, but the argument over restriction of weapons on the lower end to lower the availability of them to criminals is still valid.

            Yeah, big time criminals would have always been able to get guns, but it would have been a hell of a lot more expensive and a hell of lot less damage would be done by low level criminals getting their hands on them.  

            Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

            by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:02:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You could make a similar argument for marijuana (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Annalize5, debedb

          You can destroy all the illicit marijuana fields you find and claim that there's less pot for stoners to smoke, but you've done nothing to address the issue of demand.

          I've never smoked anything, legal or otherwise, and my own life isn't going to change much if pot were legalized overnight, but the Mexican drug cartels on the other side of the border would see their black-market profits drop considerably. They might even put out a contract on the American legislator who had the bright idea to legalize pot in the first place.

          •  No, that is not a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bustacap, OnlyWords

            equivalence. Pot grows, just about everywhere. Guns have to be manufactured, either in a home shop (though I would be really hesitant to shot one) or in a factory.

            Then there is ammunition which also has to be manufactured. These are very different situations and conflating them does not make your argument any stronger.

            Are we done with that stawman? I think we are.

            Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

            by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:04:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  straw man (3+ / 0-)

        A law-abiding gun owner must by definition abide by gun ownership laws.  I don't know of any ownership restrictions besides age ones that don't turn on the criminal history of the would-be owner or the nature of the weapon sought for purchase.  Can you point to a single gun ownership restriction that employs a restriction, other than a short waiting period, that would make it harder for a law-abiding citizen to get a gun than a criminal?  I can't think of any offhand.

        The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

        by JR on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:21:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not to put to fine a point on it (0+ / 0-)

          But yes.  A purchaser of certain firearms (Class Three) must submit to a federal registration of fingerprints and DNA - as well as a substantial fee.  

          •  Bingo! And on top of that... (0+ / 0-)

            ...some lawmakers want to further expand the number of firearms that are covered under Class 3. Feinstein wants .50-caliber rifles on the list. Another California legislator actually suggested putting semi-automatics of every type on the list. There comes a time when you just have to draw a line in the sand.

          •  how could a criminal get a Class 3 more easily? (0+ / 0-)

            That still seems like less of a burden than a criminal would have to go through--I'm assuming black market arms sales include a rather hefty mark-up, especially for weapons like the fairly rare and generally expensive Class III.  Criminals would have to know where one was available, make arrangements to conduct an illicit sale, complete the transaction, and avoid law enforcement.  Unless, of course, the criminal simply plans to steal the gun from an authorized dealer (and, be honest, how do attempted robberies of gun dealers generally turn out?).  How is that a lower burden than simply purchasing the gun legally?  I don't really see where it is.

            The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

            by JR on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 10:18:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe if the other states adopted saner gun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChurchofBruce

      laws, and we let a few decades pass to allow the guns already out there to slowly disappear, you might see more of an impact.

      I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

      by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:04:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hell with other states, the Feds need some balls (2+ / 0-)

        and a spine.  Hairless Reid and Nancy Pelosi need to use their majorities to get national laws stronger and to hell with the NRA.

        Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

        by uc booker on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:06:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's good too. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

          by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:08:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, given our recently (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Foxwizard

          clearly defined right to own weapons, what constitutional actions would you have them take? As a side note, how much time and effort do you want them to spend when the economy is crashing before our eyes. They can of course do more than one thing at a time, but it does require political capital.

          Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

          by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:08:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Personally, I don't want to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bustacap, Something the Dog Said

            spend anytime on this really. I'm just responding to a diarist that seems to have forgotten their high blood pressure medicine this morning.

            Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

            by uc booker on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:14:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What do you mean "this morning"? (0+ / 0-)

              Take a look at their diary history.  This is about the only issue this person writes about.

              My Karma just ran over your Dogma

              by FoundingFatherDAR on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 01:38:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You say that like it's a bad thing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OMwordTHRUdaFOG

                Would you offer the same critique about a pro-choice activist Kossack's diaries?

                •  Well, this IS a Progressive blog. (0+ / 0-)

                  So you're not going to find many NRA members and gun nuts here, but you WILL find quite a number of pro-choice folks on DKos.  Hence, there won't be much "critique" of a pro-choice diary.

                  Perhaps the folks at RedState or Free Republic would be more sympathetic...

                  Celtic Merlin
                  Carlinist

                  Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                  by Celtic Merlin on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 03:04:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, it is - where have you been? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    OMwordTHRUdaFOG

                    Responsible gun ownership is a progressive virtue, so take a moment and think before you try throw me to the wolves. I'm afraid you and I are in this together...

                    •  No, gun ownership is NOT a Progressive virtue. (0+ / 0-)

                      You can repeat it all you want, but that won't make it so.

                      I've taken more than just a few moments to reflect on the gun problem in this country, and I've made my decisions - on both both pro- and anti-gun positions.

                      Your "throw me to the wolves" contriteness is hereby rejected.  I took the time to direct you to places where your diary and attitude would find a wider and more popular audience.  If you consider those places to be dens of wolves, that's your opinion.

                      We're in WHAT together?  Crime-ridden streets?  A national condition not dissimilar to the Old West?

                      Celtic Merlin
                      Carlinist

                      Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                      by Celtic Merlin on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 04:11:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  And there are (0+ / 0-)

                    progressives here who agree with us on gun control. I'm not going to go post on rightwing forum on the one issue I agree with them on.

                    Thanks, but no.

                    Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.62, -3.44

                    by KVoimakas on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 05:49:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Reid represents Nevada. (0+ / 0-)

          Webb represents Virginia, Tester and Baucus, Montana. Feingold, Wisconsin. Even if Reid wanted to he couldn't get new gungrabber laws through the Senate.

      •  By "saner gun laws," I'm assuming... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, tnproud2b

        ...that law-abiding Americans will not be prevented from exercising their Constitutional rights. That means no bans on semi-autos, no restrictions of one handgun per month, no mindset of "guilty until proven innocent" when monitoring gun sales.

        As long as the Second Amendment is the law of the land, the only sane approach is to defend your rights under that law.

        •  Not everyone interprets the 2nd amendment the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce, Celtic Merlin

          same way. But if the interpretation is that we all get to have whatever guns we want, or to buy handguns like they are candy, then I hope we eventually amend the Constitution to do away with the 2nd.

          I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

          by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:27:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Candy?" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tnproud2b, CherryTheTart

            To buy a handgun in Texas, you must pass a background check, same as in California.  I don't have a problem with making sure the buyer isn't a felon or mentally ill.  I do, however, have a problem with making law-abiding citizens jump through hoops for no good reason.

            •  "Law-abiding citizen" is the biggest crock in (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Caipirinha, evanaj, Celtic Merlin

              the world. Why is it that virtually every murderer turns out to have been a "law-abiding citizen" right up until the day they went berserk?

              The fact is that handguns are incredibly lethal, and that every person buying a handgun is a potential killer. There is no way yet invented to discern whether the buyer is a good guy, a bad guy, or, the most common situation, a good guy who can on any given day become a very bad guy.

              I happen to think that we humans are too full of angers and jealousies for most of us to be able to safely carry around lethal weapons. When we do, bad shit happens. Is this not entirely obvious?

              I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

              by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:52:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Very little optimism in your assessment (0+ / 0-)

                It seems like you're implying that we as human beings are slaves to anger and jealousy, that mere ownership of guns transforms us into "potential killers," that we do not deserve to be trusted with our Constitutional rights. Don't give up.

                •  It's just a fact. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil, Celtic Merlin

                  The fantasy you gun guys have is that someone is going to break into your house and you are going to heroically save your family by blowing them away. Ask any cop how often they've seen this play out and they'll tell you: never.

                  What DOES happen, all the time though, is that one person calls another person a name, one thing leads to another, and BLAM! Or someone is crawling in through a window, BLAM! he's dead, but whoops, it was your teenage son. Or little Johnny's got a playmate over, they find Daddy's guns, and BLAM!

                  That gun that you cherish will never save you, and if it ever actually shoots somebody, it'll likely be someone you love.

                  I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                  by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:02:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You haven't been paying enough attention (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tnproud2b

                    Instead, you seem to be repeating the same lines I hear from the Brady Camapign: "Your gun will kill a loved one instead of a would-be murderer," or "You'll simply gun down someone in a fit of rage." I am constantly reading in the paper of how people have protected themselves with guns, and if you haven't seen the reports, that's your own lookout.

                    These are the facts: a criminal would rather not deal with a potential victim who is capable of taking care of himself or herself.

                    •  Most criminals just want to take your shit and (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tonedevil, Celtic Merlin

                      leave. Most of us just want them to take our shit and leave. Some of us want to harken back to the days of the Wild West and have a shootout. It's because of guys like you that burglars feel the need to carry and use guns. In Europe, it is extremely rare for burglars to be armed.

                      And while there are a few anecdotal cases of the armed hero saving the day, they must be pretty rare because I'm in my 40s, watch and read the news avidly, and have only seen or heard of this happening a few times in my entire life. It's basically a fantasy.

                      I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                      by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:14:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I have (0+ / 0-)

                a penis.

                Are going to take it away because I might turn out to be a rapist?

                Maybe I can just register it and give a DNA sample.

                You are completely safe from my guns unless you break into my home or threaten my family.

                "If you take away guns from honest citizens, only criminals will have guns" is not too far from the truth.  Cops (with guns) can't keep us safe.  Educated gun owners have a fighting chance and are generally not a threat. Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

                I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps himself in the Constitution than someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps himself in the flag!

                by SomeStones on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 01:39:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Good luck with that Amendment. (0+ / 0-)

            2/3 of each Chamber, THEN legislative approval in 3/4ths of the States. AK, ID, MT, WY, NV, AZ, NM, ND, SD, NE, WI, WV, ME, VY, PA, and we haven't touched the South.

            •  I said eventually. I agree it ain't likely to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Celtic Merlin

              happen. We'll be killing each other for a long time to come. I'm just surprised whenever I see the advocates for our high murder rates here on dKos. I guess even if a million die in a year some day, it'll still be our Constitutional Right! to bear semi-automatic, concealable weapons (even though when the Constitution was written, guns were bigger, heavier, slower to load, harder to shoot, and less lethal).

              I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

              by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:42:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's how NOT to frame the debate (0+ / 0-)

                If you say that I'm an advocate for high murder rates, you might as well concede, because that sort of hyperbole only makes people like me look good in comparison.

                •  THe fact is that you don't really care, one way (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Foxwizard, Celtic Merlin

                  or the other, about how to reduce murder in this country. That's not the focus of the gun lobby. The thing you really care about is your right to own guns. You gun people like guns, you find them fascinating or whatever, and don't understand why your hobby shouldn't be completely legal. After all, YOU haven't killed anybody, and you stand ready to kill bad guys if they come into your house. So the argument then morphs into "I need a gun to protect myself" even though you don't.

                  But in the end, it's not about the right policy for all but about the right to enjoy gun ownership. If a scientific study unequivocally showed, once and for all, that gun freedoms increased violent crime, does anyone really think that the gun lobby would stand down?

                  I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                  by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 02:25:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Such absolutism is both dangerous and silly. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Celtic Merlin
      •  I have a shot gun that belonged to (0+ / 0-)

        my great grandfather and a .45 colt that granddad carried in ww1 guns (the well made ones) dont go away.  If we were to inforce the gun laws we already have life would be better.  No slap on the wrist for illegal possession whack the hell out of them.

        18. As I would not be a slave, so I will not be a master. Abraham Lincoln

        by Yoseph on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:22:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Strongest gun laws" allowed by gunnies, that is. (14+ / 0-)

    The "strongest gun laws", like all gun laws, are watered down to meet the objections of gun rightists who belief that they are unconsitutional.  Then when they fail, as planned, it's an argument against any gun laws, in fact, like this diary it's an argument that they are actually causing crime.  

    It's all bullshit.

    Congress! Pass a 100% tax on Bush's pension, because tax dollars shouldn't reward incompetence that blew up the country.

    by Inland on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 10:46:53 AM PDT

    •  How are California's gun laws "watered down?" (0+ / 0-)

      Right now, gun-control activists are getting everything they want in California.  I don't see where the other side is making a lot of headway over there.

      Maybe after the 2010 elections...

  •  The thing is that it is (8+ / 0-)

    partly those that want to have super easy access to weapons that are to blame for this.

    If we did not make it so easy to legally buy handguns, then it would be harder, though not impossible, for criminals to get them.

    I support all the Amendments of the Constitution, the law is not a buffet where you get to pick and choose, but lets look at the whole picture, not just parts of it, eh?

    Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 10:48:27 AM PDT

    •  "harder.' (4+ / 0-)

      given the number of firearms already in circulation, the most draconian laws, vigorously enforced, might triple black market prices. This would not deter career criminal types, but might discourage wannabees.

      •  It is totally (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Foxwizard, CherryTheTart

        impractical, I know. I have given up on that side of the argument because it is already lost. Now, what we need to focus on IMHO, is harm reduction.

        I would rather see some mandatory High School classes on gun safety. It might be a small thing, but if you are taught how to handle a gun, even if you never own one yourself, you are less likely to get hurt by picking one up or thinking that the way they are portrayed  in films and TV is the way they are in real life

        Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

        by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:16:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we could agree on that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Something the Dog Said

          I took Driver's Ed in high school, just like a lot of other students did. I do think there is a real need to demystify guns in the eyes of teenagers so that they don't consider gun ownership some magical ritual that conveys instant maturity, invincibility, etc.

      •  of course... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bustacap

        ...discouraging "wannabees" is a good way to cut down on a huge percentage of crime--amateurish, sloppy, hasty criminals with guns are bad news, regardless of their level of experience in the game.

        The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

        by JR on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:18:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, there is a flip side missing from the diary (10+ / 0-)

      Namely, how would laxer gun laws have prevented this tragedy?  I don't see a rational connection between looser gun restrictions and preventing these officers from dying.  A tighter gun possession regime might have done so--one where it was an actually high hurdle (as opposed to a relatively high one) for this felon to clear--but I don't think a looser regime could possibly have done so (we can quibble about the likelihood of stricter laws doing the trick, but I don't think there's any likelihood at all that looser ones could have).

      So this naturally begs the question: are we comfortable with defining a liberty to the extent that it allows for situations like this one?  We may still decide that we are, but an issue of such weight deserves a more careful and searching analysis than what I've come to expect from the parties in the gun rights debate.

      The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

      by JR on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:16:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Logical fallacy (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think the correct test for restrictions should be based on whether less restrictions would have done something.  

        •  And again I repeat: (0+ / 0-)

          Are we comfortable with defining a liberty to the extent that it allows for situations like this one?  That's the real question I asked (and one that does seem to have a fairly firm logical foundation, but whatever).

          I never said the test for restrictions should be based on whether fewer restrictions would have done something.  That misses the mark pretty widely.  I'm simply pointing out the fact that there's no way that loosening gun laws would have possibly prevented this, and asking if that is an acceptable "cost of freedom" to those who think looser laws are desirable.

          So...do you think this is an acceptable loss in defense of gun owners' liberty?

          The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

          by JR on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 10:12:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the wrong question entirely (0+ / 0-)

            The real question is - do you think the loss of gun owners' rights is an acceptable loss in defense of "feel-good" legislation that does nothing to keep our cops safe?

            •  would it do nothing to keep them safe? (0+ / 0-)

              It might not do much, but can you completely discount the idea that tougher gun laws would have kept these cops alive?  There is, after all, a rational basis to believe that tougher standards to gain possession might have made it more difficult (with the extreme case being a blanket prohibition on manufacture, sale and possession that would, of course, have made it impossible) for this perpetrator to access the murder weapon.

              There's always SOME way to restrict gun ownership to the point where they are simply inaccessible (every right-wing gun fetishist rag in America has some sort of dystopian fantasy narrative along those lines), even if that is door-to-door, house-to-house searches for contraband like the opening chapter of The Turner Diaries.  That level of intrusion would most certainly have prevented these murders, but at an obviously unacceptable cost to liberty.  But a regulation of lower invasiveness might have increased the odds that the perp would have been thwarted in trying to get a weapon.  Where would you draw the line?

              The problem with the gun debate is that I doubt many people here (and I suspect you yourself would be among them) would ever entertain the notion that a less than 100% effective regulation is worth the cost to liberty.   Many have argued that the optimal solution to gun violence is to increase the uncertainty would-be criminals face by increasing the number of armed citizens (that's certainly been the NRA default position--hence the name of their magazine).  But in this case there's no chance that an armed citizen could have prevented this crime--the actors were all either armed criminals or armed law enforcement officers.  We therefore find ourselves with a particularly instructive case.

              I'm trying to point out that there is always an option to trade some liberty for some desired end (the same calculus at play with seat belt and speeding laws promoting safety, or with compulsory education laws providing a smarter polity at the cost of parental liberty, or housing codes that cause prices to rise, etc.), and to see if there is any way gun rights advocates would ever acknowledge that option as legitimate.  The answer seems to be no: so far, you haven't been willing to say at what point you'd accept a tougher gun law in exchange for greater security from crime, which makes me think you've probably bought into the argument that looser gun laws create greater security and tighter gun laws never do.  

              Is that a fair assessment of your position?

              The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

              by JR on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 08:40:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Let me start with the seat belt argument (0+ / 0-)

                When I first started driving as a teenager, I didn't wear a seat belt, but after a little while, I looked at that metal buckle to my left and asked myself, "Why not?" So I fastened it and let myself get used to the feeling of the belt and should strap holding me in place, and before too long it got to a point where I felt exposed if I drove without wearing the belt.

                A couple of years later, our state legislature bowed to pressure from insurance companies and mandated the wearing of seat belts. I don't look favorably on private business dictating what sort of laws govern society, but the law is the law, and I had already gotten in the habit of wearing that seat belt in the first place. That, however, was a personal choice of mine, one in which I deliberately chose a behavior that would help protect me on the road in case of a collision. And taking responsibility for my own security without Allstate or Farmers' telling me I had to do it gave me more peace of mind to explore the highways and country roads as I so desired.

                Ben Franklin's argument comes to mind: "Those who would trade a little liberty for a little security deserve neither." And after witnessing what happened to our nation over the past eight years, I grow weary of the argument that we have to give up X in order to get Y, especially if we never asked for Y in the first place. I don't want cops getting gunned down on the street, either, but I am not willing to let someone strip away my Constitutional rights for something that isn't my fault. On the other hand, if we came together with an attitude of "okay, this is obviously an ongoing problem, how do we work together to fix it without stepping on anyone's toes," I think pro-RKBA Democrats like myself would respond more favorably to that.

                I would personally like to see high school students take something like Driver's Ed for firearms in order to demystify guns in their eyes; we could do this in a very secure environment where police work together with teachers. It would also be a great opportunity to identify students who exhibit problems with impulse control or anger management and nip those problems in the bud before they give these kids hell in the adult world. I do not carry a concealed handgun at this time, but if I did, I do not have a problem with laws that regulate the wearing of firearms in public in order to reduce crime. In addition, I would look favorably on municipal laws that require lost or stolen firearms to be reported to the police within a reasonable period of time (say, 24-48 hours after discovering the gun was missing) in order to cut down on the black-market arms trade, especially with the current problem of guns being smuggled into the hands of Mexican narcogangsters. And I have no problem with NICS background checks, either, as long as the process quickly confirms that I am indeed of sound mind and not wanted for arrest.

                I don't see where any of these initiatives would unfairly infringe on my rights, but they could play a big part in promoting the general welfare and keeping the peace, not to mention reinforcing my personal responsibility to the collective whole as a member of the "well-regulated militia." And if I possess a semi-automatic AK while keeping this mindset, what harm is done to American society at large?

                I hope this helps a bit.

  •  I'm a permitted (18+ / 0-)

    gun owner.  I don't comprehend the gist of your diary.  What exactly are your solutions to gun violence?  What is your "different approach"?  This diary is as whacked as the extreme opposing position of stripping everyone from owning guns.

    I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution. -- Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 10:49:48 AM PDT

  •  guns made simple (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart

    guns don't kill people they just make it easier.
    If a country is going to allow easy access to guns there are going to be more deaths from guns than a country that doesn't. I don't like guns but I don't think it feasible to have european style gun laws here anymore than it's feasible to have 1920's drug laws here.
    The laws should be simple same day purchase of hunting rifles/shotguns, a 2 day waiting period on the purchase of handguns and semi-automatics, both with background checks.
    A longer wait period and more extensive background check for the purchase of military firearms (everything from uzis to m-60s) plus the local state and federal law enforcement get to know you have such weapons.
    No more concealed weapons permits instead have a plain view permit same rules for obtaining CW permits can be used only if your dumbass wants to walk around strapped I get to know.

  •  You don't need an AK-47 to kill bambi. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin

    There are better stronger laws that need to be passed, including claw backs on assault rifles.  

    This incident is all over the LA Times this morning.  I am a little more reserved on the deaths of cops.  I was almost run over during the May Day Melee in MacArthur Park.  The cops used the street in front of my apartment as a staging area for their horse patrols.  It was also the area of the Rampart Division, the most corrupt police in the city.

    So, you can get all rush limpdick  or dild o'liarly on this issue, but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid and I'm not voting with you.

    Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

    by uc booker on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:03:23 AM PDT

    •  This is not a "left vs. right" issue (6+ / 0-)

      If you still believe that it is, I've got this widow of a Cote d'Ivorie finance minister who has this fantastic business propoal for you.

      I'm a progressive Democrat, and I affirm that responsible ownership of firearms is a progressive virtue.

      •  You may be a progressive, but you cannot declare (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        uc booker

        handgun ownership to be a "progressive virtue" without explaining why. Why is it that millions of handguns out there will help us to accomplish out goals of a more progressive country?

        I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

        by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:41:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Time's up. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bustacap, Celtic Merlin

          The answer is: everybody having easily concealed lethal weapons will NOT lead to a more enlightened or progressive society. It will just lead to lots and lots of prematurely dead people.

          I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

          by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:08:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Get over yourself... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tnproud2b, CherryTheTart

            Just because I didn't jump when you snapped your fingers does not mean I cannot answer the question. Besides, how "progressive" do you think America became since 1994, when the Republicans took over Congress as a result of the "crime" bill?

            •  Okay, so now you're back, please answer the (0+ / 0-)

              question.

              I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

              by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:15:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It all depends on how you view government (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CherryTheTart

                Ronald Reagan's failed cannard of "government is the problem" encouraged neglect of social ills and discouraged participation of the democratic process.

                When George W. Bush stepped in, he transformed Reagan's idea into a form of neo-fascism in which he inflated government to a size where he could infringe on your Constitutional rights, but not to a size where it could actually address issues such as hurricanes, crumbling bridges, environmental pollution, contaminated peanut butter, etc.

                A progressive society is one that realizes that government only comes from the consent of the governed. And the governed has a list of moral imperatives that must be met - clean air, clean water, decent health care, solid public education, high standards for food safety and nutrition, and support for academia and the fine arts. And if government refuses to meet the needs of the people, the people must take it upon themselves to force those in charge to either meet their demands or step aside. Thus, the right to keep and bear arms.

                You never, never, never want your legislators to be completely comfortable with the positions to which they were elected.  You want them to be reminded on a daily basis that they are accountable to you.

                Human rights + moral imperatives + accountability = a progressive society.

                •  My goodness. So your argument is that the best (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Celtic Merlin

                  way to keep our government in line is to keep them afraid of us, not because we can turn them out in elections, but because we can shoot them? I read your comment twice, that is what you are saying. Intimidation through the threat of violence just is not the basis for any sort of enlightened society IMO.

                  I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                  by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:32:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not "afraid," but conscious of who's in charge (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CherryTheTart

                    This is why we have a democratic process - so we can vote out those who aren't getting the people's business done. But for those who refuse to honor the democratic process - George W. Bush in November of 2000, for example - would you rather the citizens just sit on their hands, or would you want steps to be taken to ensure that our government was not usurped by knaves and hoodlums?

                    Uncomfortable question, yes, but the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and always has been. And that is also a hallmark of a progressive society. Keep your eyes on what your elected officials are doing at all times.

                    •  So we should all be armed to the teeth in case (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Celtic Merlin

                      some day we need to all rise up against the machine. Meanwhile, if we have 30,000 gun deaths a year, that's a necessary sacrifice. Interesting position, certainly interesting that you think it somehow progressive.

                      I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                      by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:49:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Crime in Dallas dropped 10% last year (0+ / 0-)

                        You cite 300,000 deaths a year. That's for the entire country, correct?

                        Dallas reduced crime by 10% over the last 12 months. Murder by 15%. Aggravated assault by 20%.

                        All this without any new gun laws. We own semi-automatic rifles. We have concealed-carry handgun licenses. Don't even get us started on our gun shows.

                        I'm not trying to make a post hoc ergo proctor hoc argument, but the fact that we were able to reduce crime without infringing on our rights means we must be doing something right.

                        •  You are the master of the anecdote. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Celtic Merlin

                          So what if Dallas' crime rate went down? I'm sure I could find some city or state whose 2008 stats show the opposite conclusion. What's important is long term trends with statistically significant sample sizes. And my stat was 30,000 deaths a year, not 300,000.

                          I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                          by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 01:02:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  My point (and I do have one)... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...is that Dallas, which is slowly becoming more progressive since we ushered in a bunch of new Democratic judges and a kickass DA, has been able to reduce its own crime rate without further repressing its citizens. I believe this is also possible in Oakland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and elsewhere.

                            Sorry about the extra zero. That one's on me.

                          •  And Oslo and Copenhagen have almost no (0+ / 0-)

                            gun deaths. What are their gun laws?

                            I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                            by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 02:18:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Gun deaths" is too vague (0+ / 0-)

                            Both Norway and Denmark have higher suicide rates than America. And, last I heard, they're dealing with their own violent crime problems despite tightened gun laws (for which some of the blame rests on IANSA).

                      •  Aren't a substantial portion of those deaths (0+ / 0-)

                        gang related?  I.E., criminal-on-criminal attack?  Pray tell, how are you going to stop those involved in black market activity and social deviance, i.e., those who are highly motivated, from killing each other?

                        "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

                        by rangemaster on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 01:19:22 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Teenage gangs are violent. But in the 50s, they (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Celtic Merlin

                          used chains and knives and few got killed. Today they have automatic weapons, which can be bought at gun shows or online even though they're illegal. The gun culture caters to the most extreme.

                          I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                          by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 02:20:41 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Prove it (0+ / 0-)

                            Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. Tell us the name of this online dealer of automatic weapons - better yet, turn them in to the BATFE.

                          •  Here's one site I found in about 3 seconds (0+ / 0-)

                            that sells machine guns.  Obviously, it's pretty easy to get them, most self-respecting gang bangers carry an automatic or at least a semi-automatic weapon. Of course, that is their right bestowed on them by the sacred second amendment.

                            I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

                            by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 06:33:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That is a legal NFA Class 3 firearms dealer (0+ / 0-)

                            You specifically mentioned "automatic weapons." You implied that these people sell to gangsters. I still challenge you to find me a dealer who deliberately sells automatic weapons to gangsters instead of law-abiding citizens.

                            Hint: Only one felony has been committed by a civilian with an automatic weapon since 1934 - and that was by an off-duty police officer in Dayton, Ohio.

                          •  my '3rd' class bud sez (0+ / 0-)

                            theres only ~175,000 machine guns out there eligible for purchase. Its illegal for ANY new ones to be manufactured & sold on the civilian market.

                            even the Devil slaves for the fortunate

                            by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 02:14:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  ... (0+ / 0-)

          The answer is simple: Because handguns will give people at the least a fighting chance against recidivist scum like the guy who killed the 3 cops.

          http://www.a-human-right.com/...

          "We cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong." - Abraham Lincoln

          by AztecRed on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 08:33:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Progressive doesn't mean progressively more guns (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caipirinha

        Progress would imply that we are moving to become a more peaceful nation, not a more aggressive one.

        I'm not for taking away handguns and rifles.  I understand people like to hunt and shoot.  However, I think we can start rounding up the semi-automatics and putting them away.

        Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

        by uc booker on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:43:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)

      It's illegal to hunt with an AK-47 anyway.

      Plus, how many people are going to take a $10k rifle on a hunting trip?

      Plus any regulations of assault weapons wouldn't apply to AK-47s anyway, as AK-47s are already highly regulated by the BATF.

      "We cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong." - Abraham Lincoln

      by AztecRed on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 08:28:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  if you had the actual chain of purchase (5+ / 0-)

    on the weapons involved, you might make some kind of case against the laws you denigrate.
    in other news, somewhere in america, a non drunk driver was killed in an automobile accident, proving laws against drunk driving are ineffective & that, in fact, people should actually drive while intoxicated.

    "Michele Bachmann is like the demi glace of wingnuttia." - Chris Hayes, Countdown, 2/18/09

    by rasbobbo on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:05:41 AM PDT

  •  If anything, this shooting spree is a great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin, uc booker

    argument for the total elimination of handguns. Make them illegal and confiscate them. It's true that there are too many guns already out there for this to have a short term impact. But in 20 years, society will start to see far less in murders, and while we'll never be rid of all guns, we will all be a whole lot safer.

    I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

    by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:07:46 AM PDT

    •  That is never going to happen. (5+ / 0-)

      We have a right to own weapons, the Supreme Court made that clean in a case that was specifically about hand guns in DC.

      Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

      by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:09:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just like prohibition, right? (2+ / 0-)

      Everyone knows if you make something illegal, it totally eliminates the problem.

      Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:11:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, guns do require (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Celtic Merlin

        manufacturing. Short of massive out of country imports a prohibition on manufacture and sale of weapons would have an effect, in about 200 years when the last of the guns that are already in our country go completely out of service.

        Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

        by Something the Dog Said on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:13:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nah. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CherryTheTart

          They'd just be illegally imported from other countries.  

          Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:22:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You could say that about Europe (that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bustacap

            bans there will fail due to the danger of imports), yet the murder rates and incidence of massacres there are far lower than in the US.

            I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

            by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:43:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Crime Rate Lower in United States than in Britain (0+ / 0-)

              PRINCETON, NJ -- The United States is often seen from abroad as a relatively lawless society, with murders and gun-related crimes aplenty. But a recent series of Gallup surveys in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States suggests that the image may be somewhat distorted. According to the surveys, the overall crime rate in the United States is lower than in Britain and about the same as in Canada. The polls also show that, among citizens in the three countries, Britons appear to have the least confidence in their police, while Canadians have the most. Britons are also the most likely to say that they live near an area where they would be afraid to walk alone at night.

              Crime Rate Lower in United States, Canada Than in Britain

              The violent crime rate in Great Britain exceeded the violent crime rate in the United States before the year 2000, and Great Britain  has increased the gap in violent crime rate between the two nations since.

              Yes, there are more deaths committed with the use of firearms in the United States than in Great Britain (when one desires to use such a narrow metric for purposes of sophistry), but the larger gist of the argument fails when all tools of attack are factored in.  People in Great Britain are much more afraid of being victims of violent crime than those in the U.S.; and with good reason.  And the guns are still coming into the hands of criminals in Great Britain.

              Moreover, when you try to measure the cost of gun ownership in the absence of analyzing the benefits of gun ownership, that one-sided analysis too is sophistry.  The rate of gun use to defend against attack-- approximately two million defensive gun uses (DGU's) per year by law abiding citizens-- is far higher than the rates of violent attack with guns (see Gary Kleck's "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America", Winner of the Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology).

              "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

              by rangemaster on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 01:11:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong comparison (0+ / 0-)

              The cultures that have lower murder rates, also have a very different culture. Essentially a monolithic culture, where you don't have conflict between racial, ethnic and economic classes. This has changed recently, with the large influx of immigrants from N. Africa and Eastern Europe.

          •  Thefts for sale by the military (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CherryTheTart

            will become a bigger factor as prices increase.

      •  It would be harder to put a 9mm in a condom, (0+ / 0-)

        swallow it before your international flight to LAX, and then fish it out of the toilet bowl after downing a bunch of Ex-Lax, however.

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:53:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  NO WAY! (0+ / 0-)

      All the thugs in Philly have guns. Take the guns away by law and only thugs will have guns.

  •  Huh? (5+ / 0-)

    You can't really make an argument that California's gun laws fail because of one single anecdote.

    And I say that as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

    Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:10:34 AM PDT

    •  As I pointed out earlier, this is not... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CherryTheTart

      ...an isolated incident.

      Gun laws in California have tightened significantly since the mass shootings in Stockton in 1989. Their effect on violent crime in the state, however, seems to have been negligible at best.

      •  Yeah, but you're not making the case. (4+ / 0-)

        If you want to argue that violent crime in California has increased under stricter laws, the evidence may well exist to support such a claim.  But you don't provide any.  You're just using a single anecdote to make the argument you want to make.

        That's a lot like anti-2A people taking a single incident of a violent crime to make the case that all guns are bad and should be eliminated.

        Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

        by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:21:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I see your point, but... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I have tried to document post-Feinstein cases crime involving guns in California on the Amendment II Democrats blog, and trying to list them all would only slow down the current discussion.

          •  Um, maybe. (0+ / 0-)

            But in order to make the argument you're trying to make, you MUST offer the evidence to support it.  Anecdotal evidence is simply unpersuasive, especially on such a controversial hot-button issue as gun control.

            Don't misunderstand -- I certainly applaud anyone who wants to make the effort to argue against stupid gun control laws.   But it does take a lot of effort to make a persuasive argument.

            Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

            by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:32:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  CA's success or lack of it is not a basis on (0+ / 0-)

        which to argue that a nationwide ban on guns wouldn't be successful. One state cannot act alone, given the porousness of state lines, but an all-out ban, while there would be some amount of contraband coming in, would have a profound impact on the availability of guns.

        I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

        by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:45:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Real votes, Wisconsin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, tnproud2b, CherryTheTart

    In 1998, Wisconsin voters added language to our State Constitution clarifying the Right to keep and bear as an individual's right. The measure polled 76% Statewide, and carried every one of our 72 Counties, with majorities rangeing from 56% in Dane County (Madison), 63% in Milwaukee, up to 92% in the Northwoods.

       

    Article I, SECTION 25
    The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

  •  Wait until the drug cartels... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin, CherryTheTart

    start killing cops and lawmakers (like they are in Mexico) in the US.

    It's just a heartbeat away. Beleive it. California is right in the crosshairs. Marshall law? Gangs have taken over in many, many cities...not just the border states either.

    It's gone on too long and is firmly entrenched.

    "They" are here.

    Truth is...the cops are outgunned, understaffed, underpaid and many are on the take.

    Coming soon to a city near you...

    •  CA cops are not underpaid, and are not on the (0+ / 0-)

      take. They are decently paid, good cops (the vast majority of them). Your armageddon talk is a bit overdone IMO.

      I'm an unapologetic Obama supporter.

      by doc2 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 11:47:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well...my last experience with CA cops... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anna M, BigAlinWashSt, CherryTheTart

        (not to mention the Medical Examiner's office) in San Francisco was when my daughter died suddenly last March under very suspicious circumstances.

        In SF, the default is to name the cause of death a suicide. The path report was ineptly managed, the ME overuled a call by the first cops on the scene...to call for a crime scene setup.

        No investigation. No answers. You may be familiar w/ the recent case in SF when the French goverment went to SF and did their own investigation into a suicide ruling that was so outrageous as to be obscene.

        As to "armegeddon", please do take into account the very real problem with major, global banks laundering money. If it seems as if I'm all over the place here, it's because I need to leave.

        I think I will, however, write a diary on money laundering.

        Drug trade+greedy bankers+SOME cops on the take+politicians looking the other way=

        Workshops

        Workshop A:
        2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
        Dissecting the Recent Major U.S. Justice Department ‘Deferred Prosecution Agreement’ and ‘Civil Money Laundering’ Cases for Their Vital Lessons in Good Compliance

        Many of the recent serious actions against banks have been filed not by the regulatory agencies but by the U.S. Department of Justice from Washington or from various U.S. Attorneys’ offices around the nation. American Express Bank International, BankAtlantic in Florida, Union Bank of California, Lloyds TSB Bank, and Bank of Cyprus have suffered forfeitures or face serious lawsuits in which the consequences can be severe. Some of these legal actions have been filed on novel grounds that have few precedents. In some cases the amounts the Justice Department seeks are astronomical and run into nine figures.

        In cases filed in New York City by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against the Bank of Cyprus, the government is seeking a judgment against the bank for $162,000,000. In the case filed against Lloyds TSB Bank, the U.S. Attorney’s office is seeking $130,000,000.

        In three "Deferred Prosecution Agreements" filed by the Justice Department, American Express Bank International, in Miami, paid $65,000,000, Union Bank of California paid $32,000,000 and BankAtlantic, in Florida, paid $10,000,000.

        How do these actions commence? How should an institution control the damage from these cases? What is on the horizon? How to gauge the impact on reputation?  Is there a way to mitigate the harm that these actions cause to an institution? What is the role of the regulatory agencies when the Department of Justice and an agency such as the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Federal Bureau of Investigation are the driving forces in the cases?  Is there any way to convince the Department of Justice that the actions against the financial institution should not be brought?

        These are some of the questions that institutions must ask now that the Department of Justice, after several years of relatively little activity in the AML field, emerges as a major player. In this crucial pre-conference workshop, you will hear from experts who understand these cases. They will guide you on how to deal with them and on the many aspects you must confront and deal with now.

  •  I used to think stronger gun laws were the answer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrooth, BigAlinWashSt, CherryTheTart

    but if you try to pass laws now, the only people left with guns will be criminals and the right wing nutcases who will commit another "Waco" if you try to take their guns away.  It also feeds their biggest fear about  "the libruls want to take our guns and bibles away", which is a big rallying point to right-wing beliefs.  That and "socialism".

    Really, the biggest problem is our violence culture - movies, videos, and war worship.

    •  I think you're on to something... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, CherryTheTart

      ...but it goes a lot deeper than that. Our youngsters are often undereducated in schools, undernourished with meals low in nutrients but full of high fructose corn syrup, bombarded with mindless TV programming, conditioned by high-pressure ad campaigns to become consumers instead of citizens, etc. And these are the kids who are expected to become the workforce, the military, and the legislators of tomorrow. Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World can contribute some similar thoughts along those lines, especially concerning the highly-volatile combination of technology with ignorance.

  •  And? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrooth

    Because CA has strict gun laws and because this bad guy had weapons he shouldn't have and killed some cops, it logically follows that CA's gun laws are bad and ineffective and must be scrapped?  

    Well hell, I think you're looking way too "small picture".  California has laws against lots of things, and yet bad people still break many of those laws every day, ergo California's criminal justice system is entirely ineffective and should be scrapped, right?

    Maybe it's time for them to take a step back and let those of us who actually respect the Second Amendment try a different approach towards reducing violent crime in California before another officer is gunned down - an approach that insists that "We, the People" have certain inalienable rights that are finally going to be honored.

    And what is a "Second Amendment-centric" approach to reducing gun crime?  More guns in more hands, right?  Because that's always the solution, isn't it?

    Here's a little reductio ad absurdum for you using similar logic: let's use more penises to combat AIDS.

    ... and we have seen the black suns | pouring forth the night. -- Clark Ashton Smith

    by bustacap on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:25:32 PM PDT

  •  2nd amendment = must be in militia to own gun (0+ / 0-)

    says so very clearly. No militia member = no guns.

    Msongs

    •  Well ... (0+ / 0-)

      there's a cogent argument that it says that, but it hardly does it "very clearly."

      "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by jrooth on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:35:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms" (0+ / 0-)

      Besides, read DC v. Heller. You're in the militia, baby - don't screw it up.

    •  The "militia" of Revolutionary War days has been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arrows theorem

      replaced completely.  With the Reserves System.  The militia of those days was an auxiliary to the main body of the army.  They could be called upon when needed and released when the need was over.  They took orders from the military commanders in the field.  They just weren't a part of the day-to-day military.  Every branch of the military (except for maybe the Coast Guard, but I'm not certain) has a reserves body.

      If you want to enforce the 2nd Amendment, enforce it all.  Require membership in the reserves in order have a weapon.  No reserves membership, no gun.  Of course, you'll have to bring it to drill and training and use it there.  Plus, we could require that the only guns allowed to be possessed are the one you bring with you to training.  And no, that doesn't mean that people will be bringing military weapons home from drill with them.  They'll just have to bring their hunting rifles with them to drill.  Sidearms aren't common among enlisted men, but difficult-to-conceal rifles are.

      Finally, the idea that having a gun and training will keep you safe from the bad guys is just as silly as it gets.  The three dead officers and the one fighting for his life ALL had guns, they ALL had lots of training, and they ALL got shot by a bad guy.  So much for the "my gun will keep me safe" argument...

      Celtic Merlin
      Carlinist

      Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

      by Celtic Merlin on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 03:47:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Someone hasn't read DC V. HELLER (0+ / 0-)

        I'd recommend doing so in order to keep up.

        •  Your assumption is wrong. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arrows theorem

          Also, your diary's argument is weak.

          Finally, you failed to address any of the points in my rather lengthy comment with your one-liner.

          Great work.

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 04:14:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        If you want to enforce the 2nd Amendment, enforce it all.

        A better example of this would be you have to be enrolled in selective services in order to own/use firearms. It's a bad argument and I'll explain why. Amendment numero 2 preserves and guarantees an individual right for a collective purpose. Where else do you see collective rights in the Bill of Rights? Only white right men have the freedom of speech?  Only Protestants have the ability to not have troops quartered in their homes? The militia statement was to declare a purpose, not restrict the right.

        Finally, the idea that having a gun and training will keep you safe from the bad guys is just as silly as it gets.  The three dead officers and the one fighting for his life ALL had guns, they ALL had lots of training, and they ALL got shot by a bad guy.  So much for the "my gun will keep me safe" argument...

        We could go back and forth with different examples on when a firearm HAS kept someone safe and when it's caused issues. There's examples for both.

        Abolish gun control, marriage, and helmet laws. -7.62, -3.44

        by KVoimakas on Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 05:43:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not so clear - (0+ / 0-)

      given the problems with punctuation - the 2nd amendment has been a debated topic.  

      the lesson we learn from this?  

      Make grammar education compulsory, as well as make gun ownership conditional upon the passage of a reading/writing/comprehension test that includes the sentence diagramming of the 2nd amendment.

  •  So long as there's no way to control (0+ / 0-)

    transport across state borders (and we really, really don't want to go there) I think state and local gun laws are pretty meaningless.

    Whether national laws would be more effective, given the 200 million guns already out there, is debatable.  But it's at least possible, since they can theoretically control the national borders and control domestic manufacturing.

    We do, after all, have some national laws (like requiring federal licencing to own automatic weapons.)  And they appear to be at least somewhat effective.  You don't see many ground to air missiles in private hands, for instance.

    "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jrooth on Sun Mar 22, 2009 at 12:41:31 PM PDT

  •  Aside from my utter consternation of seeing this (0+ / 0-)

    diary on a progressive web site, let me just point out that gun control laws do have a place in a civilized society, but they can never keep guns out of the hands of hardened and determined criminals.

    It is our failure to recognize that paradox that keeps fueling this utterly stupid debate.

    Let me start with the obvious. Those who decry gun control, like this diary, are quite right when they say that laws cannot keep guns out of the hands of hardened criminals. Those who wish to get guns for criminal purposes will always be able to get them. If they weren't manufactured here, they would come from any of a dozen other countries.

    But gun laws can do one thing: they can mitigate crimes of passion. Guns with trigger locks, and the absence of assault weapons, can reduce casualties arising out of arguments, grudges and feelings of despair in families.

    The diarist presents a straw man in his argument by suggesting a hardened criminal wasn't deterred by gun laws, so gun laws are useless. This is always the argument of the gun rights lobby, and it is falacious.

    Gun laws can make sure spouses don't kill one another during a fight over the TV volume, or kids won't kill their parents just because a gun is handy and unlocked. Why is this important? Because most violence in this country is domestic in origin; it's not connected to drugs, prostitution, larceny or any other organized crime. It's source is passion and anger, and it results in far more injuries and deaths than most other sources of violence combined.

    The debate is not helped by the absolutism of both sides. The gun lobby sees any regulation is tantamount to dictatorship, while too many gun control advocates believe the elimination of guns is both possible and desireable, while it is neither.

    Both sides are wrong. What are needed are sensible controls, and a recognition that hardened criminals and organized crime will always be able to get guns.

    •  A few crimes of passion or millions of more (0+ / 0-)

      crimes of intent?  Both Clinton and Kleck found that firearms are used more often in the US to prevent or halt a crime than they are used to commit them.  Eighty percent of the time the firearm was not even fired to do so.  The lowest report stated an average of 2.5 million such defensive uses of firearms in the US.

      The cost analysis is clear.  

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