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We all keep calling for a responsible discussion and debate.  Well, I'm up for having one, and I'll be glad to lay out some common sense legislation as a straw act, from my perspective as one citizen to other citizens, for debate.

I keep hearing about "responsible gun owners" who legally bought their guns having a RIGHT to own and bear arms.  Unfortunately, our news is also full of gun deaths after people have irresponsibly owned their guns.  For example:

Chardon High School shooting suspect TJ Lane may have used grandfather's gun in attack

Carl Henderson, a 74-year-old friend and neighbor of Lane's grandparents, says the gun was kept in the barn and wasn't noticed missing until after Monday's deadly shootings.

Henderson, who's a former police officer and ex-Geauga County sheriff, says Lane's grandfather has told him he believes it is the same gun.  

Or, this one from a number of years ago was at a high school in our district where the boy fortunately didn't run into the English teacher he told others that he meant to kill and he ended up holding a class hostage before surrendering to police, instead.  But not before:
Shrout retrieved a loaded Colt .380 Mustang pistol that morning that his father kept in the Jeep. He emptied the gun to figure out how it worked, then reloaded it. He went to his parents' room where they were sleeping and shot them. "Two reasons why I shot my [2 younger] sisters," Shrout told Goins. "The first one was I didn't want them to have to live without their parents. And also my older sister (Kristin). She had enough intelligence to pick up the phone and call the police ... and I didn't want to be stopped."
Or, just Google child accidently shoots  for one terrible situation after another involving guns being found by children in a home and the tragedies that follow.

How about some sensible legislation about "responsible gun ownership" that could help eliminate THESE situations?

Proposed "Responsible Gun Ownership" Act:

1. ALL guns, of any and all makes and models, must have a lock that prevents them from being fired except by the registered gun owner(s).

a) Guns manufactured after XX date must come equipped with a locking mechanism.
b) Guns manufactured after XX date must have an after-market lock that attaches to the individual gun.
c) Locks may not be a key based lock, but rather must require a PIN, combination, or fingerprint recognition system.

2. Gun owners may never give locking information to any unregistered owner of the gun on penalty of losing "responsible gun ownership rights" for life.

3.  No gun may ever be sold without a locking mechanism.  (PINs, combinations, and fingerprint IDs must be changed as part of the sale process and registration transfer process at a licensed gun dealer location.)  Yeah, no more gun sales at flea market crap.  You want a gun?  You buy and keep it responsibly.

4.  No minors may register guns.  Parents may buy a gun for a child; however, that parent will be the registered gun owner and be responsbile for unlocking the weapon without their child learning the combination and re-lockiing the gun after use.  Failure to keep locking information secure from a minor, unregistered gun owner will result in loss of "responsible gun ownership" for life.

5. Responsible gun owners will maintain liability insurance for each gun owned. If a registered gun is used in the comission of a crime, then the gun owner shall be responsible for all resulting harm and injury to others.  [Gun safes would be a good way for responsible gun owners to have lower insurance rates.]


Some futher commentary:

IF you are a responsible gun owner and you have an emotionally unstable kid who wants to shoot up his school, he's going to have to get that combination off of you before he gets a chance to kill you and someone else's child.  I trust that responsible gun owners will do the responsible thing and STOP HIM!

I'm also in favor of no more mega clips which would at least give us a chance to jump a crazed shooter while they were reloading, but I think this could be a good start in stopping children from killing themselves and others.  Background checks, without loopholes, are another area to look into.

Okay, let the debate begin.

2:56 PM PT: One more to add:

6.  No gunsmiths can fix a gun that is not brought in with a registered lock matching the gun to be fixed.  Penalty for fixing a gun without a lock would be loss of gunsmithing license for 5 years.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:52:42 PM PST

  •  Frankly, I think the term (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, eru, Killer of Sacred Cows

    responsible gun ownership is an oxymoron.

    There is no such thing as an off year election. Every election effects each other. We need to work as hard in 2014 as we did in 2012.

    by pollbuster on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:58:06 PM PST

  •  Your Proposed Legislation (4+ / 0-)

    Does not offer a solution for the 300-million plus firearms already out there.

    •  And that IS the problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr, Killer of Sacred Cows

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:45:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does it have to SOLVE 100% of the situation (7+ / 0-)

        immediately?  OR, could legislation like it go a long way to preventing many, many tragedies like this:

        Google: child accidently shoots

        SPRINGVILLE — A young child accidentally shot and killed himself at a Springville home Tuesday, police said ... Police said the child's parents are Springville city employees. Tuesday, Sept. 11 2012

        Connecticut State Police are investigating after a child accidentally shot an adult inside a home in Prospect, officials told  The victim, Anthony J. Delucia, was shot in the chest by a seven-year-old neighbor. The young boy accidentally shot Delucia with a small caliber handgun. The gun is legally registered to Delucia, said police.  Aug 2012

        SALEM, Ind. (Press Release) -- A three-year old boy found a gun and accidentally shot and killed his father Friday night in Washington County, Indiana, according to Indiana State Police. 33-year old Michael Bayless died at the scene. July 2012

        The national debate over gun control is hitting home for one Virginia community after police say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot himself to death Wednesday.  The boy was reportedly alone in the car while his family was in the home. The gunshot to his head was self-inflicted, police said, and the force was strong enough to throw his body partially through the back window. July 2012

        4-Year-Old Houston Boy Accidentally Shoots Himself with Dad’s Gun  A 4-year-old remains in critical condition after accidentally shooting himself in the head. Dec. 2012

        Child Survives Complications at Birth but Accidentally Shoots Himself 2 Years Later.  His father, Owen Leatham, is a police officer in Springville, but the coroner's report stated that the gun that Linkin discharged was not his father's service revolver. Sept. 2012

        I'm not even to the bottom of the first page of just that Google Search.

        By causing the overwhelming number of gun owners out there who I hear really want to be "responsible gun owners" to actually be "responsible?"  

        I'm tired of the oopsey, who could have known something like THIS could have happened?  I'm tired of being told that "most" gun owners are responsible, and how "their children" have been raised to handle them responsibly ... then listening day after day about the carnage that results from those who are not.  

        If there are millions of "responsible gun owners out there," then they are going to be just fine since they already have their guns locked, and they shouldn't have a problem with carrying some rider insurance just like pool owners do.

        Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

        by bkamr on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:23:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sure it does. Irresponsible gun owners could (5+ / 0-)

      certainly choose to continue owning guns without locks, without having them locked up in safes, and go without insurance ... but in so doing, they will be risking everything they currently have and will earn in the future IF any of their guns are used to hurt anyone else.  And, going forward, they would not have a chance to legally buy a gun, again.

      However, those are some VERY big risks to run instead of choosing to just buy a lock or gun safe and follow a rather simple procedure.  

      It would have an effect on guns going forward, and like any machine, guns break ... oh, here's another part to add!  Tnx

      6.  No gunsmiths can fix a gun that is not brought in with a registered lock matching the gun to be fixed.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:55:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mandatory buyback. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Turn it over, or go to jail when we find out you didn't.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:00:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sure it does (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It requires the owners to buy trigger locks. Key-based ones are cheap off the shelf items. With mass production, other sorts would be affordable. For multiple guns, put the lock on a cable going through all the trigger guards.

  •  I think that this starts from the wrong place. (6+ / 0-)

    Reinstating the assault weapon ban and setting stringent limits on magazine capacities is a start.

    But, the attitude of society is what has to be changed.  It should become as socially unacceptable to carry a weapon in public, as it is to smoke in public.

    To that end, a ban on all firearms related advertising outside of firearms magazines.  No sponsorship deals for sports, motor racing or other forms of entertainment.  Firearms magazines to be displayed on the top shelf of magazine racks, along with the other "adult" magazines.  Mandating lurid colour schemes for firearms, such as Hot Pink and Luminescent Yellow.

    Alongside these measures regular public information broadcasting with respect to the dangers of firearms.  Graphically displaying the consequences of the use of these weapons.

    With the public driving the demand for legislation, liability insurance, mandatory background checks, mandatory waiting periods and subsequently  banning semi-automatic mechanisms, will be much easier to achieve.

    In all of the world's problems religion has never been the solution

    by Tailgunner30uk on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:07:30 PM PST

  •  Career change? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy, annecros

    I think you could go far in the Mississippi Republican Party if you ever wanted to turn your considerable talents towards crafting rules for "responsible abortion providers".

    •  Not sure I understand your comment. Care to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Killer of Sacred Cows

      comment further?

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:39:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Your first point goes into detail on gun locks. If you had done even a cursory amount of research on the topic you would find that people have been trying to come up with something like this for police since the 1980's. Not because we are worried the police are going to misuse their weapons, but because they get up close and personal with people who might want to grab their weapon and use it against them (as in the recent NJ police station shooting). In thirty years of trying, they have not come up with anything that is more useful than it is a liability. The best that is available right now is a technology that can only be used on a small number of weapons and uses a magnetic ring that does not meet your security requirements. There are prototypes of technology that might meet your requirements someday, but not at the moment.

        So, the very first point of your responsible gun ownership law is one that must be applied to all guns and is a requirement that cannot be met, hence my inference that you would be good at crafting rules for abortion clinics in Mississippi.

        The remaining five parts of the law are just about as bad, in wording if not in spirit.

        •  LOL I did a cursory (using google) and (2+ / 0-)

          guess what?  I have good news for you.  Combination locking systems for guns DO exist, now, such as:

          Gun Lock with Combination

          or this one for $10.99

          Ah, but then you might argue that someone could follow Youtube videos like this one to remove it with a screw driver or drill.  Don't think many 4 or even 10 year olds would be able to do this ... do you?

          BUT, let's assume a very motivated, unstable 15 yo might
          be able to break open a trigger lock.  so how about this kind of gun vault or safe for $22.99 -- with a combination lock?

          I'm not interested in disabling police guns that are in use with a trained police officer.  

          I'm interested in civilian gun owners being expected to and being held "responsible" for ensuring that their kids can't take those guns to school to massacre other children and so those guns don't get found by their children and accidently get used to kill.

          Looks to be an under $50 precaution that already exists and that a tragic number of gun owners are simply not taking.

          Can't imagine why "responsible" gun owners would have any objection to this, and in fact, it would seem like THIS would be something that "responsible" gun owners and manufacturers really should have been pushing for long, long, long ago ... given how interested they are in being protectors and all.

          Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

          by bkamr on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:21:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (0+ / 0-)
            ALL guns, of any and all makes and models, must have a lock that prevents them from being fired except by the registered gun owner(s).
            If you had meant "accessed" instead of "fired" you would or should have said so. The difference is like that of a car that anyone can start, kept in a locked garage, or a car that only you can start, parked on the street. A very significant difference in terms of who can "fire" the car.

            And I would note that for legal liability purposes, a key-based lock is sufficient in either case.

            It is impossible to read your law as meaning anything but a technology that is integrated into the gun if it can prevent anyone but the registered user from firing it.

            But if you insist on digging your heels in and deciding your wording retroactively means something other than what it says, again, there are plenty of Republican organizations who would love to have you on board. Perhaps John "not intended to be a factual statement" Kyl has an opening on his staff?

            On the other hand, if you want to admit your law is riddled with flawed and abuse-prone language and want to revise it, great! I think your law as written is semantically awful and legally draconian (the requirements for storing a case of dynamite are less restrictive than your gun requirements), but it nonetheless has useful elements hidden in it.

            •  Try reading the 2nd sentence of the diary. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Oh Mary Oh
              We all keep calling for a responsible discussion and debate.  Well, I'm up for having one, and I'll be glad to lay out some common sense legislation as a straw act, from my perspective as one citizen to other citizens, for debate.
              The purpose of debate and discussion between citizens regarding proposed legislation is to improve and refine that legislation.  So, how about YOU composing and proposing improved language?  You put yourself up on a pedastal as an authority on the subject, so YOU take some responsibility for being a positive force for change.

              Unless, you think the status quo is just fine.  As a teacher and mother, I don't think the status quo is just fine.  Five years ago, our son came home scared and shaking, because a playmate down the street got into his Dad's gun cabinet with his father's keys while the man was napping in the family room!  Our son ran home.  We called the family on the phone, waking the Dad up, and a loaded shotgun was taken away from their 9 yo son who was showing it off to 2 other little boys in his bedroom.

              So, unless the about situation is just fine by you, and since you are a authority on "responsible" gun ownership, I challenge YOU to make some constructive suggestions for language improvements.  

              Note:  I would also recommend that you try dropping the condescending attacks.  You may be a perfectly lovely and gentle human being who really cares about the number of children being accidently killed or being empowered to becme mass murderes, but your tone makes you seem like a pretty darn angry person with a puffed up ego (based on owning guns) who finds it difficult to have even a civil debate during just an on-line blogging discussion, which ... presuming you have guns ... doesn't help your position for gun ownership one bit.  

              Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

              by bkamr on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:24:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not on a pedestal (0+ / 0-)

                Just someone who understands that if you have to make a law, specific words have specific meanings. Many gun control advocates think the Clinton laws on guns were not as good as they could have been because the language of the law allowed it to be abused. Ambiguous language is why we have a second amendment debate rather than unanimous agreement on what it means.

                As far as being angry and condescending, look to yourself as well. You start with the "responsible gun owners" in bold and quotes, like it is not a real thing, and later on tell us gun owners that we will be just fine as long as we are doing things the way you want us to. Nor did I see any comments from you to tone it down when someone said responsible gun ownership was an oxymoron. Did it occur to you that people like me who do have gun locks and have never had a gun accident, theft or misuse in more years than most of you have been alive might find comments like that a wee bit offensive?

                Politeness goes both ways. If you want a polite and respectable debate, you need to step on people who say nasty things about gun owners (of whom somewhere between 25% (Nate Silver) and 40% (Gallup) are your fellow Democrats), as much as you step on people who are impolite to you.

                You have challenged me for a proposal. I have no specific legaliese written, but I do have some suggestions.

                1) Guns are not your special snowflake. Anything that you believe about the role of government, consenusal conduct, personal responsibility, privacy or anything else needs to apply just as much to guns as anything else. Why?

                Do pro-life people get to re-write the rules on what a person can do with their own body because abortion is "special"?

                Does the War on (some) Drugs (used by some people) mean that the government should be allowed to class marijuana the same as heroin and put people away with mandatory minimums because owning parts of a plant is "special"?

                Do states get to re-write their constitutions to prevent the existential threat of gays getting married because heterosexual marriage is "special"?

                Do you really think the 4th amendment does not apply in airports, the government can warrantless wiretap anyone it wants for any reason, and use "execution by drone" without benefit of trial because the War on Terror is "special"?

                Do corporations like Hobby Lobby get to ignore aspects of the Affordable Care Act because their relgious beliefs make them "special"?

                These people think their case is special and so the normal rules do not apply...because lives are at stake. Being a liberal and saying guns are "special" grants legitimacy to their claims of being special.  So, suggestion one: On guns, be morally and ethically consistent with all your other liberal values.

                You may never switch your gender preference from what it is now, but I bet you have no problem with people who have a different preference getting married, even though some people think their children and even America as a whole will be threatened with teh gay unless something is done immediately to amend the Constitution. Remember, according to them, Katrina and Sandy, the loss of life, the public health problems, the billions of dollars of losses, were God's punishment for America condoning homosexuality. Because their belief is special.

                Don't be those people. Don't frame your arguments using the same attitude, language and flawed logic as they do.

                2) Look at what we already do. You can own a car without having a license or liability insurance. You can even drive it around your property without either. But if you want to take it out in public, you need to pass a written test and a competency test, which you have to renew. So:

                a) You have to buy liability insurance if you take your car out on public roads (insurance which does not protect you if you engage in criminal conduct with the car). The cost of my insurance depends on the type of car I own, its value, where I live and my age and gender. If I am an 18-year old with a sports car in a high-risk area, my insurance is going to be very expensive.

                b) There are different classes of license for different vehicles (like a learner's permit when you are just starting out, etc.). Different vehicle types have different competency tests.

                c) A class of license qualifies you for all of that type of vehicle, not just the ones you own.

                d) Your liability insurance covers you for the vehicles you are legally allowed to use. If someone steals my car I am not criminally liable for its misuse, but my insurance would probably apply if someone filed a civil suit against me anyway. It would be in my best interest to report my car as stolen as soon as possible, for both legal and liability reasons.

                e) If I lose my driver's license, I do not lose my car ownership, just the ability to be the person in control of it in a public place. If I take my car in public without a license or after I lose my license, that might be a criminal offense for which that car could be impounded.

                f) My driver's license is issued by one state, but allows me to drive in any state.

                g) My car, whether I actually have a license or not, has a title that needs to be registered, regardless of whether I buy the car from a dealer or off Craigslist. This demonstrates a chain of ownership, and a valid title for a vehicle is going to be needed to get liability insurance for that vehicle.

                h) When a cop pulls me over, he asks for my license, registration and proof of insurance. Depending on why I was pulled over, failing to have one or more of these can result in anything from a civil penalty to an arrest, both of which have a chance of increasing the cost of my insurance.

                I'm a strong RKBA advocate, but I would get behind something like this for guns. It fits into an existing framework that people are familiar with and is certainly an improvement over where we are now.

                You challenged me to provide my own ideas. There they are. Have at them. If they are flawed, point out where. If they are incomplete, offer additions. If they are not an improvement, show me why.

                Remember that DKos is exceptionally left-leaning and gun owners are very under-represented here. Out there in the real world, somewhere between 25% and 40% of all households with guns are Democrats, and any legislation with a chance of passing is going to want these Democrats telling their legislators to get on board with whatever the proposal is. It is almost a given right now that most Republicans will oppose anything the President suggests, so having the support of gun-owning liberals is probably mandatory.

                •  Fair enough on calls for civility. I will commit (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  to calling for both sides to appeal to their better angels, and will do so myself ... as I will ask you to do, as well.

                  Perhaps if you and I can do this, then more will also be able to do so. :)

                  In keeping with this commitment, I would like to extend my apologies for not calling for no name calling (from commenters on both sides in my diary).  I chose not to rec either side, but I could have taken a stronger stand to call for both sides to knock it off.

                  In addition, I will admit that I am pissed that our country just seems to be just throwing up our hands like nothing can be done while our children die, but I will attempt to be passionate about this without being obnoxious.  

                  Most importantly, I will (and actually am) trying to listen to better understand.  If you are willing to try to do the same, then I would like to further discuss this with you.

                  Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

                  by bkamr on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:05:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Most importantly, I will (and actually am) trying to listen to better understand.  If you are willing to try to do the same, then I would like to further discuss this with you.
                    I am also interested, and I will extend the offer I have made to others. Contact me privately and I will be happy to talk about the pros and cons and specifics of things I do know about, I can learn from you in areas where my knowledge is lacking, and we can talk about ideal outcomes and pragmatic realities, benefits, drawbacks, the whole nine yards.
        •  If I'm reading it correctly, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bkamr, Oh Mary Oh

          the diarist's proposal could be implemented on any existing firearm with a combination padlock through the trigger guard.

          I reserve the right to be missing something: it's happened before.

          •  Exactly. This cheap and easy to do precaution (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sue B, Oh Mary Oh

            could have prevented at least 5 of the past school shootings  and would save hundreds of other childrens' lives every year due to accidental shootings.  

            It doesn't take "responsible" gun owners' right to own a gun away; it just makes the gun unusable by anyone other than the "responsible" gun owner.  

            Anyone who is not taking such precautions would be by legal definition a "irresponsible" gun owner --> a person who who should not have the right to legally have a gun.  

            I'm sick and tired of our children getting killed or accidently becoming shooters in situations like these:

            A 12-year-old boy fired an assault rifle -- apparently by accident -- in his East County home Monday, sending a bullet into his older sister's shoulder as she was lying on a living-room couch.

            Horror as boy, 8, accidentally KILLS 11-year-old brother while playing with neighbour's gun

            In the above situation, the article says that the gun was in a "secure" place and the boys found it while performing work for the neighbor.  How "secure" could the place have been if 2 little boys found it it doing whatever kind of "work" you could be having neighbor boys this age do?  

            An 11 yo is DEAD, and the adult gun owner gets their gun back without being held in any way "responsible?"  The "prepper" mom filled her home with guns to protect herself from fantasies of antisocial, violent threats and thus empowered her son to BE a violent, antisocial threat?

            I'm outraged by the oopsey ... who could have known? attitude.  If you have a pool, you have to have a fence.  If you have a gun, you have to have locks to ensure that no one else can shoot it.

            Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

            by bkamr on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:48:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  If we force gun owners to lock guns.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..only outlaws will have unlocked guns, and.. umm.. look at the video games!

    There are no responsible gun owners.  There is a very large group of gun owners who have not yet been proven to be irresponsible, but that's not the same thing.  

    All it takes is one extra drink, one delayed trip back to the gun safe, one forgotten moment when a child sneaks into the bedroom, one strange noise in a darkened entryway, or any number of other instantaneous situations where a bad decision marks someone as forever being 'irresponsible' in their gun ownership.  This means, of course, that the rest of the gun culture doesn't have to take any responsibility for the actions of those who happened to cross the line they all walk so carefully.


    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:44:41 AM PST

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