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There is a diversity of opinion about gun policy on Daily Kos, and I respect the viewpoints of the spectrum of Kossacks on this issue.   But I believe there is at least one area of gun policy where there is near universal agreement on, and that's universal background checks.   Doing so would make 100% of all legal gun purchases subject to it, rather than 60% and would likely keep more people who cannot lawfully possess a gun under the 1968 Gun Control Act from being able to get a gun.   By itself, universal background checks won't stop a determined person from illegally obtaining a gun however it will make it more difficult without placing an undue burden on law-abiding citizens and gun dealers who operate in good faith.   I do believe that the RKBA(Right to Keep and Bear Arms) group would not take issue with more enforcement of current background checks laws either.   When 92% of all Americans, 89% of Republicans and 85% of all NRA members support this policy, it is time for everyone to at least come together on this policy and get it done.  I believe that everyone here on Daily Kos wants less gun deaths, whether they are RASA(Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment) or RKBA or somewhere in between.   I am hopeful that as we come together in areas of common agreement, we can produce light from this and not the heat that comes with the Rox vs Sux fights or the I/P threads.

Originally posted to pistolSO on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:23:11 PM PST

  •  You'd probably be wrong (7+ / 0-)

    The more outspoken gun fans I have on other social channels are pretty much against universal background checks, because they believe that in order to implement them you'd have to register all guns - and that is the first step to government confiscation.

    Get them past that hurdle and they might be more inclined to go along with you, but even then I think the gun activist crowd is set against imposing any kind of new controls on gun ownership.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:30:02 PM PST

    •  If Diarist is Quoting a Real Statistic About %'s (7+ / 0-)

      that support background checks, it would seem we don't need to convince any more citizens.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:39:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's an irrational fear. (6+ / 0-)

      I don't believe in backdoors and I am pretty sure that the Democratic Party is trying for exactly what they say they are.   I know that some here on Daily Kos are for gun registration(myself included).  I don't see universal background checks as a path to do gun registration.

      Obama is the sort that would say that he wanted gun registration if that was his goal.   The Kossacks here that support that are similar.

      Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

      by pistolSO on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:41:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's Simply the Mechanics (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, Dogs are fuzzy, Catesby

        Without registration, there is simply no way to enforce universal background checks. If I have a Winchester shotgun, which is not registered, and you want to buy it, I can sell it to you and there is no record of the transfer. ONLY if my shotgun was registered would there be any real need to go to a dealer and incur the additional cost of having a background check run.

        Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

        by The Baculum King on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:17:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It might be possible to get compliance to the law (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CA wildwoman

          without registration.   Another set of reforms proposed include stiffer penalties to straw purchasers and I think most people have the decency to not want to let a fugitive, a person convicted of domestic abuse or a person adjudicated too mentally ill to have a gun to have a gun.   You could also find a way to give tax credits for people who voluntarily enter their gun information into a secure database.

          I think some PSAs aimed at gun owners after universal background checks are passed will do some help in encouraging them to do the background checks.

          Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

          by pistolSO on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:27:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  not necessarily (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CA wildwoman

          In California, long guns aren't registered (yet: that changes next year). But you can still buy and sell them as private parties. What happens is that you go into an FFL, which means the 4473 and state Dealer Record of Sale for the buyer, as well as the state waiting period and background check.

          So the make, model, and serial number of the gun are captured at the point of sale. The only clumsy part of this is that while the state doesn't keep a long gun registry yet, there is a handgun registry. But even though you have to go through an FFL to sell the handgun, the state registry doesn't automatically update. You'd need to fill out a separate form and mail it in to record that it's no longer in your possession. I don't remember if there's a fee involved.

    •  the ones who fear confiscation are also the (7+ / 0-)

      ones who think states can nullify federal laws, that the moon landing was staged and that Obama is a secret Muslim.  That may be 27% or so of the population.  However, among responsible gun owners, I think you will find little resistance to more in depth registration and even support once they figure out that such a system would assist in recovering stolen weapons

      •  Hey, you are wrong. Factually wrong. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kentucky Kid, Catesby

        There certainly are things that lie outside of the federal jurisdiction to legislate. Remember, one of the most common foundations upon which federal legislation rests is the interstate commerce clause - and if it doesn't have any affect on commerce from state to state then the list of viable legal foundations for a new bit of US Code becomes much shorter.

        Case in point is the affordable care act - the federal level of government is not allowed to do that mandate under the commerce clause. However, the law is allowed under the congress's specific power to tax. If it couldn't have been considered a tax, it might have been ruled unconstitutional. Who knows what might have been in a what if scenario, what I know is that the ACA ruling is proof of my claim.

        So, it is factually true that the states can nullify a federal law, but ONLY if the federal law is not rooted in one of the specific powers that were granted to the federal level of government.

        And for our foreign participants, let's get this straight... The UK government is constructed so that it holds powers and rights and grants rights to those citizens.
        It's the other way around over here. The people over here are the originators of powers and rights, and we delegate specific powers to the various levels of government. Notice that the first amendment isn't written as if the people were being granted permission to speak, it is written as a prohibition against any laws that would infringe on speech.

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:19:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  please clarify: you are saying nullification (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          exlrrp, mrblifil

          such as John C Calhoun championed is valid or that I am wrong that people exist who believe states have the power of nullification?

          •  I am saying (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catesby, gerrilea, CA wildwoman

            for a very narrow set of circumstances, nullification exists.

            VERY NARROW.

            Calhoun tried to apply it to a set of circumstances where nullification was not a legal option.
            He was wrong, because he thought the states were able to nullify anything. His view was too broad.
            Many folks walk around right now thinking that the federal government can make any law and that such law will have automatic supremacy over any state law - they are wrong, their view is too narrow.

            And "nullification" more as a verb, not the noun form. As used in the sentence, "The state of texas nullified the healthcare mandate through the commerce clause, but the mandate survived because it also involves the power to tax that was specifically delegated to the congress."


            The federal government is given powers and abilities by the people. The constitution specifically gives the federal congress the power to tax. The constitution specifically assigns the power to declare war to the congress, while specifically giving the power of commander in chief to the executive. The constitution specifically gives the congress the power to regulate interstate commerce.

            While the federal government may pass any law it wants, only those laws that involve the powers that the Fed branches were specifically given will withstand a challenge.

            Case in point, the affordable care act.

            28 states challenged the constitutionality of the affordable care act. See them listed here

            And according to the ruling itself, in this PDF
            on page 2 we get:

            The Federal Government “is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers.” Ibid. That is, rather than granting general authority to perform all the conceivable functions of government, the Constitution lists, orenumerates, the Federal Government’s powers. Congressmay, for example, “coin Money,” “establish Post Offices,”and “raise and support Armies.” Art. I, §8, cls. 5, 7, 12. The enumeration of powers is also a limitation of powers, because “[t]he enumeration presupposes something not enumerated.” Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 195 (1824).The Constitution’s express conferral of some powersmakes clear that it does not grant others.
            So that supports my claim that there are things the feds cannot do.

            Then there are many pages of the ruling where they go over the claim that the federal government can mandate because of commerce, which is not the legalese that folks usually expect from scotus, before finally on page 27 they state:

            The individual mandate forces individuals into commerce precisely because they elected to refrain from commercial activity. Such a law cannot be sustained under a clause authorizing Congress to “regulate Commerce.”
            So, the states prevailed on that argument. They and their people are not subject to the mandate through the commerce clause.

            However, starting on page 31, we get:

            That is not the end of the matter. Because the Commerce Clause does not support the individual mandate, itis necessary to turn to the Government’s second argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s enumerated power to “lay and collect Taxes.” Art. I, §8, cl. 1
            And that one comes through for the Feds.

            Of note is that the court treats the 'penalty' as if it were a tax, not caring all that much about what it is named but caring more about what it actually does. In that way, with attention to the function and not the label, essentially the states nullified the mandate/commerce clause pairing because it was unconstitutional. That's the fundamental core of the theory, that a state believes something is unconstitutional and challenges it. For slavery, the south challenged the law and lost - so clearly the right of blacks to vote was constitutional. For the Care Act, 28 states challenged the law and won a minor battle - because an aspect of the law was unconstitutional.

            I'm sorry if that's still not clear to you. I hope it's enough that I can point to states being successful in saying something the feds did wasn't allowed, and that example being from just last year.

            It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

            by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:46:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  interstate commerce is an example of where (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JayFromPA, mrblifil, CA wildwoman

              the federal government has been able to assert itself into what before was considered the province of the state.  Despite nullification being possible in very narrow and well defined circumstances, at the same time, nullification as understood at Red State and Hot Air is no longer possible

              •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea, CA wildwoman

                Yep, commerce has been a winning angle for the feds for a long time. But this time it they were shut down. And a good thing too, I think it's a good thing to remind folks that there are limitations that can't be surpassed.

                I haven't heard of Hot Air before.

                It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

                by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:21:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Registration Leads Directly to Confiscation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dogs are fuzzy

        Ask anybody in California who registered their SKS.

        Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

        by The Baculum King on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:18:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  more information please; not doubting you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CA wildwoman

          but I am unfamiliar what you are referring to and there have been so many assertions in this discussion.  I welcome all information but when I google the issue I find that the sites I am directed to are all advocacy sites

        •  If they were going house to house to confiscate (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alain2112, mrblifil, CA wildwoman

          guns they wouldn't necessarily need gun registrations.  You all are tagged and have been tagged for years.

          Lists of gun purchases from stores.

          Lists of ammunition purchases from stores.

          Shooting range transactions.

          Membership lists to pro-gun organizations (like the NRA itself).

          Lists of purchases of certain bumper stickers.

          Credit card or check purchases from any store or organization ties to gun purchases or pro-gun material.

          I don't think there were actually any SKS guns confiscated.  I'm not finding any numbers of guns confiscated.  I'm not finding any door to door confiscation. The most I have been able to find is a gif picture of a letter that said that retro-registration wasn't legal.  And to be legal your registration had to be pre-1982 or something like that.  And the 1998 amnesty registrations weren't legal.

          My gun control petition was shot down.

          by 88kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:25:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Doing a google search 'CA SKS confiscation' leads (0+ / 0-)

          to a bunch of oft repeated but unsubstantiated sentences about gun confiscation (SKS) by a lot of pro-gun sites.

          There are some stories of stupidity where a weapon that was unsecured & used in a criminal situation was kept by the police -well duh!
          Lots of 'I just' & 'but I only' and the like.

          One NRA member made a public show in January 1998 of turning his SKS in to local law enforcement when the laws changed in 1997.

          Dan Lungren was a big part of the legal confusion & stupidity at the time - well, duh again!

          Man, there's a whole lot of crazies out there who love their guns more than life itself - their own life & the lives of people around them.

          And they don't understand why their neighbors aren't on their side.

          Personally, I would like there to be a list of these people, for community safety.
          And extensive background checks with an updated national database.

          Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

          by CA wildwoman on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:52:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Statistics disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CA wildwoman, pistolSO

      Support for robust background check over 90%. There are very few public polling issues that return such a result.

  •  This seems to be a good starting point. (10+ / 0-)

    There seems little to disagree with here.  It dovetails nicely with many gun owners belief that our underlying problems stem from mental health.  This could be coupled with accessible healthcare, which I think both sides agree with.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:39:22 PM PST

    •  Mental health care. (6+ / 0-)

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:39:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  definitely, while there continues to be outrage (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, a2nite, CA wildwoman

        on this site about recent incidents, we have to remember that other countries have a completely different approach to mental health and rehabilitation of inmates.  I remember the reaction online when it was revealed it was possible under Norwegian law for Anders Behring Breivik to possibly go free one day (though not probable)

        The problem currently is too many people are willing to lump those with mental health problems in with felons when it comes to suggesting solutions

    •  Weeeeelllllllll (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, pistolSO, mrblifil
      This could be coupled with accessible healthcare, which I think both sides agree with.
      This would require the Republicans to reverse themselves on mental healthcare funding and to also admit that government should be involved in healthcare at all. I will not be holding my breadth

      Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

      by jsfox on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:44:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have no objection to gun owner insurance (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, pistolSO, a2nite

      so long as I can tie it to my homeowner's policy and my umbrella policy.  

      •  You are one in a million, probably literally. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, a2nite, entlord

        High Unitas had a suggestion about this that seemed practical to me: a small tax on guns and ammunition to go into a pool for victims of gun crimes/accidents.  This would provide money to victims that would come from where it should - guns owners.  Or mor accurately, gun users.

        Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

        by Smoh on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:11:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn autocorrect. Uintas (0+ / 0-)

          Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

          by Smoh on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:12:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If the tax is a small percentage (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pistolSO, entlord

          and fixed in the code with a high threshold requirement to increase it, then I can support that. I don't want it to become a burden on those who are of limited means. I think at least part of the money should go to the ATF for enforcement.

          A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by notrouble on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:47:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd love to help fund ATF this way. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pistolSO, notrouble

            Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

            by Smoh on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:25:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Simple taxation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CA wildwoman

              should be more than sufficient to fund ATF. As is the case for the SEC in the financial district, the bad actors are the ones buying the politicians who determine funding. So these agencies assigned important regulatory tasks are left to die on the vine with preposterously small budgets and drastically insufficient staffing. On purpose.

              The gas tax is different because so many millions of people use the roads, which are expensive to maintain and without which business cannot function. But the gun owning community is not so enormous or active that we can expect to generate huge funds from taxing gun sales, or the like. We're all our brother's keepers. We should all be paying for ATF to do their jobs. If victims of gun violence have little recourse when it comes to medical expenses, that's hardly going to be eased by a sales tax scenario. If the plight of victims in general were important to this country, we wouldn't be locked up in this phony quandary in the first place, we would simply apply Australian rules and be done.

              •  I disagree. There should be a fund for victims. (0+ / 0-)

                And it should be funded by those buying guns and ammo.  It seems like at least you don't care about the plight of victims.

                Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

                by Smoh on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:27:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  no problem so long as it is literally a small (4+ / 0-)

          tax and does not become a tool for  banning some people from owning weapons.  I have seen some folks advocating using the same tactics the wingers are using to skirt Roe and to de facto ban abortion through regulation.  Any time on any issue I see advocacy that we adopt winger tactics, I become wary  

  •  I'd favor universal background checks (6+ / 0-)

    on condition the databases were kept up to date -- that means funding somebody to handle the data input, and protecting that funding too.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:40:30 PM PST

  •  I have no objection to such checks (5+ / 0-)

    since all of my purchases have been through an FFL dealer.  Such a system would make it easier to recover stolen firearms.  As it is now, even if a weapon is registered, until it is either used in a crime, found in a traffic stop or presented for pawn or some other method which would lead to a check of serial #, it cannot be recovered.

  •  Is 'having no objections' the same as 'working (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, notrouble, a2nite, CA wildwoman

    to get' universal background checks adopted?   Is the truce still too fragile to merge these two?

    My gun control petition was shot down.

    by 88kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:32:56 PM PST

    •  I would love for all Kossacks to work together (4+ / 0-)

      to get a standalone universal background check bill passed.  I would like all sides here on Daily Kos to be able to talk in a calm and respectful way about gun policies.

      One way would be to work together on what we agree on, and let what we disagree on wait for another day.   I think this country is finally ready to start a real and meaningful conservation on guns and gun policy.  Let's build on that, and try to reach consensus instead of dividing ourselves.

      Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

      by pistolSO on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:03:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  we have this in Massachusetts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, JohnnyBoston, CA wildwoman

    nobody has ever been convicted of an illegal transfer.

  •  Some problems with universal background checks . (4+ / 0-)

    300,000,000 guns in circulation .
    What is to keep people from making sales / deals outside the background check system ?
    Those 300 million guns are for the most part not tagged as belonging to any one person , they can change hands without any red flags going up .
    500,000 guns a year stolen , obviously outside the background check system .

    I'm not saying don't do background checks ,
    I'm saying that this late in the game ,
    don't think its more than it is .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:51:00 PM PST

    •  That's Why It Leads to Registration (0+ / 0-)

      Without registration, background checks are voluntary, and registration will get fought tooth and nail because it can, and has, lead to confiscation.

      Fine to implement universal background checks, just don't expect it to actually accomplish much.

      Those who want guns will always be able to get them, all Laws affect is the price. Kinda like drugs.

      Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

      by The Baculum King on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:06:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Once you have universal background checks in place (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, CA wildwoman

      There is more room to go after the straw purchasers and those who fragrant background check violators during an investigation after a gun crime has been committed.   Charging them as accessories before the fact and making it is widely publicized when they are convicted will help ensure compliance with the law.

      To me, once we have universal background checks, a person who sells a gun without bothering to check to see if the purchaser can legally have a gun is showing "depraved indifference to human life".

      I also think that the gun theft problem should be addressed.   In the very least, PSAs about proper gun storage and security might help lessen the chance of guns being stolen.

      Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

      by pistolSO on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:09:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lets say I have a gun , (5+ / 0-)

        I bought it 2nd hand out of a car trunk ,
        nobody knows I have it , I sell it to a person who goes to Las Vegas and tries to rob a casino . How do you tie me to the crime ?
        I don't know the buyer , he doesn't know me , I "never" owned the thing .

        Imho , we need to do far more than just universal background checks .

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:42:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It should be really really hard to transfer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrblifil, CA wildwoman

          ownership responsibility.  It isn't.

          There is no keep in the right to keep and bear arms.

          If we want to make gun ownership more sticky, the gun owners say we want to take their guns.  Because if we know they own guns, we will take them away.

          It is such a circular argument, with no solve. I have yet to hear a gun owner proposal except 'arm everybody'.   Can there ever be a consensus?

          My gun control petition was shot down.

          by 88kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:33:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing's 100% effective, of course (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil, CA wildwoman, pistolSO

      But keep in mind most gun owners are law-abiding and most do not want to sell their firearms to someone who is legally not permitted to own a firearm. The universal background check is a way for the private seller to have security that if he or she sells a firearm to someone, that person's ID and fingerprints are on file with the federal government and a background check will be run.

  •  Count me as one of the supporters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman, pistolSO

    I like the way California has it set up: you want to sell a gun, you have to go to an FFL who processes the transaction, which includes the normal 4473 procedure and background check.

    The state sets a flat rate for the process and every FFL has to perform the private party transfer. They're not allowed to refuse or add any extra charge. In other words, the law increases public safety while at the same time not being arbitrary or particularly onerous for gun owners.

    Something similar on a national level isn't a bad idea.

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