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For those who read this diary, if you choose to comment please abide by the recommendations of Puddytat, Puddy's Own Rules for Comments, which you can find here.  I also recommend the Talk Me Down service of Courtesy Kos as an alternative to flame wars and HRs.  Thanks for your consideration - Steven D

Introduction

A lot of people in the wake of the Newtown massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School have proposed various and often contradictory solutions to preventing gun violence.  On the extremes, some have called for a ban on all firearms, while others suggest that we need more guns in the hands of more people in more places.  Certainly everyone can agree that it would be best if gun violence in this country didn't exist, but that's simply wishful thinking.  

Human Beings are by nature a violent species.  Civilized societies in the developed world have to some extent limited or curtailed violence in certain places at certain times.  However, in the absence of a strong and viable law enforcement and justice system that is seen as generally fair, a populace that respects and participates actively in civil affairs and a prosperous economy, violence as a general rule is endemic in human societies.  As a general rule, the less stable a region of the world, politically and economically, the higher the rate of criminal and political violence.  

America's Multiple Gun Violence Problems

Among nations in the developed world, the United States currently is ranked higher in gun violence, and violent crime in general, than other developed nations.  The level of violence does not match that of many less stable, less developed countries in Africa or Latin America, for example, but among our "peers" America is the nation with the highest rate of gun violence.

According to statistics compiled by the FBI under its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, guns were used in 66% of all homicides from 2000-2008, with handguns representing 51% of all murders.  (source: http://www.census.gov/...).  In terms of numbers 86,112 were murdered using guns for that period.  Please note that this figure does not include gun deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident. Nor does it included deaths ruled by police as justifiable homicides.  Of gun homicides and other gun violence, the vast majority of them occur in metropolitan areas, with higher incidents of homicide among individuals with criminal records and/or a history of domestic violence.  

Only a small percentage of gun violence results from mass shooting incidents such as the ones in Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT. There have been at least 62 mass shooting incidents since 1982.  However, the number of such incidents has risen over the six  years, with 25 mass shootings since 2006.  (Source: Mother Jones, "A Guide to Mass Shootings in America").  

In general, each year, the majority of gun deaths in America - roughly 30,000 per year - result from suicide; e.g., 19,932 gun suicides in 2010 versus 11,032 gun homicides (source: CDC, i.e., National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), National Vital Statistics System.
Produced by: Office of Statistics and Programming, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control).  Among Americans, guns are the most common means of committing suicide, representing roughly one half of all those who kill themselves in the United States.  Some studies have shown a statistically significant correlation between gun deaths and households in which guns are present, though obviously the research in this area has been limited by Congress' refusal to allocate funds for research on gun violence by the CDC and NIH.

A smaller percentage of gun deaths are the result of accidental shootings, though there is a much higher rate of people who were wounded but survived an accident involving gunfire.  For example, in 2007, for each 100,000 people in America, 5.21 suffered a nonfatal accidental shooting injury.  For that same year, per 100,000 people, only .20 people died from an accidental shooting.  These statistic vary from year to year, but 2007 falls within the normal range of about 4% of accidental shooting victims suffering a fatal injury. (Source: CDC databases via this link).  

So we have several different gun violence issues in America.  Let's enumerate them:

1.  Suicides

2.  Accidents

3.  Gun violence in Urban Areas, usually related to criminal activity

4.  Guns used in Domestic Violence

5.  Mass Shooting Incidents
I think it is safe to say that, absent a complete ban on all firearms (which would require the repeal of the 2nd amendment), gun violence will be a continuing problem in America.  As a nation, we own more guns, and more guns per capita, than any other country on earth.  Those guns are not going to disappear overnight.  Furthermore, I also think it safe to say that there is no one overarching solution to every gun problem I've identified above, at least from a practical standpoint.

Laws and educational programs promoting gun safety among gun owners is unlikely to have much impact on gun suicides.  A ban on high capacity magazines and military style "assault weapons" might help limit the slaughter and the number of mass shooting incidents, as might tighter restrictions on who can buy firearms (see, e.g., Australia).  However, with the large number of handguns already in the hands of Americans, legally or illegally, it's difficult to project how effective such measures might be.

As for increasing funding to make mental health resources available to more people, I'm all for it.  I question the commitment and political will of Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures to take that step, however.  Republicans have consistently opposed funding for mental health since the days of Ronald Reagan.  Furthermore, simply providing better treatment for the mentally ill is not necessarily going to reduce gun violence unless it is part of a regulatory scheme that does a better job  at preventing firearms from being acquired by people with a history of mental illness, emotional problems, suicidal tendencies or a history of violent behavior.

Nonetheless, though I'm pointing out various difficulties we face on confronting our nation's "addiction" to guns (a word I find adequately describes the surfeit of firearms Americans possess and our collective attitude toward guns), taking no action is not an option in my opinion.  The economic cost to our society from the levels of gun violence is frighteningly high, but even more so is the social and moral cost we all incur.  How many lives are ruined by gun violence each year?  By that calculus, saving even one life is worth the effort.

Not every proposed solution to gun violence is likely to address each of these very different problems.  However, we do need to consider our various options.  Here are four I recommend.

Four Proposed Actions

So let's examine four measures that can be taken that might limit gun violence in America.  These proposals are representative and are not intended to provide a complete and comprehensive solution to the issue of gun violence, but one has to start somewhere.

Identify and Prosecute Gun Dealers Who Disproportionately Sell Firearms Used in Gun Violence

We know that a small number of gun dealers are linked to sales of firearms that end up in the hands of criminals or individuals who are prohibited from owning a gun.  Let's examine just one state, the state of Virginia, where a small number of dealers sell a disproportionate number of the guns that ultimately are used to commit crimes.

A year-long Washington Post investigation broke through the congressionally imposed secrecy surrounding federal gun tracing and, for the first time, has identified the dealers that sell the majority of "crime guns" in Virginia. There have been thousands of firearms dealers licensed in the state since 1998, but 60 percent of the 6,800 guns sold in Virginia in that time and later seized by police can be traced to just 40 dealers. The merchants include mom-and-pop gun shops, inner-city pawn dealers and suburban sporting-goods outlets.

The data highlight long-standing questions about the role of gun sellers in fueling crime. Do these dealers bear any responsibility for how their guns are used? Is law enforcement sufficiently focused on whether they are doing enough to prevent "straw purchases" for criminals?

Academic experts and law enforcement officials argue that gun traces can be used to help identify dealers that, knowingly or not, are selling guns to traffickers. Gun rights activists counter that the tracing unfairly tarnishes dealers and merely reflects the volume of weapons sold. But the Virginia records reinforce studies by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and others that show volume is only part of the equation. The 40 dealers account for about 30 percent of the state's gun sales, but their guns make up almost two-thirds of those seized and reported to State Police.

It seems reasonable to me that concentrating law enforcement resources on dealers who, knowingly or not, are involved in a process that ultimately puts guns into the hands of individuals who already are not lawfully permitted to own or possess firearms, should be one of the first steps we should take.  This will require additional funding for ATF and other federal and state law enforcement agencies so they have the resources and manpower to crack down on these dealers and the networks that employ straw purchases to acquire guns for unlawful trafficking to criminals and others not entitled to purchase firearms legally.  However, it would be money well spent in my view.

Ban High Capacity Magazines

I understand the thrill that some people get from shooting off dozens of rounds of ammunition in rapid succession, but it seems to me that the entertainment some receive from through such activities does not justify making high capacity magazines available to anyone who can afford to buy them. We know that the Tuscon, Aurora and Newtown killers all purchased and used thirty to 100 round magazines for their weapons to increase the amount of carnage they could generate over a brief period of time before law enforcement could arrive on the scene.  High capacity magazines make sense for military operations and mass murderers.  For everyone else?  Not so much.

This is a no-brainer for me, though I know there are people who resist the idea.  I would advocate for a very stringent law, making the sale of any high capacity magazine a felony immediately.  I'd also require owners of large capacity magazines no more than three years maximum to turn them in to law enforcement for compensation.  After three years, ownership of existing high capacity magazines would be illegal.  I admit I don't know how the courts would treat such a law, though I'd like to believe that they would view it as a rational restriction based on public safety.  Which leads me to my next idea.

Gun Licenses

We require proficiency tests and a license to drive a car.  At the very least, a gun owner or user should be required to take a mandatory training on how to properly use, maintain and keep their guns safe.  Gun owners should be required to pass a test before acquiring a license to own a gun, or if a family member, use a gun owned by another person.  Again, this doesn't prevent anyone from owning a gun, it simply insures they have had a minimum level of knowledge regarding using guns safely. Even in my state of New York, a permit to own a rifle or other long gun is not mandatory (though many local gun clubs with gun ranges do require safety classes before they will allow people to use their range).  It seems logical to me that of you want to exercise your right to own a gun, you also should have to demonstrate that you can do so responsibly and safely.

Licensing requirements could also be another means to weed out individuals who have criminal records, mental health issues, persons with a history of domestic violence, etc.  This would work best in my opinion as a federal program so that the standards for obtaining a license are universal across all states. Once you obtain a license, you could purchase guns in any state by simply showing your license, though I would retain the mandatory background check by gun dealers to cover changes in the status of a person's right to a gun license (e.g., to cover situations where a person has committed a felony since a license was originally issued).  

Under my proposal, arrests for felonies, a history of domestic abuse, commitment to a mental health institution, or attempted suicide, with or without a gun, would result in mandatory suspension of the license or the right to obtain a license, a suspension that could be lifted only by an adjudication that the individual was no longer subject to conviction, or no longer a risk to self or to others.  In the case of a felony conviction (or conviction for violation of any gun law, or criminal violations that involve the use of violence against another person, regardless of whether they are felonies or not) the right to a gun license would be revoked permanently.   I'd also add a provision requiring gun owners to renew their license every five to ten years.  A federal tax on gun sales could fund the licensing program, much like the federal tax on gasoline funds highway maintenance.  The ATF would seem the appropriate agency to manage a gun licensing program.

I expect a lot of gun owners may take offense at such requirements, and find them too onerous.  My response is that if you can put up with the requirements to obtain a driver's license, you can handle the requirements for a gun license.The NRA always claims it represents responsible gun owners.  Well, I believe responsible gun owners should welcome laws to make gun ownership safer.

Improve Databases for Persons Not Entitled Under Current Law to Own Firearms

One of the major flaws in our current system of mandatory gun checks is the lack of complete information regarding all individuals who under current law are prohibited from purchasing a gun.  A background check doesn't do much good if the database being used is incomplete such as is the case in Minnesota, among other states.

"Gun control alone is not going to solve the complex problem of guns and extreme violence. We have an access problem, and the severely mentally ill should never have access to guns," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said at a news conference. [...]

Among the concerns are incomplete records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is relied upon by gun sellers to determine whether an individual is allowed to buy a gun. Some key information regarding felony and drug convictions, along with mental-health court orders, have not been entered. Stanek said they want to see this information submitted within 24 hours in electronic format to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension so it can be uploaded immediately to the background check system.

The failure of the current system is what allowed the Virginia Tech shooter to obtain the weapons he used to kill thirty two people and wound seventeen others.
In 2007, Virginia Tech shooter Seung-hui Cho passed two background checks without a problem even though two years earlier he had been found to be a danger to himself and others.

Confusion over the language in the law meant his name was never added to the federal database. After that incident, Congress took steps to encourage states to beef up reporting — but the problem still persists.

"Mental health records are woefully incomplete," says Duke professor Philip Cook, who studies gun violence. "There are something like 30 states that do not submit records."

If this requires additional federal funding or legislation to ensure that all states are submitting all of their relevant records, then that seems to me reasonable actions to take.  I doubt we need billions of dollars to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, but we do need the political will of our  politicians and support from their constituents, especially those who are responsible gun owners.  Frankly, I can't think of any responsible person, gun owner or not, who would oppose improving the national database we use for mandatory background checks.

A Not So Final Word

This diary is not meant as a comprehensive overview of our gun violence issues, nor of the measures we can take to ameliorate those problems.  I am well aware that some may disagree with my analysis of the problem, and the four specific proposals contained in the diary.  I recognize that many of you may see the issue differently than I, and/or have other solutions you prefer to those I discuss here.  You are welcome to raise your own recommended actions in the comments, as well as provide constructive criticism of the proposals I do discuss.  I would suggest, however, that if you object to taking any action whatsoever to address gun violence in the United States, you would be better off not commenting at all.  This is a diary intended to stimulate debate and reasonable discourse on what can be done, not why its best to do nothing at all. If your only contribution is to simply state that all proposals are an infringement on 2nd amendment rights this probably isn't the diary for you.

The same applies to anyone who thinks the only solution is to ban all firearms.  Absent a repeal of the 2nd amendment, that just is not going to happen, and I don't foresee a successful campaign to repeal that amendment happening anytime soon, if ever.  It's easy to rag on gun owners as selfish, reckless, unfeeling and crazy right wing individuals, but that's a stereotype that I have found simply doesn't apply  to a majority of people who own guns.  Are there people who stockpile weapons and join self-identified "militias."  Sure, but that represents a subset of all people who own guns.  Painting all gun owners as fetishists or members of a cult does little to advance dialogue on the issue of gun violence.  

All that said, I recognize this is a hot button topic at this site for many people.  However, just because a topic is "controversial" is not a reason to avoid reasoned discussion.  Nor should that discussion necessarily devolve into a meaningless and disrespectful discourse.  As a community we can and should act better than a bunch of monkeys flinging their feces at one another.  At least I hope we can.

Originally posted to Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:22 AM PST.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  licensing is about as politically feasible (12+ / 0-)

    as repealing the second.  so the question then becomes how we change that, and I think eliminating the ban on research funding could go quite a ways toward that.

    great point about going after dealers whose guns disproportionately wind up used in crimes.

    •  I agree that gun licensing (23+ / 0-)

      at the federal level may be a long term goal and not an immediate one, but I don't agree that it is impossible.  Thirty years ago no one had strict drunk driving laws.  Now we do.  I didn't want to just propose easy measure certain to gain favor with everyone right off the bat.  Licensing would be a hard fight, but worth pursuing, imo.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:51:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everyone can remember taking a test... (10+ / 0-)

        they had to pass before they could legally drive a car.

        There is little difference, in terms of danger to life and limb, between cars and guns. About the same number of people die each year as a result of each.

        See the link, and the text above.

        Thus, a similarly comprehensive test should be administered regarding cars and guns, and titles should be issued for each gun just like it is for each car, and all changes in ownership in each gun needs to be registered, just like it is for cars.

        I do not understand why this is such a problem. The right to own a gun does not mean the right cannot be regulated. This is the case with respect to every right under the Sun.

        I think we just have to keep repeating the necessity for this regulation, over and over, and it will come to pass, just as the insane drug war is slowly coming to an end.

        We just can't give up, or stop.

        Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved - Aristotle

        by PhotogHog on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:22:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  require insurance, too (7+ / 0-)

          Gun shot victims shouldn't have to pay for the ineptness of gun owners, be it through unsafe storage or deliberate mis-use.

          •  handguns must have liability insurance.....n/t (4+ / 0-)
            •  Calling for liability insurance is another (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              notrouble

              non starter and has no real practical value.
              It is in essence nothing more than an underhanded way to try to effectively ban all firearms by placing an undo financial burden on gun owners and backdoor regulation through the use of private institutions.

              It also tells a lot about who you view as the enemy and the threat in terms of gun owners by implicating that it is the licensed lawful handgun owners that are the problem.  As long as these people remain the target of regulation you will achieve nothing but resistance.

              Besides, do you think for one minute that the criminals, gang members, or anyone else that is going to commit a crime is going to bother to obtain insurance?  Do you realistically think that the non-complaince rate for such a requirement would not be far in excess of the similar requirements for automobile insurance?

              •  It makes the gun owners pay (4+ / 0-)

                For gun damages.

                After all, car insurance isn't bought by everyone either, but we all help to pay for the costs caused by damages done by cars.

                We have a gun, and I'm thinking that paying insurance on it would be reasonable. It might even help us if something happens.

                Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                by splashy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:03:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  OMG! You want them to be held accountable! Never! (0+ / 0-)

                  They would rather die than to be held accountable for over 100k people getting shot every year.

                  Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

                  by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:53:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  So your solution is to make people who have (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KVoimakas

                  done nothing wrong and committed no crime pay for the actions of an element of society that they are not part of and have no control over.   That sure makes a hell of a lot of sense.  You may not agree with their choice to own or posses guns and that is fine but your ability to make them PAY for the consequences of others DOES NOT EXIST.  What you propose is akin to making anyone who drinks alcohol at home PAY because some stupid asshole goes to a bar and drives home drunk.  I am sure you have made plenty of lifestyle and other personal choices that others don't agree with and nobody is calling to make you PAY for those choices.

                  This liability insurance nonsense is just about one of the dumbest suggestions that has come out of this whole incident.

          •  Cory - gun owners already have civil liability (6+ / 0-)

            for gun accidents.

            Is liability insurance readily available for insuring guns for accidental injuries or property damage? It's unlikely any insurance company would cover criminal acts.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:35:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Part 1 irrelevant, part 2 false. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cory Bantic

              Part 1: Civil liability just means they can be sued.  Which is useless when the victim is dead, or when the perp isn't rich. (That is, 99.99% useless.)

              Part 2: Flat out false. There are already insurers in this market -- including the NRA that sells "toy" policies with a few thousand dollar payout cap.

              "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

              by nosleep4u on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:41:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  nosleep4u - I looked at the NRA insurance (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kickemout

                and all I could find was insurance for the theft of guns, but I may have missed the liability insurance. If you have a link I would like to read the policy. My question was are there insurance providers, so if you know of some please give me a link as I am very interested in this topic.

                Part 1 - if the gun is used in a crime the perp will be prosecuted and criminal activity is unlikely to be insurable. The estate of victims of all kinds of accidents and intentional harm sue in civil courts all the time. How is this different from the uninsured, or under insured, motorist who causes death, injury, or property damage?

                One other concern regarding insurance is a Heller issue. Some legal analysts believe that any tax, fee, or insurance that is added to the cost of purchasing a firearm for the purpose of making them more expensive, and therefore less accessible, may have a Heller issue.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:46:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nope. No insurance policy for ANYTHING.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas

                will cover criminal acts of the insured, to the best of my knowledge.

        •  not true (6+ / 0-)
          There is little difference, in terms of danger to life and limb, between cars and guns. About the same number of people die each year as a result of each.
          there are roughly three times as many automobile deaths per year than gun-related deaths.

          http://www.cdc.gov/...

              Motor vehicle traffic deaths

                  Number of deaths: 33,687
                  Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.9

          http://www.cdc.gov/...
              Firearm homicides

                  Number of deaths: 11,078
                  Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.6

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:56:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We pretty much do treat guns like autos (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, wishbone

          Before you take either out onto public property, you have to have some sort of license.  If you keep either on private property, there is little to no regulation.

        •  You don't really want to regulate guns like cars (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas

          I know you don't, because that would mean treating them the way this blog describes:
          http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/...

          In a nutshell, it would mean allowing guns to be carried pretty much anywhere, high school on how to shoot, allowing them permits until they're old enough to take an easy test for a carry license, free or low-cost public storage for firearms, no background checks whatsoever, very low liability insurance, and no need to pay registration fees or insurance if you plan to keep and use the firearm on your own property.

      •  Exactly, yes, it's long term. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashy, DefendOurConstitution

        Same argument used against everything from women's suffrage and civil rights down to drunk driving laws and buckle-up.

        "Oh, it's too hard" is a silly argument.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:38:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  licensing may not be nearly as problematic as (0+ / 0-)

        you might think.  Most states already have licensing requirements to carry concealed handguns in public.  Licensing of owners and issuing permits to possess and use would be an extension of an already existing system.

        One of the salient points that needs to be keep in mind is that the average person with a gun permit already has a much lower level of crime on average than the normal population.  Restrictions and "control" that targets these individuals while doing little nothing to stop criminal activity is a large part of why demands for (people) control is getting such poor reception.

        •  Licensing for public carry (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PavePusher, KVoimakas

          is pretty clearly constitutional, so long as such licenses are "shall issue"... here's the requirements, they're not so onerous or expensive as to significantly burden exercise of the right, and if you meet them, the government can't deny you the license.

          Discretionary issue and a requirement to prove, to the satisfaction of the State, that you need a license likely won't stand up.

          Licensing for mere ownership won't, either.

          I don't know either of thse things, as hte relevant cases are still winding their slow way through the Federal courts, but that's the way I think it will go.

          But everybody needs to look at their preferred policy through the lenses of Heller and McDonald... the legal ground has shifted by more than many realize. A lot of stuff that would have been constitutional ten years ago wouldn't be now.

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:16:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with your above statements (0+ / 0-)

            I have become of the mindset that licensing of the individual may be a means to address the majority of the concerns of the non gun persons, while providing a means to enhance the rights of those who choose to do so.  The key element being "shall issue" and not creating an excessive barrier.  For example, the current permit system still leaves too many places off limits to carrying individuals.  I also recognize that the current system is pretty much a lowest common denominator system.  I would advocate for optional advanced training and certification that removes restrictions on where guns may be carried.  

    •  Ps (14+ / 0-)

      I agree wholeheartedly we need more research by the CDC and NIH, and access to the information the ATF is not currently allowed to release to the public.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:56:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dirty Dozen for each state? List them each year (6+ / 0-)

      Get the actual address and name of the worst offenders in that category listed so their business can be repoeatedly inspected and the pattern of violations made that will end their abuse of the privilege of running a business.

      There are tracings that show some shops have 2,300 seperate gun crimes connected to guns they sold.  What
      is more obscene is they stay in business for years.

      •  The only issue I have with that is the straw (4+ / 0-)

        purchasers angle. If they sell off the books or sell to a prohibited person or 'lose' the firearms, then yeah, go after them. But straw purchasers look entirely legal and the FFL is not committing a crime selling to them (as long as they don't know it's a straw purchase).

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:49:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Losing too many guns needs to be a crime (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lyvwyr101, DefendOurConstitution

          Sure, it's possible to lose a gun. Even have one stolen. But too many people "lose" guns far too often to make that story entirely plausible.

          The rule should be, you get to "lose" one gun every five years (including stolen weapons).

          If you keep losing guns, you lose your right to have them. Certainly any person who repeatedly mishandles a car loses their right to drive, so should it be with gun owners.

          Your guns should be secure when you are not using them. A responsible gun owner should be as incapable of "losing" a gun as they would be incapable of "losing" a king cobra in their bed.

          If you can't safely manage your toys, you lose the right to  have them. EOS.

          Add in a rule that any gun sold or given away must be reported, including the name and address of the seller/giver and the name and address of the receiver 72 hours BEFORE the gun is changes hands. The state has the obligation to background check within that 72 hours. If the state does not complete the check within that period, the gun can be exchanged, but if the receiver commits a crime before the background check is complete, the seller is considered an accomplice in the crime. So, yeah, if you want to sell a gun, make sure you're not selling it to a criminal or wait for the check to be complete. The responsibility is on the seller.

          •  See, I have a couple of issues with that. (4+ / 0-)

            Someone breaks into my house and steals my firearms? Why am I held liable for his criminal act? (I've sold a few so my count is down to the low 20s now.)

            NICS is pretty damn near instant. I have no problems with the current system other than the DB is VERY incomplete.

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:11:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  First of all (4+ / 0-)

              Your guns should be kept in a safe that's hard to break into. Sure, your guns can get stolen. Fine. But they better not be stolen again in three weeks. And again three weeks later.

              Even if you are totally innocent, that's just proof you have no ability to keep your guns safely.

              Sorry, when too many criminals abuse the system to commit crimes, the rest of us lose rights, too. Your right to keep guns should be predicated on your ability to keep them safe. If you can't afford a 20 gun gun safe, get rid of some guns, safely, legally and openly.

              If you're such a sloppy gun owner that you are nothing more than a stop and shop for the crooks, you lose your right to have guns, EOS.

          •  How many? (0+ / 0-)

            You say too many people lose guns each year: how many is that? And which source(s) did you rely on?

            Also, your car analogy makes little sense. What correlation is there between mishandling a car and having a suspended (permanent or otherwise license and having multiple guns stolen, thereby no ownership of guns allowed again? The only ways the analogy could make sense is one of these arguments:
            1) If you have your car stolen too many times (whatever that may be), you are no longer allowed to possess one. Same goes with guns. (Nothing here about license to use, though.)
            2) If you have your car stolen too many times (whatever that may be), you are no longer allowed to have a license to operate one. Same goes with guns. (Nothing here about right to own, though.)
            3) If you mishandle your gun (whatever that means), you lose the right to operate one. Same goes with cars. (Again, doesn't go to ownership.)
            4) If you mishandle your gun, you lose the right to own one. Same goes with cars. (And again, doesn't necessarily limit the right to operate one.)

            I have to say I find that treating guns and cars the same way is rather myopic, to put it mildly, as your analogy properly stated demonstrates.

        •  Well yeah, but (5+ / 0-)

          Anyone who comes into your shop looking to buy 20 bushmasters needs to be met with far greater scrutiny than a person looking to buy just one.

          Even someone keeps coming in week after week to buy new guns should be questioned. They are not necessarily just good customers, they could be criminals.

          I find it kind of annoying that I have to show a driver's license and sign a book just to buy a box of Sudafed, but any crazed skinhead can buy a dozen bushmasters at a gun show with not a second glance and no questions asked.

    •  I think instead of licensing that (3+ / 0-)

      universal mandatory registration with responsibility for that firearm should be instituted.  What I mean simply is that if you buy a gun (anywhere or from anyone) there is mandatory registration process involved.  Once you own a firearm you are responsible for whatever comes out of the pointy end. You would be held legally as an accessory to any crime.  You would also be held for negligent manslaughter if a child gets your gun and kills someone.  If your gun is stolen you must be able to demonstrate that it was being kept in a locked certified gun cabinet.  
      This would cut down on gun dealers who deal to criminals because that dealer to whom the original registration was issued would be guilty of any crimes committed by the criminal he sold it to unless he did a legal transfer of registration to that criminal.  And what criminal would want to have a registered gun?  
      It would also cut down on the really stupid home gun accidents.  People would be motivated to lock their guns up instead of keeping them where children and unbalanced teens and twenty-somethings can get into them.
      In other words, why did Adam Lanza have access to his mother's guns?  Because she didn't have them locked in a safe gun cabinet without him knowing the combination.

      I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

      by fayea on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:31:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  licensing is about as politically... (0+ / 0-)

      Practical ... is my Favorite word
      The main way to see increased levels of training would be when a minimal level is established for universal (all 50 states) reciprocity for concealed carry permits)

      Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

      by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:25:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I appreciate the reasoned approach. (9+ / 0-)

    On a quick read I have a few comments, but I want to read more carefully, so will do so later if I have time.

    Tks!

    Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

    by Sharon Wraight on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:58:52 AM PST

  •  A couple of points (24+ / 0-)
    Gun owners should be required to pass a test before acquiring a license to own a gun, or if a family member, use a gun owned by another person.  Again, this doesn't prevent anyone from owning a gun, it simply insures they have had a minimum level of knowledge regarding using guns safely.
    I would flesh that out a bit to include not only proficiency with any weapon that one owns, but also classroom instruction focused on the legal aspects of firearms ownership - what storage and transport requirements are to be met, when and where one can carry a handgun (CCW permit applicants) and most importantly, when it is legal to use a weapon and when it is not in that jurisdiction.  People need to know solid information, not what they have read in the paper or over the internet.

    Second, I would take a long hard look at the categories in the NICS database, with an eye to expanding them and making them clearer. Do we really need to wait until someone's mental illness is so pronounced that a court finds them mentally incompetent, or should we be considering another standard?

    We also need to ensure that the major deficiencies in the NICS database are eliminated. We can use a carrot and stick approach for states that are not providing information: provide the funding necessary so that they can get their records in order and for those states that still simply refuse to comply, suspend all NICS approvals for that state.  Nothing will get a state to move faster to compliance than when their own firearms dealers find that they cannot sell a weapon to anybody because their state officials are being recalcitrant.

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:03:57 AM PST

    •  Thanks (8+ / 0-)

      All good ideas with which I agree.  I wish I had thought this out in greater detail, but that's what good comments are for, to further the discussion beyond what the diarist was able to provide.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:08:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and the proficiency classes (4+ / 0-)

      should all be taught by law enforcement. If that means hiring more officers, so be it. It's not ok for people to learn these things from a biased political activist organization. they need to be learning it from one of the cops that might arrest them if they pull a George Zimmerman.

      •  This doesn't make sense. Most cops are not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas

        gun enthusiasts, nor are they skilled in training.

        •  It does make sense (0+ / 0-)

          Almost all police departments except the smallest have one or more firearms instructors on staff to train the cops.  Those that don't have such usually utilize the Sheriff's department or the state police to provide such training.

          There are more than enough police officers who are certified firearms instructors to be able to provide the required instruction.  It also provides one more opportunity to observe a new owner with their weapon and perhaps weed out any that are cause for concern.

          I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

          by Wayward Wind on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:07:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A lot of small departments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            hire outside contractors, and even volunteers, for that.

            I think we have an RKBA member who does exatly that.

            --Shannon

            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

            by Leftie Gunner on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:20:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes - a written and a practical test. (6+ / 0-)

      With a minimum level of proficiency and a thorough knowledge of applicable laws and safety standards.

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

      by Smoh on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:14:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which must be taken and passed every 3 years (3+ / 0-)

        to require people to maintain and demonstrate their knowledge and skills, lest forgetfulness or changes in physical ability become an issue.

        Also, licenses should indicate whether or not the license owner is required to wear glasses when using the weapon, except perhaps in situations involving an extreme, imminent, clear and present physical threat.

        The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

        by Words In Action on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:01:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It should also be much easier to lose the license. (3+ / 0-)

      DUI conviction is pretty much an automatic suspension.

      Gun safety laws should be at least as strict as vehicle safety laws.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:50:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most of what you describe is already part (0+ / 0-)

      of many states concealed carry permit programs and classes.  Some states have lesser standards than others.  That is part of the justification for the current system of interstate reciprocity.  When you open the door with federal standards and requirements you also start to mandate federal reciprocity.  This means that more restrictive places like IL, NY, CA, and HI will likely be forced to loosen their current standards.  

      As far as "do we really need to wait until someone's mental illness is so pronounced that a court finds them mentally incompetent" this falls under no person's rights shall be abridged without due process.  Unless you plan on shredding the Constitution as the Right frequently says the Left wants to do, this is a no go area.

      •  Not true. Just NRA talking points. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wayward Wind

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:03:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Care to explain how anything noway2 said is untrue (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas

          Because I know a lot about this issue, and I don't see anything factually wrong in there.

          That the NRA uses a set of facts to make an argument you disagree with doesn't make them not facts... talking points tend to be more effective when they're factually correct.

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:22:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Responses (0+ / 0-)

        First, we are discussing proficiency and classroom instruction for all weapons, not just handguns.

        Second, you can dream all you want about lessening of ownership laws in the states you mention, and it will never happen.  I happen to support a national firearms license, but only if the application process is thorough and includes a comprehensive background investigation.  I absolutely oppose someone being able to obtain a permit in very lenient rural states and then be able to carry concealed in high-density urban settings.

        Third, who said anything about lack of due process?  If, for example, the trigger event for including someone in the NICS database for mental illness was not court adjudication but rather certification of a mental health professional that the individual is a potential danger to others, then the individual would have access to the courts to contest the inclusion.

        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

        by Wayward Wind on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:15:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with the approach mentioned (0+ / 0-)
          If, for example, the trigger event for including someone in the NICS database for mental illness was not court adjudication but rather certification of a mental health professional
          is both legal and moral.  It is a legal problem in as much as you are now giving the ability to restrict rights to a private individual while also denying due process to that individual.  At most a mental health practitioner would, and I would say should, be allowed to do is notify the court system who can then engage in due process.

          There is also a moral component to this question as it puts mental health and other medical practitioners, who have a reputation for an anti-gun bias, in a position where they could be abusing this ability without proper oversight.  This is an improper thing to do from both the practitioner and the patient side of things.  

          Whatever is done, we must also be sure that the system is not implemented in such a way as to discourage people from seeking service.  I am not saying that something shouldn't be done, just that it needs to be done with care and thought rather than rushed legislation.

  •  Excellent, thoughtful Diary. (11+ / 0-)

    There is always going to be a problem with banning a "class" of people.

    The "mental illness" rules will cause, and do cause more problems than they are worth because in order for it to be a meaningful restriction we need to compile lists, define illnesses, and breach the privacy of the entire population, much in the way Wayne LaPierre suggested that we do.

    So why not address that from the other end?

    We are not concerned with the mental health of the population for these purposes, only that section that wishes to purchase and own a gun.

    So why not make it a requirement that those seeking to buy guns be the ones that have to demonstrate "mental competence", and leave everyone else alone.

    No lists necessary then, and no breaches of medical privacy.

    Sure as eggs are eggs, if we compile a list it will be used for other purposes, and the constitutional and civil rights problems are significant

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:32:11 AM PST

    •  Then those demonstrations of mental competence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DefendOurConstitution

      need to be regularly repeated so long as the person is licensed, since mental illness can emerge and become a functional problem and/or threat at any time...

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:03:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is why I see the mental health angle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      as a distraction (and one used successfully by the NRA maniacs).

      While there's certainly useful things that could be done and people in need that could benefit, the effect is small potatoes compared to things like licensing, registration, tracking.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:56:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The civil and constitutional problems (2+ / 0-)

      of needing a mental health check or proving menta competence for a right enshrined in the BoR aren't small either.

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:00:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No they aren't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DefendOurConstitution

        There are no complications. Those folk are already banned.

        Who is going to go to the Supreme Court arguing that they should be allowed a gun when judged mentally incompetent.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:22:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not how I read the comment. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          notrouble

          This is from your's:

          So why not make it a requirement that those seeking to buy guns be the ones that have to demonstrate "mental competence", and leave everyone else alone.
          Can you see why I'd have an issue with that? Also, why I'd think it was unconstitutional?

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:26:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll say this once more. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DefendOurConstitution

            People judged mentally ill are already banned from owning firearms.

            There is nothing unconstitutional about it.

            So, demonstrating that you are, at least in a doctors opinion, not mentally incompetent is not a breach of anyone's rights.

            You have an issue with just about every suggestion, so forgive me for not taking this latest complaint too seriously.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:30:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Big difference there twigg. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rockhound, notrouble

              Due process is applied when you are judged mentally ill. That's the list that SHOULD be in NICS. I have no problem with that. The onus is in the proper place.

              Proving your competence before you're allowed to exercise one of your Constitutionally enshrined rights...well, I'm not for that at all.

              If you had to prove mental competency for any of the other civil rights, would you be as supportive? Voting? Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion?

              Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

              by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:39:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  There's a huge difference (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              notrouble, KVoimakas

              between the government proving, in an adversarial process with rules of evidence and a presiding judge, that someone is mentally incompetent to exercise their rights, and a single private citizen making that determination on their own.

              And I suspect that, were this discussion about anything other than guns, almost nobody on this site would consider it a good idea.

              --Shannon

              "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
              "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

              by Leftie Gunner on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:27:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Looks well thought out; I'll take a closer read (5+ / 0-)

    later. But thanks for the reasonable take on discourse.

  •  Why it is so difficult to apply the same... (11+ / 0-)

    common sense limitations to the right of gun ownership that has been applied to free speech, free religion and just about every other right, is strange to me.

    The cliche "you can't yell fire in a crowded theatre" rule seems to apply here.  You have a right to a gun, but you can't use (misuse) that right in such a way that you put others at risk of death or injury.

    The four proposals would appear to be logical, sensible and common-sense limitations on a general right.  They are a good starting point in addressing the problem of gun violence.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:41:12 AM PST

  •  Well reasoned and intelligent (5+ / 0-)

    I disagree with the point of limiting magazine capacity, as I feel the measure is draconian in it's penalties and will merely lead to a prohibition type situation where ordinary people are criminalized and determined criminals are not only unaffected but some are enriched and empowered by the ensuing black market. I also disagree with your contention that an AWB will be any more effective or useful.

    However, much of what you say here is well thought out and has a chance to actually make a positive difference. I especially support the crackdown on gun dealers who sell to those who shouldn't be having guns (yeah, they'll just go black market but we shouldn't make it easy for them) and the licensing / training requirements. It should be at least as involved a process to own a gun as to drive a car, with requirements to be trained and demonstrate knowledge and competence. In fact, I'd go so far as to require EVERYONE be trained in the proper use of firearms and the basic knowledge set that surrounds them. Perhaps as a program in PE in late high school? Guns exist, they will always exist, ignorance about them solves nothing and causes problems and dangers in and of itself. You don't have to like them and you don't have to own one, but you do have to learn about them and have the ability to safely know what you're doing if you ever encounter one.

    To make this fly, though, a consensus needs to be reached that prohibition is off the table and that cooperating with a training and licensing regime won't become a slippery slope to outlawing and confiscation. I think that's a reasonable compromise that both sides would benefit from.

    "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

    by DarthMeow504 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:49:29 AM PST

  •  5) Strict liability and insurance standards (14+ / 0-)

    Want to own a gun? Okay.
    But you're now personally liable for anything untoward that happens to that gun. Your 4 year old nephew shoots himself because he had access to it? That's your fault, and your legal responsibility. Your daughter shoots herself in a fit of depression because she had access to it? Likewise, that's your personal legal responsibility for allowing that access.

    I would go so far as to assign at least some legal responsibility to gun owners who possess large arsenals that end up stolen in a robbery and out on the streets. Possession of lethal weapons has to come with a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to keep them out of inappropriate hands. At the very least, keeping them locked up in a secure gun safe with the keys not dangling from the lock.

  •  I would like to find a reasoned approach... (3+ / 0-)

    to defining "semi-automatic assault weapons".  A big argument with gun enthusiasts is that all weapons are semi-automatic in one way or another so ban nothing.  Is there anyone who has come up with a workable definition of an assault weapon so that common hunting rifles can be reasonably excluded?

    The more you learn the less you know.

    by quiet in NC on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:19:07 AM PST

    •  AR-15 style weapons (4+ / 0-)

      are common hunting rifles for predator hunters like myself.  They are in fact the number 1 choice.  You really can't make up a definition that would exclude them as common hunting rifles since they are for small game and predator hunting.

      Focus on reeducing clip size if you must but keep your hands off our hunting rifles please.

      •  People have shot predators (4+ / 0-)

        for over a hundred years without using guns like that.

        •  True (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, OMwordTHRUdaFOG

          but what is your point?

          Are you demanding that we only use muzzleloaders or bows to hunt?  My grandfather used his semi-auto .30-06 50 years ago to hunt.  Me using a tinier .223 bullet in a semi-auto is hardly different.  In reality, we use these weapons because they are easier to shoot and don't damage the pelt as much as the bigger calibers.  I fail to see your point.

          •  predators as defined (0+ / 0-)

            seem to be coyotes and wolves-
            I'm sure other guns will suffice. But if you must have a semi automatic- it should be licensed.
            As for Game animals- you sure aren't going to use a.223 or 5.56 round. They are designed to maim and kill humans-That is their purpose.
            If you want to fire these at a range or for predators-you should be licensed and trained to use them. I get it- it can be fun to fire a semi- automatic.

            Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

            by onceasgt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:43:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A .223 round is not (0+ / 0-)

              designed to kill humans.  Where did you hear that from?

              A .223 round is basically a .22 caliber round with more gun powder behind it.  Furthermore, there are many different kinds of .223 rounds.  .223 is just talking about the size not what it is designed to do.

              You can purchase bonded .223 rounds, hollow point .223 rounds, and everything else you can think of.  I currently use Horndady's VMAX bullet as they seem to work the best with my AR-15.  They also generally won't make it through the coyote so I only get 1 small entrance wound (I don't want to damage pelts afterall).

              You have no idea what you are talking about sir.

              Demanding that I get licensed to fire a .223 round is simply funny.  Are you ok with my firing a semi-auto .30-06 without a license?  They are much more damaging to humans afterall.  What say ye?

              •  I didn't say that you needed a license (0+ / 0-)

                for the round. I think that people that want to own semi automatic military style weapons should be licensed.
                The Military uses 5.56mm rounds in their semi automatics because they are a combat multiplier- they cause more damage therefore removing more people for the battlefield, to care for those that are injured. In addition because of the rifling the round will " tumble" inside the target (enemy soldier).

                Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

                by onceasgt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:22:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So a mini-14 is ok, but an AR15 is not? nt (0+ / 0-)

                  Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                  by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:27:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There are multiple decisions (0+ / 0-)

                    to be made about what weapons need to be more regulated.
                    What I do know is that some weapons are designed such that the original purpose is to kill and maim humans, as combat multiplier, not for hunting or self protection..
                    There is an urban/ rural divide on weapons.
                    I live in a rural area.
                    What I do know is that the weapon that is meant for self protection in my home is a 16 gauge shotgun.
                    It will work on anything, and all I have to do is get close.

                    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

                    by onceasgt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:44:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'll take my 1911, personally. (0+ / 0-)

                      Or the Thompson. It's hard to swing a shotgun in close quarters. 1911, not so much (Thompson would be for stationary defense).

                      I'd look into the Mini-14 vs AR15 thing if I were one. One was designed for hunting. One was modified off of a military firearm. Yet they both do the same thing: .223, semi-auto, high capacity.

                      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                      by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:46:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  What about the AR-15 was (0+ / 0-)

                      designed specifically to kill and maim humans?  You keep saying that but haven't yet provided any details.  Many of us in the hunting and shooting community have never heard someone say that before and we certainly can't find anything on our AR-15's that seems to be designed for killing humans specifically.

                      •  The AR15 (0+ / 0-)

                        is the civilian version of the M16A2.

                        Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

                        by onceasgt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:06:30 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  True (0+ / 0-)

                          What is your point?

                          The M16A2 is select fire and full auto.

                          The AR-15 is only semi-auto like many other hunting rifles and hunting shotguns.

                          Are you ok with the mini-14 or the various .30-06 semi-autos used for hunting?

                          How about my semi-auto benelli shotgun with a pistol grip I use turkey hunting?

                          Are those weapons ok while my AR-15 isn't?  What is the difference sir?

                          •  semantics (0+ / 0-)

                            There will always be discussion about where to draw a line in regulating weapons.
                            The M16 was designed to maim and or kill enemy soldiers.

                            Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

                            by onceasgt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:21:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KVoimakas

                            The M16 was designed to kill enemy soldiers.  We aren't talking about a full auto rifle however.  We are talking about AR-15 style SEMI-AUTO rifles.

                          •  From the US Army Study Guide (0+ / 0-)

                            The M16A2 5.56mm rifle is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, shoulder- or hip-fired weapon designed for either automatic fire (3-round bursts) or semiautomatic fire (single shot) through the use of a selector lever. The weapon has a fully adjustable rear sight. The bottom of the trigger guard opens to provide access to the trigger while wearing winter mittens. The upper receiver/barrel assembly has a fully adjustable rear sight and a compensator which helps keep the muzzle down during firing. The steel bolt group and barrel extension are designed with locking lugs which lock the bolt group to the barrel extension allowing the rifle to have a lightweight aluminum receiver.

                            Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

                            by onceasgt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:07:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                  The rifling in the barrel has nothing to do with the "tumble" effect.  It is all about bullet design for that sort of thing.  Most of the new hunting rounds do the same thing by the way as bullets that tumble and break apart inside the animal kill it quicker.  It is more humane and easier to find the animal.

                  A 5.56 round doesn't "cause more damage".  I guess it causes more damage then a knife, but what are you even arguing?

      •  Baloney. (5+ / 0-)

        AR-15 type weapons are simply not needed to hunt anything.

        You are confusing cause and effect.  The actual truth is the gun companies started pushing these weapons as so called hunting rifles about 30 years ago.  Just because their are tons of them out there does not change the fact that these weapons were designed to be used on the battlefield by our troops,  not for Bob and Bubba to go plink coyotes.

        The AR-15 may be used for hunting these days, but saying it is a hunting rifle is pure crap.

        Yes, it seems the truth does have a Liberal bias, So does reality it seems. And the Republicans will never change that, because they believe money makes reality, and they are allergic to the truth.

        by Nebraskablue on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:28:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why it is. (5+ / 0-)

          In US history, Carbines, Garands, etc were war weapons that were adopted and used by civilians as primary hunting weapons. Soldiers returned home, went hunting, using the weapons they were familiar with. The AR has been around for several generations now. Soldiers return home, go hunting, using the weapons they are familiar with.
           The AR platform is very adaptable. That is its primary appeal. Interchangeable barrels means you can go from 223, small game to 7.62, meaning bigger game.

          "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

          by meagert on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:49:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  and .50 Beowulf. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            meagert

            For when you want to hunt North American Elephants.

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:50:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nice straw man argument... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nosleep4u

            You make it sound like every person that hunts carries an Ar variant, when the facts are a tiny small percentage of shooters do.  90 plus percent of the folks that own an AKM or AR of any sort DON'T HUNT. I know probably 350 plus Military gun owners. Not one of them hunts with an AR.  Some of them do own one, more for the nostalgia than anything else.  The allure of owning a gun exactly like what our troops carry is not it's adaptability, it is carrying or owning a military style weapon.  You in bold comments simply prove this... they want a weapon just like the one they carried in battle.  ones that serve no purpose what so ever out there in civilian world other than to make someones ego feel good.

            Yes, it seems the truth does have a Liberal bias, So does reality it seems. And the Republicans will never change that, because they believe money makes reality, and they are allergic to the truth.

            by Nebraskablue on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:41:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reason a tiny number (3+ / 0-)

              are used for hunting compaired to other guns is simply because the AR-15 is generally used with a .223 type bullet.  That bullet is much to small for large game.  The .223 is perfect however for predator hunting.  The fact that I often call in 2+ coyotes in the same set means my AR is the weapon of choice because of the small kick and the faster followup shots over the only bolt action.

              •  So why not a Mini-14 ranch rifle? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nebraskablue

                Same caliber, same action, more reliable, less expensive, and for some reason less likely to show up amidst a large number of murdered innocent civilians?

                "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

                by JR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:10:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  meagert, rockhound, Shamash

                  Mini-14 and an AR15. Basically, the same damn thing. Semi-auto, .223, takes what people are calling high capacity magazines, slew of accessories (including folding/collapsible stocks, pistol grips, etc).

                  Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                  by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:14:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  They are the same gun (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KVoimakas

                  Are you saying that you are ok with the Mini-14 and not the AR-15?

                  I am even more perplexed then.

                  Are you truly going after guns you find scary for political reasons?  I thought this was about something else.

                  •  Irony: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nebraskablue

                    The guy screaming that the Stoner-designed AR-15 is not to be considered similar to the Stoner-designed M16 despite their identical origins is now claiming that a Ruger-designed Mini-14 is the same as a Stoner-designed AR-15. If you want to base so much of your dismissiveness in this debate on such matters, a little consistency would be nice from time to time.

                    It would also be nice if you would take a second to entertain the idea that I might be asking you an honest question. Why would you be so adamant about the AR-15 in a world where there is an alternative that is cheaper, arguably more reliable, and isn't a variant of a military design? Wouldn't the one, in your opinion, be just as effective the other one?

                    If it would--and your response that "they are the same gun" seems to indicate you think that's the case--then why be so firmly against one being restricted, especially given that the one seems to be used for slaughtering innocent civilians more than the other?

                    (And, if it helps you get around to the actual question on the table, I'll answer your question to me: In an ideal world, I would want to have every firearm that is semi-automatic and capable of accepting a detachable magazine reclassified as Class 3, requiring registration and additional fees. Weapons that are more dangerous to society should require more extensive processes to acquire. But in the short run, I will settle for putting fewer weapons designed for offensive purposes against other people on the streets.

                    Now, if you'll excuse me, I just bought 40 rounds of non-magnetic 7.62x54r that I need to go lock up until I get another chance to hit the range, then finish repairs on my ancient Savage 67H 12 gauge pump that crapped out on me after one shot the last time I fired it.)

                    "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

                    by JR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:35:10 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Because one restriction leads to another. (0+ / 0-)

                      The major difference I see, and will continue to base my opinion on, is this:

                      AR15, semi-auto
                      Mini-14, semi-auto
                      M16 variants, select fire

                      7.62x54R is one of my favorite rounds. What do you have? I have a few Nagants and a PSL.

                      To elaborate on my comment above:

                      Why would you be so adamant about the AR-15 in a world where there is an alternative that is cheaper, arguably more reliable, and isn't a variant of a military design? Wouldn't the one, in your opinion, be just as effective the other one?
                      Because I can see the whole "We banned the AR15 and this gun IS JUST LIKE IT! BAN BAN BAN!" thing happening. No thanks.

                      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                      by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:49:57 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Twist all you want (4+ / 0-)

              This is why nothing ever gets settled.
               The fact is, it is a semi auto civilian rifle that returning soldiers are familiar with. And they use  it for hunting, sport, etc. There is no denying this, try as some might.
               This is exactly the same situation as any other generation of returning soldiers from any other period of war in this Country. A modern soldier would not feel as comfortable with an old garand as he would with an AR. He's had the thing hanging around his neck for years. It's a part of one's self.
               Want to change that? Stop sending young men and women into battle.

              "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

              by meagert on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:40:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Time to take this argument down. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nebraskablue

                Familiarity with military weapons is not a reason to place them into civilian life.

                "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

                by nosleep4u on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:03:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  An AR15 is not a military weapon. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  meagert, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, rockhound

                  In fact, the federal government just stated that they are personal defense weapons.

                  link

                  Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                  by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:15:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry, this is not an arguement (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KVoimakas, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, rockhound

                  about military weapons in the hands of civilians. This is about a civilian, semi automatic rifle, similar in style to a military firearm, that any soldier returning from Service would feel comfortable with, using it for many purposes. It is modular built, and it can be modified to suit any civilian purpose, including hunting, and sport, or even just plinking.
                   Same old disagreement here on the site. Those that know and use the firearm, and know its uses, versus those that don't use it, and can't imagine it's useful purposes.

                  "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

                  by meagert on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:25:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah and you are full of it. (0+ / 0-)

                    I am SEVERELY familiar with more weapons than any other 50 people you care to think of or name.  So your claim is laughable.  You bring up soldiers wanting one, which means nothing in reality when the fact is any dumbass jackball can go buy one right now legally. Indeed probably 90 percent of the folks that do own one have zero experience with even having seen one up close let alone carried one in uniform prior to buying them.

                    Yes, it seems the truth does have a Liberal bias, So does reality it seems. And the Republicans will never change that, because they believe money makes reality, and they are allergic to the truth.

                    by Nebraskablue on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:23:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •   So you say. (0+ / 0-)

                      Rather than bringing the conversation down to the level you seem to want to, I'll just move on

                      "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

                      by meagert on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:46:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No.. (0+ / 0-)

                        But I recognize when I am having a conversation with a tool repeating NRA talking points.

                        Yes, it seems the truth does have a Liberal bias, So does reality it seems. And the Republicans will never change that, because they believe money makes reality, and they are allergic to the truth.

                        by Nebraskablue on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 04:01:42 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  No actually... (0+ / 0-)

                It's time for folks to put aside the uniform when they come home, and are out of the service.  NO ONE needs a military style weapon to hunt.  NO ONE needs a 30 round mag to hunt or for any other personal purpose.  99 percent of the folks that own an AR or an AKM do so for the "Cool look at me, I got a military weapon" factor.  And the NRA and gun manufacturers have tried to make this country awash in them, with the foreseeable fallout on innocent people.  You are the one jumping thru hoops trying to justify your position.  When in reality  prior to about 1980 there were literally no versions of the M-16 / AR-15 around in civilian hands at all.  Before the 1990's there were NO versions of the AR available to the public except the original Civilianized M-16. Once the assault weapon ban was repealed by the GOP,  Ar variants based on the M-4 carbine started showing up in massive numbers.   Prior to the 1990's there were NO versions available to the public of ANY AK AKM variant at all, until Norinco started dumping them here on the cheap.  People still hunted, people still had personal protection, people still went sport shooting.  

                Yes, it seems the truth does have a Liberal bias, So does reality it seems. And the Republicans will never change that, because they believe money makes reality, and they are allergic to the truth.

                by Nebraskablue on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:15:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  They are not designed nor (0+ / 0-)

          are they used by our troops on the battlefield.  Where did you get that lie from?

          Our troops us select fire rifles.  An AR-15 is not a select fire rifle so it was never designed for the battlefield.

          An AR-15 is truly the hunting rifle of choice for predator hunters.

          •  The M16 is a select-fire AR-15 (0+ / 0-)

            Stoner built the first AR-15 for military purposes, and an AR-15 with select-fire is basically an M-16. Don't get pedantic for no good reason.

            "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

            by JR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:18:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Also, do you read your own comments? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nebraskablue

            You can't go from

            Soldiers returned home, went hunting, using the weapons they were familiar with. The AR has been around for several generations now. Soldiers return home, go hunting, using the weapons they are familiar with.
            to
            They are not designed nor are they used by our troops on the battlefield. Where did you get that lie from?

            Our troops us [sic] select fire rifles. An AR-15 is not a select fire rifle so it was never designed for the battlefield.

            in the same thread without looking a little schizophrenic on the subject.

            "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

            by JR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:20:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The rifle itself (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              meagert

              has the same feel as the battlefield M16.  The big difference is that it has been tamed down to a standard semi auto for hunting purposes.  Many soldiers and national guards people I know use these simply because they are very familiar with the feel.

              They would never consider them the same firearm however.

    •  I analyzed Senator Feinstein's proposed ban (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, quiet in NC

      and the application to the SCOTUS gun control decisions to the ban which has some thoughts on your issue.  A summary of my conclusions can be found in my recent diary http://www.dailykos.com . . .

      Dedicated to recapturing the American Dream by changing the framework of the debate to focus on: Growth, Efficiency, Community, Sustainability and Economic Fairness. Improve constantly and drive out fear - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

      by Paradigm Change on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:13:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thats easy... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, congenitalefty, blueoasis

      "Military grade weapons".  Weapons which contain one of more components used on US military grade weapons, which are issued to US Troops.        1.  high capacity magazine  2. flash suppressor.  3. pistol grip  4.  folding or sliding butt stock.  5. bayonet lug

      No one needs any of those things to hunt, protect themselves,  or their property.

      Yes, it seems the truth does have a Liberal bias, So does reality it seems. And the Republicans will never change that, because they believe money makes reality, and they are allergic to the truth.

      by Nebraskablue on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:20:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  None of these things (5+ / 0-)

        with the exception of the high capacity magazine, has any bearing on the function of the weapon itself.A bayonet lug doesn't make it shoot any faster or more accurately. It's a cosmetic feature.

        So why bother with 2 through 5?

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:50:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe in your bizarro world. (0+ / 0-)

          But in the Military I served in for 30 plus years every one of those things was present on my assigned weapon (multiple types).  I think they are all there for very good reasons, and to say they are cosmetic could not be further from the truth.  In the Military they serve a very useful purpose, out in the civilian world they serve no purpose at all except to let some lamebrain show off his gun with military features on it.  

          Yes, it seems the truth does have a Liberal bias, So does reality it seems. And the Republicans will never change that, because they believe money makes reality, and they are allergic to the truth.

          by Nebraskablue on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:20:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How many bayonettings have you read about (5+ / 0-)

            lately?

            One gun used by multiple people = adjustable (see, adjustable stock).

            A flash suppressor: used to suppress flash. Good in civilian environments as well.

            Pistol grip: ergonomically more comfortable yet doesn't make a firearm more deadly.

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:33:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly. (6+ / 0-)
            out in the civilian world they serve no purpose at all
            So why make them an issue? A flash suppressor is a useful feature for a military weapon, but it does not make that weapon more lethal when wielded by a criminal. I would like to see a focus on policies and measures that are likely to make a difference in murder rates.

            The manufacturers will get around the cosmetic features ban just like they did after Clinton's AWB.

            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

            by happy camper on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:37:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  list (3+ / 0-)

            1.  high capacity magazine - I'd agree, if not for US v. Miller which defined "suitable for militia use" as the standard for civilian possession, and that's the key decision upholding the NFA '34.  
            That said, I'm old - and 20 rounds per rifle magazine is concurrent to my definition of "suitable".  
            I was partial to the M21 Rifle and M79 single-shot.

            2. flash suppressor - muzzle brake, we're not talking sound suppressor.

            3. pistol grip - serves what purpose regarding firearm function?
            DiFi's first AWB did-away with the pistol grip, and an AK with a conventional stock is still an AK.

            4.  folding or sliding butt stock - "paratrooper model" is what the M1 carbine was called.  That said, if you've ever backpacked into a hunt, a folding stock is damn nice to have.

            5. bayonet lug - has served no useful purpose since the M-14.

            An M4 with a bayonet lug is beyond idiotic, as I could take a M1903A3 and skewer you before you're within 5 feet of me.  Meanwhile the M4's bayonet is waiving in 2 ft of void space... so I agree, a bayonet lug is useless.

            •  Dueling Bayos? (3+ / 0-)

              I'll take the 91/30 Nagant w/ bayonet please...

              Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

              by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:46:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  On a couple, at least, there is functionality (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happy camper

              These aren't all cosmetic features.

              Pistol grips are more comfortable for holding the rifle over long periods: the traditional stock shape has always been weirdly uncomfortable for thumbs over longer periods, and the recoil places strain on a weaker part of the hand. Again, more useful to have if you're firing a lot of shots in a short period of time, or planning to tote the thing in a ready-to-fire position for a long period.

              Folding stock is, obviously, helpful for concealment.

              Muzzle brakes--at least as they're marketed--should reduce barrel rise. Practically speaking, that means more shots on target without as much care spent re-aiming. Good for firing into a crowd, but I prefer to see more conscientious shot placement.

              I can see a justifiable policy preference for each of those limitations.

              "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

              by JR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:05:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Stop. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nebraskablue

        You're letting them bait you into the "descent into minutiae".

        Don't play their game.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:04:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How so? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas

          The argument being advanced in favor of an "assault weapons" ban is that this particular list of features so significantly increases the danger presented by a firearm that has them that it is a good idea to use the force of law to prevent people from owning them.

          How is a discussion of whether or not those features actually do increase the danger not relevant?

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:33:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well done (7+ / 0-)

    I think the only thing you missed and I may have missed it was to expand background checks to all sales, but, as you said, this won't work unless we improve the database and reporting system in the first place.

    I particularly like the gun dealer idea.

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

    by jsfox on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:21:33 AM PST

  •  We need to dry up the supply of guns (8+ / 0-)

    these measures in the diary are fine, but in the end, reducing manufacture and import needs to be part of the solution, as well as restrictions on types of weapons.

    Also, I'd note that one of the most horrific results of the american gun fetish is the trafficking of arms to South America; any "tracing" scheme needs to follow the guns all the way, in cooperation with Mexico and other nations.

    So-called "legitimate" gun buyers are really just initiating a life cycle for a weapon that takes it from legal into illegal hands. We need a full accounting of that life cycle in order to find ways to control it.

  •  I really like licensing, but I think this will (3+ / 0-)

    be the sort of regulation that will prompt a mini-war, if some 2nd Amendment defenders follow-through on their promises.

    I also like the idea of the magazine limit, but I am not totally convinced that it would have saved any lives if it had been in effect.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:52:27 AM PST

  •  this is the salient point (5+ / 0-)
    Among nations in the developed world, the United States currently is ranked higher in gun violence, and violent crime in general, than other developed nations.

    that's why i always say (gun) violence, because the problem is our violence, not the guns per se.  eliminate what drives people to violence and lots of stuff, not just gun problems, would improve.

    but otherwise, can we please, pretty please, for the love of Dog, stop comparing the united states to countries that never had anything comparable to the second and could fit inside one or two of our states?  please?

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:59:55 AM PST

    •  comparisons to other nations may be (9+ / 0-)

      inconvenient for gun advocates, but they are legitimate. The United States is not "special." We're just another country full of people of the same species as every other country. If we can't look at how others are managing these issues, then we're intentionally handicapping our ability to improve ourselves.

      The second amendment is not as iron clad as some here seem to think, either. If dems can continue to hang onto the white house - and demographic trends make that a real possibility for the next two decades - the supreme court will eventually look quite different than it does now (and even now, Antonin Scalia has said the 2nd amendment doesn't mean you can have whatever you want).

      •  no they are not valid comparisons (4+ / 0-)

        if that's what you mean by "legitimate."  it may be instructive helpful, and useful to look at what kind of outcomes various policies have achieved elsewhere.  but that's where the legitimacy ends.

        let's take the example of australia.  they achieved what they did by banning all guns.  not gonna happen here, because of the second.  it may not be ironclad, but it does say the government can't ban guns.  so no, it isn't exactly useful to compare us to countries that have never had language comparable to the second in their constitutions.

        then there is the issue of cultural homogeneity, i.e., agreement.  that's a lot easier to achieve among a population 1/13th of ours in a country that would fit inside one or two of our states.

         

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:37:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  they didn't ban all guns. (4+ / 0-)

          in australia, first of all. They still allow hunting and very basic weapons for controlling wildlife (they banned semiautomatics). and no, we aren't that special. And believing that is a great way to ensure nothing ever happens.

          One more thing: Germany has 81 million people and much stricter gun laws than we do. You seem to erroneously think that all other countries with strict gun laws are small. This is not the case. From the wikipedia article on gun laws in Germany, we find:

          "A number of criteria must be met before a firearms ownership license is issued:
          age of majority (18 years) (§ 4 WaffG)
          trustworthiness (§ 5 WaffG)
          personal adequacy (§ 6 WaffG)
          expert knowledge (§ 7 WaffG) and
          necessity (§ 8 WaffG)"

          On the last item, "necessity" includes hunting and target competitions, but not usually self defense. Guns are easier to get in germany than australia, but harder to get than in the US.

          Germany has a large immigrant community that has increased poverty in recent years, also absorbed an entire destitute communist country not too long ago, and has a history - within living memory - of being the most violent and murderous society in the history of the world. That they have enacted reasonable restrictions on guns and have a relatively non-violent culture today is one of the great miracles of our time.

          I'll let you look at the stats side by side:

          http://www.nationmaster.com/...

      •  Why aren't we comparing to the industrialized (3+ / 0-)

        nations of Argentina or Russia?

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:41:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I can get behind 1/2 of your proposals. (6+ / 0-)

    I'll tip for that. More comments on specifics to follow.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:39:42 AM PST

  •  One would think ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... reading some of what's written on gthis issue that we have a statistical problem, not a gun problem. We're living under a tyranny of competing numbers right now and I find it wearying. There has to be more to this than keeping score.

    Just an observation, germaine to little.

    To the point, I support your four proposals. I'd like to see that database adapted to track the sale and ownership of every gun sold in this country and ownership titles attached to every weapon, just as we do for registered vehicles.

  •  High capacity: what is it? (4+ / 0-)

    Normal capacity for my 1911 is 8 in the mag. The PSL, 10. The Marlin, 18 (but it's a tube magazine, not a removable one). The Thompson, 30 or 50 (stick or drum). The 625, 6. When I have my ARs, the standard was 30. The SKS is 10. The Garand is 8 (and actually uses 'clips').

    So I'm curious as to how you define magazine (and thank you for using the correct term) and what 'high capacity' means in this case.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:44:43 AM PST

    •  I hope you have a really secure (0+ / 0-)

      gun safe that you keep all those weapons in.  All of them.

      I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

      by fayea on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:37:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  High capacity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas

      is going to be a political/legal determination.  For me, anything over 10 would be high capacity.  I'm sure we can argue about the correct number, and I would certainly appreciate input from law enforcement officials, gun owners and non-gun owners.  What Marlin do you have?  The model 60?  I know that there is a Marlin where the capacity was lowered to meet restriction in various states.  I don't see why that couldn't be done today.  I would be in favor of paying gun owners for modifications to the weapons that use a tube magazine.  Fortunately, outside of shotguns, most firearms have a separate magazine (or in the case of your Garland clip) that can be modified to change the number of shot one could fire at a single time before reloading.  Can't imagine there are too many Garlands in operating condition these days.  Did you acquire yours through CMP program?

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:39:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a Model 60, yep. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't agree with the capacity restrictions so I won't dwell on those. Just asking for your input.

        I know it's a typo, but I had to laugh at Garland clip. ;-)

        You'd be surprised about the Garand. Mine was made in 1942 and fought the Nazis. I traded my AR15 for it, 300+ rounds of ammo for it, an M1 carbine, 200+ rounds of ammo for that, and an AT4.

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:47:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some good, some inconsistent (6+ / 0-)
    Identify and Prosecute Gun Dealers Who Disproportionately Sell Firearms Used in Gun Violence
    Will we also prosecute liquor stores that sell to someone later convicted of drunk drving? Will we prosecute internet providers that allow pirated content to pass through their networks? Will we set up blanket liability for people to be criminally responsible for the illegal actions of a third party?

    I think the licensing and database suggestions might be an inherent help in dealing with this particular problem, if for no other reason it will leave fewer excuses for such dealers to say "I didn't know". But the overall notion of "guilt by proxy" is sketchy at best.

    Ban High Capacity Magazines
    Obesity kills a lot more people than guns each year, and those people are no less dead than shooting victims are. Does this justify Bloomberg's "big gulp" ban? As I've pointed out elsewhere, magazine size limits are handicapping. If you limit magazines to ten rounds, all it means is you are giving the eleventh victim a running start. A magazine limit of three would make little difference to you if you are the first person shot. Since mass shootings are the rarest form, a magazine limit will do little or nothing vs. the vast majority of gun violence.
    Gun Licenses
    I'm a gun owner, and I agree with competency-based exams for a lot of purposes. But I would treat them much like a driver's license. I do not need one to own a car, just to take it out in public. If I lose my license, I do not have to surrender my car, I just lose the ability to legally have it anywhere other than my property. If I use my car illegally, including taking it out on the road when I am prohibited from doing so, it is going to get impounded, but I will probably have legal recourse to get it back.
    Improve Databases for Persons Not Entitled Under Current Law to Own Firearms
    Absolutely agree.
  •  Too much sense for the U.S. to handle. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north, Wisewood, Steven D

    I have this neurologist friend who moved to Calgary, Alberta, which, as many of you probably know, is kind of what stands for TX in Canada. Many of them are hunters who use guns but none of them understand what the hell is up with America and it's addiction with guns in general and its fascination with military weapon and stockpiling weapons in particular.

    The government is culpable for cowering before the NRA and allowing this mania to unfold. It is emblematic of the failure of the government in our times, a time in which many specific failures have widespread, tragic results.

    The NRA and the right-wing media opinion leaders are culpable for creating and fanning the anti-government fear and legitimizing the notion of armed insurrection as a solution.

    People, mainly conservatives, who identify with that fear, are culpable for embracing the delusions such attitudes require and the behaviors that lead them purchase military weaponry and to stock-pile with all manner of guns and other weapons and explosive devices.  

    A key method in the successful Anti-Aparthied movement was divestment in South African companies. 350.org and others have adopted this method for the Climate Change movement, starting, like Anti-Apartheid campaign, with universities and colleges. We should do the same with those gun manufactures and distributors who provide military guns and ammo.

    A key method in the war on the tobacco industry was to justifiably demonize the growers and manufacturers as merchants of death who glamorized smoking and targeted children and other vulnerable populations. Instead, we championed public education about the harmful effects of smoking and curbed the "free speech" of the tobacco companies. We should do the same with those gun manufacturers and distributors who glamorize militia mentality gun ownership. Instead, we should champion public education about gun safety and gun law, particularly in regard to endorsing, preparing for and engaging in armed insurrection.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:57:43 AM PST

  •  Everybody--watch "Bowling for Columbine" again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    Invite your friends and neighbors to watch it with you, too.  It's a really comprehensive analysis of why we're so prone to use guns for violent activity, and doesn't let anyone off the hook.  It asks "what's wrong with us," since other countries watch violent movies and video games, but don't act on those impulses to kill actual people.  I watched it a second time just recently, and it's amazing how good this movie is.

    •  Bowling for Columbine (0+ / 0-)

      It takes real 'brass' to debate someone w/ Alzheimer's disease.

      Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

      by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:50:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Heston was incompetent, why'd the NRA use him? (0+ / 0-)

        They made him the spokesperson, Moore just interviewed him.

        •  Every dog has its day (0+ / 0-)

          Ive nursed plenty of dogs over the final hump
          Is it asking too much, for a 'liberal' to be kind & respectful to a fellow human being, approaching the final chapter.
          Ive also had 2 uncles pass from end stage Alzheimer's

          Why'd the Republicans use Raygun
          he was nuts too, for what 10-15 yrs ?
          His defense re Iran/Contra was
           Huh? I cant remember..duh?
          Why didn't Clinton try that line testifying to ken star?

          Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

          by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:10:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Michael Moore was respectful (0+ / 0-)

            But honestly, there's more to the movie than that interview.  Did you miss the interview with Marilyn Manson explaining how the "culture" is not as influential as our military-industrial complex?  Did you miss the interview with the South Park creators talking about how fear of failure contributes to school violence?  Did you miss Chris Rock's routine about bullet control?

            I know it's popular among the RKBA folks to fixate on how Michael Moore abused poor, poor defenseless Charlton Heston, but 1). Heston's the spokesperson, so he should either have been up to the challenge of talking to a filmmaker or should have declined. and 2). there's a whole lot more to the movie than the gun control debate.

  •  You touch on many good points. Dialog is good. (3+ / 0-)

    To me, the overriding issue is the utter failure of what there is of a mental health system.

    Most health insurance plans do not even have mental health coverage, just as they don't have dental coverage. Our whole society swept the universe of mental health under the rug.

    It is a miracle that there have only been a handful of mass shooting incidents, when you consider the number of mentally ill, seriously ill, left to roam the countryside with out treatment or even recognition... AND... the fact we have 200+ million firearms in private hands.

    It is extremely rare, yet occasionally a homicidal maniac intersects with a firearm supply, and havoc ensues. The indignation and outrage machine fires up, and away we go.

    We lash out at everything but the real core issues behind the tragedy du jour.

    Key elements of real solutions:

    1) A real, complete, database for background checks that all 50 states fully participate in.

    2) A real background check, tiered, so that more dangerous weapons require a more in depth true investigation.

    3) Mandatory treatment and/or isolation of the seriously dangerous mentally ill. Humane, decent care, but care whether voluntary or involuntary.

    4) Requirement, just as we do now for anyone suffering seizures, that medical personal report the mentally ill to the database to preclude legal firearms purchase. The same for any indication of domestic violence.

    5) Gun ownership has to involve not just YOU but your family and friends or anyone that can have access to your weapons, a criminal or mentally ill person in your life requires modification of your firearm ownership.

    These are just some of the dozens of actions we need to take SYSTEMICALLY to begin deal with our issues.

    Since we do politics here at DKos, I'll say it is critical that Democrats take the adult, reality based approach to these matters, keeping the matters in perspective. Newtowne was horrible, but it was a truly isolated incident that has nothing to do with urban economics and violence, the drug war, poverty, domestic violence, or any of th major drivers of gun related violence.

    To conflate the sensationalistic mass incidents with the broader issues of gun related violence, just blurs the focus on the entire dialog and assures we never get to the bottom of anything.

  •  For people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nebraskablue

    Who think you have to ban guns to control them. In Canada you can buy a hand gun but the restriction on the use is tight. You have to keep them locked at home until you want to go to a range, Then you must travel directy to the range with bullets locked seprate from the gun. After shooting at the range you must go directly home and lock up the gun.
      A person caught with an iilegal hand gun gets mim 3 years in prison.
    Why would these laws not work in the U.S.

  •  Diary Commentary (3+ / 0-)

    I've tipped your diary, but not rec'd it.  
    The discourse is good, but I disagree with some of the reasoning.  I hope Puddy finds the tone of my reply acceptable.

    I dealt with violence for decades, and as I said in a discussion a couple of days ago, I don't believe guns are as much a cause, as a symptom of dysfunction.  
    The person I was in-discussion with felt they were a vector for violence.
    That a gun, brings violence with it, or increased violence.

    I've seen that, but the cause for the gun to be there, preceded the gun each and every time.  The #1 gun of the crack and cocaine wars was the Tec-9.  Having a Tec-9 didn't imbue you with a salable amount of rock or powder cocaine.  It was concurrent at best.

    90% of our issues as a violent society go to despair, most often linked to enduring poverty.  
    Drugs as a valid economic enterprise, when no other enterprise exists.
    Gangs as a valid substitute for family, and employers.
    Domestic violence revolves arguments over money, addictions, the money for addictions.  From there, it spirals out of control, as once the genie's out, it's hard to stuff it back in.
    Sickness, mental and physical, can put financial strains on families, and is often a reason mental health issues go unreported, untreated.

    Removing the guns, even via the great magnet in the sky method, won't remove the poverty and despair.

    You made a great case for improving the NICS.
    We gun owners all agree.  After all, the NICS was devised by gun owners as a substitute for the 14 day waiting period with an optional background check.

    That waiting period (in California) did nothing to prevent "... the alleged LIRR gunman Colin Ferguson, from calmly loading dozens of deadly 9mm hollowpoints into his clips and opening fire on fellow passengers." < NY Daily News, Early Edition, Dec. 8, 1993.

    Further, I suggest Progressives hold their nose and Wayne LaPierre to expending NRA political capital, and fund single-payer mental health care.  Thus improving the NICS, and delivered care to those who are depressed, despairing, and a danger to themselves or others.

    As for increasing funding to make mental health resources available to more people, I'm all for it.  I question the commitment and political will of Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures to take that step, however.  Republicans have consistently opposed funding for mental health since the days of Ronald Reagan.  Furthermore, simply providing better treatment for the mentally ill is not necessarily going to reduce gun violence unless it is part of a regulatory scheme that does a better job  at preventing firearms from being acquired by people with a history of mental illness, emotional problems, suicidal tendencies or a history of violent behavior.
    Two last points.
    1) End the war on drugs... at least start with marijuana.
    2) Change the definition of "prohibited person" from "felons" to: "persons convicted of a crime of violence".

    We've missed the mark for years, as the intent in the mid '60s was to disarm the NOI and BPP.
    Members of which were often persons with a felony prison incarceration, who came to Islam in prison, or were recruited to "radicalism".  Personally, I didn't see the BPP as doing anything other than reasonable acts in Oakland, as all other forms of legal recourse were purposely closed to the African-American community.

    Misdemeanor Assault or Battery is often indicative of a pattern of laying your hands, fists, feet or objects upon another person.
    I worry about those persons having access to weapons, not the pot growers, illegal immigrants, or accountant cooking the books, nor the broker doing some insider trading.
    There's an observable force continuum in crimes of violence.
    Fondlers become rapists.  Slaps become punches.  Fists become bludgeons.  Sticks become knives.  Knives become guns.

    •  How to justify prohibiting mentally ill (0+ / 0-)

      people from gun ownership? Would have to be due process/court involved, right? It would be totally unconstitutional otherwise. So, this would not stop Lanza, Cho, etc.

      “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

      by jeff in nyc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:30:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

        People are involuntarily committed all the time and that is constitutional.

        Not all mental illness is a cause for concern, but certainly denying people with a known history of suicidal attempts or violent behavior associated with their illness would pass constitutional muster.  One can always go to court to have the designation overturned if the facts are in your favor.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:46:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think I understand due process then, if (0+ / 0-)

          you can be deprived of rights without a court or magistrate.

          “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

          by jeff in nyc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:11:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  An involuntary commitment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jeff in nyc

            requires a court hearing.

            As for saying that one cannot purchase a firearm because of a known condition that makes you prone to be a danger to your self or others, or a history of violent behavior, I don't see that as a big issue.  One, there must be an official record of the condition in question.  Two, one can always seek relief in court from the effects of the ban if you show that the record is false or that the condition (danger to self or others) no longer applies.  

            "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

            by Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:28:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Take a look at the following (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jeff in nyc

            "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

            by Steven D on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:31:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  THanks...I appreciate it! (0+ / 0-)

              “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

              by jeff in nyc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:38:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks. I guess I did understand correctly-- (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Steven D

              in that some kind of judicial oversight is required. I think that the same is true for involuntary commitment, as you said. I'm fine with that. I guess I was concerned that we were talking about people who have sought treatment for anxiety or depression, for example, being enrolled on a "no gun" list.

              “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

              by jeff in nyc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:40:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Reasoned approach, but taxes raise a concern (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mildly Unsuccessful Lurker

    I'm a hunter and gun owner, and I have no problems with most of what the diarist proposes. The idea of supporting it by a tax on firearms and/or ammo could be iffy, though. What starts as a reasonable tax to cover the cost of the system could become a prohibitive tariff. I'd rather see a outright ban than to have hunting and shooting become yet another privilege reserved  only for the wealthy.

  •  Some thoughts on your proposals: (2+ / 0-)

    1. Dealers are not responsible for the actions of those who purchase their guns. However, if it can be proven that the dealer is specifically and knowingly selling to a criminal, or one with criminal intent, I agree they need to be held accountable. The problem is proving that. It is not enough to simply point out a correlation between x dealer and y number of crimes.

    2. I'll get back to in a moment...

    3. I agree. You should certainly receive some sort of training prior to owning a weapon. I would even go so far as to introduce differing classes of license, for different kinds of weapons. A basic safety course, and proficiency courses for each general class of weapon (shotgun, pistol, ect) will do a lot of gun owners a lot of good.

    Here's the two-fold rub: All other licensing requirements are obtained through the states. Driving, hunting, fishing, building... I do not think a federal license to purchase/own a firearm would survive a constitutional challenge.

    Second fold... If I am going to submit to a federal requirement to purchase, own and carry... then that federal permission must supersede state authority on the issue. Every state. Hawaii, New York and Maryland must recognize and abide by the licensing I have obtained. Otherwise there is no incentive whatsoever for any gun owner in any blue state to abide.

    But I agree with licensing. Proving you can use an object you wish to purchase, when that object is dangerous, isn't especially onerous, in my opinion. Which brings us back up to:

    2. If I have proven that I can use a weapon responsibly, and that I am not a criminal, let me have the magazines to use that weapon properly. I own a FN Five Seven pistol. The standard magazine for that pistol is 20 rounds. My friend's Glock holds 18 rounds standard. These are not huge banana clips, they are the capacity that the weapon was designed for. In exchange for gun owner's consent to the time and expense of the licensing requirement, you need to reciprocate with trust. If you can trust me with seven rounds, you can trust me with eight. If you trust me with ten rounds, you can trust me with eleven.

    4. Database completion and inter-agency communication is a no-brainer. +1

  •  May I please see your First, Fourth, Thirteenth... (0+ / 0-)

    and Twenty-Fourth Amendment licences, proof of training and proof of fees paid for the privilege of exercising your Rights?

  •  Just my personal take on those points: (0+ / 0-)
    Identify and Prosecute Gun Dealers Who Disproportionately Sell Firearms Used in Gun Violence
    This certainly needs improving. The numbers available are limited, but what numbers I've seen show such a small number of dealers providing such a large number of the guns used by criminals that something needs fixing.
    Ban High Capacity Magazines
    I don't oppose reasonable magazine capacity limits. I would not oppose buyback and/or replacement of larger magazines. So many firearms come with 10 as a standard number (and it was the legal limit for a decade) that it would seem to be the smallest reasonable number. I'm not in support of this being a backdoor way of banning a large number of currently legal semiautomatic firearms.
    Gun Licenses
    Absolute opposition. I don't support requiring a license to exercise rights.
    Improve Databases for Persons Not Entitled Under Current Law to Own Firearms
    Agree. Federal reporting of those prohibited must be required for the system to work properly.

    I would add that I will support ending the private party sales exemption (aka "gun show loophole") and making it a requirement to report the theft or loss of a firearm for both dealers and individuals.

    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 29, 2013 at 09:25:26 PM PST

  •  Photos (0+ / 0-)

    Instead of a warning label, how about placing a photo of a child who has been shot 11 times, on each package of bullets.  
      (I am so sick and tired of the 2nd Amendment Crap, which is obstructing my domestic Tranquility and  general Welfare.)

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