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Well, there is no such thing.  This is my proposal.  One side of the political divide is characterized by  those who feel that that 47% of us are "takers" .  Many advocate that we all carry a gun as responsible citizens, as it is the ONLY way to protect ourselves and others.   Those of us who are not armed in this world are seen as  irresponsible.  I just wish to carry this to its logical extreme by proposing a Gun responsibility act.  

IN this gun responsibility act, the gun owner--now this will come as a shock--will be responsible for his or her weapon at all times.   Translation, if you leave your weapon in a desk drawer and someone breaks in and steals it, you were not carrying out your duty to keep criminals from being armed.  If your six year old granddaughter finds your pink pistol in a drawer and shoots her three year old brother, obviously you did not fulfill your legal duty to be responsible. You can still own the weapon, but you have to be responsible.    If you try to get your keys out of your pocket and your concealed-carry pistol shoots your balls off, or shoots your wife in the leg, you were not responsible.   If your kid shows up at school with your weapon in his backpack--Maybe you were responsible.  If a burglar uses a cutting torch to remove your guns from your gun safe you probably did carry out due diligence--unless everyone knew there were a lot of unattended guns there.  You likely were irresponsible if the gun was kept in  the heirloom antique glass case or on pegs over your door.  Shoot yourself while cleaning a gun--irresponsible.  Not able to show that you are adequately trained in gun safety--also irresponsible.   You don't have the mental control to keep from shooting people--irresponsible.   You lend your weapon to your brother, and he proves to be irresponsible, then you did not vet him correctly and have a responsibility; if he does something criminal with it it is that much worse for you.    You sell your gun to someone irresponsible (or you don't know if they are responsible) know the drill.

Irresponsible gun ownership should carry stiff penalties and  and allow for deep liabilities.  Oh yes, and you should have liability insurance.  And liability insurance may be  taxable.

My gunsmith friend suggests that  a responsible gun owner needs to demonstrate that she is responsible by demonstrating that she does not have the intention of going out and committing a crime and the ability to not act impulsively.  This might require that they subject themselves to some sort of mental health exam, or have their psychiatrist write a letter.  I'm sure that a lot of the people waiting for the apocalypse would be happy to comply.  

I imagine this community can improve on this idea.  I don't know what to do about gun resgistration, but it kind of has to happen at some level for this to work.  It might be kind of nice also if all gun barrels sold  had a ballistics specimen on file.  I don't know if technically that could work, but someone out there does.


if such a law were enacted would it

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| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  How about: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherie clark

    "Grownup Responsibility Act" ?

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:21:06 AM PST

  •  As a gun owner I support some of this (5+ / 0-)

    I don't see why it can't be a requirement to store guns securely when you aren't using them.  I keep mine locked up and out of reach of my kids.  I am not sure that I completely support the idea of punishing the victim of theft, provided their guns were secured.  I also don't know that I would know a good way to ensure that they are secured other than word of mouth.  I certainly don't want any police digging around in my house and the only way they could truly ensure that private firearms are secured would be to conduct a full search of every house and place of business in the country.  Not feasible nor is it constitutionally acceptable.

  •  Increase the Penalties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Maybe 5 years without parole for illegally carrying a concealed firearm.  25 years without parole for using a firearm in the commission of any crime. Capital punishment for using a firearm in a homicide.  That will get some of the criminals off the street.

    "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

    by ParaHammer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:36:33 AM PST

    •  Case in Point (0+ / 0-)

      "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

      by ParaHammer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:40:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  they tried this in NYC under Lindsey if I remember (4+ / 0-)

      correctly, making drug dealing a capital offense.  The upshot was more shoot outs as dealers felt they had nothing to lose in resisting arrest.

      I think you would find most law enforcement officers would oppose your capital idea, not to mention the already existing arguments against capital punishment

      •  OK so how about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        50 years no parole.

        "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

        by ParaHammer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:39:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you would need to decrease drug offense (2+ / 0-)

          penalties.  Since the US has one of the largest population of inmates, there is really no room for the numbers of new inmates such a law would generate.  Of course we could build lotsa and lotsa new prisons; there are many private corporations standing at the ready to do just this

          •  Then do it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I would rather have a marijuana user go free to make room for an armed robber.

            "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

            by ParaHammer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:26:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree but the chances of Obama decriminalizing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              weed are none and a whole lot less than none.  If anything he is ramping up GWB's attack on medical weed as the IRS is now treating the income of weed clinics as the proceeds of a criminal enterprise and refusing to recognize any of their deductions or credits

          •  Do whatever it takes to give more space to violent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            offenders.  Felon who possess guns, armed robbers, people who shoot other people.....should be locked up forever, if it takes that, so they can no longer shoot other people.

            This is the biggest thing we can do to reduce actual gun crime.....if that is indeed what we are trying to do with these proposals.   It also has zero consequence to rights of law abiding citizens whoa re gun owners.  

            •  so far it appears the demographic is the lower (0+ / 0-)

              the crime rate, the higher the number of inmates so we end up warehousing people for their entire lives for something they may have done 30 or 40 years ago.
              (after all, one state found a way to execute a 12 year old)

              It speaks poorly of rehab possibilities for inmates in general

              •  So what are we trying to do with these laws, then? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The last AWB was a total failure on crime rate.  

                Criminals will go around any little 1000 fine law we put out there that says you must have a safe (that no one could check for anyway)

                Insurance, taxes, fees will face Constitutional scrutiny.

                I'm all for background checks, I have never brought one without it since that was a federal requirement but it won't hinder criminals at all.  They don't buy them that way now.

                I just don't get the attitude that we must pass laws that go after the law abiding and yet it is mean, unfair, cruel or too much money to go after the actual people who shoot people.  It makes no sense to me.

                If we are truly trying to stop gun crime, and we know the laws being proposed will not touch gun crime in any real way....what's the point?   If we want to make a difference, do something that will make a difference. Lock up people who abuse their rights and guess what? They can't shoot people in prison.

                You talk about a 30 or 40 year sentence for someone who did it a long time ago....but have no concern for the rights of those who value the 2A and might lose all or part of it forever. We committed no crime, and yet will receive a lifetime sentence, if some proposals, being tossed around by some, ever become a reality.

                •  I can only suggest that other industrialized (0+ / 0-)

                  nations have long ago moved their penal system towards rehab and not retribution while we remain mired in the past with people serving life terms for offenses committed when they were 16 with no chance of parole.  Of course this does not even begin to address our broken judicial system where as many as 10% of inmates may be innocent of the crime they were incarcerated for according to the Innocence Project.

                  All draconian sentences do is to give criminals incentive to roll the dice and go for the high speed chase and the stand-off and the shoot-out, putting civilians and law enforcement at risk  

                  •  ok, but again.....who are we targeting in these (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    proposals...if not the criminals?  The reason we are doing it is to attempt to stop gun crimes in some real way, correct?

                     I mean we are going after a Constitutional right here....not just any law, but the 2nd right to the people under the Bill of Rights.  When people have been killed during protests, or cities burned down.... we didn't outlaw protests or protesting....we prosecuted the people who abused the 1A,  not take away the right for others.

    •  How about the exact same penalties apply for law (0+ / 0-)

      abiding responsible gun owners, Para? Such as, carry without a permit,  years? Brandish, use in a threatening, irresponsible, or idiotic manner such as dropping it in public, accidental discharge-25 years? Kill someone with one as as result of being irresponsible, stupid, or idiotic, that same capital punishment you're all for in regard to criminals? All 'law abiding responsible gun owners' are until they aren't- at that point they are damn certain no better than those criminals you're pissing and moaning about.
         Besides, your friends at the NRA already covered mandatory minimums, three strikes and massive prison building years ago- it didn't work...

      The Big House That Wayne LaPierre Built
      The NRA spent millions in the 1990s pushing the largest prison construction boom ever—and harsh sentencing to keep them full
         No ulterior motivation there at all...

      Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

      by teabaggerssuckbalz on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:00:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros, OldSoldier99

        do the things you mention they you are not a law abiding responsible gun owner.  No reason to get worked up the way you did.
        You may want to give a free pass to the criminals but that just entitles them to commit their crimes again.

        "In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets. " James Webb, Sep 02

        by ParaHammer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:22:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, there are indeed laws regarding crime, I'm (0+ / 0-)

          giving no one a pass here, quite the opposite- I want to see a equitable level of justice. If you think it is currently then you're sadly mistaken.
             I followed gun incidents very closely for a bit over two years, anything that got reported involving the use of a gun I followed. On the face of things sure, I can see why most people would believe that the laws as they currently stand are meted out in equal fashion but they simply are not.
             The first case i noticed this in was right nearby, legal gun owner carries his gun in his waistband. Little league coach with his team celebrating an apparent win by taking then to a Smokey Bones in Orlando. Numbnuts gun got loose from him when he sat down, hits the floor and discharges. Injured four people, three of which were kids.
              Believe what you want but his gun was given back to him on the scene. Just an accident.
              Legally carrying gun owner in Jacksonville goes into a dry cleaners to pick up his cleaned goods, as he reaches across the counter out pops his gun, hits the floor and kills the clerk as a result.
              No charges.
              Dope dealer in Daytona. legally carrying, shoots a customer as he is pulling away from his house through the rear windshield, customer dies.
              Charged with many various charges for dealing related offenses but called the shooting one made in self defense. No gun related charge.
              The most recent one near here was over in Altamonte IIRC, neighbor dispute. Guy walks over to his neighbors and begins stomping his landscaping. Homeowner calls the cops, cops come but say that since they didn't personally witness it that they couldn't charge the neighbor based on the homeowners statement.
             Homeowner sets to work trying to replant and salvage his plants and as he's doing so the neighbor, now enraged that the homeowner called the police, kicks the wood fence down separating their yards and stomps all over the mans plants again as he is approaching the homeowner. Homeowner has his shovel there, picks it up and whacks this dickhead with it.
             Dickhead calls the cops, cops come and haul homeowner off to jail fpr the crime of aggravated felonious assault.
              Since when does stand your ground only apply when its a gun, legally carried and questionably discharged ?
               A few weeks ago, there's a very recent video of this up on AJC and youtube, guy is sucker punched by a total stranger at a football game. Mob mentality took over and in seconds this poor mofo has about 10 guys kicking and throwing punches at him as he is pinned against a railing unable to move. He dawned on him that he had a knife, he whipped it out and began cutting his way out of this attack by a mob. They got the knife away from him but as they did it drew the attention of a security or cop on the scene. Cops pepper spray the crowd attacking the guy and they all flee into the crowd, leaving this guy a bloody mess.
              He's the only one charged in the incident last I saw- why, because he used a knife? if it'd been a gun and he'd shot the fuckers they'd have most definitely ruled it stand your ground.
              That's the problem I have seen, if you've got a gun and it's legal. chances are very good that you'll get a free pass after acting an asshole with it. After I noticed the first instance of it I really began watching cases to see the outcome and you'd be surprised just how reckless and dangerous you can be with a gun and get away with it simply because it was legally carried at the moment of offensive behavior with it.

          Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

          by teabaggerssuckbalz on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:03:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  teab - the prison boom did lower the crime rate (0+ / 0-)

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:02:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What lowered the crime rate was a long and (0+ / 0-)

          sustained period of economic growth coupled with the fact that crack cocaine fell out of favor and the gangs involved in selling and distribution of it saw their market disappear. It wasn't building more prisons. You can build one in every city in this country and every one will be at or over its intended capacity in no time at all. It has more to do with being more selective about who really needs to be put away in one- ask any Californian how more prisons and three strikes worked out for them... Supreme court had to order mass releases very reminiscent of the time before those extra prisons were built and they still have a major problem as we speak

          Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

          by teabaggerssuckbalz on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:10:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree and as a law abiding gun owner, I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the first priority of congress 'discussions' should be directed straight at criminals and those who would harm people. Many, many productive things we can apply in that realm that would make a real difference.

      Go after them first and then we can talk about hindering further the rights of gun owners who have committed no crimes.

  •  confusing language (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, cherie clark, happymisanthropy

    the way diarist uses "not responsible" confusing as to whether it means "not held responsible" or "determined to have been irresponsible".

  •  danielkatz - what is the current law? (4+ / 0-)

    I imagine this varies by state, but what is the current state of the law? If someone takes your gun without your permission, and injures or kills someone, commits a robbery or causes property damage, what civil or criminal liability does the gun owner have today?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:49:38 AM PST

    •  I think it depends on the circumstances (2+ / 0-)

      I leave my pistol with a guy to repair the clip spring and he shoots someone, I am not liable.  Someone unknown to me burgles my home and later uses a gun I had hidden or secured, no liability.

      However if I give someone a gun, knowing he is distraught over a divorce or if I leave a gun out where a neighbor kid shoots his dad, then I would be facing civil penalties and possible criminal charges, though probably misdemeanor.

      This is only in SC and I could be wrong.  Latest case I know of is a guy went to a friend and told him his girlfriend's estranged husband was coming to kill him and asked for a gun.  Friend gave him brother's rifle.  Guy shot husband in disputed circumstances (among others, husband did not have a gun but had left dozens of voice mails saying he was coming to kill guy).  Guy was found not guilty and also won civil suit, married his girlfriend and used husband's insurance money to buy a farm.  No problems for guy who handed him gun or the gun owner.  Wonder how people here would evaluate this case?    

  •  Gun manufacturers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Naniboujou

    They should also be responsible.

    •  there have been numerous suits against (0+ / 0-)
    •  Rosedale - gun manufacturers are shielded (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ParaHammer, happymisanthropy

      by the 2005 Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

      However, I would like to understand your theory why a manufacturer of a gun, who sends it through a distribution channel, of one to three other entities who are responsible for complying with all federal, state and local laws, should have any liability for any accident or criminal use of the gun?

      What gun control advocates were trying to do was use the courts to put gun manufacturers out of business through liability lawsuits. The LCAA was in response to those lawsuits. What liability manufacturers have for making guns is a decision for Congress, not the courts.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:12:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Should they be responsible (0+ / 0-)

      for misuse by police officers as well?

      the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:22:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if safes were subsidized? (3+ / 0-)

    Delivery and installation included. Gun owners win because they get a free safe and society wins because guns are more secure.  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:20:27 AM PST

    •  we have to remember safes are not safe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      necessarily.  Different safes are easier to crack than others but the really nice ones get pricey, $2500-$5000 range while a custom job can run $10,000-$20,000.  Still a tax deduction or tax credit of, say $1000, would motivate those without safes to at least consider installing one.

      OTOH there are also other routes to acquire firearms as I note a cop recently had his shotgun stolen out of his patrol vehicle and some years ago, a NG supply sgt was caught selling guns from the armory and more recently, a couple of guys at Bragg were caught selling guns they were supposed to be destroying (some old Garands, I think)

  •  POLL RESULT: take away mah freedoms!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You need to add another response to your poll: Such a law, if enacted, would launch gun enthusiasts into prolonged paroxsyms of outrage and anger over the perceived attack on their freedoms and liberty.  

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:28:07 AM PST

  •  the idea of "keep" meaning keep has been (3+ / 0-)

    proposed in earlier diaries with various commentaries on the constitutionality of such a definition since it greatly expands the responsibility of anyone who owns property. For example, since, generally, one group cannot be targeted for enforcement of a law to the exclusion of other groups, this would mean if your car is stolen because you left the keys in the ignition, you are responsible if it is used in a bank robbery.  

    I dislike going into NRA type arguments, but would this mean that people who do not adequately secure their butcher knives would be responsible if someone were to steal that knife (or crowbar or baseball bat) and commit an assault would you be responsible?  If someone were to steal my propane tanks and use them to crack a safe, am I responsible.

    As I have noted in previous diaries, I am not trying to be argumentative though I may be being argumentative, but I am interested in how such a law would operate and how it would be administered

  •  Mandatory insurance, like car insurance (0+ / 0-)

    To cover the social costs generated.....trips to ERs, etc.  So insurance is not only specific to the owner, but also spreads the social cost of gun ownership.

    In other words, the fully burdened cost of owning a gun is not off-loaded onto the non-gun owning population.

    •  It would come under constitutional scrutiny. Some (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, ParaHammer, fuzzyguy

      might not be able to afford it and yet would still have a right to own guns under the Constitution without money and fees and taxes being applied exclusively to that right by a federal mandate.  

      Voter IDs have to be free....same principle.

    •  I'm having a hard time imagining what liabilities (0+ / 0-)

      associated with legal and non-negligent ownership and use would be covered by such insurance, unless you contemplate a no-fault regime.

      In the latter case, since both firearm owners or non-firearm holders can be considered negligent in the event, it's not clear how liability costs could not be distributed among them all.

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