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Ever since the 12/14 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, which put 20 first-graders and six educators in premature graves, polls have shown an overwhelming majority of Americans support background checks for all gun purchases. The most recent polls nationwide and in six states run by Quinnipiac University show that point of view has not changed. Nationwide, 88 percent of Americans surveyed said they favored universal background checks while only 10 percent said they were opposed. And 85 percent of gun owners vs. 13 percent said they did, too.

The current law, thanks to lobbying in the early 1990s by the National Rifle Association, only covers gun sales transacted through federally licensed dealers, not private sales. The NRA didn't want any background checks at the time, but it saw the handwriting on the wall and compromised. Over the years, it has picked away at the requirement, weakening it whenever it could. Critics have claimed that criminals don't try to buy their guns legally so, therefore, the background check law doesn't work, can't work. But, in fact, since it was implemented, the system has stopped 1.9 million people barred from buying guns from obtaining them legally.

However, the system as now constituted means a percentage of guns—the actual figure is much disputed—is purchased or otherwise transferred each year without a check, at gun shows, over the back fence, out of the trunks of cars. Paroled murderers and people legally judged too mentally ill to own firearms can thus easily obtain them without anyone being the wiser. Private sellers can only be prosecuted if they intentionally sell a gun knowing that a person is barred from purchases. That is an exceedingly difficult threshold to meet in court, so private sales to felons and dangerously mentally ill persons go mostly unprosecuted.

In 2012, the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System ran 16,808,538 checks for licensed dealer sales. Even if the figure for private sale is only 5 percent of that, it would amount to hundreds of thousands of guns bought each year without a background check being run. The actual percentage could be far higher.

That situation has made extending universal background checks to all sales the most popular idea for new gun-control measures, even though all newly proposed measures have received majority support. That includes a proposed assault weapons ban introduced by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California that is dead but not yet officially buried. Please continue to read about background checks below the fold.

The universal background check proposal is still alive. But it's on life support because of a dispute over record-keeping that the bill's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and other gun-control advocates, say is essential to its effectiveness. Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and other gun-rights advocates say this would create a registry that is a prelude to gun confiscation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to keep a background check provision in the broader gun bill he introduced Thursday night for debate when the Senate returns to business after the Easter recess.

While nationwide polls can often paper over differences among states and districts, that seems not to be the case with the background check proposal. Quinnipiac reports:

Florida: 91–8 percent support, including 88-11 percent among gun owners (March 21)
Connecticut: 93-6 percent support, including 89-9 percent among gun owners (March 6)
Ohio: 90-8 percent, including 86-12 percent among gun owners (March 1)
Pennsylvania: 95-5 percent, including 95-4 percent among gun owners (Jan. 30)
New Jersey: 96-3 percent, including 95-5 percent among gun owners (Jan. 24)
Virginia: 92-7 percent, including 91–7 percent among gun owners (Jan. 10)

While none of those polls are of states west of the Mississippi, a poll earlier this month of residents of Utah where gun laws are lax and anyone, including legislators, can carry concealed firearms into the statehouse or other government buildings, found 83 percent favored universal background checks.

The will of the people is clear. The question, as so often with gun legislation, is whether the NRA will be able to thwart it.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:01 AM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  big clips,straw purchases,uzis,psychos,gotta/go (6+ / 0-)

    Monsanto is poison, they gotta be stopped.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:09:11 AM PDT

    •  Inb4 you're 'making fun of mentally challenged'. (0+ / 0-)

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:23:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  1 million dead since John Lennon in 1980 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renzo capetti, LilithGardener

      according to Yoko Ono: https://twitter.com/...

      If we had effective universal background checks on all purchases, and even 10% of those deaths could have been prevented, that's 100,000 people who would be alive today - fathers, mothers, sons, daughters - whole families that could have been spared the grief that comes with a bullet's tearing into human flesh.

      How many unsolved murders have left killers and batterers and the dangerously insane returning to gunstores for more weapons and ammo to threaten more victims, often family members, without having to worry about being questioned as to their readiness to own a gun?

      The gun manufacturers and the NRA's gun lobby and PR machine only care about selling guns. That includes currying the favor of legislators like Harry Reid, who still has a favorable rating with the NRA: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...  How he can be perceived as an even handed leader on the gun control issue is beyond me. His conflicted politics won't let him freely advocate for the strongest legislation here.

      One million dead.   How many more?

      "...the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody." - Jim Clyburn

      by Beastly Fool on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:35:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The NRA's, GOA's reputation is well deserved (5+ / 0-)

    There are many Democratic senators in swing/red states who do not want to face an anti-gun vote. It could cost 1-2% points in a very close race.

    There are many Republican congressmen who do not want to be primaried; an anti-gun rights vote could cost them a GOP nomination.

    Even if the Senate does pass "something" I thing it runs into a brick wall in the GOP controlled House.

  •  Guns, gays, and the minimum wage (16+ / 0-)

    will be OUR wedge issues in 2014.  It's a shame that many culturally conservative white working class voters became Republicans, but it's nice that Dems don't have to walk on eggshells on these issues anymore.   The long hope to get southern, white working class voters by downplaying certain issues can be left behind.

    It's a btter Dem party without them.  Chasing the southern populist dream, as some articulated for John Edwards in 2008, is based on false premises.  Yes, there are historic instances of black and white sharecroppers working together during the Populist era, but when push came to shove, race usually trumped class.

    The fudnamental problem with the southern populist route is that it is based on echoes of Jacksonian Democracy, and if one looks at both the history and the echoes, one sees white supremacy.   One of Jackson's main issues was "Indian Removal" from east of the Mississippi to give their land to poor whites.   And while he opposed nullification, he always supported slavery.  

    In  the end, it was rough equality among whites, a herrenvolk democracy.  

    Whne leftist look at certain white working class strata, it is so hard to see why they won't ally on class lines.  But "whiteness" has such a high value that it trumps class.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:15:45 AM PDT

    •  The Ehrenreichs, Barbara and John... (10+ / 0-)

      ...have done excellent studies on such strata since the '70s.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:22:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  uuuummm, no (0+ / 0-)

      Historically, the White southern working class were strong supporters of the Democratic party in general and the New Deal in particular.  
      This voting pattern held until the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan ,who was elected with majority support of white people North and South.
      White working class voters of all regions, North and South, tend to support Republicans to this day.

      "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

      by michealallison on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:44:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a reason for the term "Reagan Demo- (4+ / 0-)

        crat".  He played EVERYONE'S ego and won.  And exploited racial hatred like no one since.

        David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

        by PsychoSavannah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:50:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In 1968, white working class Southern voters... (10+ / 0-)

        ...in large numbers backed George Corley Wallace. After that, they drifted rapidly into the Republican Party for national issues, but until quite recently, still elected Democratic majorities to state legislatures. Only Carter staunched the flow for a single election in '76, and the national votes in three states of the old Confederacy were incredibly close.

        At the state level Democrats maintained control in almost all  Southern state legislatures until 1994 and they still were in charge in some places until 2002. As recently as 2008, the Mississippi state senate was controlled by Democrats.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:04:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Union workers and their families, (5+ / 0-)

        especially in the North, support Dems, perhaps because union membership is related to a deeper class consciousness.  

        As MB, says, look at the 1968 votes for George Wallace.  

        White southern working class supported segregation and the New Deal, but it was southern Dems in Congress who left the coalition in 1938.  

        In 1964, Barry Goldwater won La., Miss., Ala., Ga. and S.Car. in the South, and he could not have done it without working class whites there. That was about civil rights and race.  

        wikepedia  

        The Southern Dems in many states were the segregationists up through the 60s.  See, e.g., George Wallace, Lester Maddox.

        at the 1964 convention, the Dems had a big fight over which Missiissippi Dem Party to seat at the convention: the Freedom Party, inlcuding AAs, or the Regular Party (lily-white).      

        All of this, including support for some New Deal policies, is cosnsitent with Jacksonian Democracy, which at its core sometimes supports polices favorable to white working class voters while at the same time oppressing AAs.  It's white supremacy.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:32:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Demographically speaking... (0+ / 0-)

          White people of all income classes and tend to support the Republican party over the Democratic party.  Thats a fact all Demos have to acknowledge.  
          As far as segregation patterns go for Black people: In the South you had no Vote, in the Noth you had no one to Vote For.

          "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

          by michealallison on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:11:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, because of southern whites. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tytalus, FogCityJohn

            Take out whites from the Old Confederacy and you see different data with much more white support for Democrats.  While there is racism in the North, Midwest and East, the South holds more than its fare share of white racists and racist voting patterns among whites.  

            I also disagree with your second statement.  Having the vote mattered, even in a segregation border state.  Blacks were not disenfranchised in Missouri, although segregation was the law of the state.  In the 1920s, the need for the black vote, which was relatively small based on population but could be decisive in a close race, caused a candidate for mayor in St. Louis to promiose to build a "colored hospital."  Homeer G. Phillips was built in North St. Louis.  

            Homer G. Phillips Hospital was a hospital located at 2601 N

            . Whittier Street in The Ville neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. It was the city's only hospital for African-Americans from 1937 until 1955, when city hospitals were desegregated, and continued to serve the black community of St. Louis until its closure in 1979. While in operation, it was one of the few hospitals in the United States where black Americans could train as doctors and nurses, and by 1961, Homer G. Phillips Hospital had trained the "largest number of black doctors and nurses in the world."
            Homer G. Phillips Hospital, wikepedia  

            Such a hospital was not built in the Deep South, but in St. Louis because African Americans had the vote.  

            The City had ignored the need for an African American hospital "until Mayor Henry Kiel need votes for passage of an $87 million bond issue in 1923.  Kiel negotiated with Homer G. Phillips, a popular community leader and black attorney, for black votes.  In exchange for black support of the bond issue, Kiel promised $1 million to build a black hospital the black community."  

            Race, Power, and the building Trades in St. Louis.

            It still took another decade to get the hospital built, but it was built.  

            Even under the oppressive rule of segregation, having the vote made a difference in people's lives.

            Another example is Harry Truman's senate election  in 1940, which depended on black votes.  Truman, while far from perfect, later desegregated the military by executive order.  

            Yes, many Northern Dem (and R candidates) were racists and not very good, but African Ameircans did use their votes strategically, along with many other methods, to fight back.    

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:55:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, SIR (0+ / 0-)

              All of my previous statements will hold up to scrutiny.
              Further, until Brown v Board of Education was decided by the Supreme Court in 1954, Plessy v Ferguson was the law of land. Thus, segregation was legal in North and South, East and West.
              As far as the racial climate goes, all I can say is demographic patterns have shown a return of African Americans to the South.  

              "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

              by michealallison on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:59:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                Segregation de jure only existed in law where it was adopted by law so "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, SIR," please do some research.   Plessy allowed it, but affirmative law had to pass in a state.   Illinois idd not have de jure segregation; nor did many other states.

                I note your comment says nothing about the vote, which was what my repsonse was about.  

                Looking at southern votes for president, let's talk about the 80% plus of whites in Missisissippi who voted against Obama.

                This nation has a white racism problem, but it is most virulent in the south.  

                Southern white working class people will never advance until they leave racism behind.  I doubt I will see that in my lifetime.  (I'm in my 50s)

                   

                Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                by TomP on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 01:18:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Supreme Court Trumps State Law (0+ / 0-)

                  Whether defacto or dejure, segregation existed throughout the United States.  
                  True, different sections of the country had different social forms of segregation, but in Plessy, the Supreme Court gave official sanction to all those forms of segregation.  It would take Brown to end those sanctions.
                  Sadly, we see segregation still in our nations neighborhoods and schools.
                  Last thought, racism not a localized disease but a systemic disease.
                  I thank your for your thoughts, sir.
                  Best wishes.

                  "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

                  by michealallison on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 02:00:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  of the people, by the people, for the people (10+ / 0-)

    unless the NRA wants otherwise .

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:15:46 AM PDT

  •  Universal background checks and a (14+ / 0-)

    very simple way to close the gun show loophole....a booth at the entrance to the show where people contemplating a purchase get checked and are given a "I am legal to buy" wristband.  No wristband, no sale.

    You have to get these wristbands to buy alcohol at fairs and beer halls.

    There are a zillion ideas out there like this.  Let's start spreading them around.

    Capitol Switchboard:  202-224-3121

    David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

    by PsychoSavannah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:20:29 AM PDT

    •  This is a pretty great idea. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      Alternative would be that people could go on a federal website, pay for their own check and get a printout that they could bring for the wristband. Yeah it could be fraud sometimes but we allow this for DMV efforts, etc.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:22:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  $5.00 fee, ATF mans the booth, venue (10+ / 0-)

        provides secure computer connections free of charge.

        We can also offer a "Legal to Buy Guns" license, like a driver's license.  Picture, barcode, expiration date, so those that wanna buy guns a lot can do it without having to get checked a lot.  If you don't show up to get renewed, you go on the "Never sell this person a gun" list and anyone that does gets fined big.

        I would prefer nothing be done on-line with regard to guns.  Nothing at all.  Too much opportunity for fraud, way too much.

        David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

        by PsychoSavannah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:35:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see your points. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PsychoSavannah, Glen The Plumber

          I think some of the details aren't necessary or that you're seeing monsters under the bed where there aren't any, but we're not so far apart that if it was just up to you and me to implement the policy, we couldn't come to a nice agreement!

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:43:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There ARE monsters under the bed....the (12+ / 0-)

            idiots who think they're going to rebel against the government, criminals, wife-beaters, drunks with guns, idiots with guns, angry people with guns, lots of monsters.  Keeping them from easily getting a gun is my goal.  If that puts a hurdle in front of the "responsible gun owners", then they can jump it and I have no problem with that.  We jump hurdles to be law-abiding citizens every goddamned day.  People who want to own guns should be no different.

            And in a much-bigger-picture kinda way there is this:  we went for over a century without people walking around everywhere with a gun on their hip or slung over their shoulder.  And we did pretty well.  We evolved.  I see too many people who want to drag us back.  And i'm not going.

            David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

            by PsychoSavannah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:19:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was referring to ATF agents at the booths (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joy of Fishes

              vs a company contracted to do it or whatever. We're willing to allow private individuals to manage background checks on private sales so I think we wouldn't need actual ATF agents at the booth. It was that sort of thing, that's all. I'm not downplaying anything you mentioned.

              I see what you did there.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:37:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The whole public-private thing is a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mmacdDE

                longer conversation.  I don't think a bunch of stuff that has been privatized should be.  Background checks is one of them.  Right up there with prisons, and national parks, and NASA, and, and, and :-)

                David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

                by PsychoSavannah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:15:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You wouldn't get ATF agents at the booth... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FogCityJohn, WakeUpNeo

                ...There are more than 250 guns shows in the U.S. every year and they often run for more than one day. Thousands of people come to these. That means huge lines, even if each background check only takes 3 minutes. If 400 people show up in the first hour and you want to get them into the show during that hour, it will take 20 folks sitting at the booth to do so.

                Better, in my view, to have all sales handled by licensed dealers  (who can, for a fee, handle background checks for the private sellers on hand.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:08:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  New York is moving forward to close the gun show (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WakeUpNeo, PsychoSavannah

                  loophole. in 2011 a sting by NY's AG lead to prosecution of 10 dealers for failure to perform background checks at gun shows.

                  The NY AG worked with the industry to develop "best practices" to close the gun show loophole, making gun show operators responsible to implement a reasonable inventory management so they can know which guns were sold and ensure that background checks were done.

                  Following A.G. Schneiderman’s Investigation, Two Of New York's Largest Gun Show Operators Agree To New Guidelines To Protect The Public

                  Albany gun show promoter signs on to AG’s procedures

                  Best practice requirements:

                  ·       Post conspicuous signs throughout the shows, and give written notice to all dealers that New York State law requires that a National Instant Criminal Background Check be completed before the transfer of a gun at a gun show, including on the grounds of the show.

                  ·       Require that all guns brought into the gun show by private sellers are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine if the guns were sold and a NICS was performed.

                  ·       Provide access to a dealer who is authorized to conduct a NICS at cost.

                  ·       Limit the number of access doors at the show so that sellers and buyers have to enter and exit through an area where the NICS procedures can be monitored.

                  ·       Use reasonable means to prevent illegal gun sales outside of the building, including the parking lot.

                  ·       Alert local law enforcement that a show will be held in their area, request periodic patrols in the parking lots to deter illegal sales, and call them if illegal sales are observed or suspected.

                  "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                  by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:14:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  It's so bizarre to me (4+ / 0-)

              how many Gun-advocates think the Second Amendment is about fighting government tyranny.  The so-called originalists pay NO attention to why it was in there in first place.  They misquote the Founders.  They wind themselves up about Hitler and the UN and communism and socialism and black helicopters and jack booted thugs. They ignore the "well regulated militia" bit, or find some quote about what those words "really" mean on some gun-lovers' web site to parrot.      

              The bottom line is that if the Second Amendment was about overthrowing a democratically elected government some of "the people" didn't like, by violent force, then the blessed Constitution would be a self-destructing artifact.

              There are limitations on the First Amendment for the sake of public safety.  I do not understand why there aren't more limitations on the Second Amendment for the sake of public safety.  Our state-by-state gun laws are an embarrassment.  

        •  about those licenses... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PsychoSavannah, LilithGardener

          An idea I have heard that I find interesting is a system of graduated licensing, akin to what we have for passenger cars versus commercial vehicles. When I get a driver’s license, I can drive a car but I’m not qualified to drive an 18-wheeler. If I’m allowed to buy guns I can buy anything from a single shot shotgun to a .50 cal. sniper rifle, no further questions asked. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

          The idea behind graduated licensing the greater the horsepower/firepower the more training that would be required to earn the right to own that equipment. My take on it is, categories rising from least to most stringent:

          Class D: manually reloading rifles and shotguns. E.g.: bolt-action rifles, pump shotguns
          Class C: revolvers, most semi-automatic rifles and shotguns
          Class B: semi-automatic handguns
          Class A: civilian equivalents of military weapons, e.g.: AR-15, AK-47

          As I’m sure many would, one could quibble about the scope of each class, which guns belonged in which, etc.

          That said, the intent is pretty clear and basic. Traditional hunting weapons are left alone. The lethality and widespread misuse of handguns is taken more seriously. People can still own military equivalents, but we ask them to demonstrate the highest levels of competence.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 12:58:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Long lines. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:56:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  AND, keep records (0+ / 0-)

      But not the govt - the NRA.

      I wouldn't have a problem with them being the central repository for all the background check results, and when they were done, and what guns were purchased. They can't scream the govt is going to tax or take away your guns when THEY hold the records.

      The other thing would be to require that all personal sales go through a licensed dealer for registration. They could be compensated by the NRA, which would have a very valuable collection of data.

      And law enforcement at all levels would have one place to go to if they needed info about what gun was sold to whom and when.

    •  Yeah, the NRA keeps membership records... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, PsychoSavannah

      States keep records of hunting and fishing licenses, driver's licenses are certainly "well regulated".
      Businesses are licensed, doctors are licensed, all kinds of service employees have some kind of certification or license, where some government agency keeps records.

      It makes little sense to exempt potentially lethal weapons from some kind of "well regulated" licensing, or certification of owners or users.

      Public safety benefits everyone and is not just a private matter.

      With upwards of 10,000 gun deaths a year in the US, some kind of accountability is making sense to more and more of us all the time.

      The gun manufacturers PR machine (NRA) has only one mission - to sell more guns and ammo - to make these sales more palateable and easy for every possible customer. Anything that stands in the way of a single sale is to be taken down and defeated - politely if possible, but with overwhelming rhetoric and political maneuvering if necessary.

      The NRA probably keeps very detailed records of that.

      "...the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody." - Jim Clyburn

      by Beastly Fool on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:57:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In case anyone was wondering (0+ / 0-)

      this is what common sense gun control measures look like.

  •  Drop the *apparent* note on what gun is being (0+ / 0-)

    purchased to cause the background check, and/or keep the records local instead of a database. It will then pass.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:21:26 AM PDT

    •  Part of stopping gun running (5+ / 0-)

      means sharing that info.  Keeping it local is a big problem.

      David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

      by PsychoSavannah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:43:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then it's a registry. I doubt you oppose a (0+ / 0-)

        registry but then the bill/policy becomes a wheel-spinner that won't pass, using up more time and tax $$$.

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:44:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm more interested in making a political point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          megisi, cocinero

          Than actually passing something here.

          As I see it, the argument is really about how government can be a force for good by registering guns vs the libertarian fear that bigger government and more documentation paves the way for a police state.

        •  Something like 62% of the American people (6+ / 0-)

          think we already have a registry and everyone that has a gun has a license for it.

          David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

          by PsychoSavannah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:49:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can see why they think this way. Cop shows... (10+ / 0-)

            ...on television often ask people they interview in their own houses if a person has a permit even though it's a rare place with such a requirement.

            But we DO have a national gun registry already. It's required for anyone who wants to won a machine-gun. And in the 78 years it's been in place the only guns confiscated on that registry have been those owned by felons. So, the whole confiscation claim is a fantastically sculpted piece of bullshit.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:10:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  True (0+ / 0-)

              and there are only a minuscule amount of machine guns, as opposed to the millions upon millions of other guns out there.

              So even if every gun in the country suddenly got registered, there's no way on this earth that ALL of them, or even all of them in a certain area, could be confiscated. There's just too many guns and not enough people to do the confiscating.

              Though it would be nice to know the much smaller number of people who have over x number of guns, and who own y type of gun.  

            •  Confiscation makes no sense anyways (0+ / 0-)

              Common sense will tell you that if our government wants to enact gun removal instead of gun control, they would put in place a mandatory buyback, like Australia did with success.  And it would succeed because, as we all know, most gun owners are law-abiding citizens, and would obviously abide by the new law.  

              Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

              by nominalize on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:38:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Not if the NRA has its way. They oppose this... (5+ / 0-)

      ...kind of record-keeping, too.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:07:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes ... Useless and annoying paperwork (0+ / 0-)

      Will further motivate Gunners to back Conservatives ... while duping the softer and stupider Liberal whiners into thinking that somehow their precious children have been "kept safe".

      No registration, No regulation No investigation!

      Today, Tomorrow, Forever ...

      And that's because?

      "Guns! We WANTS them, Precious."

      Now, frankly I'm not convinced that "background checks" do much more than provide opportunities for straw buyers to make a dishonest buck now and then ... or that stripping the bayonet mounts and flash suppressors off "modern sporting rifles"  ( AR-15s etc.) does anything except create aftermarket opportunities for suppliers of bolt-on bayonet mounts, flash suppressors, tactical slings and fore stocks ... not to mention 100 round drum magazines.

      And since it appears that as much as 75% of firearms fatalities involve either a suicide or the murder of a family member ...

      Maybe we don't really HAVE a "gun problem" after all.

  •  Answer to your headline question: Yes (4+ / 0-)

    The reason: $$

    Far too many of our senators and congressmen will not listen to anyone who doesn't bring big money.  The lives of our children do not matter to them.

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:22:31 AM PDT

  •  Is Pope Frances Catholic Of course! As for the NRA (4+ / 0-)

    it doesn't matter if 99% of the people demand gun control, the 1% running the House and Senate have sold out their voting rights to the NRA so the rest of us are nothing but target practice for them.  

  •  Those poll numbers are kinda overwhelming. (6+ / 0-)
  •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

    But, how do you require a background check on a private sale? What's the method used? Who conducts the check?

  •  Evil (9+ / 0-)

    is the only word to describe the NRA. You can't reason with people who would allow felons and the mentally ill to purchase military  weaponery on line or at a gun show without a background check. The fact is, to the NRA, if it sells a gun it is a good thing, no matter how many are slaughtered. The only way to deal with LaPierre and his fellow evil NRAers is to call them what they are at every turn, until the public turns away from them in revulsion. Joe Scarborough did a good job of it this morning by mocking them for wanting felons and rapists to have guns. We all need to call them out on that in every way possible.

  •  We used to be a country of (5+ / 0-)

    majority rule.  Now we're a country of minority rule - as long as you have deep pockets.  Until the citizens of this country demand otherwise, we will continue to be a country of minority rule.  

    Even with the reelection of Obama, the rethugs are still running the country.  Unless, or until, the American people demand we return to majority rule, continue to sit back and just accept it.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:31:48 AM PDT

  •  moreover, a strict code and well (8+ / 0-)

    maintained registry would make police work easier. Improvements to record keeping and sharing can vitally improve local law enforcement's capacity to nab wanted felons and grab accomplices. A state of the art system for crooks, guns, restraining ordered threats, and psych cases and hate groups, would markedly increase general safety and reduce instances where bad actors are given bail by one court while being sought, with outstanding warrants, by others.

    Monsanto is poison, they gotta be stopped.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:35:41 AM PDT

  •  Is there a web site or document (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    that comprehensively and substantively lists all the known and proposed solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in the US, from suicide to domestic violence to accidental discharges to everyday crime to organized crime to mass shootings, etc., giving the various pros and cons of each so both sides get to weigh in, along with empirical data indicating which have worked and which haven't, and the political difficulty of getting each enacted?

    Instead of anecdotal evidence and semi-informed arguments back and forth leading to nasty pie fights (and the occasional ill-advised comment), but not meaningful outcomes, I'm looking for a solid briefer to get a sense of what's worth pursuing and what's not, in terms of efficacy and political viability. I.e. what works, and what can get passed, not just what sounds good but isn't effective and/or couldn't get passed even if it's effective.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:37:16 AM PDT

    •  maybe. But I have never seen it. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:13:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is part of the problem with the left (0+ / 0-)

        We don't have centralized, easy to find and use, issue briefs that can provide not just talking and rebuttal points, but the facts and logic behind them, so we can become informed and effective advocates for the policies we support. This is something that the right has had for decades. Go to Heritage or AEI or Cato and you can probably download dozens of such documents on every issue you can think of. Why don't we have this? Perhaps that's a project for this site?

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:02:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You think Heritage and Cato have balanced... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tytalus, FogCityJohn, WakeUpNeo

          ...reports on stuff? They have detailed issue papers, to be sure, but they are totally ideologically based, and hardly present all sides. I thought you were inquiring about something different than that.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:43:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I never said their reports were balanced (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PsychoSavannah

            truthful or accurate. But they ARE effective, from the RW win at all costs pov, because they SEEM balanced, truthful and accurate to the media and much of the public. Why can't we have actually balanced, truthful and accurate versions of these which, I believe, would be just even more effective, if used properly?

            I.e. a necessary component of an effective and reality-based LWNM. Or, more accurately, LWTM--Left Wing Truth Machine.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:53:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Any reputable polls on registration? (3+ / 0-)

    The "registration is a path on the slippery-slope to confiscation" er.. "argument" has me wondering if our elected officials aren't once again thinking that their constituencies are much more insane "conservative" than they've been led to believe.

    For Christ's sake, let's help more of our frightened people get through this thing, whatever it is - Kurt Vonnegut on our "faithless custodians of capital"

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:41:08 AM PDT

  •  I think we do stand a decent chance of (4+ / 0-)

    getting background checks.  There could be a low baseline standard that other states could elect to strengthen and that might be enough to get some red state senators to vote for it.

    I see the gun control movement as a long-term fight.  Right now the NRA has enough lobbying power to stop some things, but their power is ebbing and limited and the demographics and morality of gun ownership and rights works against the NRA, so  if we remain persistent we will be able to take early defeats and turn them into long term victories.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:43:20 AM PDT

  •  90% or so of the public wants ... (12+ / 0-)

    ... uniform background checks.  And yet the people who represent the public are more likely to heed the National Rifle(makers) Association, which surely wants as large a customer base as possible.  

    I'm having a hard time seeing registered guns being confiscated unless the owners of those guns are later found to not be able to legally own guns (subsequent conviction, restraining order, etc.). How realistic is the fear that guns would be taken away from people who have never done anything to warrant having their guns confiscated?

    Dwell on the beauty of life. ~ Marcus Aurelius

    by Joy of Fishes on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:48:10 AM PDT

  •  The real question is do rich Americans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes

    support them...and I'd be really interested to see polling on usual R backer rich types on this issue. I'd be even more interested if they actually got together and started lobbying Congress about it.

  •  No contest. The NRA and gun industry will win. (4+ / 0-)

    Follow the money, folks.  People answering polls are not giving congesscritters the money needed to live like the top 1% and/or to keep their jobs and the benefits very few people in this country ever conceive of.

    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything - unknown

    by incognita on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:58:21 AM PDT

    •  your summary is incomplete (6+ / 0-)
      Most action is at state level where the gun laws are running 50-50 more-less strict.

      Most of the movement on gun legislation has been at the state level. Since Jan. 1, a raft of new bills has been introduced, with 574 proposed bills to strengthen gun controls, and 512 to bolster gun rights, according to a new analysis by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks state gun laws. Connecticut alone has introduced more than 100 gun-control measures and as well as a handful of gun-rights bills since the shooting.

      And 54 additional measures — about half pro-gun, half gun-control — were already pending when the Newtown shooting happened on Dec. 14 and are still in front of state legislatures.

      http://www.pbs.org/...

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:08:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look at this place ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... a bus full of murder-enablers running around this site who can't tell a 10-shot clip from a couple of hits of Viagra. Guns! Don't take my guns!

      They're the best cover the gun lobby could imagine.

  •  want west of the Mississippi? (10+ / 0-)
    http://www.demandaction.org/...

    New Polls in More Than 40 Districts and 20 States Show Voters Overwhelmingly Support Background Checks for All Gun Sales  

    New polls released this week by Mayors Against Illegal Guns conducted by Douglas E. Schoen LLC showed likely voters in a wide range of states and congressional districts overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun sales. The average support for background checks for all gun sales among 41 congressional district polls was 89 percent; the average among 21 statewide polls was 86 percent. The findings of these surveys can be found here.

    http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/...

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:06:40 AM PDT

  •  Yes, the Lobbyists will win this round (4+ / 0-)

    and will continue to win until gun legislation reaches a flash point that has a clear super majority of voters motivated to put politicians who bow to the NRA out to pasture in an election.

    NRA has gained its strength by using a super minority (gun nuts) an issue (Constitutional protection) and the desire and reputation of Americans to play fair to their advantage.  

    Those politicians who break ranks will be severely punished in the next campaign (and they KNOW it) with opposition dollars aimed at making that politician look unfit for office (not necessarily on gun issues).  The NRA has also discovered that it costs less to primary a politician and whip up their minority (single issue gun nuts) into a voting bloc that controls outsized influence in the primary.  

    For the General Election cycle, the NRA plays up the 'fairness' of their chosen one. Even though they're a gun supporter, it should be considered 'fairly' by the general election voters with the rest of their candidates' agenda.  

    I see a number of factors needed to overcome this handicap, Unfortunately Newtown was only one element and I haven't seen the rest fall into place yet.  On a positive note, I see the election of Robin Kelly as a positive sign, yet gun stance was not the defining issue leading to her election, only a contributing one.  Unfortunately, we will see more tragedies until politicians' gun stance becomes the defining issue of elections.  

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:29:14 AM PDT

  •  Short answer: yes (0+ / 0-)

    But you have to realize that our poor pols' are under duress because of the virtual weapon called the NRA that is pointed at their empty skulls.

  •  Checks don't work (0+ / 0-)

    The total banning of any gun is the only way to stop gun violence. Why would anybody but a crazy republican need a gun.  If Harry Reid, Joe Biden and President Obama had any guts they would open up the debate to ban all guns, polls would support this you just can't ask crazy republicans, I cant think of any democrat that would need or want to own a gun. A simple solution that is only complicated because or the replblican party.

    •  Total ban of guns? Yeah, and if pigs had wings (0+ / 0-)

      they could fly as well.

      Think long and hard about that idea and tell me if that would work in this country with all of the gun owners just lining up to surrender their guns.  

      Oh yeah...That would be a sight to see.…..

      "Don't let your mouth write checks, your ass can't cash."

      by LamontCranston on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 01:32:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let us all hope that sanity prevails, and we get (0+ / 0-)

    a universal background check in this country.

    "Don't let your mouth write checks, your ass can't cash."

    by LamontCranston on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 01:24:46 PM PDT

  •  I don't see the problem ... (0+ / 0-)

    Some dedicated kossacks have convinced me that this is a small price to pay so that those who need an arsenal of guns and ammo can feel all snug in their homes. You worry-warts just don't see the big picture and nothing works to reduce the flow of guns anyway.

    However, the system as now constituted means a percentage of guns—the actual figure is much disputed—is purchased or otherwise transferred each year without a check, at gun shows, over the back fence, out of the trunks of cars. Paroled murderers and people legally judged too mentally ill to own firearms can thus easily obtain them without anyone being the wiser. Private sellers can only be prosecuted if they intentionally sell a gun knowing that a person is barred from purchases. That is an exceedingly difficult threshold to meet in court, so private sales to felons and dangerously mentally ill persons go mostly unprosecuted.
  •  The rub (0+ / 0-)
    Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and other gun-rights advocates say this would create a registry that is a prelude to gun confiscation.

    The fact that Reid can offer no guarantee that the registry will not be used for alternative purposes (he hasn't even really tried) in my mind makes this a no win situation.

    Forget about trying to get the Senate Bill passed.  There is no way this would even garner a third of the votes in the House, without some understanding that the registry would never be used or alternative purposes.

  •  You can see the NRA's bullshit on this one (0+ / 0-)

    Our nation's problem with its guns is that people keep using them wrong.  In response to this problem, we have four options:

    1) Deal with the people
    2) Deal with the guns
    3) Both
    4) Neither

    Most gun control advocates call for options 2 or 3, while the gun lobby has been advocating 1 instead--- better mental health systems, and keeping guns out of the hands of 'criminals' and other bad guys.  It makes sense they would advocate that---  if we could keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people, then the rest of us can keep our guns.  We wouldn't have to go to option 2.

    Well, background checks is how you do step 1.  We're trying to deal with the people, and guess what--- the gun lobby is against them.  And that's how we know that what they really want is option 4--- do nothing and pretend we don't have a problem.  

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:43:07 PM PDT

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