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This is the week that the gun bill is supposed to be debated on the Senate floor. But it may not happen because the Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, apparently want all the pieces in place before the debate gets under way. And that hinges on whether negotiations on a proposal to extend criminal background checks to private gun sales will succeed. That, in case you've not yet heard, is an idea that 80 percent to 90 percent of Americans, including an overwhelming percentage of gun owners, voice support for in poll after poll.

In a sane, sensible world, an expanded background check bill ought to pass unanimously. In a sane, sensible world, background checks on private sales instead of just sales by federally licensed gun dealers would long since have been the law. After all, how can anyone be against requiring a professional assessment of whether a would-be gun buyer has a violent, criminal past or is dangerously mentally ill? However, unless they can gut any effectiveness of an expanded background-check bill, there are plenty of foes, mostly Republicans, in the Senate and House who are perfectly will to thumb their noses at their constituents in this matter.

Asinine. Infuriating. Despair-inducing. On the technical side of things, this is a simple, straightforward, easy-to-solve matter. On the political side, it's like half-a-zillion other proposals that can't get through a gridlocked Congress.

Current law requires that all federal firearms licensees run a background check on anyone who buys a gun from them. This is done through the National Instant Criminal Backround Check Systems, NICS for short, run by the FBI. Most NICS's checks are handled in a few minutes over the phone. By law, records on anyone who passes the check must be destroyed within 24 hours, a process that is a product of lobbying by the National Rifle Association. The dealer makes a written record of all sales and must keep those records for 20 years.

Private sales, however, including sales over the back-yard fence or sales by private parties at gun shows, are not covered by background checks. Nobody even has to show an I.D. And if a gun is sold to a just-paroled murderer or gun-point rapist, too bad. Even if the gun is traced back to the seller, unless it can be proved he knew the buyer's proscribed status, it's almost impossible to make a legal case against him.

My simple, straightforward, obvious, non-stupid way to expand background checks—without adding another layer of bureaucracy—would be to extend the existing tried-and-true system that has, over the years, blocked almost two million proscribed individuals from buying guns. Just require all private sales to be handled, for a fee, through federally licensed dealers. They would run background checks, a process they are completely familiar with, and they would keep records of the private sales for 20 years, the same way they do their own sales now.

No more record-keeping would exist than exists now. Opponents of this approach would have to say that they reject the current system of background checks. The one that tens of millions of Americans have undergone when buying guns already.

Please continue reading more below the fold about Democratic strategy and how gun regulations are being blocked.

The NRA and the other gun lobbies argue that this system is ineffective. But that is a bald-faced lie. It is effective, as far as it goes. What makes it less effective has been the gun-rights advocates' hamstringing it in the first place by not including private sales under its coverage. And those opponents are still at it, determined to strangle it in its crib.

Without such a sensible, effective background check proposal included in the gun bill, why pass anything at all? Without that provision all that remains are a couple of provisions that would merely do a little more of what's already being done, one of which is useless without an expanded background check.

It's been obvious for some time that proposed bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines are doomed in the Senate. They were slated for defeat the minute Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced them in January since it was known from the get-go that perhaps as many as a dozen Democratic senators were opposed. Once Reid and the Democrats determine their strategy and move a gun bill to the floor for debate, those bans will be voted on as amendments and they will go down in a hail of votes. If Reid's calculations are right, more then three-fifths of the Senate will oppose them.

Right now, the only prospect for passage, and that will be dicey because a filibuster seems quite likely if Republicans aren't presented with proposals that will accomplish very little and keep the NRA purring, is a three-part umbrella gun bill Feinstein will try to attach her amendments to. That bill includes more federal money for gun safety, heightened penalties and new definitions for gun trafficking and straw purchases (that is, buying a gun and giving or selling it someone who is barred from legal purchases), and whatever background check proposal manages to survive the neegosheeaytin'.

After three months, details of watering down the background check proposal have still not been worked out. Together with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the proposal's sponsor, had been trying to get Republican Sen. Tom Coburn to agree to a background check bill that would include record-keeping. But no matter what compromise was introduced, Coburn resisted.

The reasoning: Any record-keeping would set up a federal gun registry and that could be—according to Coburn, the NRA and other gun-rights advocates—a prelude to government confiscation of some or all classes of firearms. Schumer, with assists from Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama himself, kept talking with Coburn but could not find common ground.

Never mind that a law that is nearly 80 years old requires extensive background checks on anyone who wants to own a machine-gun, silencer or "gadget gun" (like a firearm inside a cane) and requires registration of the weapon. The law has been revised but the registry remains, and in all those decades the only weapons on that registry that have been confiscated were taken from owners who committed crimes, people who aren't legally allowed to possess any guns, much less machine-guns.

As a result of the impasse, during the spring recess the negotiations shifted over to Manchin and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Instead of Schumer's tough bill or Coburn's next-to-useless, exemption-riddled one, Manchin's bill would expand background checks for all sales but with record-keeping restricted, as is currently the case, to commercial sales only.

Without some Republican support, even that weak, problematic bill would probably face a filibuster when what it needs, to have even a whisper of a chance in the Republican-controlled House, is 60 or more votes in the Senate. And that means at least five Republicans added to the two independents and 53 Democrats. Not even all the Democratic votes are assured.

Unless President Obama or Reid or somebody can induce a sudden burst of sensibility to replace the stubborn blocking of effective background checks, what will emerge as law when all the talking and voting is done seems likely to be a grave disappointment to everyone who thought that, maybe, just maybe, the slaughter of first-graders and their teachers would bring the United States a little closer to the 21st Century in the realm of firearms regulations.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:25 AM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you. Wish I had more to say than (13+ / 0-)

    {expletives deleted}.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:41:18 AM PDT

  •  When our legislature (32+ / 0-)

    can't pass something supported by 90% of the public, maybe it's time to realize that the country has become ungovernable. Not by accident, but by design.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:44:45 AM PDT

    •  In this case I think it was overshooting on (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paradise50, MBNYC, raincrow, FrankRose, BachFan

      the AWB, which didn't make it and most knew it awhile ago, thus killing the momentum. There was a LOT of momentum post-Newtown and Obama kept it up, and I think should a universal backgound check bill been submitted to the floor then, it'd be passed already. There were some here who predicted pretty much exactly that, but were out-shouted by those who were rightfully upset and wanted to go for the home run instead of get on base, and it looks more and more like we've struck out completely.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:26:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (5+ / 0-)

        I never understood why Democrats and Liberals focused so much on AWB and magazine limits when neither had a chance in hell of passing and were very divisive, even amongst Democrats. All the attention and focus should have been out into UBC or adding more background checks and perhaps more mental health funding, which are less divisive and have a much better shot of getting enacted into law.  

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

        by Texas Lefty on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:40:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ...because AR-15's were the guns used in... (5+ / 0-)

          ...Aurora and Sandy Hook. Not too hard to understand the desire to get this type of weapon banned to be sold in the future...

          I never understood why Democrats and Liberals focused so much on AWB

          Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

          by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:43:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand the desire, even if I disagree (5+ / 0-)

            My point is it was never going to happen. Why focus so much on something that never had a chance of passing? Why focus on something so divisive? Why not focus on an area with overwhelming public support from all political spectrums?

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

            by Texas Lefty on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:52:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not to mention the SCOTUS declarations against (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FrankRose

              both banning a class of guns and against those in common use.  The only reason that some states have these laws tentatively on the books is because of how the legal process works in this nation: a law is a lawn until it's not, meaning it is assumed valid until it is struck down or repealed.

              •  The class at issue in Heller... (4+ / 0-)

                ...was much larger than the ones covered by the AWB. And with all the exceptions in the AWB, it's very, very hard to make the case that it was a class prohibition. You can claim the prohibitions are arbitrary, but not really that they're class-encompassing to the degree that the handgun regulations at issue in Heller were.

                "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

                by JR on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:12:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Single Payer never had a chance in hell of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WakeUpNeo

              passing either but a vocal group of DKos members certainly thought that the President and Democrats should have fought harder for it.  Is there a difference?

              I've been coming to DKos since May 2008 and I still don't have a sig line. Oh well.....

              by CrissieP on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:43:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Very similar, yes (0+ / 0-)

                I actually support single payer, but I knew it had no chance of passing, so I figured the best option would be for Democrats to support something that could get done like Obamacare.  It's similar to gun regulation. Obama and other Dems put a lot of political capital into health care, which probably cost him in other areas like jobs, financial reform, and immigration.  I'm afraid that too much of a push on new gun regulations will hurt other areas that we need to focus on, much like health care did in 2009.  

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

                by Texas Lefty on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:48:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo. (6+ / 0-)

        That's just one specific example, but there are so many more. The country doesn't want SS cuts, presto, in the budget proposal they are. We like things like good public education, what do we get, charter schools and kids leaving college with worthless degrees and six-figure debts. Our national parks are a treasure beyond price, on the days that they're open. We are the Land of the Free, with the largest prison population on earth.

        Something is deeply, systemically wrong in America, and I don't know that we can fix it.

        Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

        by MBNYC on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:03:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Without UBC being proposed with AWB & (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        noway2, wishbone

        magazine restrictions, I think UBC would have passed with little issue.
        Now trust is gone. Why should people believe that a UBC wouldn't be usurped to ban guns, when the plan that was proposed alongside UBC specifically included a ban on guns?

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:25:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Most telling comment here. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paradise50, MBNYC, Smoh

      Mayan Word For 'Apocalypse' Actually Translates More Accurately As "Time Of Pale Obese Gun Monsters."......the Onion

      by lyvwyr101 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:31:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a good example (8+ / 0-)

      of why, even when the timing is right, strategic thinking about how talk about, present, write and then debate legislation is really important.

      Stuff doesn't just "get voted on" because the public supports it.  It never really has.  

      The fact that we all believe it should, however, is interesting.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:02:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One big problem, imo, is that Harry Reid... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson, a gilas girl

        ...didn't put the screws to Dianne Feinstein in January and tell her to wait on AWB introduction until the UBC was far along. In my view, she elbowed her way into the queue and tainted, to some extent, the entire debate by focusing attention on the least likely bill to pass. A limit on the capacity of ammunition magazines would not only have had a better chance, it would also have been more effective practically.

        But it's not all Feinstein's (and Reid's) fault. Extremists among gun-rights advocates oppose any new laws that don't loosen gun regulations. And they seem to still have the majority of Congress, when the Senate and House are taken together, in their thrall.  

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

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:44:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why not a federal gun registry? (10+ / 0-)

    That strikes me as more desirable and useful than an assault weapons ban.  

    If that were a conservative idea, they would have funded multiple polls by now to drive the narrative that people want the federal government to register guns.  I suspect a federal gun registry would poll at least 60% in favor.

    •  Because (12+ / 0-)

      Gun owners don't want it, almost universally. I don't think their fears of potential confiscation are founded, but then again I don't necessarily trust the government to not do it either if a fever grips them.

      This whole thing, Congress ignoring 90% of the people's wishes should be instructive as to how much you can make on betting on whatever they may or may not do in the future.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:56:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What evidence is there (7+ / 0-)

        That gun owners don't want it?  Are you relying on the say-so of the NRA?  The idea of requiring gun owners to register their guns with local government seems to poll in the 70-80% range, so I suspect that registering all guns with the federal government may poll higher than some people suspect.  I would really like to see some numbers.

        •  I personally do not know one gun owner who would (12+ / 0-)

          willingly support registration federally.  Not only is it a privacy issue as even the ACLU has recently addressed, but as they contend even the issue of civil liberties :

          http://www.deseretnews.com/...

          but then gun owners are also concerned about incidents such as a newspaper broadcasting private information just for the hell of it.  Such as the NY newspaper that got a hold of that list and used it to not only list every gun owners personal information but provided a map to their home.

          These are valid concerns before you even get into the issue of "what comes next?"....if or when there is ever a "next".

          •  Me. I am a gun-owner who would support... (18+ / 0-)

            ...a gun registry. Just like the one we now have for machine-guns. I personally know at least a dozen other gun owners who would also support a registry.

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

            by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:30:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would not. I support UBC as done in the manner (5+ / 0-)

              they are done now.   I know I'm not alone and I highly doubt a high percentage of current law abiding gun owner would support a federal registry.  It would do a great service to poll it several times....and simply ask gun owners their feelings on it.  

              Even the 90 percent who support BC, do so with the assumption that we are only talking about background checks.  I support that...most everyone I know supports that.  I believe that poll numbers for that question is correct.

               But if gun owners were asked "Do you believe all gun owners should have to have a background to purchase a weapon, and the records would then be kept by the federal government (or whomever) and a registry would be in place that all gun owners by mandate must participate in?"....I feel the numbers for support would plummet.  

              The issue is not the UBC (high, high support)...the issue is what is also included.

              •  ...then do you suggest a "background check"... (3+ / 0-)

                ...that then gets thrown out as soon as it's done? Without a registry you'd never know who the gun belongs to. It wouldn't change a thing. So you have guns that would be legally bought by those who passed the background check...and then those guns could end up anywhere.

                It's no different than what goes on now at gun shows...no background check...so the guns end up anywhere.

                Either we change something in the way guns are bought and sold that has actual substance...OR we do nothing of any consequence to change anything really.

                It looks more and more that the latter is what will take place...a bunch of talk and nothing will change that amounts to anything...

                Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

                by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:49:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not at all true (4+ / 0-)

                  The dealer maintains records of all gun transfers to him/herself from manufacturers/suppliers and to the public. If a gun is recovered after being lost, stolen, or used in a crime, it can easily be traced. Many but not all states require gun owners to report theft. Such a requirement does not prevent the unregistered transfer of a gun, but if the gun is used for a crime, the gendarmes will come looking for the person whose name and address are on the Form 4473. I should think that would encourage most owners to comply with the theft reporting law.

                  YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

                  by raincrow on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:09:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ...and at least 40% of guns aren't registered... (5+ / 0-)

                    ...and even more aren't with the registered owner.

                    My neighbor had his home broken into two years ago. They took only his guns. He had a number of them...and ammo. That's all they wanted. They took at least $12,000 worth of guns and ammo.

                    Who are they? Where did they end up? Who where they sold to?

                    My neighbor had guns that he bought in Alaska that aren't legal in California...all stolen and out there somewhere.

                    Oh and, several of his guns were NOT registered. Turns out  you can find gun dealers (and not just at gun shows) that conveniently manage to either not register the gun sale OR somehow manage to lose the information.  He told me of a gun seller in Alaska who'd purposefully do just that.

                    You buy the gun and fill out the paper work...he'd take that registration and file it immediately...in your presence...in the "round file" (i.e. waste basket)...

                    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

                    by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:28:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ...my point is, who's actually checking to make... (3+ / 0-)

                      ...sure gun sellers are even complying with the law?

                      Answer = no one really at all...ATF has been gutted and doesn't even have a head (hasn't since 2006)...

                      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

                      by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:30:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Even with a robust ATF (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Meteor Blades

                        there will still be an underground transfer of weapons, just like there is a weed market that doesn't report. IMO, make the laws simple to comply with, fair and get as many on board as possible and you get better, but not perfect enforcement.

                        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

                        by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:31:36 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  But the problem with getting the UBC passed... (10+ / 0-)

                ...right now is that NO record keeping is what Coburn and others want. They OPPOSE having the same system for private sales as WE ALREADY have for dealer sales. There are those, including a couple of folks posting at Daily Kos since the Aurora and Newtown shootings, who have argued against the existing machine-gun registry and the maintaining of background-check records for even 24 hours.

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

                by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:49:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Pretty much everyone (4+ / 0-)

                is familiar with the term "mission creep". That is at the core of why people are reacting this way, IMO. After Sandy Hook people were justifiably horrified and wanted to do something to prevent it from happening again.

                The first thing was the AWB, then large magazines, then background checks, then a registry. I think some people are thinking about what the next thing is.

                I have to admit that besides my terrible sadness, I'm a mom it broke my heart and still does, my next thought was "how did this obviously seriously troubled guy get ahold of those weapons?? How could that happen."

                Two things in that mix of solutions would have had an effect on the shootings, AWB and large cap. magazines. Would that have stopped him? I don't know. I do think that it would have saved some lives, tho.

                "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

                by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:58:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Second that. (0+ / 0-)

              It's interesting that the only places on the web that site the ACLU coming out against a national gun registry are all the usual right-wing places which are not known for their journalistic standards.  The Deseret News has always been somewhat slanted to the right as well.  

              When I sold an "assault rifle" back at the time of the previous ban, I would have been happy to have had a government validation (a casual acquaintance) of the user as well as a record that would insulate me in case the gun was ever used to commit a crime in the future.  


              My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
              "Shared sacrifice!" said the spider to the fly.—Me

              by KingBolete on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:54:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you saying that the reporting of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bailey2001

                the Deseret News was false. I can't stand the rag, but I don't call them liars.

                "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

                by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:24:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Do you think it is a lie? Chris Calabrese of the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wishbone

                ACLU is quoted directly.  Certainly if he was misquoted or outright slandered...it would have been known by now. There are also paraphrases and summaries of his views included, but again....do you believe he didn't say these things, or the newspaper got it wrong accidentally or on purpose?  A direct quote is kind of hard to "spin".

                His actual quotes begin as such:

                "If you’re going to require a background check, we think it should be effective. However, we also believe those checks have to be conducted in a way that protects privacy and civil liberties. So, in that regard, we think the current legislation, the current proposal on universal background checks raises two significant concerns,”

                he then goes on to say:

                “The first is that it treats the records for private purchases very differently than purchases made through licensed sellers. Under existing law, most information regarding an approved purchase is destroyed within 24 hours when a licensed seller does a [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] check now and almost all of it is destroyed within 90 days.”

                he then said:

                “[U]nfortunately, we have seen in the past that the creation of these types of records leads sometimes to the creation of government databases and collections of personal information on all of us. That’s not an inevitable result, but we have seen that happen in the past, certainly.”

          •  Yo, right here. nt (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PsychoSavannah, Meteor Blades

            "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

            by JR on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:13:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Here is a link from Wonkblog (8+ / 0-)

          Gun owners polled don't want a registry. I suspect that newspaper that published the names and addresses of gun owners didn't help the cause much, what do you think?

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:27:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe they could add privacy protections on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas

            the Federal level. A few states, but not nearly enough of them,  have done that in response to that newspaper publishing the names and addresses of people with gun licenses.

          •  ...what is interesting to me is... (4+ / 0-)

            ...in the 1970's 50% of homes had guns. It's dropped to 34% today. From 1/2 down to 1/3 and yet there are millions more guns out there today than in the 1970's.

            This means few homes have guns, but more of those that do are hoarding guns and ammo in huge amounts.

            The "typical" gun owner of the past was likely to be a hunter. The "typical gun owner" of the past had a shot gun and a rifle or two and maybe a hand gun.

            Now, and I blame a lot of it on the conspiracy theory crap spewed by the NRA and others who blast their memes...folks have been made into fanatics.

            I have a young relative in his 30's whole truly believes all the bullshit said about Obama and guns. He believes what the NRA says. He believes that Obama aims (pun intended) to limit his gun buying ability to 24 per year (two per month) and so he's been buying as many weapons and ammo as he can afford...including so-called assault weapons.

            Question: If a person does buy up guns, guns and more guns...huge clips...ammo, ammo and more ammo. WHEN are they going go use it. They must have a HUGE wish to do something with all that fire power someday.

            What could go wrong? Maybe an Aurora or Sandy Hook. Maybe a shoot out with local law enforcement. Maybe deciding its time to "use 2nd Amendment options" on those you don't agree with politically...say maybe in Nevada.

            What could go wrong?...

            Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

            by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:56:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What you described are the gun owners I know now (4+ / 0-)

              Rifle, shotgun, handgun. The usual stuff that goes along with hunting. I also have a nephew, two in fact, who have bought the whole NRA line. I'm totally blown away that they has turned this way.

              As to the hoarders, not just people who collect and like their firearms, but those who think they are prepping for some big showdown... They live in their own fantasy.

              "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

              by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:04:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ...yeah...and the "typical gun owner"... (3+ / 0-)

                ...had some ammo on hand...not a huge stockpile. My grandfather was a hunter and owned some guns. He would have a few dozen bullets on hand and maybe a dozen shotgun shells on hand at any time.

                He probably didn't shoot more than 200 shots in his entire "gun shooting years."

                You are right they live in their own fantasy. Obviously the Aurora shooter and the Sandy Hook shooter did. And they were loan wolves.

                That in itself scares the crap out of me. We don't know who these people are. These people all bought all their guns and ammo legally.

                Then what about these fantasy types grouping up...esp. since we currently don't know who they are, since their is no way to track all that "legal weapon buying."

                What could go wrong?

                Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

                by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:14:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  ...I think there should be the ability... (2+ / 0-)

              ...to know who these people are INSTEAD of finding out after the fact that a huge arsenal and guns and ammo clips were owned by whomever just massacred a bunch of 6-7 year-olds.

              Heck even in my little town a few weeks back a couple in their 50's were arrested after Homeland Security contacted local law enforcement because they tracked a bunch of bomb making stuff being bought by this couple.

              If the couple hadn't "stupidly" done that by buying it on the internet, we'd never had known they had a "doom's day" thing going on and planned on a huge-fucking-big-kill-a-bunch-of-people-big-deal-planned. Because, you know, end of times shit requires you to do that.

              They were armed to the teeth with more assault weapons and ammo and bombs than you could imagine...AND...they had no previous brush with the law at all...NOPE...just nice law abiding citizens who were intending to blow the shit out of who know what...and kill a bunch of innocent people because...you know...they had an issue AND a bunch of fire power.

              What could go wrong?

              Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

              by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:05:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  People only have two hands (4+ / 0-)

              This fascination with how many guns a person has or how much ammunition seems rather silly.  Buying a second assault rifle doesn't double a person's firepower nor does having a few thousand rounds (as a practical matter, anyway; US soldiers typically carry only a couple hundred rounds into combat).  It makes for sensational news: "he had 5 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition) but doesn't really mean anything (especially when the "thousands" might come for a couple bricks of 22LR plinking rounds).  .  


              My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
              "Shared sacrifice!" said the spider to the fly.—Me

              by KingBolete on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:11:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If those stats are based on a telephone survey, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruddaone

              I'd be skeptical about them. Why tell some anonymous stranger on the phone about your gun, if you don't even want the government to have a federal registry.

            •  Your argument seems to be based upon the idea that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruddaone, wishbone

              it is normally law abiding citizens deciding to become criminals and that the presence of a gun exacerbates this tendency.  The problem is that this isn't true.  Upstanding and law abiding citizens predominantly remain that way and criminals remain criminals.

      •  I am a gun owner and I am 100% for this. (13+ / 0-)

        When you finally realize you're not really in the game, democracy actually IS a spectator sport.

        by SpamNunn on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:25:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We already have a government (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, bruddaone

        that spies on our internet usage and taps our phones without a warrant or justifiable cause. They already monitor our legal prescription drug purchases (using tax dollars to help the marketing efforts of big pharma, just another way we get to pay for the business goals of our overlords and masters) and track our movements via our phones and auto GPS. They register our cars, regulate their road-worthiness, require thousands of dollars of safety equipment and mandate gas milage ratings (although poorly, and in fawning obeisance to the oil industry, again, serving our overlords and masters rather than we their employers). They maintain a no fly list for airplanes.

        How bad could a government gun owner database be?

        Besides, the NRA response to gun crime is creating and maintaining a government crazy person list, presumably with the same oversight and competence with which they maintain the no fly list.

        So the choice is:

        Government gun registry.

        Upside: guns used in crimes can be tracked, eliminating straw purchases and false reporting of stolen guns, eliminating a large part of gun trafficking, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.

        Downside: some people who should legally be able to buy guns are impeded briefly from doing so.

        Government mental health registry:

        Upside. government-certified crazy people can't buy guns.

        Downside: Government-certified crazy people lose their jobs, their homes, are driven from the neighborhoods by "civic-minded citizens" who simply don't want "those people" near their homes. Official harassment, permanent non-person status. Lives and families destroyed. Oops, did we say John Smith? We meant James Smith. Sorry. No you can't sue us, we're the government and you're a crazy person.

      •  This ^^^ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, BachFan

        It's an old almost mythic fear, you know, the government is coming and it's taking down names...

        We are an old and mythic nation in our souls, so our fears run deep and dark.

        There is no reason that can engage and counter those mythic tropes underpinning all those fear.

        You have to counter it with the same level of gut wrenching mythic trope.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:04:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are a young nation (0+ / 0-)

          a baby in fact. My best friend is from Germany, they have bathrooms older than our nation and tons more myths. I'm not saying you're wrong with the rest of what you say, just that our myths come from Hollywood more than our age.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:10:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  we are a baby nation (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas, Meteor Blades

            but the soul of the nation is old, mostly because it brings all the baggage from its colonizing heritage with it.

            I was trying to be precise in my original comment and make the distinction between  the history and the age of the nation and the "soul" that wellspring from which many of our myths stem, and that stuff isn't new; its way old.

            Guess I didn't do a very good job of that on the first attempt, hmm?

            ;-)

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:25:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And best of all, there already is a federal gun (6+ / 0-)

      "registry" - the approx. 60% of sales that go through federally licensed dealers.

      Why not expand that to the remaining 40% or so? Because those checks would stop a lot of SALES from transacting. You know, bad for business.

      Bad for public safety.

      A real lose-lose for the American public.

    •  Too toxic an issue in states other than hard Blue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, high uintas, bruddaone

      Republicans would love to have Majority Leader Reid let this come to a vote in the Senate just to put Democrats at risk for re-election, while the bill could not pass even with a simple majority vote.  Republicans would not filibuster this because they would want at risk Democrats put themselves at risk.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:03:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great documentation of a pitiful situation. (8+ / 0-)

    This demonstrates the apex of the  total disfunction in our government.  We don't need better democrats or republicans willing to compromise.  We need better human beings!

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:57:35 AM PDT

  •  Democratic strategy in the Senate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CoExistNow, jds1978, GoGoGoEverton

    is to fail, on every issue.  This was made absolutely clear when filibuster reform came up.  This is a group of people who are not only resigned to failure but committed to it in a passionate sense.

    So . . . let's keep pushing filibuster reform, I guess.  Otherwise, the country is ungovernable.

  •  What is the legislation? (0+ / 0-)

    You assert that

    No more record-keeping would exist than exists now.
    Citation?

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:12:09 AM PDT

  •  I don't think the NRA is as all powerful as they (10+ / 0-)

    are made out to be, and I don't think they are what's holding things up.

    Remember their monetary contributions to campaigns isn't much in the post Citizens United world, and only a small percentage of gun owners belong and of those many belong simply as it's required to use the range.

    I think the pro gun regulation crowd is a victim of their own success. By framing the issue as a bunch of baby killers versus the left and making so much noise the gun issue got noticed. All the states making restrictive laws got noticed. A lot of people who don't follow politics and would be OK with a background check look upon their reps and say, "he voted for the gun bill". Come November next year that's a big issue.

    Haven't heard a word out of any Dems in my state except Digette who thinks you can't reload a magazine. I'd bet my senator who is up for reelection would just as soon not vote. Ten thousand single issue voters is a lot of people in this state in an in-between election.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:15:40 AM PDT

    •  there aren't any single issue gun voters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      it's a myth. The majority of the gun obsessed (as opposed to average hunters) strongly identify with the right wing on a host of other issues, either libertarian or republican. They don't vote with the left anyway.

      The handful of exceptions are the lonely crowd we see here at dkos, who have a hard time finding anyone to share their fetishes that isn't also a Michelle Bachmann clone. Poor things.

      In any case, there's no evidence any of the base for "No Regulation" - the NRA policy, the policy the gun obsessed support - is increasing, nor is there any evidence the majority of those people would ever in a million years vote for the party that brought them the black socialist from kenya.

      All we're seeing now is the reaction of those fetishists to their own coming irrelevance. They're screaming bloody murder, so it seems like there are more of them. There aren't.

    •  Actually the NRA doesn't have to do or say a thing (4+ / 0-)

      They can ride their past successes like a pony. They have successfully branded the Dems as "the gun grabbing party". I heard it from idiots the day after Obama was elected the first time, "Now they're coming for my gun"

      People did buy ammo (with some help from the dealers who wanted panic buying) then everything settled down. Now, this has happened and those who are the most ready to be jacked up are rarin' to go. It's their wedge.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:39:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Asinine. Infuriating. Despair-inducing. (8+ / 0-)

    Yes, you're right. But I know you'll keep going and so must we.

  •  . (7+ / 0-)

     photo Spine_zps1fc9e159.jpg

    When you finally realize you're not really in the game, democracy actually IS a spectator sport.

    by SpamNunn on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:25:02 AM PDT

  •  After Conference, Senators Proudly Announce (4+ / 0-)

    They have agreed to complete bans on:

    Ground to Air Rocket Launchers
    Ground to Ground Grenade Launchers
    TOW Missiles will no longer be available in any format

    And they are proud to agree that Tanks, with an estimated street weight of over 10 Short Tons.

    This is important because that compromise enabled the whole thing to go through; while it prevents owners from grabbing an M1 or a Unity Tank, it makes sure that legal owners will not be deprived of owning the Irish FV101 Scorpion Tank as long as their driving records and criminal history are clear.

    That compromise took days, but as a result, this is one of the most comprehensive moves to ban deadly weaponry from people in years, and now, no one will live in fear of a neighbor with a G2G Grenade Launcher.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:26:44 AM PDT

    •  But I will still be able to use (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433

      my cruise missiles for  duck  hunting, right?

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:49:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely (0+ / 0-)

        Waste of ammo to use anything else and we have an ammo shortage not a cruise missile shortage

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:27:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You mean to tell me the NRA doesn't spam (0+ / 0-)

    anyone who buys a gun?

  •  The rightly named "Gun Rights" degenerates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Do not want common sense background checks because they have something to hide.  It is, however, no secret that they harbor seditious thoughts, believing they are called by god to overthrow democracy in America.  The "Gun Rights" cabal is the ultimate criminal class who threaten the whole social fiber of America.  

    •  The proportion of people who are gun-rights... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, noway2, wishbone

      ...advocates who are "degenerates" or "seditious" or the "ultimate criminal class" is minuscule and lumping everybody together in this way does zero to advance the needed changes in gun regulations.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:24:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A reasonable proposal, (0+ / 0-)

    although I doubt it will make a lick of difference in preventing mass murderers from Charles  Whitman to Adam Lanza from shooting anybody—but clear cause and effect in gun regulation appear to be merely peripheral issues in these debates.

  •  ...I do fault Reid's overall style... (3+ / 0-)

    ...in running the Senate. I know he's been there since it actually worked more or less, but I don't know that he really gets that it's a whole new game now. I know he's trying to be reasonable and "expects" the Senate to work again...but it won't...not in his time.

    He has to stop with wishing all parts of whatever he wants to get passed in a bill gets worked out...because what gets "worked out" is anything of true substance. We end up with nothing really worth squat...

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:40:53 AM PDT

  •  As a gun owner I have a few comments/concerns. (4+ / 0-)

    1. Fees.
    A mandated $20-$30 per check, I don't have a problem with.

    A prohibitively high fee or allowing a dealer to set his own fee (think only dealer in a rural area charging $$$ because he's the only one around), I'd oppose.

    2. Records.
    No records or (preferably) the dealer keeping the private sale 4473's on file like they do for retail purchases right now is fine.

    3. Enforcement.
    Who would be the lead agency?
    The FBI (who runs NICS) or the BATF&E?

    While the ATF's lab people are first rate, the enforcement division's record is spotty (think Waco and Ruby Ridge, among others).
    Of course a permanent director and increased funding would probably help improve things there.
    It's difficult to hire and retain good people without a good leader and decent backup.

    In short while I believe that a universal check is a good idea and should be law, I don't put it past either opponents to 'poison pill' a bill with unacceptable amendments or proponents to overreach and add amendments that make the end bill unpalatable.

    As far as the politics go, I live in Indiana and from my little corner of the state here in Evansville, I can tell you that Sen. Donnelly is exhibiting political courage in backing any gun regulations.

    Coburn is merely showing his political cowardice.

    •  Ruby Ridge was FBI, not ATF. But I agree... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, a2nite, WakeUpNeo

      ...totally about better budget and leadership. But some senators won't confirm any ATF director who isn't a lifetime member of the NRA.

      As for the private sales being recorded with 4473s, that's precisely what my proposal has in mind.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:57:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As far as my own voting record goes.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishbone

    Gun rights is an important issue with me, but it's not the only one.

    When I voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, I did so because I agreed with him on other issues (health care, Iraq, labor rights, etc) and his positives on those issues outweighed his negatives on guns.

  •  catchy graphic (0+ / 0-)

    BTW.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:13:41 AM PDT

  •  Having private citizens process sales (0+ / 0-)

    would, in a sane world, end the impasse on background checks.

    That we're even arguing about this makes gun rights proponents question whether the other side is negotiating in good faith.  What possible objection can we have to permitting private citizens conduct their own background checks and keep records?  What is so magical about an FFL that the private citizen cannot compete?

    When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

    by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:47:04 AM PDT

    •  Legal access to records for one.. (4+ / 0-)

      Under current law, only FFL holders can access the NICS for the purpose of selling firearms.

      That can be changed of course, but to me it's worth it to have an FFL holder, who already is legally required to keep records do so, than have Joe Shmoe made into an inadvertent criminal because he lost the record of a gun sale he made ten years ago while moving to a new home.

      •  Don't worry about Joe Shmoe (0+ / 0-)

        If I find it worthwhile, I'll make my own arrangements with an institution that I can trust to vigorously defend my Fourth Amendment rights.  If someone else wants to hand over that information to an FFL, let him make that choice; there's no need to require everyone to do so.

        As for privacy issues surrounding access to records, that's an area where NICS requires considerable revision.  My solution is simple; require parties to a transfer to provide their own certified background checks.  We'll finally eliminate the need for the poorly designed, crash prone behemouth in Clarksburg.

        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

        by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:11:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bring your own background check (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patrick Costighan

          It may have changed, but this used to happen a couple of decades ago when I was shooting. The ads on the bulletin board at the range usually required private buyers to have a concealed weapons permit, as proof of having passed a background check.

          Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

          by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:28:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And it's a helluva lot easier to manage (0+ / 0-)

            You can carry it electronically (on a multitude of devices, from a FOB to the web), or on paper; the convenience depending on your jurisdiction's support for an open standard.

            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

            by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:31:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, man, but privatization isn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      the way to go.  It's been the bane of the country for a long, long time and is getting worse.  There should be no profit motive for background checks.  Flat fee, paid straight to the government, with the gunseller "middleman" making his money on the gun only.

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:19:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This isn't privatization (0+ / 0-)

        It's privacy.  Once upon a time ago, we actually cared about such things.

        SGI and Oracle are government entities?  Who do you think builds and supports NICS?

        Forget fees, middle men and the like.  If you don't want to entrust your data to a third party for a fee, then we can support a variety of open source tools to help you do it yourself.

        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

        by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:23:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Technology has made privacy a thing of (0+ / 0-)

          the past, hon.  Everyone embraced it, so here we are.   At least a formal process that ascertains a person can access that database would be nice.  Guns ain't a lemonade stand and they shouldn't be as easy to sell (or buy).

          Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

          by PsychoSavannah on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:46:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You need a new look at technology (0+ / 0-)

            Certainly, technology can expose a great deal about ourselves, but it can also be used very effectively to secure our information.  I frequently use tools to sign and encrypt IMs, email, voice, and video I consider to be commercially or personally sensitive as well as to authenticate myself to various services.  We could do a whole lot more with new law, time, and practice.

            I also don't believe guns should be easy to purchase or maintain; they're dangerous implements that need to be handled responsibly.  A system that requires the citizen to assume more of that responsibility as a matter of law is a system that discourages carelessness.  Of course, all of this is besides the point.  You have no reason to object to requiring citizens privately maintain transfer records.

            When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

            by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:55:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Ask Tom Coburn that question. Oh, you did. Did... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishbone

      ...you get a response? He OPPOSES private citizens doing this.

      But the truth is that the private citizen approach unnecessarily involves creating a new, jury-rigged system when we have a perfectly good system that can expand without the loss of anybody's rights, without any record-keeping that sets up a gun registry, with only minor inconvenience to the gun buyer.

      And, really, are you suggesting having millions of individuals phoning up the NICS to obtain background private-sale background checks makes more sense than having the 55,000+ FFLs who do it all the time perform that function?

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

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still no response. (0+ / 0-)

        I know you believe he opposes private citizens maintaining records.  I know that was your take of a discussion with a staffer.  And I know that's besides the point.  You haven't endorsed such a proposal, and your reasons for withholding support are dubious.

        The existing system is jury-rigged, complicated and error-prone.  It consists of two call centers to receive 30,000 requests per day over the phone and manually enter them on 300 workstations.  The eCheck system requires paperwork to enroll.  The system crashes under spikes in the current retail market, and we're proposing expanding its capacity upwards thirty three percent.  NICS defines no open standard for interoperability, and the most frequent complaint beyond false positives is that external agencies don't frequently publish information to it.  

        My system is anything but jury rigged.  Its simple, elegant, and highly scalable at little to no cost to the public.  My system isn't nearly as vulnerable to false negatives, because the parties are required to present each other with certification from all relevant jurisdictions.  Mine does just as good a job as yours at preserving an audit trail, and doesn't require a ridiculous paper enrollment process to stand up.  My system doesn't lock you into the support trail for two vendors, or require regular overhauls that for some reason never get done.

        So what is your objection?  Really?

        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

        by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:22:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you need to write a diary explaining... (0+ / 0-)

          ...your system in the kind of detail needed so that anyone can understand it and it can be vetted by people skilled in the needs of such a system.

          In short, whatever the problems with the current system (many of them caused by budget problems), I don't buy a pig in a poke. I've watched too many over-promised, elegant, allegedly scalable new systems installed in various business venues that turn out not to deliver that I am skeptical.

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

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:41:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, why focus on a point of sale system (0+ / 0-)

            Having permits would greatly reduce the load on such as system, improve the quality of the checks, and eliminate it as both a bottleneck and hassle for the consumer.  It also negates the whole registration issue as it becomes a user registry rather than a gun registry.

  •  And the existing system hasn't blocked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    noway2

    two million people.  It's raised two million exceptions, an unknown number of which were false positives.  Regardless of what we do, the system needs to be overhauled.  The system is almost a decade and a half old,  relies on call centers for its principle point of interaction, defines no standard of interoperability beyond massively confusing ETL templates for supporting agencies both state and federal, and hasn't undergone anything more than a maintenance overhaul since its inception.

    The simplest solution is not continuing this system, which is garbage.  It is building something that actually works without requiring human beings to intervene in some 30,000 searches a day.

    When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

    by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:05:38 AM PDT

  •  I had to do this for my private shotgun purchase. (3+ / 0-)

    I bought from a private seller in Virginia, and I live in Maryland, so even though we were close enough for me to meet him in person and pay, we still had to ship it to an FFL holder in Maryland to process it.

    Shipping added a couple of days, the background check was done in 5 minutes at the FFL's kitchen table, and the total additional cost was about $50 for the check and shipping.

    Not that big a deal.

    I would have greatly preferred to just take it to a dealer in Virginia or a police department there and have them run the check, but there's still a requirement that it go through an FFL in the buyer's state of residence (presumably, that could be repealed if we had UBCs and just kept a requirement that the transfer not be one that would be against the law in the buyer's state).

    "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

    by JR on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:11:29 AM PDT

    •  Compromise (0+ / 0-)

      Shall-issue exemption from waiting periods for anyone who can show genuine cause to fear for his safety or an immediately verifiable clean bill of mental health.  The principle purpose of waiting periods is to frustrate the impulsively suicidal or violent, after all.

      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

      by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:17:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Doing it that way also protects the seller from (0+ / 0-)

      any questions that might arise from an improper incident that might occur should the gun be stolen or lost and used in a criminal situation.  It shows a verifiable paper trail, and clears up many questions that could arise.

      I never would sell anything I have purchased, but would go through an FFL dealer if I were to sell to anyone, even if they were any of my friends who are very responsible with their collections.  Likewise, my firearm owning friends would also do the same with me as well.

      "Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check, That Your Butt Can't Cash."

      by LamontCranston on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:46:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm fine with going through an FFL. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm just not sure that the requirement that the firearm be shipped to an in-state FFL is necessary, so long as the sale wouldn't violate the laws in the buyer's home state. As long as we're going to require background checks anyway, I don't really see the need for federal law to require the parties to perform them in one particular state.

        "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

        by JR on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:19:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Klusterpuck, Eric Nelson

    It would do the job.

    Usually that means that the idea therefore can't be "serious."

    Will that be true in this case?

    Seems like gun control is something the moderates actually care about. So who knows?

    What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?
    Since elections will never change the ownership of government, why does our strategy rely entirely upon them?

    by Words In Action on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:32:20 AM PDT

  •  Licensed dealers = the incentive to make it work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, a2nite

    It would be simplest/best if the existing federal registry that now covers machine guns & silencers could be expanded to include all assault weapons as that seems to require simply using a existing system. with a long record of working just fine.
    But since..

    Any record-keeping would set up a federal gun registry and that could be—according to Coburn, the NRA and other gun-rights advocates—a prelude to government confiscation of some or all classes of firearms.
    ..this is the reasoning of the right (and I seriously question the use of the word) reasoning - sorry

    Establishing financial incentives, making good record keeping somewhat profitable. This route puts the Lindsey Grahams of the GOP in the position of dealing/debating directly against all the licensed gun dealers who stand to make a healthy profit for their added involvement in gun safety.

    Also too it pits republican vs republican for a change (assuming most licensed gun dealeres are republicans or at least vote republican on gun issues - that is). forcing the GOP to take the heat on this if they fail to do something an unprecedentedly huge majority of the nation wants to happen - sensible gun safety measures

    Agreed: this seems like the best move possible and one most likely to get the traction needed for passage

  •  As an example of how important private sales are (0+ / 0-)

    to many gun owners, on Feb 7, 2013, GRNC organized somewhere between 600 and 1000 people at a rally at the state capitol.  Their unified chants shook the windows of the legislative office building.  One of the big issues was threatening private sales and their actions generated this response:

    Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says private sales will continue

    After GRNC dropped hundreds of emails into the office of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, asking whether he would support statements made earlier by Agriculture Police Chief Joel Keith that private gun sales would no longer be allowed at state-run facilities hosting gun shows, Troxler’s office asked GRNC for a meeting. During the meeting, Troxler described complexities of safely holding gun shows at the state fairground, but promised that details were being worked out with gun show promoters to allow private sales to continue.

    While the NRA may be bending politicians ears on this subject, don't underestimate what gun rights mean to the people.  Compare this to the dozen or so that showed up for a MAIG rally a couple of weeks ago.
    •  Nobody doubts the intensity of ... (6+ / 0-)

      ...gun-rights advocates. But this opposition to background checks for all transactions is extremism that allows criminals to obtain guns that would, at the very least be harder to get, if such sales without checks were forbidden.

      With the exception of transfers among immediate family members, the opposition to private gun sales is built around one factor: a small percentage of Americans think they should be able to sell guns to whomever they want without being inconvenienced by having to check to see if they person they are selling to is eligible to own guns. They don't care if they are or aren't. You see these kinds of sellers hanging around every gun show in states that allow private sales at such venues. They often don't even ask for I.D.

      Opposition to expanding background checks is extremism. Support for universal checks is supported by the vast majority of the population. Those who argue in favor of having no background checks on a million or more gun sales each year are arguing in favor of criminals having easy access to guns.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:35:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How much do you think the current air of extremism (0+ / 0-)

        has been ginned up by the pushes for things like AWB and magazine capacity limits?

        I know that about 3-4 months ago, I was a lot more open to the idea of compromise and workable solutions.  Now, not so much.  This is a lot of what is meant when we talk about this whole thing being a blown opportunity.

        •  The NRA, and GOA and RMGO and other... (6+ / 0-)

          ...organizations of similar ilk have been fighting sensible gun regulations from an extremist point of view long before the current debate began. The reason we don't have coverage of all gun sales by background checks already is because of extremists.

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

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 02:40:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That may be, however, the actions and words (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishbone

            of the extremists on the far left, high;y reflected in places like this site, have done a superb job of driving highly leftist Liberal people right into the arms of that extremism.  

            Look at what has happened to the RKBA group here.  They have not changed their minds, they have not been silenced, many of them have simply moved elsewhere where they discuss the shellacking they see coming to their party.

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