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Defending the 2nd Amendment

Let me start of by asking a couple of questions. Do you believe the 2nd Amendment is worth defending? Do you believe strong enough in our right to keep and bear arms that you will stand your ground in the face of so much opposition? There is a danger of being to complacent on this issue because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that you can not trust the gun control lobby. They do not want you or me to have this right that our founding fathers believed we should have.

When President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981, his press secretary James Brady was wounded as well and the gun control lobby gained their greatest advocates in him and his wife, Sarah. Through their lobbying of Congress, the Brady Bill was passed, which aimed to prevent handgun violence. It mandated background checks for handgun purchases and a five day waiting period before the purchase could be completed. That waiting period expired on November 30, 1998, as it was replaced by the background check by the National Instant Check System or NICS. Let me be clear in stating that I have no problem with background checks. As a responsible people in a responsible nation, it behooves us to do our best to make sure someone like John Hinkley does not get their hands on a gun. Had the background check system been in place in 1981, he would have not been able to legally purchase a handgun and that is as it should be. The system may not be perfect, but it gets the job done.

One issue that has to be mentioned in any discussion of gun control is the so called gun show loophole, which in reality, doesn’t even exist. Gun control advocates have complained that gun shows allow a venue for criminals to buy cheap handguns or other firearms and bypass the background check system. Nothing could be further from the truth. All transactions by licensed firearms dealers have to go through the system, no matter if it is at a gun show or not. This does not cover transactions between private individuals at gun shows, just as it does not apply to such private transactions anywhere else in the country. I say again, there is no gun show loophole. To stop such transactions at gun shows, you would have to be able to stop them all across this country and this would even include transactions between family members.

While gun control advocates shout loud and long about this nonexistent loophole, there have been studies that show a very small percentage of guns used in crimes were obtained from gun shows. A study by the Department of Justice weighed in at 2% and I believe there is one overriding factor that accounts for this small number. Have you ever been to a gun show and tried to buy a gun of any kind? I have and although I have purchased a couple, I promise you it wasn’t cheap. A gun show is one of the most expensive places to buy a gun and it is certainly not a place where you will be able to make a profit buying and reselling guns.

There are some citizens of our country that have more trust and faith in the liberal gun control advocates than I do. I believe their aim is to eventually remove all private ownership of firearms. Why would they go to such extremes to paint the picture of gun shows that they do, if their aim is not to shut them down completely? If they are really serious about stopping crimes that are perpetrated by people using guns, then stop playing around with them and throw them in jail when they are caught. Instead, they seem to think that infringing upon our rights will stop the criminals from doing what they have always done.

One prime example of that is the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, enacted in 1994. This piece of legislation put a ten year ban on the selling of semiautomatic assault type weapons to civilians. For those of you who are not gun savvy, a semiautomatic weapon is one that you can fire repeatedly by just pulling the trigger. The firing of the shot works the action and loads the next round into the chamber. This is compared to a fully automatic weapon that can be fired repeatedly by simply holding down the trigger. What the legislation actually did was to blur the lines between these two types of weapons. The criteria for a weapon to be classified as an assault weapon is listed below.

Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

  • Folding stock
  • Conspicuous pistol grip
  • Bayonet mount
  • Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
  • Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades)

Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

  • Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
  • Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or silencer
  • Barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold
  • Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
  • A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm

Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:

  • Folding or telescoping stock
  • Pistol grip
  • Fixed capacity of more than 5 rounds
  • Detachable magazine

Several weapon manufacturers simply changed cosmetic items on their weapons, renamed them, and started selling them to consumers. So you can see, despite all the claims that the ban has lowered crime, it simply isn’t true. The weapons are still on the market and have only been cosmetically changed, which does nothing to increase or decrease their effectiveness in doing what they were designed to do.

This kind of legislation is just one more reason I distrust the gun control advocates. They like to enact legislation such as the Assault Weapons Ban, that is loaded with ambiguous language that can be construed to say what they want it to say. What they should do is actually enforce the laws that are already on the books, instead of spending time and money on a bill that did no good whatsoever. Just so you know, President Obama favors making the ban permanent.

It’s a sad time in our country when guns are portrayed to be evil creations that no law abiding citizen should even want to have. Some insurance applications are even asking if you own a firearm, as if it is a bad thing to do. Gun control advocates do their best to draw a picture of everyone walking down the street, carrying a gun and loaded for bear. That idea needs to be rejected outright. Not everyone is wanting to walk down the street armed to the gills, but it is our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and it should not be infringed.

There is one thing we all need to remember. The 2nd Amendment was included in our Constitution for a reason and that was to protect us, the citizens of the United States, from tyranny of any kind. That means from our own government and from others as well. Do you not believe that has been a deterrent before? Let me leave you with a quote from a well known Japanese Admiral, Isoroku Yamamoto. When he was asked about invading the continental United States, he strongly advised against it. His reason was simple.

Upon landing in America, there would be a rifleman behind every blade of grass.

Our country was founded with certain freedoms being assured in the Constitution. One of the most precious is our freedom of speech. When our founding fathers came to these shores, they were leaving a country where they had very little rights. When the United States was being formed, they wanted to make sure the rights that were denied them in Great Britain were guaranteed in our country. Thus the 1st and 2nd Amendments were born and at great cost to some of those men who fought to establish our nation. Surely they are still worth fighting for today.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 1996 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • http://preacherpen.wordpress.com Ron

    Well said, Larry. Yes, we should defend our 2nd amendment. You know, I just wish the left-wing people would just get a clue about our country, and how it was formed.

    Ron’s last blog post..God Blesses Even in the Tough Times

  • Mike

    Larry –
    I’ve written more than my fair share on this subject and wasn’t planning to comment again; however your posting today requires a response (and besides I’m laid up following a car accident so it’s another good way to pass the time).

    I agree that more attention has been paid to gun shows than they merit given the statistics you cited; but both the Hinckley incident and the Columbine incident involved gun show purchases so they are much in the public domain and can’t be ignored. But given the relatively insignificant number of transactions involved it would seem to me a political windfall for gun rights activists to allow the loophole to be closed. Gun control activists get to claim a victory and gun rights activists score major points in the public discourse for negotiating an acceptable agreement to something that is meaningless in restricting 2nd Amendment rights. You wrote “To stop such transactions at gun shows, you would have to be able to stop them all across this country and this would even include transactions between family members.” That statement just makes no sense. The law could be written that “All transactions initiated at gun shows, whether by licensed dealer or private collector, are subject to NCIS checks.” It’s simple, it closes the loophole, and it permits private transactions outside of that venue including those between family members. To me it’s a win/win proposition and gun rights folks can rightfully claim they took the extra step.

    You asked me in a seperate posting whether I favored the outlawing of semiautomatic weapons and where I would redraw “the line”. The answer to both questions is, I don’t know enough to answer your question. We agree, I think, that a line is appropriate — automatic weapons, hand grenades, bazookas, etc should be unavailable to the public either completely or under extremely tight conditions. Which side of the line do semiautomatic weapons or 50+ round clips belong on? I think I’d come down on the side of saying semis are fine are megaround clips are not. That is just my sense of what is “reasonable” and I admit it is not a statement I make with very much background information on my side. The photo you attached to this story asks. re the men who died for our rights, “what would they think of us today?” and my answer is that they would be aghast at the firepower available today and shocked that private individuals had access to it all. Semis seem to me a reasonable weapon to have for hunting and sporting purposes; but I am at a loss to understand why anybody would reasonably need clips that hold inordinately large numbers of rounds for either self-defense or sporting purposes. I would be very interested, and I mean it, to hear a contrary opinion that was more substantive than “who are you to tell me what’s reasonable.”

    As one commentor wrote, the genie is out of the bottle and it’s not going back in. Criminals are not going to voluntarily lay down their weapons just because a law passes that says they must. But I do believe we can take steps to reduce risks. The constant call for “enforcing the laws on the books” is almost funny given that our country has, by far, the largest percentage of its population incarcerated than any other country in the world. Our jails are bursting at the seams. And, in fact, crime rates, and gun crime rates, have fallen considerably in the last ten years. How much had to do with better law enforcement and how much to better laws (the Brady Bill for one) is arguable but the trend has been very good. My view is to find other incremental steps to make further incremental reductions without infringing on anybodys rights. And for the record, I don’t consider myself a liberal, but I have many liberal friends (and many conservative friends as well) and I deeply resent anybody suggesting that liberals value any less the history and rights our forefathers, as well as our contemporaries, fought and died for.

  • Mike

    Larry –

    I did mean to ask you something else: if you’re comfortable with background checks then why are the next logical steps a problem — gun licenses and gun registration? I’ve heard enough cynical comments from others about how cars kill so many people why don’t we ban cars. Well, I find that comparison silly; BUT, we do license all car drivers and we do register all cars. Assuming all other laws remain unchanged, what is the argument against licensing and registration?

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    First of all, I hope you are not seriously injured from your accident. Get well soon.

    As for gun shows being the culprits in the Reagan assassination attempt and the Columbine shootings, the latter is correct. Hinckley purchased his gun from a pawn shop in Dallas, Texas, from the information I have been able to find online.

    Let me address the need for 50 round clips, if I may. I used to have one of those myself, for my Ruger 10-22 and it was simply fun to go to my Dad’s shale pit or trash pile and plink around. I had it for that reason alone and I see nothing wrong with that. Is it necessary? No it’s not, but I did enjoy firing off the entire clip and no one was harmed in the process.

    I don’t believe liberals value our history less than anyone else in our country. However, as I have stated before, there are some of them in positions of leadership in our country that I do not trust as far as I can throw them. This applies especially to the 2nd Amendment. Call me crazy, paranoid or anything else you want, but I honestly believe they would do away with all private ownership of firearms, if given the chance.

    I do believe background checks are a good thing, but I am not sure I understand what you mean by gun licenses and registration. Do you think we should have to have a special license to even own a gun?

  • Mike

    First, I’ll apoogize for getting the Hinckley thing wrong — I thought you had said in your posting that he’d purchased the gun at a show and clearly you said nothing of the sort. I knew about the Columbine purchases but just failed to reread your passage when I wrote my response.

    To your question about licenses I suppose my response would be, why not? In the case of both Hinckley and Cho (the Virginia Tech shooter) neither would pass a background check with revisions made after the VT incident (I think I’m right about that) but either one could buy a gun from a collector at a gun show. In fact, anybody who can’t buy a gun legally from a licensed dealer can still buy one from a collector at a gun show, right? But what if all purchasers were required to have a gun license in order to purchase a gun? Wouldn’t it be possible to place the burden of proof on the purchaser and local law enforcement so that anybody leaving a gun show with a weapon would have to show a gun license before leaving the premises? Wouldn’t it make it just a little tougher for the criminal element without infringing on law abiding citizens?

    And the same for gun registration. Where do all the guns come from that get into criminal hands? Well, someone manufactures them, sells them to dealers, who sells them to some intermediary, who sells them to the criminal element. Why can’t we require documentation and registration for all purchases and sales of weapons? Would it be a significant problem for every gun to be accompanied by a registration/title the way a car is? Maybe it would….I’d be interested to know. For a gun involved in a crime it seems to me it creates a trail of ownership that puts some measure of responsibility on the people whose hands that gun passed through. And without changing any law limiting your or my right to own guns. Is that overly restrictive or burdensome?

    Re the 50 round clips I suppose my answer is that just because you enjoy it doesn’t make it right. I’m really not well informed enough here but I just think reducing the available level of firepower makes sense. I know that nobody gets hurt when you mess around in uninhabited spots and I’m certain that goes for 99.9% of all weapons fired. But I could say the same thing about fishing with hand grenades. Nobody would get hurt and everybody would eat well. It’s just over the line and unnecessary. The question re the big clips is are they over the line — are they unreasonable? I really don’t know the answer but if the best argument in their favor is “they’re fun” then I have to wonder if they don’t cross the line.

    Finally, re liberals, my response would be that there are conservatives in government who’ve kept me up more nights than any liberal ever has or will and it has absolutely nothing to do with gun control. Fortunately their term in office came to an end. I sleep much better now and would be sleeping just as well if John McCain was in the Oval Office. Time will tell……time will tell.

  • Humble Infidel

    I reposted your this article here. Thanks again.

    Humble Infidel’s last blog post..Biography of U.S. Marine Sgt Smith

  • Pingback: Defending the 2nd Amendment « American Truths

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Interesting back and forth.

    I have always failed to see why background checks, registration and licenses are a threat to a person’s 2nd Amendment rights. Just because gun ownership is a Consitutional right (and I agree that it is) doesn’t mean that the state has no right to regulate it. We can all cite instances of restriction for many of the Amendments for the safety of the people ( No “FIRE” in a crowd restricts the 1st Amendment, and yet we continue to say what we please).

    Please explain how these three provisions restrict a law abiding person from gun ownership. Or shouldn’t “law abiding” be part of the requirments for gun ownership? And let’s move beyond the argument that “criminals don’t respect the law”. That’s a given. And let’s leave “liberals and conservatives” out of the conversation as well. I honestly think that the far right is as bad as the far left in moving this issue forward.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Laurie,

    I have nothing against background checks and all new guns are registered to their owners when they are purchased. Do you propose to require all purchases of used guns to be registered, as well as requiring anyone who wants to own a gun have a license? If so, you are going to open an entirely new can of worms. There are some citizens of this country that will fight you every step of the way on those two items.

    The reason has something to do with the “liberal and conservative” argument you want to leave out of the equation. There are a lot of people who do not trust the liberals enough to give them that much power over their guns and I include myself in that group. You may think that is completely insane, but when the liberals get to talking about banning this or that gun, the conservatives dig in their heels and do not intend to budge.

    Say what you will, but if you go down that road, trying to limit the access of criminals to guns, you are going to punish the very people who are law abiding citizens. Those of us who are against some of the restrictions the gun control advocates are trying to place on the 2nd Amendment are already obeying the law. Why should we be subjected to more laws?

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Good clarification.

    Licensing…You made me think.

    I think the main reason some citizens would fight requiring anyone who owns a gun to have a license has something to do with interpretation of the Amendment. So many people read “infringed” and think “unfettered”. I don’t see requiring a license to own and operate a potentially deadly weapon “infringes” on the 2nd Amendment, any more than requiring a group to obtain a permit when excercising their right to peaceably gather in a public square infringes on the 1st Amendment- although some groups (anarchists come to mind) would rather be completely “unfettered” to do as they please.

    I ask this honestly- how does a license infringe upon one’s right to own a gun?

  • Gary

    Laurie,

    It’s not really that a license infringes on that right. It’s where will they stop if they get their foot in that door.

    Most of us are not willing to give that inch because we are afraid they will want to take the mile next.

  • Mike

    I believe in just a few short sentences the argument was neatly summarized — licensing and registration doesn’t infringe on 2nd Amendment rights in any way; but gun rights proponents are 100% convinced that any crack in the status quo will lead straight to the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. It’s an amazing conclusion, and I certainly agree there are gun control activists who absolutely have that goal in mind; but there is no chance, none, zero, of that happening. Nevertheless, the risk is clear to Larry, Gary, and others and even cooler heads like Laurie and I have no chance of tearing down that wall. I never understood the barriers quite so clearly as I do now — and I’m quite frustrated that the basic argument is conceded (there is no infringement on rights) but the opposing view remains adamant (we’re afraid of where it will lead).

    Well Larry I guess it’s just time to move on to the next topic….how about Rush Limbaugh saying he wants to see Obama fail? Not very American is it? What would our forefathers think of that???

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Imust say, Larry, you do disappoint.

    If your argument against basic licensing for a potentially deadly weapon is fear of the slippery slope, it’s a dead stick. Fear is never a good substitute for good sense. 8 years of Bush taught us that.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Laurie,
    What more do you want to be done? New gun purchases are already regulated and no one can buy a gun without it being registered and a background check being performed. Anyone who wants a concealed carry permit has to go through training. Now you are saying you want anyone that purchases a gun to have a license to own it. They already have to get approved to buy it, what more do you want?

    No offense, but this discussion has nothing to do with President Bush. As for fear, you, Mike and I do not share the same amount of trust in the gun control advocates. You trust them to go only so far with gun control and I do not have that same trust. Case in point would be the situation in Washington, D. C. They didn’t try to regulate handguns, they tried to completely ban them, even from homes, unless they were disassembled. Thankfully, the Supreme Court struck that ban down, but it goes to show you how serious these people are about complete gun bans.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    As for Rush Limbaugh, that may very well be the subject of another article, but let me say this. I can’t stand listening to the man, but it seems to me his recent comments have been taken out of context. What he was trying to say is that he doesn’t like the direction Obama will take the country. He believes Obama is very much of a radical liberal, even though he tries to disguise it with moderate rhetoric. Rush was not wishing the country harm, but he doesn’t want to see Obama succeed with his liberal agenda. I want President Obama to do well also, but I do not want to see him take our country as far to the left as it is about to go with this big government stimulus package he is getting through Congress.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Larry,

    You miss my point. Bush isn’t the issue- the fact that he was reelected based on fear is. By reelection time, every indicator pointed to a failed administration. Yet a prevailing attitude was “fear” about changing Presidents during war time. Fear gave us 4 more years of his confused policies and plunged us deeper into the abyss we now wade in. Fear is never a good place to operate from.

    You ask what I want. I want both sides to be reasonable and understand the difference between bans and regulations. I think the overturn of the DC gun ban was a good thing, as it is unreasonable to have a blanket suspension of the Constitution, but I also think that gun activists who wish to extend the privilege to include 9 years olds obtaining permits (that has happened) goes too far.

    Any time fear is the basis of rule, the absurd is probable. I ask for reason to temper the fear and for gun activists to think before they advocate. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Mike

    Laurie — I’m happy to have your voice of reason support my arguments but what I’ve learned in this debate is that for Larry and other gun rights activists the fear is quite reasonable and even inevitable. Any crack in the armor of opposing any and all change to gun regulation will lead straight to a tsunami of oversight and restriction and eventually to the elimination of all private ownership of guns. It shows an amazing inability to differentiate between strongly partisan interests (who do indeed have that goal in mind) and mainstream America that simply wants to sleep better at night with fewer guns, reduced firepower, and some control over the Hinckley’s, Columbine kids, and Cho’s of this country getting their hands on guns with the intent to kill. I would suggest to Larry and others, however, that they would be well advised to concede some points because if more cases like the recent murder/suicide by a man of his family (including 5 children) occur there will be more people of reason who will see greater value in the partisan position.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    I think much of the fear stems from the intent of most people on the right, not the left, when it comes to “slippery slope” legislation.

    On the right, a concerted effort to repeal Roe v Wade battles on- and many on the left screamed to high heaven that making partial birth abortions illegal would pave the slippery slope to repeal of Roe. And it’s true; the right celebrated this as a “step” in the right direction, because their eventual intent is to make abortions illegal. Many on the right naturally apply this thinking to gun control; any attempt at regulation MUST be an attempt to do away with the whole shootin’ match!

    But I would ask the intractible gun activists to consider this: The right to bear arms is a Constitutional guarantee: The right to an abortion? Not so much. It’s a sticky 9th or tenth amendment issue at best. So your paranoia- based on a philosophy born out of your fears, not the left’s- is unwarranted.

    Regulating a Consitutional guarantee is not the same as interfering with your rights. As I’ve pointed out before, the First Amendment guarantees free speech, the right to gather in protest etc. But you can’t legally shout “FIRE” for no cause in a crowded hall, and if you want to gather in protest in public, you must first obtain a permit-legally speaking. Those two regulations don’t prevent anyone from excercising their 1st Amendment rights, just as preventing uzi ownership won’t prevent anyone from excercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

    Moving on- this conversation always ends up feeling like a Novice high school debate round to me.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Laurie and Mike,
    I have done some research, but have been unable to find where a 9-year old boy received a permit to carry a gun. I would like to see a link, if you would care to share. In any case, I would not want a youngster that young carrying a gun, unless he was with a responsible adult at all times and then only if he was hunting.

    Both of you continue to ask why not have regulation on guns and I will continue to say we already have regulation on guns. No new firearms can be sold in this country, unless it is by a licensed dealer and the purchaser has to go through a background check and we all agree that is a good thing. Now you are suggesting that all gun owners have a license to own them and I fail to see much difference at all between that and the system we already have. Our 2nd Amendment rights are already regulated and yet you want more regulation.

    Guns do not kill people. People kill people. You bring up the case of the man who just killed his entire family by shooting them. Yes, that is a sad thing to have happened, but if he had not had access to a gun, he would have found some other way to do the deed. All of the laws and regulations will not stop someone who is intent upon doing something like that. All those laws and regulations will do is to make it more expensive, and in some cases nearly impossible, for law abiding citizens to legally own a firearm.

    I am sorry you seem to think I have paranoia born out of fear, but that is not the case. I realize the D.C. ban was struck down and I realize you both agree that was the proper thing to do, but I still go back to the fact that the ban was instituted in the first place. The city government should have never went forward with the law, but it did and for years, the 2nd Amendment rights of the citizens of Washington D. C. were not regulated, they were suspended. That kind of action is where my fear comes from, not from any paranoia. As I have said before, you may trust them to go only so far, but I don’t. They have already proven to me that their interests go well beyond the simple regulation of firearms.

  • Dan Z

    From another’s comment: “I believe in just a few short sentences the argument was neatly summarized — licensing and registration doesn’t infringe on 2nd Amendment rights in any way….”

    Wrong. Licensing implies that the GOVERNMENT is ALLOWING you to own a firearm. In no other of our rights is this a requirement. Our rights descend from nature, or God if you will, not by the grace of government.

    Registration is only useful to government when it decides to use the list for taxation or confiscation. Think those might be “infringements?”

    RE: Gun show loophole. Closing this so-called loophole can only be accomplished by banning all private transfers of firearms between citizens. Think that might be an “infringement?” If not, what is your reasoning? Continue this trend, and the government will require control over private sales of any dangerous item, such as selling your used lawn tractor to your neighbor.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Thought I was done with this, but I can’t resist… Dan Z proves what’s flawed about most of the emotional argument that is set forth on this topic. “Nature” and “God” are the grantors of your Constitutional rights? Come on, Dan. The original Bill of Rights does not a Bible make.

    I’m truly amazed by one who would argue that the government has no standing in this arena…and then point to a government document to prove it. God and nature did not write the Constitution. Our founding fathers did as a basis for governing.

    One last question: Do you believe that everyone whould be allowed to carry a concealed weapon?

  • Laurie. Oregon

    And no, Dan, I do not think that the possibility that the government might use registration lists to tax would infringe on our rights to own guns. You could still own, you could still operate, you could still avail yourself of 2nd Amendment protection, just as a protest group can still avail themselves of their First Amendment rights even though they must apply for a permit- which often carries a fee, depending on the locale.

    Confiscation? Unwarranted restrictions (such as the DC ban) would be an infringement, but I don’t think that laws should be based on paranoia. I think citizens need to be wary and vigilant and appeal to the process set forth in our justice system if the government gets out of line. I do not think assuming the government will get out of line is a good basis for rational thought.

  • Mike

    Well argued Laurie but these guys drank the Kool-Aid long ago…..

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    I will address Laurie’s comments later, but I want to say right quick that I do resent being told that I have been drinking Kool-Aid. I realize the connotations of what you are saying and I do not particularly care for that term. Regardless of how you, Laurie, or anyone else feel about this, we are concerned about the future of the 2nd Amendment. I do not appreciate those concerns being made light of.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Larry,

    Looking forward to your comments.

    BTW, I had the age of the child granted a gun permit wrong- it was a 10 month old baby.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/246916/10monthold_baby_obtains_gun_permit.html?cat=8

    Apparently,there’s no age limit as to who can obtain a permit in the state of Illinois. Call me paranoid (turn about can be such fun!), but I see this as an extension of overzealous gun activism that was definitely taken to the extreme.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Laurie,
    When you spoke earlier about a child being allowed to have a gun permit, I misunderstood what you were talking about. The permit in question sounds like a permit to actually own a gun. I thought you were talking about a permit to carry a concealed weapon. There is a big difference between the two. Obviously, the 10-month old baby will not be in control of the shotgun in question and I am not certain why he would have to have a permit to own the gun in the first place. If we were talking about a concealed weapons permit, then that would be a different story altogether, but we are not.

    You asked me if I thought everyone should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. Are you talking with or without a permit? For myself, I believe a permit should be required for anyone carrying a concealed weapon. That permit should not be given lightly and should include training in the use of the weapon. As far as I know, all states that allow concealed weapons require a permit and training. That is as it should be.

    A lot has been said in this discussion about what is or isn’t an infringement of our 2nd Amendment rights. The case in Washington, D.C. has been mentioned frequently as an example of infringement and the fact that the Supreme Court struck the ban down in a Constitutional correction. It has been said that we have nothing to fear from more regulation and more gun control, that there is no way the gun control advocates will every succeed in taking away our guns. In response, let me ask a few questions.

    How many more gun bans have to go into effect and be struck down before we should start worrying? How many times does the Supreme Court have to make such a close decision on a gun ban before it is time to start worrying? How much ambiguous language do we have to read in these decisions, language that has already been construed to mean something entirely different than the judges actually meant, before we start worrying?

    You may trust the gun control advocates to go only so far with their regulations and restrictions, but I do not share that same trust.

  • travis

    It’s not taught in schools, but the 2nd amendment was not written with sporting firearms in mind. It has nothing to do with deer hunting or the like. Go look it up. Why do you think deer hunting would be the second thing on the minds of our founding fathers, who just declared war on a tyrannical government? The right to keep and bear arms was not “granted” to us by the constitution. It was and is an inalienable right, the same as your right to breathe, which should not be regulated for depth or duration.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Travis,
    You are right about that. The 2nd Amendment was written to allow us to defend ourselves from tyranny, both from without and from within. As much as I enjoy deer hunting and other firearm sports, they come second to our right of self defense.

  • Mike

    Travis wrote “The right to keep and bear arms was not “granted” to us by the constitution. It was and is an inalienable right, the same as your right to breathe.” The right to breathe, the right to think, the right to question, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — these are inalienable rights. The right to own a semiautomatic assault rifle?? Not so much….as in, not at all!! There is, within those inalienable rights, a right to defend yourself, your family, and your property; but the means of that defense do not necessarily include the right to deadly weapons — that right was granted by the Second Amendment not by God. And that right can be taken away if the country determines to overturn the Second Amendment with a constitutional amendment of its own — and that will just never happen because guns are so ingrained in our society and the right of ownership is widely acknowledged across the political spectrum (though certainly not on the far left).

    The DC case to which we continue to return is something to be celebrated not feared. Gun proponents argue “see what liberals will do” but the DC case was born out of exactly the process the founding fathers aspired to. The democratically elected representatives of the People of Washington DC, seeing their city rampant with gun-related crime and declining into a state of chaos and fear, passed a law banning all handguns from the city. A law abiding citizen challenged that law and the case worked its way up to the highest court in the land where it was found unconstitutional. Now those same elected representatives will have to consider their response. Perhaps it will be to impose a 5 year waiting period. Or perhaps 60 hours of classroom and range training. And if that happens then another citizen will claim that too an infringement on the 2nd Amendment and that too will go to the Court. That’s the way our nation works and thank God it does.

    When can you stop worrying Larry? I ask you back — when can I stop worrying about my children being injured or killed by criminals allowed the freedom to own guns in this country? Yes, criminals shouldn’t have weapons and the police should throw them in jail; but that happens AFTER the crime doesn’t it? So when I stop worrying, you can stop worrying. And in the meantime you should celebrate the fact that you own the weapons you do because this is one of the few civilized countries in the world where you can. And don’t forget — the elected representatives of the state of Arkansas can, at any time, pass more restrictive gun measures requiring licensing and registration and waiting periods even on rifles and the Supreme Court would probably not even take the case if it got there. That too is the way our country works — God Bless It.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    The way the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was worded, it made my brother a criminal for hunting with a semi-automatic 30.06 rifle because it held too many rounds. It is a rifle that he continued to use because he had been doing so for years. He saw no reason to stop, just because the gun control advocates decided his rifle classified as an assault weapon. There was no reason at all to ban them in the first place. All the ban did was to blur the lines between semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons, the gun manufacturers performed some cosmetic changes on their weapons, renamed them, and continued to sell them.

    Do you honestly believe that no one in this country should have a semi-automatic weapon? I know you said “semi-automatic assault rifle”, but the language in the legislation was so ambiguous, that it outlawed the weapon I spoke about above. It was a Remington 740 30.06, which is a semi-automatic rifle used for years as a hunting weapon.

    You said:

    when can I stop worrying about my children being injured or killed by criminals allowed the freedom to own guns in this country?

    Why is it that you believe restricting my 2nd Amendment rights will have any effect on criminals? Even if you managed to remove every handgun or semi-automatic rifle or shotgun from our homes, the criminals would still have theirs. I ask you again, how will restricting my 2nd Amendment rights do any good with the criminal situation in this country?

  • Gary

    Mike, you just opened up something here that I have to address.

    You can not compare criminals killing someone with the freedom to own guns in this country. They simply are two different things. It has been shown time and again that the more “gun control” there is the more crime there is. All gun control does is open the door for the criminals to do as they please with no fear of repercussions from the average citizen they want to rob or terrorize. It is naive to think otherwise. The criminals don’t go to Wal Mart or a gun show or a hunting store to get a gun they want to use in commission of a crime. Most of your home burglaries are done with no one at home and with no weapon. The criminals don’t want to get caught with a gun because they know the penalties are much worse when that happens. That’s why they try to do it with no one at home, they do not want a confrontation with the home owner.

    Now, I would like to know what you definition of an assault weapon is.

  • Mike

    You have both completely missed my point. I wrote extensively about inalienable rights and merely used the possession of assault weapons as an example of what is NOT an inalienable right. I could have used rifles, BB guns, or water pistols, and the point would have been the same — there is no “inalienable” right to guns. That right is granted by the Constitution — a document written by Americans for Americans. And if at some time America decided to amend that Constitution, as it has many times in the past, then that right can also be taken away. I argue strongly that such a change will never happen. And, by the way, if you’d read all my comments on this subject, you will recall that I lean towards support of semiautomatic weapons as a reasonable means of defense person and property.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Okay, I will give you the fact that the 2nd Amendment is a right granted by the Constitution and not by God. That much is true. I am not a bit worried that the Constitution will be amended to take away those rights. What I am worried about is gun control advocates passing gun control laws that do more to restrict my 2nd Amendment rights than it does to prevent criminals from having guns.

    when can I stop worrying about my children being injured or killed by criminals allowed the freedom to own guns in this country?

    I still want to know why you believe restricting my 2nd Amendment rights will have an effect on criminals.

  • Mike

    In your posting about the possible steel union strikes you decried their lack of common sense — I would submit the same applies to your question about the effect of gun law restrictions on criminal possession of weapons. If we make guns somewhat harder to acquire then it stands to reason that criminal possession will also decline. If every state had a one gun per month law then it would be more difficult for straw purchasers to build inventory that then gets sold to criminals. If New Jersey has such a law but Pennsylvania doesn’t then the effectiveness of law is substantially watered down. Again Larry, I would put the question back to you — without further gun control laws, laws that don’t infringe on the right of law-abiding citizens to buy a weapon, how do we make any progress in keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals? If Arkansas and a dozen other states don’t send NICS information about mental health patients that should be denied guns then how do we make progress? The conversation is very circular and I think we’ve exhausted it but I must say my views have become considerably more supportive to those pursuing greater regulation.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Sigh…

    How much more regulation do you think is required? I haven’t seen evidence of a lot of straw purchasers buying up a lot of guns, just so they can sell them to criminals. To do so would guarantee them getting caught, if the guns are used in a crime and traced back to them, the original owner. Anyone who is wanting to sell guns to criminals is not going to buy them in their name, just so they can get caught. So, my question to you is, how do you think limiting me to one gun per month is going to slow them down in their purchases? The answer to that is that it will not. The kind of regulations that you continue to mention are the ones that would do nothing to help keep guns away from criminals and do everything to restrict my 2nd Amendment rights.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Larry,

    The fact that you think it’s proper for a 10 month old who cannot even express himself and certainly has lower intellectual capacity than most mentally retarded adults (prevented from owning guns at all by the same statue) just points out your extremism when it comes to this issue.

    You are intractible in your faith in gun owners and your distrust of anything that smacks of government regulation. I, on the other hand, tend to put more faith in laws that protect the majority of law abiding rather than the few who would abuse. I might be more comfortable with the “self policing” strategy if gun owners and thier lobbyists actually did this. But the fact that laws like this remain proves that this is not the case.

    I’ll grant: For every irresponsible gun owner, there are many who take their rights seriously. Can’t you and your friends grant that, for every extremist who would do away with the 2nd Amendment, there are many who would only ask for reason in application?

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Laurie,
    I am not sure where you are going with the 10 month old baby comment. From the link you provided, it appears the father of the child put the gun in his name, simply because it was handed down as an heirloom from his grandfather. That does not mean the baby is going to be carrying it around as soon as he is able. What is wrong with someone handing down a firearm as an heirloom? My position on that is not extremist. If it were a concealed weapons permit for a youngster, then I would not be for that. I stated as much in my earlier reply.

    I also have stated several times that I do not believe you or Mike are wanting to take my 2nd Amendment rights away. It’s not you who I have a problem with, it’s the gun control activists who seem bound and determined to restrict them in every way they can. They are the ones I worry about, not you.

  • Brendan

    Hello everyone. I’ve read the previous posts and I believe I have something to contribute. The Constitution is a document written by men to ensure that the rights of the citizens of the United States cannot be infringed upon by the government. As far as the second amendment, it is to protect the citizenry from tyrants. If you look at historical precedents such as Nazi Germany of the 1930′s, all firearms were to be registered with the government. This was to ensure that when they decided that to keep themselves in power, the citizens wouldn’t have the means to revolt. This is an extreme case I grant you, but an important one nonetheless.
    Firearms have been called “The Great Equalizer.” Whereas you don’t have to be a 300 pound man with a knife or club to protect yourself. You can be a 100 pound woman and be proficient with a handgun and be able to protect yourself from that 300 pound man with a knife or club. State and Local governments have no legal duty to protect citizens from violent crime. Police Departments do their best to prevent crime and to investigate crimes in their aftermath, but it would be totally unfair to the citizens of this country to “infringe” upon their right to defend themselves and their property, even from the government that is supposed to guarantee these rights. Guns don’t kill people any more than pencils cause misspellings. I know that’s a cliche but it’s true. It’s the intent of the person behind the gun that we have to consider. If it is the intent of the gun wielder to deprive someone else of their life,liberty or property, I feel it is the absolute right of the potential victim to defend themselves by any means necessary. The only people that will be hurt by stricter gun laws would be the people who abide by the law, not the criminals. For instance, Washington DC had instituted a ban so restrictive that the only way a lawful citizen could possess any firearm in their house would be to have it totally disassembled. How would they be able to defend themselves from a home invasion at 3 o’clock in the morning if they first had to assemble their handgun or shotgun or rifle?
    As far as Coumbine is concerned, loss of life was mainly attributed to wrongheaded tactical thinking on the part of the Columbine Police Dept. They waited for over 30 minutes for the swat team to respond to the scene before they even considered entering the school. Police are now better trained to handle an “Active shooter” incident due to the mistakes made at Columbine. And the Virginia Tech shootings, VT was a “Gun Free Zone” But would the outcome have been different if the students and/or teachers were allowed to carry firearms on school grounds? I believe also that in Florida the concealed carry law has actually reduced crimes using firearms. Imagine you’re a criminal with a gun, and you want to rob somebody. Would you want to take a chance robbing someone that also may have a gun and will resist? I think they will look for an easier target such as a non resident tourist. I recall that after the concealed carry law was enacted, a couple from Germany were shot and killed by an armed assailant while they were stopped at a traffic light in their rental car. The rental car was identified by a sticker on the bumper. It was postulated that the reason for the attack was that if they were driving a rental car, they were tourists and consequently unarmed. The rental car company has since removed the stickers from their cars. I believe that criminals will use whatever means available to achieve their goals. Lets imagine for argument sake that you could wave your magic wand and all guns, legal and illegal would just disappear. Would that stop violent crime? Criminals would use knives and clubs to achieve the same end. Consequently the “Knife and club ban activists” would be clamoring for stricter controls on the sale of knives and clubs.
    Ultimately the founding fathers created the second amendment knowing full well that crimes have been and would be committed by people wielding firearms. But they felt that it was the right of every citizen to own firearms otherwise they would be creating a country of potential victims.

  • Mike

    Someone please tell me how we reduce criminal access to guns? Your answer seems to be “we can’t” or “enforce the laws better.” Does anybody actually have a real idea?

  • Gary

    A handgun ban and so called assault rifle ban isn’t going to do the trick either.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    There has been a lot of talk in this discussion about semi-automatic assault weapons. It is pretty evident that you do not care for them and do not see the need for anyone to have them. What makes you believe they are any more deadly than any other weapon? For example, if I had to defend my house from someone who was intent on doing me or my family harm and was given the choice between an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle or the Remington 1187 semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun that I used to have, I would choose the 1187 without a second thought. I would not want to get shot with 3″ magnum 00 buckshot. A pump shotgun that makes a lot of noise when I work the action to load it would work just as well.. That’s a pretty good deterrent to the bad guys.

    I can honestly say that I would be willing to put up with stricter regulations, if I thought it would help keep guns away from criminals. We already have background checks in place, as well as waiting periods. All new gun purchases have to be through a licensed dealer. Other than turning our country into a police state and going from house to house, confiscating guns, I am not what else you could do. Even if you did that, there would still be criminals with guns.

  • Mike

    There really is no point in me continuing this discussion if you’re not going to read what I write. So for the third time I will reiterate that “I lean toward support of semiautomatic weapons” just as I wrote in #32 above. I believe they are a reasonable weapon for defense of person, family, and property and I do not recall hearing of many incidents of violence involving them. They are not your typical street weapon and they are probably considerably more expensive and more visible than a criminal would want. OK? Can we move on from semiautomatic weapons now?

    However, the second paragraph of your last comment is completely unsatisfactory. You’ve essentially shrugged your shoulders and said “I don’t think there is anything we can do.” It seems to me that if the gun lobby is intent on blocking any further gun control regulation then it is incumbent upon the gun lobby to figure out the answer to getting fewer guns into the hands of criminals. Without that you’re destined to find more regulation in the form of licensing and registration coming your way….and rightly so.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    You say that because I don’t see a way to restrict criminal access to guns without restricting my own 2nd Amendment rights, that I should get ready for more regulation. At the same time, you do not offer any solution up yourself that does anything to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals. All of the measures you have proposed will not do what you want. Instead, it will restrict the access of law abiding citizens to have guns, while at the same time, doing nothing to keep the criminals from having them. I stated in my last post that if someone could show me a way to do that, then I would be willing to concede that point. So far, I haven’t seen such a solution.

  • Gary

    You can restrict the 2nd Amendment till it’s gone but that isn’t going to stop the crooks.

  • Gary

    Here is a good article about the correlation between gun control and crime rates. It is from 2002 but I feel it is still relevant today.

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0210e.asp

    Another one from 2000 by the Cato Institute.

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=4706

    And yet another from 2002.

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/28582.html

    I could go on and on but this should be enough for now.

    Happy reading, if you care to.

  • travis

    I think tighter gun laws are a great idea. Specifically for police. In my state the police are required to fire a total of fifty rounds a year to stay current in their departments. This even gives them the title of an “expert”. Which, if it wasn’t so damn scary, is pretty amusing. I fire well over 5,000 rounds in a slow year and I wouldn’t even consider calling myself an expert.

    btw, great reading Gary, too bad so few will listen.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Read Gary’ s suggested articles with interest. Not surprisingly, these articles come from conservative or conservative Libertarian leaning organizations who are lax in pointing out any societal positive that might come from, say , the Brady bill.

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/guncontrol/a/brady2003.htm

    I was particularly interested to note that a very small percentage of applications were denied through 2003, yet 58% of those denials were meted out to those with criminal convictions/indictments. And after 2003, the denials for parties subject to a domestic violence restraining order and the mentally ill went up- all good things, don’t you agree?

    1.7% of applicants were denied under this restriciton-and the rest of the 98.3% went through. Seems no rights for law abiding citizens who accruately filled out paperwork were infringed, and guns purchases were at least made more difficult for a small portion of people who have no business owning guns in the first place.

    It would appear that these regulations, fought against so bitterly, actually did some good.

  • Gary

    Laurie, the Brady bill wasn’t the point in my post. I am talking about the bans, total bans, of different kinds of weapons. I think it has been shown pretty clearly that the bans do not do any good at all. Did you read the article about how the bans in England have turned out? It doesn’t look so good from where I am sitting. I don’t think it’s right at all for someone to get punished for defending themselves like these people:

    In 1999 Tony Martin, a 55-year-old Norfolk farmer living alone in a shabby farmhouse, awakened to the sound of breaking glass as two burglars, both with long criminal records, burst into his home. He had been robbed six times before, and his village, like 70 percent of rural English communities, had no police presence. He sneaked downstairs with a shotgun and shot at the intruders. Martin received life in prison for killing one burglar, 10 years for wounding the second, and a year for having an unregistered shotgun. The wounded burglar, having served 18 months of a three-year sentence, is now free and has been granted 5,000 of legal assistance to sue Martin.

    How in the world can this be right? Or this?

    In 1994 an English homeowner, armed with a toy gun, managed to detain two burglars who had broken into his house while he called the police. When the officers arrived, they arrested the homeowner for using an imitation gun to threaten or intimidate. In a similar incident the following year, when an elderly woman fired a toy cap pistol to drive off a group of youths who were threatening her, she was arrested for putting someone in fear. Now the police are pressing Parliament to make imitation guns illegal.

    There is no way this stuff is right. Anybody in their right mind would do the same thing and more if put in the same situation.

    You think it can’t happen? Well, it did in England. And they started off slow and easy with their gun control and gun bans. Just like the gun control advocates here in the States want to do. Don’t be fooled, they will not stop there, they will take it as far as they can. They intend to ban all private gun ownership in this country. If that happens, God help us.

  • Mike

    Writing to this issue here is much like banging my head against a wall — all I end up with is a headache. Gary, nobody is talking about England and nobody is talking about banning guns. And it’s just incredible that you would find and cite two examples (yes, terrible, ridiculous cases of miscarried justice) to support your point — as if I can’t find two examples of legal purchases of guns that resulted in horrible, unnecessary deaths??!!

    But, as so often before in this dialogue, you guys miss the point. Laurie, I believe, raised the Brady bill in order to emphasize the fact that gun control legislation can and has had positive social impact that gun activists choose to ignore. Yes, I know, you guys aren’t talking about the Brady bill; but I would make a very large wager that at the time the Brady bill was under consideration you were loud and adamant opponents of that legislation and argued vehemently that it would infringe on your 2nd Amendment rights without having any effect on crime or criminal possession of weapons. Anybody want to take that bet? I doubt it. And yet the ability for law abiding citizens to purchase weapons unimpeded has continued while hundreds of thousands of people have been denied legal weapons by that legislation. Have many of those people gone on to buy weapons illegally? Probably. And I’d like to figure out a way to put an additional crimp on that — again, without infringing on legal purchases.

    Larry, I will not take up your challenge to come up with specific proposals because clearly I will not suggest anything that has not been mentioned many times before by people much better informed than me. And besides, your answer to each and every one will be the same — “that will infringe on my rights and have no impact on criminal possession” — a refrain which you repeat endlessly without any substantiation of your own. You just state it as a fact. How can you possibly say that a nationwide limitation on gun purchases from licensed dealers of one weapon per month would not reduce criminal access to guns? And eliminating the ability of otherwise illegal purchsers to buy guns from collectors at gun shows? How about an end run — legalizing marijuana and some other drugs?

    I did read the articles Gary provided and, like the articles Larry sent earlier, they are all written by people with strong biases. Tell you what — why don’t you guys go read the opinions written by the justices who voted against the DC case to understand their logic. It’s not because they support gun elimination. They are brilliant legal scholars and their view is colored only by how they understand the Constitution. Read that and then tell me what you think. I have no patience for the Cato Institute or others who are financed by the NRA to parrot the party line.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Talking about situations in England, where there is no Constitutional guarantee to bear arms- indeed, no written constitution- is hyperbole, at best. I don’t see the correlation, period.

    And this conversation has revolved around not just bans but regulations, as well. If you’d actually read what I’ve written, you would know that I never support. blanket suspensions of Constitutional rights Larry pointed to the Brady bill in his opening post and you, in fact, said ” It has been shown time and time again that the more gun control there is, the more crime there is.”

    The fact remains: The Brady bill, which the NRA fought bitterly against, has prevented criminals, the mentally ill, and the emotionally disturbed from obtaining guns. This is a control that has worked as intended. And it isn’t exactly the Constitutional crisis that the NRA told us it would be.

    Larry- you have talked about distrusting liberal interest groups with gun control issues. The Brady bill and the NRA’s strong- and unfounded- warnings against is a good example of why I don’t blindly trust conservative interest groups, either.

  • Gary

    I brought up England to show what a slippery slope this could. Once this country starts down that slope it will be hard to stop. Those two examples are just two of many that I could find. All I did was use Google. Type in gun control and crime rates and it comes up with a bunch of stuff. And for every case you can find where legal purchases of guns resulted in horrible, unnecessary deaths I bet I can find 2 to 5 or more where someone deterred a crime or saved a life with a legally purchased gun.

    How can you possibly say that a nationwide limitation on gun purchases from licensed dealers of one weapon per month would not reduce criminal access to guns? And eliminating the ability of otherwise illegal purchsers to buy guns from collectors at gun shows?

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=4835

    But, it’s not going to matter. You have your mind made up and Neither Larry nor I are going to change it. You keep ranting about all this and every time you bring something new up, I am going to dispute it, for as much as you have your mind made up, I have mine made up and you aren’t going to convince me otherwise. I have seen too much evidence for you to make me see it any different.

    So you keep worrying about your kids and family being killed by those awful assault rifles and depending on the police to defend you and I will keep my weapons and God have mercy on anyone that breaks into my house when I am at home because I sure won’t.

  • Gary

    Talking about England is very relevant, even though they don’t have a constitution. They started out regulating guns and ended up at the bottom of that slippery slope with banning guns and even prosecuting people that defend themselves. I for one do not trust them enough to let them get started down that slope.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    That attitude is exactly why John Ashcroft, a few years back, felt emboldened to DENY the FBI investigative access to gun background checks for possible terrorist applications. He even went so far as to advocate that background checks be destroyed 24 hours after acceptance/denial. He stated privacy as the reason, at the very same time that he was indescriminately tapping United States citizens’ telephones, and telling us that we needed to chill on privacy so that he could catch the terrorists.

    I think your distrust of the Constitution and the American process is sad, but not unheard of. Listening to the hyperbole of the far right has brought you to the point where you truly beleive that a country that has no Constitution can be compared to ours, and that the left is out to destroy or restrict your rights-even when (at least for 8 years) it has been the GOP that has systematically done so.

  • Gary

    I have no distrust in the Constitution. I have distrust in some of the people that want to be in power in this country.

    AND GIVE ME A BREAK WITH THE GOP CRAP!!!! It has been a member of the GOP that kept this country safe since September 11, 2001

  • Laurie. Oregon

    You are also a member of the party who elected a President who ignored urgent memos and information that, acted upon, might have prevented September 11…

  • Gary

    Yeah, and if the Dems, namely Clinton had done their job, 911 probably never would have happened.

  • Mike

    You’ve seen evidence Gary? Please show it to me because the Cato article certainly doesn’t supply it. Please show me the “evidence” that a nationwide restriction of one gun purchase per month will not reduce criminal access to guns. There is no evidence because it has never been tried here. Yes, it’s been tried on a state-by-state basis but when you can drive an hour to another state without such a ban the single state restriction will not have the desired effect. I’m not talking about eliminating guns from criminals — that’s impossible. I’m talking about steps that will have incremental benefits without infringing on the rights of gun owners. I’m talking about Brady Part II. You guys seem okay with Brady Part I (in hindsight) — the next step will be more effective and just as inconsequential to law abiding citizens. You see evil where there is none and don’t see the evil where it truly exists — in running personal library records, illegally recording phone calls, illegally holding and torturing prisoners. Your First Amendment rights have been under substantially greater threat than your Second Amendment rights will ever be and I believe you have been largely silent. Your priorities are really out of all proportion.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    How many terrorists do you think availed themselves of Constitutional protections given by Ashcroft and armed themselves to the teeth? We won’t know until it’s too late…

  • Gary

    I don’t have to see evidence as you call it. Common sense will tell you that a crook isn’t going to the local gun shop to get a gun to use in commission of a crime!!!

    I guess it’s okay to let the terrorists that have been living in this country for years, waiting for a chance to strike, to go undetected, all in the name of privacy.

    This country entered an entirely new stage after 911 and it will never go back.

  • Gary

    Laurie, surely you don’t think that those terrorists buy their weapons legally here in the USA????? The background checks in place now would stop most of if not all that, by itself!!! I am not sure but I think you would have to be a legal citizen to purchase a gun in this country.

  • Mike

    Of course criminals don’t buy guns from licensed dealers — they use “straw purchasers” who go into gun shops, buy in bulk, all perfectly legal, and then go sell them to criminals illegally for a nice markup. That’s how criminals get guns! I’m sure even articles from NRA-financed organizations will point that out for you.

    The ridiculous aspect of the Ashcroft changes was that people on the terrorist watch list may buy weapons legally from licensed dealers. The background check may show them to be on those watch lists but that is not itself a reason to deny the purchase. But the Feds may NOT be informed of whether a weapons purchase actually took place because that would be a terrible infringement on their rights!!! Are you good with that law??? Maybe, just maybe, Second Amendment rights went a little too far here??

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Yes, Mike, I find it interesting that most in this conversation have been big proponents of decimating US citizen’s rights in the name of safety, yet in the name of privacy would allow destruction of records to prevent FBI investigation and follow up on terrorists who might have slipped through our system.

    So we now have a policy that prevents terrorists from bringing nail files on airplanes but allows them to purchase guns in total privacy? Pretty short sighted, but Neo-cons have always been so.

  • Mike

    Gary wrote “I am not sure but I think you would have to be a legal citizen to purchase a gun in this country.” That presupposes that terroroists are not US citizens but I’d bet the watch list is largely composed of citizens. To your question though, yes, you need to be a resident to buy a gun from a licensed dealer; but what about all those wonderful Internet ads — I don’t think this guy whose ad appears on iwanna.com is asking anybody for their green card:

    .380 Semi-automatic pistol build date Jan.2008 by Cobra arms small enough to fit in your pocket will take $80 for gun and extra rounds. 828-XXX-XXXX after 8pm.

    And there are tens of thousands of such ads on websites all over the country. It’s ridiculously easy for terrorists to buy weapons in this country but not, as Laurie nicely noted, to get on an airplane with a nail file. And the gun rights answer to that seems to be: “I’ve got my guns and I’ll protect what’s mine — you figure out how to take of yours. Just leave me and my guns and my rights alone.” Thanks.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Back to keeping our country safe since 2001…

    In 2005, latest year I could find stats on, 30,694 Americans lost their lives at the barrel of a gun. That’s roughly 10 times the number of people lost in the Trade Center attacks. Even discounting the suicides (17,000) and the accidental or undetermined cause (small number), we still have 12,352 deaths-by-guns- roughly three times as many Americans as we lost on 9-11.

    We went 9 trillion dollars in debt (at least) to fight terrorism, if you buy the Iraq argument. The efforts also cost Americans some liberties as well as weakend many of our Constitutional rights.

    Why do we spend so much time and money preventing one thing and not the other? This isn’t even a question of controls, completely, but really- If it’s American lives we’re talking about, then where’s the outrage from responsible gun owners?

  • Mike

    OK Larry I changed my mind. Here’s a serious proposal so I’d like thoughtful responses without the vitriol. I have no idea if this is out there but here goes:

    The ease with which guns can be purchased by simply checking the classifieds of local newspapers or combing the Internet makes control a near impossibility. So, what if that was completely disallowed – no more advertising guns for sale in those media (and I’m just talking about handguns here) – and instead a website was set up by NICS that essentially did exactly the same thing but at the national level. Sellers would post their ads on the NICS website instead of locally. Anybody who wanted to access the system, either as a buyer or a seller, would have to be preapproved by NICS (ie. background check) in order to get password access. My understanding is that background checks are nearly instantaneous so this should not be a problem. The background would not have to be run every time a user logged in — once you received password access the first time you’re basically done. The system would automatically recheck your status once every year. Once inside the system you can do searches within a certain radius of your home so everything listed would come up on your screen just as it does in your newspaper or local website. You could then close the deal with the seller of your choice by answering the ad and the transaction would still not be reportable. Completely private just as they are now. The cost of taking out the “ad” on the NICS website would be no more than it currently costs for local or online ads.

    I would think that would make things a little more difficult for illegal immigrants, the mentally handicapped, convicted felons, and juveniles to get there hands on weapons by restricting access to the “inventory”. And I see no reason why both buyers and sellers of handguns at gun shows couldn’t also be subject to preapproval in the system. This changes nothing for legal purchases from licensed dealers but imposes some control on private transactions.

    I’m sure you guys can and will find flaws in this proposal so please make them gently and consider what might be done to make the system more palatable for you while maintaining the integrity of the idea.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    I have been unable to comment much today because of my job. I want to do so quickly here and will comment more later tonight.

    Time after time, you have stated that you believe there are straw purchasers going to gun shows and purchasing guns to sell to criminals at a nice profit. I have seen no evidence of that and I will challenge that statement again by asking if you have ever been to a gun show and looked at their prices. I have been to several, one was this weekend, and I promise you, there have been no mass purchases of guns to resale for a profit. You know why that is? It’s because the gun show prices are entirely too expensive. I have yet to see a gun show that would cheap enough prices to be able to do that. If you have evidence to the contrary, I would like to see it.

  • Gary

    Laurie, how many of the 12,352 deaths were killed by policemen in the line of duty? How many of them were by a homeowner in defense of their lives or property?

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Larry,
    I should have been more clear- the 12,352 deaths in this report (from the CDC) were homicides and comprised 40% of gun deaths in 2005. That year, , there were 789 unintentional shootings (accounting for 5% of gun deaths that year) and 330 of those arose from legal intervention.

    Since you haven’t been able to pay full attention to the discussion, I’ll give you a pass on not giving an opinion on Mike’s suggestion above that had nothing to do with gun shows. I am interested to hear what you think.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    Gunbroker.com does some of what you are talking about already, except it is in an auction setting. All sales on the site have to go through a licensed dealer, so background checks would be in effect.

    The logistics of setting something up like you suggest would be quite a task, but not impossible. The main problem a lot of people would have with the idea is the fact that it takes away the control they have over private purchases of firearms. Most people who want to do private purchases would probably find a way to circumvent the system and find other ways to buy or sell a gun.

    In regards to that, how far do you propose to go with enforcement? Should the government completely ban private purchases of firearms?

    More thoughts later.

  • Mike

    There is no issue of enforcement because I am not suggesting any restrictions at all on private purchases of firearms. Based on all of the discussions we’ve had I think that would be a non-starter if we wanted cooperation of any kind from gun supporters. My proposal simply takes guns off the classifieds pages and the Internet where people who cannot buy guns legally can currently find them and moves them to a restricted space where only NICS approved individuals can access them. In this way illegal immigrants, the mentally handicapped, convicted felons, and juveniles would find it more difficult to locate and purchase guns privately and illegally.

    The transactions themselves do NOT take place within the system but continue as they do now — privately between buyer and seller. A buyer finds a gun in which they are interested and calls the seller. The transaction is not reported to anybody nor does anybody even know a call was made. But, at least in cases where the system works properly, both buyer and seller have been background checked. This does not impact private transactions at all. You want to give your nephew a gun for his birthday? No problem. A widow wants to sell off her husband’s gun collection? No problem — but she can’t put a specific ad in the newspaper. I’d have no problem if she advertised “Estate sale including extensive collection of firearms.” But I would have a problem if she listed the individual weapons by type and price. My idea is simply to make it more difficult for people who shouldn’t have guns to get them.

    Is the system foolproof? Absolutely not. In fact it’s clearly very simple to circumvent — you just need someone who is already approved to give you their password. And I bet it wouldn’t take very long for someone to post passwords on the Internet; but those we could make crimes and, hopefully, prosecute. But we will make it more difficult to buy a gun privately than it is to buy a used lawnmower.

    The most obvious criticism is that this is just one step removed from: a) requiring ALL firearms including rifles and shotguns from being listed (and I considered adding them but decided that was overreaching); and, b) requiring these transactions to take place on the system thereby restricting all private sales. I can’t argue that point; but it’s not my intention.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Larry,
    You wrote:

    “The main problem a lot of people would have with the idea is the fact that it takes away the control they have over private purchases of firearms. Most people who want to do private purchases would probably find a way to circumvent the system and find other ways to buy or sell a gun.”

    Where in the Constitution is privacy of transactions guaranteed? And why must we accept the idea that you think “most” people “probably” would circumvent the system? This is complete speculation. Why not treat private sales like those from any reputable gun owner?

    I don’t find your argument to be in defense of the 2nd Amendment. I find it more to be in defense of unfettered will of those who wish to do whatever they want… Back to the difference between “infringed” and “unfettered”. Setting aside logistics, how does Mike’s suggestion infringe upon anyone’s right to bear arms?

  • Gary

    The bottom line is, you can put all the regulations and bans you want on all the weapons you want and if a criminal wants a gun he will find a way to get one. The gun control advocates want to put a regulation into place, it doesn’t work, they want to put another into place, it doesn’t work either. Then they say, lets try banning assault weapons and high capacity mags. That doesn’t do any good either, crime rates go up. Sooner or later it will come down to a full blown ban. I say it needs to stop right here, right now. Focus on the criminals, not the law abiding citizens.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    The gun lobbies (and you?) said the exact same thing about the Brady bill. And it works, exactly as intended.
    You’re anti-regulation, I get it. But if you and the NRA would have won the fight waged against this very smart legislation, 980,000 convicted criminals, mentally ill, and domestic abusers would have legally bought guns in 2003 alone. Very short sighted…

    And, although I’m sure you’ll disagree, good things can actually come out of bad regulations (bans and laws that go way too far). Case in point: The DC gun ban. This ultimately strengthened-not weakend- your 2nd Amendment rights by affirming- for the first time in court history, I think- that guns rights apply to the individual and not just to militias. The 2nd Amendment now is tempered by, but not defined by, the militia clause in a way that didn’t exist before.

    It would be really nice if someone besides Mike would take a stab at solutions to gun crime instead of sitting on the sidelines and sniping at every suggestion.

    After all: If the liberals cannot be trusted in this arena and if you insist on shutting all their ideas out, then it is incumbent upon only you to solve the problem. Or are you just comfortable with 30,000 gun deaths a year (only 300 of them police shootings)? Be part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.

  • Gary

    First off, your 30,000 gun deaths are a little off. According to the FBI website, from the years 2001 thru 2005 there were between 14,000 and 15,000 murders. AND ONLY 8,000 TO 10,000 ARE GUN DEATHS!!!

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_07.html

    The self defense totals are between 143 and 183 for firearms.

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_14.html

    Deaths by law enforcement are between 337 and 375 for these years.

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_13.html

    I don’t know where you got your figures but I don’t think you can argue with the FBI.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Laurie,
    I have been unable to get online tonight because I have been working on a friend’s computer and I am still in the process of finishing that up, so let me be brief, for the moment.

    I have to say I resent you or anyone else saying people like Gary and myself are part of the problem because we can not come up with a gun control solution that will satisfy the people who are bound and determined to put as much regulation on guns as they can. The gun control advocates wanted the Brady Bill and they got it. Then they asked for a ban on so-called assault weapons and they got that. They are still not satisfied and want more. Make the assault weapon ban permanent they say. Ban private purchases at gun shows or just go all out and ban gun shows completely. How many more gun regulations do they require before they have enough? Before we realize it, there won’t be anything left to ban.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    SIGH>>>

    Gary, if you would actualy read before you write and learn how to read data we’d all be fine. The FBI stats are for HOMICIDES only. If you read my original post on this, my figures from the CDC say about the same thing. And please do interpret your own data to ward off any hyperbole. The gun lobby would have us believe that the majority of shootings every year are from cops and other law enforcement issues. Both your figures and mine show that they are a very small minority of all gun shootings. So, really- you wasted your breath saying exactly what I had already written.

    Larry- You miss my point. (on purpose?) I’m not saying gun owners are responsible for gun control. Clearly, you think that’s not a solution to the 30,000 or so American gun deaths each year. But, since you reject ALL solutions that have any controls (and gun homicides continue to to eclipse the awful 9-11 deaths by three times every year), shouldn’t you then advance your own solution or those deaths are on your hands? You may be comfortable with a do-nothing society but I am not. Think about it- if our government had done nothing in response to the 9-11 attacks because they refused to find a solution-and we continued to get attacked on our own soil- those deaths would be their sole responsibility.

    You people are very childish- in your approach to arguments, your feet-stomping demand to have all your rights (but take no responsibility for the consequences of those rights) and your ridiclulous, circular reasoning. “Oh yeah- I know you are but what am I?” is for 3 year olds. I respect the 2nd Amendment. I defend it. But I can never defend the uninformed, the intractible and the truly weird (GOD grants us our right to bear arms??).

    I’m not all right, but I’m not all wrong, either. And I don’t expect you to think just like me (God bless America), but I do expect you to think…Your blog, which I thought at first was a good place for intelligent discussion, is like a really bad episode of “FOX and Friends” No style , no substance, and when you really get into it, just not very interesting. Mike’s posts were the exception, as they were always thoughtful, and almost always challenge you and the other bloggers to THINK, and put forth your own suggestions if you were going to reject his. And, in return, what did he get? “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nayh nyah”.

    You have a long way to go, as a political commentator and a blogger. I wish you luck.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    One last thing for Gary-
    PLEASE learn to interpret data you put forth. The 14,000 or so MURDERS listed in the FBI table are year-to-year, not cume- and are almost exactly as I reported. EVERY year, there are that many murders.

    It FEELS better to say I exaggerate, but you are the one who cannot read or interpret accurately.

  • Gary

    Laurie, if you would look at the tables I posted, you would see that it states clearly one is for homicide, one is for self defense and one is for law enforcement killings in the line of duty. And that is the total gun deaths in this country. But I guess you don’t believe the FBI stats. I don’t know where you got your 30,000 but it is wrong. 30,000 is a number the gun control people likes to throw out there to make it look worse than it is. Besides, what other gun deaths would you be talking about other than homicides? I am not sure what the suicide deaths would be but even that number wouldn’t increase it 30,000. You are grasping at straws here.

  • Gary

    Yes, I know the data is year to year, and no, it’s not almost exactly what you posted. The 14,000 are not all gun deaths, The most guns deaths that were murder was 10,100 in 2005. that is still a far cry from your number of 30,000.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    I got my figures from the CDC site. And they say basically what your sdo. I was talking about 2005, specifically, and in that year even your stats show that 6,000 more Americans were murdered with guns than have lost their lives to terrorism in the last 25 years.

    But why should we look for a solution to gun crimes when we can hide our heads in the sand and hope nobody cares?

    Mike has asked-over and over- Does anybody have any meaningful suggestions on how to keep guns out of the criminals, as they are able to do in so many other countries? Try to stab at that one.

    And I’m still waiting for an answer: Where in the Constitution is there a guarantee of privacy in gun transactions?

    And- how does Mike’s suggestion to regulate nefarious Internet and classified gun sales infringe on your right to bear arms?

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Gary-

    Please learn to read. I wrote:

    “Larry,
    I should have been more clear- the 12,352 deaths in this report (from the CDC) were homicides and comprised 40% of gun deaths in 2005. That year, , there were 789 unintentional shootings (accounting for 5% of gun deaths that year) and 330 of those arose from legal intervention”

    Our numbers are a bit divergent, and so I’ll use yours and still say: 10,000 Americans were murdered with guns in 2005, and that’s about 6,000 more than have lost their lives to terrorism in 25 years. It appears that people with guns- not terrorists- are the bigger threat in daily American life. What do we do about that?

  • Laurie. Oregon

    And why can’t you answer the question: Where in the Constitution is privacy of gun transactions guaranteed?

    Ignoring the question does not make it any less valid…

  • Gary

    You must have a funny way of reading data then because the links I posted don’t say a thing about terrorism that I can see. And 10,100 gun murders is still a far cry from 30,000. I am not trying to stick my head in the sand but the only solution that you and others like you are going to be happy with is something that will do nothing but hamper law abiding citizens and do nothing to stop criminals from getting a gun if they want one. All it will do is start a movement that will slowly but surely move toward a total ban of all firearms.

  • Gary

    I didn’t say anything about the Constitution guaranteeing the privacy of gun transactions. But I don’t see what business it is of the government if I want to give a gun or sell a gun to a family member or anybody else for that matter. All it would be is another step toward total registration which is another step toward banning a confiscating all weapons should the wrong people get into power in this country.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Really? Then, by your logic, it’s none of the government’s business if I want to buy as many guns as possible and give them to whomever I want with no traces? No matter who they are are what their intentions are, right? I mean, who’s to know? Think I just found a great way to get rich. Al Qaeda’s been looking for a connection, I hear…

    Strictly speaking, there is no guarantee of any privacy in transactions. And any step you take towards the privacy issue will certainly be applied to the argument to keep Roe v Wade on the books. If you have the right to do with you guns what you wish, then certainly a woman has the right to do with her body as she wishes, yes? Careful what you demand- you might just get it.

    I thought we Conservatives wanted to stop Constitutional interpretation and focus on strict construction and applications. Any extension of the 2nd Amendment that guarantees privacy is a wild interpretation, and certainly takes a good Conservative off message.

    But of course, that’s not as fun as stomping our feet and crying “cuz I wanna!”.

  • Gary

    I doubt very much al qaeda is buying guns from an individual. I would think they have enough money to smuggle in what they want. I think they tend to want full auto weapons, which you can’t buy in this country BECAUSE THEY ARE AGAINST THE LAW!!!

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Really? Al Qaeda took down three airplanes with simple “weapons” like box cutters…Auto weapons were completely unneccesary in that excercise that killed so many and brought our country to its financial knees.

    An organization like Al Qaeda, far sighted enough to install cells in this country years in advance of the actual trouble, is probably looking long range enough to equip themselves in the States. It SUCKS, don’t get me wrong, but your assertion that we should be able to give guns to “whoever we want” only plays into their long term strategy. Why go through the hassle of smuggling when you can take advantage of loopholes and the absence of any control to arm yourself to the teeth with enough firepower to so anything you wish?

    Many Americans have been all too happy to see our other rights decimated over the past eight years in the name of safety. Why not advocate strenghtening the possibility for government to ensure that terrorists don’t have access to guns while retaining Americans rights to OWN weapons? The argument from the right in favor of indiscriminate wiretapping was “if you don’t have anything to hide, then your 1st Amendment rights won’t be infringed upon”. With deadly weapons that can so easily be passed- en masse, if a citzen “wants” as you advocate”, why don’t you advocate for the same thing?

    Or is the 2nd Amendment more sacred than the 1st?

  • Capitalista

    Wow, this is some debate. :)

    To jump in, I would say there is a problem with the fact that terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, and other wackos and criminals can get guns in this country all too easily. However, I am completely unconvinced that the gun control lobby has come up with any effective solutions to this problem. The statistics I have read have shown that “gun free zones” tend to attract more armed wackos, who know they will not face people armed to defend themselves, and other measures of gun control, that would prevent criminals from getting weapons, are easily circumvented by the criminals, but effectively limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to obtain weapons for legal use.

    As usual, the Left is unable to come up with any suggestions that would be improvement upon the status quo, but they will continue to rail against the status quo at any and all costs and push through their doomed solutions anyway. What it the solution from the Right? Well, until someone actually can come up with a good idea, the Status Quo is still the best option we have right now.

  • Gary

    Laurie, you said Why not advocate strenghtening the possibility for government to ensure that terrorists don’t have access to guns while retaining Americans rights to OWN weapons?

    No regulations on the books nor any they want to put into effect, other than total disarmament is going to stop the terrorists from getting weapons if they want them.

    This has got to stop somewhere. You are not going to convince me nor am I going to convince you to change our stance on this subject so as far as I am concerned, it’s a closed subject.

    On a final note, I take exception to your remarks about Larry. He has worked long and hard to put this blog together and maintain it and just because you don’t agree with his stance on certain subjects, that doesn’t make it right for you to put him down or demean him like you did.

    I think you owe him an apology.

    Gary

  • Mike

    So Gary, am I correct in saying that your answer to the question of what we can do to reduce criminal access to guns is, “Nothing”?

    Don’t you see an issue of national concern when your statistics show self-defense gun deaths below 200 and murders of up to 10,000? We are arming ourselves to the teeth in the name of self-defense and that is resulting in 200 deaths while also resulting in 10,000 murders…..isn’t that alarming? I grant you these numbers don’t show how many crimes were prevented by an armed victim but they also don’t show how many additional non-lethal injuries were caused in criminal shootings so let’s just assume the ratios are similar. Fifty times as many murders as self-defense deaths….wow!

    Is there really “nothing” we can do? Should we, as a country, just quit trying? Buy a bigger gun for yourself and learn how to use it — is that the answer?

    Why don’t you read my proposal again and share some intelligent insight. It is not a restriction on gun ownership — it is a restriction on gun ADVERTISING. It would make it illegal for unlicensed people to advertise a weapon for sale anyplace but on a website managed by NICS. The transactions themselves are NOT regulated or even completed on the website. Nobody would know if or when a sale occurs. It simply restricts access to the “For Sale” inventory that regularly appears in newspaper classifieds and local websites. Only preapproved, background checked individuals would have access to the site. Isn’t there some logic in this?

  • Gary

    Mike, I am not sure what can be done. I have read your proposal and I don’t really have a problem with it but there a lot of people that will, just because it will lead to registration of all guns and they will look at that as a bad thing, simply because they feel that the end goal of the gun control advocates is total bans of all guns and registration is another step that would allow that to happen. Not now, probably not in the next 5 or 10 years. But sometime in the future they would take another step and then another and sooner or later we would end up like England. And no matter what anyone says, England is relevant in this discussion because they started with small regulations and ended total banning, even prosecuting people for defending themselves. It doesn’t matter that England has no constitution. They still went down the same road that I and other gun people fear we are heading down.

    As far as the gun deaths go, not to be callous, but if someone is going to kill someone and they can’t get a gun they will find some other way to do it. The guns deaths go down and I would wager other murders would go up.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    My criticism of Larry speaks to his inattention to his blog and to his inability or unwillingness to engage in serious discussion when REAL proposals (like Mike’s ) are put on the table, choosing instead to take the easy shots for which he has standard answers. And I stand by what I say.

    Why won’t you answer Gary’s question? And you contend that you say nothing about advocating privacy for transactions and then (in the same sentence, no less) say that it’s none of the governments business what you do with your guns or to whom they are passed. You may not have used the “p” word, but privacy is exactly what you are saying you have a right to. znd I continue to challenge you to show me what in our system guarantees this.

    Please address Gary’s proposal. Why wouldn’t that provide an avenue to insure that only those legally able to obtain a gun through these sorts of transactions are able to do so?

    Status quo is only good as long as it’s working. But the slippery slope Gary advocates for (the one that will allow anyone to arm a terrorist militia, free from government knowledge) seems to be potentially more dangerous than the one you accuse the left of wanting to go down.

  • Gary

    Mike, I just read thru your proposal again. I would have no problem with that being implemented. Sounds like a reasonable plan that would make a background check be done on all transactions but keep the sale private. I would have no problem with it.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    And Gary- no matter how hard you try to correlate a country with NO constitution to ours, you’ll never convince me. Perhaps the slippery slope in England (if there has been one) is due to the fact that their rights are unclear. Have some faith in our system. It’s the American way, isn’t it?

    As for the contention of most on this blog that “people will get what they want regardless of the laws, so don’t write any more laws”…That applies to so many things. Why, then, try so hard to repeal Roe v Wade? I mean, if a woman wants to get an abortion (and a doctor wants to give it), then they’ll do it anyway, right? So why fight so hard against something that has been happening for many years, even when it was illegal?

  • Gary

    Laurie, give me a break. You can’t criticize Larry because he doesn’t spend 24 hours a day sitting in front of his computer. He has a job and works there about 11 to 12 hours a day. So why don’t you back off. If you would care to read, to coin a phrase, you would see he has talked to Mike about his proposal. So back off.

  • Mike

    Yes, I see that you find that course inevitable…..I do not and neither does the Supreme Court or the vast majority of Americans. And I find it irresponsible for our country to throw up our hands and give up on trying to find measures that can reduce criminal access to guns without infringing on gun owner rights. And I find it even more irresponsible of NRA-types to block any and all efforts and put forth no proposals of their own to address this problem.

  • Mike

    Sorry Gary — I wrote before I had refreshed the page and seen your latest input. Thanks for the support.

  • Capitalista

    Mike,

    Just becuase we haven’t come up with better ideas doesn’t mean we’re “throwing our hands up.” I’ve racked my brain, and haven’t come up with anything. The Left have racked their brains and they haven’t come up with anything. Well, they have come up with “solutions”, but those “solutions, as it appears, would only make a bigger problem. If I knew a real solution, I would offer/support it, but since I see none, I am not going to simply go along with a plan, just for the sake of following a new plan. If you are a liberal this type of thinking probably doesn’t make much sense to you, but, in that case, I’m not sure I want to waste several paragraphs of this particular blog explaining fundamental conservative concepts to you.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Laurie,
    I am not really sure why you decided to start with personal attacks on me and my blog and I am sorry you think I haven’t been paying enough attention to the blog, but I have to work for a living and I can not spend all of my time here. I am currently taking a quick break that I am not even supposed to be taking, in order to respond to your comments.

    Sure, we disagree on this subject, but that doesn’t mean I want you to stop visiting and commenting on my blog. As for your comments about me having a long ways to go when it comes to being a political commentator and blogger, I am under no illusions about that. I started this blog because it was something I wanted to do, but I am by no means a professional. I write with my own style and there is no way around that. I try to write about things I am concerned about and if there is not enough substance or style for you, I am sorry. You are welcome to continue visiting and I welcome your comments, but please refrain from these kinds of remarks towards me or any other visitor to My Take.

  • Mike

    Capitalista, you obviously have not taken the time to read the entire thread and I’m not going to make the effort to summarize it for you — for the record, I’m an independent. I’ve made a proposal (see #65 and #70 above) and I’m happy to hear your thoughts.

  • Mike

    I’ve done a little research and unfortunately have come to the conclusion that my idea would very likely be a violation of the First Amendment. An independent newspaper is free to accept or reject gun ads but it appears that neither Federal nor state law can prohibit them from accepting them if they wish to.

    Next….smart guns….the logical answer to keeping guns out of criminal hands is by making the guns not work in their hands. Older guns would be grandfathered in but new weapons would be required to employ the technology. I think some states have already passed laws to that effect pending design of an effective technology. Anybody know if we’re close? How do you feel about them Larry and Gary?

  • Gary

    I haven’t heard about the so called smart guns. Do you have any idea how this is supposed to work? I don’t suppose I would have any problem with it, depending on how reliable it would of course.

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    I apologize if you or anyone else has the impression that I did not want to address your original proposal. It never crossed my mind to avoid it, but I really have been very busy with my job and other obligations, (trying to repair a sick computer for a friend).

    As for your second proposal, I don’t see a problem with that, if and when the technology is designed that will do the job. I have heard of the smart guns, but I do not know how they are supposed to work. If I am not mistaken, we are talking about handguns only?

  • http://1truebeliever.wordpress.com Wickle

    ARRRRRGGHHHH!

    I wrote a comment, and then the laptop crashed. Dang.

    Anyway, here’s the gist of it:

    Laurie – If you really think that Larry is so inadequate a blogger, then go somewhere else, or start up your own blog and show the rest of us how it’s done. Insulting people never adds weight to your argument.

    Mike – I read your proposal in #65, and the biggest problem I have with it is that it allows an agency of the state to bottleneck gun sales. Part of why the Founders wrote the 2nd Amendment is that it’s important for the people to have the ability to stand up to the government.

    I’m not sure that I’m completely against your idea, but there’s my concern. I’ll think about it and see if I can come up with a counter-proposal, or maybe just a tweak to yours.

    I think that this argument really comes down to balancing two concerns: (1) protecting the public from gun crimes, and (2) protecting the right of the people to protect themselves, either from crime or oppression.

    The question is how we each weigh these interests. Clearly, Laurie and Mike weigh (1) more heavily than (2). Larry, Gary, and I lean toward (2).

    Wickle’s last blog post..Some Housekeeping Notes

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Point taken and mea culpa. I let my frustration with the circular argument get the best of me, and I should have stuck to my issue.

    Balance is clearly the best option. But that, really, is the point. I am uncomfortable with the rhetoric of those who contend that no regulation is ever good and make blanket statements that regulation won’t and hasn’t ever worked. The Brady bill has been incredibly effective at making it much more difficult for the criminally convicted and mentally ill to obtain guns. So the total rejection plan doesn’t work, any better than blind acceptance of every regulatory effort would.

  • travis

    smartguns= bad idea

    1) expensive
    2)have you ever heard of a computer that can’t be hacked
    3)computers crash (wickle). do you want your life to depend on it?

  • travis

    Here is my proposal:

    Carry a gun.

    Many people think that legislation will keep guns out of the hand of criminals. This makes a lot of sense…make more laws for people who by their very nature break them. There is another way, carry a gun. The law abiding citizens will always outnumber the criminals (I hope). Now, do your civic duty. When you see a crime taking place, stop it. Since there are more citizens than criminals you have the advantage, use it.

    Gun laws are a great idea, just ask the next Jew you meet who has a number tattoo’d on their body.

    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  • Mike

    Front page of todays NY Times article called “US is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartel”.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/us/26borders.html?_r=1
    Are gun rights activists going to argue that this is just an unfortunate result of our Second Amendment rights? Are you going to argue that the laws on the books are sufficient and we just need to enforce them? Or maybe this is actually good for US business and it’s really Mexico’s problem not ours? I’ve stayed away from this issue but when I read articles like this one it just burns me up. This is the United States of America — we’re not supposed to be the supply source for terrorist weapons!!!

  • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

    Mike,
    I really didn’t want to get into this discussion again, but you are right. Our country does not need to be a weapons supplier to the Mexican drug cartels. As to the solution to this problem, we have already been around the mulberry bush on that one and we both know how each other stands on the issue.

  • Mike

    Larry — I read this article and needn’t to vent…..case closed.

  • travis

    This all could have been prevented if the government would just put another box on the “yellow form” that clearly states “are you purchasing these firearms for a mexican druglord”

    Why shouldn’t we supply the mexicans with guns, we supply them with the funding by purchasing their products(drugs). Do you think it would be better if we just bought their products and then sold them security in the form of PMC’s? Why weren’t you outraged when your neighbor was just smoking their product? Finally, why do you think these drug cartels are in Mexico and not in the U.S. where it is obviously easier to obtain the guns?

    ‘This is the United States of America — we’re not supposed to be the supply source for terrorist weapons!!!’

    Have you ever heard of Charlie Wilson? Does the date 9/11/01 mean anything to you? Perhaps your familiar with the terrorists who founded the United States?

    Firearms are a tool, plane and simple. It is not the fault of the manufacturer, dealer or the tool itself for how it is used or misused.

    • http://www.ldjackson.net Larry

      Let’s not get all of this started again, shall we.

  • Laurie. Oregon

    Terrorists founded our country?

  • Mike

    Sometimes you just have to laugh….plain and simple.

  • travis

    I’m sorry, I should have explained myself better. Terrorism is a matter of perspective.

    If I send a letter to the white house saying something to the effect of “I reject your tyrannical government and declare myself and my property independent from the United States. Furthermore, any attempt to reclaim the United State of Me will be an act of war and as such will be met with lethal resistance.” What do you suppose will happen to me? If I uphold the word of my declaration, I will be labeled as a terrorist and be dealt with as such.

    Now, subtract a few hundred years, move to jolly ole’ England and put a name to the gaggle of colonists who just wrote you a letter very similar to mine. I doubt the name applied will be patriot. You still laughing Mike?

    btw, the declaration made by our patriot forefathers would not have had much purchase in England or the U.S. if not for the equalizing power of their modern (at the time) assault rifles, that were at least, the equal of the firearms carried by the English soldier.

  • Mike

    If you think this actually explains things better then yes, I’m laughing even more than before. Has the US of Travis negotiated with the USA? Has he explained his grievances and sought compromise? Are there tens of thousands of people supporting Travis and his ideals? Is there are great deliberative body discusiing how the UST will function and the rules and principles that will be guiding light for freedom loving people all over the world? Or is Travis just maybe a little bit out there? Your rationalization of selling guns to Mexican gun cartels by equating it somehow to 9/11 is outrageous as is your characterizing guns as a tool; but I’m through with this and am exptremely sorry I ever raised the issue again.

  • travis

    I cannot make this any more simple for you.

    “Or is Travis just maybe a little bit out there?”

    By “out there” do you mean that I don’t believe govt’s always have the people’s best interest in mind. If so, I’ll agree with that.

    “outrageous as is your characterizing guns as a tool”

    hammer=tool
    hammer+ smashed into your forehead=weapon
    firearm=tool
    ^^What changed? Only the intent of the person using it.

  • Jeffrey

    I will admit that I have yet to go back and read over all of what has been written above but before I do I have to add one small thing.

    The definition of a tool has for some odd reason been put into question. I am not sure as to why anyone smart enough to type more that a four word sentence finds it difficult to understand what a tool is or why said person would admit to this (be it inadvertently by miss use of the word) with out first typing the three simple letters that make it up into a search engine and seeing what pops up (yes I said three letters, get over it before you try to call me out).
    I did a simple search for anyone and everyone that is still pondering how to properly place this word into their day-to-day vocabulary list.

    According to Wikipedia “A broad definition of a tool is an entity used to interface between two or more domains that facilitates more effective action of one domain upon the other.”

    More simply put a tool is one that is used or manipulated by another. By this wording a person can be a tool or in some cases a Tool (get it Mike?).

    Check Merriam/Websters dictionary if you’d like. I did. The simplest definiton they list is as follows;

    1.) A hand-held device that aids in accomplishing a task.

    I will admit not all tools are hand held but I am also sure no matter what definition you come across you will find the same thing. I’ll spell it out as simple as I feel can be done…

    A GUN IS A TOOL.

    Simple fact. It is used, it does not use. It is manipulated. It does not manipulate. A gun will only do what it is made to do.

    With that out of the way I look forward to catching up with past post and adding my two cents while I am still allowed to do so. I believe that freedom of expression is still in play… for now.

  • Mike

    Sorry Jeffrey but I promised Larry and his readers that I would back off on this subject…..have a nice day :>)

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