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States' Rights Meet Gun Rights
October 5, 2011 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Even as medical marijuana activists in states like Arkansas, Ohio, and Massachusetts look to legalize medical use in 2012, the ATF has sent letters to gun shops in existing medical marijuana states. The letter says that shop owners cannot sell guns or ammunition if they have "reasonable cause to believe" that the customer is a drug user, even if their use is legal under state law -- and that having or even mentioning a medical marijuana card constitutes reasonable cause. The entire text of the letter can be viewed here.

Since 1968, Federal law has prohibited gun sales to customers who answer "yes" to the question of whether they are "an unlawful user of, or addicted to" marijuana or other controlled substances. ATF spokesmen have recently gone further, stating that customers who "present a medical marijuana card as identification [or] talk about drug use, having a medical marijuana card or a recent drug conviction" must be turned down. Breaking the law in question is a felony which can result in a sentence of 5-10 years in Federal prison.
posted by vorfeed (145 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bonus: While the NRA and other gun-rights groups have been oddly silent on this one, the story has been widely debated in gun-rights forums.
posted by vorfeed at 3:37 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a weird thing for the government to waste time on. But I think I'm OK with denying guns to people dumb enough to use their medical marijuana card as ID in a gun shop, just on the basis of them being too stupid to own a gun.
posted by The World Famous at 3:40 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Where is the Guns and Dope Party when we need them?
Someone send out the Ostritch-Signal!
posted by Muttoneer at 3:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


But I think I'm OK with denying guns to people dumb enough to use their medical marijuana card as ID in a gun shop

Yes, because only an idiot would use a document provided by the government as ID....
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:46 PM on October 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


Please folks, consume only legal intoxicants like beer or bourbon when using your guns.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:48 PM on October 5, 2011 [38 favorites]


Strange, but whatever.
posted by delmoi at 3:48 PM on October 5, 2011


So, safe to say, then, that if you breeze into a gun shop singing this song, you won't be purchasing any firearms?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:49 PM on October 5, 2011




OK to own a gun with an Oxy script.
OK to own a gun with a DUI.
Not so much if your cancer hurts and you have a MM script.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:53 PM on October 5, 2011 [21 favorites]


The World Famous: Maybe you should read the text below the cut and try again.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:53 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm for anything that limits gun sales.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, because only an idiot would use a document provided by the government as ID....

Do you actually view think that there is no reason at all to favor one form of government document over another for use as ID in various situations? If so, I think I'm OK with you not having a gun, either.

The World Famous: Maybe you should read the text below the cut and try again.

I read the text below the cut. What do you want me to try again?
posted by The World Famous at 3:56 PM on October 5, 2011


The IRS ruling is going to put the dispensaries out of business anyway.
posted by Trurl at 3:57 PM on October 5, 2011


*laughing*
Those wacky Americ --- WAIT! I live there. Yikes!
posted by Danf at 3:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


The NRA's silence on this is really unsurprising. After Wayne LaPierre lost his damn mind at the Florida CPAC, it's pretty clear that they've become just another Republican front group, rather than actual advocates for gun owners.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


The World Famous: The crux of the matter is you either perjure yourself (felony, 5-10, federal prison) on the form or no gun for you.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:58 PM on October 5, 2011


I mean, they always were, but now they're not even trying.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shouldn't somebody be warning gun shops not to sell firearms to anyone who they suspect might be an ATF agent, given how frequently ATF guns seem to end up in the hands of Mexican cartels? Selling a gun to an ATF agent would seem to be much, much more likely to get people killed – statistically, at least – than selling a gun to a known pot user.
posted by koeselitz at 4:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [20 favorites]


The crux of the matter is you either perjure yourself (felony, 5-10, federal prison) on the form or no gun for you.

That should work. That adds up to how many less gun owners? It's all good.
posted by Vibrissae at 4:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The World Famous: The crux of the matter is you either perjure yourself (felony, 5-10, federal prison) on the form or no gun for you.

What does that have to do with my comment?
posted by The World Famous at 4:01 PM on October 5, 2011


It's a weird thing for the government to waste time on. But I think I'm OK with denying guns to people dumb enough to use their medical marijuana card as ID in a gun shop, just on the basis of them being too stupid to own a gun.

Meanwhile, concealed-carry and medical-marijuana cardholders have to worry about whether merely having their names on two different state government lists might one day lead to a Federal conviction and permanent disenfranchisement... no matter how circumspect they are in the gun shop, dispensary, or their own homes.

Man, if only they weren't so stupid then they wouldn't be sick! Or have rights!
posted by vorfeed at 4:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]




I'm for anything that limits gun sales.

Yeah, who cares about Constitutional rights. I'm for anything that limits free speech or free assembly. Those rights are dangerous!

Even better when you can deny them only to a subset of "undesireables". Look how well that has worked in the US's history! It is only done for the good of the people, of course. Wouldn't want the wrong people voting or giving speeches or practicing their religion.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:05 PM on October 5, 2011 [24 favorites]


In fact, this would seem to be incredibly ironic, given the ATF's massively mishandled policies toward the Mexican cartels and the proliferation of guns there. It's like they're taking their plays from the Reagan-era drug war playbook: make a big show of banning evil marijuana, and meanwhile ignore, and even increase the flow of, the stuff that actually gets people killed on the streets every day: contraband weapons.
posted by koeselitz at 4:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


*loads bong with pot, lights up, shoots jaw off*

oh, bummer
posted by pyramid termite at 4:09 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, could we lay off the "durr hurr, gun owners suck" stuff? I am a gun owner. I'm also as far left as you can possibly be without falling off the spectrum. If we believe in people's rights, then we believe in them for all people, not just for those who happen to be just like us. This type of thing (ATF action) is an infringement of rights. Its sad how those who advocate for gun rights (the NRA) are silent because of "eww, dirty hippies smoking pot." And those on the left can be equally remiss due to the mistaken belief that no reasonable person would want to own guns.
posted by anansi at 4:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [45 favorites]


CBS: New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

Yeah, the Feds need to clean their own house before launching more anti-pot crusades.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, if only they weren't so stupid then they wouldn't be sick! Or have rights!

Yeah, you're not actually responding at all to what I said, so I don't really know what your point is. I fully recognize and am outraged at the extent to which the ATF is overstepping its legal bounds, as well as the unjust application of both the actual law and the interpretation of the agency. But that's not what I commented on. You and I agree on what you commented on, and you have not in any way addressed my actual comment.

But, for the record, I think concealed carry is stupid, I think there's no legitimate reason to carry a handgun in any part of the United States, I have a pretty dim view of gun rights generally, and, because I see no legitimate reason for anyone to have a gun, I think anyone sick enough to need medical marijuana but unwilling to give up their concealed handgun in order to have that medication is an idiot.

Yeah, who cares about Constitutional rights.

Reasonable people can disagree about the scope of Constitutional rights, including disagreements about the scope of the right to bear arms. Unless you're a complete moron arguing for unfettered rights to own any and all types of weapons (in which case, how did you get internet in your off-the-grid compound?), you're somewhere on the spectrum of a limited view of those rights.
posted by The World Famous at 4:14 PM on October 5, 2011


(minor amendment - I see no reason for anyone to have a concealed handgun. I do see some legitimate reasons for people to own guns.)
posted by The World Famous at 4:16 PM on October 5, 2011


Without getting too deraily TWF, I'm curious exactly what you think the right to bear arms means.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:17 PM on October 5, 2011


Without getting too deraily TWF, I'm curious exactly what you think the right to bear arms means.

I'm afraid that discussion really will get too deraily. But I'm not an original intent guy, so I favor a flexible, evolving interpretation of the Constitution, consistent with Justice Marshall's admonition that we must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding.
posted by The World Famous at 4:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guns kill people...who own guns

I'm for anything that limits free speech or free assembly. Those rights are dangerous!

Argumentum ad absurdum. Once, our Constitution kept women and blacks from voting. The current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is counter-productive. Funny thing how I can just drive across the Canadian border, where guns are hard to find, and not worry so much about getting shot.

65 MILLION handguns in America! That means - with or without a carry permit - anyone who gets to a point of irrational derangement can simply walk over to her gun closet and do someone else in. Or, think they are protecting themselves until their attacker, 15-25 feet away closes the distance between the gun holder and the attacker so fast that the gun holder ends up getting offed by her own gun.

The argument from the NRA is that "we need guns because we have guns". But that discounts the fact that the NRA helps people to put guns on the street. The NRA is a disgusting organization, run by retards, making anti-gun-control arguments for "true believers" who have turned the 2nd amendment on its head.

Yeah, I have a *right* to live in a world that is free of the fear of every road-rage jackass pulling some iron out of her glove compartment, or every-gone-postal employee putting a few notches down before she gets caught.

Then, we always hear the lame NRA statement: it's not the gun, it's the person, who kills. Well, numbnutz NRA official, if the gun wasn't there, it would be more DIFFICULT to kill on a whim, even if one was determined to do so. Guns are - by a LONG shot - FAR more dangerous than any other weapon.

I hope to see more and more legislation like this, chipping away, little-by-little at this all-too-outdated-"right" to own a handgun.

Can't wait until we have the capability to do on-site brain scans to determine a person's potential level of violence before issuing a permit. This, and a thousand more cuts to the nutso cultural artifact of our 2nd Amendment.
posted by Vibrissae at 4:22 PM on October 5, 2011


ATF - WTF?
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:26 PM on October 5, 2011


Vibrissae, if your quote of 65 million handguns alone extant in the US is correct, and I have no reason to doubt it, don't you think that just perhaps the genie is out of the bottle? I can definitely see shoot-outs between confiscating law enforcement officers and your crazed NRA members. And not just a few. Maybe taking the super-long game (60 to 100 years) and using your whittling away of the Second Amendment method, you might reduce the number of handguns but I can't ever see the point where the US becomes like say, Japan.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:36 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Argumentum ad absurdum. Once, our Constitution kept women and blacks from voting.

I presume we agree that this was a bad thing. I'm only not sure because your argument seems to give comfort to the position that unequal treatment before the law is acceptable.

I hope to see more and more legislation like this, chipping away, little-by-little at this all-too-outdated-"right" to own a handgun.

Doesn't that logic support refusing gun ownership to left-handed people, or ginger people, or black people, on the basis that it chips away at the myth of the right to own guns? If you support one arbitrary restriction I presume you would support them all.
posted by howfar at 4:41 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, I'd sure like some chipping away at Vibrissae's right to talk about her anti-gun crusade.

Yes, that's sarcasm. But if one Constitutional right is up for grabs, they all are. There's an established process for changing the Constitution. This idea of redefining words to change what the Constitution means is extremely Orwellian. It allows people who don't have enough power to change it properly to push a change through that they shouldn't be able to enact, at the expense of weakening the overall social fabric, of damaging the fundamental social contract. It's a short-term benefit with long-term consequences that just keep accumulating.

If you can convince 2/3 of the country that your position is right, Vibrissae, you can get that amendment superseded. What you're doing is, essentially, cheating. Treating a right you don't care for with anything less than extreme respect means the rights YOU depend on can be treated the same way.
posted by Malor at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


flapjax at midnite: This is just an echo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwyZ3XnYxb4&NR=1
posted by titus-g at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011


Argh, sorry for the horrible run-on sentence, I hit post too soon.
posted by Malor at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011


But if one Constitutional right is up for grabs, they all are.

Indeed. They all are. There's really no question about that, legally-speaking.

There's an established process for changing the Constitution.

True. And there is also an established process for changing the prevailing legal interpretation of the Constitution.

This idea of redefining words to change what the Constitution means is extremely Orwellian.

I wonder what word you would have used instead of "Orwellian" back when the Supreme Court started doing it, given that Orwell had not yet been born.
posted by The World Famous at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011


But if one Constitutional right is up for grabs, they all are. There's an established process for changing the Constitution. This idea of redefining words to change what the Constitution means is extremely Orwellian. It allows people who don't have enough power to change it properly to push a change through that they shouldn't be able to enact, at the expense of weakening the overall social fabric, of damaging the fundamental social contract. It's a short-term benefit with long-term consequences that just keep accumulating.

If you are a diligent scholar who works from the Constitution as written and the founders' intent... congratulations on being Clarence Thomas.

The Constitution is a shitty document, to be quite honest, for the times that we live in. The progressive policies that the US has established in the 20th century are all overreaches, from any perspective that doesn't "redefine words" in the Constitution, as Justice Thomas has said in the past. But since amending the Constitution thoroughly to provide for a federal government that can mandate social security, unemployment benefits, food and medicine regulation, and other incredibly useful policies is impossible, we have to basically ignore the actual Constitution.

Which is all to say, the 2nd amendment is not a sacred cow. It made sense for the founders and makes little sense today.
posted by TypographicalError at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Doesn't that logic support refusing gun ownership to left-handed people, or ginger people, or black people, on the basis that it chips away at the myth of the right to own guns? If you support one arbitrary restriction I presume you would support them all.

Yes. I am irrationally in favor of all laws banning handguns, by whatever means. The handgun laws themselves are, in my opinion, irrational, and have been established by means of irrational argument and appeals to fear. Thus, my countervailing support for ANY action - rational, or irrational (excepting violence and outright law-breaking) to keep handguns away from the public.

How to get rid of handguns? Tax the living hell out of ammunition, including the components of ammunition, like loaders, powder, etc. etc. Require very expensive annual renewals of all extant handguns - how about $1000, annually? Invoke stringent fines on anyone who fails to register their handgun (suspend their driver's license if they fail to register; if they can't afford to register, they are required to turn the gun in). Place (as soon as they get cheap enough) portable body scanners (or whatever technology might be effective) in random places and have them signal the authorities when a handgun is seen hidden - attach biodata to the scan, along with GPS coordinates (laugh now; this will happen soon enough, and I support it!). Yeah, it's surveillance, and surveillance can be abused, but so have the gun laws. I'm sick and tired of watching this country turned to dust by stupidity and fear.
posted by Vibrissae at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


But if one Constitutional right is up for grabs, they all are.

Forth amendment anyone?
posted by Max Power at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011


Fourth amendment anyone?

I've always wondered whether the Founding Fathers threw in the word "reasonable" as a joke.
posted by The World Famous at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011


er, unreasonable, that is.
posted by The World Famous at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011


Exactly why we need the GOP out of Congress. The ATF is required to enforce the laws.

Would be an interesting case to argue the law was unconstitutional based on limiting 2d amendment right. But the state would only need to show a reasonable basis for the law. Doomed to fail.

The way to get this done is to repeal MJ as a schedule I drug
posted by Ironmouth at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not surprised one bit. As a federal agency, the ATF has a vested interest in protecting the superiority of federal law over state law. If certain states have decided that they will ignore or not enforce federal law, then the federal government as a whole has lost power, and therefore the ATF has lost power.

It's curious to think that the ATF could actually gain significantly from the legalization of marijuana depending on how it would be classified. If it is sold as a "vice" like alcohol or tobacco, they would have the strongest case for becoming the regulating and enforcing agency. But if it is sold for medicinal use, the responsibility would go to the DEA and FDA.
posted by clorox at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011



Yeah, could we lay off the "durr hurr, gun owners suck" stuff? I am a gun owner. I'm also as far left as you can possibly be without falling off the spectrum.


Hey, me too!

The crazy part here is not the gun laws -- those have been pretty stable and consistent for almost two decades now (and longer if you treat Clinton's anti-gun moments as an aberration in a longer pattern). It's our weird obsession with criminalizing even the most benign uses of THE EVIL WEED that is crazy. So we do all kinds of weird things like busting sick people with medical marijuana, or confiscating some poor dude's house and car because of small possession charges, or incarcerating some enormous percentage of young black men on minor drug charges.

It's nuts, and when our crazy drug policies intersect with our gun laws it stays just as nuts. By the same token, I could get a DUI conviction every week and never lose my job (well, as long as I stayed out of jail), but if I were to fail even one random pee test I'd be fired faster than Cheech and Chong could roll a bong. Even if I had a medical marijuana card, I'd still be fired. I don't smoke weed, so it's no impact to my life, but it's seriously crazy.

(All that said, though, how fucking dumb would you have to be to think that a medical marijuana card was a good ID in a situation where you are filling out ATF forms asking about your drug use?)
posted by Forktine at 5:36 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


faster than Cheech and Chong could roll a bong JOINT

Geez, you'd think my memory was going, or something. Anyone want to order a pepperoni pizza?
posted by Forktine at 5:43 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


65 MILLION handguns in America! That means - with or without a carry permit - anyone who gets to a point of irrational derangement can simply walk over to her gun closet and do someone else in.

You realize there are 300 million people in America right? So that hardly means that everyone has a handgun, especially when you consider that a lot of gun owners are collectors who own more than one gun.

I'm also completely unsure about why you keep talking about handguns; people wanting to buy shotguns and long rifles would be subject to this law as well. Do you think that's okay because we should ban those as well?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:43 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unless Ron Paul becomes president... I wouldn't hold my breath.
posted by tomk2011 at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011


Exactly why we need the GOP out of Congress.

Yeah drug law reform is totally issue number one on the blue dog agenda!

The ATF is required to enforce the laws.

Actually, the executive seems to have a choice to decide to enforce federal law or not.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once, our Constitution kept women and blacks from voting.

That is completely false.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


You realize there are 300 million people in America right? So that hardly means that everyone has a handgun, especially when you consider that a lot of gun owners are collectors who own more than one gun.

It's the most heavily armed society in the world, with something like 30% (270 million) of the world firearms.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2011


The ATF is also in charge of explosives, but they don't put that in their name. I wrote them and asked why not, but they didn't write back.

I made fun of their kids's section on their website and they took that down. I'm sure it was because of me.

At the end of the day it was a wash.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


How to get rid of handguns? Tax the living hell out of ammunition, including the components of ammunition, like loaders, powder, etc. etc. Require very expensive annual renewals of all extant handguns - how about $1000, annually?

So only the rich will be able to own handguns?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


The ATF is also in charge of explosives, but they don't put that in their name. I wrote them and asked why not, but they didn't write back.

Yeah, they could be FEAT. Bureau of Firearms, Explosives, Alcohol, and Tobacco.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:18 PM on October 5, 2011


So only the rich will be able to own handguns?

Now you know what Michael Bloomberg does with his weekends.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:18 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, they could be FEAT. Bureau of Firearms, Explosives, Alcohol, and Tobacco.

FEAT? Come on. It could be FATE! And they could replace all their cars with replicas of the Hannibal Twin-8! It would be so worth it.
posted by The World Famous at 6:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So only the rich will be able to own handguns?

And scofflaws.

This anti-marijuana thing is so insanely in WTF territory. Do people *really* believe that teh weed is actually evil, or is it the money (for the law enforcement/criminal justice system - and is it the legitimate money that marijuana prohibition brings in to these organizations or is it the corruption by drug manufacturers of these organizations?) thing?
posted by porpoise at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011


Funny thing how I can just drive across the Canadian border, where guns are hard to find, and not worry so much about getting shot.

The reason Canada's safer is their culture. If there's a shift in culture the wrong way, there's more risk of shooting, just like how it's increased exponentially in the UK.

Yeh some people say it's because of availability of weapons, but I don't buy that it's easier to get illegal ex-russian weapons into the UK than it is to get illegal guns across the US-Canada border.
posted by Not Supplied at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


What are they, high?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


ex-Russian sorry
posted by Not Supplied at 6:23 PM on October 5, 2011


You realize there are 300 million people in America right? So that hardly means that everyone has a handgun, especially when you consider that a lot of gun owners are collectors who own more than one gun.

It's the most heavily armed society in the world, with something like 30% (270 million) of the world firearms.


Sure, we've got a lot of guns in America, but the leap from that to "anyone who gets to a point of irrational derangement can simply walk over to her gun closet and do someone else in" is the leap from reality to irrational hyperbole. Most Americans don't own a gun, and a lot (I've heard most, but the numbers on this are hard to come pin down) of gun owners own multiple guns.

The fact that there are a lot of guns in America almost certainly plays some role in the (relatively) large amount of gun crime, but the relationship is almost certainly a complex one, since plenty of other countries have high rates of gun ownership and low rates of gun crime (Finland, for example). Just talking about the numbers of guns as if all guns are the same when it comes to their effect on crime rates seriously oversimplifies the problem.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:28 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had to buy an account tonight just to say that Vibrissae and The World Famous are the type of posters here that leave me with an extreme skepticism of Metafilter's content (or at least, the comments).

Yes, there are 65+ million handguns in America. There are perhaps 300 million firearms in the hands of civilians. 90 million civilians, that is; more than 1/3 of the adult population of the US owns a gun just as a rough estimate.

The amount of violence perpetrated using guns is set at around 7% of all violent crimes as recorded by the National Crime Victimization Survey. This is certainly too a large number - it is well over zero. It is, however, very low compared to the "unarmed domestic attack" type of violence.

The answer to reducing gun crime is not to remove lawful access to guns. The answer is the same as reducing overall crime -- more social and intervention services for those people who have violent tendencies. Crack down on organized criminal activity - including "street gangs" - and gun crime, as well as all crime, will decrease. Reduce substance abuse, alcohol included. Reduce income disparity. Reduce the influence of the factors of crime -- not the forms in which crime is currently committed.

Arguing that guns are the problem is a weak position simply because gun use in violent crime is not terribly common, but it is linked to the overall crime rates.

If you don't care about crime in general, and guns are your target because the body count, you need to read the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. See: domestic arguments (money), gang violence, and drug-related deaths.

I, for one, have 12 firearms. I don't align to any political ideology, nor do I place myself anywhere on some liberal <> conservative line. I use my guns while hunting, camping, target shooting (hunting practice), and hopefully never for home defense. However, I live in the rural south, and there is one officer of the law for each 6,000 people. Based on the population density, that officer is probably around 9 miles away when I need him/her.

I recognize guns can be a touchy subject. I recognize that some people live in areas where guns are considered bad by default. I ask that you consider that in my area, guns are common and useful.

Also, just yesterday my neighbor brought home 2 deer from the processor. I have 10 pounds of free-range steaks and sausage from his hunting. Just as an aside, here.
posted by timfinnie at 6:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [20 favorites]


I had to buy an account tonight just to say that Vibrissae and The World Famous are the type of posters here that leave me with an extreme skepticism of Metafilter's content (or at least, the comments).

What, exactly, did I say that made you skeptical of Metafilter's content? You singled me out by name, but I don't see a single thing in your comment that addresses anything that I have said in this thread.
posted by The World Famous at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2011


timfinnie I generally agree with you, but you should be very careful going with "my area is different for x reasons" arguments when talking to people who are anti-handgun. In general Democrats would fucking love to get local control of gun laws and the pro-gun folks are the people who want to walk around places like Philly with a gun and act like it doesn't mean something.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:41 PM on October 5, 2011


What, exactly, did I say that made you skeptical of Metafilter's content? You singled me out by name, but I don't see a single thing in your comment that addresses anything that I have said in this thread.

But I think I'm OK with denying guns to people dumb enough to use their medical marijuana card as ID in a gun shop, just on the basis of them being too stupid to own a gun.

People using a state-issued ID are neither dumb nor stupid. They are abiding by the law, as opposed to those who use marijuana without even a State sanction via permit. Your comment here is singularly lacking in value for this reason, except wherein you accept that the rights of the several States are not among them sufficient to overcome Federal authority.

That should work. That adds up to how many less gun owners? It's all good.

Of course, since all gun owners are a potential problem. Knowing, of course, that to buy or legally possess a firearm they can't be convicted of a violent crime. Or a domestic dispute. Or be subject to a restraining order. For some time after judgement. The restrictions just continue after those. Your comment here shows a lack of understanding of the various laws regarding gun ownership in general, and a lack of trust in those who own a gun legally -- it is the latter which is most offensive.

I could go on.
posted by timfinnie at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


That "most heavily armed society" link above had a sentence that really surprised me:

The report, which relied on government data, surveys and media reports to estimate the size of world arsenals, estimated there were 650 million civilian firearms worldwide, and 225 million held by law enforcement and military forces.

Assuming this is even partially accurate, I had no idea that the proportions skewed so far towards civilian gun ownership.
posted by Forktine at 6:54 PM on October 5, 2011


Assuming this is even partially accurate, I had no idea that the proportions skewed so far towards civilian gun ownership.

This makes sense to me - a large percentage of the guns owned are probably for hunting. Another large bit is probably .22s for target shooting and plinking. It's not like there are 650 million assault rifles out there or something. Also I suspect many or most police and military personnel own at least 1 personal/civilian gun. All the cops I know have at least 1 of their own.

Also I'm really curious about multiple gun ownership. I own 2 guns, I don't know a single person who only owns one. I know several who have dozens. So I suspect there are far fewer armed civilians than military/police.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:00 PM on October 5, 2011


People using a state-issued ID are neither dumb nor stupid.

I didn't say people using any old state-issued ID are dumb or stupid. If you don't think it's stupid, when purchasing something that requires you to fill out a form stating that you do not use certain types of drugs, to then offer an ID card that identifies you as a user of one of those drugs, then I respectfully disagree with you. I don't know why our difference of opinion in that regard should cause you to lose faith in MetaFilter as a whole.

They are abiding by the law, as opposed to those who use marijuana without even a State sanction via permit.

And, unless they're stupid, they know that the law by which they are abiding is a controversial one that the Federal government - the agency that is regulating the thing they're buying - doesn't like very much.

Your comment here is singularly lacking in value for this reason

Singularly lacking in value? Come on. You and I disagree. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing.

That should work. That adds up to how many less gun owners? It's all good.

I did not say that.

I could go on.

Please, go on. But this time, actually quote me. You signed up for MetaFilter for the express purpose of attacking me, but when I asked you the particulars of your attack, you quoted someone else. So please, go on.
posted by The World Famous at 7:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone has to pass a test to get a driver's license and operate a vehicle. I think everyone ought to pass a safety test in order to own and operate a gun. Extra education never hurts and might do some part in filtering out a bit of the riffraff.

Can you imagine sitting in a waiting room like you do at the DMV in order to get gun tested? Ownership would decrease substantially!
posted by erstwhile at 7:06 PM on October 5, 2011


In texas at least you have to take about a 10 hour class, and pass a written and shooting/safety test, to get a concealed handgun license. I had to pass a safety evaluation to join a rifle club/range.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:09 PM on October 5, 2011


I did not say that.

No, that was Vibrissae. I was just saving some time there -- I did not single you out -- I included you in a group.

I didn't say people using any old state-issued ID are dumb or stupid.

You specifically said both 'dumb' and 'stupid' and you're moving the goal-posts on the ID issue. I was responding to your comment on the use of the MM ID. There exists a reasonable expectation of the conservation of rights for people who have a MM ID. You can dispute that if you want. However, I assert that the State rights represented are more forceful in the light of 2A issues than the Feds' authority, especially in light of the SC decision on the application of the 2nd on all States equally.

for the express purpose of attacking me

No, I did not. I named you as an example of the type of commenter who I choose to distrust. I already covered the Vibrissae thing. The fact that I covered a post you did not make does not mean that you are inculpable for the quotes you certainly made.
posted by timfinnie at 7:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


There exists a reasonable expectation of the conservation of rights for people who have a MM ID.

I disagree. I think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect a "conservation of rights" on an issue where the states clearly and openly are in conflict with Federal law and Federal law enforcement. Why is it unreasonable to expect conservation of those rights, aside from that well-known conflict? Well, for one thing, you've now read this thread and you know about the ATF's position on the issue. So you know your rights - to the extent they exist - will not be "conserved" if you use your pot card as a gun-buying ID. It would be unreasonable of you to ignore that knowledge.

However, I assert that the State rights represented are more forceful in the light of 2A issues than the Feds' authority, especially in light of the SC decision on the application of the 2nd on all States equally.

That's fine, and you might even make some headway with that as a legal argument after a few years of litigation, assuming you've got a great legal team and plenty of money to pay them. But, unless you've got unlimited time and money to fight that legal battle, I still think it's stupid to do something that foreseeably gets a person to a point where you have to pick legal nits through the appeal process just because they couldn't be bothered to pull out a driver's license instead of a pot card.

I think it's unbelievably disingenuous to take the position that it is anything other than stupid to use a medical marijuana card as the form of ID offered in connection with the purchase of a firearm. The guy flipping through his wallet at the gun store who goes "hm. Driver's license? Maybe. Passport? Pretty good, but nah. DMV-issued non-driver ID card? The picture's not that good. Ah, here we go, I'll use my medical marijuana card!" is a complete moron, no matter what his legal rights ultimately are.

The fact that I covered a post you did not make does not mean that you are inculpable for the quotes you certainly made.

That's a fair point. But you've only actually been critical of one quote that I made, and that's just a difference opinion about how smart we think a person would be to use their pot card instead of some other form of ID when buying a gun.

I named you as an example of the type of commenter who I choose to distrust.

You distrust me because you disagree with me about the intelligence of someone who uses their medical marijuana card as a gun-buying ID? Come on.
posted by The World Famous at 7:35 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Constitution never prohibited women or blacks from voting. It permitted the states to control who held the franchise within their boundaries. Over time, Constitutional amendments, and laws enacted under the authority of those amendments, divested the states of much (buy not all) of that prerogative.
posted by MattD at 7:45 PM on October 5, 2011


Didn't Obama admit to smoking marijuana? Yep, sure did. So our president can't own a gun? But he's the commander-in-chief and can order around tens of thousands of people that do have guns?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, wait, this is law? I can't buy a gun? What if I let my prescription lapse?
posted by Bookhouse at 8:12 PM on October 5, 2011


To all those wanting to ban guns: Haven't you seen a zombie movie? You'll be the first to go! ;)
posted by autobahn at 8:14 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


What, exactly, did I say that made you skeptical of Metafilter's content?

I had much the same reaction to the flood of "dumb", "stupid", "idiot", "moron", etc in your posts. Same with Vibrissae's "retards", "nutsos", "numbnutz", etc. When I posted those links to gun forums above, I really did not think I was providing examples of a higher standard of discourse than ours.

It's pretty funny to see folks at thehighroad.org and thefiringline.com discuss The Demon Weed™ calmly and reasonably, while mefites froth at the goddamn mouth at a mere mention of -- horrors! -- gun stores. And by "funny" I mean "sad".
posted by vorfeed at 8:38 PM on October 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


Who's frothing?
posted by The World Famous at 8:41 PM on October 5, 2011


In rural parts it's a useful tool, in the cities it's typically used for crime and sporadically used for self-defense, and in the suburbs it's a suicide machine.
posted by Challahtronix at 9:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


For my friend with MS, fuck the ATF.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Constitution never prohibited women or blacks from voting. It permitted the states to control who held the franchise within their boundaries.

Nice. Passive discrimination. Legislate so that some of the regions in your country can deprive human beings of their "inalienable rights", according to the former's preferences and prejudices. The *Constitution* enabled that, and no matter how you put it, the Constitution was wrong, and had to change. Same for (eventually) the 2nd amendment.

Also, just yesterday my neighbor brought home 2 deer from the processor. I have 10 pounds of free-range steaks and sausage from his hunting. Just as an aside, here.

Hope you had it tested for Chronic Wasting Disease.

I had to buy an account tonight just to say that Vibrissae and The World Famous are the type of posters here that leave me with an extreme skepticism of Metafilter's content (or at least, the comments).

Good, now I can show the list owners proof of my value to the metafilter community.

RobotVoodooPower: For my friend with MS, fuck the ATF.

I am truly sorry that your friend has MS. That said, are you aware that MS leaves a person more vulnerable to depression? Guns and depression don't mix Your friend may not ever become depressed, but what is s/he (god forbid) did? What then? What is s/he had a gun?

Look, we're not going to solve this issue, in this forum. We are all biased in one way or another. Here's what I know for sure:
- America is a violent society.
- America has more guns owned by citizens than any other nation.
- The NRA is every gun manufacturer's little bitch.
- The NRA will give head in the form of campaign support to any political representative that supports its "cause" - i.e. anyone should be able to own any kind of goddamn gun they want
- The NRA is also a bully bitch, because it threatens to turn many dollars against political representatives who oppose its "guns for everyone" philosophy.
- Handguns in America kill thousands of people every year
- If there were fewer handguns, there would arguably be fewer deaths.
- Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people, so take away the people's gun and some considerable number of people will continue to live.
- When someone goes over the edge, it's a lot easier to massacre a lot of people with a semi-automatic weapon than it is with a crossbow, or a knife. Use your common sense about this, please.
- the 2nd Amendment is completely open to interpretation, in ways that the 1st amendment, for instance, isn't. The "freedom" to own your weapon of choice does not in any kind of degree compare to the freedom to express yourself. I call BS on any Supreme that differs, and make further claims that Supremes who permit or desire unfettered access to handguns are akin to the killers, themselves; they live in a bubble of legal theory that ends up splattering all over the innocents of this nation that get slaughtered by handguns.
- the ATF is a largely ineffective agency, but we all know that marijuana is used by millions of people, many who want to own handguns. The ATF has seen to create this new regulation; it's kind of dumb, but if it lowers handgun purchases, I'm all for it. That's one less person who gets high while loading ammo shells, and blowing herself up.
- You are more likely to be killed defending yourself with a handgun (see cite above)
- Modeling handgun ownership at home (responsible, or not) is opening up a can of worms that you have NO control over in the future. Any parent who helps his kids along the pathway to wanting to own a handgun is, in my opinion, badly misinformed, and acting on faith that the future will go well in ways that s/he can't guarantee.
- The NRA senior staff is comprised of a bunch of hopeless jackasses that should be placed in a public pillory. So are the despicable, moronic, morally diseased legislators who take NRA money and support the most outrageous gun ownership laws ON EARTH!
posted by Vibrissae at 10:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Modeling handgun ownership at home (responsible, or not) is opening up a can of worms that you have NO control over in the future. Any parent who helps his kids along the pathway to wanting to own a handgun is, in my opinion, badly misinformed, and acting on faith that the future will go well in ways that s/he can't guarantee.

Holy shit, really? Do you know how many different ways parents model behaviors for their children? And, have no clue of how it will affect those children in the future? This is just ignorance.
posted by SuzySmith at 10:43 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, really? Do you know how many different ways parents model behaviors for their children? And, have no clue of how it will affect those children in the future? This is just ignorance.

Oh, you mean teaching your kids to eat might lead them to poison mushrooms in adulthood? Or teaching them to do their chores might lead to tripping over a broom down the stairs?

Sorry, you sound like the typical NRA apologetic; always assuming that there is a "safe" way to have a firearm. Ignorance? I suppose all the people dead at the hand of someone who chose to use a handgun would - if they could come back to life - beg to differ with you.

Yes, putting a handgun into your child's world is making a very large bet. It's a larger bet than the poison mushroom or falling-down-stairs scenario mentioned above. If you don't get that, so be it. Darwin's Law will take care of the rest - but sadly, Darwin's Law doesn't protect the innocents that go down with the Neanderthals.
posted by Vibrissae at 10:54 PM on October 5, 2011


Who's frothing, indeed?
posted by vorfeed at 10:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I increasingly think that those who cannot and will not take responsibility for their own self-defense in exigent circumstances, and who would place all their trust in others, are not fit to be citizens of a democracy.
posted by wuwei at 10:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


The best part about a gun argument is all the unfounded assertions that are tossed about.

I just wish people were as passionate about fixing underlying social problems as they are about guns themselves.
posted by autobahn at 11:08 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


It amazes me how many people on Metafilter always come out in support of gun ownership. Is this something you'd have to be American to understand? I live in a country (the UK) where guns are illegal, and it has never for the slightest fleeting moment occurred to me (or, as far as I know, anyone I have ever known, of many political and social persuasions) to think that my rights are being diminished, my liberty infringed on, or that I am anything but glad that I am not surrounded by people who own guns.
posted by iotic at 11:26 PM on October 5, 2011


I increasingly think that those who cannot and will not take responsibility for their own self-defense in exigent circumstances, and who would place all their trust in others, are not fit to be citizens of a democracy.

I increasingly think that all who have bought into the myth that handgun ownership will protect them in their time of need, when controlled evidence clearly shows that not to be the case, are kidding themselves and giving into their macho idea of justice, which is helping to rot our democracy, safety in the streets, and our very future, from the inside, out.

Autoban: Guns ARE a social problem.

I'm out! There is no more to say. May 2nd amendment abuses die the death of a thousand bureaucratic cuts.
posted by Vibrissae at 11:27 PM on October 5, 2011


I'd be fine marijuana legalization (though I don't smoke personally) and limited gun restrictions. Things like extended clips and fully automatic weapons and armor piercing bullets make spree killers more dangerous, and aren't generally necessary for hunting, target practice, or home defense.
posted by gryftir at 12:59 AM on October 6, 2011


Vibrissae:
To clarify, I'm not just referring to self-defense from crime, but also from oppressive government or indeed oppressive private power. I've written extensively on Metafilter about this before, so rather than repeat myself, I'll just post a couple of links instead.

I can talk statistics as well, but since you've decided to leave the thread, I will respect that.
posted by wuwei at 1:00 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services states there is no evidence that CWD can infect people. CWD is not viewed as a human health issue.

So, no testing needed, I suppose (Wikipedia says just don't eat the nasty bits anyway).

I live in a country (the UK) where guns are illegal, and it has never for the slightest fleeting moment occurred to me to think that my rights are being diminished

It's always been my perception that the point of gun rights in the U.S. has to do with the ability to violently overthrow the government if that becomes necessary. Considering how the U.S. was initially founded, I shouldn't think that would be too far-fetched or surprising. I have mixed feelings on the issue, personally. On the one hand, overreaching governments scare the hell out of me and should always be topple-able; on the other hand, my drunk buddy shooting off his handgun also scares the hell out of me.
posted by nzero at 2:07 AM on October 6, 2011


Sorry, you sound like the typical NRA apologetic; always assuming that there is a "safe" way to have a firearm.


That's hilarious as I cannot stand the NRA. There are definitely safe ways to own firearms, though. I have for years. I will continue to, and do so in a safe way. I've discussed on MeFi before my reasons for owning firearms. We live rurally, in a county that is very long and many times has two police officers on duty for the entire county.

If they are on the other end in the middle of a call It could be more than an hour until the police get there. Yes, i want a way to protect myself in that circumstance.

You can sit there with no way to defend yourself though, good on ya. Although, it isn't like the police actually have a duty to protect you, just ask the Supreme Court of the US.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:14 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


nzero It's always been my perception that the point of gun rights in the U.S. has to do with the ability to violently overthrow the government if that becomes necessary. Considering how the U.S. was initially founded, I shouldn't think that would be too far-fetched or surprising.

In 1776, it was feasible. By 1950, it was far-fetched. By 2011, the contention that the US citizenry could, armed with civilian armaments, somehow overthrow the US government, is well past the "ludicrously false" point. You might as well have sticks and rocks. You'd actually be better off with sticks and rocks, as there's a chance they might not immediately shoot you.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:30 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:43 AM on October 6, 2011


You might as well have sticks and rocks. You'd actually be better off with sticks and rocks, as there's a chance they might not immediately shoot you.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:30 AM on October 6 [+] [!]


Well sticks and rocks seem to work for ewoks in any case
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:05 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. It's not just a Bureau, it's the only sensible combination.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:39 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are definitely safe ways to own firearms, though.

Yeah, no shit. Otherwise those 90 million or so US gun owners would be getting thinned out pretty quick.

I guess a lot of this is cultural. I grew up with guns in the house, and had gun safety drilled into me from very, very young. So I'm in no way frightened or intimidated by them, and they are pretty much normalized in my life, like owning a car (which kills a lot of people, too, plus helping cause global warming). I know many people who didn't grow up with guns, and who find even the idea odd or scary, and I can understand that.

I don't have any kids, but while I guess in theory I could leave guns all over the house with no consequences, I keep them all under lock and key in case a friend brings over a child or there is a robbery. That's just common sense, and I don't let the neighbor kids drive my car, either. There's a locked handgun safe near the bed, so I guess I'm safe if there is a zombie uprising, but I'd put my money on a dog over a gun any day for real-word house protection.

And, to repeat, as someone who thinks weed should be legalized, I can think of few dumber things than using your medical marijuana card as ID for buying a gun. (For those who haven't bought a gun in the last decade or so, the process is that you fill out an ATF form 4473, which asks if you are an "unlawful user" of marijuana or other drugs among other questions, and that is phoned in to the FBI's NICS system for a check; assuming there are no issues you walk out with the gun a few minutes later.) No one who has gone through the trouble of getting a medical marijuana card can possibly be unaware that federal and state laws differ sharply; you stay legit with medical marijuana by staying local.
posted by Forktine at 5:53 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another southern, rural, gun owner here. My guns are primarily critter guns...long rifles, and a shotgun that is more a noise maker than it is an accurate way to get a human's attention. It does however scare coyotes.

That said, I haven't fired a gun outside of a gun range in years, since we lost the ranch. Trying to ride a fence line on a 600 acre cattle ranch without a rattlesnake gun is just stupid. And a shotgun loaded with salt across your saddle makes it fairly clear to poachers that they should get the fuck off your land.

Every rancher I've ever known is armed. I've never known one who was shot. Guns are as much a part of rural life as a tractor or a.branding iron. That said, everyone I know keeps their guns in locked safes, and many, like myself, have trigger locks as well.

I don't have an issue with background checks, waiting periods, and mandatory training. But using gun laws to enforce federal rules over state laws...that I find problematic.
posted by dejah420 at 6:15 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry, you sound like the typical NRA apologetic; always assuming that there is a "safe" way to have a firearm.

Unlike a lot of the posters here, I'm not a rural Southern, at least not any more, and I don't own a gun. I have, however, possessed and fired guns in a safe manner. I shot a bit as a kid, mostly at summer camps. Most recently, I went trap shooting; it was my first time, but I'll definitely go back. While obviously it's impossible to be 100% safe doing basically anything, my use of a gun in that context was as safe as most other sports, even considering that I'm a terrible shot.

Since I don't own a gun, I rented from the place that I went shooting. I got the gun and immediately opened the action to make sure it wasn't loaded; it wasn't. Then gun was unloaded and the action open right up until it was my turn to shoot. I loaded the gun (one shell or two depending on how many targets I was going to see), fired all the shells that were loaded, and immediately opened the action. The only time my gun was even capable of firing it was pointed down range, away from everyone; the rest of the time it was unloaded, the action was open so that you could see it was unloaded, and it was no more dangerous than any other piece of metal and wood.

The most dangerous thing I did that day was drive in Northern Virginia.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:29 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, putting a handgun into your child's world is making a very large bet. It's a larger bet than the poison mushroom or falling-down-stairs scenario mentioned above.

But not as large as having a swimming pool.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:42 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man I wish this country liked weed even a fraction as much as it loves guns.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:02 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm confused. Has some study come out linking marijuana smoking with handgun accidents? If not, then what the fuck? Smoking marijuana should not prevent you from buying a gun anymore than drinking or using prescription pills. Do we regulate those?

Look that 2nd amendment ship has sailed. There is no way in hell we could enforce a gun ban in this country (and if you are against the war on drugs, why would you be proposing a war on guns?) Think about the borders, the sure numbers, the culture-- all different than Britain (often held up as that shining beacon of light.)

So if we can't ban them, what to do? Make them safer. And I am all for classes, safety locks, banning guns from government buildings and airports, etc. But arguing for a repeal of the second amendment is pure nonsense and would lead to a horrifying increase in criminal activity.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:41 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I increasingly think that those who cannot and will not take responsibility for their own self-defense in exigent circumstances, and who would place all their trust in others, are not fit to be citizens of a democracy.

...

To clarify, I'm not just referring to self-defense from crime, but also from oppressive government or indeed oppressive private power.


If being "fit to be (a) citizen of a democracy" means using a lethal weapon to take another person's life than that's not really a political system I want participate in. I'm not going to shoot someone because they are trying to steal my TV, or because they are trying to enact some sort of political agenda I disagree with. There are a lot of choices you can make in your life, and if I can help it, killing a person will never be one of the choices I make under any circumstances.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:02 AM on October 6, 2011


this is why gun control is called a "wedge issue." It's great for wedging apart coalitions.

For those non-USAians, the National Rifle Association is a political organization funded by the armaments industry and it is strongly committed to right-wing nationalism, military adventurism, etc. It is enormously influential and strongly linked to the Republican Party.

Can anyone provide an example of an analogous political organization in another country? an organization with a similar amount of political influence and strong ties to armaments manufacturers? I'm curious because the NRA seems to me to be an example of American exceptionalism writ large.
posted by warbaby at 8:06 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think anyone sick enough to need medical marijuana but unwilling to give up their concealed handgun in order to have that medication is an idiot.

What do you mean by sick enough? What illnesses might qualify and disqualify someone?

Do you feel the same way about all medications? Many painkillers can be much more debilitating.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:33 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Vibrissae : Require very expensive annual renewals of all extant handguns - how about $1000, annually?

I can't imagine a worse idea than further disenfranchising the poor by only allowing the rich to be legally armed. (It didn't work well in either feudal Japan or Europe)

I'm sick and tired of watching this country turned to dust by stupidity and fear.

This is on par with saying that you want the country to go back to a time when we weren't being turned to dust by stupidity and fear, and I'd love it if someone could tell me when that was? What was this golden age where everyone was nice and there were no guns?

erstwhile : Everyone has to pass a test to get a driver's license and operate a vehicle. I think everyone ought to pass a safety test in order to own and operate a gun.

Driving a car isn't a Constitutionally protected right. I don't disagree that more training is always a good idea, but the moment you make it mandatory, you open the doors to other all sorts of other challenges based on education. There's a good idea somewhere in here, but I have no idea how to implement it without setting a precedent that puts other rights potentially at risk.
posted by quin at 8:34 AM on October 6, 2011


Ironmouth has had the best remedy so far mentioned. Reschedule cannabis as a schedule 2 drug or lower.

I have a card, and wouldn't think about using as id for a gun purchase. It is simply common sense. I've also gone to a gun range (sober of course) and checked the box that I don't "use illegal drugs/not addicted". Because, a.)its legal at a state level, 2.)I am not addicted.

Either way, I know people who this would affect. I am not a gun lover by any stretch, but it is a right. Albeit a right which should be further regulated further to prevent additional guns from becoming more common place in a supposive "civilized society". Then again, I've been offered handguns on a couple occasions by criminal like people which frankly worries me. The ease of obtaining a weapon illegally is ridiculous, and probably would take less than a day if you really wanted.
posted by handbanana at 8:45 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to shoot someone because they are . . . trying to enact some sort of political agenda I disagree with.

I might. It depends.
posted by General Tonic at 8:58 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


In 1776, it was feasible. By 1950, it was far-fetched. By 2011, the contention that the US citizenry could, armed with civilian armaments, somehow overthrow the US government, is well past the "ludicrously false" point. You might as well have sticks and rocks. You'd actually be better off with sticks and rocks, as there's a chance they might not immediately shoot you.

Oh, I agree.
posted by nzero at 9:51 AM on October 6, 2011


I think anyone sick enough to need medical marijuana but unwilling to give up their concealed handgun in order to have that medication is an idiot.

What do you mean by sick enough?


I already said what I mean by "sick enough." Sick enough to need medical marijuana. That's what I mean.

What illnesses might qualify and disqualify someone?

Any illness where they are sick enough to need medical marijuana.

Do you feel the same way about all medications?

All? No.

If they are on the other end in the middle of a call It could be more than an hour until the police get there. Yes, i want a way to protect myself in that circumstance.

What circumstance? Protect yourself from what? When have you or anyone else you've ever heard of - ever - called the police to ask them to shoot somebody for them? "Hello, police? I need you to come out here and shoot somebody. What's that? You're an hour away? Dammit. If only I had a gun!"

You can sit there with no way to defend yourself though, good on ya.

Defend myself from what? From what, exactly, do you plan to defend yourself with a gun?

As I said above, I can see legitimate reasons for gun ownership. There are reasons to have firearms other than self defense, and those include some of the agricultural, hunting, and similar reasons that have been mentioned in this thread already. But self-defense? I don't believe that for one second. I think there's a vigilante and/or Red Dawn fantasy shared by many American gun owners who imagine movie scenarios where they will get to run around their house with a gun shooting baddies. And I think that delusion is one of the most dangerous things about America.

I increasingly think that those who cannot and will not take responsibility for their own self-defense in exigent circumstances, and who would place all their trust in others, are not fit to be citizens of a democracy.

I can't say I agree with that sweeping statement. Nevertheless, I'm more than happy to take responsibility for my self defense in exigent circumstances. What does that have to do with my position regarding concealed carry and handgun ownership?
posted by The World Famous at 10:02 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If an individual can be scripted bonzes or opiates, or SSRI and own a gun, there is no reason that cannabis shouldn't be permitted. Those substances have much greater impact on judgement and pharmacological affect than cannabis. Everyone interacts with substances differently, and not to mention often these chemicals can become normalized overtime with respect to effects.

Its ironic that the one drug which enables me to be more productive and ignore my pain is demonoized to be worse than the plethora of drugs I am scripted to manage my arthritic , neuropathic, and skeletal/muscular pain.
posted by handbanana at 10:11 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not bonzes, benzodiazapam
posted by handbanana at 10:12 AM on October 6, 2011


I'd like to point out that, at least in California, and probably in other medical-marijuana states, the medical marijuana card is not a state-issued document, much less identification.

The card is no more a valid id than a library card or a Blockbuster video card. A doctor issues a certification of opinion - not even a prescription - that a person has a valid reason to use marijuana for medical purposes. The important part is the certification letter. The card is just a handy thing to carry in your wallet, that says you have a certification.

The ATF can and should enforce the law. I can see that this isn't even a bad thing for marijuana advocates. In a strategic sense, this brings to the fore the argument that, under current law, there are legal consequences for people who are not for all practical purposes, law breakers. The resolution of this issue is a necessary step; ideally, that step would be the legalization of marijuana.

I am not surprised by the NRA's silence on this. They could be goaded into action though, if one were to make the case that this is a step towards gun control; anyone with a legal prescription, or users of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine could be next. It's an obvious slippery slope fallacy, but the NRA is certainly not above exploiting it.
posted by Xoebe at 10:58 AM on October 6, 2011


Ironmouth has had the best remedy so far mentioned. Reschedule cannabis as a schedule 2 drug or lower.

How, though? NIDA just unilaterally refused to allow doctors to buy marijuana for an FDA-approved study. Again. NIDA controls the sole supply of legal-for-research marijuana in the country, and they have proven again and again that they won't support research aimed at medical uses. The Federal government has never acknowledged marijuana as a medicine, and as this story (and many others, see: taxes and banking) shows, they have no problem with using entirely unrelated offices to attack the idea. They're not likely to change their tune.

Rescheduling is and always has been the medical marijuana endgame -- it's just that forty years of experience has shown that we're not going to get there by asking. We're going to get there by taking (and toking!), because the Feds have made sure that there's no way to prove marijuana's safety and efficacy other than by actually proving it, one state at a time. The support it takes to get this drug rescheduled through Congress or the courts won't come out of nowhere. The states are the key to this issue.
posted by vorfeed at 11:25 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'd love to see the NRA take a stance on this. It might make me finally have some respect for them, because after more than 25 years as a gun owner, I still fall to the "Fuck the NRA" side of things.

They have long proved that they are nothing more than an extension of the hard Right, and as such they don't speak for me, and their silence really doesn't come as any surprise.

So nor should my response which remains, Fuck 'em.

I have guns despite the NRA.
posted by quin at 11:27 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well said vorfeed, you've got your facts laid out!
Ironically as the government has said "marijuana has no medical, safe, application" they hold patents related to cannabis and endocannabinoids. That's what I find funny and fascinating. The government has essentially patent a plant and natural chemicals that reside within our bodies.

The states approach is a good method. As the people, remember the government is for the people, by the people, critical mass will soon approach as more and more states pass medical laws. Here in Michigan, our proposal passed in every.single.county, and overall had 63% approval. That's a gain, a small step in the right direction. Yet our voter approved proposal is under attack. Granted the state of Michigan loves the $8 million + in revenue it has gained in what was suppose to be a self funded, non revenue program for the state.
posted by handbanana at 12:39 PM on October 6, 2011


I'd love to see the NRA take a stance on this. It might make me finally have some respect for them, because after more than 25 years as a gun owner, I still fall to the "Fuck the NRA" side of things.

Agreed -- I pay $25 more per year for my range fees because I refuse to become an NRA member. The "oddly" in "oddly silent on this one" was more than a bit sarcastic.
posted by vorfeed at 1:27 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Defend myself from what? From what, exactly, do you plan to defend yourself with a gun?

Someone breaking into my home to rape or kill me, for one. It happens even in rural areas and hitting 911 on the phone doesn't do a damn thing if the cops can't get to you in time.
posted by SuzySmith at 2:38 PM on October 6, 2011


Someone breaking into my home to rape or kill me, for one.

Statistically speaking, how common is a scenario where someone breaks into someone's home to rape or kill the occupant in such a way that the occupant is able to access a securely-stored firearm and use that firearm to stop the attempted rape or murder? In the United States in the last 10 years, how many attempted home invasion rapes and/or murders have been stopped while in progress by the homeowner using a firearm in some way against the assailant?

Please note that I'm not asking how many such crimes have been deterred by the presence of a gun in the home, but how many actual rape or murder crimes-in-progress have been defended against by a victim who was able to access and use a securely-stored firearm.

Please note also that I'm not asking about how often home invasion rapes and murders occur. I'm asking how often those crimes are successfully stopped while in progress by a crime victim accessing a securely-stored firearm.
posted by The World Famous at 2:44 PM on October 6, 2011


In the United States in the last 10 years, how many attempted home invasion rapes and/or murders have been stopped while in progress by the homeowner using a firearm in some way against the assailant?


No idea dude, you'd better get Googling.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:55 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


No idea dude, you'd better get Googling.

To back up someone else's assertion that I doubt is supportable? Nah. As I said above, I think a lot of gun owners imagine that there is some probable or realistic scenario where they protect themselves by shooting people. I don't think that's realistic, and I don't think actual data back that up at all.
posted by The World Famous at 2:59 PM on October 6, 2011


You asked Suzy what she thought she was defending herself from, she told you, you demanded she provide an incredibly specific set of statistics (In the United States in the last 10 years, how many attempted home invasion rapes and/or murders have been stopped while in progress by the homeowner using a SECURELY STORED firearm in some way against the assailant). Sounds to me like the burden of proof is on you.

The constant calls to trot out "cites" and stats and shit on MeFi is really annoying. You asked her what she felt like she was defending herself from, she told you.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:03 PM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Like you're like, oh you can't produce a stat to prove your point, you must be wrong!
Well if you're right, YOU produce a stat disproving her point.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:04 PM on October 6, 2011


you demanded she provide an incredibly specific set of statistics

I didn't demand anything. I asked, and I was careful to explain exactly what it was I was asking, rather than being vague or overbroad.

Sounds to me like the burden of proof is on you.

The burden to prove what? I haven't asserted anything other than my doubt of the likelihood of the contemplated scenario.

Like you're like, oh you can't produce a stat to prove your point, you must be wrong! Well if you're right, YOU produce a stat disproving her point.

I'm happy to do that. What stat do you think would back up my point? I'll look it up.
posted by The World Famous at 3:08 PM on October 6, 2011


What stat do you think would back up my point? I'll look it up.

In the United States in the last 10 years, how many attempted home invasion rapes and/or murders have been stopped while in progress by the homeowner using a securely-scored firearm in some way against the assailant?
posted by nathancaswell at 3:13 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


42.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:18 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the United States in the last 10 years, how many attempted home invasion rapes and/or murders have been stopped while in progress by the homeowner using a securely-scored firearm in some way against the assailant?

42.
posted by The World Famous at 3:27 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hahaha, okay truce.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:30 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Related, Feds tell California pot dispensaries to close up.

It looks like there's a unified crack-down going on now with medical marijuana.

This is going to hurt Obama.
posted by formless at 6:10 PM on October 6, 2011


It looks like there's a unified crack-down going on now with medical marijuana.

This is going to hurt Obama.


Somebody asked me about this today, and my answer was -- in its entirety -- "Obama has been far worse on the marijuana issue than Bush". War on ill people, non-violent pot smokers, and tax-paying business owners: what a disgusting shame.
posted by vorfeed at 7:51 PM on October 6, 2011


formless This is going to hurt Obama.

Only personally, and then only if the Democratic left actually got organized and serious enough to oust him as the 2012 Democratic candidate. The Tea Party is ten times worse on this and on any other any issue you care about.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:25 PM on October 6, 2011


I already said what I mean by "sick enough." Sick enough to need medical marijuana. That's what I mean.

So, chronic pain, cancer or glaucoma would disqualify someone from owning a handgun? How stupid. I mean, I think the gun fanaticism in the US is troubling, but tying gun rights to medication and illness (outside of debilitating mental illness) is more troubling.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:12 PM on October 7, 2011


So, chronic pain, cancer or glaucoma would disqualify someone from owning a handgun? How stupid.

No, that's not what I said. Before you tell me I'm stupid, go back to what I actually said.
posted by The World Famous at 6:17 PM on October 7, 2011


Here's what you actually said:

... I have a pretty dim view of gun rights generally, and, because I see no legitimate reason for anyone to have a gun, I think anyone sick enough to need medical marijuana but unwilling to give up their concealed handgun in order to have that medication is an idiot.

Which, yes, is saying that someone with chronic pain, or dealing with bad nausea as a side effect from other drugs, should not own a gun, because those are the kinds of conditions for which people use medical marijuana. And honestly, that's kind of nuts, which is why people keep addressing this, and presumably why you keep ducking the question.
posted by Forktine at 6:25 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which, yes, is saying that someone with chronic pain, or dealing with bad nausea as a side effect from other drugs, should not own a gun

No, it's saying that someone with chronic pain, or dealing with bad nausea as a side effect from other drugs, has a choice under this new, ridiculous and unconstitutional exercise of executive power, whether on the one hand to purchase yet another gun by simply holding off on smoking pot long enough to honestly attest to not being a drug user or, on the other hand, to keep smoking pot and just be content with the guns they already own. Given the fact that I don't think there's any legitimate self defense justification for owning a gun in the United States, I think that anyone who chooses to arm themself against an imaginary fantasy threat instead of choosing effective medication for an actual illness is foolish.

And honestly, that's kind of nuts, which is why people keep addressing this, and presumably why you keep ducking the question.

I haven't ducked any question. If you're the sort of person who is convinced that you need to have a gun for some reason, buy the gun first, then, once you already own the gun, then start legally using medical marijuana. But if you put gun ownership in front of medication for illness on your heirarchy of personal importance, I contend that you are a fool.
posted by The World Famous at 10:49 AM on October 8, 2011


If you're the sort of person who is convinced that you need to have a gun for some reason, buy the gun first, then, once you already own the gun, then start legally using medical marijuana. But if you put gun ownership in front of medication for illness on your heirarchy of personal importance, I contend that you are a fool.

Again, it's not that simple. A lot of people already have guns, or a concealed-carry permit or whatever -- now they have to be afraid to sign up for a medical marijuana card, lest someone put two and two together to get a felony (and there is no "hold off on smoking pot long enough to honestly attest to not being a drug user" option: the AG made it clear that merely having a medical card constitutes reasonable cause). Likewise, a lot of people already have medical marijuana cards -- now they have to be afraid to get into shooting, even if it's just target shooting with a .22 rifle. That's bullshit any way you slice it, and has nothing to do with "putting gun ownership in front of medication for illness on your heirarchy of personal importance".

Besides, it's a lot easier and less-illegal to get pot under-the-table in states like California (and probably even Colorado) than it is to buy a gun that way, so I'm not sure why it's not at least equally "foolish" to choose legal pot over legal guns. The risk of being on a Government List Of People Who Might Have A Growroom is and has always been greater than being on a List O' Gunowners -- the Feds really do show up in black helicopters and take people away for growing weed.
posted by vorfeed at 1:46 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're right, vorfeed. It's bullshit and, as you pointed out, it has nothing to do with what I wrote.
posted by The World Famous at 2:30 PM on October 8, 2011


You're right, vorfeed. It's bullshit and, as you pointed out, it has nothing to do with what I wrote.

Of course it has to do with what you wrote. You keep asserting that there's an easy choice, here: "I think anyone sick enough to need medical marijuana but unwilling to give up their concealed handgun in order to have that medication is an idiot", "whether on the one hand to purchase yet another gun by simply holding off on smoking pot long enough to honestly attest to not being a drug user or, on the other hand, to keep smoking pot and just be content with the guns they already own". You also keep asserting that one only needs the right "heirarchy of personal importance" to avoid being a "fool" and an "idiot" with respect to that choice.

This is false. No matter how you choose or in what order your "priorities" go, if you are a medical marijuana patient and you buy or possess guns or ammunition you are committing a felony. That's the entire point of the ATF's letter: "Federal law [...] prohibits any person who is an 'unlawful user or addicted to any controlled substance [...] from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition". You can't legally "buy the gun first, then, once you already own the gun, then start legally using medical marijuana", nor can you "keep smoking pot and just be content with the guns they already own" (especially since you can't legally buy ammunition for them). You also can't "simply hold off on smoking pot long enough to honestly attest to not being a drug user", because merely having a medical card (or even "a recent drug conviction") makes you an "unlawful drug user" by definition. And if so, "honestly attesting" to not being a drug user on the form is -- you guessed it -- a felony.

The ATF is not offering a choice. This is a Catch-22 which criminalizes every gun-owning user of medical marijuana.
posted by vorfeed at 3:19 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vorfeed, as I've said multiple times, I agree that the ATF's action here is outrageous and unconstitutional. I agree with you that it is terrible, awful, and any other superlative you'd like to tack on.

You seem to have missed my having said that and instead decided to interpret what I said in addition to that as something you could fight with. I'm sorry you disagree with my opinion, but you're welcome to and that's fine.

If I had the choice between a gun and medicine, I would choose medicine, notwithstanding the fact that the government agency telling me that I have to make that choice is wrong. And I think that anyone who would choose guns over medicine is an idiot.
posted by The World Famous at 5:47 PM on October 8, 2011


You don't have that choice, medical marijuana patients don't have that choice, and the government is not actually telling you or anyone else that "you have to make that choice". I guess you enjoy insulting imaginary people for not making an imaginary choice the way you would make that imaginary choice, though, so have at it.
posted by vorfeed at 7:02 PM on October 8, 2011


You don't have that choice, medical marijuana patients don't have that choice, and the government is not actually telling you or anyone else that "you have to make that choice".

I don't understand. What do you mean? In the context of your prior statement that "[t]his is a Catch-22 which criminalizes every gun-owning user of medical marijuana," it looks like you're asserting that every single medical marijuana patient in America already owns a gun. But that's patently false, so that must not be what you're saying.

I really don't understand what you're trying to say, aside from just going out of your way to be fighty.
posted by The World Famous at 8:16 PM on October 8, 2011


it looks like you're asserting that every single medical marijuana patient in America already owns a gun.

OK then, let's talk about medical marijuana patients (or potential patients) who don't own guns, and never have. You seem to think the position they're in is "a choice between a gun and medicine", but I don't see it that way, and I don't think the government does, either. They're not offering a choice between two things which are legal as long as you don't combine them, and they are most certainly not asking people to "choose medicine" -- they're offering a choice between avoiding marijuana or being a criminal. That's the entire point of the letter: according to the Federal government marijuana is not a medicine, and medicinal marijuana use is unlawful.

The gun-store letter is just one more in a long line of threats and punishments they've used to bully patients and potential patients into making that "choice", just like selective enforcement of banking and tax law, crackdowns on paraphernalia, arresting and hassling activists, etc. The idea that people can go "oh, well, guess I just have to choose between guns and my medicine" misses the point.
posted by vorfeed at 9:52 PM on October 8, 2011


Update: a medical marijuana patient in Nevada is bringing suit against the ATF after being denied a handgun purchase on Oct. 4.
posted by vorfeed at 12:44 PM on October 28, 2011


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