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Gun control amendments defeated
April 17, 2013 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Despite widespread popular support, on April 17th, 2013, the US Senate voted to defeat four legislative amendments that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases and place a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Victims and survivors of victims of recent shootings who were in the Senate audience were heard to yell "Shame on you" at legislators as the final votes were tallied.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (288 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Meanwhile, in Arizona.
posted by emjaybee at 2:54 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


For many people, it's easier to buy a gun than it is to vote.

It's easier to buy a gun than it is to vote.

IT'S EASIER TO BUY A GUN THAN IT IS TO VOTE.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:56 PM on April 17, 2013 [110 favorites]


And also, I really, really, really quite enjoyed how palpably angry Obama was in that press conference. FUCKING SHAME.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:57 PM on April 17, 2013 [33 favorites]


Obama just spoke extemporaneously, and he was angry as I have ever seen him in public. He states that we must remember those who voted against this and let them know that if they continue blocking this sort of legislation, they will not be reelected.

But it seems to me no change can be made unless the lobbies can be constrained. This was a victory for the gun lobby.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:57 PM on April 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's easier to buy a gun than it is to vote.

Want to Buy a Gun Without a Background Check? Armslist Can Help
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:57 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to pedantically point out that the Senate voted 54-46 in favor of the background checks.

There wasn't a supermajority to actually cut off debate and proceed to a majority vote, and so an undemocratic minority vote could hold up legislation that is favored by the vast majority of the voters.

Greatest deliberative body in the world at work.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:59 PM on April 17, 2013 [40 favorites]


To be clear, the senate didn't vote to defeat the amendments. They voted to deny them a vote at all; had they come up for a vote they would have passed.
posted by Justinian at 2:59 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Curse you, RedOrGreen.
posted by Justinian at 2:59 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: I just read that in the voice of Lewis Black.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:59 PM on April 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


That was the most angry and direct I have ever seen Obama speak. I don't think he is done with this. It was a fight worth fighting even with how it turned out. The myth that you must never dare to try if you aren't sure you have all the votes is just that. People get angry when a minority in Congress stops what 90% of the people want and it will help us get momentum going forward.

Obama asked NRA members, who supported the measures, to contact their lobbyists about this. He should know the NRA is not lobbying for them, they lobby for the companies that sell the guns. And they don't really care about the people.

Gun violence will keep happening, and they don't care how or where. NRA 500 Suicide: Man Shoots Himself To Death At NASCAR Race
posted by Drinky Die at 3:00 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there a list of Democrats that voted against this somewhere. I need to shame somebody.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:01 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]




And also, I really, really, really quite enjoyed how palpably angry Obama was in that press conference.

Scowly Biden was a thing of wonder and beauty.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:02 PM on April 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


Is there a list of Democrats that voted against this somewhere. I need to shame somebody.

The "voted" link in the post text provides links to roll calls as the final results are collated by the Senate record-keepers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:02 PM on April 17, 2013


We'll see no meaningful action from Congress so long as American gun manufacturers are publicly traded companies that answer to stockbrokers. Profits before people.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 3:03 PM on April 17, 2013


If only all of the runners of the Boston Marathon had been carrying semi-automatic weapons, maybe those bombs wouldn't have gone off.
posted by chasing at 3:03 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


He states that we must remember those who voted against this and let them know that if they continue blocking this sort of legislation, they will not be reelected.

But most of us won't, which is why the amendment was killed*.


------------------
*By a loud, well organized minority backed by interested dollars. That's the lesson. Get loud and organized and find the interested dollars.
posted by notyou at 3:03 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Salon.com: How the NRA got what it wanted. There have been over 3400 gun-deaths since Sandy Hook.

I don't want to live on this planet any more.
posted by jazon at 3:03 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


There wasn't a supermajority to actually cut off debate and proceed to a majority vote, and so an undemocratic minority vote could hold up legislation that is favored by the vast majority of the voters.

Greatest deliberative body in the world at work.


If anyone wants a shining example of cowardice at work, don't forget that most Republicans also supported a filibuster just to talk about the bill in the first place, let alone do anything else.

Is there a list of Democrats that voted against this somewhere. I need to shame somebody.

Democrats voting against cloture:
Heitkamp
Baucus
Begich
Pryor

Republicans that voted for cloture:
Toomey
Kirk
Collins
McCain
posted by zombieflanders at 3:04 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


For posterity, the individual vote tallies are here: 1 2 3 4
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:04 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to pedantically point out that the Senate voted 54-46 in favor of the background checks.

There wasn't a supermajority to actually cut off debate and proceed to a majority vote, and so an undemocratic minority vote could hold up legislation that is favored by the vast majority of the voters.


RedOrGreen, or anyone else with political acumen, could you explain in layman's terms what this means?
posted by CancerMan at 3:04 PM on April 17, 2013


I don't want to live on this planet any more.

Well there's a problem we can easily fix! Give me an hour, I'll buy a gun and away we go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:05 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Background checks would be intrusive says the party sticking a transvaginal ultrasound wand up your ladyparts.



[/I've been watching and fighting this fight since Brady was shot]
posted by NorthernLite at 3:05 PM on April 17, 2013 [70 favorites]


If only all of the runners of the Boston Marathon had been carrying semi-automatic weapons, maybe those bombs wouldn't have gone off.

According to the logic of the gun lobby, all of the runners should have been carrying their own bombs.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:05 PM on April 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


That's it; if massacred children won't change things, nothing will.

What a shameful place.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:06 PM on April 17, 2013 [32 favorites]


RedOrGreen, or anyone else with political acumen, could you explain in layman's terms what this means?

It means the Republicans filibustered the gun bill.
posted by Justinian at 3:06 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


But, yes, Chinese Jet Pilot has it right.

My idea:

Make a legal chain of legal culpability between the gun manufacturer, the gun that commits a crime, and *any* owner in between. If a gun is used to commit a crime, lawsuits can go against the gun manufacturer and any resellers of that particular weapon. Because they all failed.
posted by chasing at 3:06 PM on April 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


Charles Pierce: The Gun Lobby Wins Again
posted by homunculus at 3:06 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


RedOrGreen, or anyone else with political acumen, could you explain in layman's terms what this means?

Unlike the House, the Senate does not have a time limit on debate. You must vote to end debate and vote on the bill. A filibuster is when you block the bill by preventing this from happening. This has become a procedural move now rather than something that requires the minority to hold the floor and talk.

This vote was a perfect example of where a talking filibuster would have failed.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:07 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]




There wasn't a supermajority to actually cut off debate and proceed to a majority vote, and so an undemocratic minority vote could hold up legislation that is favored by the vast majority of the voters.

Let them filibuster.

I don't understand why American Senate procedure allows phantom filibusters. A real filibuster that shuts down the legislature for days can play a useful role in constraining a majority party. We see them in Canada every year or two. The thing is, a real filibuster is politically costly. If an issue isn't really obviously important filibustering looks really bad for the party doing the filibuster.

If they want to filibuster, let the obstructionist senators read from the phone book at 3am. Let them publicly declare hour after hour that blocking gun control is more important than anything else the senate could be doing.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:07 PM on April 17, 2013 [44 favorites]


According to the logic of the gun lobby, all of the runners should have been carrying their own bombs.

Well, now you're being ridiculous. Can you imagine running a marathon with a pressure cooker bomb? Whew.
posted by chasing at 3:07 PM on April 17, 2013


Democrats voting against cloture:
Heitkamp
Baucus
Begich
Pryor


+ Reid

Is there a procedural reason for that, or is he that much of a jackhole?
posted by dersins at 3:08 PM on April 17, 2013


Or both?
posted by dersins at 3:08 PM on April 17, 2013


Purely procedural.
posted by Justinian at 3:08 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


If only all of the runners of the Boston Marathon had been carrying semi-automatic weapons, maybe those bombs wouldn't have gone off.

If only we had legislation making bomb manufacturing and detonating them around people illegal. That surely would have prevented the Boston bombing.
posted by Sarcasm at 3:09 PM on April 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


Reid has to vote against to be able to reintroduce.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:11 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Folks maybe the Marathon/gun control discussion isn't really helping the conversation?]
posted by jessamyn at 3:12 PM on April 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


If only we had legislation making bomb manufacturing and detonating them around people illegal. That surely would have prevented the Boston bombing.

We do have regulations on explosives and some common ingredients in powerful home made bombs. The death toll would have been far worse in Boston without them.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:12 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, and:
Dear Gabby,
F**k you.

Signed,
Your former colleagues.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:13 PM on April 17, 2013 [14 favorites]


If only we had legislation making bomb manufacturing and detonating them around people illegal. That surely would have prevented the Boston bombing.

Or we could just sell them at sporting good stores. No big government, right?
posted by iamck at 3:13 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


If only we had legislation making bomb manufacturing and detonating them around people illegal. That surely would have prevented the Boston bombing.

Total red herring (as I'm sure you're aware). Bombs like the ones in Boston can be built fairly easily with readily available components and no special machine shop or manufacturing facility.

Automatic weapons? Not so much.


Purely procedural.

Reid has to vote against to be able to reintroduce.


Thanks
posted by dersins at 3:14 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure this bill was setup to fail from the start. It is pretty close literal petard hoisting and will provide plenty of background-check free political ammunition for a lot of the Dems to wield in upcoming elections. It is just a continuation of Obama Inc. giving the GOP more and more rope.
posted by srboisvert at 3:15 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty well fucking disgusted, don't know about you guys.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:15 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this bill was setup to fail from the start.

Definitely not. The AWB and magazine size stuff were what they expected to lose while settling on the background checks to pass.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:16 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


It is just a continuation of Obama Inc. giving the GOP more and more rope.

Makes one wonder, perhaps, at what point this magical, twelve-dimensional game of hyperchess that anyone in government starts playing on the public's side.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:17 PM on April 17, 2013 [18 favorites]


Once again, Harry Ried has failed his party and his country.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:17 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there video of Obama's press conference anywhere? I know it was streamed but I can't find an archive.
posted by saul wright at 3:17 PM on April 17, 2013


It ended just before the post went up. Give it a few minutes.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:18 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This phantom filibuster thing is absolutely ludicrous. Make them take the fucking floor, damn it.
posted by odinsdream at 3:20 PM on April 17, 2013 [24 favorites]


Same reason there's no health care. Or financial market oversight.

Total regulatory capture.

This is what plutocracy looks like.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:20 PM on April 17, 2013 [38 favorites]


Maybe they should have amended the cloture rules like Merkley wanted. Fortunately, though, fearless Harry struck a deal with Republicans.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 3:21 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This phantom filibuster thing is absolutely ludicrous. Make them take the fucking floor, damn it.

It's genuinely mystifying to me that the Democrats haven't pushed back on this even once. There's been one real filibuster since they took over and it only happened because the filibusterers wanted to talk.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:21 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


At this point I think there should be a serious, concerted, and widespread pushback against the idea that by "well-regulated", the Founding Fathers meant "completely unregulated".
posted by Flunkie at 3:22 PM on April 17, 2013 [21 favorites]


Is Obama's speech online anyplace like youtube yet?
posted by jeffburdges at 3:22 PM on April 17, 2013


Ah, I'm too used to having everything immediately. The internet has spoiled me. Anyway,

if massacred children won't change things, nothing will.

It really seems that way. I thought I couldn't be more cynical but I'm in awe of the unwillingness to act in even the smallest way here.
posted by saul wright at 3:23 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


If one was given the choice between a society with more guns, and a society with less guns, why would anyone choose a society with more guns?

The only reason for a gun is to shoot people. That is what they are designed for and that is what they do quite well. When people are shot, the result is death, mess, and lots of sadness. So a society with more guns has more death, mess, and sadness.

By extension, voting against restrictions on death, mess, and sadness is a vote for more death, mess, and sadness. Why would anyone vote for more death, mess, and sadness? If they believe that there is going to be death, mess, and sadness anyway, and it is better "them" than "us".

There is so much violence in America. On the streets. In movies. In music. On television. In homes. Against strangers. Against families. In schools. In small businesses. In large businesses. In America. On the borders to America. Just on the other side of the American border.

What is the purpose of all this violence? How many shootings does it take before those that keep supporting the madness admit that it is a broken proposition? When the framers of the constitution wrote "arms", it was muskets, single shot pistols, and swords.

Let's leave all three of those things legal. Anyone can have a musket. It would really change rap music if Fiddy rolled around in a Lambo with a musket.

But let's be sensible about this. Humans are emotional beings. It takes years of training to ensure a army soldier will pull the trigger to shoot at an enemy. We're not wired correctly to be in possession of tools to end other people's lives at any moment from a long distance away. Most gun crimes are crimes of passion or stupidity or emotion... and none of that is going away anytime soon.

End this madness. Someone should start a campaign. A vote against gun control is a vote for death, mess, and sadness. And the PR campaign would be Fiddy in a Lambo with a musket.
posted by nickrussell at 3:24 PM on April 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


Here's a link to the Great Orange Satan making a very interesting point: so far, the NRA has owned the gun rights issue, to the point where any departure from the NRA line was unthinkable for a politician who wanted to be re-elected.

Given the deep polarization and gerrymandered districts, the NRA's advertising is increasingly ineffective, and now suddenly, there's some real opposition: Mayors against Illegal Guns, Gabby Giffords' org, Bloomberg's billions. A well-funded challenger might actually put a scare into some NRA-owned politicians...
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:24 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wasn't Reid talking about filibuster reform a couple of months back? What happened to that?
posted by moorooka at 3:25 PM on April 17, 2013


In 2014, It Will Be the NRA Against The American People

Bloomberg's group and Gifford's group are already starting to be serious lobbying players pushing back against the NRA. This is just the first inning of this game. Keep pushing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:26 PM on April 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


If one was given the choice between a society with more guns, and a society with less guns, why would anyone choose a society with more guns?
Because if I don't have a gun, how am I gonna stop the government from confiscating my gun?
posted by Flunkie at 3:26 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wasn't Reid talking about filibuster reform a couple of months back? What happened to that?
A toothless compromise was reached, victory was declared, Republicans continued filibustering everything in sight, and vague noncommittal warnings have been issued that if they don't stop filibustering everything in sight, another toothless compromise might be in order.

Not kidding.
posted by Flunkie at 3:28 PM on April 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


More people would choose the society with less guns if it weren't so cold in Canada.
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:29 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]




People, people, people.... Guns don't kill people, violent movies kill people.

Don't you remember all the spree shootings after Bonnie & Clyde (1967), The Godfather(1972), and Robocop(1987)?
posted by entropicamericana at 3:33 PM on April 17, 2013


Except that the party in power up here is doing everything it can get away with, and even just a little bit more to turn Canada into Gilead.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:34 PM on April 17, 2013


No matter how I parse it in my mind, I have to conclude, based on the evidence, that the 46 senators, and all the vote for them, contribute to them, and provide them ideological cover, are invested in fostering, no, nurturing, the escalating level of violence in US society.
posted by Danf at 3:34 PM on April 17, 2013


The only reason for a gun is to shoot people.

This is ridiculous. The reason for a gun is to shoot *something*, but many guns are not designed to shoot people. A 20-guage shotgun is designed to shoot quail. Lots of guns have been specifically designed to shoot deer. Even more have been designed to shoot paper targets as accurately as possible.

Some guns, like the currently highly discussed AR-15, *are* actually designed to shoot people, specifically, to shoot people who are likely to be shooting back at you. It's a gun designed for soldiers in battle.

But please don't tell me the only reason I could possibly have a Ruger 10/22 in my home is because I want to shoot people with it. I have been shooting and/or owning guns since I was a kid, and I have never shot or wanted to shoot a person with any of them. I am in favor of universal background checks and stricter requirements for acquiring military and police weapons. Please don't call me an aspiring murderer. It's disingenuous, counterproductive, and alienates people who should really be on your side.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:35 PM on April 17, 2013 [60 favorites]


For what's its worth, I agree with the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" sentiment, which is exactly why I believe people should have their ability to own guns limited. There are some people that shouldn't be trusted with guns.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:41 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you're an NRA member, you've got some real value for your dues money.

Everyone else, on the other hand, has gotten fucked royally.
posted by tommasz at 3:41 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is there a word that captures the exact intersection between "craven" and "sociopathic"? Something in German, perhaps?

And I say this as a gun owner who despises the fucking NRA and fully supports WAY MORE GUN CONTROL.
posted by scody at 3:42 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Despite widespread popular support...

And even wider spread opposition. Let's make that clear.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:43 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Official list of Yay and Nay votes.

Lautenberg (D-NJ), Not Voting

Yo Lautenberg, maybe try to make it to the vote once in a while?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:43 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bloomberg's group and Gifford's group are already starting to be serious lobbying players pushing back against the NRA.

With His $12M Ad Blitz, Bloomberg Is Finally The Opponent The NRA Needed

The NRA Reaps Its Own Whirlwind in Facing Bloomberg
posted by homunculus at 3:43 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


But please don't tell me the only reason I could possibly have a Ruger 10/22 in my home is because I want to shoot people with it. I have been shooting and/or owning guns since I was a kid

I am not saying that you want to shoot people. The original reason for many guns would have been to shoot animals. Like bears. Which are dangerous when you are settling new territory and have ancient technology.

The world is simply not dangerous enough to justify guns for the sake of anything other than shooting people. Are you going to go shoot a bear with a handgun? Is a handgun designed to shoot a bear? What are copper-jacketed hollow point bullets designed to do? Destroy so much of the elk meat that it's impossible to collect?

If restricting your hobby and odd emotional attachment to shooting things is part of the bargain, than we need to do that. You can get a new hobby, and lots of people get to live.

You can't smoke cigarettes in a bar because smoking hurts you and other people. You have to pay taxes because there's an entire society that enables you do live nicely and generate an income (hard to get to work without roads!).

There are rules. There are costs. There are benefits. How long you are willing to live with the costs so you can have a hobby is on you, man. There's a lot of people that would much rather take away guns from peaceful people if it meant that a lot less innocent people got shot.

And you can always have a musket. You can always have a musket.

#FiddyInALamboWithAMusket
posted by nickrussell at 3:44 PM on April 17, 2013 [24 favorites]




And even wider spread opposition

In what sense? 90% of Americans support the proposed registrations. The bill was blocked by a supermajority requirement in a body that is already highly undemocratic.
posted by gerryblog at 3:45 PM on April 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


God I hate giving money to Bloomberg. How do I donate to Gabby instead?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:45 PM on April 17, 2013


And even wider spread opposition. Let's make that clear.

Citation please. All the polling data I've seen for the last few months has shown that the public is overwhelmingly in favor of increased background checks.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:45 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


All these senators who say they couldn't get reelected without NRA support -- what is the NRA providing, exactly? Is it just money, like campaign donations from Baretta, Colt, Remington, et all? Can we get an estimated figure for how much citizens would have to raise to buy their senators back?

Or maybe it's votes, not money. Is there really that large of a block of NRA members who vote in Senate races according to instructions from the most recent newsletter?
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:49 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


"It's easier to buy a gun than it is to vote."

Gotta solve disagreements somehow.
posted by markkraft at 3:49 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


And even wider spread opposition. Let's make that clear.
Quinnipiac University polls conducted since the Newtown massacre are finding more than 90 percent of voters in three states surveyed so far, including voters in households where there is a gun, support background checks for people buying guns at gun shows.

Polls of voters in Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in January by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University show:

• Virginia, January 10: 92 - 7 percent in favor of "requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows," including 91 - 7 percent among voters in gun households;

• New Jersey, January 24: 96 - 3 percent on the same question, including 95 - 5 percent in gun households;

• Pennsylvania, January 30: 95 - 5 percent support "requiring background checks for all gun buyers" (note change in question), including 95 - 4 percent in gun households.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on April 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


I keep answering my own questions. Gabby's Gun Control SuperPAC. Just gave em $10.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:51 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Please don't call me an aspiring murderer. It's disingenuous, counterproductive, and alienates people who should really be on your side.

I never called you anything besides "man" once in the last response. Why does any criticism of gun ownership get the response "yeah, but I don't kill people!"

Nobody is saying you kill people. Or want to kill people. GUNS ARE USED IN KILLING PEOPLE.

I live in a country where guns are far and few between. And guess what? There's a lot less murder. Three people shot in the North makes National News. It takes 25 kids in a school to make national news in the US.

I have no problem, because I am quite happy in my low-gun country. But it makes me sad that SO MANY PEOPLE are shot every day in America for absolutely no reason.

Yes, you are a sane, gentle humanitarian who recycles, and donates to the food bank. Cool. I'm not worried about you. It has nothing to do with you. It has to do with the people hit by the bullets. The kids. The innocents. The mothers. The fathers.

You are holding on to principles and intangible rights and beliefs. Meanwhile people are being shot. Every day. Lives destroyed. Every day.

But you would never shoot anyone. Good for you. Too bad you don't live on an island called Perfect.
posted by nickrussell at 3:52 PM on April 17, 2013 [23 favorites]


So we know from the media and our own issue research that with 90% of the US population being all for more gun control and Bloomberg alone spending more money than the whole NRA on pro gun control PR since Sandy Hook, let alone all the other gun control groups such asthe Brady Foundation and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence who spent all they could and having their truly massive membership do everything that THEY could...

The forces of good were totally unable to defeat the stupidest, least educated, meanest, most racist, inbred, inadequately endowed and generally most unloveable 10% of the US population supported only by the lobbyist spending of an industry that has a gross sales lower than that of the US swimming pool supply industry.

We need to think really hard about what that might mean.
posted by bert2368 at 3:54 PM on April 17, 2013 [14 favorites]


I means the NRA has been an entrenched power for decades and that it will take more than one election cycle to change a power structure that has been in place for decades. But it will change.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:56 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]




It's a shame that we're not going to get any meaningful improvement in the law after all these recent killings. However, I'm not sure the failure of this particular legislation, with all of its odious concessions to pro-gun factions and even its awful name, is that regrettable. I'd rather fight for a better bill over the long haul.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:57 PM on April 17, 2013


Arizona moves to force sale of turned-in guns
Prompted by a gun buyback event in January in Tucson, where a 2011 shooting rampage left six dead and wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others in 2011, GOP lawmakers crafted a bill that would require local agencies to sell the firearms to gun dealers.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:58 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish Obama had devoted half as much energy into addressing climate change that he has into gun control. There have been real opportunities during the budget negotiations for a carbon tax of some sort to be part of the ledger. However, Obama stated last year during his press conference on climate change that he was only willing to consider green energy policies and not a carbon tax. If you're going to butt heads week in and week out with the House and half the Senate, why not do it to prevent something that will negatively impact human kind as a whole for generations?
posted by Tabs at 3:59 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Mitch McConnell does a touchdown dance on the graves of gun victims

Classy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:59 PM on April 17, 2013


Bloomberg alone spending more money than the whole NRA on pro gun control PR since Sandy Hook

Spending money to buy PR is not going to change the gun issue. Spending money to buy politicians will change the gun issue.
posted by Ardiril at 4:00 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Joey Michaels-

Are you absolutely SURE that's what it means? It takes election campaign money and the ability to provide votes to sway politicians. The NRA can't provide either with only the backing of this tiny 10% of population minority of snaggle toothed inbreds and the quite small (research it, don't take my word) civilian gun industry.
posted by bert2368 at 4:03 PM on April 17, 2013


If you're going to butt heads week in and week out with the House and half the Senate, why not do it to prevent something that will negatively impact human kind as a whole for generations?

Because it's important? Both things can be important, and not doing one of them because there is more opposition to it is basically caving on that issue before you've even tried.

I mean, that argument could be used to indict a failed attempt at anything so long as there are other things to be done....
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:04 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fundamental right of Americans to catch a bullet at the wrong time or place shall not be abridged.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:05 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is the entirely expected consequence of the unprecedented assault upon self-defense rights effected in the New York and Connecticut laws passed after Newtown. Those laws show EXACTLY the end point which to which mainstream Democratic office holders aspire.

Come back with a bill that actually reaffirms and nationalizes the self-defense rights of law abiding taxpayers and we can engage on how properly constrain the mentally ill and criminal strata from being a threat.
posted by MattD at 4:05 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am part of this so-called "10%." I am neither snaggle toothed nor inbred.
posted by Sarcasm at 4:06 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is there video of Obama's press conference anywhere?

I've found a clip at the Globe & Mail.
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:09 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am part of this so-called "10%." I am neither snaggle toothed nor inbred.
posted by Sarcasm at 4:06 PM on April 17 [+] [!]


Eponysterical
posted by Benjy at 4:09 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is the entirely expected consequence of the unprecedented assault upon self-defense rights effected in the New York and Connecticut laws passed after Newtown. Those laws show EXACTLY the end point which to which mainstream Democratic office holders aspire.

Come back with a bill that actually reaffirms and nationalizes the self-defense rights of law abiding taxpayers and we can engage on how properly constrain the mentally ill and criminal strata from being a threat.


The rights in the Constitution deemed unlimited in the last 240 years: 0

Try again.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:09 PM on April 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


If Congress has the nuts to pass CISPA on top of the bullshit they pulled today, I will have a full meltdown. We need fucking political reform. All I can say is, welcome to being right and being voted down by scum. Goddamnit. Why are these people voting against their constituency? I'm going to flip out.
posted by phaedon at 4:12 PM on April 17, 2013


"I am neither snaggle toothed nor inbred."

I *AM* snaggle-toothed and inbred, but even I'm not stupid enough to think that the mentally ill should be walking around with guns.
posted by markkraft at 4:14 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why are these people voting against their constituency?

Apparently because 10% are so terrified and vocal, they drown out the other 90%.
posted by nickrussell at 4:14 PM on April 17, 2013


Come back with a bill that actually reaffirms and nationalizes the self-defense rights of law abiding taxpayers and we can engage on how properly constrain the mentally ill and criminal strata from being a threat.

Are you calling for tax paying as a requirement for gun ownership?
posted by srboisvert at 4:14 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


All these senators who say they couldn't get reelected without NRA support -- what is the NRA providing, exactly? Is it just money, like campaign donations from Baretta, Colt, Remington, et all? Can we get an estimated figure for how much citizens would have to raise to buy their senators back?

Or maybe it's votes, not money. Is there really that large of a block of NRA members who vote in Senate races according to instructions from the most recent newsletter?


A lot of Senators are in very safe states so election is a cakewalk. Pissing off the NRA or the Tea Party may mean a serious, well funded primary challenger which is one of the only threats to staying in office.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:14 PM on April 17, 2013


I don't want to live on this planet any more.

Or just move to a different country.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:15 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why are these people voting against their constituency?

Apparently because 10% are so terrified and vocal, they drown out the other 90%.


They're terrified, vocal and heavily armed.
posted by dersins at 4:17 PM on April 17, 2013


Probably the most appalling response I've seen on the defeat of these amendments, and to Gabby Giffords, no less. (Screenshot in case the culprit wises up and deletes.)
posted by immlass at 4:18 PM on April 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


MattD: Oh, and by the way, a majority voted in support of this. A minority was so craven and gutless that they couldn't bring themselves to let the vote happen. The failure of the bill wasn't because a majority blocked it, it was because a minority gamed the system.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:19 PM on April 17, 2013


Well, tylerkaraszewski; since you linked to it; one should wonder about the 10/22 TAKEDOWN from Ruger, it looks like it has a number of fans out there; what with it's easy to conceal design and small ammo


Hmm, a cheap, practical easy to hide rifle? To hide from paper targets and deer I imagine, yes?

Let's face it; gun manufacturers are selling deadly weapons to nuts; and some semblance
of control really needs to come down.
posted by NiteMayr at 4:19 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


90% doesn't mean squat when their chosen leader can't rally them to voice their will directly to their elected representatives. After Newtown, how many of you wrote and posted actual snail mail to your House representative and both your Senators? Not but very damn few.

Congress doesn't fear the electorate; Congress mocks it.
posted by Ardiril at 4:21 PM on April 17, 2013


"More Prisoners Join Hunger Strike At Guantanamo" This is what the American people should do. Stop shopping.
posted by JohnR at 4:21 PM on April 17, 2013


Is there video of Obama's press conference anywhere?

It's grainy but there's a link to the whole thing on c-span on the front page.
posted by lmm at 4:22 PM on April 17, 2013


The filibuster is, quite literally, a rule of the majority. 51 Senators at the commencement of a session can eliminate it forever. The majority chooses not to do so.
posted by MattD at 4:22 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


If it is true that 90% of American citizens, including many gun owners, want a universal background check, and the Senate refuses to pass this, then what does this tell us about how American democracy functions?

Fix the mentally ill? sure. but in the meantime, we cut funds for health coverage and allow All to get guns without check.

I live in a state with very tough gun laws. So what? I get one from another state or at gun show or over the net.
posted by Postroad at 4:22 PM on April 17, 2013


After Newtown, how many of you wrote and posted actual snail mail to your House representative and both your Senators? Not but very damn few.

Oh, hai there Guy Who Knows Every US MeFite and Their Postal Habits. Any other chunks of wisdom you have?
posted by zombieflanders at 4:23 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The reality is self-evident, zf.
posted by Ardiril at 4:25 PM on April 17, 2013


"More Prisoners Join Hunger Strike At Guantanamo" This is what the American people should do. Stop shopping.

Children's little bodies got blown to bits in a school and your elected officials refused to take any action whatsoever. They don't give a flying f**k about how hungry people would get.
posted by Average Mario at 4:27 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


"My idea:

Make a legal chain of legal culpability between the gun manufacturer, the gun that commits a crime, and *any* owner in between. If a gun is used to commit a crime, lawsuits can go against the gun manufacturer and any resellers of that particular weapon. Because they all failed."


Even simpler, just make the last owner partially liable when a crime is committed using their gun. Of course there would be a provision to lay out how to report a stolen weapon...but then if your weapons get constantly stolen every year that'd come under its own kind of scrutiny...eg, either you're lying or you're very bad at securing dangerous things.

By making the last owner liable (whether it is the dealer or the buyer) you put a degree of responsibility on the seller to seek out a background check if they do not fully trust who they're selling to. The background check does not need to be mandatory between friends and family, as you trust they won't in turn lose the weapon or use it in a crime. You're given all the freedom the 2nd amendment affords you...but that freedom comes with responsibility. That's a risk entirely up to the legal owner, as the weapon is a legal asset. Their weapon is THEIR responsibility until they transfer its title/ownership to another, and a background check is the legal avenue to do so fully.

What good is this then if it's not mandatory? Well also easy. It addresses those particular individuals that have been gaming the system and making their business for the past few decades buying guns LEGALLY with their clean record and reselling them on the black market for profit. If they consistently show up as the last owner for weapons used in crimes...well, you have your "straw buyer" right there. What this kind of law does, is make it so they have to think much more carefully about whether they trust the next person to which they're selling their newly acquired weapons.

This also addresses gun shows and places that do online ordering. As liability falls on the last owners of the weapons, it encourages taking responsibility for actions that help prevent crimes.

But then you hear, "This is the logical step towards a national registry...which could be used to take guns from law abiding citizens!" Well ok. That's no problem either...how about when our legislators are writing all this legislation, they could also put in a provision to make it ILLEGAL to use the national registry for anything other than the direct investigation of a crime and nothing else. No statistics, no correlations, just a tool to aid in finding and prosecuting real criminals. Because without that registry, the pleas for our police to "catch criminals instead" seem oblivious as to how insanely difficult it is to trace weapons in its current analog state.
posted by samsara at 4:29 PM on April 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


So it's emotional blackmail when people say that they don't want more people dead at the hands of those who can far too easily get access to incredibly destructive weapons - weapons that no one in the 18th century could even have visualized, let alone ever wielded. But it's not emotional blackmail to blather on about the authorities yanking guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens* who apparently can only hunt with that same incredibly destructive weapon, even though other people apparently manage to head out and hunt deer without needing a gun that you can take out a preschool with without having to reload. Why not just go the whole hog and say that to enable efficient hunting you need to be able to drop bombs on herds of deer?

It makes me so angry because the principal of all functioning societies is that you need to impinge on some rights to ensure the safety of the society - we don't allow you to buy tanks and drive them down the road, for example, because that would not end well.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 4:31 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


how about when our legislators are writing all this legislation, they could also put in a provision to make it ILLEGAL to use the national registry for anything other than the direct investigation of a crime and nothing else.

There was actually language in Manchin-Toomey forbidding a national registry
. The NRA lied about that, too.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:32 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


One of my senators, Pat Toomey, is an arch-conservative who made the bargain to get this compromise going. I don't think my letter is why, I think it is more that he found the bill reasonable and he has more fear of a general election in PA than a primary.

None of these politicians are mocking the voters with this. They do what they think will keep them in office. In the deep red states the voters may support the background checks, but they aren't going to vote someone out of office for stopping them either.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:36 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


From Bill Corbett's Twitter feed: "The U.S. Senate: 'Hey, families of murdered first graders? Fuck you. Ha ha ha! ...Can we get some champagne and cigars in here?'"

Seriously, I am so angry right now. Angry enough to understand why a waiting period and background checks are a good idea, because I think I need them right now.
posted by bibliowench at 4:36 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, tylerkaraszewski ... Let's face it; gun manufacturers are selling deadly weapons to nuts; and some semblance
of control really needs to come down.


Nobody read to the bottom of my comment, did they?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 4:38 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


The filibuster is, quite literally, a rule of the majority. 51 Senators at the commencement of a session can eliminate it forever. The majority chooses not to do so.

Reid et al's own gutlessness on filibuster reform notwithstanding, this is honestly the shittiest excuse ever.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:39 PM on April 17, 2013


Or just move to a different country.

Well, other than Canada. Classy of the Senate minority to endanger tens of millions of people who'll never have a say at the ballot box.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:41 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


And other than Mexico.
posted by Omon Ra at 4:45 PM on April 17, 2013


If anything will mobilize an active opposition, it's McConnell's smug victory dance. Yes, it's was posted earlier in the thread, but it needs to be posted again and again, until everyone is as angry as they should be.
posted by neroli at 4:46 PM on April 17, 2013


The NYTimes graphics department has put together a nice summary of the amendments and the votes that lead to their defeat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:48 PM on April 17, 2013


With His $12M Ad Blitz, Bloomberg Is Finally The Opponent The NRA Needed

I mean, I'm not his biggest fan, but I do have to say...Fuck yeah Mayor Bloomberg.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:51 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Umm... tylerkaraszewski did say, right in his comment, that he favoured universal background checks. I know people are pissed off right now (and rightfully so) but maybe we should bear in mind there is such a thing as a responsible gun owner?
posted by Jughead at 4:53 PM on April 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


JohnR said "stop shopping", not "stop eating", Average Mario. The NRA's $250M comes from corporate income. If you feel so strongly about this issue, then track down the NRA's backers, probably largely retailers or weirdos, and track down who owns those companies, so you can expose and damage them. Yeah, simple boycotts aren't always so effective, but you've enormous popular support, so maybe. Easy targets include Wyndham Hotels, Starbucks, and NASCAR.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:55 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eventually someone besides the politicians is going to figure out just how many voters on which side of the issue really DO make their decision for or against a candidate (and more importantly, follow it up with an actual vote. Or bother to vote at all) based on their actions related to gun control issues.

Misreading the electorate and wishful thinking are not successful political strategies. Waveing the bloody flag of gun control for the sake of the children in front of Obama and having him hare off after this issue has probably destroyed whatever political momentum he could have used to pursue other progressive issues in his last term, as certainly as waveing a big booty sexual stalker at Bill Clinton destroyed HIS chance to achieve much of anything truly progressive.

So we get NAFTA from Clinton and... Nothing. Obama gives us... Wall Street, bankster and health care industry profitability support, erosion of most every thing that makes the USA more than just pretty real estate and... probably nothing.

Sorry about the cognitive dissonance, but it's as close to a clue bat as I can get over teh interwebZ.

Screw this, I'm going to clean my guns now.
posted by bert2368 at 5:01 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was actually language in Manchin-Toomey forbidding a national registry.

I know this is a delicate time for law geekery, but we are talking about legislation, and that is not entirely clear.

Volokh conspiracy (not by Volokh, tho): The “Pro-Gun” Provisions of Manchin-Toomey are Actually a Bonanza of Gun Control

I'm not sure if I'm persuaded, but still.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:06 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


as certainly as waveing a big booty sexual stalker at Bill Clinton destroyed HIS chance to achieve much of anything truly progressive.

I guess Clinton should have made an effort to attract a woman with a smaller ass? Not that the people who were pursuing impeachment were even nominally aligned with that President (obviously), as are the gun control advocates are with Obama.

This analogy fails:

Gingrich:Clinton::Gifford:Obama.

So just what the hell was that supposed to mean, really?
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:10 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Waveing the bloody flag of gun control for the sake of the children in front of Obama and having him hare off after this issue has probably destroyed whatever political momentum he could have used to pursue other progressive issues in his last term, as certainly as waveing a big booty sexual stalker at Bill Clinton destroyed HIS chance to achieve much of anything truly progressive.

...

Sorry about the cognitive dissonance, but it's as close to a clue bat as I can get over teh interwebZ.


Sometime you should try transmogrifying yourself into someone who occasionally makes an ounce of sense.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:17 PM on April 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


Waveing the bloody flag of gun control for the sake of the children in front of Obama and having him hare off after this issue has probably destroyed whatever political momentum he could have used to pursue other progressive issues

So...you're saying it was a false flag operation, but by the republicans?
posted by jacalata at 5:23 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Except that the party in power up here is doing everything it can get away with, and even just a little bit more to turn Canada into Gilead.

Many Canadian Conservative MPs are crazy on a level comparable to the average American Republican. However, the Conservatives are led by Stephen Harper, who is a very clever Machiavellian. One thing he does to stay in power is keep the most radical wing of his party almost silent. It's why the Conservatives backed down on attempts to repeal marriage equality after they came into power. Most of the electorate would be repulsed. Harper doesn't fight battles that even underhanded tactics can't win.

The fact that Republicans get a higher percentage of the popular vote than Canadian Conservatives while engaging in unrestrained radicalism is disturbing.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:38 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a bit of cognitive dissonance going on when I read about the poor, oppressed Conservative backbench that is being forced to keep silent by cruel old Stephen Harper and not talk about... limiting abortion rights.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:52 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Giffords' group: Americans for Responsible Solutions.
posted by yoga at 5:59 PM on April 17, 2013


This is 100% the Democrats fault. They pussyfooted out of real filibuster reform at the beginning of the session, knowing full well that Republican promises that "Oh we won't keep abusing it, we really really really promise this time you guys!" weren't worth the air expended to make them. The Republican reactionary party has been transparently, openly, dealing in bad faith since 2009, and the Democrats lost the only chance to put an end to it. To pretend to be at all surprised that they're continuing to deal in bad faith is yet more political malpractice by Obama and the incompetent Senate majority.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:01 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


the poor, oppressed Conservative backbench that is being forced to keep silent by cruel old Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper is cruel, but not for that reason.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:01 PM on April 17, 2013


Yo Lautenberg, maybe try to make it to the vote once in a while?


You're looking at the wrong roll call vote. That's the cloture vote for the underlying bill, which also allowed for consideration of today's amendments. Cancer-stricken Sen. Lautenberg was wheelend to the floor for the votes today.

Reid has to vote against to be able to reintroduce.

Yes, only a Senator on the prevailing side of a vote can move to reconsider a floor vote. It could be anyone, but in practice it's always the party leader.

After Newtown, how many of you wrote and posted actual snail mail to your House representative and both your Senators? Not but very damn few.

Don't bother snail mailing your Senators. Snail mail has to be irradiated and checked for toxins like this week's ricin mailer. It could take weeks for your letter to get there, and you can bet this week's mail is totally fucked up. On an issue like this, Senators get so much correspondence that their interns batch up all the pro-gun control and anti-gun control letters together, count them up, and send the response away, no brownie points for handwriting unless there's something really special about them, like you're a family member of a victim.

People underestimate the sheer volume of correspondence a Senatorial office gets. They have strict limits on how many staff they can hire and have only limited room for interns to sort the mail, and the volume increases every year.

E-mail. E-mail e-mail e-mail your Senators if you can't be there in-person to hand-deliver something. E-mail the relevant legislative aide if you're speaking on behalf of an organization. Don't waste your time with snail mail.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 6:03 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


I certainly consider the gun debate a red herring if only because culture influences homicide rate more than gun laws in Europe. In particular, the U.K. homicide rate is 1.2 per 100k, while comparatively "gun crazy" France scores a 1.1 and Spain get 0.8. Are guns part of America's stratospheric homicide rate of 4.8? Absolutely, but culture, poverty, education, etc. play an enormous role too, possibly the lions share.

That said, there are good political reasons to tackle the gun control debate, assuming you believe the polls Obama quotes represent potential voting behavior. Imagine if this issue swung the next congressional race towards the democrats?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:03 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Derail. Just for a second...

To be fair, KokuRyu, it‘s a lot harder to muzzle the Cheryl Gallant-level crazies when you are in a majority position. During the minority government situation, you can say to those people that we can‘t pick fights on social issues lest we trigger an election... and remember, you‘re counting on those crazies to vote along with you to get anything done, so you kind of have to keep them happy...

Okay, done derailing. Anyone else see how heavily McConnell‘s little victory dance is getting flamed? That just feels. So. Good!
posted by Jughead at 6:12 PM on April 17, 2013


I certainly consider the gun debate a red herring if only because culture influences homicide rate more than gun laws in Europe. In particular, the U.K. homicide rate is 1.2 per 100k, while comparatively "gun crazy" France scores a 1.1 and Spain get 0.8. Are guns part of America's stratospheric homicide rate of 4.8? Absolutely, but culture, poverty, education, etc. play an enormous role too, possibly the lions share.

But then the women with eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards that collect veteran's benefits from four non-existing deceased husbands will win!

So what do we do now?
posted by Talez at 6:13 PM on April 17, 2013


Oh, I'm going to have to correct myself here:

That's the cloture vote for the underlying bill

It is, in fact, a vote to invoke cloture on the Motion to Proceed to the underlying bill. This merely allows the bill to be debated. Theoretically there could be another vote to invoke cloture on the bill itself, followed by final passage.

The More You Know. Wait, have you already fallen asleep?
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 6:14 PM on April 17, 2013


It is, in fact, a vote to invoke cloture on the Motion to Proceed to the underlying bill.

I'm reminded of this.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:16 PM on April 17, 2013


Loving the same people that scream STATE'S RIGHTS STATE'S RIGHTS* when it comes to black people voting, gay people getting married, women getting raped and forced to keep their babies, or poor people getting food and shelter and health care all of the sudden embracing federal laws over state laws in NY or CT when it comes to their guns. I imagine the cognitive dissonance must be very make them very happy...like a warm gun, as four guys from England once said.

Enjoy the dustbin of history to which you will one day be consigned to.


* "[Y]ou can't say “ni**er” [or "fa**ot" nowadays], that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff" --Lee Atwater, Reagan's Karl Rove
posted by zombieflanders at 6:22 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 is an example of a bill that required cloture to be invoked on both the Motion to Proceed and the bill itself before it was left to die at the end of the 112th Congress.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 6:24 PM on April 17, 2013


The U.S. would be pretty damn utopian and Eden-like if all future legislation was enacted and based entirely on the top 10 or 20 most favorited Mefi comments on any particular issue.

(Something similar to that is my dream for the future.)

While silly, it does illustrate the HUGE gap between knowledge, common sense...the great things that could be...and the fact that SO MANY DAMN VOTES HAVE BEEN PRE-PURCHASED BY BIG BUSINESS.

The time for elected officials to stand up for their constituents, to support average Americans by slapping around and making Corporate America and Big Biz accountable is LONG OVER DUE.

(Sorry about the CAPS, but that's how I feel on the inside.)
posted by snsranch at 6:25 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh oh oh, I get it...

"In rapid succession, a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high-capacity gun magazines and a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for gun purchasers all failed to get the 60 votes needed under an agreement between both parties. "

Sixty.
Fucking.
Votes.

Again. Fuck this "filibuster" bullshit. Motherfuckers better be pullin' a Patton Oswalt and force their hand. Fuck them fuck them.

Honestly I'm not big on either banning weapons or 2nd amendment, but overall, I'm OK with sensible legislation, and I'm sick to death of fucking Republicans fucking over every goddamned thing because they think "CONSTITUSHUN"

Fuck em. And the magical 60 votes majority that the dems keep magically letting them use to prevent them from doing anything. Make em work for it.

Dems are spineless pieces of fucking shit.
posted by symbioid at 6:27 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


This vote was a perfect example of where a talking filibuster would have failed.

Yes, this is a perfect example of why stronger filibuster reform is important.

And this would be a perfect example of a situation where you go ahead and let them filibuster.

Let them talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. And talk, and just keep talking until they have made complete asses of themselves, very publicly, and all over the media for days and days and days.

If they had to do that while filibustering in support of a wildly UNpopular position like this, I don't think the actual filibuster would last that long.

Would be worth a try, anyway. Just go ahead and let them hang themselves beautifully with their own words, day and night, for many, many days in a row. That's how the filibuster is SUPPOSED to work--not the namby-pamby way it actually does work now.
posted by flug at 6:37 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Gabby Giffords editorial in the NYT. She is angry.
posted by immlass at 6:40 PM on April 17, 2013 [20 favorites]


The filibuster only exists because the Senate Democrats chose to preserve it in January, AFTER Newtown and knowing FULL WELL that there were 50 anti-gun votes (enough plus Biden to break the tie) and absolutely were not 60 votes. The entire exercise was a joke on gullible liberals, and Obama's righteous indignation is posturing for the benefit of the same. Serious liberals are content with letting their captive states legislate against self-defense and preserving the reelection of Democrats in flyover states and the South.
posted by MattD at 6:49 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


My feeling on this, once I get past my blood boiling at the thought that this is all the fault of Harry Reid, Max Baucus, Pat Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Joe Manchin, and Mark Pryor for not supporting filibuster reform earlier this year, is that the only way this ends well is if gun control supporters hit the pavement this summer and start ambushing their elected representatives at town halls the way that the Tea Partiers did prior to the 2010 elections. Put the fear of God in these assholes that this is now a litmus test issue that people will vote on. Universal background checks or GTFO. Severe straw purchaser penalties or GTFO. Magazine limits or GTFO.

Tell Mike Bloomberg and George Soros and Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Americans for Reponsible Solutions and the Brady Campaign and Sandy Hook Promise to forget about the ad buys that aren't doing a damn thing and redirect the money toward the kind of astro-turfing campaign that would make those FreedomWorks assholes from 2010 soil themselves. Fleets of buses full of people with big-ass cookie-cutter signs that say "we're here, we're pissed off, and there's a bunch of rich motherfuckers footing the bill for us to make your life a living hell." Newtown families showing up to town halls in states where Democrats fear the NRA and a primary challenge from the right more than they fear their constituents. Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly and Francine and David Wheeler and Nicole and Ian Hockley speaking to throngs of people outside congressional offices in districts all over the country.

You can fast-forward past a Bloomberg-financed TV ad, but you can't mute your constituents when they show up to your town hall meetings. It's time to throw away the television, rev up the buses, and bring the fight to all 435 districts. None of these organizations on their own is big enough to do this, and I'm not sure all of them put together would be, but, to paraphrase Wayne LaPierre, the only thing that's going to stop a bad lobbying organization with a fuckton of money is a good lobbying organization with a bigger fuckton of money.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:51 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Serious liberals are content with letting their captive states legislate against self-defense

This is an inaccurate way to frame the legislation, and you know it.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:56 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


the only way this ends well is if gun control supporters hit the pavement this summer and start ambushing their elected representatives at town halls the way that the Tea Partiers did prior to the 2010 elections.
Just a reminder: The way that the Tea Partiers ambushed their elected representatives at town halls prior to the 2010 elections literally included bringing guns.
posted by Flunkie at 6:58 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just a reminder: The way that the Tea Partiers ambushed their elected representatives at town halls prior to the 2010 elections literally included bringing guns.

That was not particularly common to my recollection.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:59 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It also wasn't unheard of. It should have been unheard of.
posted by Flunkie at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


That was not particularly common to my recollection.

Your recollection is wrong.
posted by tzikeh at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


It is an absolutely accurate way to frame the New York State law, which was a piece of outright confiscation of liberties imposed on suburban and upstate residents by New York City politicians whose own constituents were effectively immune (due to NYC's even stricter ordinances).
posted by MattD at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I haven't had a chance to watch the video (not sure I can handle it, to be honest), but some of the pictures I see on the NYTimes front page make it look like the Vice President was crying? Was he crying?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2013


Your recollection is wrong.

Well, if you could toss me a news story or video about a tea partier ambushing a politician at a town hall while carrying a gun I would be interested.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:02 PM on April 17, 2013


It is an absolutely accurate way to frame the New York State law

What New York State law, and how does it diminish the right to self-defense?

This is your first mention of New York (State or City) at all in this thread, by the way. We can't read your mind.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:04 PM on April 17, 2013


The filibuster only exists because the Senate Democrats chose to preserve it in January, AFTER Newtown and knowing FULL WELL that there were 50 anti-gun votes (enough plus Biden to break the tie) and absolutely were not 60 votes.

There were 60 votes to break the filibuster to begin debate.

It is an absolutely accurate way to frame the New York State law, which was a piece of outright confiscation of liberties imposed on suburban and upstate residents by New York City politicians whose own constituents were effectively immune (due to NYC's even stricter ordinances).

And Virginia had an extant anti-sodomy (read anti-gay) law until a couple months ago, which undoubtedly was a restriction of liberties imposed on suburban and urban residents by rural politicians whose own constituents were effectively immune.

Wanna try one more time?
posted by zombieflanders at 7:05 PM on April 17, 2013


And even when they didn't literally bring guns to town hall meetings with their elected representatives, signs like "We came unarmed... THIS TIME" or pithy sayings like "We'll use the ballot box this time so we won't have to use the bullet box next time" were easily found. Hell, I remember an actual Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for Senate saying something like "I hope the voting solution works for the Harry Reid problem so that we don't have to use Second Amendment solutions instead."
posted by Flunkie at 7:05 PM on April 17, 2013


Ack, I see the New York mention now. And I even searched. Sorry.

But do explain how the right to self-defense is diminished.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:06 PM on April 17, 2013


Just a reminder on the "outright confiscation of liberties" when it comes to guns:
Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

--Antonin Scalia in the majority opinion for DC v Heller
posted by zombieflanders at 7:09 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


MattD, perhaps you could tone the rhetoric down and actually talk in specifics instead of high-flown generalities.
posted by empath at 7:12 PM on April 17, 2013


The legislation reduced the power and efficacy of weapons that law abiding non-NYC residents can possess, and increased their regulatory burden to obtain and maintain the weapons and paraphanelia that remain legal. It did NOTHING to impede past criminals (who have no rights to firearms to begin with) and very little to impede future criminals (who mostly live in NYC).
posted by MattD at 7:17 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The legislation reduced the power and efficacy of weapons that law abiding non-NYC residents can possess, and increased their regulatory burden to obtain and maintain the weapons and paraphanelia that remain legal.

I'm asking about the right to self-defense, and where New York law diminishes it. This is not an answer to that question.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:19 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The legislation reduced the power and efficacy of weapons that law abiding non-NYC residents can possess

So you've been to the future and seen the crime statistics showing increased gun crime against gun owners?

and increased their regulatory burden to obtain and maintain the weapons and paraphanelia that remain legal.

They have licenses to drive cars and have to register them and maintain them to, and can not be doctors without proper training and certification, yet I don't see them lobbying Congress over that.

future criminals (who mostly live in NYC).

Okay, so dark people are coming after the suburbanites. Gotcha.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:22 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Don't be jerks folks. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:30 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Make a legal chain of legal culpability between the gun manufacturer, the gun that commits a crime, and *any* owner in between. If a gun is used to commit a crime, lawsuits can go against the gun manufacturer and any resellers of that particular weapon. Because they all failed.

Then you would have to have a national registry of all firearms. While, I am fully for background checks (as are most gun owners) I absolutely disagree with a registry of this sort.

Good legislation is needed. Making it so you have to have a background check is a good thing. No firearm should be sold without one. Hell, I don't understand why we can't do something similar to the process to get a concealed weapons permit.

Make it so anyone who wants to buy a firearm has to go get a license to do so. Once a year make them go to their local Sheriff's office, have a background check done, and then they can buy from a FFL, gun show, or private owner. They just have to show the proof that they have an up to date background check.

Now, having said all that, if I sell my hand gun to someone who has a background check, then later on uses it in a crime, how is that my fault?

The vast majority of firearms are never used illegally or to kill anyone. Most of them are used to just shoot cardboard and paper.

As for other gun control issues making full capacity magazines illegal makes no sense. There are already millions of them out there. No one is saying that they should all be brought in, they would be grandfathered in. What good does saying no more can be made? Were there fewer murders when that was in effect before? Not at all.

Most of proposed gun legislation is worthless. The assault weapon ban was mainly cosmetic things as certain guns are scary looking to some. Columbine happened during that ban.

The guns are here, they aren't going away. Wouldn't it be better to work toward finding out why so many murders happen? Help those who commit them before it happens. A magical gun free USA isn't happening, so use some common sense and work on why these crimes are commited.
posted by SuzySmith at 7:53 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


This bill forced Obama to show his hand, and he's holding squat. He sent in his only political clout over Congress, Biden, and he got clobbered. In fact, I would say that today gun control lost a good share of ground, and the gun control issue is effectively dead for the duration of Obama's turn at filling a chair.

Today is also a good picture of what the remainder of the next two years will probably look like. Obama's only hope now of salvaging any significant political legacy is the Democrats' winning back the House in '14, and those are looking to be some pretty damn long odds.
posted by Ardiril at 8:03 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Then you would have to have a national registry of all firearms. While, I am fully for background checks (as are most gun owners) I absolutely disagree with a registry of this sort.

We register cars, why not guns?
posted by empath at 8:07 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


We register cars, why not guns?

Because registering them is just a pretext to take them away. Just like they did with all the cars.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:09 PM on April 17, 2013 [41 favorites]


We register cars, why not guns?

Black helicopters, jackboot of government, etc. You know the drill.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:09 PM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


We register cars, why not guns?

Yes, let's make it easy for every gun to be traced. Sorry, it is still a right in the USA to own guns. Why do you want to register guns in a national registry? Seriously, what is the reason behind making a registry?
posted by SuzySmith at 8:12 PM on April 17, 2013


Gun owner here. I'm fully in favor of stricter gun control laws, including but not limited to a national registry, assault weapons ban, magazine restrictions and background checks on every single firearm sold in America whether private or public sale.

I'm disgusted with the senate's vote today. Apparently 90% of Americans are. I'm hoping that the howls of opposition that will come from this vote will scare the senators enough that this bill and others can be pushed through and enacted. I fail to see how this can NOT happen. I know that I've scorched my keyboard this afternoon firing off emails to various and sundry legislators from my district. I hope it's enough for these idiots to have a crisis of conscience or perhaps a shot of reality that going against the will of their electorate will make them change their votes or sentiments overnight.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:16 PM on April 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


Today is also a good picture of what the remainder of the next two years will probably look like. Obama's only hope now of salvaging any significant political legacy is the Democrats' winning back the House in '14, and those are looking to be some pretty damn long odds.

Obama could support a bill saying the sky is blue and water is wet and it would get filibustered as long as he said anything about it on TV. In other words, predicting that major bills supported by Obama won't get anywhere between now and 2014/2016 is like predicting tomorrow will be a day ending in "y".
posted by zombieflanders at 8:17 PM on April 17, 2013


Yes, let's make it easy for every gun to be traced.

You said you support universal background checks. If we can't trace the guns, how can we ensure we can punish straw purchasers who buy guns for people who would fail a background check?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:18 PM on April 17, 2013


Yes, let's make it easy for every gun to be traced. Sorry, it is still a right in the USA to own guns. Why do you want to register guns in a national registry? Seriously, what is the reason behind making a registry?

I'm really confused. Short of cray cray conspiracy/black helicopter thinking, what exactly could be a logical reason against a national registry? It doesn't restrict the right to own a gun for lawful owners, at least as far as I can see.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:18 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Without doubt, zf, but few listened when those of us who supported Hillary said it all those many years ago, and now we are stuck with a president who is just as inept as Bush was ethically corrupt.
posted by Ardiril at 8:29 PM on April 17, 2013


I'd take a bumper sticker that says "I'm the [Brady, Gifford, etc. organization] for sensible gun regulations and I vote".
posted by various at 8:29 PM on April 17, 2013


Sorry, it is still a right in the USA to own guns.

And a registry would infringe on that right how, exactly?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:29 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


We register cars, why not guns?

The Path to Tyranny
posted by homunculus at 8:31 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes, let's make it easy for every gun to be traced. Sorry, it is still a right in the USA to own guns. Why do you want to register guns in a national registry? Seriously, what is the reason behind making a registry?

So that criminals can't get guns so easily. So that legitimate gun owners like yourself are protected from being mistaken for a straw purchaser or illegal gun broker or illegal buyer. So that if your guns are stolen and you report them, it's easier to match recovered guns to you.

There is a computerized registry for lots of things, like cars. It does not impinge on my liberty for the government to know I own a car. It protects me if my car is stolen because it's easy to prove that it's mine. It makes it easier to prosecute the thief because they don't have a legal proof of ownership. It also makes it easier to ID me if I take my car and start mowing people down with it.

The only reason not to have a registry is the desire to have a secret gun stash. And there is no law-abiding gun use that includes that. If you think unregistered guns protect your liberty in some way, you're wrong. They don't. They just endanger everyone else, as well as put you, a law-abiding gun owner, in the same camp with people who shoot up movie theaters and elementary schools, or amass arsenals in their Koresh-like compounds.

I assume you are not like that. I don't get why you think it's ok to go on making gun ownership easy for people who are.
posted by emjaybee at 8:31 PM on April 17, 2013 [33 favorites]


Without doubt, zf, but few listened when those of us who supported Hillary said it all those many years ago, and now we are stuck with a president who is just as inept as Bush was ethically corrupt.

No one has the power to view alternate history, and more importantly, nobody's ever come up with how exactly Clinton would have fared much better (or worse), given that the mightiest Democratic political machine of the 1990s failed somewhat spectacularly before it even got a chance to take on the Republicans. We had the names and they have the social animus. The only differences is one name sounds Muslim and the other is Clinton, one is black and the other is female; both seem to have equal effects on the GOP id and the white male demographic that dominates it near-completely.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:38 PM on April 17, 2013




Of course they were Obama's props; he was shooting blanks.
posted by Ardiril at 9:06 PM on April 17, 2013


So that criminals can't get guns so easily. So that legitimate gun owners like yourself are protected from being mistaken for a straw purchaser or illegal gun broker or illegal buyer. So that if your guns are stolen and you report them, it's easier to match recovered guns to you.

I have paperwork with the serial numbers and all of that here. If my guns are stolen I can report them, then prove it. No need to register before hand.

The only ones who will register are the law abiding citizens. Criminals are already criminals and won't register them anyway.
posted by SuzySmith at 9:29 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because none of the Newtown victims — which includes the surviving friends and family members — could legitimately want stricter gun control?
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


homunculus: "Rand Paul: Obama using Newtown victims as ‘props’"

Ah, the time-honored tradition of working the refs. Because as we all know, the GOP would never use people as props to try to gain political advantage on an issue.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:35 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The only ones who will register are the law abiding citizens. Criminals are already criminals and won't register them anyway."

God, this is such a dumb tautology. I wish it wasn't trotted out every goddamn gun discussion.
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 PM on April 17, 2013 [16 favorites]


Especially when the people mouthing it already have the most retrograde and jingoistic views on criminal justice etc. that you could possibly conceive of.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:44 PM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


... and especially since past discussion has brought this country to the position where the only gun control legislation that has any chance of passing in the near future is that which removes existing laws from the books.
posted by Ardiril at 9:51 PM on April 17, 2013


Yes, let's make it easy for every gun to be traced. Sorry, it is still a right in the USA to own guns. Why do you want to register guns in a national registry? Seriously, what is the reason behind making a registry?

I dunno, I'd kinda like to know who is shooting people, for example. Just like I like to know when someone does a hit and run on my car. I know that's a crazy idea, but it just might work.
posted by empath at 9:52 PM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


"The only ones who will register are the law abiding citizens. Criminals are already criminals and won't register them anyway."

Just like criminals never buy plates for their cars or buy car insurance.
posted by empath at 9:52 PM on April 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


I dunno, I'd kinda like to know who is shooting people, for example.

Do you really think someone who is going to go out shooting people is going to register their firearm?

Plus, at this point there is between 270,000,000 and 310,000,000 firearms (depends on the source) in the USA. How in the world will we register all of them now?

If it became law, I'd register mine, but it really doesn't make much sense to me. You all don't seem to understand that the gun owners like me, who will register, and follow all the laws aren't the ones you have to worry about.
posted by SuzySmith at 10:07 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rand Paul: Obama using Newtown victims as ‘props’

Rand Paul is a thug who thinks his brownshirt brigade gives his views legitimacy. Sorry, but he's just another neo-Nazi thug from a family of neo-Nazis thugs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:08 PM on April 17, 2013


Do you really think someone who is going to go out shooting people is going to register their firearm?

Most shootings aren't really premeditated. There's reams of research on who uses firearms and why, and how law-abiding gun owners can, through an act of negligence or passion, become criminals. If you need me to locate some of this research for you, I will, but a simple Google search will produce many of the fundamentals.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:13 PM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Though Rand and his father clearly have some serious issues with racism, calling him a Nazi is over the line.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:14 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honestly, BunnyMod, the argumentative part of me is gone for tonight. This week sucks so many bad things happen in this week in US' history and with the West, TX fire now, I'll do some research tomorrow.
posted by SuzySmith at 10:26 PM on April 17, 2013


On Arizona moving to force the sale of turned-in guns: I wonder if it would be possible for private citizens to set up a hydraulic press to pinch the barrels of the guns just before they are turned in for gift cards. I'm assuming they don't test the guns to make sure they work before they making the trade.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:45 PM on April 17, 2013


What an odd coincidence; I received a letter from the Brady Center asking me to renew my support this very day.

I suppose some silver lining I can take from all this is a reinforced resolve to do something, however little, to counteract whatever NRA lobbyists are doing.
posted by CancerMan at 10:54 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why eliminate cloture while Republicans own the House, MattD? Yes, guns enable some horrible events, but guns account for only about 10-13k homicides and 17-20k suicides per year, definitely not the most pressing federal issue.

Guns are however an extremely useful wedge issue against the Republican party, one that should help democrats tackle some highly gerrymandered districts. I'm thrilled if the "shame on you" message buys us a democratic house and senate for Obama's last two years.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:12 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It could prove a good wedge issue, if they can make that message stick and keep this in the public consciousness, but in the past talking about this issue has been much better for Republicans. This does feel different to me and like the Republicans may have made another big mistake, but time will tell. It would have been much better if this passed, it was not meant to be 12th dimension chess.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:15 AM on April 18, 2013


The United States is a nation founded on violence. And the Nation does a brisk business selling weapons to others.

The elected officials understand how violence is helpful outside the boarders and just want such help inside the boarders it would seem.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:17 AM on April 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


This analogy fails:
Gingrich:Clinton::Gifford:Obama.


Because Gingrish is seen as a gun rights sellout?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:53 AM on April 18, 2013




I was talking with a European friend about this topic this morning and his points (paraphrased):

"You have to register for a driver's license. You have to register a car. You have to have insurance if you have a car.

You have to register for a credit card. They do background checks if you have a credit card.

You have to register for health insurance. They do background checks for health insurance.

You have to register to be a lawyer or doctor, and update your license regularly.

You have to register for a US visa if you come to the country, and they do background check for you to come into the country.

You have to register to work in the gaming industry, and they do background checks if you are in the gaming industry.

When you take a job, they call your references. When you apply for school, they check your references.

Background and reference checks are already very common in America for a lot of things. You have to have a credit check to pay a mobile phone bill on a monthly basis. You already have a deep tradition of checks for anything involving contract law.

Yet when it comes to guns, your people go apeshit. There's a longer waiting period for adoption than there is for a handgun.

There's at least 10,000 people killed by guns and probably more injured? The bill for dealing with all of that has to be massive. Yet that is not reflected in the price of guns, is it? At least make them like cigarettes and put the social cost as a tax on top of the item. At least. How much would a gun cost if you tacked the socialised costs of guns onto the price. A handgun with be like fifty thousand dollars. That's gun control for you mate."
posted by nickrussell at 2:30 AM on April 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


To all those who have fought to get some measure of sensible gun control passed: thank you. You are doing the right thing. The fact that a corrupt legislative body has temporarily slowed this process down is dismaying, no doubt.

But you are on the right side; you are doing the right thing; you are building a better, safer world for yourselves and your children. And good people everywhere admire you for it.

Corrupt lobbyists; paranoid fantasies about "our guns" with no basis in history or fact; those who would put their hobbies and martial day-dreams ahead of other people's lives, ahead of the lives of children - these people are dangerous and persistent, indoctrinated in their absurdities, true. But their beliefs are built on sand - they have not rooted in compassion, in reason, in morality. They are the worst in humanity; you are the best. You will succeed. They will fade.

I don't know if anyone will read this, so far down in a thread, but I think it needed to be said. What you are doing is good and admirable. However miserable this may feel, please don't give up.
posted by lucien_reeve at 3:08 AM on April 18, 2013


Pardon if linked above. Here are the twitter handles for all senators who voted No.
posted by yoga at 4:18 AM on April 18, 2013


Because Gingrish is seen as a gun rights sellout?

Don't be purposefully obtuse.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:19 AM on April 18, 2013


Plus, at this point there is between 270,000,000 and 310,000,000 firearms (depends on the source) in the USA. How in the world will we register all of them now?

YOU START.
posted by sriracha at 4:31 AM on April 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


The non "black helicopters" argument against registration is that it is a spelled out constitutional right. Gun owners abhor the idea of registration as much as free speech advocates abhor things like anti-anonymity laws and registration of people's religious preferences. Or how people abhor the idea of laws that restrict the right to vote.

I'm all for sane, reasonable and effective gun regulations. Waiting periods and background checks seem like no-brainers. Even some kind of serial number registration seems necessary. But ridiculous things like cosmetic regulations and clip capacity reductions are meaningless, and a lot of people don't like the idea of silly laws being passed just for show.

And there is no reason for gun manufacturers to oppose closing the "gun show loophole"- all of their sales are already restricted. If anything, they should be in favor of closing it so they can get in on all that action.
posted by gjc at 4:51 AM on April 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


The gun bill failed because the Senate is wildly undemocratic
The gun vote failed because of the way the Senate is designed. It failed because the Senate wildly overrepresents small, rural states and, on top of that, requires a 60-vote supermajority to pass most pieces of legislation.

The Manchin-Toomey bill received 54 aye votes and 46 nay votes. That is to say, a solid majority of senators voted for it. In most legislative bodies around the world, that would have been enough. But it wasn’t a sufficient supermajority for the U.S. Senate.

Of the senators from the 25 largest states, the Manchin-Toomey legislation received 33 aye votes and 17 nay votes — a more than 2:1 margin, putting it well beyond the 3/5ths threshold required to break a filibuster. But of the senators from the 25 smallest states, it received only 21 aye votes and 29 nay votes.

It’s typical to say that this is how the Senate’s always been. It’s also wrong. The filibuster didn’t emerge until decades after the first congress, and its constant use is a thoroughly modern development.

As for the small state bias, that, too, has changed over time. During the first Congress, Virginia, the largest state, was roughly 12 times the size of Delaware, which was, at the time, the smallest state. Today, California is 66 times the size of Wyoming. That makes the Senate five times less proportionate today than it was at the founding.

It’s easy to question the strategies of the gun bill’s architects, but the truth is they compromised repeatedly, sought support widely and openly, worked hard to address criticisms and allay concerns, and did everything in their power to marshal public opinion on their behalf. They did what they were supposed to do.

But then the Senate did what it is built to do. It took a bill supported by most Americans and killed it because it was intensely opposed by a minority who disproportionately live in small, rural states.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:08 AM on April 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


My idea:

Make a legal chain of legal culpability between the gun manufacturer, the gun that commits a crime, and *any* owner in between. If a gun is used to commit a crime, lawsuits can go against the gun manufacturer and any resellers of that particular weapon. Because they all failed.
posted by chasing at 3:06 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


By the same logic we should track knives, automobiles, motorcycles, baseball bats, bleach... Piling on legislation will not stop gun violence. Enforcing current laws may decrease gun violence. Should that be proven by fact then you can start adding on and plugging gaps. In Massachusetts there is a mandatory 1 year prison sentence for unlawful carrying. Very few have actually done the time because it is the first thing bartered when plea bargaining.
posted by Gungho at 6:05 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators
A congressional study in 1980 found: “Identification taggants would facilitate the investigation of almost all significant criminal bombings in which commercial explosives were used.”

But the NRA successfully lobbied to have black and smokeless gunpowders exempted from the explosives required to include taggant markers. Members of Congress—including then-New York Rep. Charles Schumer– tried and failed again after the 1993 New York City truck bombing of the World Trade Center. The Clinton administration renewed the call for legislation requiring identifying taggants right after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, whose 18th anniversary is Friday.

The NRA backed a National Research Council committee in 1998 to examine taggant technologies, later claiming the committee found them to be “unfeasible and of uncertain value.”

In fact, the committee concluded: “Identification taggants and an associated record-keeping system could be of further assistance in tracking down bombers in cases where basic forensic techniques fail.” The committee added that “additional research on these systems is needed to determine whether they are safe and effective.”
Little or no known public research has been done on the matter since, as the NRA gained more national influence in the 2000s during the administration led by President George W. Bush.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:08 AM on April 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Piling on legislation will not stop gun violence. Enforcing current laws may decrease gun violence.

Except the guns-rights groups don't seem too interested in encouraging that either:
Lobbying by the association has left the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives almost powerless to enforce laws on gun purchases intended to prevent unscrupulous and negligent dealers from supplying the black market. Since police trace more than half of the guns they recover in investigating crimes to about 1 percent of the country’s dealers, gun-control advocates should ask whether to direct more of this moment’s widespread outrage might towards making sure that the basic laws we already have are properly enforced.

For example, the owner of Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Wash. could not account for 160 firearms when the bureau audited him in 2000. It is, of course, extremely unlikely that 160 weapons could simply disappear from a gun store without the owner’s knowledge, but there was nothing the bureau could do. In 2002, when police traced the rifle used in the Beltway Sniper killing spree to Bull’s Eye, the owner claimed it had been stolen, though he hadn’t reported the theft of the $1,600 gun before. Brent Kendall outlined these facts in the Washington Monthly at the time:
To really deter licensed sellers from violating federal laws—as opposed to just arresting them after guns hit the streets—ATF needed powers to encourage compliance: the ability to levy fines, suspend licenses, audit when necessary, and charge dealers with felony record-keeping violations when appropriate.
The NRA had convinced Congress to remove those powers, claiming that ATF was harassing responsible dealers. In other words, the bureau needed the same straightforward legal authority that other regulatory agencies rely on to monitor drugstores and meatpackers, and the gun lobby successfully argued that dealers were entitled to special treatment at the expense of public safety.

If there were any doubt about the gun lobby’s true intentions, the next year Congress passed an amendment sponsored by Todd Tiahrt, the former Republican representative from Kansas, that prevented ATF from requiring inventories from gun dealers. The NRA argued that taking inventory would be onerous for gun dealers and would force them to raise prices for customers. (For some reason the NRA has not lobbied for similar exemptions for grocery stores.)
[...]
The Washington Post painstakingly collected records maintained from state and local police departments in 2010, producing a detailed account of the black market for guns in and around the nation’s capital. The paper’s research validated other data showing that a small fraction of dealers are responsible for arming most criminals:
Nearly two out of three guns sold in Virginia since 1998 and recovered by local authorities came from about 1 percent of the state’s dealers - 40 out of the 3,400 selling guns. Most of those 40 had received government warnings that their licenses were in jeopardy because of regulatory violations. But only four had their licenses revoked, and all are still legally selling guns after transferring their licenses, reapplying or re-licensing under new owners.
The ATF, prohibited from computerizing its data and severely understaffed, lacks the resources to enforce the law. (Nor were these sellers simply the largest gun stores in the state. They sold a disproportionate number of guns later recovered in crimes relative to the total number of guns they sold.)
The Post also found that “virtually all crime guns are first sold as new weapons by a licensed dealer to someone who cleared a background check,” suggesting that expanding background checks is unlikely to protect many people from gun violence. Unscrupulous dealers can always falsify their records, and criminals can find others to buy guns for them. That problem might be partially solved by another proposal, which would allow gun dealers to be jailed if they sell weapons that they have “reasonable cause” to believe will be used to commit crimes.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:14 AM on April 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


And it's not just the NRA:
After [Newtown], NRA mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre asserted that arming the populace is the sole path to public safety: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

It’s right out of an old Western, and it’s not true. Take the case of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia. McLelland was a “good guy with a gun,” an Army veteran who carried a gun for self-protection. Nonetheless, he and his wife were surprised by the killer at their home. That’s the problem with the NRA’s theory: cold-blooded killers always have the initiative.

If you think the NRA is shrill on guns, there are groups even further out on the fringe that consider the NRA a pack of lily-livered surrender monkeys. Senator Paul, the right’s new shining knight of liberty, is raising money for the National Association of Gun Rights, which has blasted the NRA for “signaling surrender on handing President Obama and his anti-gun pals more information about American gun owners.”

NAGR has targeted negative ads on Republicans like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia Beach, whose offense was to introduce a bill to strengthen penalties for straw purchasers. So much for demands from pro-gun types that Washington vigorously enforce existing gun laws before passing new ones.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:16 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It’s right out of an old Western, and it’s not true. Take the case of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia. McLelland was a “good guy with a gun,” an Army veteran who carried a gun for self-protection. Nonetheless, he and his wife were surprised by the killer at their home. That’s the problem with the NRA’s theory: cold-blooded killers always have the initiative.

And can and will always get their hands on guns-legal or otherwise. We are fighting an uphill battle and the climb is a 90 degree slope.
posted by Gungho at 6:27 AM on April 18, 2013


And can and will always get their hands on guns-legal or otherwise. We are fighting an uphill battle and the climb is a 90 degree slope.

So instead of trying to fix the problem, even with the strengthening of enforcement you just endorsed, we should actually just give up and tell people to arm themselves? That's the thinking that has already got municipalities calling for mandatory gun ownership, and people calling for teachers to be armed against their wishes*. That's a far more scary path than making sure that dealers aren't selling their guns to criminals in the first place.


* Up until the point that they make noise about better wages or teaching conditions, at which point they will be "heavily-armed jackbooted union thugs threatening YOUR children!"
posted by zombieflanders at 6:37 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kind of dont like the idea of my safety depending on supposed 'good guys' winning in random shoot outs.
posted by empath at 6:40 AM on April 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


The great thing about a national gun registry, as we saw in Canada, is that implementing a reasonably well-designed and fair system gives Conservatives and gun rights organizations plenty of time to stall and disrupt the process until they can finally claim, "Look, this whole thing is an expensive disaster. And it doesn't (tsk tsk) even work."
posted by sneebler at 6:44 AM on April 18, 2013


I kind of dont like the idea of my safety depending on supposed 'good guys' winning in random shoot outs.

No, but having a gun when someone is actively threatening a life, right now, is better than not.

His argument is overly simplistic, but it also depends on every other safety mechanism in society to fail. In that last resort situation, his argument makes sense.
posted by gjc at 7:12 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Plus, at this point there is between 270,000,000 and 310,000,000 firearms (depends on the source) in the USA. How in the world will we register all of them now?

Let's say we go through a huge effort to register the firearms currently in this country, verify and license the people that own them, and produce a massive database that allows us to track ownership and history of these weapons, similar to what you can somewhat do today with cars and VIN#s.

Then let's say it's imperfectly and incompletely done, which is an obvious given in such an effort. Maybe after years of work we get only 15% of these weapons in the database. As a result of this, let's say we solve 10% of gun crimes that would have gone otherwise unsolved.

I'd call that money well spent.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:27 AM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]




Charles Pierce: The Violence We Live With
We congratulate ourselves on recognizing that certain forms of barbarism are intolerable in an advanced democracy. But given a choice truly to take things in stride, to be as indomitable as we say we are, by maintaining our principles in the face of that barbarism, we allow the waterboard and the black site to replace the rule of law, wink at barbarism by memorandum, by legal opinion, by political sophistry
...
The bomb goes off and we vow to move heaven and earth to catch the barbarian. We take all the wounds onto ourselves. We bargain for time-shares on Golgotha. We congratulate ourselves on making so measured a choice. Then we go back to slaughtering each other on the streets because that's what we have to tolerate on order to remain free. We are a curious people that way.
...
There is a barbarism in the American soul and we must protect some of it by law. To root it out is to endanger our lives on the one hand, and our liberty on the other. We must tolerate the barbarism of the black sites to stay alive, and we must tolerate the occasional mass shooting in order to maintain our liberty. We will find the barbarian who killed and maimed the people along Boylston Street in Boston because his barbarism was not sanctioned, nor was it sanctified by law. That is the simple basic equation of where we are right now.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:57 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


A few months ago I listened to the Freakonomics podcast "How to think about guns", which put a very different perspective on gun control than had been my own mindset. I know there are plenty of Freakonomics haters in MeFi land, but it's a very interesting listen.

Levitt helps put all these numbers in context, and make sense of overall crime trends. We also hear what he thinks about current proposed gun policy. He’s not optimistic:

LEVITT: I would just say that anyone with any sense looks at the current political climate, thinks about the kinds of proposals that are being made and accepts the fact that none of these proposals are going to have any real impact at all.

So what could diminish gun violence? We’ve asked that question before; good answers are hard to come by. Levitt says mandatory sentence enhancements work. You’ll also hear about Geoffrey Canada‘s book Fist Stick Knife Gun, which might change the way you think about violence in general.


For me, what Levitt says about current gun control proposals is very thought provoking, in that if our goal is truly to reduce gun violence, assault weapons bans and background checks may do little to aid that reduction. He believes the only way to address violence due to guns is to put huge sentencing penalties to any crime in which a gun was involved.

I would add that in Levitt's argument I see absolutely no reason not to have legislation enacted for background checks and gun registries anyway. Because that's what a sane society should be doing.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:28 AM on April 18, 2013


Sentencing bonuses for guns have been around for awhile. The problem is that most violent crimes are committed by either by people who are momentarily insane, or who don't intend to be caught.

Sentencing is not on their minds when they choose to use a gun.

There need to be fewer, and less instantaneously dangerous, weapons readily available.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:54 AM on April 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sentencing bonuses for guns have been around for awhile. The problem is that most violent crimes are committed by either by people who are momentarily insane, or who don't intend to be caught.

Sentencing bonuses for guns have been around for awhile...everywhere? uniformly? If so, how much of a bonus? This is news to me.

And on the latter group of violent criminals, those who don't intend to be caught, I would agree that while it's intuitive that sentence penalties shouldn't change behavior, apparently the research shows otherwise.

There need to be fewer, and less instantaneously dangerous, weapons readily available.

I couldn't agree more, but would background checks, gun buyback programs, and assault weapons bans do anything numerically to achieve that goal?

Again, I'm not arguing against any of those approaches. We should be doing all of them. However, it is only part of the entire approach. If you believe Levitt's assertions, it's perhaps one of the least important parts.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:05 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, but having a gun when someone is actively threatening a life, right now, is better than not.

In the most recent few shootings, I seem to recall there were armed people present who were not able to stop the respective massacres. And now we are putting more armed people into elementary schools, we can look forward to tragic yet entirely avoidable "accidents".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:21 AM on April 18, 2013


An insult to the Sandy Hook families (emphasis in original)
Those making this case are using eerily similar language. Rand Paul yesterday said: “I think in some cases the president has used them as props.” The Washington Times today opined: “The shame is how the gun-control advocates have exploited the grief of these families, bearing up under a sadness beyond knowing by the rest of us, using them at every opportunity as props to make a political argument.”
[...]
Sandy Hook families actually initiated contact with the White House, and not the other way around, according to Tim Makris, the executive director of Sandy Hook Promise, the group of families most active in lobbying Washington lawmakers on guns. Back in February the families contacted the White House “and said we wanted to meet with them,” Makris told me.

What about the families’ recent appearance on Air Force One? Having already been previously contacted by the families, the White House called them to ask them to participate in an event in Hartford, Connecticut. But the families actually turned this invite down. They informed the White House that they had already purchased their tickets for the train to Washington and that they would have to leave for the Capitol. It was only after this that the White House offered to transport them to Washington on the presidential plane, an invitation the families themselves accepted for convenience sake, Makris says.

When the families met with Vice President Joe Biden last week, it again happened because the families initiated contact in hopes of getting a briefing on the state of play in the Senate, Makris said.

All of this aside, the “props” line is actually an insult to the families, posing as a defense of them. It implies that the families, in lobbying on these issues, are not thinking for themselves. In reality, the families want to stand with the President at events for a fairly obvious reason: Obama is fighting for the same things they want. Indeed, one of the family members, Mark Barden, who lost his son Daniel in the shooting, voluntarily stood with the president at the White House yesterday as Obama reacted to news of the Senate vote, and thanked Obama for his leadership. Needless to say, if Barden felt like he was being exploited or used as a prop, he wouldn’t be thanking the president.

I’d say the views of the families themselves on the question of whether they are being used as props should carry more weight than the views of Republicans who are doing everything they can to thwart the very reforms those families are fighting for.

This argument, like so many others from the “gun rights” side, is designed solely to obfuscate and confuse. It’s meant to imply that in fighting for his gun proposals, Obama isn’t actually representing the interests of the families. The “gun rights” side has to argue this, of course, because the families are highly sympathetic figures, and Republicans can’t be seen to be fighting to thwart their will. But of course, that is exactly what Republicans are doing — the families’ agenda and Obama’s agenda are one and the same. Even more perversely, they are doing this while posing as defenders of the families by painting them as victims of Obama’s exploitation.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:33 AM on April 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


@mikememoli: Sen. Flake on those vowing political consequences for no vote on backd checks: "That's the beauty of a 6-year term."
Christ, what an asshole.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:44 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


For comparison's sake:
@jeffzeleny Sen. Landrieu is facing re-election, but on her Yes vote on guns: "Some of these votes are tougher than others, but it was the right vote."
posted by zombieflanders at 9:46 AM on April 18, 2013


How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators

You must, Your Honour, treat the NRA as a terrorist group
posted by homunculus at 11:44 AM on April 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


The NRA's vitriol and histrionics was not dampened in the least by the slaughter of 20 children. They are a corporate lobbying group that has shown itself to be caustically driven to the persuit of profits on behalf of its contributing interests.

It should be dealt with the heaviest of hands, and held, like the tobacco lobby, with the utmost of contempt and skepticism. This is a group whose only goal is more sales, fatalities be damned, and they do not deserve a voice on any stage.
posted by Theta States at 11:50 AM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are you going to go shoot a bear with a handgun?
Ever try to whip around a rifle inside a tent?
If someone is hiking, trout fishing, etc. a handgun is a more portable option if there is a possibility of attack by a large predator (cougar, jaguar, bear, etc)
Is a handgun designed to shoot a bear?
Yes. But you can down a large bear with an accurate158 grain .357 Magnum round.


“Why does any criticism of gun ownership get the response "yeah, but I don't kill people!"

Say, the engine on this car is blown. - “Why don’t you change the flat tire?”
Well, there’d be no point. One of the rods has punched a hole through the engine block. -“But if you change the flat the car can go.”
No, it can’t. The rod connects to a piston which rotates the crankshaft. With a broken rod turning the crank will pump oil out of the engine and that can cause a lot of smoke or even a fire. - “Why is it always technical jibberish with you people? Just change the tire. A car won’t go with a flat tire, will it? I'm not saying you don't want to drive.”
I can’t drive. The car won’t go. - “Why are you avoiding the issue? There are many things that make a car go. Will a car with a flat tire go or not?”
Well…no. - “So start by changing the tire!”

You are holding on to principles and intangible rights and beliefs.
Just like the idiots who died for such things.

E-mail. E-mail e-mail e-mail your Senators if you can't be there in-person to hand-deliver something. E-mail the relevant legislative aide if you're speaking on behalf of an organization. Don't waste your time with snail mail.

The founding fathers did not write the first amendment with e-mail in mind. No one could have foreseen the use of speech beyond the printing press.

Obama could support a bill saying the sky is blue and water is wet and it would get filibustered as long as he said anything about it on TV
The founding fathers could never have foreseen the sky remaining blue.

Because registering them is just a pretext to take them away. Just like they did with all the cars.
The founding fathers could not have foreseen moving pictures, and therefore would not have heard Rush’s “Red Barchetta.”

Seriously though, I don't get why so much of this thread is a gun debate. Or rather, I get that it's an emotionally charged issue, but continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity.

Clearly, the problem - whatever bill at hand - is the broken engine of democracy that is the Congress. Even more vehemently asserting one's perspective on the issue regardless of the actual process of making law, yeah, not going to do much about that.

Most people support(ed) background checks. Did they e-mail, phone, etc? Dunno. Doesn't look like it. But even if they did, would it have made a difference?
Maybe.

This event illustrates why being involved in the seemingly boring technical stuff matters too. The procedures on filibustering has to change.

The way the Senate has been designed - regardless of gerrymandering or rural states being overrepresented (and that whole debate aside there's the tyranny of the minority to consider as well as what works where. You can't run an open expanse the way you run things in an urban environment and vice versa) - there aren't many ways to hold elected representatives accountable because of the supermajority.

And, the way it looks, they like that. Clearly Obama doesn't (and I like Obama). But in many ways Congress, the Senate particularly, is designed to fail.
It comes down to a few votes. People can trade off. Be the fall guy on this for getting something for their project on that. Everyone gets to eat. Because almost everyone can say they voted for their party/constituents/etc.

When, in fact, they're (mostly) voting for their campaign backers.

I don't get why so many people are so concerned about the gun control issue in this particular thread. What's happening in our government, the way public business is done, and the direction we're headed in is far FAR more dangerous.

If this is the issue that wakes people up to that, great. Doesn't much look like it though.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:03 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are you going to go shoot a bear with a handgun?
Ever try to whip around a rifle inside a tent?


How often is this likely to be a thing that happens? If rules and laws about guns are set around the 'yes but I might need to shoot a bear in my tent!' parameter that seems a little...well, specialized to me.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:09 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


their interns batch up all the pro-gun control and anti-gun control letters together, count them up, and send the response away

Exactly! Political types know that people who take the time to write and post a letter are highly likely to get out and vote, so the bigger the pile of paper the better. Political types also know that those who email may or may not vote, so an email is worth a pittance to an actual letter.

Tweets and online petitions aren't worth their zeroes in a bit bucket.

With the issue of gun control, letter writing is only the beginning of what must happen to get substantial change. People must also show up en masse, at town halls and at independent demonstrations. Further, these efforts must recur on a regular scheduled basis. No one-off rally will make a difference. Every one must write multiple letters each and every month without fail. A percentage of each and every paycheck must be sent to an advocacy group.

Every sale of a box of ammunition must be countered with a letter or a public presence. Ammo is sold every day. The same cannot be said for gun control support.
posted by Ardiril at 12:12 PM on April 18, 2013


Maybe people are afraid a background check would reveal they don't actually go camping and would therefore be ineligible to bring a handgun into the woods.
posted by CancerMan at 12:12 PM on April 18, 2013


It seems like there are a lot of fairly reasonable gun owners out there with a range of ideas about what they would or wouldn't support in terms of gun legislation. So that's something. What I can't understand at all then is how the NRA has so many members and who those people are. It looks to be utterly corrupt and underhanded in its political dealings and at least at the executive level is totally unhinged as far as thinking about reasonable gun policies. Their talking points and public statements come across as ... I guess "smarmy" is a good word. Slick, pat statements, not exactly an "everyman" kind of organization. What's the idea? Change from within or something?

I also really can't buy the idea that ~300 million guns floating around has any kind of link at all to our freedoms or the American way of life, whatever that may be. If I keep a bat under the bed in case someone breaks into my house, or get a dog, that seems more than sufficient. There's no way in hell as a parent that I'd ever want guns in my house. If I wanted to hunt I'd want a system where I could go to a ranger station and check one out or something. But in my closet? Hell no.
posted by freecellwizard at 12:14 PM on April 18, 2013


Foremost, liberals must elect a President who isn't such an obvious limp dick.
posted by Ardiril at 12:18 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


A Moral Principle met a Material Interest on a bridge wide enough for but one.

‘Down, you base thing!’ thundered the Moral Principle, ‘and let me pass over you!’

The Material Interest merely looked in the other’s eyes without saying anything.

‘Ah,’ said the Moral Principle, hesitatingly, ‘let us draw lots to see which shall retire till the other has crossed.’

The Material Interest maintained an unbroken silence and an unwavering stare.

‘In order to avoid a conflict,’ the Moral Principle resumed, somewhat uneasily, ‘I shall myself lie down and let you walk over me.’

Then the Material Interest found a tongue, and by a strange coincidence it was its own tongue. ‘I don’t think you are very good walking,’ it said. ‘I am a little particular about what I have underfoot. Suppose you get off into the water.’

It occurred that way.
— Ambrose Bierce, Fantastic Fables, 1898
posted by Rhaomi at 12:20 PM on April 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


zombieflanders: "
@mikememoli: Sen. Flake on those vowing political consequences for no vote on backd checks: "That's the beauty of a 6-year term."
Christ, what an asshole.
"

While it came out wrong, I think his point is that the Senate was supposed to be a "deliberative" body that was based on long term thinking, not swayed by heat of the moment political posturing, since their seats aren't continually up for re-election, they're "safe" to take an "unpopular" position, as opposed to the House which is supposed to be more Populist and readily riled up (and why the Senate represents States as opposed to more Popular vote district base which has a much faster turnover in the house.)

That said, You are absolutely correct in your assertion that Jeff Flake is an asshole. But not necessarily for the sentiment he is expressing here, or rather, not necessarily the way it sounds he means (though - I have no doubt that he quite possibly means it more in the way you're reading it, but he can at least cop out to a more "responsible" reading of that statement).
posted by symbioid at 12:29 PM on April 18, 2013








“How often is this likely to be a thing that happens? If rules and laws about guns are set around the 'yes but I might need to shoot a bear in my tent!' parameter that seems a little...well, specialized to me.”

Truly, bear hunters encounter bears from time to time. I know it may sound strange, but they can even encounter them unexpectedly.
Perhaps I was missing the point on the bear vs. handgun question as it pertains to urban handgun laws and “guns” in general, but my response was tailored to bear hunting with a handgun. Which does happen. And shooting a bear with a sidearm. Which can happen. And is something I can personally attest to. Rare, yes. But I’d like to have more than a whistle as a back up. You can encounter large predators when hunting other game or while fishing. You can have hunting dog(s) scare a black bear and have it be a problem. You can be bowhunting or using a smaller caliber rifle for other game and encounter a predator. Your optics can foul. Defense options abound. I could probably kill a bear with a spear or axe or drive one off with spray, but I’m not going to carry all that. For all the disadvantages, a large caliber handgun is still the best, that is most portable for the efficacy, secondary weapon.

Yes, if I hunt, I need to have it. If I’m gutting an elk I’ve got one hand on my blade and the other wading through organs and connective tissue, to wolves and bear I might as well be ringing a dinner bell and I’m not going to have my rifle near at hand. I can however have a handgun on my hip. That, hopefully, addresses the concept of “need.”
I don’t know many people who stick up gas stations with .454 wheel guns. So the two ideas are incongruous, though not exclusive.
That is, there are handguns made for bear. But it is indeed rare to hunt bear with a handgun. And those who do hunt bear with handguns use handguns that are completely unsuited to self-defense.

For example: Are you ever going to see a clown on a bicycle? Are bicycles designed for clowns?
It’s a poor framing of the idea. Obviously there are handguns that are used for bear. Also obviously, there are pro-gun arguments which distort the idea of hunting to serve the ends of selling firearms.

Which is what I suspect was being pointed out there with the questions. But is there someone here fooled by those assertions? That you need a 9mm with a high cap mag to deal with a 1200 lb grizzly? Doubtful.

So ok, some firearms are used to shoot people. That becomes a different question. And more complex.
But, here, pointless.
Again my general point being, misguided questioning of the uses of firearms and alienation of firearm owners/users, probably not the best use of time and energy given the glaringly obvious failure in our political process.

I’ll reiterate, I’d like to have seen this law pass. I think background checks are a good way to address illegal gun sales. I think most of the distrust of government – at least as far as sweeping and aggressive military/law enforcement confiscation goes – is unfounded. Distrust in terms of expecting political posturing over competency, that seems a valid concern.

Indeed, one of the things that bothers me is that this will be a validation of the current state of affairs for pro-gun folks.
Hey, screw campaign finance reform! The system works perfectly because I got mine!

And certainly, had this passed, perhaps more people would have overlooked how really screwed up our process is.
It kills me how many people blame the left or the right or Dems or the GOP. It's obviously a systemic problem that needs a lot of long term attention.

Petition your Senator on an issue and perhaps you get your way. Make sure the system of representation is equitable and you avoid having to work so hard and risk being divided on issues that you might otherwise have allies on.

Best way to destroy enemies is to make them your friends.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:37 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I shall now commence a series of 45 tweets of vulgar, hateful invective & abuse against every senator that voted against gun control today

Mr Destructo gives 'em the business. Exempli gratis:

12. Sen. @TomCoburn (R-OK) As a doctor & Christian, which wards off bullets best - Lord's Prayer Hippocratic Oath or Dukes of Hazzard theme
posted by hap_hazard at 4:43 PM on April 18, 2013




Bear spray remains the best defense option according to the experts.

That’s nothing. I hear that if the evolution of life follows Moore's Law, then it predates the existence of planet Earth.

Drinky Die I guarantee you there is a world of difference between hunting and hiking and the available defense options.
When I hike I do carry a firearm, but I always carry bear spray. I also wear a bell and walk like a cast member of Stomp. I don’t carry huge sacks of meat.

When I hunt, I move quietly. I am encumbered by meat. I dress it out fast. I break scent and blood trails between the kill and camp. Nevertheless I’m usually drenched in gore smell unlike, well, any hiker, camper, etc. The odds of an encounter are far greater. And I’m far, far more likely to have a firearm in my hands or closeby.
Does it make any sense to put down my rifle, or ignore the one at my hip that can reach out 100 yds (Leupold) in favor of something that’s good to 30?
Also, with bear spray, you have to practice. You have to have it close by, use two hands, make sure of windage, etc. etc. I’m about as good as any average guy who’s practiced a bit with bear spray.
But I’ve intensively trained the bulk of my life using firearms. So for me, hunting, it’s more likely to save my life and has.

Given that bear attacks have actually increased since the 60’s the argument that protection against bear is less important is less realistic.
In terms of what protects you from inadvertently encountering them and getting mauled, mostly your brain. Someone not using that in the first place probably shouldn't have a gun. And I've seen some stupid things done with bear spray too.
I understand there are plenty of people still feeding black bear too.
Y’know, I really shouldn’t respond to this stuff. I do like talking about it, but it truly is less important than the political morass.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:16 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, you could choose to use the less effective weapon that is more likely to leave you injured by the bear you if you want.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:53 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just feel so discouraged at this point. Even some sort of progress would be welcome, but instead I see an onslaught of bills allowing more guns to be owned and carried by more people in more situations. It's madness.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:54 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I hike I do carry a firearm, but I always carry bear spray. I also wear a bell and walk like a cast member of Stomp.

Warning: Grizzly Bears Shit Bells In The Woods
posted by homunculus at 6:57 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


NRA Chief: Obama bit off more than he could chew
David Keene told Secrets that the president and his team misplayed their hand because they don't have a sense of the public's attitude toward gun control. "They just can't gauge the public reaction to what they do because they don't have any sense that the public has feelings different than they do," said Keene.

"He thought and his folks thought that Newtown changed everything. Newtown was a tragedy but that doesn't change people's basic values and feelings," added the NRA president. "What he learned is that he bit off a lot more than he can chew and that you can't just talk your way to a victory. You have to have something that makes some sense and he what he was proposing just didn't make much sense."
He also said that it was unseemly for the President of the United States to throw a public tantrum.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:00 PM on April 18, 2013


Obama: This is madness!
Keene: Madness? This is Sparta!
posted by homunculus at 7:11 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Given that bear attacks have actually increased since the 60’s the
argument that protection against bear is less important is less realistic.


WE'RE HERE! WE'RE QUEER! WE DON'T WANT ANY MORE BEARS!
posted by Jughead at 8:16 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is a shooting being reported at MIT now, with one person down.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:56 PM on April 18, 2013


WASHINGTON -- Adolphus Busch IV, heir to the Busch family brewing fortune, resigned his lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association on Thursday, writing in a letter to NRA President David Keene, "I fail to see how the NRA can disregard the overwhelming will of its members who see background checks as reasonable."
posted by Drinky Die at 9:02 PM on April 18, 2013 [3 favorites]




It's madness.

It is, isn't it. We don't need gun control laws as much as we much laws to protect us from the gun nut lobby.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:30 PM on April 18, 2013


Laws to protect us from all lobbies would be the best thing.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:10 AM on April 19, 2013


It's grainy but there's a link to the whole thing on c-span on the front page.

For those of us coming to the party late, this looks like it'll take you there now.
posted by WCityMike at 8:01 AM on April 19, 2013


And the text.
posted by WCityMike at 8:07 AM on April 19, 2013


“Yes, you could choose to use the less effective weapon that is more likely to leave you injured by the bear you if you want.”

Truly, that's why the pentagon is switching to an all-bear spray infantry.

Why would you be willfully obtuse? Are you genuinely suggesting that when I hunt bear - and hopefully you're aware hunting an animal involves killing them - I use bear spray? What do I kill them with, harsh language?
Are you at all familiar with any techniques used to hunt bear? Some people use dogs. Bear spray was invented specifically to mess up dogs.
There are a wide variety of situations, as I noted, with innumerable options and, as I noted, bear spray is a good choice for most all of them and perhaps the only choice for some.

But how stupid do you have to be to demand it be an ‘either or’?

One uses the right tool under appropriate circumstances. I've killed game with a spear. I would feel more comfortable given proper terrain advantages (for example in a ravine with a height advantage and the sun at my back) with a spear in my hand than a handgun, axe, bear spray or almost anything except a rifle.
So, all depends on where you expect to find yourself.
Hey, Smedley you should carry a nail gun instead of a hammer.”
“Well, I’m a professional cabinetmaker so I'm better trained on woodworking tools than I am on construction tools like nail guns. And I use the claw hammer when I’m woodworking because it’s lighter and you can pull nails.”
“But the claw hammer is less effective than the nail gun, all the experts say that.”
“Most nail guns are used for framing and exterior work. I’m making a cabinet.”
“No, but nail guns are better all the time. The internet says so.”
*goes home, fires 6¼ inch spike through cedar buffet hutch, drywall*

Pardon my egotism, but I would assert that a .454 Casull in my hands is an entirely different thing that one in yours or in the hands of an average hiker. Whereas in terms of using bear spray we're all probably about equal. Which is the great advantage of bear spray generally. But it ignores the training advantages I have to focus solely on that element.
(In training economics: I can buy a box of .454 for about $40 (I get discounts). That's 20 rounds. One can of bear spray costs about $40.) Not that you need much training for bear spray. But I am often long in the field and light on ammo. If my rifle gets fouled, if I'm cleaning it, any number of things, I can't kill game with bear spray.
And indeed, I get shit from the other side for going so heavy (what do you need all that gun for?) Strangely, they do me the courtesy of assuming I have some knowledge of how to save my own life after years of experience.

Drinky Die, had you read the 4th international human-bear conflicts workshop (or the summary) you’d know that Steve Herrero (who delivered his end to the conference by phone) took a lot of his work from his and Tom Smith’s “Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska.” you would also know that Smith has criticized Herrerro for poor use of data. In the Journal of Wildlife Management (at least the one currently sitting the rack next to my commode) Smith in a paper co-authored by Herrero said that Herrero noted that firearms have their place in protecting people from aggressive bears but did not present any data regarding their use of efficacy. (Smith being the primary author of both "Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska" (2008) and "Efficacy of Firearms For Bear Deterrance in Alaska" (2012).)

Fish and Wildlife in 2002 stated that people using firearms in bear encounters were injured 50% of the time, but there was no data or references provided as support for that.
The simple fact is Herrero and (f’rinstance) Chris Servheen (of the interagency grizzly bear committee) didn't have any data on firearms and still asserted that “since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries.”

I'm agnostic here. All things being equal, depending on what you're studying, sure, I can see more people being hurt using anything other than bear spray, given you're studying all random encounters, ignoring factors such as skill with firearms (Joe Six Pack vs. Joe DNR/ Hunter).
But either way it just wasn’t proven.
Until Efficacy of Firearms for Bear Deterrence In Alaska (again Tom Smith) was published in 2012 those stats didn’t exist. So, sort of tough to say it years before.

And this kind of thing has been a problem for a long time. As far back as the 80s and 90s, even into early 2000 somewhat there has been no data collected from actual hunters using firearms that hunters advise other hunters to train and use. The .454 for example. Early reports used .45s, .357s, and the .44 magnum which was considered the only handgun powerful enough to meaningfully penetrate.
Additionally, most of the people responding weren’t hunting bear specifically. It takes a great deal of skill and will to hunt bear. None of the studies took the individual’s level of firearm expertise into account, didn’t even collect that kind of data.
Most people don’t want to kill a protected species like bear. They don’t want to shoot at/near a person being attacked by a bear. They don’t want to, as they must by law, have to skin the bear, pack it’s hide, skull, claws, etc. Most people have not been in situations where they have to fight for their lives. Most people can’t react with spit second timing to put a deadly shot grouping into someone or something trying to kill them without hesitation.

For them, bear spray is an excellent choice. For me, apart from some specific circumstances, it's an excellent choice.

I’ll go one further, unless one intends to kill a bear, it is better to carry bear spray. And indeed, a dead bear learns nothing, and can teach its cubs/fellow bear nothing, about staying the hell away from humans.
So spray has all those advantages in addition to not killing the bear.
I would advise leaving that to hunters. And too, leaving advising hunters of what they need to hunt to hunters.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:35 AM on April 19, 2013 [3 favorites]






Truly, that's why the pentagon is switching to an all-bear spray infantry.

Why would you be willfully obtuse?


Feels like a question that is being projected.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:58 PM on April 19, 2013


Truly, that's why the pentagon is switching to an all-bear spray infantry.

Does the Pentagon give a shit about bears in the woods?
posted by jacalata at 1:53 PM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feels like a question that is being projected.

The initial questions concerned bears and bear hunting with handguns. I have done these so I addressed them. They also concerned the likelihood of encountering a bear or other dangerous predator.
Such encounters have increased. Is bear spray a viable option for such encounters? Yes. (Although I would argue that overdevelopment and ignorance cause most of the problems).
While hunting generally, and hunting bear specifically, are large caliber handguns a viable option as a back up weapon? Again, based on personal experience most certainly.
You linked to a news article (Bear spray remains the best defense option according to the experts) which appeared to me to refute that point.
I believe I explained that while spray is an option, when I hunt large game I like to have a heavy firearm as it’s proven more useful than anything else.
Your response: “Yes, you could choose to use the less effective weapon that is more likely to leave you injured by the bear you if you want.”
So, I explored the veracity of the source material for the article you posted, in the hopes that a logical argument would compel you if my own direct and practical knowledge would not.

I’ll try again – The studies all the news articles are based on (the aforementioned Smith, Herrero, etc.) assert that firearms are no more effective at stopping a bear attack than doing nothing and the type of weapon – pea shooter or CZ 550 loaded with 900 grain .600 overkill rounds – had no statistical difference.

Not only does that defy all knowledge and experience even the most casual hunter might have, but it’s ridiculous to assert there is no difference to a bear in the effectiveness between a small caliber handgun and a big bore rifle or slug shotgun.
Does it not make any sense at all that a rifle will have more of an effect than a 9mm?
At least watch this.
Can we stipulate that it’s possible for a powerful handgun to have an effect on a bear greater than zero?

Additionally, the spray data is skewed. Again, this is not to say spray is not a very good idea. Simply that spray, and a firearm are compliments to safe activity. Common sense and training will help prevent an inadvertent encounter in the first place. Bear spray does not make you invulnerable to bears. It will not drive off a determined attack. The study said bear spray has always worked and there have been no fatalities – except the caveats are that it’s worked whenever properly used, and it’s worked when the bear has not come back.

Plenty of times spray hasn’t worked. outside those parameters.

And there are successful handgun defenses (in Denali)
And, obviously, failures. But there’s no substitute for common sense and knowing your own capabilities and what is right for you individually and it's silly to gainsay that. I'm not going to advise a 350 lb man to try to outrun something. Nor am I going to advise a small framed, delicate wrist, petite person to haul out a big bore. It's not an off-the-rack sort of thing, and it shouldn't be treated that way by the law or gainsaid.

And none of that is to refute the role bear spray unquestionably does have. Merely showing that firearms too, in proper hands are also a component of a package that is essentially a hedge against the unexpected when you’ve done everything else sensibly.

This has gone pretty far afield, but I think the point I’m trying to make, albeit probably unclear, is parallel - that understanding the environment and seeking to adapt to that is a better method in all things than relying on a single thing to save your life at the last second. And it’s far better to work to understand and change in line with that than to bicker over which select bit is superior.

So too with politics.

On the gun issue itself, sure I think if less heat were put on hunters and lawful firearm owners and put on where it belongs (as I’m gratified to see much of it is in this thread) on the companies that make and market firearms and the lobbyists that skew laws and the structure of government in favor of those corporations.

Indeed, I'm *for* background checks and I get handed a ton of shit.

But had we paid more attention to campaign finance reform, had we understood that the filibuster does a disservice to the country instead of angling to jimmy the system when “our” guys were out of majority, had we not mistaken passion and intensity for involvement and long term commitment and attention to detail, had we not taken extremity and dogmatism as ends in themselves and bought into polarization as an unmixed good and the best method to get things done, had we not allowed hyperbole and emotionalism to over selling the bill as a way to prevent all children being murdered anywhere forever and to supplant practical common sense and commitment to fundamental principles, and had we not constantly clamored for a more unitary President when “our” guy is in office and demanded more power and more attention on the President rather than throwing the light on Congress, had we not allowed pork and lobbyist agencies like the NRA to run roughshod through D.C. – because it’s ok when they bring pork to our backyard, but not causes we don’t like, had we not allowed advertising and astroturf SEO agencies to wholesale replace newspapers and consolidate media (seriously, even on the diverse news aggregators have you not noticed it’s reiteration of the same same same thing?), then we might have had a more responsive system which would not have betrayed us to those moneyed interests.

As it is, here's something a lot of people feel obviously strongly about, and nothing gets done. Because of the fixation on the thing itself instead of the environment in which it exists.

“Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself.” - Epictetus
posted by Smedleyman at 2:52 PM on April 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also fairly egregious, the Barrasso bill seems to have passed as an amendment on its own. (the fu?)

Essentially it pulls funds from the Community Oriented Policing Services program if states release info on law abiding gun owners and (nice but of questionable intent) victims of domestic violence.

It's a big "fuck you" catch-22 to law enforcement. (text)

On the upside: Senate votes 95-2 for bipartisan mental health amendment

But it all ain't over til it's over.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:45 PM on April 19, 2013








Feels like a question that is being projected.

The initial questions concerned bears and bear hunting with handguns. I have done these so I addressed them. They also concerned the likelihood of encountering a bear or other dangerous predator.


The non-obtuse would likely not force me to point out the obviousness of which portion I was addressing with my comments.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:14 PM on April 19, 2013


Nor am I going to advise a small framed, delicate wrist, petite person to haul out a big bore.

No kidding. If I tried to fire one of these I'd probably knock myself out. Which would be convenient for the bear, I suppose.

That's why whenever I go into bear country, I ride my trusty buffalo.

I've never actually been in bear country, nor do I have a buffalo. :(
posted by homunculus at 6:17 PM on April 19, 2013


Anyone estimated how many guns actually pass through this loophole or ideally how many people they're used to kill? It's tricky obviously since often the same guns would be sold illegally rather than using loopholes, but a serious estimate might be interesting.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:16 AM on April 20, 2013








538: The Gun Vote and 2014: Will There Be an Electoral Price?
The chart illustrates the conclusion we had reached before: senators up for re-election in 2014 were much more sensitive to the gun-ownership rates in their states, and it represented a much clearer predictor of their votes....
In fact, the safety of the Senate Republicans may have enabled them to vote against the amendment, at least in part, for a tactical reason: to protect their colleagues in the House. This is not to suggest that Republicans are likely to lose the House — but there are 17 House Republicans in districts carried by President Obama last year. By preventing the background-check bill from securing the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate, the Republicans may have prevented their House counterparts from having to take a tough vote.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:08 AM on April 23, 2013


Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling ‘Shame On You’ At Senators

HuffPost Reporter: "Journalists" Formed "Human Shield" Around Gun Control Activist
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on April 23, 2013


New gun control thread, btw.
posted by homunculus at 1:34 PM on April 23, 2013


NRA Chief: Obama bit off more than he could chew

The NRA has a new president, and he's a piece of work: Five Things To Know About The NRA's New President Jim Porter
posted by homunculus at 5:56 PM on May 2, 2013


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